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The Tacoma Towing Bible

Discussion in 'Towing' started by maverick491, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. Jul 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM
    #881
    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    Short answer: it depends.

    If the truck can hold D without down shifting constantly, just use D. If it keeps down shifting to maintain speeding, then use 4. I tow routinely in 6th with my manual as long as the engine doesn't lug or struggle. If it does, drop it down a gear.
     
  2. Jul 2, 2014 at 4:19 PM
    #882
    tx_shooter

    tx_shooter Trying to Spread Common Sense and Rational Thought

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    I generally only tow lighter loads in D. If I am towing over 3k lbs I keep it in 4th. It is cheaper to buy extra gas than a new transmission.
     
  3. Jul 3, 2014 at 9:13 AM
    #883
    J Gibson

    J Gibson Well-Known Member

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    Knoxville, TN
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    I almost always tow in "D". I have a Scan Gauge II monitor and watch trans fluid temp. Not sure if it is pre or post cooler, but towing temp usually stays in the 220-240 range. Not much different than not towing. My theory is to let the truck do what the engineers designed it to do. Hopefully that pans out for me in the long run. This is my third small Toyota truck that I bought new. 1987-200,000+ miles, 1999 50,000+miles lost in divorce, 2012 30,000 miles so far. Towed in mountains with all of them.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM
    #884
    Jefes Taco

    Jefes Taco Well-Known Member

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    The whether to tow in D or 4 doesn't apply to a manual. It's about the torque converter and heat which a manual lacks a torque converter and heat is rarely a factory with a manual transmission. Tow in whichever gear works best for that situation and no need to worry about excessive shifting.

    One member here claimed that in the Toyota owners manual it is stated to ONLY tow in 4. I didn't see that in my manual and I did ask for a page number from the member who stated such. I either never saw the reply or they never replied. Basically what was said in the above quote is correct. You should be fine in OD. You could use 4 only to be safe than sorry but it'll get worse MPGs.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM
    #885
    LarryM04

    LarryM04 Well-Known Member

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    I find this hard to believe myself, but here it is, from the 2014 Owner's Manual page 237:

    ● To maintain engine braking efficiency and charging system performance
    when using engine braking, do not use fifth gear (5-speed manual transmission),
    sixth gear (6-speed manual transmission), or do not put the transmission in
    D (automatic transmission).

    Okay, it does say "when using engine braking", I would assume this would mean in a situation like driving down a hill or such.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM
    #886
    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    The actual gear "D" does not apply to manuals, you're right. However, the CONCEPT of using the highest or over-drive gear while towing applies to both.

    An auto will switch between gears frequently if you're towing in too high of a gear, regardless of if you're in D or 4.

    A manual will lug the engine, and potentially stall if you're in too high of a gear because it can't automatically drop down a gear to prevent stalling.

    Either way, you need to pay attention.
     
  7. Jul 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM
    #887
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Someone was there .

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    Bingo.

    When towing with the 5AT, I can feel the transmission unlock the converter. When that happens, I manually shift to a lower gear until the grade changes and I believe I can upshift. If the transmission repeatedly unlocks the converter or shifts between two gears, I downshift to the lower one and leave it there until the the grade changes. Even if you can't feel the difference, you can certainly see it through the tachometer, but only if you're paying attention.
     
  8. Jul 30, 2014 at 10:35 AM
    #888
    LovetoCamp

    LovetoCamp New Member

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    None yet
    Is there anything special I should know about towing with a 6 speed manual tranny? I have a 20ft dual axle travel trailer with brakes. She weighs 3500lbs empty and has a tongue weight of 500lbs. We live in the Sierra Foothills about an hour west of the Rubicon Trail and Lake Tahoe so curvy country roads with steep grades are pretty much the norm around here.

    We normally haul her with hubby's big ole 95 F-250 4x4 long bed automatic but between the 2, that's almost 40 feet of vehicle. I hardly ever drive his beast and because it sits so high, it's a challenge for me to back the trailer up without having to get out a million times to see what's going on back there. I do much better in my Tacoma but hubby doesn't think my Blue is big enough to tow my trailer. I do have the factory installed tow package.
     
  9. Jul 30, 2014 at 12:12 PM
    #889
    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    With the factory tow package and V6 I think you would be fine. That combo is rated for 6500lbs and 650lbs tongue weight. Just remember to leave more distance between you and other cars, and pay attention to the engine. If it starts to lug/struggle, then downshift. I can tow in 6th no problem on flats or down grades. Going up I have to shift sooner, and keep the RPMs higher than when not towing.

    You'll also have to swing wider than normal, and backing up just became more fun. ;) Being a 20ft dual axle, it'll probably track better than some of the landscape trailers I've towed. You'll also need to slow down on rough roads and for bumps, and keep an eye on sway. If the trailer starts to sway and jerk the rear of the truck back and forth, just slow down until it subsides and keep your speed below that threshold.
     
  10. Aug 18, 2014 at 9:18 PM
    #890
    Buroak

    Buroak Member

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    maverick491: your Towing Bible is timeless, as valuable to us towing novices now as it was seven years ago. Many thanks.
     
  11. Aug 19, 2014 at 5:34 PM
    #891
    JayB27

    JayB27 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I've never really towed anything but I'm always loading the bed up with stuff for work. Recently I've been hauling long loads and was planning on getting a Thule rack or something for putting everything on top of the cab and across the bed.

    http://www.autoanything.com/truck-racks/thule-xsporter-pro-500-truck-rack

    I found a trailer hitch extender that I was thinking about as well. If I was going to go this route...

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q...93395030E35C25F5977645789FACB&selectedIndex=0

    The weight would be Distributed inthe bed and on the extender of course. I'm just trying to figure out which would be better.. Having 500 lbs of weight up high above the cab or low and off the back of the truck.

    My question is that even though I'm not towing, Would the tongue weight be the same for a trailer hitch extender? ( 650 lbs )


    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q...93395030E35C25F5977645789FACB&selectedIndex=0

    Thanks to anyone who can give me some info..



     
  12. Aug 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM
    #892
    J88logue

    J88logue NorthWest Member

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    thats weird that a second gen can only tow 500 more lbs and 50 lb more tongue weight than me...I figured they would be much higher.
     
  13. Aug 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM
    #893
    JayB27

    JayB27 Well-Known Member

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    Well actually if im reading it right the gen 1 are 5000 and 500 tongue weight.

    So its 1500
    and 150 tongue weight more then the gen 1's


     
  14. Aug 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM
    #894
    J88logue

    J88logue NorthWest Member

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    False,

    my tow package is Factory -

    and on the tow package it says
    6000
    and 600 tongue weight.
     
  15. Aug 21, 2014 at 6:01 PM
    #895
    JayB27

    JayB27 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I was just going off the post by the op.
     
  16. Aug 21, 2014 at 9:06 PM
    #896
    HB Taco

    HB Taco Well-Known Member

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    Yea this thread rocks. Just got back from a family trip up the Cali coast from Huntington Beach to Monterey and back. Camped in Pismo beach and Big Sur. 800 mi round trip. Pulled our Pop Up camper (about 3000 lbs loaded up down grades and tight twisties - I realize that's a light load but going up steep grades the truck works hard). Not to mention the truck has 4 people and about 300lbs of gear too. I only leave it in D on flat or slightly downhill sections. Otherwise 4 or lower depending on the terrain. I've pulled it up to Mammoth and Big bear 8000 ft Elev. No problem! Here's a few pics from the latest trip.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  17. Aug 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM
    #897
    Johnny99

    Johnny99 Member

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    So what suspension mods would you suggest to tow with a 98 2.4l?
    I was thinking air bags would do the trick to level the bed, is that correct ?
     
  18. Aug 25, 2014 at 4:23 PM
    #898
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Someone was there .

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    If those are the original springs, it probably does need new ones, air bags, or rebuilt springs. Shocks, too.
     
  19. Aug 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM
    #899
    Johnny99

    Johnny99 Member

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    They are indeed ( 263k mi ) and it has had a fiberglass topper on all the while. It still sits level now with the topper and a raised bed platform in it. What springs would be good for it or would the air bags be enough?
     
  20. Aug 25, 2014 at 5:23 PM
    #900
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Someone was there .

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    Air bags would probably be fine. If you aren't planning to do a lot of rock crawling or other axle twisting stuff, air bags are popular for people that want to add support to weaker springs, or vary the stiffness of the rear suspension to better fit the load. The main issue with them has been tearing the bags when articulating the suspension too much, but there are cradles made to prevent that.
     
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