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any tow experience

Discussion in 'Towing' started by mptaco, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Nov 13, 2007 at 11:33 AM
    #1
    mptaco

    mptaco [OP] New Member

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    Hi all,
    Anyone have much experience in towing with your Tacoma? I've got a Tacoma w/4x4, LB, Crew cab and tow package. I'm in the market to get a toy hauler (Weekend Warrior 21-23ft) and while I'm aware of the ratings, It would be great to hear some real use experiences on performance. Thanks
     
  2. Nov 13, 2007 at 12:06 PM
    #2
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    Hit me with the q's. I tow five to seven thousand pounds on a regular basis.
    I have a 18' landscaper/car hauler that I use for moving stone/granite. Check my pic's so you what I'm talking about.
     
  3. Nov 13, 2007 at 12:45 PM
    #3
    nd

    nd Radical Town. It's a hell of a place!

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    I'm sure TheMaster can help out with any questions you have, Also Maverick491 has a huge amount of towing experience and is also very helpful. I'd recomend listening to whatever each one has to say
     
  4. Nov 13, 2007 at 1:03 PM
    #4
    mptaco

    mptaco [OP] New Member

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    As mentioned, I’m in the market for at toy hauler which will have a axle weight of 4200 lb empty. Once I get supplies, motorcycles and lets not forget the family I will be adding additional 2500 lbs. So I estimate that I be at 6700 lbs which is just at, or just over the legal limit for my truck I think (will verify).

    I’ve only towed a friend’s 5000 lb boat for a short distance and it handled great even though the weight lowered the backend of the truck some. In fact my friend who owns the boat has a full size 2500 Chevy truck which he said my truck pulled better and smoother that his truck for the boat.

    Here are my questions:
    * What the longest distance you’ve traveled with 7000 lb?
    * Assuming you have an automatic trans, do you select different gears?
    * Do you use any hitch attachments for load distribution or to prevent swaying?
    * Do you have an e-brake for your trailer?
    * Have you gone over any steep grades with a heavy trailer setup and how was that?

    Thanks in advance to your feedback
     
  5. Nov 13, 2007 at 2:17 PM
    #5
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    another thing you might wanna post is ur year and packages....you might be able to get a rear end suspension upgrade from the dealer if ur under warranty that should help out w/ that rear end sag
     
  6. Nov 13, 2007 at 2:59 PM
    #6
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    If you plan on keeping your Taco for long time, I dont recommend you nearing your 6500lb limit. Stay well below.

    1) 200 miles.
    2) Yes. If over 4000 pounds, I have to switch between 3&4 based on grade. Owners manual states to tow on 4th only. I do go to 5th on flat roads. BTW, the terrain I tow on is very hilly. So at times only 2nd gear would do, yet reluctantly.
    3) I dont think so. I have the factory tow package. Nothing fancy. Never had a swaying problem ever. I always spread out the weight evenly without piling it all in one place or corner.
    4) Yes, I have a pretty awesome e-brake that Maverick recommended. It doesn't work as well as he said it would and I'm not pleased with him for that :mad:. But then, maybe because its still in my living room and not in my truck :confused:. I've not had the time to install it. I tow without it but maintain a good stopping distance and shift down when braking. I know one of these days I'll get screwed if I get pulled over since cops check for e-brakes. Search the forum for "Reese" or "trailer brakes" and you'll see a nice write up by Maverick.
    5) Steep grades suck. Pick up speed and shift down before you get there and you'll be ok. If you are going down a steep grade fully loaded, you are SOL without e-brakes. The trailer load will push you no matter how hard you brake. You will continue to move while ABS is fully engaged. Scary but fun provided nothing is in your path.

    My advice is that you should never tow heavy loads without e-brakes. Its like drinking and driving. I have mastered the technique but its still no excuse. I will put it in soon.
     
  7. Nov 13, 2007 at 3:11 PM
    #7
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    Thanks for the compliment ND.

    I have roughly 3000 miles towing under my belt this year in my 07 taco. I had about 5000 miles of towing in my 04 taco, and about 30,000 miles of towing in a 91 f-150 before that. And that is just in my spare time. As a short-haul trucker I pull a trailer for a living.

    First off I am going to say the absolutely correct thing first, and that is that tow ratings are there for a reason, and when you excede them is when bad shit happens. DON'T DO IT.

    Now that that is out of the way. You tow rating is 6500lbs. The only way you are going to be able to SAFELY pull 6700 LBS is if you do it correctly. That ABSOLUTELY includes:

    1. A brake controler
    2. Having the rear spring TSB performed
    3. A properly sized weight distribution hitch set-up
    4. A Dual Cam sway control set up
    5. Extra towing mirrors
    6. Don't even think about putting your transmission selector into overdrive.

    1. You must have a brake controler because at 6700 pounds you are asking the service brakes of your truck to stop more than two and a half times it's own weight counting the truck and trailer together. (Your truck's curb weight is 4090lbs) Also with a brake controler you can manually engage the trailer's brakes without engaging the trucks brakes. That is a lifesaver if the trailer should get a little squirlly on you, you can engage the trailer brakes and bring it back under control where if you engage all the brakes you'll likely only make it worse. Also, even with a properly set up brake controler you stopping distance will still likely be at least one and a half times greater than the truck by itself, so you will have to re-learn most of what you know about driving when you have a trailer in tow.

    2. Putting that much additional weight on the rear end is going to be a big problem for you unless you have the suspension tsb performed. My trailer weighs roughly 3500 wet and ready to camp, and even with the weight distribution hitch my rear springs pretty much suck when towing.

    3. A properly set up weight distribution hitch takes some of the tongue weight off of the rear of the truck and transfers it to both the front of the truck and back to the trailer axles. This makes for a stable and level tow, as well as a great reduction in porpusing (that undulating motion that you experience when going over bumps with a trailer.)

    4A. There are two main types of sway control for trailers. A friction type, and a dual cam type. The friction type is the less advanced kind, and is sort of like a spin-out bar on a big wheel (I hope you understand that reference), but what it does is link the tongue of the trailer to the hitch of the truck along another plane and another angle. It is a telescoping bar, and by tightening down on it's bolts, you change the amount of friction between the two sections of the bar, and that friction makes it so it requires a deliberate motion to turn the trailer. However it can only stop the sway once it has started, so with heavy trailers it is still a nerve racking event when you get slammed with a crosswind or passed by a semi. It also must be removed before backing the trailer as it will not permit a hard turn or near jack-knife.

    4B. The Dual cam sway set-up doesn't let the sway start in the firstplace. It essentially secures the weight distribution bars to the trailer tongue in a second place forming two triangles when you add in the attachment point on the hitch as well, and as well all know from basic geometry and physics a triangle is the strongest shape. This is the only type of sway control suited to a heavy application such as yours.

    5. Extra towing mirrors are also a must. A typical RV/toy hauler is 7 1/2 to eight feet wide. With the stock mirrors you'll never be able to see what's along side the trailer much less what's behind it, and without a team of spotters on FRS radios directing you, good luck backing it into a campsite.

    6. With that much weight and surface area (creating drag) an automatic transmission will never be able to hold overdrive on even flat ground, much less on anything resembling an incline. So it will jump back and forth between 4th (direct drive) and 5th (over-drive). It is that "hunting", that builds up heat in your transmission. That heat in turn breaks down the transmission fluid. The transmission fluid break down causes transmission failure.

    That is just some of what you need to know to tow a 6700 lbs trailer safely.

    However, I am afraid that you are not looking a 6700 lbs trailer wet and ready to roll.

    I assume that this is the one you are looking at?

    Model: FS2300
    Axle Weight: 4125 lb.
    #Axle: 2
    Hitch Weight: 635 lbs.
    GVWR: 7650 lbs.
    Payload: 2890 lbs.
    Fresh Water: 100 gal.


    That 4125 lbs. is the trailer, and it's standard equipment. That does not figure in any of your options, consumables, or gear. Let's break it down a little more for you.

    to that 4125 lbs you have to add some things.

    • Fresh water tank 100 gal @ 8.33 lbs/gal = 833 lbs (even if you went half full that's still 416.5 lbs.)
    • Hot water heater tank 6 gal @ 8.33 lbs/gal = 50 lbs
    • Dual LP bottles 5 gal @ 4.24 lbs/gal = 40 lbs (add this directly to your hitch weight too)
    • Deep cycle battery = 50 lbs (This one is direct tongue weight too.)

    Now you are at 5098 lbs with a hitch weight of 725 lbs. wet, but still un-loaded.

    Add to that weight any of the following options if installed:
    (you don't need to guess at all this, there will be a weight sticker inside the cabinate door of the unit that you are looking at that tells you exactly what that particular unit weighs dry but fully optioned)

    • 20 gal- Gas Tank/Pump* (another 124lbs just for the gasoline)
    • 4.0 Onan Generator w/20 gal Gas Tank (another 124lbs just for the gasoline)
    • AM/FM CD w/ Int. & Ext Speakers
    • Ramp Add-A-Room
    • Rear Ramp Screen
    • TV Shelf & Antenna (FS,SL.SS only)
    • Spare Tire / Rim / Mount, 15 inch
    • Alloy wall protector
    • Bay Window w/ 2 Swivel Rockers
    • Family Friendly Warrior Electric Loft Bed
    • 12V Tongue Jack
    • Exterior BBQ

    I don't pretend to know what all of these options weigh in at, or if the trailer you are looking at has them, but I suspect that it would have atleast some of them, so we'll call that another 500lbs.

    Now stick two motorcycles in there. Call them 500lbs each.

    Now you are at 6598 lbs with a hitch weight of 725 lbs. wet, optioned and motorcycled, but still un-loaded.

    Now add into that your food, clothing, entertainment, water and sewer lines, camp chairs, dog toys, fishing gear, toiletries, beer... You get the idea.

    The point is that you'll likely come in between 6900 and 7000 lbs wet and ready to roll, and you'll have a hitch weight of 725 lbs (or more depending on where in the coach the water/gasoline tanks are positioned)

    Oh, and the GCVWR of the truck is 11,100 lbs. Subtract the truck weight of 4090 and the wet and ready to roll weight of the trailer at 6900 lbs then you and your family and anything else in the truck itself need to weigh less than 110 lbs. Even with your figure of 6700lbs that give you 310 lbs for family and crap in the truck.

    You are going to be considerably over on both capacities.

    Can you do it safely? Yes, probably, if you follow all of the recomendations I mentioned above. Will you dramatically shorten the life of your tow vehicle? Absolutely. Just ask Themaster how long he plans to keep his Tacoma.

    I am sorry, I know this was not what you wanted to hear, but this is not going to be the right trailer for you and your Tacoma. You are going to need to look at a smaller trailer or look at a Tundra.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2007 at 8:14 AM
    #8
    nd

    nd Radical Town. It's a hell of a place!

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    Damn that was a detailed writeup Mav! I got my truck with the v6 and towing pkg so i could haul a boat whenever i get one. looking at 3 to 4k lbs. Even though i am capable of towing 6500 lbs i would never do that unless i had to in a pinch. I would never regularly tow right at the limit or over. If you do it on a regular basis i dont see you're truck lasting 1/3 of what you could normally expect. I agree with Mav, you need a new truck or a lighter trailer if you are gonna do this regularly.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2007 at 4:06 PM
    #9
    AUDITECH

    AUDITECH Carolina Alliance: LAZY DIVISION

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    I was a Long Haul truck driver over 1.2 millon miles and i have seen some vehicles tow what the shouldnt and its not good.

    My 2 cents is this have steady hands when driving if you like swaying in the lane that will kill you quick the trailer will starting getting worse and then good bye. Lots of people dont know they do it.

    Watch the speed if its heavy and loaded right you still need to watch the speed.

    Down grades seen to many big trucks in the run off ramp to play with mountians. And there is allways that one car that will cut you off and hit the brakes i would get a e-brake and work your way up to heavier loads.
     
  10. Nov 16, 2007 at 7:30 AM
    #10
    Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

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    None currently, but I would like a better sounding exhaust and perhaps a cold air pack and some color coded step bars
    Great job, Maverick , while I don't tow anything that heavy, as my boat does not weigh much, being at the launch ramp and seeing overloaded trucks and trailers and having to follow some of these folks on the highway, tough stuff.
    You are completely correct NEVER exceed the tow ratings.

    Jeff
    06, 6spd, 4x4, V6
     
  11. Nov 16, 2007 at 6:29 PM
    #11
    concrete jedi

    concrete jedi Well-Known Member

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    About two years ago my buddy (who is always in some sort of trouble or crisis) called me in the middle of the night and said I have to move home. He was living in Portland Oregon and was moving back to Myrtle Beach S.C. I was the only one of three who had experience pulling a trailer. This is the situation: A 2005 automatic Tacoma, V-6, 4x4, 4 door, long bed, loaded to the gills, pulling a double axle U-Haul trailer, loaded to the gills. I drove that truck like I stole it ! The Rocky Mountains, a nasty snow storm in South Dakota in which I got hit from behind so hard that the bolts that hold the surge brakes housing sheared off the tongue, and pulled the trailer for the remaining of the trip " kateewampus " the whole trip was over 4000 miles, the truck never complained once, gas milage went quickly in the "lou", my friend is still driving his truck, I bought one a year later, so buy a trailer in the limits of your truck, gas up, and Drive on !! :frusty:
     
  12. Nov 18, 2007 at 4:00 PM
    #12
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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  13. Nov 19, 2007 at 7:50 AM
    #13
    dougmays

    dougmays Well-Known Member

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    I towed a little Uhaul trailer, its the 4x8 or something close to that. The trailer fully loaded couldn't have even wait 1000lbs. I was towing it on I-10 from florida to new orleans. It seemed like there was alot of pull for such a small trailer. I had to stop 3 times for gas. I stayed in D, i didn't downshift to 4 or 3. Anyone know why my truck seemed to have such a hard time pulling it. The trailer was an older style and was taller then the tacoma, so i figured it could have been the wind resistance also. Or could it have been my lack of shifting? I have the towing package and i figured for the truck ih ave i wouldn't need to downshift for such a small trailer. Any advice, i'm new to towing.

    Thanks
     
  14. Nov 19, 2007 at 10:18 AM
    #14
    Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

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    My guess is the trailer might have had some problems, perhaps the wheel bearings were bad or low tire pressure. These are all guess's of course, I tow a boat that weighs about 1000 and my SR5, V6, 6spd equiped Taco has no problems and its very smooth and easy and I do not have a tow package( I presume we are talking about the TRD tow package) so at first glance I would look at the UHaul trailer.
    Wind restistance is a factor in towing and pulling a taller trailer is certainly different than a boat.
    Perhaps Mav or AudITECH might have comments.

    Jeff
    06,V6, SR5, 4x4 6spd, SR5, Brilliant Red
     
  15. Nov 19, 2007 at 10:23 AM
    #15
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    A uhaul 4x8 trailer weight 850 lbs. empty, and has a max weight rating of 2500 lbs. So at 850 empty, and while I don't know what you were hauling I would suspect that you were over 1000 lbs.

    That said, air resistance plays a HUGE part in determining your fuel mileage, though at only 4 feet wide by 6 feet tall (ground to roof) it should not have hammered your fuel mileage like my RV does. (I get about 200 miles per tank towing). If you were getting that or less, then I would suspect that there may have been a problem in the surge brake system on the trailer you rented, in that they were likely hanging up and dragging.

    As far as your transmission on something that size, you were probably fine in D, but realistically your really should tow in 4, because when the transmission hunts, (jumps back and forth between 5th and 4th) it will over time damage your transmission.
     
  16. Nov 19, 2007 at 10:52 AM
    #16
    dougmays

    dougmays Well-Known Member

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    good to know, thanks! also i just got reading all 23 pages of the ECO systems fuel optimizer....you guys ordering those soon?
     
  17. Nov 19, 2007 at 10:57 AM
    #17
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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  18. Aug 20, 2010 at 1:02 AM
    #18
    trib

    trib Well-Known Member

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    Maverick,

    I just wanted to thank you for the write up. I am pretty much printing out your post and using your format for the calculations of estimating what trailer I can get and how much I can tow!
     
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