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TT towing limitations

Discussion in 'Towing' started by sechsgang, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Aug 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM
    #1
    sechsgang

    sechsgang [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok, after towing a popup and our new Hybrid Travel Trailer for a while, I have come to the conclusion that it's not really all that easy to do with our Tacomas to stay within the limits. In most cases, I have to say that it will have to be a pretty small trailer.

    Here is why: the limit is not really the towing capacity at all (6,500lbs is pretty decent), but rather the payload. The sticker at my door says 1,200lbs for my short bed 4x4 DC.
    So here are a few numbers: My trailer weights 4,200lbs only when loaded for camping. Sounds very reasonable for the Tacoma, right? Well, wait a second. Not really. Because of my dual 6V battery setup, my tongue weight is at 630 lbs when ready for camping. That is actually rather typical for a travel trailer (15%). Now add the weight of the weight distributing hitch: 90lbs. That's 720lbs.
    We are a family of four tall people: me 6'4" @ 200 lbs. Wife about 5'9" @ 140lbs. Two boys, 5 & 8 yo, at 150lbs combined (both very tall). So that is 490lbs for the people. Add clothing, shoes, etc, and my guess is 550lbs easily, and nobody is even overweight. Ok, I could lose 10 lbs I guess. :)
    So now we are at a total of 1,270lbs. Ouch! That's 70lbs over the limit! Ok, we are right on because the weight distributing hitch puts some weight back onto the trailer axles.

    And that being right on means no cargo whatsoever in the truck. Nothing. No firewood, no bikes, no cooler, no campin chairs.

    So all in all, pretty limiting I would say. Next year, when the boys are older (and heavier), we would be over the limit, again with no cargo. Unless I play games like filling the black water tank with water (sits behind axles) to reduce tongue weight. I have more than 1,600lbs head room before I'd reach the GCWR. So that darn (low) payload!

    So I may have to upgrade soon. You know one problem? I think the Tundra would not really do much either, it would add like 350lbs (1,575max lbs capacity).

    Ford is doing a good job in that department. They have heavy duty payload packages, bringing an F-150 super crew cab 4x4 to a payload of over 2,000 lbs. The 2WD can go all the way to over 2,500lbs.

    So for the next truck, I may unfortunately be forced to have a serious look at Ford's. I was pretty disappointed about the Tundra's capacities, I have to say. Because of the fairly low payload, it really can't tow much more than the Tacoma for camping.
     
  2. Aug 12, 2011 at 6:52 PM
    #2
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 Well-Known Member

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    Christian
    Yorba Linda, CA
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    Banks Monster Exhaust, Pop n Lock tailgate lock, Hook-Ups tie down brackets, USA Spec Ipod adaptor, WO seat covers, color matched grill with Grillcraft insert, Tuffy locking bed box
    Yeah it sounds like a full size would be your best bet. Personally I like the F150 over the Tundra.
     
  3. Aug 12, 2011 at 6:52 PM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    Props to you for knowing what all is behind towing, rather than looking blindly at numbers!
     
  4. Aug 12, 2011 at 7:03 PM
    #4
    sechsgang

    sechsgang [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You know, Chris, knowing these numbers is rather scary. When you look at travel trailers on the highway, I would bet that 80% of the larger ones (20ft +) are over capacity, especially payload, even behind F150's and Tundra's.

    The regular F150 has a payload of only around 1,500lbs, but can tow 10K lbs according to the specs. And not many of them are sold with the HD payload package. None are available with that package at the dealers around here, anywhere. Two dealers did not even know the HD payload package exists.

    So you see these 30 footers with an (easily) tongue weight of 1,000 - 1,200lbs (many times even more) tied to a truck with a 1,500lbs payload. Add the WDH, 2-4 people, a generator plus 2-4 bikes in the back, gear, firewood ---- you know what that means, lol. They will look at you saying that they are 2,000lbs UNDER limit because they only tow 8K lbs. :confused:
     
  5. Aug 12, 2011 at 10:48 PM
    #5
    sechsgang

    sechsgang [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Male
    Vehicle:
    06 DC TRD OR 4WD 6spd
    Surprisingly, even the 4WD Ridgeline has a higher payload. While the towing capacity is only 5,000lbs, the payload is 1,550lbs, same as the Tundra crew cab 4x4. The payload of the 4x4 Ridgeline is 350lbs or 30% higher than that of the Tacoma, unless I misread something. :confused:
     
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