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Need receiver hitch?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by missingthenw2001, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Apr 10, 2007 at 3:12 PM
    #1
    missingthenw2001

    missingthenw2001 [OP] New Member

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    I have a 2001 PreRunner with 4cyl engine (yes, I know regret not buynig the real 4x4 with 6clyl engine). Penny wise but pound foolish

    I have the SR5 package which features a chrome bumper. I just bought a pop up camper which weighs about 3,200 lbs loaded. Its close but under the towing ratings for the truck.

    My question is can I just stick a 2" ball on the hitch hole in the bumper and tow the trailer OR do I need to buy/install a receiver hitch? I have a wiring harness hooked up already.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. Apr 10, 2007 at 3:28 PM
    #2
    Dust Devil

    Dust Devil Well-Known Member

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    Well now all you have to do is figure out the tounge weight.

    you should be OK as far as gross weight is concerned.

    I would put a hitch on it regardless.
     
  3. Apr 10, 2007 at 4:32 PM
    #3
    MarkC

    MarkC Carolina Alliance: Warheads On Foreheads Division

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    Yokota AB, Fussa-Shi, Japan
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    Put a hitch on it!! you wouldn't want to mess up that pretty crome bumper! and be carful towing, I have a 99 2.7L and pulling my 2,500lbs horse trailer has takin it's toll on my suspension
     
  4. Apr 10, 2007 at 4:35 PM
    #4
    missingthenw2001

    missingthenw2001 [OP] New Member

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    According to manuf specs, tongue weight is for my pop-up camper model is 351 lbs. empty.

    Loaded, it would be slightly higher.
     
  5. Apr 10, 2007 at 4:54 PM
    #5
    kilo

    kilo Solo Member

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    custom sliders, 3" Old Man Emu lift, onboard air, custom surf-rod mount, custom bed rack, ARB bumper, Budbuilt fuel tank skid-plate
    I would never tow anything with stock bumper! Doesn't matter what size vehicle you are towing with.
     
  6. Apr 12, 2007 at 1:22 PM
    #6
    backwoodking

    backwoodking Well-Known Member

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    Thousand Oaks/Southern CA
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    3.4 V6 Deck Plate and Cut Turn-Down
    Deck Plate, Hitch, Cut Turn-Down Exhaust, Tint, Clear Corners, Shell, Full Size bed in the pickup, Hopefully More Soon
    I agree I just towed my boat around the block on the bumper and i took a turn a little to sharp and the tongue of the trailer dented the bumper. I got a receiver and towed the boat 6 hrs each way and it was a champ. Granted I have the 3.4 V6. Good Luck
     
  7. Apr 13, 2007 at 5:41 AM
    #7
    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    Definitely go with a receiver setup! Bumpers are a last resort or "in case of emergency". I tow a 1100 lb sailboat + trailer setup or a 1900 lb motorcycle trailer + 2 bikes with my 2.7L. Receiver is a must! Plus it drops the tongue height which makes for a smoother ride all the way around...
     
  8. Jul 27, 2007 at 12:28 PM
    #8
    scuzz

    scuzz Member

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    X2 for sure, it's better to be safe than sorry.


    ...and the flatter (more level) your trailer is the better gas mileage you'll get.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2007 at 2:50 PM
    #9
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    When I bought my 2004 SR5 4x4 4 cyl. I had a pop-up camper. I couldn't even get the tongue of the trailer to reach the bumper.

    The best way to tow is with a receiver. You can choose the correct drawbar height so that you tow perfectly level, or slightly tongue down. In that position your trailer will track the truest, and be the most stable, particularly at highway speeds.

    Also, with a receiver and drawbar you can use a sway controll system, and depending on how much highway towing you do in the presence of of semi's that may well be something you will find you want.

    I have pulled some form or RV or other for 7 years now, totaling out to well over 100,000 miles of towing and RV experience.

    Any questions just ask.
     
  10. Aug 14, 2007 at 10:28 PM
    #10
    Paulywallnutz

    Paulywallnutz Active Member

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    Bakersfield Cali.
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    6" Pro Comp lift, Billet Grill, JVC AVX-780 head unit, B/U camera with bluetooth and GPS
    Go with the hitch, it's best to avoid trouble than try to get out of it.
    Just my .02 :cool:
     
  11. Sep 15, 2007 at 4:44 AM
    #11
    krlang

    krlang NewEnglander

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    Chrome Bumpers F&R, Grille & Corner Lights, Wheel Skins, Red/Clear LED taillights, Remote start, PDL, Cruise, K&N, All Kenwood, DNX-5120 6.1" NAV/TRAFFIC/DTV/DVD/XM/BLUETOOTH/USB/IPOD/SUB/rear cam, Tint, Air Band radio, Class 3 Hitch with 4/7 pin harness, Transmission Cooler, Red Top Battery, "Deck Plate" mod.
    I have a 2WD 03 with the 2.4 and I just installed a class 3 hitch to tow a teardrop trailer. Trailer weight is only 800 lbs and tongue weight was like 80.
    AND I STILL WOULDNT USE THE BUMPER!

    I bought a Valley industries tube type hitch off of Amazon.com. It was like $130, I could not beat it anywhere else, then I saw the $30 credit for applying for a credit card. I got my hitch shipped for $100!
    Going even further with my frugalness, I bought a ball mount kit at Wal-mart for $29, it has a 2" ball and mount, locking pin and a handy dandy case to keep it all in. I finished it off with a factory hitch plug from the local dealer.

    I got a hoppy connector out of the clearance section at Wal-mart for $20 and then I installed a 4 prong to 4/7 prong adapter underneath, I mounted it vertically onto the bumper bottom mounts and it isnt visible, but easily accessible.

    This thing is great, I mounted it in about an hour, I had changed the bumper recently so everything was clean under there, the box reciever is the only part that is visible, mounted snugly below the bumper. I like it!
     
  12. Sep 17, 2007 at 4:28 AM
    #12
    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    Hey, Adam (maverick491):

    I saw a Mazda B2500 towing an enclosed 8 foot trailer in San Antonio on Friday. We had gotten a bit of rain, and he locked up his brakes in the turn lane next to me and my boss (we were in his 06' Tundra). I watched as he started sliding sideways towards the Tundra. As the trailer barely stopped a half inch away from my door, I thought to myself, "...if he had a brake controller, he would have had 6 wheels stopping all that weight instead of 4."

    He wasn't going that fast, but he still could have done some real damage. It didn't make my boss feel any better.
     
  13. Sep 24, 2007 at 2:51 PM
    #13
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    I am not in the habbit of defending anyone, and you are right, it likely was a case of someone who just figured all they needed to tow safely was a truck and a trailer, but not all 8 footers come equiped with brakes, so perhaps he was a morron who didn't have a brake controller, and perhaps he did and it just wasn't set correctly (setting them correctly to the load takes experience or trial and error), and still again perhaps it is the trailer manufacturer who was the morron, but just the same I am glad that you, your boss, and his tundra are all alright. And I am glad to have been an inspiration to you on the subject of towing safety. :)
     
  14. Sep 26, 2007 at 5:27 PM
    #14
    amadorj

    amadorj Member

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    ABQ, New Mexico
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    Doug Thorley Headers Jardine Exhaust Bilstein's Struts/Shocks
    I thinking about buyng a trailer with a GVWR of 3325 pulling with my Toyota PreRunner 2.7L. The question is the 2.7L strong enough to handle this job? Let me know your thoughts. :)
     
  15. Sep 26, 2007 at 5:58 PM
    #15
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    Can you do it? Yes. Will you enjoy the experience? Likely not. Here's the deal. The 2.7L has a tow rating of 3500lbs. In point of fact the 2.7l in my 04 tacoma is what I bought my current trailer for (3750GVWR, and I never intended to run with the water tank or waste tanks full) . However, the 12 mile drive from the rv dealership to my house was all it took to convince me that I needed the V6.

    Now with that said. I suspect it is more a case of air resistance with a full hard sided travel trailer than the trailer's actual weight. So if you are talking about a pop-up camper, then you would likely be fine. If you are talking about a cargo or motorcycle trailer that is only 6 feet wide or something smaller than a standard RV then you might be fine as well. But a full 7 1/2 foot wide, by 10 1/2 foot tall RV by however long, I just don't think you will enjoy the trips, particularly if you try to run the air.

    If you can give me more particulars about your proposed trailer I can offer you more detailed information.
     
  16. Sep 26, 2007 at 8:09 PM
    #16
    amadorj

    amadorj Member

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    ABQ, New Mexico
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    I'm looking to purchase a Fun Finder X T-139 which is 3320 GVWR and hitch weight of 220 for the PreRunner 2.7L.

    It's 14.9 long and 84" wide and 8'2" tall.

    Your thoughts?

    J. Amador
     
  17. Sep 27, 2007 at 4:36 AM
    #17
    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    I don't recommend that. I regularly tow 2500 - 4000 lbs with my 2.7L PreRunner. 2500 is no big deal, but when you get up to 4000 lbs you loose your top end. The 2.7L is made for economy and light power, not hauling. It does a good job of hauling up to 3000 lbs, but beyond that you will start to run into issues at highway speeds.

    At 3320 lbs, you are pushing the limits. That being said - I noticed that you have a 1999 PreRunner 2.7L. Althought the old 2.7L is very similar to the 2.7L I have, you lose 9 HP and 3 ft/lbs of torque. It doesn't sound like much, but add on the fact that your redline is lower, and you lose quite a bit of your torque range. The newer 2.7L VVTi engine is much more capable of towing, but I still wouldn't want to regularly tow over 3000 lbs.

    If towing a trailer of that size and weight is a requirement, I would move up to a 3.4L 1st Gen Tacoma or a 4.0L 2nd Gen Tacoma. You have to figure in that you won't be towing just the trailer. Add on water, food, gear, passengers, and other miscellaneous stuff - then you have far beyond what a 2.7L was made to do.

    Like Adam said - you can do it, but you probably won't like it.
     
  18. Sep 27, 2007 at 5:50 AM
    #18
    thenrie

    thenrie Well-Known Member

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    You also need to consider tire size and diff ratio in the mix. With a 3.73 rear and 35 inch tires, you aren't going to tow anything with a 2.7L! On the other hand, if you put 13" wheels on the pickup and have a 4.88 rear, you can tow a house with a 2.7, but you won't get anywhere fast! Best bet is to have stock-size tires, a rear diff somewhere between 3.91 and 4.30, and stay within towing weight recommendations from the manual. A pickup with a "tow package" will normally give you a rear diff ratio in the 4's, and that will be much easier on your tranny. There's a post on the tech forum re rear diff ratios that has a table so you can determine what rear-end you have from the numbers on the door frame sticker.
     
  19. Sep 27, 2007 at 8:54 AM
    #19
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    Ok, I looked up your prospective trailer, and here are my detailed and complete thoughts.

    First in respect to your rear axle ratio, a point raised by thenrie. depending on cab/tranny configuration you have anywhere from a 3.91:1 to a 4.30:1 and I am going to assume that you are still running the stock pre-runner tire size since you do not mention bigger tires in your profile. So with something 3.91:1 or greater and roughly 31" tires, it is not your final drive that is going to cause you the problems.

    I looked at Fun Finders before buying my Jayco, so I am familiar with the trailer you are looking at, as well as the things that you need to add in to the specs that you gave me.

    You prospective trailer is 14'9" long, 7' wide, and 8'2" high. (to the top of the roof. Remember to add 12" to that if you have AC) It has a hitch weight of 230 lbs, and a dry weight of 2107 lbs, and a GVWR of 3330 lbs.

    GVWR does not mean what the trailer weight, it means what it is allowed to weigh after you put all your stuff in it. Dry weight is what the trailer actually weight before any liquids, options or stuff is put into it. So now you're thinking wow 2100 lbs "I should be fine."

    Not quite to that 2107 lbs you have to add some things. In the case of a Fun Finder quite a few things as their spec sheets are for a totally base unit with no options.

    • Fresh water tank 25 gal @ 8.33 lbs/gal = 208 lbs
    • Hot water heater tank 6 gal @ 8.33 lbs/gal = 50 lbs
    • Single LP bottle 5 gal @ 4.24 lbs/gal = 20 lbs (add this directly to your hitch weight too)

    Now you are at 2385 lbs with a hitch weight of 250 lbs. wet, but still un-optioned.

    Add to that weight any of the following options if installed:

    • Air conditioner
    • Awning
    • Spare tire
    • Microwave
    • Outside shower
    • Front overhead cabinets
    • Outside BBQ grill
    • Dual LP bottles with automatic regulator

    I don't pretend to know what all of these options weigh in at, but I suspect that it would put you at close to 2600 lbs wet and optioned. You have a hitch weight of 250 lbs (possibly more depending on where in the coach the fresh water tank and or hot water heater are.)

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

    I'd lay even money that you'd be sitting right around 3000 lbs wet and ready to camp. Your truck has a tow rating of 3500 lbs.

    My trailer is 19'11" long 7'6" wide and 9'10" high (to the top of the AC unit), has a dry weight of 3004 lbs, and a GVWR of 3750 lbs. When mine is wet and ready to camp it weight in at about 3500 lbs, and I usually only run with the fresh water tank half full.

    I did not feel that my 2004 2.7L was able to safely tow the trailer I bought. (read as, I did not feel it had the power to accelerate to avoid an accident if I needed it to, and would not be able to maintain speed on a grade. Espescially with the air on in the truck, and since camping generally takes place in the summer that was a factor)

    The long and the short of it is. You don't need to trust my calculations, or guess at the weight of the options. On the door to one of the cabinets in the trailer will be a weight and capacities sticker. It will give you the actuall as built and optioned weight for the unit you are looking at. Then to that you still have to add your water and propane, and your personal gear.

    As long as you have a receiver hitch on the truck any RV dealer worth a damn should let you take it for a test drive (or tow) WITH FULL FRESH AND GREY WATER TANKS!!! Don't worry about weight distribution or sway controll or even trailer brakes for your test drive. What you are looking for on the test drive is if the truck is able to accelerate, and maintain speed and such to your satisfaction. Make sure to attempt a 40-60mph acceleration as that is where you'll find out if you can punch it and get out of the way of something to avoid an accident.

    If the truck pulls the trailer ok, and it may well be able to, as it is potentially 500 lbs lighter than mine (wet and loaded) as well as shorter, narrower, and not as long, (therefor noticably less surface drag) then I'd say go ahead and buy it. If it does not perform then I would look more into a pop-up camper or a 3.4L or 4.0L truck. The last thing you want to do is have to "deal" with towing. Camping is about relaxing, and you can't relax if you are all stressed out from the trip, and not able to relax once you are there because all you can think about is "in 4 days I have to hitch back up and drive this beast again."

    That said, if the truck manages the load ok, then you ABSOLUTELY need a weight distribution hitch system (that will solve the massive rear end squat you saw as they lowered the trailer onto the truck for your test drive) (it will also solve the "porpising", the feeling of being on a trampoline that you felt on your test drive)

    A dual cam sway controll system (this will solve that feeling of the tail wagging the dog that you felt on your test drive when the wind blew or you got passed by a semi.)

    A brake controller and wiring (this will enable you to stop your rig once you get it up to speed.)

    Sorry it was long, but I wanted to be thorough. Any more questions just ask.
     
  20. Sep 27, 2007 at 3:09 PM
    #20
    amadorj

    amadorj Member

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    Doug Thorley Headers Jardine Exhaust Bilstein's Struts/Shocks
    All great info - appreciate the detailed response!

    J. Amador
     
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