First post, first time Tacoma owner (had it for 3 years), first time towing. We are looking at purchasing a small TT... I have been conducting a bunch of research over the past week and while I have learned much (towing bible... awesome) and have a general comfort with weight limits, WD hitches, brake controllers, sway controllers etc, I still feel a bit gun shy with respect to purchasing. I think the reasoning behind this is that a majority of the threads I have read on towing go something like this:
OP: I want to tow a trailer that weighs N pounds dry and has a tongue weight of M#.
Replier 1: Sure! I do this with no problem.
Replier 2: Umm, no. That is likely the most dangerous thing I have ever heard in my life.
Replier 1: I do this hundreds of times a year and it's totally safe.
Replier 2: Well... I'm just glad we live in different states because I don't want you killing my dog.
This leads me to the conclusion that there really is no definitive answer to towing with the Tacoma (assuming these threads all discuss weight options below manufacturer ratings). There seems to exist this big gray area between "within manufacturer spec" and "reality / safety".
Let me take a minute to describe my situations and wants:
- My tacoma has a factory towing package (nothing additional)
- I have no towing experience, but need to have something that will hold 2 adults and 2 kids (or there's not much point)
- We would like a small / medium self-contained TT (~18 to 20 ft)
- We are also ok with Popups, but they don't seem much lighter than the light weight TTs
- We will mostly stay local (< 60 miles) on pretty flat areas... small hills, no mountains.
- I live in Texas so I need to have my AC on or I will die
Some threads show people carrying 5000 to 5500 lbs loaded / wet and saying that everything is fine. Some folks try to stay at 3000 lbs loaded and say that they have trouble with anything higher than this.
Do you have any recommendations more tailored to my situation?
Thanks for your help,