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Old 09-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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Tongue weight limit

A number of people have said that the Taco has a 650 lb tongue weight limit, but I can't find anything in my 2011 manual that says that. The receiver itself only says "see owner's manual".

The manual says that the tow limit is 6500 and to keep the tongue weight close to 10%, so you might get a 650 tongue limit out of that, but it is a stretch.

The manual gives limit for tow weight, GCVR, GVWR, and each axle. I figure that with a properly adjusted weight distributing hitch and nothing in the truck except two people, I could get the tongue weight up around 900 before I hit either the GVWR or rear axle limits.

I'm thinking about a travel trailer, which generally have closer to 15% tongue weight, so I could be above 650 tongue and still well below the 6500 tow capacity.

So where did the 650 lb tongue limit come from?
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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just comes from that 10% rule you saw, and toyota's calculation of GVWR/GAWR ratings.
I probably had close to 1000lbs tongue weight at times on my 07 and it was fine. Just need to build the truck to handle the load, and take it easy on it. It's not a 3/4ton truck, so as long as you dont expect it to perform like one you're fine IMO.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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If you have a *real* tongue weight of 900lbs, without WD you'd add about 1,350lbs to your rear axle. You would certainly be over the limit of the rear axle, even with nobody in the truck. With perfect WD, you'd still add 700-750lbs to the rear axle, and you'd probably be over the limit or very close with two people in the truck.
Consider that the WD hitch itself comes in at around 100lbs.
No, a trailer with a 900lbs tongue weight is not a good idea for a Tacoma. You'd be pushing the limits of a 1/2 ton truck with that. Don't do it!
Where does the 650lbs come from? Competition. Manufacturers trying to beat tow ratings. A flatbed trailer with 90% of the weight over the axles at 6,500lbs *might* be fine, even though I'd not try it.

BTW, here is where Toyota states a maximum tongue weight of 640lbs, assuming you have the factory tow package:
http://www.toyota.com/tacoma/specs.html That's not a stretch or assumption, it's pretty clear.
Without factory tow, it's 350lbs. 4th line down:


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Old 09-04-2011, 08:30 AM   #4
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Re: Tongue eight question

OK, now I see the tongue limit in the spec sheet. I still can't find it in the manual.

Looking at a more realistic example, a 4500 lb trailer with a 100 lb WDH, the tongue weight can't exceed 550, or 12%. which is a little light for a travel trailer.

When people recommend a certain % tongue weight to avoid sway, they are not including the weight of the hitch, right? In that case Toyota specs have an interesting contradiction. The Tacoma can theoretically tow 6500, but they want 10% tongue weight and a WDH, and the tongue load can't exceed 650. You can't get there.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:41 AM   #5
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Yes, it is tricky.
You stated it correctly. Realistically, a Tacoma can not tow a TT that's over around 4,000 - 4,500 lbs (absolute max IMO) safely because of tongue weight / GVW concerns. Even at that weight, it's not much fun because you can't load anything else (or need to put it all into the trailer, which then becomes a balancing act). Imagine breaking camp on a rainy day, having to put all that dirty camping gear in the trailer because your truck can't handle it. No firewood?

A full size truck is the better choice for this kind of job. But even the 4WD Tundra has a very low payload rating ....
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:45 AM   #6
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not sure if it comes into play in this case, but don't forget tire load rating.
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by god View Post
You have to keep in mind the POSITION of the load with respect to the rear axle. Don't make the mistake of comparing the payload capacity with the tongue weight. Payload is distributed about EVENLY across the rear axle, so doesn't have drastic effect on the weight bearing down on the FRONT suspension. Tongue weight is applied significantly BEHIND the rear axle, so effectively LIFTS UP on the front of the truck. For this reason, the tongue weight MUST NOT come all the way up to the payload capacity.

Note that the 6500 pound trailer rating and 650 pound tongue weight is only WITH weight distribution hitch. That's a 650 pound dead weight if you put the trailer's coupler onto a weigh scale. Put that trailer onto the truck with a weight distribution hitch, and the ACTUAL downward force at the coupler will be much LESS than 650 pounds because the weight distribution hitch actually pries the truck towards the front. It puts more weight down on the front wheels and less on the rear.

Before putting the trailer onto the weight distribution hitch, ensure that the total weight of the coupler does not exceed 650 pounds. You can then put it on the truck WITH a weight distribution hitch.

WithOUT a weight distribution hitch, the limit is lower. Don't ask me the actual number, it isn't published anywhere. You should assume it to be 350.
X2 on proper distribution. I see lot of folks hauling lawnmowers, atvs and such loaded all the way to the front of trailer instead of centering load over the axle. (of the trailer)
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
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Payload is not distributed EVENLY across the rear axle. Payload is the distributed across both axles, NOT EVENLY though (more to the rear of course). People in the truck, for example, are part of the payload. And people sitting in the front will have most of their weight on the front axle.

With WD, the tongue weight does not change. The weight (pressure) on the hitch ball increases, While the load on the receiver decreases. In a typical setup, about 20-25% of the tongue weight gets transferred back to the trailer axles, so 75-80% of the tonge weight needs to be aaccounted for as payload. Add the weight of the WD hitch itself, and you are back at around 100% with a 600-650lbs tongue weight. That means if the trailer has a tongue weight of 650lbs, you need to take the 650 lbs off your payload, leaving you ~ 500 - 600 lbs for everything else (incl people) with a 4WD Tacoma.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by god View Post
Payload is generally considered (lets not worry about marketing fluff that bends the meaning of terms) to be a synonym to CARGO, which all goes in the box.
This is not true. Payload means anything and everything loaded into a vehicle beyond it's curb weight.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by god View Post
Read *EVERY* word next time. You just made an ass of yourself.
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Dude, this has nothing to do with marketing terms.
There is a sticker in your door jamb that lists the payload of the truck. That number includes everything loaded, including people.
It is absolutely irrelevant what "you" or anybody else "generally considers" to be payload, cargo, or anything else, LOL. We are talking about a Toyota Tacoma here, and all that matters is Toyotas definition. Here, I'll help you (copy & paste from Toyota's website):
"Payload is the GVWR minus curb weight and includes weight of occupants, optional equipment and cargo, limited by weight distribution."
You know, I think you are making an ass of yourself, and continue to do so, because you appear to have no idea what you are talking about, LOL.








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Old 01-18-2012, 05:31 PM   #11
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I was taught by a professional truck driver and experienced rv hauler, to measure the height of the hitch without a trailer on it. Than, hook up a loaded trailer and if the hitch drops 2-inches, you're good to go. If not, adjust the trailer load fore or aft to get the 2-inch drop.

That's how I've done it towing with three trucks: Dodge Dakota, F-150 and now my '09 Tacoma. Hasn't let me down yet.

Ray
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:24 AM   #12
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So I am bringing back a dead thread with a related question. I am looking to get an aluminum hitch cargo carrier with a rated load of 500lb. The cargo carrier states it fits a 2" class 3 hitch. I believe the 2011 with towing package has a 2" class IV hitch. My question is ... Do you agree that even if I load this cargo carrier to the max (500lbs) it will be ok? I would assume the tongue weight from my boat would be about the same, but all of this weight just pushing downward (without anything else behind it) just kind of mind freaks me out a bit. I am slightly worried about bending the hitch/frame (maybe from going over a bump). Would you recommend driving at highway speeds with one of these attached? I am basically going to use it for the cooler when we go camping or to a Nascar race or something.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckstopper55 View Post
So I am bringing back a dead thread with a related question. I am looking to get an aluminum hitch cargo carrier with a rated load of 500lb. The cargo carrier states it fits a 2" class 3 hitch. I believe the 2011 with towing package has a 2" class IV hitch. My question is ... Do you agree that even if I load this cargo carrier to the max (500lbs) it will be ok? I would assume the tongue weight from my boat would be about the same, but all of this weight just pushing downward (without anything else behind it) just kind of mind freaks me out a bit. I am slightly worried about bending the hitch/frame (maybe from going over a bump). Would you recommend driving at highway speeds with one of these attached? I am basically going to use it for the cooler when we go camping or to a Nascar race or something.
You should be fine with that, but I really don't like those things. Not for a pickup. Possibly for something like a minivan, but not at 500 pounds on one of those.

About the bump load: Lets imagine that you've got a 5000 pound trailer with a 500 pound tongue weight. When you go over a bump with that, the whole trailer can pitch back and forth, so the instantaneous load could VASTLY exceed 500 pounds. With a total of 500 pounds on the hitch, you can only add as much as you can accelerate 500 pounds to. With a 5000 pound trailer, you could be temporarily supporting 2000+ on the hitch. On top of that, just using the brakes on your truck can drive the hitch DOWN with a trailer. With a 500 pound extension like you suggest, braking won't affect it.

So don't worry about it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
You should be fine with that, but I really don't like those things. Not for a pickup. Possibly for something like a minivan, but not at 500 pounds on one of those.

About the bump load: Lets imagine that you've got a 5000 pound trailer with a 500 pound tongue weight. When you go over a bump with that, the whole trailer can pitch back and forth, so the instantaneous load could VASTLY exceed 500 pounds. With a total of 500 pounds on the hitch, you can only add as much as you can accelerate 500 pounds to. With a 5000 pound trailer, you could be temporarily supporting 2000+ on the hitch. On top of that, just using the brakes on your truck can drive the hitch DOWN with a trailer. With a 500 pound extension like you suggest, braking won't affect it.

So don't worry about it.
Whats the difference between a truck and minivan with respect to one of these?
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckstopper55 View Post
Whats the difference between a truck and minivan with respect to one of these?
Two points in favor of a truck for ABILITY to handle this application;
1) Truck has a frame, minivan is unibody.
2) Truck has a suspension made for carrying a variable load, minivan has a suspension made for carrying 4 children.

One point in favor of minivan for REASON to have one:
3) Truck is a truck that has a capacity to carry cargo without any hitch add-ons, so really shouldn't need one, minivan is screwed any way you look at it. If you need the extra space in a truck, just pile it up higher.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Two points in favor of a truck for ABILITY to handle this application;
1) Truck has a frame, minivan is unibody.
2) Truck has a suspension made for carrying a variable load, minivan has a suspension made for carrying 4 children.

One point in favor of minivan for REASON to have one:
3) Truck is a truck that has a capacity to carry cargo without any hitch add-ons, so really shouldn't need one, minivan is screwed any way you look at it. If you need the extra space in a truck, just pile it up higher.
I agree with you, which is why I was surprised that you wouldn't recommend one of these for a truck.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:40 AM   #17
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I don't recommend it for a truck because it isn't (shouldn't be) needed and makes the back of the vehicle more vulnerable. The only reason it makes sense on a minivan is because they're effed for cargo. Usually, when the load is so great that you can't put a little extra on the truck, your load is so great that you should use an actual trailer.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
I don't recommend it for a truck because it isn't (shouldn't be) needed and makes the back of the vehicle more vulnerable. The only reason it makes sense on a minivan is because they're effed for cargo. Usually, when the load is so great that you can't put a little extra on the truck, your load is so great that you should use an actual trailer.

Or in my case, I dont want to take my cover off because I will be driving through rain and the cooler wont fit under the cover! I see what your saying though.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:56 AM   #19
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You would add about 800lbs to your rear axle with that setup (with 500lbs on that carrier). Unless you have nothing else in the truck bed, you would most likely go over the rear axle rating. And with nothing in the bed, why use one of those carriers in the first place?
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sechsgang View Post
You would add about 800lbs to your rear axle with that setup (with 500lbs on that carrier). Unless you have nothing else in the truck bed, you would most likely go over the rear axle rating. And with nothing in the bed, why use one of those carriers in the first place?
im pretty sure the rear axle could handle more than 800lbs. The carrier itself is only about 30lbs.
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