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Old 08-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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Scared to death while towing a car

I just towed a 2,800 lb. car on a trailor from Houston to Tulsa with my '09 Taco 4x4 dbl cab v6 and was terrified. Any time I touched the brakes they barely slowed me down. Several times I wasn't sure I would stop in time and had a lot of near misses. The tires were howling every time. My truck has the pre-TSB springs so I'm sure that had a lot to do with the front tires howling but what about the brakes? it felt like they were made of mayonaise. I am definitely installing heavy duty pads and upgrading the rear springs. Is there anything else I can do to remedy this? BTW, the trailor does not have brakes.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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Well you really need a trailer with brakes! You shouldnt even be touching a load over 2000lbs gross without brakes, let alone 2800+trailer weight. Thats your problem right there. That might be doable behind a 3/4 or 1ton truck, certainly not a Tacoma!
Sounds like the weight distribution of your load may have been a partial issue as well. Make sure you have about 10% tongue weight, almost sounds like you had the car way forward on the trailer causing the front tires of the truck to unload and loose some braking power
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RelentlessTaco View Post
Well you really need a trailer with brakes! You shouldnt even be touching a load over 2000lbs gross without brakes, let alone 2800+trailer weight. Thats your problem right there.
Dead on there Eric....trailer w/brakes & a brake controller unit for the Taco.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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Relentless nailed it. End thread.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RelentlessTaco View Post
Well you really need a trailer with brakes! You shouldnt even be touching a load over 2000lbs gross without brakes, let alone 2800+trailer weight. Thats your problem right there. That might be doable behind a 3/4 or 1ton truck, certainly not a Tacoma!
Sounds like the weight distribution of your load may have been a partial issue as well. Make sure you have about 10% tongue weight, almost sounds like you had the car way forward on the trailer causing the front tires of the truck to unload and loose some braking power
Truth. Trailer brakes FTW!
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
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Are there any brake upgrades that would help? I have not found any big brake kits for the truck.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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I have an 09 access cab prerunner and tow a 24ft boat. Fully loaded with the trailer I'm at almost 4000. The brakes went out on the trailer a couple months ago and I towed it to my buddies house 180 miles away to work on it. I didn't have any trouble whatsoever. Honestly I didn't even notice a difference so your situation sounds a little off to me.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
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I'm thinking the brakes are pretty worn so I'm changing them very soon anyway but would like to get the best thing available if I can afford it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poundin tacos View Post
I have an 09 access cab prerunner and tow a 24ft boat. Fully loaded with the trailer I'm at almost 4000. The brakes went out on the trailer a couple months ago and I towed it to my buddies house 180 miles away to work on it. I didn't have any trouble whatsoever. Honestly I didn't even notice a difference so your situation sounds a little off to me.
Relentless mentioned how the OP may not have properly centered the load on the trailer, which can have a large impact on braking. Your boat trailer is built so that the boat is stowed in the best/optimal position over the axles if loaded correctly.

He could be having brake issues, old fluid, air in the lines, glazed over pads, etc. Hard to tell without knowing.

That said, and as you've eluded, trailer brakes are very important. Relentless was spot on.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcefedsupra View Post
I'm thinking the brakes are pretty worn so I'm changing them very soon anyway but would like to get the best thing available if I can afford it.
I ran Hawk pads and LCE drilled and slotted rotors on my 95 when I went up to really heavy tires. Much more dust and less pad life with the Hawks, but they certainly had the ability to bite onto the rotors.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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Trailer brakes are an excellent ideal. I hauled a 3500 lb snowcat on a trailer up and down mtns for 4 years with my 2007 Tacoma work truck and the trailer didn't have brakes. I used the engine a lot to slow down and assist the brakes. When I retired I had put 40,000 miles on the truck without a brake job. Always had them checked for sure.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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I towed several cars with a trailer or tow dolly (no brakes) before with no problem although my brakes are in good condition. I have another car that I use as a daily driver and every time I switch to the tacoma, the brakes feel "spongy" but that's the norm for our trucks. I've read people switching to stainless steel lines to solve this problem along with upgrading to better pads and rotors. That's on my to do list.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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I think the non-TSB springs are really hurting too. The truck squats a lot when the trailor is on even without the car on it. But I'm definitely upgrading the brakes and springs before I tow again and will try to get a trailor with brakes also. Thanks guys.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcefedsupra View Post
Are there any brake upgrades that would help? I have not found any big brake kits for the truck.
Make sure they're on the trailer before towing again. There is a Tundra conversion somewhere, "not my bag baby". Get some spring in yo ass OMD 4wd spring refurbishing.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
BTW, the trailor does not have brakes.
My God. It's amazing you weren't killed. I wouldn't put a riding mower on a trailer without brakes.

Glad you're still with us.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcefedsupra View Post
The tires were howling every time.
That's odd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by forcefedsupra View Post
I think the non-TSB springs are really hurting too. The truck squats a lot when the trailor is on even without the car on it. But I'm definitely upgrading the brakes and springs before I tow again and will try to get a trailer with brakes also. Thanks guys.
Change the brake & clutch fluid, too. If it's still the factory fluid, it's time.

If your truck has the factory tow package, it's very easy to add an electric brake controller. If not, adding the required wiring isn't too bad.

Another option would be to leave the springs alone and add air bags.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcefedsupra View Post
Are there any brake upgrades that would help? I have not found any big brake kits for the truck.
No.

There are some big brake kits from TRD, and the Tundra brakes can be retrofitted, but they were not designed for towing without trailer assist.

Keep in mind that in many states it is illegal to tow over 3000lbs without trailer brakes. Get into an accident and you are wide open for a lawsuit.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:59 PM   #19
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Get a proper trailer with brakes or add brakes to your current trailer. Towing that heavy with no trailer brakes is outright dangerous and it serves you right be scared shitless. You're lucky your piss poor decision making didn't cause an accident.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:05 PM   #20
Well, let's play chess.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Get a proper trailer with brakes or add brakes to your current trailer. Towing that heavy with no trailer brakes is outright dangerous and it serves you right be scared shitless. You're lucky you're piss poor decision making didn't cause an accident.
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