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Newbie Tow Help

Discussion in 'Towing' started by PatentedFunk, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Oct 13, 2011 at 3:13 AM
    #1
    PatentedFunk

    PatentedFunk [OP] Member

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    Hey all, Should be picking up my new Tacoma here any day now and enjoying these forums with great info, so thanks in advance for any responses.

    I will be occasionally pulling a 16 ft trailer with some weight in it, totaling 4,000 +/- pounds and just looking for some checklist items that I need to consider immediately, and perhaps future wise....total newbie to trucks/trailer/hauling.

    Still shopping for a truck, but assuming it does not come with a tow package (the one I am looking at pulling the trigger on does not) what do I need to do immediately and how much of an investment am I looking at?



    P.
     
  2. Oct 13, 2011 at 7:17 AM
    #2
    Terminous

    Terminous Member

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    I would certianly reconsider buying a truck without the tow package if you plan to haul that kind of weight. With the tow package you get an engine and transmission cooler, frame mounted hitch, and a pre-wired 7 way light plug and pre wired brake controller hook up. You did not mention how many miles you will be towing, but all of the above are necessary for dependable towing. You also want the V6 engine.
     
  3. Oct 13, 2011 at 7:19 AM
    #3
    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    If you want to tow 4,000 +/- pounds and have not signed on the dotted line yet, you should immediately stop even considering any truck without the tow package. :)
    Believe me, you'll thank us for that later.

    Get the tow package with your new truck!

    Besides what Terminous has said, the tow package adds a bigger battery and alternator.

    The Tacomas without the tow package are rated at 3,500lbs, and that's what it will be no matter what you add to the truck. The Tacomas with the tow package are rated at 6,500lbs.
     
  4. Oct 13, 2011 at 7:26 AM
    #4
    Tacoma Mike

    Tacoma Mike 42 Year Toyota Master/ASE Master Tech.

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    Listen to this.
     
  5. Oct 13, 2011 at 7:46 AM
    #5
    TACODACKS

    TACODACKS Forging Elite Fitness

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    Agree with everyone above. Get the towing package. It's the best 500-700 dollars you will spend on your truck.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2011 at 7:48 AM
    #6
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Agreed. Get the tow package so the sticker on the door jamb says you're legal.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2011 at 9:30 AM
    #7
    PatentedFunk

    PatentedFunk [OP] Member

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    Thanks all...

    I am buying used, so is it not possible to upgrade a truck without the tow package with the necessary equipment?...if so, please let me know what needs to be done!

    I plan on towing those large loads 4,000+/- every once in a while in the 20 mile range on flat highway only.

    I will regularly be pulling 1,500 pounds with a smaller trailer as well, and needing to go up steep incline as well.

    My problem is an old friend who runs a used car department has a nice Taco he can get a nice "friend" price on....no tow package tho! :(
     
  8. Oct 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM
    #8
    PatentedFunk

    PatentedFunk [OP] Member

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  9. Oct 13, 2011 at 5:20 PM
    #9
    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    I would wait until I get one with the tow package.
    No, you can't raise the tow rating by putting the stuff on after the fact. Some of it would be difficult / expensive to add anyway.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2011 at 5:40 PM
    #10
    Whiskeyjack

    Whiskeyjack Member

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    Here's something else to consider. When a person tries to upgrade a light duty truck to tow in excess of its listed tow capacity, they also need to make sure that their tires are up to the task. Towing 4000 lbs. with P rated tires is not prudent, and many non tow package trucks come with P rated tires. I've towed a few times without LT tiires and it makes a huge difference in towing stability under load. Passenger rated tires just don't have the sidewall strength to enable you to tow loads safely.
     
  11. Oct 13, 2011 at 7:17 PM
    #11
    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    The P-rated tires that come with the Tacomas should be just fine as long as you stay within the specified tongue weight, GCWR, GVWR and axle ratings.
    You should not tow or load "in excess" of the ratings, and LT rated tires will not change that.
     
  12. Oct 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM
    #12
    lrak

    lrak Well-Known Member

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    Tow ratings are for warranty coverage. If you are buying a used vehicle that is probably not an issue. You get the same tires with and without the tow package, so there is no difference there. There is nothing illegal about towing more than your tow rating, so there is no difference there.

    Most aftermarket hitches are class III (5000lbs) while the factory hitch is class IV (6500lbs), so you would be limited that way.

    You MUST have brakes for towing that much weight. Unless the trailer has surge brakes you'll have to add a 7-pin connector.

    In the long run its a lot cheaper and easier to buy a truck with the tow package. I personally want all the other things that the tow package comes with even for short tows. It doesn't take long to heat things up on a hot summer day while towing. Why risk overheating your engine or transmission when you can do it right the first time?
     
  13. Oct 17, 2011 at 12:32 PM
    #13
    lrak

    lrak Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever had a vehicle that had the tow rating on the sticker? You know the door sticker is like a mattress tag and the end consumer can remove it, right? You know can exceed the tow rating and still be prefectly legal, right?
     
  14. Oct 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM
    #14
    sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure you are correct here. No tow rating on the sticker, but payload and GVWR, which are important for towing.
    http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm
    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/towing/122263-towing-laws-by-state/

    Watch the GVW column, that will translate to towing weight, tongue weight, etc.
    Besides "legal" (in terms of state law) it's a safety hazard for yourself and your family when you tow over the rating, and you are at the mercy of the court and the prosecuting lawyer should you cause damage or injury (or worse) to somebody else towing overweight, no matter of state law. It becomes a matter of negligence at that point.


    I disagree. That is a very risky position to take.
     
  15. Oct 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM
    #15
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I would love to see your proof of this... If you're gonna make claims like that then be prepared to back them up.

    :popcorn:
     
  16. Oct 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM
    #16
    lrak

    lrak Well-Known Member

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    The tow package does not increase the GVW and it actually reduces payload since the tow package includes a heavier battery, additional coolant, and additional transmission fluid.
     
  17. Oct 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM
    #17
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Then why do they have different GVCWR? Put your money where your mouth is... stop spewing ridiculous crap unless you have something to back it up. Vehicles have weight ratings for a reason, you can't just choose to ignore them at will.

    GCVWR w/ Tow package = 11,100 lbs
    GCVWR w/out Tow Package = 8,100 lbs

    Towing Capacity w/ Tow Package = 6,400 lbs
    Towing Capacity w/out Tow Package = 3,500 lbs

    Straight from Toyota's website
     
  18. Oct 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM
    #18
    lrak

    lrak Well-Known Member

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    How about you prove it is illegal like a prosecutor would have to?

    It may be illegal to exceed axle ratings or tire ratings. The "tow rating" is a transmission warranty issue.

    Most people have an idea on recreational towing laws and say the law is what "common sense" would lead you to believe. However, the laws are written differently. There are unending threads on this. For example, here are 3900 posts in one thread dealing with what is actually legal or not when it comes to towing. If you want to read it, note which side the law enforcement officers take in the debate...

    http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/20577181.cfm
     
  19. Oct 17, 2011 at 1:40 PM
    #19
    lrak

    lrak Well-Known Member

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    Yes. That is the transmission warranty rating.

    The DOT (which actually counts) calculates the GCWR as the registered GVWR of the tow vehicle plus the registered GVWR of the trailer.
     
  20. Oct 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM
    #20
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I just started reading through that forum and it is an interesting debate. This is one of the more thought out responses and I'm assuming the one you're quoting referring to the sticker as a matress sticker. I agree the sticker does not have to be on the vehicle but based on what this guy said, I'm good up to 20k lbs... There's no way those federally mandated limits are the only think governing what can be towed by a vehicle. If I hook my Tacoma up to a 10k lb tandem axle trailer and get into an accident because I couldn't stop, I can promise you they'll slap an overloaded citation on me amongst others.

    Then you haven't done a search on the topic. I have responded on this topic several times. I've responded so many times that I've about given up responding to anything involving weights. The topic is brought up every second Tuesday and everytime someone responds who has no knowledge of the laws but just repeats the same old campfire stories which are flat out wrong.
    I am a retired state police commander. I commanded a district which had the highest fine producing fixed scales in the state. In additiona I was one of 2 of the first Troops in the state to be certified as motor carrier safety inspectors. By IL statute only the ISP has the authority to conduct MCS inspections. I taught truck weight and MCS law at our academy. Over the years I weighed a lot of trucks. I also weighed a lot of RVs of various styles, not because of the law but because the RVers asked to be weighed to have their loading checked. Never ever saw any of them even come close to approaching max legal weights.
    Simple answer to your question. The sticker on your truck is placed there by the manufacturer. It's like the tag on your mattress. It's required by law to tell the consumer what is in that product. After sales that sticker doesn't have to remain on the vehicle and there are a lot of vehicles legally on the road today which no longer has the sticker because of body repair, etc. The manufacturers do not make the laws. Think about this too. Do you think every Troop or weigh master out there has memorized what all the manufacturers stickers say on every style of truck made? Then toss into the mix 4X4 v 4X2, same model trucks but with different engines, same model trucks but with different axle ratings, or same model trucks but just different years. We don't care what the sticker says or even if there is a sticker. What the manufacturers put on that sticker is not law, it's just a to let the consumer know what that particular vehicle's design specs are.
    The max weight laws are generally 20K on a single axle, 34K on a tandum axle and gross is 80K. These are federally mandated limits. I say "generally" because gross depends on the bridge length of your vehicle (distance between the front and rear axle) and the number of axles. The 34K can also vary depending the distance between the tandum axles. It could be more. Weight limits may also be posted less than the max on certain roads.
    As an RVer you don't have to worry about exceeding the 20K single axle, 34K tandum axle, and 80K gross. There's no way you are going to be anywhere close to any of those numbers. Think about it. On your 5er you put 16" E range tires on a 5K or 6K rated axle. Your suspension and tires wouldn't handle 20K or 34K loads. And no way are you getting anywhere close to 20K on the steer or drive axle on your pickup. Your Big Country doesn't even come close to approaching 34K on the tandums. Your entire rig is likely to be about 20K total. You could not load your 5er and 2500 with enough toys to get close to exceeding the weight limits.
     
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