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Cargo Weight Concerns

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by doober831, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Mar 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM
    #1
    doober831

    doober831 [OP] New Member

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    Truckee, CA
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    Hi there,

    This is my first post here so hello.

    I'm looking to get a slide in pop up camper for my 04' Tacoma 4x4 TRD 5 speed but I'm a little concerned about the weight. In my manual it states (in reference to campers) that the cargo weight capacity for my truck (accounting for all options and two passengers) is only 750#. The campers I'm looking at weigh from 750-1000 dry, not counting all the gear I'd load. I'm worried about overloading my truck.

    I don't do much wheeling, unless you count getting home in deep snow all winter (this poor winter being an exception). Besides that I mainly use the truck as a DD and only occasionally haul heavy loads. I do haul heavy loads a few hundred miles a few times a year and if I get the camper will likely haul that around maybe once a month for a weekend trip. I'm getting the camper for a month long road trip that will be all highway with maybe a few dirt roads here and there but no serious wheeling.

    I'm looking to find out what types of suspension (or other) upgrades I should perform to allow my truck to handle the heavy load of camper + gear but without sacrificing the ride quality when the truck isn't loaded. Since I don't really do much wheeling and definately nothing to serious, perfomance in that realm isn't my priority. I'm more concerned with increased cargo weight capacity and maintaining a comfortable ride when unloaded.

    From what I've gathered from reading this forum and others the main suggestions people make are a leaf pack (OME seems to be the most popular) or Firestone airbags. Do I need both or is this a one of the other situation. Is that all I would need to do or would i need new shocks too?

    With the leaf pack (which product # for my truck? i've heard a few passed around) would my unloaded ride be substantially stiffer? Do I need to upgrade any suspension up front? If so, what?

    Does anyone have a camper like this? If so, what kind a gas mileage are you getting? What do you get without the camper?

    Lastly (for now at least) do I need to worry about frame or axel strength? Sorry for the novel post, I just figured details are good and I mind as well get as much in as once as I could think of. Thanks in advance.

    Travis.
     
  2. Mar 9, 2012 at 10:43 PM
    #2
    Dustyroades

    Dustyroades Well-Known Member

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    Edit: Sorry, I totally misread your post with my earlier response (deleted) as you are not looking for a trailer. IMO you will be overloading your truck with a slide in camper. You can do things to make it ride better but you will still be overloading the frame, bearings etc. Most people with slide in campers have at least a 3/4 ton truck.
     
  3. Mar 10, 2012 at 1:52 AM
    #3
    n0ms

    n0ms Well-Known Member

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    Never seen a Tacoma driving around with a camper of this type.
     
  4. Mar 10, 2012 at 1:56 AM
    #4
    LAoffroadin

    LAoffroadin BURY ME WITH MY TACO!!

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    i dunno man thats a lot of weight on that vehicle cant say ive seen or would do it
     
  5. Mar 10, 2012 at 4:02 AM
    #5
    RAT PRODUCTS

    RAT PRODUCTS RAT Products

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    I'm concerned about your concerns. Don't do it. I've hauled a half ton of rock but it was dangerous.
     
  6. Mar 10, 2012 at 6:23 AM
    #6
    BVCOTaco

    BVCOTaco Well-Known Member

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    Check this first:
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/104919-tacoma-haul-slide-camper.html

    I have seen people with pop up camper in the back of their tacoma's before. I am sure the truck with struggle a little with all of that weight. I used to have one in my GMC Sierra 2500 and it was noticable in that truck! But it can be done with upgraded suspension and airbags.

    For a truck the tacoma size, I would recommend getting one of these.
    http://flippac.com/
    There is a ton of information on the expedition forums on these on different ways to outfit the back of the truck. I had thought about buying one of these, but decided against it since I already have a pull behind camper.

    Good Luck and enjoy the road trip! You driving to AK or something?
     
  7. Mar 10, 2012 at 6:25 AM
    #7
    BVCOTaco

    BVCOTaco Well-Known Member

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  8. Mar 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM
    #8
    TacoTaro

    TacoTaro Well-Known Member

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    Two words: Frame Reinforcing

    I would do that or you will bend the frame. It's a known issue that can be fixed by adding some precut steel plates. There are a few companies that make them.
     
  9. Mar 10, 2012 at 5:19 PM
    #9
    Stew

    Stew Well-Known Member

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  10. Mar 11, 2012 at 10:16 AM
    #10
    TacomaJPP

    TacomaJPP To secure peace, is to prepare for war

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    I think you may want to box the frame and beef up the leaf pack.

    However, I wouldn't pick a Tacoma as a truck for having a bed camper on, several reasons:

    1) They payload of the bed and rear suspension isn't really conducive for that weight.
    2) These trucks drive for crap when loaded heavily in the bed.
    3) The beds are small, hence the camper will be small and uncomfortable.
    4) The trucks (even 3.4L) aren't powerhouses. I would hate to drive that around all the time, pulling hills etc. If you end up pulling a trailer of any type this would be compounded.
     
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