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Old 05-24-2014, 04:24 PM   #1
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A believer in the Tacoma's towing capacity

I have a 2014 Taco with the towing package, double cab, Prerunner...it's pretty much a stock truck. My wife is a travel nurse, and we decided to buy a travel trailer and pull our "house" with us from assignment to assignment.

For months, I read and re-read the forums on towing for Tacos, both here, Tacoma World and on other RV sites. I've read from "I tow anything with mine" to " I wouldn't tow over 1000 pounds". I've calculated and re-calculated weights ,GVWRs, CGVWRs, tongue weights...you name it, I've done the math.*

Her assignments are 13 weeks, so we'd pull it to a park, set it up, and leave it there...no towing except from park to park.

I didn't want to give up my Taco, for a bigger truck, and I didn't want to sacrifice the good mileage I got on my Taco, knowing that for 3 times a year, I'd be towing and the rest of the time, using the truck as my personal vehicle.

All these calculations, wants, needs, and many others went into the decision making of what kind of travel trailer we would get. I also have to believe that Toyota wouldn't put their towing capacities at what they are, without accepting the liabilities along with it.

With all this in mind, we purchased a Jayco White Hawk Ultralite 23MBH travel trailer. It's factory weight was 5100 pounds. We loaded up the wife's car with all the heavy stuff, and put as little as possible in the trailer...also we kept the tanks empty on purpose...decrease in weight.

With the trailer, I had installed a Equalizer WD hitch and a decent brake controller. I'm figuring the truck weighed in at 4200 pounds and the trailer weighed 5400. I physically weighed everything put in both...I'm under the GVW for both and under the GCVW for both. I don't know what my tongue weight was or is, but I can say the truck was level after putting on the WD hitch...I have to believe it did its job and "distributed the weight" accordingly.

So...I hooked the camper up and we left our coastal home in NC and arrived in Texas yesterday, safe and sound. I'm proud to say, the Taco stood the test. Yes, I knew the trailer was back there, and yes, the gas mileage sucked (9-11) but I expected that. I kept my speed at 55-60 and let whatever pass me that wanted to. I felt no sway, even with the large tractor/trailers passing and even the bumps weren't too bad. On the hills (and there are some between NC and Texas) I was able to maintain 50 plus without chugging it down. I also towed in 4th gear...no problems.

If we ever decide to tow to Colorado, across the Rockies, I may upgrade to a larger tow vehicle... But for now, I'm very pleased with the Tacoma....and I'm a believer in its towing capabilities.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:51 PM   #2
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I am towing with an '07 Tacoma. I do like it. Overall I'd say its a decent tow vehicle. The only drawbacks for me is that it does get cramped inside when towing long distance with the family. Sometimes it feels like my two kids in the backseat are sitting on my shoulder. I also noticed a bit of sluggishness when driving up some steep roads with the trailer. Neither were really a major issue and are more just a personal thing and you can't beat the gas mileage when not towing.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:33 AM   #3
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We are from NC and my wife is a travel nurse too! We have been doing it for almost 2 years now and just towed over the Rockies 3 weeks ago. They aren't worse than the NC/ TN mountains I didn't think. Longer for certain, but you only go up and down a few times, at least on I-70. You'll be fine.

Where in Texas are you? We were in San Marcos once, nice area for sure.

Haha, just realized we have talked before.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DieselX View Post
We are from NC and my wife is a travel nurse too! We have been doing it for almost 2 years now and just towed over the Rockies 3 weeks ago. They aren't worse than the NC/ TN mountains I didn't think. Longer for certain, but you only go up and down a few times, at least on I-70. You'll be fine.

Where in Texas are you? We were in San Marcos once, nice area for sure.

Haha, just realized we have talked before.
Haha, yes we have talked before. We're both from the same town. The wife is working in Conroe Texas...we're in a campground in, get this, Cut And Shoot, Texas...
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:13 AM   #5
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My first post...whoot.

The wife and I just traded up to a x20E (4750 Loaded) from our Sport 10 pup.
I have a 2012 DBCB Sr5. We haven't actually gone camping yet but a few spins around town getting the feel for the size and so far it pulls like a champ and like you, I'm a member over at TW. (cdntaco) There are 125 pages of testimonies and photos of what members pull with thier tacos...none of them have any concern other than some that freak when they have to downshift out of Auto, LOL. I plan to leave her in 4th on all my trips when towing this brick...but I'm not worried about anything I might encounter...except maybe not doing the Cabot Trail out east but then again..you won't know if you don't try. LOL

I just installed the Equalizer 10K WD hitch since I didn't need one with the PUP and I already had the Prodigy P3 Controller.

Happy and safe towing!
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dagwood View Post
My first post...whoot.

The wife and I just traded up to a x20E (4750 Loaded) from our Sport 10 pup.
I have a 2012 DBCB Sr5. We haven't actually gone camping yet but a few spins around town getting the feel for the size and so far it pulls like a champ and like you, I'm a member over at TW. (cdntaco) There are 125 pages of testimonies and photos of what members pull with thier tacos...none of them have any concern other than some that freak when they have to downshift out of Auto, LOL. I plan to leave her in 4th on all my trips when towing this brick...but I'm not worried about anything I might encounter...except maybe not doing the Cabot Trail out east but then again..you won't know if you don't try. LOL

I just installed the Equalizer 10K WD hitch since I didn't need one with the PUP and I already had the Prodigy P3 Controller.

Happy and safe towing!
Hey Dagwood, welcome to JOF! I had a Tacoma, wasn't comfortable towing long distance. White knuckling it. We were most likely overloaded, as the rear end was bouncing and sagging pretty bad. The cheap WDH that I had probably didn't help either. We ended up upgrading the TV, as I personally don't like towing anywhere near any limits.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:48 AM   #7
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Beatcop49,
Thanks for the very thorough (and honest) review of your Toyota and its towing capabilities. While I don't drive one, it's always nice to read about someone who is happy with both their trailer and their TV - regardless of the badge. Please keep the reports of your adventures coming!
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:52 AM   #8
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For why its worth:

We live and camp in Colorado. We have a 2011 Tacoma. It is rated at 6,400#'s for towing and 640 tongue weight.

I just trade up to the Class C so I could tow more atv's but:

For the last 3 years we have pulled an 18' Edge trailer (4,500 loaded) with an atv on the diamond back bed cover. I climbed up the approach to Eisnehour tunnel (a legendary pull for towing and motor homes, VERY steep long grade and end at 10,000' altitude) I averaged 65 mph and never dropped below 55.

That is TACOMA power. (BTW, retired fire Chief)

Cheers and safe travels
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