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Towing a 5700lb camper?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by D.c., Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Jul 2, 2020 at 8:23 AM
    #1
    D.c.

    D.c. [OP] Member

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    Hi everyone. New member here. So I work a mechanic at a Toyota dealership. Been driving Tacoma’s for years. Just got a new 2020 double cab. My wife and I are thinking about getting a camper. I know the truck says it’s rated up to 6400 pounds towing I think. Just wondering realistically how it would do with a camper that’s 5700. No one at work has ever done any real towing with a Tacoma.
     
    YF_Ryan and Black DOG Lila like this.
  2. Jul 2, 2020 at 8:28 AM
    #2
    JaCado

    JaCado Water Janitor

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  3. Jul 2, 2020 at 8:31 AM
    #3
    Black DOG Lila

    Black DOG Lila Well-Known Member

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  4. Jul 2, 2020 at 8:32 AM
    #4
    YF_Ryan

    YF_Ryan Well-Known Member

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    Dear God, no.

    5700 Wet or Dry?

    Either way, you'd probably hate life, or at least be fearing for yours, after 15 minutes towing it.
     
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  5. Jul 2, 2020 at 8:34 AM
    #5
    Natetroknot

    Natetroknot Edumacated, poor righteous kid

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    That's way too steep for a Taco regardless of what gear you outfit it with
     
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  6. Jul 2, 2020 at 8:35 AM
    #6
    maxtherat

    maxtherat Well-Known Member

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    Id say no especially if the 5700# is dry weight. The truck will do it but I wouldn’t want to put that kind of weight behind it on a regular basis. If you’re buying a trailer I’d either look at something that is 1/2 of the tow rating (dry) or get a bigger truck.
    If this is just a 1 time thing then proceed with caution- brake controller, weight distribution and sway control.
     
    D.c. [OP] likes this.
  7. Jul 2, 2020 at 9:10 AM
    #7
    D.c.

    D.c. [OP] Member

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    Thanks a lot guys. Glad I joined this group. I looked all over the internet for opinions from people, all I can find are just stats. Stats and reality never seem to be the same lol. We were looking at a 21 foot camp, like 3500 pounds. Then my wife got hooked on a 31 foot. Of course she wants something that’s more expensive. Lol
     
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  8. Jul 2, 2020 at 9:13 AM
    #8
    Natetroknot

    Natetroknot Edumacated, poor righteous kid

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    Even that 21ft would be a load for these trucks and you'd need all the towing bells and whistles once you loaded it with gear, full tanks, family in truck, etc.

    I pull a little 5x8 trailer with 2 plastic kayaks and I can tell its back there!
     
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  9. Jul 2, 2020 at 9:19 AM
    #9
    D.c.

    D.c. [OP] Member

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    I used to have 15’ 4 cylinder. I pulled a 12 foot trailer full or gravel on a regular basis for my dad when he was building his camp. Now that you could tell was back there. Lol. She didn’t like it but would do it. Had the bumper dragging on the ground a few times too. My current truck I might actually keep a while so probably won’t be doing anything like that with it. The place we’re shopping for a camper at won’t even sell you one without buying the distribution/torsion hitch thing they have there.
     
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  10. Jul 2, 2020 at 9:43 AM
    #10
    YF_Ryan

    YF_Ryan Well-Known Member

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    Personally, if I was looking at trailers, I'd also keep an eye on the width of the trailer. If you can find a 7 foot wide trailer instead of a 8 or 8.5 it'll also make a big difference on towing comfort (visibility and wind resistance). Which exact trailers were you looking at?
     
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  11. Jul 2, 2020 at 6:20 PM
    #11
    Gfunk123

    Gfunk123 Well-Known Member

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    If you have the towing package you can tow a 3,500 dry. My 23’ is 3,700 dry and I tow it fine - I can tell it’s there for sure. I do have Dakar HD springs and WDH.
     
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  12. Jul 2, 2020 at 6:45 PM
    #12
    Marshall R

    Marshall R Well-Known Member

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    Forget it. But the good news is that there are a lot of good options closer to 4000 lbs.

    About 4500 is more realistic, a lot of 1/2 tons won't pull 5700 lbs. Technically you might be able to PULL 6400 lbs if you only weigh 150 lbs and have nothing else in the truck. No other passengers, no cargo or other gear. Start adding weight to the truck in the form of passengers, cargo, modifications to the truck, or tools etc. kept in the truck and what you can tow drops.

    Tow ratings are rarely the limiting factor for 1/2 ton and lighter duty trucks. It is the limited payload that hurts them. On the drivers door jamb you have stickers noting both GVWR and Payload. Payload is the trucks actual weight when manufactured subtracted from GVWR. Each truck will have a somewhat different payload rating depending on how it is equipped.

    Most Tacoma's are around 1200 lbs, some a bit more, some a bit less. A trailer properly set up will have 13-15% of its weight on the hitch. That's 740-850 lbs with a 5700 lb trailer. Since you're over 5000 lbs you need a weight distribution hitch that adds another 100 lbs. With MY truck that would only leave me 250-360 lbs for me, passengers, and cargo. I weigh 220, my wife 140. We'd be overloaded with nothing else in the truck. Your payload may be a bit more than 1200 lbs, but not by enough to make a huge difference.

    You run into the same problem with most 1/2 ton trucks. Many of them have no more payload than a Tacoma, but 1600-1800 is typical with a handful over 2000. But even most of them run out of useable payload before reaching the weight they are rated to tow.
     
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  13. Jul 3, 2020 at 6:08 AM
    #13
    Aquatic Tacoma

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    Rent before you buy a trailer. If you’re sure you’re gettin a trailer set the truck up to tow. Springs or bags, controller, etc. Then jump on Outdoorsey or RVShare.com. Take one for a couple days. It will probably help your decision, maybe avoid a bad choice.
     
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  14. Jul 4, 2020 at 5:36 AM
    #14
    D.c.

    D.c. [OP] Member

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    Aquatic Toyota, that’s actually a really good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. Definitely worth a shot before spending the money. Thanks
     
  15. Jul 4, 2020 at 5:52 AM
    #15
    medic2230

    medic2230 @Koditten Pirate Radio member #002

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    This ^^^

    We did this before buying one and found out we needed a bigger camper. With 3 of us we were cramped in a Winnebago Micro Mini 1700bh. We ended up with a Keystone Passport 2400bh. Wider and has a slide out. Paid the penalty with the slide out in weight but we’ve never been cramped in it even with all 4 of us. Mine is 4810 dry taco does good with it until you get to a long incline then it will pull it down some. We average around 4-5 hours away on trips (We go to Florida) and it’s mostly flat down here. If you’re in a mountainous area I’d say no way with this one (weight wise) because it would be miserable. You will also be happier with a tandem axle trailer over a single. Much more stable. Towing comfort is all in the driver and experience. What some of us tow would be white knuckle to others. I’ve towed a lot of different things and a lot of different sizes (from 5x8 up to 53’ semi trailer). Everyone’s comfort level is different. The more you tow the more comfortable you’ll get with something.
     
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  16. Jul 4, 2020 at 6:26 AM
    #16
    D.c.

    D.c. [OP] Member

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    Yeah I hear ya on the comfort level. We’re going to look at one today, 21 foot on a tandem axle. Actually looks quite perfect for my truck I think. It’s just me, my wife and newborn daughter so space wise it should be ok. Wouldn’t mind a bigger one, but I’d rather buy the camper to match the truck. Not truck to match camper, cause I already bought the truck. Kinda stuck with it for a while haha
     
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  17. Jul 6, 2020 at 8:48 AM
    #17
    NV_Spencer

    NV_Spencer Well-Known Member

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    It's a no for me dawg. Convention wisdom says to only tow approx. 80% of stated max capacity which puts you around 5100 lbs loaded. Also, 2 things that don't get enough attention are payload & max hitch weight. Depending on your trim, your payload might be 1000 lbs like mine (hugely limiting factor on how much gear you can bring) & max hitch weight is 640 lbs IIRC. A loaded tongue weight on a 5100 lb travel trailer could put you over the Toyota spec on hitch weight.

    Tandem axle, 21 ft is better but you absolutely need to do some quick math on payload. What do you, wife, baby, & all your bags/snacks/bikes/etc weigh? Add the loaded tongue weight of the trailer & you could be exceeding payload.
     
  18. Jul 6, 2020 at 9:06 AM
    #18
    JCTacoma330

    JCTacoma330 Well-Known Member

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    Just got back from a trip down from central ny to Yorktown va and back. Towed a 224bh Jayco travel trailer. Dry weight around 4500, max weight 5500. Had it right around 5000 lbs. I have a weight distributing hitch and sway bar installed song with a brake controller. I would not tow it without those items minimally. Truck towed it well, left it in 4th (Manual transmission), only in pa hills did I need a few third gear pulls, still plenty of power. Averaged around 10-11 mpg, I don’t recommend speeds over 65mph just for stability.
    My wife initially wanted to get a bigger 29’, but am glad we got under 27’. I don’t think I’d want to do much heavier bigger, but like many have said a lot will come down to your comfort ability towing, personal cargo needs, etc. having just completed the travel trailer process, shop around and really think about what will really matter needs wise. We prioritized bunks for our kids, bigger fridge freezer stove, and outdoor kitchen. So far it’s been a good match for our needs.
     
  19. Jul 6, 2020 at 10:42 AM
    #19
    NV_Spencer

    NV_Spencer Well-Known Member

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    Justin - I don't mean to pick on you but this is a perfect example of how quickly payload adds up. What do you think the approx. weight of the following: you + wife + 2 kids + 600ish loaded tongue weight + WDH + total bed cargo/bags you bring on a trip.

    I LOVE my tacoma but the more I crunch the numbers on the trailer I want, the less convinced I am it's the right tow vehicle for me.
     
  20. Jul 6, 2020 at 12:06 PM
    #20
    JCTacoma330

    JCTacoma330 Well-Known Member

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    No worries, yes I understand your point. It adds up very quickly. My dear wife wanted to start putting everything but the kitchen sink in the truck and camper and I had to keep check or everything that went in. Additionally, one of the selling points of the trailer I chose was the lower percentage tongue weight because of the design of the trailer. The tongue weight is less because most of the heavier items are mid and rear of the trailer.

    but your point stands, know what you’re getting yourself into, understand the payload numbers, and avoid unsafe situations. I share my example to show what I think is the upper limit of feasibility.
     

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