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Old 05-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #1
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Tacoma Travel Trailer Towng: Read If You Consider Buying An RV

Hi all,
Wanted to share my experances towing with the Tacoma, as I see a lot of mis-information floating around this section and more "Can My Tacoma Tow This Trailer" threads. I would highly recommend you read the Tacoma Towing Bible, as this helped me out. We started RVing approx. 2 years ago. I used then, as I use now, my 2010 Double Cab TRD Off Road Tacoma. We first started out with a Salem Cruise Lite 195bh, a single axle, travel trailer. Empty weight was around 3000 pds. Even then, people where telling me that this was "too much trailer" for the truck, when in actuality, it really wasnt at all.
There are a few realities and considerations you must make prior to considering the purchase of an RV, mainly who and where you will be using the trailer the most. Myself, I have a family with 2 young kids and a wife.... We mainly go to RV parks or national parks, as the vast majiorty of those who own travel trailers do. This is important, as if you arent going to the back country, you can subtract water weight from the towing equation. Most National Parks offer some form of water at their RV sites(check prior to going). Water accounts for a massive portion of loaded trailer weight. It is for this reason I see many people get less trailer than they can, dispite the fact that they may never fill their fresh water tank.
A few realities you must consider about our beloved truck, the Tacoma. I love the Tacoma, it is a very capible truck, however, it wasnt built for towing. It can and will hold its weight and tow, however, expect gas mileage to be somewhere around 8-12 mpg... If you tow often or extended distances, this truck may not prove economical. Further, I have noticed little difference (if any at all) in fuel economy from towing an approx. 3600 pd trailer to an approx. 56-6000 pd trailer.
Trailer brakes are a MUST, and another thing I would highly recommend is a quailty weight distribution hitch. It makes all the difference in the world.
I currently tow a 27 foot TT that is 4060 dry. It actually drives better than my former single axle trailer and I notice little difference from the truck.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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Nice Rig! Looks like Harpers Ferry KOA there.....
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:10 PM   #3
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I'm going to disagree a little bit on the water situation and say it depends on the rig. My 22' (Tango 224RB) has a 50 gallon fresh water tank, dry weight from the dealer was 4500, max gross 7000. Fully loaded for a trip, it's about 6300, but only 400lb of that is water weight - less than 10%.

I haven't towed it with my Tacoma - my normal tow rig is a Ram 2500 - but I did tow it a couple of times with a 4.0L Ford Ranger. Granted the water weight was the difference between being over/under GCWR for the Ford.

Would I tow it with the Tacoma? If I had to, but I'd be looking for any weight saving I could get - even with a weight dist hitch and friction sway bar, that trailer really wanted to drive the Ranger
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
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I also think the Tacoma is a very capable truck when it comes to towing however it wouldn't be my first choice for a tow rig. I pull a single axle travel trailer that weights in around 3500 pounds loaded with all of my gear. I never tow with a full water tank to save weight and seldom stay at a camp ground that doesn't have some kind of water connection so it's a non issue. I had to install air bags to get rid of the sag since a weight distribution hitch wasn't an option because the trailer frame isn't strong enough to support it. I average about 10 miles a gallon when towing and hills or flat ground doesn't seem to make any difference. I wouldn't say I'm white knuckeling it but I do feel like the trailer is saying "HI" somethimes. Hills seem to be the real issue, besides being extremely slow when pulling a grade ( 35-40mph ) the transmission can start to get a little warm. When my tranny hits 230F I'll slow down even more or pull over and let the tranny cool, I've only had this issue a couple of times on a very steep grade in 90 degree plus weather. I love my Taco but if I had to do it over again I would have bought a bigger truck for towing.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:18 PM   #5
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Tacoma Travel Trailer Towng: Read If You Consider Buying An RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncooper View Post
I also think the Tacoma is a very capable truck when it comes to towing however it wouldn't be my first choice for a tow rig. I pull a single axle travel trailer that weights in around 3500 pounds loaded with all of my gear. I never tow with a full water tank to save weight and seldom stay at a camp ground that doesn't have some kind of water connection so it's a non issue. I had to install air bags to get rid of the sag since a weight distribution hitch wasn't an option because the trailer frame isn't strong enough to support it. I average about 10 miles a gallon when towing and hills or flat ground doesn't seem to make any difference. I wouldn't say I'm white knuckeling it but I do feel like the trailer is saying "HI" somethimes. Hills seem to be the real issue, besides being extremely slow when pulling a grade ( 35-40mph ) the transmission can start to get a little warm. When my tranny hits 230F I'll slow down even more or pull over and let the tranny cool, I've only had this issue a couple of times on a very steep grade in 90 degree plus weather. I love my Taco but if I had to do it over again I would have bought a bigger truck for towing.

Do you have the towing package with the tranny cooler ?
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
Do you have the towing package with the tranny cooler ?
Yes, however I'm sure most people don't monitor the tranny temp. I don't think the dummy light comes on until around 300F.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncooper View Post
Yes, however I'm sure most people don't monitor the tranny temp. I don't think the dummy light comes on until around 300F.

How are you monitoring it ? Scangauge or something similar ?
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
How are you monitoring it ? Scangauge or something similar ?
Bluetooth OBD2 connector with an app on my smart phone called Torque Pro. It gives me the pan temp and the outlet of the torque converter.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncooper View Post
Yes, however I'm sure most people don't monitor the tranny temp. I don't think the dummy light comes on until around 300F.
about 240* should be max. If it comes on at 300*, the tranny is cooked.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
about 240* should be max. If it comes on at 300*, the tranny is cooked.
Don't know how correct it is but this is where I got my info, 300 seems crazy high to me also.

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tow...a-answers.html
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:01 PM   #12
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncooper View Post
Don't know how correct it is but this is where I got my info, 300 seems crazy high to me also.

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tow...a-answers.html

Justus said it best:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justus View Post
Holy crap..... 300!?
That's not a warning light, that's a $5K lightbulb!
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:03 AM   #13
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Just got back from our first weekend of camping, it was GREAT!

Here is our Hideout 19FBWE on the Tacoma;





I went through all of the confusing numbers and read all the same 'too much trailer' threads.. You should see the RV forums, if you're not driving a huge diesel you're going to diaf..

I built my own weight calc based on this one . With loaded for camping our trailer is under 5000lbs, with brake controller, equalizer hitch, and sway control it's calm on the roads.. It's not super fast, and mileage isn't great, but it will get to any campsite without a problem.

btw, the SGII is awesome, Transmission Temp to the tenth of a degree..
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicali View Post
Just got back from our first weekend of camping, it was GREAT!

Here is our Hideout 19FBWE on the Tacoma;





I went through all of the confusing numbers and read all the same 'too much trailer' threads.. You should see the RV forums, if you're not driving a huge diesel you're going to diaf..

I built my own weight calc based on this one . With loaded for camping our trailer is under 5000lbs, with brake controller, equalizer hitch, and sway control it's calm on the roads.. It's not super fast, and mileage isn't great, but it will get to any campsite without a problem.

btw, the SGII is awesome, Transmission Temp to the tenth of a degree..

Nice trailer.

I've been on the RV forums and I've had two diesels. An 01 Dodge 2500 and an 05' Dodge 2500. Both diesels. Are they a must? Absolutely NOT. Are they better? ABSOLUTELY! But, if you're not hauling a lot of weigh or often then get the truck that suits your everyday needs not one that fits your hauling needs a couple times a year. Those truck are/were great. They pulled 10,000 lbs like it wasn't there. I was passing cars going up I-70 out of Denver often. I've pulled over many 10,000 ft passes w/o an issue*. It's GREAT! except driving it to work, the grocery store, to school, to go out to eat. It's stiff, it's BIG, it's difficult to park, it's expensive, and diesel is not cheap anymore and sometimes can be hard to find. Although it's much easier to find today. So everyday that adds up.

*The only issue hauling a turbo diesel in the mountains is that you can easily overheat your EGTs. Especially if you 'lug' it. And that goes against your common sense. You see your EGTs rising and you think that you should upshift a gear to slow the RPMs. But you need to do the opposite. You need to drop DOWN a gear and increase the RPMs and the EGTs drop quickly and drastically.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefes Taco View Post
It's GREAT! except driving it to work, the grocery store, to school, to go out to eat. It's stiff, it's BIG, it's difficult to park, it's expensive, and diesel is not cheap anymore and sometimes can be hard to find. Although it's much easier to find today. So everyday that adds up.
And this is why every 3/4 ton owner in my neck of the woods has a half or quarter ton as well. They suck for everything except towing and blocking out the sun, especially diesels.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:59 PM   #17
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I am purchasing a RV with a dry weight of 3050 lbs and GVWR of 4500 lbs. Do not expect to tow at the GVWR. I have a 2013 DCSB 4X4 w / auto and tow package. Do you think that the Taco will handle this weight?
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATHiker View Post
I am purchasing a RV with a dry weight of 3050 lbs and GVWR of 4500 lbs. Do not expect to tow at the GVWR. I have a 2013 DCSB 4X4 w / auto and tow package. Do you think that the Taco will handle this weight?
No problems. You might want to add airbags and you probably should add a weight distribution and sway hitch like the Equalizer brand. I HAD to use an equalizer hitch w/ my Dodge 2500 diesel. No ifs about it. My trailer was a tad heavier at over 6,000 lbs dry though. It's more about how a travel trailer puts the weight and not so much about the overall weight. Don't skimp on it either. Buy a good one. The Equalizer worked great for me and others. There are some other good brands too. But they are all about the same amount. Shop around.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefes Taco View Post
No problems. You might want to add airbags and you probably should add a weight distribution and sway hitch like the Equalizer brand. I HAD to use an equalizer hitch w/ my Dodge 2500 diesel. No ifs about it. My trailer was a tad heavier at over 6,000 lbs dry though. It's more about how a travel trailer puts the weight and not so much about the overall weight. Don't skimp on it either. Buy a good one. The Equalizer worked great for me and others. There are some other good brands too. But they are all about the same amount. Shop around.
Thanks for the input. Will definitely go with a weight distribution hitch.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicali View Post
Just got back from our first weekend of camping, it was GREAT!

Here is our Hideout 19FBWE on the Tacoma;





I went through all of the confusing numbers and read all the same 'too much trailer' threads.. You should see the RV forums, if you're not driving a huge diesel you're going to diaf..

I built my own weight calc based on this one . With loaded for camping our trailer is under 5000lbs, with brake controller, equalizer hitch, and sway control it's calm on the roads.. It's not super fast, and mileage isn't great, but it will get to any campsite without a problem.

btw, the SGII is awesome, Transmission Temp to the tenth of a degree..
Glad it's all working for you. Any day at the campsite, however you get there, is better than a day at the office
As far as "if you're not driving a huge diesel you're going to die", absolutely not true (as long as you keep the brain in gear). But for towing my diesel has two huge advantages over my Tacoma - great gobs of turbocharged torque to help get to the top of Trail Ridge Road (12,000'+) in Rocky Mountain NP, and an exhaust brake to help stop it all getting away coming down the other side. No way in hell I'd have tried that with my trailer in my Tacoma.
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