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'04 Taco towing needs

Discussion in 'Towing' started by tcub, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Jul 11, 2018 at 12:26 PM
    #1
    tcub

    tcub [OP] Member

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    Tim
    Cocoa Beach
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    '04 Taco V6 TRD Xcab
    So I have a 2004 Gen1 Tacoma with V6 3.4 liter, TRD Prerunner extra cab. I have installed a Hayden 678 trans. cooler and a Prodigy P2 brake controller. Trailer I am planning to tow GVWR is 4000 lbs. Probably only travelling 400 miles or so one way and only a few times a year. Are there any other mods needed to vehicle? I have read that a bigger alternator or battery may be required. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  2. Jul 11, 2018 at 4:19 PM
    #2
    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    Here's what you *need* to tow 4k.
    1. A receiver hitch.
    2. 2" ball.
    3. Brake controller. Most states require brakes on more than 3500lbs, some are more restrictive and some are less.

    Drop 500 pounds and you can do it with a ball on your bumper. I wouldn't, but you can :)

    That's pretty much it.

    Pretty much everything in a tow package adds to the 'nice to have' list and not the 'need to safely tow' list. A battery, a better battery, a bigger battery, 1 million better batteries, won't help it tow any better. The same with the alternator. If you're not towing anything with high electrical demands there is no point in providing for it.

    *If* I was towing somewhere that I expected long hard and often use of my electric brakes, I may reconsider that battery. But my time would be better used learning how to safely tow and NOT use the brakes than it would be in upgrading electrical parts.

    The heavier the trailer the heavier the load put on your entire drivetrain, that equals heat, which tranny's hate. A bajillion miles (actual number, I looked it up)are towed every year with vehicles using nothing more than the factory transmission cooling. But an auxillery cooler give you a bit more of a buffer, especially if you're new to towing. If I was doing 'nice' things to the tow list it would be the 1st.

    2nd would be brake upgrades to the truck. That won't make you not use up your brakes if you don't know how to tow, but extra buffer again. Expensive brakes are no better than cheap brakes once they stop working. I've only used up my brakes 1 time, it was slow speed and it was entirely enough of a learning lesson for me to not want to do it again. Engine braking is king. It's uncomfortable when you first start doing it because your brain says middle pedal (or left) when you want to slow down but it's the wrong instinct most of the time.

    3rd. Suspension. The heavier your trailer, the heavier your tongue (assuming you load correctly), which means the lower your rear end, which not only hurts your suspension but kills the effectiveness of your steering and your braking ability. Level is good.

    But, go slow, go safe and all the 'nice' things aren't needed. Add all the nice things, and still go slow and safe. Your wife's bloodpressure will thank you. And there's nothing cool about getting a shit stained pyramid in the middle of the drivers seat because you puckered up hard enough to suck the material in. :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    NGeorgiaTacoma and tcub [OP] like this.
  3. Jul 12, 2018 at 10:24 AM
    #3
    NGeorgiaTacoma

    NGeorgiaTacoma Well-Known Member

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    NE Georgia
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    And what are the limits as listed on your door label ?
    And what kind of trailer ? A box or travel trailer is a completely different from a flat bed trailer even though both may have the same weight.

    Completely agree with the need for a add-on trailer hitch receiver rather than pulling from the bumper. Then add a ball at a height that keeps the trailer level.
     
  4. Jul 17, 2018 at 6:11 AM
    #4
    tcub

    tcub [OP] Member

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    Tim
    Cocoa Beach
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    '04 Taco V6 TRD Xcab
    Will be pulling a travel trailer, as stated above, GVRW is 4000 lbs. I installed a Curt hitch to the frame. What about door label? It just states tire size/pressure. Owners manual says Prerunner can handle up to 6000lbs with tow package which brings me back to original question which was pretty much answered in first reply. Thanks.
     

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