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Towing trailer with 2003 3.4L 6cyl.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by susantm, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Mar 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM
    #1
    susantm

    susantm [OP] Member

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    I posted this in the truck forum, but thought maybe this is the appropriate place. (Sorry...newbie) If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it!

    We have a 2003 Tacoma 3.4L 6 cylinder with towing package and are buying a travel trailer. The one we chose weighs 4150 lbs, and the salesman assured us that our truck could pull it. However, I keep reading posts here and on RV.net that don't recommend pulling that much weight. We pick up the trailer on Friday, and I would like to hear some feedback before then so I can either feel more comfortable with our purchase or see if we can change to a lighter trailer.

    Thanks so much! Any help is most welcome!
     
  2. Mar 26, 2012 at 8:30 PM
    #2
    TACOMABOSS

    TACOMABOSS Well-Known Member

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    what did you tow it home with?
     
  3. Mar 26, 2012 at 8:34 PM
    #3
    TacomaJPP

    TacomaJPP To secure peace, is to prepare for war

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    I tow this, but can't remember total weight. Not sure if you have an auto, but I wouldn't trust any auto towing that much, especially without a trans cooler.

    I tow that boat about 3,000 miles per year, around town, and out of state. Been doing it for the last 5 years or so with zero problems. My truck has 188,000 miles and the original clutch.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mar 26, 2012 at 8:45 PM
    #4
    Yamaha Dave

    Yamaha Dave Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2003 3.4L V6, Auto, and I tow a Wellcraft boat with a Roadmaster trailer, 4 people, full fuel and supplies, totaling just under 6,000lbs. I am able to pull all this just fine, and boat ramps are no problem. HOWEVER in the steep grade hills it is slightly underpowered. Key word is steep. Not all hills.
     
  5. Mar 26, 2012 at 8:56 PM
    #5
    susantm

    susantm [OP] Member

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    Tacoma Boss, we haven't towed it home yet--pick it up this coming Friday.
    We have a truck with canopy and towing package. (didn't know they made Tacoma autos, but then I'm not up on such things)
    Yamaha Dave, that's encouraging that you can pull something that heavy with a V6, 3.4L. Maybe we will be okay.

    Thanks, everyone!
    Any other experiences?
     
  6. Mar 26, 2012 at 9:03 PM
    #6
    wolftree

    wolftree Well-Known Member

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    susantm,

    That weight of trailer is near or at your upper limit for towing I believe. I would look in your owners manual if you still have it. Your trailer outweighs the truck. I would advise turning off over drive when towing. Do you have electric brakes on your truck that will operate the trailer brakes as well? Also visually verify you have a transmission cooler installed on the truck.
     
  7. Mar 26, 2012 at 9:10 PM
    #7
    TACOMABOSS

    TACOMABOSS Well-Known Member

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    oh ok lol I read it wrong

    X2 I agree
     
  8. Mar 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM
    #8
    susantm

    susantm [OP] Member

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    Our towing capacity is 6000 lbs, according to the owner's manual. We are having trailer brakes installed--recommended by the RV dealer--and do plan to get a transmission cooler, if it doesn't have one.

    Thanks for the suggestions on the tranny cooler and overdrive!
     
  9. Mar 27, 2012 at 3:53 AM
    #9
    blitzburgh99

    blitzburgh99 Well-Known Member

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    Stopping is the more critical issue than the towing from a safety perspective. If the trailer weighs more than your truck, and you have to make a quick stop..... You will be in trouble. Even with trailer brakes. The wheels will lock up and just shove your truck into whatever is in the way.

    Might be time to step up to a tundra.
     
  10. Mar 27, 2012 at 5:55 AM
    #10
    valleyflyfisher

    valleyflyfisher Member

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    The 4150 they told you it weighed is the "dry" weight, which is no water, no food, ice, clothes, tools, and whatever else you haul along for the trip. Never a bad idea to do all your stocking up with water, food etc. at our last town before your destination, no use hauling 100's of lbs needlessly.
     
  11. Mar 27, 2012 at 6:09 AM
    #11
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    That's a smart approach. Also, make sure that any weight added to the trailer is over the axles or at least balance front and back so it doesn't have bad handling characteristics. You can also load some stuff in the truck bed (rather than trailer) to help improve the truck's braking traction.

    BTW, have you found this forum yet? Check out the towing bible.
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/towing/
     
  12. Mar 27, 2012 at 6:46 AM
    #12
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    Your truck will struggle on windy days and passing another vehicle. Horse power is like money in the bank you can never have enough. Note you may want to check into a sway bar unless your equalizer hitch already has one. Good luck!
     
  13. Mar 27, 2012 at 6:50 AM
    #13
    Jdaniel1274

    Jdaniel1274 Well-Known Member

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    Also do not expect to get good mpgs, with that weight your going to get around 10 mpgs and less in the wind and hills.
     
  14. Mar 27, 2012 at 7:36 AM
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    Yamaha Dave

    Yamaha Dave Well-Known Member

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    The 3.4L V6 Tacoma with tow package is rated at 6,000lbs. When I pull this boat with four people, trailer, food, water, and gas, it's just under 6,000lbs by about 300lbs. I do this almost every month, sometimes two to three times a month in the summer going to lake. Yes MPG sucks. Constant highway speed without putting too much strain on the engine is around 45 mph, which is fine because pulling a load like this things can always fly out or come loose. Not too mention you want to keep a lower speed because your braking it reduced. Also when driving in the hills, or in slower bumper traffic, you want to use engine braking with your standard brakes. You'll be amazed at how well the engine braking works.
     
  15. Mar 27, 2012 at 7:48 AM
    #15
    susantm

    susantm [OP] Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions and comments. I will share this all with my husband and go from there. And I will check out the towing forum. Thanks!
     
  16. Mar 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM
    #16
    susantm

    susantm [OP] Member

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    We called up the rv dealer and are switching to a trailer that weighs 3250 lbs. I feel much better about that weight. Thanks so much to everyone for your comments and suggestions!!
     
  17. Mar 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM
    #17
    shampoop

    shampoop Well-Known Member

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    Where do all of you guys get this 6,000lb tow rating number from? This is the only thing i've found, taken from "the tacoma towing bible".

    Now 3.4 tacoma does have a "towing package" I have no idea if it was a factory, dealer, or aftermarket install. But I have a class III hitch some sort of wiring system, and IIRC a trailer brake computer in the storage cubby under the drivers side rear seat. It's confusing whether or not this 5,000lb tow capacity is meant for trucks with no towing package, or equipped with something like mine.

    edit: Just checked and the "brake controller" in the rear storage says toyota denso all over it and has a sticker that says "converter with bracket" on it. The wiring harness is a flat 4 pin and it's a good thing I checked as it's very nasty and corroded. I either need to try to salvage it by cleaning it really good and put some contact protectant on it, or replace it.
     
  18. Mar 27, 2012 at 1:14 PM
    #18
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    Mine was a factory option.
     
  19. Mar 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM
    #19
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    Load that trailer on a weekend when you not going camping, and find a scale and weight the total pkg, to see where you are at, alot of moving companys ( Mayflower ) they have a on sight scale and will weight your outfit, if you don't need a print out of the weight its most likely free. Then you can weight stuff thats not really necessary if needed using a bathroom scale.

    When I towed a 29ft double slide front kitchen, 4K tongue weight with a Dodge Diesel my old lady rat holed so much shit it was amazing what it weighted, if memory serves me right I scaled at a little over 13K trk and trailer.
     
  20. Mar 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM
    #20
    susantm

    susantm [OP] Member

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    shampoop, I got the 6000 lb weight limit from the owner's manual of our truck.
     
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