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4 cylinder: 3000 Miles with an enclosed 6x10 trailer

Discussion in 'Towing' started by TurnTheLead, Jan 10, 2012.

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Will my truck make it to Washington without issues?

Poll closed Feb 9, 2012.
  1. You're crazy to try this. Good luck.

    4 vote(s)
    12.9%
  2. The truck will do fine, it's a Taco!

    27 vote(s)
    87.1%
  1. Jan 10, 2012 at 10:48 PM
    #1
    TurnTheLead

    TurnTheLead [OP] Active Member

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    Tomorrow I'm going to pick up a 6x10 Wells Cargo enclosed trailer to move from Mississippi to Washington state in three weeks. I have a 2012 dual cab, short bed with a 2.4/4 cylinder automatic.

    The trailer weighs 1000 lbs empty. It can carry 3000 lbs gross weight. It is single axle with a side door, and no brakes. I plan to fill it with 1500 lbs of household goods, and to fill the bed and cab of the truck to the brim.

    I have a curt class III hitch. I currently plan to drive across the southern border to L.A., and then north. Driving south, I hope to avoid snow and the most mountainous areas.

    I am not planning to install an aftermarket transmission cooler, since that would void the 60,000 mile warranty I have on the drive train. I plan to drive 55 mph the entire way.

    I'll use this thread as a journal for future reference of any who want to see what happened, for better or worse.
     
  2. Jan 10, 2012 at 11:18 PM
    #2
    WhiskeyDeltaTango

    WhiskeyDeltaTango Resident Redneck

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    where in the Holy Land are you vacating?
     
  3. Jan 10, 2012 at 11:41 PM
    #3
    Forster46

    Forster46 Very nice how much?

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    Have the dealer install a transmission cooler? I am pretty sure that wouldn't void the warranty. As for the weight, you should be fine as long as the weight in your truck isn't too much. Just take it slow and let your truck rest once in awhile?

    Where in washington are you headed?
     
  4. Jan 10, 2012 at 11:45 PM
    #4
    MQQSE

    MQQSE Chief Pal Guy, GOB

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    You'll be fine ... I've got pretty much the same trailer and have hauled it often loaded as you describe. My truck is '07 AC 4cyl/4x4/5spd manual; I wouldn't use 5th gear in a fully loaded condition. For the A/T I'd keep it out of overdrive and Git'r Done!
     
  5. Jan 11, 2012 at 4:28 AM
    #5
    MQQSE

    MQQSE Chief Pal Guy, GOB

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    Pulled this from another thread I posted in; felt it was applicable:

    Plus: Situational awareness will be critical. I don't think you'll have any problems as long as you keep everything under control. That means give yourself extra following distance (you're not gonna stop quickly). With S/A in mind, don't run too long/try to break any duration records. Take reasonable breaks (every 2 - 3 hours). And get good sleep during your trip.

    The other potential danger will be high winds; I suggest checking the weather forecast for your route at the beginning of each day's travel.

    For the record, I tow both a 6'x10' cargo trailer loaded to around 3K lbs and my 8'x12' flatbed loaded with up to 3 ATVs (total @ 2500lbs) or a 14' Zodiac w/ 25HP outboard. My truck is like yours except no lift and stock size tires. 5th gear won't be much use except on flat land once your up to speed; power band around 2500 rpms. I do avoid extremely windy conditions with the cargo trailer ... damn thing can be like towing a box kite in cross winds over 30 mph.

    That's my advice FWIW. Stay safe. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jan 11, 2012 at 7:10 AM
    #6
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    The problem with hauling that much weight without trailer brakes is that a pickup's brakes are only designed to haul up to the GVWR. That means stopping the truck, passengers, and load in the bed. Going through the mountains with a fully loaded trailer not equipped with trailer brakes is asking for trouble. If I were you, I would add brakes to the trailer. Electric ones are the easiest to maintain and adjust. Surge require no tow vehicle modifications.
    I have towed a u-haul 6x12 from Ohio to Va through the Cumberland Gap with no problems. It has trailer brakes. I would not have attempted it without them.

    I will probably be moving to the Puget Sound are within the next couple of years and will be doing the same thing. It's $1k to rent a uhaul trailer. I'd rather put that money into a trailer I own.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2012 at 8:29 AM
    #7
    TurnTheLead

    TurnTheLead [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks. I'm looking into this; might install brakes.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2012 at 8:40 AM
    #8
    TurnTheLead

    TurnTheLead [OP] Active Member

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    Does anyone know: is the newer Tacoma pre-wired for trailer brakes? How much would a set of trailer brakes and controller cost for a basic trailer described above?
     
  9. Jan 11, 2012 at 9:05 AM
    #9
    TurnTheLead

    TurnTheLead [OP] Active Member

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    The GVWR (vehicle weight) of the tacoma is 5250 lbs, the GCWR (combined) is 8000 lbs. Are the installed brakes good enough for the GVWR or the GCWR?
     
  10. Jan 11, 2012 at 9:14 AM
    #10
    snoozeworm

    snoozeworm taco king

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    there aint nothin to it but to do it!
     
  11. Jan 11, 2012 at 9:18 AM
    #11
    Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Captain

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    They are rated for the gcwr (8000 lb) I believe, but you will stop faster and safer with trailer brakes. Also if it is a second gen tacoma you have a 2.7 liter engine, not a 2.4.

    The truck weighs 3825 lb. You should not tow more than 3500 pounds, and you should not load into the truck more than 1425 pounds, and the combined weight of what you load into the truck (include yourself) and what you tow should not exceed 4175 pounds. Good luck!
     
  12. Jan 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM
    #12
    cc350

    cc350 Buckeye Member

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    I know the tow package has the brake controller harness, but IDK about the 4 cyl. If not any hitch place can install one. Controllers range from 50.00 to a couple hundred+ Brakes for trailer will set you back a couple more hundred if you install yourself. All can be done by you if you have an understanding of mechanics.
     
  13. Jan 11, 2012 at 9:43 AM
    #13
    tacoteacher

    tacoteacher Well-Known Member

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    I towed a lot with my '87 with no trouble. The stock brakes can handle the GCWR, defined as weight of towing vehicle plus weight of trailer-keep in mind this includes weight of all vehicle and trailer contents. I would recommend using the transmission to assist in braking. Even though you have an automatic, you can (and IMHO should) downshift manually to use your engine compression to help slow you down. Watch your rpms, though-you dont want to blow your transmission or cause rear wheels to lock due to downshift at high rate of speed. A transmission cooler is a good idea. Above all, watch your speed, especially on downgrades. Also, as you probably know, put about 60% of the weight in your trailer in front of the axle-you will have much better control over the trailer. Good luck:)
     
  14. Jan 25, 2012 at 7:54 PM
    #14
    Dustyroades

    Dustyroades Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that trailer tongue weight must be included when calculating your payload. For a trailer of this size it should be in the 300 lb range. Add in your own weight and you will only have around 800 lbs of payload capacity left. So filling the truck to the brim may not be advisable.

    Edit: Just realized this thread is a couple weeks old... how did it go OP?
     
  15. Feb 4, 2012 at 4:54 AM
    #15
    186000mps

    186000mps ..Slingin' up mud and we're scarying off bunnies..

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  16. Feb 5, 2012 at 6:28 PM
    #16
    RV7Garage

    RV7Garage R.O.U.S.

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    Rest assured, your truck can handle it. Had a 2010 Reg Cab Prerunner, 2.7L with a 5-speed, and towed 2000lbs from Washington D.C. To Chicago, driving thru the mountaind of West VA. Drive it like the Big Rigs drive (conservatively), bring snacks/coffee, and take breaks. Have fun!
     
  17. Feb 14, 2012 at 7:23 AM
    #17
    TurnTheLead

    TurnTheLead [OP] Active Member

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    The cargo trailer I bought was about 10 years old. I got it for $1900. The owners claimed that it had only been used once, and was otherwise "new".

    A few things to consider when buying a trailer like this one:

    First, the tires. Trailer tires are special and much more expensive than car tires. Trailer tires are susceptible to dry rot because they typically stay stationary for long periods of time. Dry rot can occur on the sidewall, in the tread, or inside the tire where you can't even see it.

    The tires had been flat for years when I bought it. I filled them up and drove the trailer about a hundred miles home; they did OK for that drive, but they definitely needed replacement. They were "new" in that they had barely ever been used. But beware the temptation to use old trailer tires. These still had the rubber "whiskers" on the tread, from the factory, but when I had the tire guy switch them out he told me that one of them definitely would have exploded if I loaded it up with weight. Ten year old tires are not good to use.

    Two new tires cost almost $300. The peace of mind itself is worth the extra cost. Had I known that I'd need new tires going into this, I may have just bought a new trailer.

    He inspected the spare and, since it's been covered this whole time, is like new.

    Trailer Lights
    When you buy the trailer, hook it up to your hitch and try out all the lights. The lights will typically only work once you've grounded the trailer's electrical system. This is easily done by connecting the trailer to your hitch. If you have a new hitch, the paint may prevent an electrical circuit from forming. Drive the trailer around for a few seconds and it ought to form.

    Mold, mildew, and moss
    The outside of my trailer was pretty dirty; it had been sitting under a few pine trees in their driveway for ten years. The best way to clean it is to take it to a self-serve coin-op car wash. I pressure-washed all the grossness off it and got it looking like new.

    The inside was perfectly clean.

    Rust
    There are several areas of superficial rust forming. I sanded them down, sprayed them with rustoleum primer, and then applied metallic rustoleum spray paint. The rusted areas are completely covered and sealed now, and you can barely even tell it was painted. I'm very glad I chose to use paint AND primer, it seems like a much more heavy duty fix.

    That's it for buying and owning small enclosed trailers for now. Soon I'll discuss how the first few days of driving with #3000 has gone.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Feb 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM
    #18
    TurnTheLead

    TurnTheLead [OP] Active Member

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    My Towing Setup

    - No weight distribution hitch
    - No trailer breaks - only safety chains
    - 7300# Gross weight, including driver and luggage.

    Trailer Sway
    They say to put 60% of the weight in the front part of the trailer in order to mitigate trailer sway. In order to balance the trailer, I made a chart on a piece of paper, and divided it into four quadrants - front left, front right, rear left, rear right. I decided I'd put 1700 pounds in the trailer. That means 1020 lbs (1700*.6) in the front two, and 680 in the rear two quadrants. I tried to put equal weight on either side. End result? Roughly the same weight on each side, and 60% of the weigh in front of the single axle.

    The result: I haven't experienced any trailer sway whatsoever, at speeds up to 70 mph.

    Brakes
    The GCWR of the 2012 4 cylinder 4 door tacoma is 7800 lbs. I have about 7300 lbs total in my configuration. The brakes have worked fine. I take it easy and slow down earlier than I usually do, and I haven't had any scary moments at all. Once, when it was raining out I made a quick stop and the anti-lock brakes kicked in for a second, but the truck was totally in control. I've used engine braking just to reduce the wear I'm placing on my brakes, but don't feel that it's been necessary at all. On steep hills downward, to avoid riding the brakes, I put the truck in L (1st gear) and it rides down at about 5000 rpms. No problem.

    Power
    I'm able to keep the truck at 55-60 mph on most grades so far with little more than 2000 RPM. If i'm trying to accelerate up a hill it may sit at 3k for a short while, but not for long.
    Acceleration above 60 mph while going uphill is not really possible. Straight and level, 65-70 mph would be no problem on the truck but not good for mileage. After a while, I barely notice the trailer is behind me.

    Mileage
    My truck has been getting 14-15 mpg while pulling the trailer 60 mph. This is in contrast to 23-24 mpg I get without the trailer. This is about what I expected. I've noticed that the oil is degrading faster while pulling than it did otherwise--in the 2500 miles since my last change, it is darker and smells more like burnt oil than it would had I not been pulling a load. This makes sense and ought to be fine.

    So far I'm pleased with the truck's performance and look optimistically toward the higher mountains further west. I'll be taking it slow, and only traveling about 6 hours a day. The truck is working well.
     
  19. Feb 16, 2012 at 3:14 AM
    #19
    186000mps

    186000mps ..Slingin' up mud and we're scarying off bunnies..

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    Thanks for the update !
     
  20. Feb 16, 2012 at 3:27 AM
    #20
    Rusty 06 4x4

    Rusty 06 4x4 NBHNC

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