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Carrying a camper with Tacoma

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Old 08-25-2011, 11:43 AM   #1
gerrymoose [OP] gerrymoose is offline
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Carrying a camper with Tacoma

I find this forum to have lots of good information. I plan on towing a camper in the near future, but at the moment I am planning to use a 6 ft camper that fits into the bed of my 2011 Tacoma. I Just bought a new 2011 Acess Cab TRD with a 6 foot bed. This is my 3rd Tacoma, and I'm really looking forward to new adventures with this truck. For Cargo capacity I've read where the recommended rating is not to exceed 1300 lbs. I have a 985 lb camper that I put in the bed of my 88 SR5 and 01 Tacoma. With this camper in the bed of my 2011, and two adults and other camping cargo, I feel I could be close to the 1300 lb capacity. Is it safe to be over a bit, or will I really notice the weight? When I had the camper in the bed of my 2001 Tacoma, it did not seem very stable. With the new design I'm hoping that things have improved. My 88 SR5 with a 4 cylinder could haul that thing around with no problems.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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I would say you are pretty much guaranteed to be over the limit with two adults and a 1,000lbs camper in the bed.
First of all, measure your real payload (options added, anything in the glove compartment, seat covers, etc. I did that. Mine ended up being 1,150lbs. Pretty bad.
And then, even if it really was 1,300lbs of payload, you'd be over the limit. Say two adults at 300lbs (150# each), and you are at the limit. *Any* gear, clothing the adults wear, water, supplies, food will be the amount you are over the limit. My bet is you'd be talking about hundreds and hundreds of pounds.

Sure, there is some margin that Toyota has designed in. Up to you if you want to test how much that is. If you get into an accident, the liability would be an issue no matter if the truck handled well or not if you were significantly over the limit.
The Tacoma does simply not have the payload for a slide in camper, and my 2006 manual states not to put one in.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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I would have the same concerns about liability. There is a forum called "wanderthewest.com" where people discuss campers and putting them on smaller trucks like the Tacoma. I would check that out if I were you, and then make a decision.

I had considered buying a pop up camper before I bought this truck, but ultimately decided against it. If I had purchased a camper, I would have put it on a 3/4 ton truck. I decided I wasn't comfortable with the liability issue, and a gas 3/4 ton was too much operating cost for me, can't afford a fullsize diesel, so I wound up with a Tacoma and a campershell.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #4
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Camper for 2nd generation Tacoma

I've used a pop-up camper on my 2006 Tacoma several times with no problems. It's a 1995 Northstar and it weighs about 1,000 lbs. I've also added Goodyear airbags on the rear to help with sagging. It does max out the payload of the truck, but I haven't had any problems with handling or braking. I can feel the extra load when I'm driving, but the truck handles it with very little problem. If you drive at 65 mph or below you will probably average 16-17 mpg on most roads. I average 18-20 mph normally. If you average around 80 mph then the mileage drops to about 13 mpg. The camper sleeps 4 people and has a sink, gas stove, outside shower, & a 3 way refrigerator. The camper is very convenient when I'm driving around town or in more remote places. I have been thinking about selling it and buying a trailer because more and more people want to go camping and the camper only sleeps 4. For 4 people or less or if you camp in remote areas then the camper is ideal.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:21 AM   #5
gerrymoose [OP] gerrymoose is offline
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Glad to hear about the camper on your 2006. That is a little heavier than mine, so I should expect a similar ride. I like the suggestion of the airbags, I hadn't thought of that. I had spring stiffners on my 88 SR5 and that seemed to help real well
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrymoose View Post
Glad to hear about the camper on your 2006. That is a little heavier than mine, so I should expect a similar ride. I like the suggestion of the airbags, I hadn't thought of that. I had spring stiffners on my 88 SR5 and that seemed to help real well
As mentioned above, you'll definitely be over the GVWR for the Tacoma but there are some things you can add on to help. You might want to think about better brakes, air bags and maybe a rear sway bar. One thing to keep in mind, if something ever happens and you're over your legal weight limit for the vehicle, it's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Not trying to scare you but everyone's got a lawyer these days and don't seem shy about using them.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
One thing to keep in mind, if something ever happens and you're over your legal weight limit for the vehicle, it's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Not trying to scare you but everyone's got a lawyer these days and don't seem shy about using them.
Yes, that's one of the problems. If you get into ann accident that's not even your fault you may get blamed. That has the potential to be very expensive.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:01 PM   #8
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I have an 09 2.7 4 bangor, I am getting ready to move from Maine to Georgia in the next few months, I am debating taking my pop up camper with me, It weighs about 2600 pounds. I know the truck has a tow capacity of 3500, but I have read alot of mixed reviews about towing on here. Just wanted to get some inputs, do you think its doable or should I cut my losses and sell the camper? Any similar experiences??
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