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Advise & help for towing a camper Newbie

Discussion in 'Towing' started by BP Arch, May 6, 2013.

  1. May 6, 2013 at 3:21 PM
    #1
    BP Arch

    BP Arch [OP] New Member

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    Bruce
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    tow hitch running brds
    Hi new Friends,
    I am looking at a travel trailer to tow with my 2005 taco long bed sr-5 auto. Appears I do not have a tow package from what I can find out. We did buy a hitch and wiring, we tow a boat (under 3500#) no problem. Our dealer went bankrupt and no records on toyota.com.

    We would like to tow a 5000# travel trailer so we need to add tow package components and the electronic break for 7 pin.
    Is this OK or bad idea?
    Anybody think better investment to buy new?
    We love the truck low miles well maintained.
    Does anyone have experience with this kind of modification?

    We would like to tow a travel trailer with 5300lb dry weight.

    Worried to exceed total GCVW

    Any help to this is very much appreciated.
    Thanks so much!

    Bruce :)
     
  2. May 7, 2013 at 8:50 AM
    #2
    rmm1231

    rmm1231 Member

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    I think there is always a difference between what the factory says you can tow and what you really want to tow. I currently tow a 3000# dry weight travel trailer with my 4.0L Tacoma and wouldn't want to go any higher because I don't like crawling up hills at 35mph and 5000rpm. But, I live in Phoenix where there are mountains to get through if you need to get out of the city to the North. Years ago I had a V8 F-150 that I towed a 5200# dry 5th wheel trailer and I didn't enjoy that because I had no acceleration and was getting passed by minivans on the freeway. I also had to install helper leaf-springs in the F-150 to supplement the suspension. You will have to be careful check the tongue weight of your camper to see if you will be bottoming out your Tacoma's suspension... my guess is you will certainly need a weight distributing hitch if not that plus air-bag suspension or added leaf springs. Plus, you have to stop your camper too. Will the Tacoma's brakes make you feel comfortable with that weight of a camper? IMO - if you are towing a 5300# dry weight travel trailer you will really like and probably need at least half-ton truck with a V8 engine.
     
  3. May 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM
    #3
    ManMan

    ManMan Well-Known Member

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    5300 dry is going to be way too much for the truck.

    I have a 3400lb (dry) toy hauler... 4700lb loaded (bikes and all). The Taco handles it well except on hills.... Then the lack of power becomes VERY apparent! Another 1000lbs would have her crying

    Also.... I've done quite a bit of work prepping to tow this and I started with a tow package. Just get a Tundra and be done
     
  4. May 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM
    #4
    BP Arch

    BP Arch [OP] New Member

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    ManMan - Thanks for the input!
    Bruce
     
  5. May 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM
    #5
    BostonBilly

    BostonBilly Well-Known Member

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    My advice is when backing up hold the bottom of the steering wheel, it makes it easier
     
  6. May 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM
    #6
    BP Arch

    BP Arch [OP] New Member

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    tow hitch running brds
    rmm1231, thanks so much for taking the time to help. Good pionts. I have done a lot of home work, and that is why I began to distrust the RV salesmen. I do not get why TOYOTA rates the Taco with Tow Package @ 6,500# tow capacity?

    Do you have the Tow Package on your truck?
    Any other upgrades?

    R/
    Bruce
     
  7. May 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM
    #7
    jtav2002

    jtav2002 Kenny Fuckin Powers

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    I would not want to tow that much with the Taco either. Will it do it? Sure. Doesn't mean it should be done.
     
  8. May 7, 2013 at 10:28 AM
    #8
    PPower05

    PPower05 Well-Known Member

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    I think the more important question to be asking is how long is the trailer? Additionally, what is the hitch weight?
     
  9. May 9, 2013 at 3:08 PM
    #9
    rmm1231

    rmm1231 Member

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    Bruce -

    No other upgrades on the truck for now. Planning a supercharger in the future, but not yet.
    I really don't understand the factory tow ratings either. To feel comfortable, my guess is that you can take 2/3 of that number to enjoy towing on flatlands or 1/2 if you are on hills. For me, the white knuckled steering wheel isn't worth it.

    Good luck towing.
    -Rob
     
  10. May 12, 2013 at 2:06 PM
    #10
    PPower05

    PPower05 Well-Known Member

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    Bruce, I was in the same ordeal you where, from my experance, I can tell you it is probably a very bad idea. We where looking at a 32 foot travel trailer that had a max of 6200 pds loaded. It was cheaper than smaller units, and really had the space... Upon doing research, I found this to be a very, very bad idea, despite what the dealership told me. A few things to keep in mind:
    1). The gross vehicle weight rating only assumes that there is one 150 pd driver.... If you have anymore than just yourself, or you weigh over 150 pounds, you must subtract this from that number.
    2). The tacoma, by its very design, has a very short wheel base. I happen to have a short bed, you have a long bed. If your trailer weighs that much, my guess is it is over 25 feet. Generally speaking, when you go above that number, you have to worry about things like trailer sway and instablity. I am not saying it isn't do-able, I am just saying that there will be several tense times, most noticeably on the highway.
    3). Depending on the type of camping that you are doing, your trailer weight is going to vary dramatically.... The trailer weight is not taking into account any water, cooking supplies, firewood, tools, food, you get the picture.

    In short, if you where to do all the upgrades for towing the RV, and in theory, on the sticker, your truck can tow the load, it probably isn't the case. Some even recommend you take 25% of the max you can tow for safety. With a rig that heavy, you will be screaming to get above 65mph.... Hope this helps!
     
  11. May 12, 2013 at 4:36 PM
    #11
    Nola TSS

    Nola TSS Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely buy a Tundra. No way I would pull that much weight with a Tacoma. With or without the tow package.
     
  12. May 13, 2013 at 2:29 AM
    #12
    Gregman

    Gregman Well-Known Member

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    You'll need a transmission cooler and good working trailer brakes. Then you'll have to stay off the interstates and avoid big hills. You might be ok for short local trips but I wouldn't set out on any big journeys like that.
     
  13. May 13, 2013 at 4:58 PM
    #13
    Boltsfaninmo

    Boltsfaninmo Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, get a bigger truck. How do I know this? I just bought a new truck to tow the brand new toy hauler I just bought that my Taco can't tow effectively. :) Learn from my mistake!!!! Don't listen to the yahoo's who will say you'll be fine if you get WDH, brakes, bags, etc.
     
  14. May 14, 2013 at 7:01 AM
    #14
    Gregman

    Gregman Well-Known Member

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    You're the yahoo bub!
     
  15. May 14, 2013 at 7:09 AM
    #15
    stroked383z

    stroked383z Well-Known Member

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    No way I'd wanna tow that close to maxed out. Look for a lighter trailer. You can get a nicer Ultra Light trailer in the 3500 to 4000 lb range
     
  16. May 14, 2013 at 7:09 AM
    #16
    BlackSeven

    BlackSeven Grab your helmet, this shits about to get retarded

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    Use this.... You'll be amazed at how unsafe towing that trailer would be... http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml

    I tow a 30ft Surveyor SV-291 with my GMC Yukon XL, it's "4400" dry... On the scale it's 7400 without anything in the holding tanks. Dry weights mean nothing. The max my truck can tow is 8400lbs, with 4.10 gears. I have 3.42s which puts my max weight at 7400. I've done upgrades to my truck (40k GVW Transmission cooler, shift kit, headers, tune, good brake controller) but it is, technically overweight as soon as I put myself in the truck, let alone, gas and my wife/kids.

    The truck does ... OK when hauling. It's under powered more than anything - as in, if you hit a hill on the highway you're doing 45 climbing it with the accelerator mashed to the floor. Sway wise the Yukon is long enough to handle a 30ft trailer with a sway/weight distributing hitch.

    Different truck, but relevant advice... either get a smaller trailer or buy a bigger truck.
     
  17. May 14, 2013 at 7:21 AM
    #17
    stroked383z

    stroked383z Well-Known Member

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    My new travel trailer weighs 6000 dry and is 35' long including the hitch, not sure about loaded weight yet. Figuring 7200 loaded with everything minus water. My Tundra pulls the wheels off it :)
     
  18. May 14, 2013 at 7:13 PM
    #18
    Boltsfaninmo

    Boltsfaninmo Well-Known Member

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    I'm the Yahoo, yet you're the one telling him to avoid the interstates and big hills. Seriously? Don't you think better advice would be to get a trailer he could take on the interstates?
     
  19. May 15, 2013 at 3:00 AM
    #19
    PPower05

    PPower05 Well-Known Member

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    I would have to agree with you.... The Tacoma is a great "all around" truck, but its specialty isn't towing.... With that being said, I hear all this talk about rear spring TSB's, superchargers, airbags, when it all really isn't necessary in 90% of the applications in which it was installed. I tow a 22.5 foot, single axle unit... It is very stable, comfortable to drive, and my truck can get me through any moutains that I can throw at it.... It does have brakes, and I do have the "passing power" on the highway. Could my truck tow more? Sure could, but you are giving up on several things once you go above and beyond a safe limit.
     
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