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2010 TRD 4X4 Dual cab towing advise

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Old 03-09-2011, 08:57 PM   #1
crhammond [OP] crhammond is offline
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2010 TRD 4X4 Dual cab towing advise

Hello,

I have a 2010 TRD Sport 4X4 Dual cab. Last year I towed a small 5x10 v-nose single axle cargo trailer. I went from a Highlander Limited SUV to the Tacoma for more utility and better towing.

The utility side has been great and the towing is more stable. But I find
the towing power is really a lot less than I expected especially going up hills
(never mind mountains.) MUCH less pull than the Highlander had but it did have 30 HP more.

I really like how stable the tow is compared to the Highlander though.

This year I am upgrading to a Pace 7x15 Aerosport Cargo trailer, dual axle
with electric brakes (Tekonsha controller.) Empty weight of around 2,400-2,500lbs once I allow for the shelving and accessories. The cargo I carry is bulky but light - probably only 300lbs maybe 700lbs if we load up for a long trip with lots of extra fuel. The hitch weight is going to be in the 300lbs range most of the time.

GTWR is 7,000 lbs which I will never approach. I figure I'll be under 3,000lbs trailer weight most of the time.

My old trailer was only 1,300 lbs + 300 lbs cargo and I could definitely
feel it back there on hills.

Now most of the time itís just me and with the new trailer the bed should be
empty. I find the starting torque really good so around town towing is fine Ė
but Iím worried about hills and those trips where I have to cross the Rocky
Mountains.

I'm worried about the family and friends road trips. On these trips the bed
has a decent load and combined with the tongue weight it sagged even with the old small trailer which had such a light tongue weight I could lift it easily.

On this trailer I canít use a Weight Dist Hitch because on this particular
trailer the V-nose comes right up to the hitch.

So I am looking at Air Bags. Will air bags help control sway by compensating for droop or just smoothen the ride and help with braking? I hauled some rock last year and it bottomed out a few timesÖ so I figure they are good insurance anyway.

The Firestone bags seem most popular.
I would really like to have the auto adjusting compressor setup so it will
add pressure automatically in proportion to the load.

Has anyone tried the Air Lift products?

Other than the Super Charger is there a good way to significantly boost power? In Canada the SC is over 7 Grand not even installed! I can order from the US for 3,800 and have the dealer here install it. That protects the factory warrantee although the Toyota Canada wonít give any warrantee on the SC itself.

Is there an aftermarket exhaust / CAI combo that will boost power and/or fuel economy for towing?
How about if I decided I don;t care about warrantee - is there a cheaper just as good or better aftermarker SC or chip solution?
Chris.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:25 AM   #2
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Chris,

I have used Firestone Air bags on every truck I have owned in the last 10 years. I find them Awesome. I also must state that I have not used them on a Toyota Tacoma before (Although I am installing a set on mine soon) so I can't comment on the Tacoma / Airbag performance.

Airbags do nothing for smoothing out a ride. Although they are adjustable from 0 to 100PSI, I typically run 35-40 PSI in them for day to day driving, towing, and hauling. At this PSI Range, I have never seen my trucks squat. With less "Squatting" the truck is more stable. Be very carefull with airbags, you can load your truck and exceed limits quickly.

FOR EXAMPLE. I sent my wife (Now X Wife) to get a load of bagged horse feed in a Crew Cab Superduty I had one time. She drove back with 6 TONS of feed in the bed. She even had the back seat full! The truck didn't squat so she just kept having the guy load. She said it drove kind of squirrley but other than that, no problems. That was at 40 PSI.

As for Power Booster contraptions, I am not a expert on Tacoma accessories, but what will make the difference is a TRANSMISSION TEMPERATURE GUAGE.

The engine will pull and handle the load, the transmission, if allowed to get hot, WON'T!!! I never allowed my Trans Temp exceed 230 Degrees, and thats with BIG TRUCKS, I don't know the Temp specs on a Tacoma Transmission before damage, but I would assume it would be the same.

Hope this helps,

WC
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:33 AM   #3
crhammond [OP] crhammond is offline
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So I did a bunch more reading last night and will reply to my own message. Maybe this will help someone else too...

650lbs is the max tongue weight (10% of max towing)... I will not be approaching that.

The Air Lift bags are a little cheaper than the Firestone but I read they tend to lose air a lot more rapidly. With a self-levelling on board system this is not so much of an issue.

Air bags do help control/prevent sway, optimize braking and smooth the ride. I read a few articles from folks who had switched from WDH and like air bags better. It save 70-100lbs of hitch weight and is way less fuss.

So I am going to do air bags - probably with an on board compressor system.

Seems like CAI/Exhaust options do nothing for performance unless you also use a chip/programmer which of course will void any factory warrantee.

Still on the fence on the SC. Everyone who has got one seems to love it... but then when you spend 5 grand and get a 60 HP boost you're not going to want to admit if it's not worth it. Several posts indicate a much much better towing experience with no change in milage and better milage when unloaded. I want one - just deciding timing
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:38 AM   #4
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Excellent, thanks!

6 tons - WOW!

I have the TRD with the towing package and trans cooler. A temp guage seems like a very good idea. Especially if I do get the SC in which case I could end up working it harder than intended. I'll look in to that one.

I switch between loaded and unloaded allt he time. What I have read re: airbags is to deflate/inflate them specific to the load every time. Given I tow 4 times a week (short distances) in the summer and with variability int he load I may spring the extra $ for an automatic system. No much difference inparts cost but a lot more labor... and I'll be paying someone as I'm not a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodsCustom View Post
Chris,

I have used Firestone Air bags on every truck I have owned in the last 10 years. I find them Awesome. I also must state that I have not used them on a Toyota Tacoma before (Although I am installing a set on mine soon) so I can't comment on the Tacoma / Airbag performance.

Airbags do nothing for smoothing out a ride. Although they are adjustable from 0 to 100PSI, I typically run 35-40 PSI in them for day to day driving, towing, and hauling. At this PSI Range, I have never seen my trucks squat. With less "Squatting" the truck is more stable. Be very carefull with airbags, you can load your truck and exceed limits quickly.

FOR EXAMPLE. I sent my wife (Now X Wife) to get a load of bagged horse feed in a Crew Cab Superduty I had one time. She drove back with 6 TONS of feed in the bed. She even had the back seat full! The truck didn't squat so she just kept having the guy load. She said it drove kind of squirrley but other than that, no problems. That was at 40 PSI.

As for Power Booster contraptions, I am not a expert on Tacoma accessories, but what will make the difference is a TRANSMISSION TEMPERATURE GUAGE.

The engine will pull and handle the load, the transmission, if allowed to get hot, WON'T!!! I never allowed my Trans Temp exceed 230 Degrees, and thats with BIG TRUCKS, I don't know the Temp specs on a Tacoma Transmission before damage, but I would assume it would be the same.

Hope this helps,

WC
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:46 AM   #5
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With a TRANS TEMP GUAGE, you will be suprised how quickly the Trans heats up when going up hills and mountains, EVEN WITH a Trans Cooler system.

Engine power is never a problem, just downshift and go. I would keep one eye on the EGT Gauge, One eye on the TRANS TEMP guage and one eye on the road. (Yep, thats 3 eyes).

When the Gauge hit 220 I was looking for a place to pull over. By the time I found one, it was hitting 230. 230 is where damage starts, 250 damage is taking place and it's irreversable.

WC
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:12 AM   #6
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I spoke to the dealer re: temp guage and warrantee. Unfortunately since you need to T in to the tranny outflow line it would void warrantee on the tranny. Likely not a problem - but if that ever leaked of course the tranny would blow... so I see why they void it.

He said there is no need anyway since the tranny warning light will come on at 220. I found some other threads on here and even with heavy loads folks are seeing 170 with 200 as a max in 3rd gear climbing hills at near max GVTW... and since the tranny light comes on at 220 it tells you time to pull over anyway.

But thanks for the tip.

I booked to get the Air Bag system installed. I went with Firestone.

The SC is mainly to give a more enjoyable towing experience and make the truck a lot more fun on those family/highway trips when I need to pass. It is a pretty poor experience trying to pass someone on the Hwy in stock form when loaded for family trips. But I realize if I were to push hard with the SC I could damage the tranny since the SC would be able to pull a LOT harder up hills... but ultimately the tranny has to deal with all that extra force. Food for thought

Towing is about slow and steady anyway...
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:44 AM   #7
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I discovered the ScanGuage II. They have some "experimental" codes to allow the Transmission to be monitored. I spoke to them today and while they are not 100% sure it works on all models they said they WILL get it working sooner or later

There is enough other usefulness int his device to make it well worth while and it doesn't void warrantee.

I decided I'm going to stick with my Taco for the long haul so I decided to get the SC. With the air bags, SC and SG2 I think I will have a very nice setup for better towing and be able to keep a close eye on the truck to make sure I don't over stress it
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crhammond View Post
I discovered the ScanGuage II. They have some "experimental" codes to allow the Transmission to be monitored. I spoke to them today and while they are not 100% sure it works on all models they said they WILL get it working sooner or later

There is enough other usefulness int his device to make it well worth while and it doesn't void warrantee.

I decided I'm going to stick with my Taco for the long haul so I decided to get the SC. With the air bags, SC and SG2 I think I will have a very nice setup for better towing and be able to keep a close eye on the truck to make sure I don't over stress it
Check the Ultra-Gauge also... Quite a bit cheaper and may let you monitor the same things. I have one but use it for other things, haven't looked into checking transmission temps. It's a little less than 1/2 the cost of the Scangauge 2 though so it's worth a look.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:32 AM   #9
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I have the same truck as you, you will be fine. I tow a 22.5 foot travel trailer through the moutains of West Virgina, 550 pd hitch weight, probably around 4000-4500 pds loaded, and a family of 4 no problems....
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:22 AM   #10
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Scan Guage

I had a 2009 FJ Cruiser (same engine and trans as the Taco) and I did program the X-Guage function to read trans temp. Worked well, however I just purchased a 2013 Tacoma and it does not read the trans temp. I have been working with Scan Guage and they feel they will get the correct codes worked out. FYI, I understand Ultra Guage does not read trans temp.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:53 PM   #11
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I would take out the trailer and see what it does.... A lot of people on this fourm get caught up in airbags, rear spring TSB's, engine gauges, etc.... If you have not already done so, I would invest in a good weight distribution hitch (I have a blue ox)... That alone should take care of 90% of your problems... As far as a supercharger goes, if you want to invest that much money, I would purchase a full size truck. Your trailer has brakes, and if you are keeping it around the 4000-4500pd weight range, you should be fine. Yes, your engine is going to work, and no, there isn't a whole lot (other than get a new truck) that will help you with that. Recommend you change your brakes if they are anywhere close to needing it, spark plugs, air filter, transfer/diff fluid changes, and an oil change. Hope this helps!
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