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Can my 4 cyc tow a 16' or 17' Casita camper Trailer

Discussion in 'Towing' started by ssahama, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Jul 19, 2008 at 7:01 PM

    ssahama [OP] New Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    Pace FL
    Tacoma Access 4 cyc auto
    bed cab 200 - 300 lbs
    My 2008 Tacoma Access cab truck has a 2.4L 4 cyc engine and is 4-speed automatic; 2TR-FE. Current milage: Less than 6,000 miles. The truck is listed with:

    - a vehicle load capacity of 1,250 lbs
    - Tow capacity w/o tow pck of 3,500 lbs.
    - Hitch tounge wgt w/o tow pack: 350 lbs.

    I now have a class III HITCH W 2" ball, but would expect to add an additional transmission cooler, and weight distribution system hitch. Anything else!

    My antisipated trips from Pensacola Fl area would most often include Atlanta, Augusta Ga; probably a visit to Virginia Beach via Jax Fl; could include the Shannadoa (sp) Park in Virgina mountains; and certainly a trip to Alburquerky (sp) NM to visit son and fly.

    I hope to improve my 4 cyc comfort level before finalizing my camper purchase decision. I have never towed a travel trailer before, and find all of the weight requirement standards confusing...

    Antisipated Casita camper trailer specs:
    16' 17'
    - Overall width: 6' 8" 6' 8"
    - Dry camper weight: 2,065 lbs 2,385 lbs
    - Dry hitch weight: 255 lbs 365 lbs
    - Tire size: 14" 14"
    - Axle capacity: 3,500 lbs 3,500 lbs

    If I cannot expect to tow either of the above, I will have to consider the 13'...

    Thanks for your help
  2. Jul 19, 2008 at 7:09 PM
    concrete jedi

    concrete jedi Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2007
    Rochester N.Y
    06 Tacoma 4 door indigo blue
    Broken and scratched tailgate, cracked rear tail light lens, coffee stain in driver seat.
    Looks like you're right at the max, if you had trailer brakes and a 5 speed I would feel a little better, you might want to consider the 13' .
  3. Jul 19, 2008 at 7:17 PM

    Brunes abides.

    May 31, 2008
    First Name:
    08 Red/Graphite and Satin Black
    Inside: Tint, Wet Okole 1/2 Piped Red/Black Covers, Black Weathertech Digital Fit Mats, URD Short Throw w/ TWM Weighted Knob, USA Spec iPod adapter. Outside: 4300K Retro w/ Angel Eyes and Red Shrouds, 5000K Blazer Fog Light Retrofit, Debadge, Bed Locking Handle, Satin Black Rims Performance: TRD/Steigmeier Blower w/ 2.7 Pulley. 668 Injectors and 320 LPH AEM Fuel pump. URD UCON and 7th Injector. DTLT Headers, URD Y-Pipe, Wicked Flow Muffler. Suspension: Both: OME Shocks Front: 886X's and TC UCAs Rear: Dakars Armor: Relentless Front Bumper Relentless High Clearance Rear w/ Tire/Rotopax Swing Out Relentless Front, Mid, and TCase skids BAMF Diff Skid Recovery and Spares: Fullsize Spare Tire 2x2 gal Rotopax 1x1 gal Rotopax 1x1 gal Water Rotopax Warn 9.5XP-S Winch Hi-Lift Extreme 60" Ironman Off-Road Recovery Kit
    If I'm reading that right the 17 is outta your reach cause of the tounge weight. The 16' is do-able as far as weight is concerned.

    Looking at your travel plans tho- If you load your truck up like that- you are going to get murdered on MPG and wear and tear on the engine (like trying to go up to the VA Mtns).

    I'd seriously consider the 13' trailer with a good set of electronic trailer brakes.

    Take a good read thru the Towing Bible too- It'll help decipher the weight requirements and good technique for you.
  4. Jul 19, 2008 at 10:32 PM

    camsbored Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    08 PreRunner DC/Sport/LB
    Kenwood DNX8120, Homelink mirror, Valentine One hardwire
    Don't forget that fresh water, LP, and gear can add a lot of weight too.

    In my experience pulling a 2,500 lb boat with a 1st-gen 4cyl was doable, but not an enjoyable experience... I wouldn't have wanted to do that for much more than a few hundred miles, max. With OD off on the 4-speed auto keeping up highway speeds is not too bad, but revving the engine that high all the way across the country doesn't sound appealing to me.

    Maybe someone with experience towing 3000+ lb trailers long distances with the 4cyl can chime in?
  5. Jul 20, 2008 at 5:38 AM

    maverick491 Towing Guru

    Apr 30, 2007
    South Jersey
    07 4x4 Access Cab, TRD off road, 6 cyl, 6 spd
    Activator III brake controller, Extang Fulltilt toneau, Factory bed mat, Extra D-rings in the bed, 2ndary air filter removed, Garmin Ique GPS, Eco-2, AFE Pro Dry-s filter, USASPEC PA12-toy, Pioneer 3-way speakers, SG II on Blendmount, Gulf States Alarm added.
    Are we talking about a 5 lug base truck or a 6 lug pre-runner?

    In either case, to your tongue weight you need to add the two 20 lb lp bottles that are mounted on the tongue, so that's anotther 60-70 lbs of tongue weight. 40lbs of propane plus the weight of the bottles, rack and cover. The trailer specs out with a bettery, though I am not sure from the pictures as to where it is mounted, so it could be tongue weight or it could be in the coach somewhere.

    You have either a 17 or 25 gallon fresh water tank plus grey and black holding tanks depending on model and options chosen, the point to that is that water and sewage is heavy.

    From an RVers perspective I like the 17' Freedom Deluxe with all the options, but realistically I think that may be out of the range of abilities of a 4 cyl tacoma, though the rounded shape of the trailer may help you aerodynamically a little more than my flat nose trailer helps me.

    You WILL absolutely need a brake controller, trans cooler and weight distribution hitch with sway controll. Have the brake controller and trans cooler put in, then go to the rv dealer and have them fill up the fresh water tank and grey and bblack tanks with water, and take it for a test tow, and see if you think the truck can safely manage it, but be advised that when you run that close to max ratings is when accelerated wear and other bad shit happens, so you may want to consider the smaller unit, or even a hybrid trailer from another manufacturer.

    Check the towing bible for more detailed information.

  6. Jul 20, 2008 at 7:57 AM

    ssahama [OP] New Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    Pace FL
    Tacoma Access 4 cyc auto
    bed cab 200 - 300 lbs
    I appreciate all of your responses.

    Ever so slowly the facts re my 4 cyc tow capabilities are seeping in. Need to spend additional time reading what you folks, and others, have previously posted about similiar subjects. Meanwhile, seems now that towing a 17' Casita is out of consideration, but will continue to consider the 16' for a while. (All three sizes include trailer breaks).

    I am adding here the 13' Casita camper trailer specs for comparison:

    13' 16' 17'
    - Overall width: 6' 8" 6' 8" 6' 8"
    - Dry camper weight: 1,785 lbs 2,065 lbs 2,385 lbs
    - Dry hitch weight: 245 lbs 255 lbs 365 lbs
    - Tire size: 14" 14" 14"
    - Axle capacity: 2,200 lbs 3,500 lbs 3,500 lbs

    No real difference in hitch weight betw 13' and 16', and considerable difference in relative size for the 16'; hope there is a realistic way to stay with the 16'...

    Thanks again!
  7. Aug 24, 2009 at 8:10 PM

    amadorj Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    ABQ, New Mexico
    99 PreRunner SR5
    Doug Thorley Headers Jardine Exhaust Bilstein's Struts/Shocks
    I've got a 1999 Tacoma PreRunner 2.7L with auto transmission. I've made some mods to include Doug Thorley Headers, Jardine CATBACK exhaust, Bilstein shocks and a Transmission Cooler. I'm pulling a 17' Casita LD and so far so good. I turn off the OD and turn on the tow button which makes the engine work harder but gets you up the hills. I was looking at a WD system but think I'll go with the Air Bags (Firestone) instead per the recommendation of Camping World. The only other power addition may be a SuperCharger (LCE) and that should top it off. NOTE - that I'm at 5,000 ft. elevation here in New Mexico (been up to 8,000) so every little horse in that motor counts.

    The only other precaution I would add is travel with minimal water in the Casita and keep your weight down (don't load up heavy). So far I'm fairly pleased with the choice of the Tacoma (2.7L) and the Casita 17 LD. Good luck!!!

    "the ox is slow but the earth is patient"

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