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Old 10-20-2010, 02:43 AM   #1
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Taco w/TT 1st trip

I just put my Taco to the test. I picked up an 18' trailer in Ohio and drove it home to the DC area. I have a WD hitch the rear spring TSB has been done as well



I pulled it across Ohio and the entire Allegheny ridge from west to east which was about 130 miles of mountain highway at a max grade of 7% and a 485 mile trip all together. The trailer weighs 3220 dry and I have few hundred pounds of stuff in it. With the WD hitch and keeping the weight in the 3k-4klb range the Taco did okay. There were times when it was working but nothing to be concerned about. The 4.0 was running at 3200-3500 rpm's or so climbing a good5-7% grade at 55mph. This rpm range seems to be the sweet spot and it pulled very well.
Checkout this vid and turn up the volume to hear the engine. There were some hills when it was running like this for more than 3-4minutes. Just a nice steady running engine at 1/4 throttle.

Click on image and it will open in photobucket to play(I think)


I kept track of my mpg and there was no difference between the mountains at 55-60mph or the flatter land in Ohio at 60-65. I was getting 10.3-10.7 mpg in both. One thing I found out is that using the cruise control makes the trans hunt a lot. If you use your foot to control the throttle lightly it will run in a higher gear and pull longer in that higher gear until it need to downshift.

There were really no big issues with the large trucks passing. I knew they were there and I may have had to firm up on the wheel a little but that would have happened if I had the TT or not. Semi's put out a nice blast when they go by or you go by them anyway. The fun part was the broadside wind in Ohio, but as stated before the wind would have knocked anything around .

With the properly adjusted WD hitch, and conservative speed, good tire pressure(35psi) there were no white knuckle times at all, I just had to get used to traveling in the right lane

I don't think I would go much over 4000lbs towing and 600lbs cargo in this truck especially in the hills. I'm going to try this rig out for a year and see how it does then decide if I keep the Taco or get a larger truck.

IMHO I think the Taco did very well and is a very capable truck for the load I will be hauling.

Hope this is enlightening to someone.

Paul
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psmcn View Post
I kept track of my mpg and there was no difference between the mountains at 55-60mph or the flatter land in Ohio at 60-65. I was getting 10.3-10.7 mpg in both. One thing I found out is that using the cruise control makes the trans hunt a lot.
My truck hunts for gears while on cruise control on the highway here, even when I'm not towing anything, so I was not shocked to read that, it kind of annoys me haha.

Nice towing info!
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:20 AM   #3
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Hey Paul, sounds like you came across I-68. I average the same mileage towing that route with our 21'/5k trailer on my 06 DC. Coopers Rock is a nice long pull on that route. The rear spring TSB made all the difference in the world in how that truck rides with the WD hitch ratcheted up. I only wish Cipa made an aftermarket "slip on" mirror for our trucks. If you are not familiar with it...there is a great forum over at RV.net. Lots of great info and ideas, just like this site.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cogge89 View Post
My truck hunts for gears while on cruise control on the highway here, even when I'm not towing anything, so I was not shocked to read that, it kind of annoys me haha.

Nice towing info!
I think the cruise control in the Taco is a POS. It will drop 3-5mph form the set speed, then drop a gear to catch up but when it catches up it runs over the set speed by 2-3mph. I had a Subaru Outback that would hold the speed within 1mph of the set speed. I just used cruise on the slight down hills to give my foot a rest or I would drop it into 4th and it would stop hunting and maintain speed as best it could.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusher 2 View Post
Hey Paul, sounds like you came across I-68. I average the same mileage towing that route with our 21'/5k trailer on my 06 DC. Coopers Rock is a nice long pull on that route. The rear spring TSB made all the difference in the world in how that truck rides with the WD hitch ratcheted up. I only wish Cipa made an aftermarket "slip on" mirror for our trucks. If you are not familiar with it...there is a great forum over at RV.net. Lots of great info and ideas, just like this site.
Yup, that's a nice route as far as interstates go. I have to admit that I'm a sucker for the sound of an engine working. It's music to my ears I changed the vid to a longer one just so I can hear more of it.

I just found RV.net last week so I'll be checking it out.

Thanks
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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Haha. When I read the heading of the post "Taco w/TT" I was expecting to see a Twin-Turbo Tacoma.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama_TACO View Post
Haha. When I read the heading of the post "Taco w/TT" I was expecting to see a Twin-Turbo Tacoma.
That would be cool, If I had the $$ to do that I would just get a bigger truck.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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Nice trailer.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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I like the revised video... can definately tell thats I-68 up to Coopers Rock. I've been driving/pulling that route 8-10 times a year for 26 years. I think coming down the westbound side the signs say 6 or 7% grade. Right where you pass the 2 mile sign is where my father-in-law dropped the serpentine belt on his F-350 Power Stroke towing his 15,000 pound fifth wheel a few years ago.

You will become addicted to RV.net...just like this site. I check both almost every day.

HappyCampin!
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:11 AM   #10
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Don't laugh

At the risk of sounding dumb, what are TSB springs? I just bought my 2011 tacoma and will be towing a 3500 lb trailer, so I want to make sure I do things right.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madjack View Post
At the risk of sounding dumb, what are TSB springs? I just bought my 2011 tacoma and will be towing a 3500 lb trailer, so I want to make sure I do things right.
Nope,not sounding dumb.. Just a question.

the spring TSB(technical service bulletin) is an up grade for Taco owners that complain about the harsh ride when loaded. I do not know if the 2011 are under it or not, do a search, you'll find plenty of info on it or someone will chime in here.

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...ta-tacoma.html
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:02 AM   #12
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great post, thanks for sharing!

If you want to cruise 70 all the time while towing you can't beat a diesel! Occasional towing just doesn't justify the expense of a diesel IMO.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:44 AM   #13
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What brand of RV do you have, I am considering one in the 17'-20' range myself?
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:52 PM   #14
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I'm glad to hear that your Tacoma performed well with your new tt in tow. I just purchased a Rockwood Mini-Lite similar to yours but won't pick it up in Ohio until spring. My tt is a 2306 with a dry weight of 3300lbs, and I expect that I'll be pulling it over similar terrain on my way back to Harrisburg. My truck is a V6 with tow package and 6500 towing capacity. Originally, we had decided on a JayFlight 26BH with a dry weight of 4700lbs. Every salesman I talked with insisted that my Tacoma would have no problems pulling that trailer. Imagine that! If I hadn't stumbled onto this site and a few others like it, I would have purchased the 26bh. I'm glad to have avoided the white-knuckle express.

Does your truck have the tow package and what type of WD hitch are you using to tow your tt? Thanks

Greg
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:33 AM   #15
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Glad to hear the Taco performed well.

In all honesty, I wouldn't touch cruise control at all while towing. IIRC, cruise control wasn't intended for towing exactly because of what you described with the gear searching. But I have a 6sp manual and I still don't use the CC when towing.

Btw, TT looks great!! Any interior pics?
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utmck View Post
What brand of RV do you have, I am considering one in the 17'-20' range myself?

I have the Rockwood Mini Light 1809. I bought it in Oct from RV wholesalers and I'm looking forward to using it next spring.
Thesize and options fit my camping needs well. It's good for two and maybe a guest every once in a while if they don't mind sleeping with the dog
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gkconfer View Post
I'm glad to hear that your Tacoma performed well with your new tt in tow. I just purchased a Rockwood Mini-Lite similar to yours but won't pick it up in Ohio until spring. My tt is a 2306 with a dry weight of 3300lbs, and I expect that I'll be pulling it over similar terrain on my way back to Harrisburg. My truck is a V6 with tow package and 6500 towing capacity. Originally, we had decided on a JayFlight 26BH with a dry weight of 4700lbs. Every salesman I talked with insisted that my Tacoma would have no problems pulling that trailer. Imagine that! If I hadn't stumbled onto this site and a few others like it, I would have purchased the 26bh. I'm glad to have avoided the white-knuckle express.

Does your truck have the tow package and what type of WD hitch are you using to tow your tt? Thanks

Greg

Greg,

Just so you are completely informed about the weight of your new trailer, have the sales person go out and read the exact weight numbers off the yellow sticker in or on the trailer. The weight they advertise in the brochure is the weight of a unit with no options. My trailer was advertised at 2958# the actual dry weight is 3229# with a dry hitch weight of 137#. The hitch weight goes up right away. The battery weighs around 70# and 2 LP tanks are around 100#, so my hitch weight went up to 307# right away.
Your TT is rated in the brochure at 3291# w/ a hitch weight of 270#. If you add some basic options like A/C and an awning like I have you add 270# to the total weight so now you are at 3562#. Now add the battery and LP tanks and you have a total TT weight of 3732# with a hitch weight of 440# because of the battery and tanks. This is essentially a dry TT. You can go up to 650# hitch weight so you are okay here but watch how you load the trailer. I hope I have not lost you here but the weight adds up fast in the TT and the trucks cargo is limited as well. After I spent a good week running all the number and figured that the Mini Lite 1809 was all I was willing to haul when fully loaded with the Taco. I set my max (max = everything I may be carrying on any given trip including a full water tank and my motorcycle) weight at 80% of the total combined weight which is around 11500#. I think I chose well and I don't think I would go any higher.

Yes my truck has the 4.0L with the factory tow package. Plenty of power but you will start to feel the wind resistance from the trailer around 45-50mph. Thinks of it as a brick towing a cinder block.

As far as the hitch goes. I chose the Equalizer brand WD/anti-sway set up, it performed great. I had no sway and although the truck is heavy it performed well with no white knuckling at all. I even had to do a high speed swerve with no issues. Here is the link: http://www.equalizerhitch.com/support/instructions.php


I have towed my trailer for short distance with out the WD attached and it is okay but I can see where the WD steadies everything and your trailer really is as one with the truck. ( a zen moment there) no bouncing or light frontend. Just make sure everything is adjusted correctly. Read about your hitch set up and how it is to be set up. Watch them set it up and make sure they do it right. Bring your measuring tape and check it! I had to correct the guy who put mine on because he had it to tight and the truck was rear light, no good.

If you want to talk PM me and we'll hook up. I learned a lot in this process and I suck at typing so its much easier to talk.

Happy Camping

Paul

PS I forgot to mention the weight of the hitch its self. Mine weighs 90# so add that to the hitch weight and you are at 540# hitch weight. See it does add up fast. Do your home work.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjonags32 View Post
Glad to hear the Taco performed well.

In all honesty, I wouldn't touch cruise control at all while towing. IIRC, cruise control wasn't intended for towing exactly because of what you described with the gear searching. But I have a 6sp manual and I still don't use the CC when towing.

Btw, TT looks great!! Any interior pics?
I was just checking out the cruise to see what happened and as you said it does not work well for towing. The only time I used it was on a downgrade to wiggle my foot a little

Inside pic's



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Old 12-30-2010, 02:30 PM   #19
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Thanks for the info, PSMCN. You are so right....the weight issue is confusing. The RVDirect website lists the 2306 at 2986 lbs. dry weight, RVWholesalers lists it at 3291 and the Forest River website lists it at 3410. My hope is to keep the weight, including cargo and passengers, to around 4500lbs. If you follow the 20% of tow capacity rule of thumb, I should be okay since the Tacoma has a tow capacity of 6500. My wife and I will travel to Montana next summer, and our hope is that theTacoma/Mini-Lite combo will be a good fit. I still get an uneasy feeling when I recall the sight of a tt that had blown over during high winds on Montana I-90 last summer. We won't pickup the tt until spring, but we plan to get plenty of experience with it before heading west. BTW, I have no idea what a pm is or how to pm, but I would love to talk with you at your convenience regarding this new rv experience we're about to embark upon. It sounds as though you've been doing this awhile.
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