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Towing questions...

2106 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  BruynBoy
Hey everyone, this is my first post here - though I've been reading this forum for a while now. My truck:
2005 Tacoma / Reg Cab / 2.7L / 4cyl / 4WD / SR5 / 13000 miles / A.R.E. Cap

Here's my question: I'm moving from Massachusetts to Colorado and will be towing a
U-Haul trailer. It's 6'x12' and about 1200 lbs empty. I'm starting to get worried about my truck towing this trailer when it's full of my stuff, so I'm considering getting a 5'x10' trailer instead - which means I can take less of my belongings. The truck and hitch (Drawtite) are both rated at least 5000...but I'm still worried. Little truck-big trailer. I've never towed anything with this truck so that's why I'm concerned. Do you all think my Tacoma can handle the 6'x12' (full) alright? Also, is there anything else I should do to my truck (towing wise) that will help make the trip hassle free and easier on the Taco? Your comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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I think it will be fine. I pulled one of those, exactly like your talking about with my '97 Ford Ranger I used to have. No problems at all. The Tacoma should definitely be able to handle it. I think.
I tow an 18'-6" Javelin 389T bass boat with the same draw-tite hitch. Boat weighs around 4500lbs.(empty) Trailer must weigh at least a few hundred. I have no problems except for braking. This is where a rear set of anti-lock brakes would be priceless. It's not so bad that I need trailer brakes, but if I went much heavier, I would have to.

I also have the V6 model, and it doesn't exactly like towing that weight up hills. On steep launch ramps, I sometimes have to have my buddy bounce in the bed to get a little more traction to get the boat out of the water. I only mention this b/c I noticed you have the I4.

I would be really carefull. Get a run on the big hills and allow yourself plenty of stopping distance.

Hope this helps.
The 2.7 as you know is limited to only 3,500 lbs. of towing weight. I tow a 1,000 lb. sailboat around and it acts like it's not even there until you drive more than 65 MPH. Of course there's a big difference between 1,000 lbs. and a full 6x12' trailer. If you'll be close to the 3,500 lb. weight limit, my guess is that the 2.7 will be ok around town, but will struggle on the highway. Fifth gear will be out of the question:lol: . I'm sure you won't have any problems other than bad gas mileage, and not being able to go the speed limit on hills.
Make sure your truck, and the trailer you rent, are set up for/with electric trailer brakes. Manual( my manual anyway = V6 4X4 )says anything over 1000lbs and you need them, and, after towing my boat which is right there at the 1000lbs mark, I believe it. Brakes are inadequate on this truck to say the least.

If your 4cyl truck has even smaller brakes then the ones on my V6( guess there is more then one brake size on the new Tacomas depending on model )you will most definitely need the EB setup. I personally would not take such a long trip towing ANY load over 1000lbs with ANY new Tacoma without EB's. You said the trailer is 1200lbs empty so you absolutely need EB's. JMO.
Ya every state has different laws concerning what you can tow with or without trailer brakes, most states are over1,500lbs or so. And for good reason especially if your towing with a smaller truck where the trailer is going to weigh as much as the truck. You can get the dreaded jack knife happening which is not pretty. If your truck is not set up for towing properly it would be alot cheaper to rent a big truck and put your stuff in that and maybe tow your Toy behind it. Or go for seting up your truck to tow, with controller and installed probaly looking at a good $300. if you find a reasonable mechanic. Or You can take it real easy, pray alot, and hopefully if your not going to far you'll be alright. Towing is no joke alot of people get into serious trouble cause they don't know what they are doing, your doing good asking some questions. Carl
Thanks for the comments so far... The trailer weighs 1800 lbs empty, not 1200 lbs. I was looking at the wrong one. That's a lot for a trailer, but it's my only option w/o buying one. I'm not taking a lot of real heavy stuff though, so my load, with trailer, will be 3000 lbs, if that. The trailer has surge brakes (I know they suck), but at least it'll help. So I think I should be all right. Time to put the Tacoma to the test in a few weeks. Yes, I do know how to tow. Been doing it for years. I do it all the time for work - tractors, heavy equipment, etc. Just not with my truck. Wanted to know if I would kill my Tacoma towing 3000 lbs for 2000 miles.
No offense meant by this but towing 3000lbs across the country without EB's and you are asking for an accident in a Tacoma.
NH05TACOMA said:
No offense meant by this but towing 3000lbs across the country without EB's and you are asking for an accident in a Tacoma.

...If you plan on bringing that setup through NC, please post and let me know so I can make sure I'm off the roads.
NH05TACOMA said:
No offense meant by this but towing 3000lbs across the country without EB's and you are asking for an accident in a Tacoma.
I don't know what the chassis/brake difference are between the V6 and I4 models, but for what it's worth i've dollied cars (well over 3k with no brakes) in my V6 and stopping distances are greater but nothing that should get you into trouble as long as you're careful. I've also pulled trailors that were well over 5k on a surge brakes and braking feels almost normal. EB's are nice but i don't think surge brakes are accidents waiting to happen, especially if the driver has some common sense. I'd be more worried about being able to pull the thing with the I4.

if you're at all worried, i like the truck rental idea. probably won't cost that much more and for at 2000 mile trip it may be worth the peace of mind while you're on the road. Good luck with your move either way.
I would be very very leary of doing that trip with your truck. I have towed the 6x12 with a 1998 Chevy S10 Extended Cab 4x4 with the 4.3L Vortec Auto from Pittsburgh PA to Columbia SC and it was a heck of a trip. Any speed over 55mph and the trailer would start to waggle the truck. Almost to the point where it was uncontrollable.

The Uhaul 6x12 has surge brakes but they are not all setup appropriately and maintained to work flawlessly. Uhaul is not known for its equipment upkeep and customer support. Also the S10 felt the pain of the empty trailer let alone load up with crap.

I would strongly recommend the 5x10 and take the majority of the major items that you need and sacrafice the others if you can.

Plan plenty of time cause you will need it. Take cash with you and be prepared for 10-12mpg.

If you have an auto I would also strongly recommend a tranny cooler to help save the transmission. After the trip my tranny was never the same even though I travelled at night in February with a tranny cooler.

Also find out what the max GVW is since im sure you will have the bed loaded as well. You do not want not exceed that either.

Best of luck!
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Or you could just rent a big Uhaul truck, load it with your stuff and then pull the Tacoma behind it on a tow dolly. Personally, that's what I'd do.
I agree with nomad, i pulled one of those trailers from san antonio to dallas (aprox. 500 miles) with my wife jeep(3.7) and that trailer was waggling passing 55 miles. Just my 2c.
You would be much better off doing what nomad said, get the big uhaul truck and tow the tacoma. That way you can also take more stuff if you want.
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