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1200 mile tow with my '05 X-Runner?

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Old 06-08-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
Teknishun [OP] Teknishun is offline
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1200 mile tow with my '05 X-Runner?

Hey guys. Nice forums you have here. Thanks for having me.

Now, let's get down to brass tacks...

I would like to tow my very light '90 Mustang sedan from New Jersey to Florida. If at all possible, I'd do this with my '05 Tacoma X-Runner 6 speed. I'm looking at some used 16ft and 18ft dual axle car trailers, with brakes of course. The Mustang weighed in at about 2900 lbs before I pulled the engine and trans. I can't imagine it weighs much over 2400 lbs now. The engine (if I even take it) and the trans will have to go in the bed of the truck with some other various items. Of course I will install a class 3 hitch on the Taco before even attempting such a trip. Tongue weight shouldn't be too hefty, but it's hard to guess exactly what it will be at this point. My biggest concern is the wimpy brakes on the Taco.

So how do you guys think I'll make out? Will I get halfway through the trip and wish I never started? Will I be able to drive a decent speed, like say 60 to 70 mph, and feel safe and comfortable? Will the brakes over heat in heavy traffic? I am stupid for even considering such an adventure?

What brand hitch has the best fit and look for my truck?

Honest opinions and critiques would be much welcomed.

Thanks,
Jon
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:11 PM   #2
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to me, u shouldnt have a problem w/ the engine pulling it. i've pulled trailers loaded down, as well as my bed, and done over 70...the milage sucks though...lol...but anywho, i'd be more interested in looking to see if the truck would bottom out. if i'm thinking right, the xrunner is lowered and on 18's, right? if so, thats what i'd be worried about. w/ the trailer and bed loaded on my trd sport, i noticed the bed hunkering down a lil bit. anyone else think the same thing?
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:27 PM   #3
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I pull a 3750 pound (wet and loaded) travel trailer fairly regularly with my taco. With my better half and our dog in the cab and our mountain bikes and firewood in the bed, and I have the air running, and still I only know the trailer is there if I look in the mirror or watch the fuel gauge. (that is the hard part)

With the air resistance of the travel trailer my milage sucks while towing think in the 10-12 mpg with the trailer in tow, though if you are talking about an open top car trailer then it should not be as bad, and the mustang on the trailer is a damn site more aerodynamic than a travel trailer. If you are talking about an enclosed car hauler like a haulmark or something then I see a problem, A 24 foot enclosed haulmark weighs 3500 pounds empty, add the mustang to that and now you are close to the tow rating, and a long trip running close to the tow rating will not be any fun.

As long as you are looking at an open trailer, then like Jhodge said your only concern would be the sag from the tongue weight which can be alleviated with a weight distribution hitch.

As far as your options for a hitch, I'd go with a Hidden Hitch or a Draw Tite. They generally (I say generally because I do not have first hand experience putting one on a gen II taco) tuck up under the bumper fairly well so when not towing all you'll see is the 2x2 square. Don't forget your brake controller. I reccomend the Draw Tite Activator III for a beautiful and clean install that does not show when you are not towing. Look for my post on brake controllers detailing the install here http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tec...ntrollers.html

Though I am not sure if the X-runners without a factory installed towing package will be this easy.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:51 PM   #4
Teknishun [OP] Teknishun is offline
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Thanks guys. I wonder if I can order a Toyota brake controller harness that can be incorporated into to my dash harness without cutting and splicing anything. Hmmm, if no one here knows the answer I'll have to find a more English oriented dealership. Headquarter Toyota in Miami is primarily staffed by people who speak Spanish as a primary (or only) language, but it's very convenient since I can walk there from my office. However, they hardly ever understand what i'm trying to explain to them. Sometimes they even give me this look like "wtf are you doing coming in here speaking English?" As many of the locals say... welcome to Miami!

Now that I'm thinking about it maybe I can get the trailer plug harness that is simply a plug in installation as well.

I always make every effort to minimize any splicing into factory wiring on my vehicles. I can't stand it when I buy a car with a after market radio and find out that they cut out the factory plug. How cheap and knuckle headed can you be not to buy the $13 kit that you can wire up on the bench?

As far as suspension compression I'll have to look underneath the truck and see how much travel is available. Maybe it's worth it to buy the components that come with the towing package... assuming the XRunner was offered with that option.

I'll keep you guys posted on my research into these matters.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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You can get the wiring harness. It plugs in under the dash. My Taco came with it in the glove box. The other concern you may want to check is the need for an oil and transmission cooler. Its a long trip, better safe than sorry
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:01 PM   #6
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Thanks, I thought that would be the case. It's silly to have two different harnesses on an assembly line but you never know what goes on in design and engineering. The added coolers aren't a bad idea... but a cooler for a manual trans? Have I possibly gone all these years without hearing of such a thing?
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:46 PM   #7
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the only thing i would watch is the heat. this time of year. other than that n.j to fl is as flat as a drive as you can get once your in richmond va all the way to fl
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:11 PM   #8
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There are no coolers for a manual trans. Possibly because there are about 1000 less moving parts or perhaps because non of them are electronically controlled, and it is the electronics that need to be kept cool in an auto, but for whatever reason excessive heat just does not seem to be a concern in a manual.

I am not sure if the xrunner was/is available with a towing package, if itt were in a manual, the towing package would have included the hitch, 7 way round wiring, oil cooler, bigger alternator and brake controller pigtail. There is no suspension change with the towing package. We make mention of concern over tongue weight and suspention squat because of the X-runner's lowered stance from the factory.

I am half asleep right now and can get more in depth with this later if you like, but for your needs it would be completely simple to wire everything you need even if your truck does not have the factory plug.

First off if you have the factory plug in point for a brake controller it will be at the top of the driver's side kick pannel, sort of tucked in behind a wiring harness, but still in plain sight once you manage to get your head down there. It would be squareish and be a five pin connector.

If you have that, then it would appear that all taco harness are the same, and then somewhere back along the frame rails to the bumper you would likely be looking for another plug, it would be a seven pin connector or at least that is what I would assume since the terminal plug to connect a truck to a trailer from the factory would be seven pin. If you find both of these then you head to your dealership and purchase the brake controller pigtail and the terminal end of the harness and you are good to go. Please note that I am just guessing that if you have the plug under the dash then there would be another plug somewhere else.

If you did not have the affore mentioned plugs, your purposes can still be served very simply. Buy and install the hitch, when you buy the hitch also get the Tacoma specific no splice wiring harness. I am sorry I can not remember the name of the company that makes it. you would be better served by a truck center or trailer shop here as they will be much more familiar with the crappy description I just gave you than the dealership will be. I used one of these when I put a hitch on my 04 tacoma, and it is rediculously simple. Remove both tail lights and un-plug them from the truck, run the wiring harness under the bumper and up into the tail light openings on each side, plug the correct side plug on the new harness into the correct tail light, plug the factory tail light plugs into the other side of the new harness, re-install the tail lights and bam you have 4 flat trailer wiring.

Now that you have 4 flat wiring the truck or trailer center will be able to sell you an adapter that will be trailer side 4 flat on one end and truck side 7 round on the other, (assuming that the trailer you are looking at is a 7 round plug) (you could also get an adapter that would make it 6 round as well if that is what you needed) Now you have a hitch and a seven round plug on your truck and are almost ready to go. The seven round adapter will have the 4 flat plug on it and 4 extra wires. One of the extra wires is a secondary ground, they'll tell you you can ignore it but I have in the past always connected it since most trailer wiring problems are caused by a bad ground. One of the wires will be for back-up lights on the trailer, so you won't need to wire that up. (I doubt your car hauler will have this, I've only ever seen these on $60,000 fifth-wheel RVs) One of them will be for the charging circuit, ie: if you were pulling a travel trailer it would keep the coach battery charged as well as the truck battery, hence the need for the bigger alternator, also not going to be needed on a car hauler.

So we have come to the last wire. You would extend this and run it into the cab and connect it to the brake controller output connector (10 AWG wire). You would then run a positive (Connect these two wires last!!!!) and negative wire from the brake controller to the battery also 10 awg wire, and make sure that you connect the negative to the negative terminal of the battery and not ground it to the body that is important. So that leaves one open connection on your brake controller. This is where the controller gets the feed to activate the trailer brakes. This is the only part where you will have to splice into the truck's wiring because you will have to find the wire that goes from the brake switch to the tail lights and tie into that. I have no idea which wire that is. So here is where you get in your truck having done all this work up to this point, drive to your trailer center and give them 20 or 30 bucks to make one connection for you and 20 minutes later you are good to go.

I can try to go into more depth on anything you need later if you like, just ask. Going to bed now, hope this helps.
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