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Seeking some advice on commuting...

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Oey12, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Apr 28, 2016 at 3:52 AM
    #1
    Oey12

    Oey12 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Joe
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    I have my second child on the way and my wife's RAV4 and my commuter RAV4 are just too small for our taste. We are planning on getting a 4Runner for her for safety and size reasons. We also decided we are not independently rich so it is time to go back down to two cars. I am going to start commuting (22,000 miles a year) with my (not for long) pristine low mileage 2012 dcsb. I love the truck and would drive into the ground before selling it. My question is for the guys with 8+ year old Tacos with keeping fairly good with general maintenance would you still put kids in the back and I occasionally tow large trailers for hours in a high mileage older vehicle? I tow a ATV trailer for about 1500 miles a year. I know reliability on these trucks is second to none but I would like to hear what other guys and girls with family's think who use their trucks for commuting and for pleasure (towing hunting kids). My plan is to drive the truck for 8 years what do you think? And how tight are the double cabs with two car seats (I am 5'5 175)?
     
  2. Apr 28, 2016 at 4:06 AM
    #2
    jake72

    jake72 Well-Known Member

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    That kind of miles and gas mileage, you would be better off buying a cheap car that gets 35 mpg, especially if you plan on commuting for more then a couple of years. Reliability wise no problem for a Tacoma.
     
  3. Apr 28, 2016 at 4:21 AM
    #3
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Never answer an anonymous letter

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    Largo Florida
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    Why not put the wife in the truck? Add a cap and it's suddenly similar to the 4 runner in function.

    Pick the best of the 2 RAVs to keep for your commuter, and sell the other RAV.

    Or sell both RAVs for an even more economical commuter. Pick the right one used and you'll still have no payments or much cash outlay. Prius, low mile Sonota/Elantra, etc.

    Commuting, assuming it's mostly highway, is the easiest miles on any vehicle. Tires are really about all that wear.

    With other options as you have, I'd never commute a Tacoma that much. Not that it will be a maintenance issue, but its a gas hog. And trust me. In that 8 year plan of yours, gas WILL go back up again.
     
  4. Apr 28, 2016 at 4:49 AM
    #4
    TacomaMike37

    TacomaMike37 Well-Known Member

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    From my experience having kids in the truck is manageable though but by no means comfortable ( its too tight with car seats, particularly rear facing). The rear seats on these trucks are cramped at best.

    On the comment of giving your wife the truck, ha. Zero chance 99.9% of women would want a pickup truck as their primary little kid hauler. Have her put the two kids in and out of that truck day in and day out and guaranteed she will divorce your ass.

    Really depends what you trade into. If you trade into a cheapo gas sipper then it makes sense, but if you go into a marginally better mpg vehicle it doesnt.

    Either way, the third RAV needs to go.
     
  5. Apr 28, 2016 at 5:29 AM
    #5
    SJC3081

    SJC3081 Well-Known Member

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    I use my truck for commuting,hunting , hauling ATVs and firewood. I have a three and one year old in huge Britax car seats with no issues. I'm 6'2" 350. I use 245/75/16 MS2s and get 20mpg highway easy.
     
  6. Apr 28, 2016 at 6:05 AM
    #6
    PackCon

    PackCon Well-Known Member

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    If I had kids, once they got to about 3ish, I'd be going for an F150. The Tacomas are just too small for kids/family. I don't want the backs of my seats ruined because they keep kicking the crap out of them. I'm used to a full-size though and it's hard to downsize after being spoiled.

    As far as a commuter vehicle you put high miles on and tow with, I think the Tacoma is your best bet. I have an F250 with just over 200K miles on it. I just replaced the suspension (only time any parts have been changed) for better towing and hauling. I would have no reservations about driving it that much (I put about the same mileage on my trucks as you). My Tacoma should be the same when it gets that old. Just take care of it and get to know the truck well.

    Sell the Rav 4's. My mom had one of those. Worst vehicle ever made.
     
  7. Apr 28, 2016 at 6:42 AM
    #7
    FrankNasti

    FrankNasti Well-Known Member

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    Anywhere the Army tells my wife to go.
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    The toddler and baby seat mod.
    I'd find a way to keep the Tacoma. Having traded in my Tacoma(AC) for a Forester, due to space kids, I find myself needing/wanting a truck. My wife never minded driving my Tacoma, maybe you should ask your wife's thoughts on her driving the truck before you start trading.
     
  8. Apr 28, 2016 at 6:53 AM
    #8
    127.0.0.1

    127.0.0.1 AKA ::1

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    get a Prius 3 for commuting
     
  9. Apr 28, 2016 at 6:56 AM
    #9
    PackCon

    PackCon Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^^You can buy a lot of fuel for the cost of another vehicle and its insurance. Just sayin.

    I got my Taco for better mileage over my 250. But lets be real, 28K and $50 a month for insurance could buy me a ton of gas LOL
     
  10. Apr 28, 2016 at 6:57 AM
    #10
    ChaseUA

    ChaseUA Well-Known Member

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    May not be the most stylish of vehicles but I would give a look at the Highlanders for a family vehicle over the 4Runner. The ones with the rear captain chairs will be great when the children get a little older and the ride is quiet and comfortable.

    As for commuting, I commuted nearly 30k miles the first year I had my 2010 Tacoma. It did OK, but gas mileage suffered on interstate driving (if your commute if 55-65 mph type of driving you would do much better). With that said, for your overall needs, commuting, towing etc. You will be hard pressed to find a vehicle thats going to be more reliable than the Tacoma.
     
  11. Apr 28, 2016 at 7:09 AM
    #11
    oldtoyotaguy

    oldtoyotaguy Well-Known Member

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    Tacoma's hold their value, even with high miles, but it is a gas guzzler by modern standards. I'd second the previous opinion about a hybrid Prius for the person with the longest commute. I wouldn't give a Tacoma to my partner and expect her to drive to shopping malls, in heavy traffic, and to kids events. The back seat is cramped if you have the front seats set back, and little ones have a tough time crawling in and out on their own. Life has a way of getting in front of personal priorities, and maybe a Tacoma is something that isn't practical in your life right now. Its tough to admit things like that though.
     
  12. Apr 28, 2016 at 9:32 AM
    #12
    SD Scott

    SD Scott Member

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    I was in a similar situation. I have a ’13 DC 2.7 PreRunner and it had been our main family vehicle since I bought it new. My kids are 5 and 3 and it has always had kid seats in the back. Yes , it is tight, but it is workable. My son loves to kick the back of the passenger seat and get it dirty. A few months ago we decided we needed something different for my wife than her Civic. We bought a used ’15 Caravan. Odysseys are ridiculously expensive given that my kids are always planning to destroy anything in sight. The Caravan is awesome for a family. Having the extra seats is great if you have relatives visiting or you bring a few extra kids home from school. Sliding doors are much easier to get newborns in the vehicle. So, given that I have a 90 mile daily commute, do I just drive the Civic? After a month of doing that, my answer was no. The gas savings does justify the added cost to own a 3rd car. At the end of the month, there is no “net” savings and it would be another car to maintain. Time is valuable when you have 2 kids. The only reason to justify having a dedicated commuter vehicle would be if you want to keep the mileage low on your Tacoma. For me, I decided that I would rather drive my Tacoma than a Civic.
     
  13. Apr 28, 2016 at 9:50 AM
    #13
    potstech

    potstech Well-Known Member

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    Wife just bought a Prius 3 and is getting 62 mpg. Beats her last car which was a 2005 Prius that got 50 mpg all the time with no problems what so ever. Keep the Taco, trade in a Rav 4 and enjoy the savings.
     
  14. Apr 28, 2016 at 11:29 AM
    #14
    127.0.0.1

    127.0.0.1 AKA ::1

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    ^I rented a 3 a while ago and it was a perfect runabout no problems whatsoever and I was stunned
    as how little gas it needed.
     
  15. Apr 28, 2016 at 4:02 PM
    #15
    Sugar Silva

    Sugar Silva Well-Known Member

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    My wife has a Prius. Taco/Prius = the perfect two vehicle combo in my opinion. I don't have to drive the hybrid on a daily basis but its damn nice to have that option for road trips.

    I have a 4 year old and he fits in the back seat of the taco without issue in his booster seat. I have seat covers and I don't allow him to wear shoes in the truck. I also don't allow him to kick the seat in front of him though that did take a little bit of training shall we say. Bottom line is, he fits and hasn't messed anything up back there at all. In fact, if I ask him what are the rules for riding in daddy's truck, he will answer.. "No eating, no shoes, and no touching the paint" He's a good kid lol
     
  16. Apr 28, 2016 at 4:08 PM
    #16
    Joe D

    Joe D .

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    Love my T4R and my old 2012 Tacoma but, the Highlander is bigger, more MPGs, cost about the same and has better crash test results. That said, the T4R is about bulletproof.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  17. Apr 28, 2016 at 4:16 PM
    #17
    lemons

    lemons LOCO 4X4

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    I too have Two children and bought a new 4Runner in 2013 because of that. I don't put crazy miles on my truck but did just move and now drive almost 60 miles a day on my moderately built 2007 Tacoma with no issues. I did just replace my wheel bearings because of the larger tires. Other than that 0 problems. I have no problems fitting a 10 year old and 2 year old in my Taco.
     
  18. Apr 29, 2016 at 7:19 AM
    #18
    Oey12

    Oey12 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Toytec 1/2 spacers, A.R.E Z, Firestone airbags
    Ultimately I wanna hang on to the truck because it's paid off and I know these are tough vehicles. It is far from an ideal commuter but it versatile enough for me. I simply cannot justify the extra cost of a 3rd vehicle any more especially with a child/soon to be children. It's nice having a big toy all for me but it's a waste. Thanks you all the input! And we are now giving the Highlander a serious look. It does seem to offer everything the 4Runner does outside of Offroad worthiness.
     
  19. Apr 29, 2016 at 9:11 AM
    #19
    TRDMountaineer

    TRDMountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Sell one RAV4 and buy something cheap with a 1ZZ 5-speed (Corolla, Matrix) that will get you 35 mpg and spare the fuel and depreciation of your Tacoma.
     
  20. Apr 29, 2016 at 9:15 AM
    #20
    totmacher

    totmacher automotive hypochondriac

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    Cut & broke off stuff. Prolific ziptie and tape usage.
    Drive what you like to drive. You'll be happier. I come 70 mile daily round trip. A double cab Tacoma fits 3 carseats if needed.
     

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