Ok, after towing a popup and our new Hybrid Travel Trailer for a while, I have come to the conclusion that it's not really all that easy to do with our Tacomas to stay within the limits. In most cases, I have to say that it will have to be a pretty small trailer.
Here is why: the limit is not really the towing capacity at all (6,500lbs is pretty decent), but rather the payload. The sticker at my door says 1,200lbs for my short bed 4x4 DC.
So here are a few numbers: My trailer weights 4,200lbs only when loaded for camping. Sounds very reasonable for the Tacoma, right? Well, wait a second. Not really. Because of my dual 6V battery setup, my tongue weight is at 630 lbs when ready for camping. That is actually rather typical for a travel trailer (15%). Now add the weight of the weight distributing hitch: 90lbs. That's 720lbs.
We are a family of four tall people: me 6'4" @ 200 lbs. Wife about 5'9" @ 140lbs. Two boys, 5 & 8 yo, at 150lbs combined (both very tall). So that is 490lbs for the people. Add clothing, shoes, etc, and my guess is 550lbs easily, and nobody is even overweight. Ok, I could lose 10 lbs I guess.
So now we are at a total of 1,270lbs. Ouch! That's 70lbs over the limit! Ok, we are right on because the weight distributing hitch puts some weight back onto the trailer axles.
And that being right on means no cargo whatsoever in the truck. Nothing. No firewood, no bikes, no cooler, no campin chairs.
So all in all, pretty limiting I would say. Next year, when the boys are older (and heavier), we would be over the limit, again with no cargo. Unless I play games like filling the black water tank with water (sits behind axles) to reduce tongue weight. I have more than 1,600lbs head room before I'd reach the GCWR. So that darn (low) payload!
So I may have to upgrade soon. You know one problem? I think the Tundra would not really do much either, it would add like 350lbs (1,575max lbs capacity).
Ford is doing a good job in that department. They have heavy duty payload packages, bringing an F-150 super crew cab 4x4 to a payload of over 2,000 lbs. The 2WD can go all the way to over 2,500lbs.
So for the next truck, I may unfortunately be forced to have a serious look at Ford's. I was pretty disappointed about the Tundra's capacities, I have to say. Because of the fairly low payload, it really can't tow much more than the Tacoma for camping.