Originally Posted by sunflower2013
We are looking at buying a 2013 Taco 4x4 V6 because it is listing a 6,400 lb towing capacity. When I read reviews online I hear that we should spend our money on a larger truck for stability. The trailer we are looking at towing is around 3800 lbs empty so we're thinking it won't be over 5,000 lbs.
Is there anyone that would highly recommend the 4x4 V6 for towing safely across country, hills, mountains, etc?
I had the exact same dilemma (will the Tacoma be enough or should I get something larger) while shopping for a truck. As others have said, you'll be okay towing <5000-lbs with the Tacoma. You won't be passing anybody on the hills, but you'll get to your destination just fine.
I personally wouldn't push it to the very limits of the truck's towing capacity (6500-lbs for the 4x4 double-cab short bed), but plenty of others have done so and insist it's no problem. I've set a personal limit of right around 5000-lbs (often slightly less) and am quite satisfied with the results.
In the end, I'm glad I didn't buy a larger truck. Since a larger truck, with larger engine, would typically drink more gas just sitting still, any fuel I might have saved while towing would have been lost over the long run just driving around town. And, since I do far more of the latter, I certainly wouldn't have came out ahead.
Of course, just like with any vehicle towing a fairly heavy load, make sure the Tacoma is set up properly - towing package, brake controller, weight distributing hitch, and, if needed, sway bar.
The tail end of a pickup is light, so trailer brakes with a brake controller (adjusted properly) helps to prevent jackknifing on wet or icy roads, or just when braking hard. A weight distributing hitch will smooth out the ride and reduce the tendency for the truck to droop or bounce in the rear.
You might be able to get by with Toyota's build-in Trailer Sway Control (included with the V6 Tow Package). It works, but it's difficult to determine how well since, when it's working, you should feel very little or nothing. However, if your trailer is especially unruly (blown around easily, etc), a sway bar will usually tame it.
Originally Posted by jeffwesley
(snip) I have a couple of questions. First, what does the tow package have that the other doesn't? (snip)
(snip) It is not a tow package. (snip) I am looking at a 19 ft. toy hauler that has a wt. of 5300 lbs. dry. Loaded will probably around 6500 lbs. (snip)
The V6 Tow Package includes a class IV hitch receiver, transmission cooler, supplemental engine oil cooler, 130-amp alternator, heavy-duty battery, connector under dash for the brake controller, pre-wired connector at the hitch for trailer electronics, and Toyota's build-in Trailer Sway Control.
In my opinion, you're pushing it at 6500-lbs, with or without the Tow Package, but especially without. However, if you're not traveling great distances or doing this often, it might be just fine. I'd certainly get a proper tow package installed.