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SR5 towing/payload question

Discussion in 'Towing' started by DaveinMA, Jul 25, 2022.

  1. Jul 25, 2022 at 5:22 AM
    #1
    DaveinMA

    DaveinMA [OP] Member

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    Hi all,
    My wife and I have been looking at pop up campers for over a month now trying to find the best fit for us. We have found one which we really love but i'm on the fence about whether its a bit too much for my Tacoma. It has a towing capacity of 6400 lbs and the pop up weighs about 2550 so that doesn't seem like an issue to me. My concern is that the door jamb states my maximum cargo load is 990 lbs. The hitch weight on the trailer is stated as 330 lbs. When I add up weight of the family, hitch weight, dog etc I already reach 820 lbs. This doesnt even include propane, extra gear in the truck etc. We pack fairly light but I feel like this may be cutting it too close? My understanding is that Weight distribution hitches don't affect the hitch weight at all? I 'm curious what everyone's feedback would be here? Thanks so much in advance.
     
  2. Jul 25, 2022 at 5:38 AM
    #2
    Hunter gatherer

    Hunter gatherer Well-Known Member

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    You have done your due diligence and realize you are very close to max. You will be ok as far as how the truck drives ,just be conservative on your driving. No rally driving or speeding in the rain. The truck might sag a bit so some better springs in the rear would help drivability or air bags.
     
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  3. Jul 25, 2022 at 5:55 AM
    #3
    boston23

    boston23 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TW!
     
  4. Jul 25, 2022 at 5:58 AM
    #4
    Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster Thread Derailer

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    Heck yeah, another pop-up weirdo!

    Welcome to TW.


    The truck will pull it fine. As mentioned, it will sag, so look into some kind of suspension helper. I ran roadmaster springs for years, now I'm running an AAL. With a trailer that small, you don't need much.

    WDHs do technically shave weight from the hitch. However, because most of that weight is going towards the front axle (and a minority goes back to the trailer axle, but you don't know how much) you have to assume a net of 0 weight removed on paper. They do help, just don't use them to recalculate cargo load.

    Me personally, I know I've exceeded cargo by over 150 pounds while still being well under towing and gross combined capacities. It sucks, but that's the nature of the truck. Just be kind to your suspension when loaded down.

    Edit (PS) Swap to a lithium phosphate battery sooner than later. Holy cow that helped immensely with tongue weight.


    Hope to see you out there. The world needs more of us.

    PXL_20220414_015221037.jpg

    upload_2022-7-25_7-58-20.jpg
     
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  5. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:02 AM
    #5
    mic_sierra

    mic_sierra Toshiba HDDVD is the future

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    You should be fine. Having carried a roof top tent on stock suspension while off-roading, then upgrading to a 3500# off-road teardrop your ride quality will suffer when towing. Your Taco will do fine but the suspension will feel squishy like your grandma's Buick. My recommendation is, at a minimum, invest in some Sumo Springs, a Helper Spring like the Hellwig 980, or air bags to keep your Taco level when towing. You are also right on the edge of being legally required to use trailer brakes which means you will need to have a brake controller. Those would be the two things I would be thinking about if I were in your shoes.

    I did a write-up in my build thread that is more in-depth. It is my experience and my two cents.

    Having just upgraded to an OME Heavy kit (2886 springs in the front and Heavy Dakars in the back) I can say the ride quality is night and day compared to stock with a helper spring. I'm happy I towed 5k miles on stock because I have a basis of comparison now.

    Below: my setup earlier this year (stock tires, stock suspension with a pair of Hellwig 980 Helpers)IMG_3663.jpg
     
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  6. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:11 AM
    #6
    DaveinMA

    DaveinMA [OP] Member

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    Nice, Thanks for the feedback. Thats helpful. Also, this looks nearly identical to the rig I have my eyes on! We're looking at a 19' Flagstaff 228BHSE. I love the cargo rack that comes equipped on the front of it.
     
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  7. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:12 AM
    #7
    DaveinMA

    DaveinMA [OP] Member

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    Thanks so much for the feedback. Awesome setup. Roughly how much to replace springs would you say?
     
  8. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:13 AM
    #8
    DaveinMA

    DaveinMA [OP] Member

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    Thanks! Nice to see another Massachusetts poster :)
     
  9. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:15 AM
    #9
    Gen3TacomaOBX

    Gen3TacomaOBX Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 6112 front / 5100 rear shocks, Headstrong AAL, Firestone airbags, 4.88 gears, OME Carrier bearing drop kit, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, remote start, any-time-backup camera w/ front facing camera, Leer 100R shell (w/e-track single slot tie-down mounts for removable Yakima EasyTop), Husky liners, window tint, heated seat (passenger only.) Relentless bed rail brackets with QuickFists (shovel/axe/fire extinguisher.) Hondo Garage Un-holey vent mount. Anytime rear with front facing camera. Billet front seat risers. Viair 88p. 265/75r16 Goodyear Ultra-terrain tires. Custom Sliders (1.75" HREW tube w/ 3/16" base plates). Cat shields by CaliRaised. Custom front bumper (1/4" steel plate, 1.75" tube).
    Your truck will handle it just fine. I have a 16' Casita which weighs similarly and made multiple 700 mile trips w/lotsa camping gear bone stock before eventually adding Ride Rite Airbags. (Even had one trip with the trailer and a 400 lb motorcycle + gear in the bed before the airbags.. lotsa squat but the truck performed fine.)

    Your only problem with a totally stock Tacoma will be a bit of a squat in the rear so be aware that your headlights will be pointing at oncoming drivers at night.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  10. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:17 AM
    #10
    AllTacosFloat

    AllTacosFloat Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard :hattip:
     
  11. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:20 AM
    #11
    Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster Thread Derailer

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    206STSE owner here. Bought new in April 2017. Great campers. Be prepared for constant maintenance though.:cookiemonster:

    These articles are a little dated, but this website helped me learn how to shop for a pop-up (with actual opinions on which models are better and why) when I was looking around.

    https://robertssales.com/articles_tutorials/buyers_guide.html

    https://robertssales.com/articles_tutorials/not_all_dinettes_are_created_equal.html

    https://robertssales.com/articles_tutorials/our_thoughts.html
     
  12. Jul 25, 2022 at 6:25 AM
    #12
    mic_sierra

    mic_sierra Toshiba HDDVD is the future

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    I would caution you against completely replacing your stock leaf springs right away. At least get a few trips under your belt before you go for a complete upgrade to your springs. The great thing about Sumo Springs is that they aren't really springs - they are more like bump stops that behave like springs or an add-a-leaf (AAL). An add a leaf or helper spring bolts to your existing (stock) leaf pack to enhance and support your factory leaf pack. An air bag is similar to a sumo spring in that it mounts between your axle and the frame and the nice thing is that you can air up or air down depending on your load out. Keep in mind the 3 options above are to assist your stock leaf springs so they are easier on the wallet and less involved than replacing your stock leafs with something more robust.

    I paid less than $200 for my Hellwig 980s and if you go with that setup just be sure to buy from an authorized dealer (Summit Racing and one other suspension shop - NOT Amazon, as Hellwig will not warranty any purchase from a 3rd party reseller). Many members have Sumo springs and swear by them... I think you can get a pair for less than $100 and they are the easiest to install. The Hellwigs took me about an hour and a half just because I had to loosen the U bolts and drop the axle on each side to install the springs. Air bags will cost you a bit more - check out firestone - and of course you will need a compressor.

    My OME-005 kit was 1,600.00 and change + tax from 4WP and I upgraded my UCAs to SPCs. Keep in mind the OME-005 kit was 4 nitro charger shocks, front springs, rear leafs and all of the mounting hardware. You can buy the rear leaf springs on their own but I don't know the cost. Just keep in mind when shopping ARB/OME Dakar Leafs or Deavers or whatever, the thicker leaf springs will probably raise your rear at least 2 inches once the springs settle (initially it will be more like 3 inches). That is a hell of a lot of rake and if you increase ride height you will need rear shocks that can travel that additional 2 inches. Something to keep in mind when doing your research.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
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  13. Jul 25, 2022 at 7:44 AM
    #13
    DaveinMA

    DaveinMA [OP] Member

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    Thanks for all this. Greatly appreciated. I checked out the Sumo Springs after reading. They seem effortless to install and reasonably priced. If I end up with the trailer and the sag seems a little much ill likely try those first and see how it goes.
     
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  14. Jul 25, 2022 at 7:52 AM
    #14
    Gen3TacomaOBX

    Gen3TacomaOBX Well-Known Member

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    Just to add specifics.. an on-board compressor isn't necessary. Any bicycle pump can easily inflate the airbags.
     
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  15. Jul 28, 2022 at 6:59 PM
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    PatZ

    PatZ Active Member

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    Just to give my 2 cents. I have a Forest River pop-up with an 8' rack on the front. Weighs about 3500 lbs with the normal gear (sticker weight was 3300, I had it weighed at a scale) and when I load it up it can go over 4000 lbs with a TW ranging between 350-600 depending on how I load it. The payload rating of the Tacoma is hands down the biggest limiting factor that I have to watch out for. With a heavy TW I'm essentially limited to just me and my fiancé in the truck while loading as much as we can onto the trailer. It works and the weights check out, but it's by the skin of our teeth. Now that's with me carrying an ATV on the trailer as well.

    Probably the biggest thing to help manage the payload is to load as much as you can onto the trailer: clothes, gear, etc. The model you're looking has the rack, so take full advantage of it. TW will go up, but the full weight of your equipment won't count against the payload by doing that since it's shared between the trailer axle and tongue. The only thing I'll carry in the bed or cab are lightweight bulky items like folding chairs or clothes and pillows. Basically things that won't have a big impact on overall weight. The truck will manage it, but it's always something you're going to have to keep a close eye on. If you have kids, down the road when they get older and weigh more you might very well have to look into a truck with a higher capacity (I know I'll have to). Just load your gear towards the rear of the rack, if you need to take off the side rails (if you can, mine do) and move the propane tank to the back of the rack if you have to. As long as your TW isn't too light (9-11% IAW with handbook) you can manipulate it to take some of the payload off the truck.

    As for the WDH, no it doesn't reduce the TW at all, it just redistributes some of that weight between the trucks front axle and trailer axle. It basically helps level the trailer and truck to each other and makes the braking more effective since there's more weight on the front axle. Most guidance for this truck I've read recommends a WDH above 500 lbs TW, and frankly if you're well below it I wouldn't worry about it too much. The hitch alone weighs almost 100 lbs in some cases and that directly impacts your payload. I use one for mine but that's only because I can get a TW appoaching 600 lbs.

    It does tow fine though. Just got back from a trip with a six hour drive over the Appalachians with a payload close to yours and the trailer weighing at about 4000 lbs. The truck handled it like a champ. Kept it between 60-65 mph and felt stable the whole way. I haven't done anything with the suspension like other's have suggested and don't plan to, but your experience obviously might differ and feel the need to do so.
     
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  16. Jul 29, 2022 at 3:59 AM
    #16
    DaveinMA

    DaveinMA [OP] Member

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    Thanks for chiming in. This is super helpful. We signed for the pop up yesterday so this thing is moving forward. Gonna try to load the trailer storage rack as you mentioned and keep all of our gear in rubbermaid bins on the front storage rack, coolers in the trailer, etc. Eventually ill likely upgrade to a half ton just for the added interior space as much as the payload. Things get crowded in the Tacoma with my wife, 100 lb dog, and 1 year old son :)
     
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