New to TT....mistake on choice in Tow vehicle?? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-22-2016, 11:06 AM   #1
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New to TT....mistake on choice in Tow vehicle??

Hi,
My husband and I are both novice TT folks. We have a 2016 Tacoma 6 cylinder with the tow package SR 5. It supposedly has a towing weight limit of 6800 pounds. We bought it with the intention of getting an ultralight TT and decided on the 2017 Aerolite 213rbsl, which we have yet to take out. When driving home from the dealership we had a sinking feeling that we had made a bad choice in trying to stay with our favorite truck, as this is our third Tacoma and I have always had great maintenance records with them. I noticed in browsing that most who have TT are using much larger vehicles for towing. Has anyone had success with towing 5000 pounds with the Tacoma? The Tundra is too large for our needs other than towing seems. Any advice appreciated as we are so new to this that it took our neighbors to help us get it in the driveway lol!!!
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:04 PM   #2
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We use a 2013 F150 3.5 Ecoboost to tow our 2016 213RBSL and you hardly know its back there. The general rule I have always gone by is to take your vehicles max towing capacity x 66% = max towing wet weight (+/-10%). This is kind of the "sweet spot" for towing with your vehicle. Of course your vehicle will tow up to its max towing weight, but you don't want to be there day to day.

Your Tacoma is 6,800# x 66% = 4,500# max wet weight to be around the "sweet spot" for towing with it.

Our 213RBSL is 5,100# dry, 6,600# wet, I imagine yours is similar. So it seems for day to day towing your running well over the "sweet spot", but just under the max towing capacity of the Tacoma.

Hope this helps and great choice on the trailer - we love our 213!
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:30 PM   #3
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Thanks!

Thanks Jeff for your quick response. I had a feeling we had made a mistake in our choice of towing vehicle. In looking again it is actually 6500 for the 4 wheel drive so we are above with that wet weight. It has an ECT power button that gives additional help when towing and going on steep inclines but we have not tried that. This truck is less than six months old so we will take a huge loss if we trade but at the same time I don't want to ruin the transmission overworking it. Thank you again and yes, I love the 213 and will be using it in October for a trip to Grayson Highlands. Hopefully we get this towing figured out by then.
Jan & Chuck
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:47 PM   #4
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We towed a small TT (3500 lb GVWR) with an '03 Tacoma TRD V6 with tow package for a few years and my father still uses the same setup. It towed this trailer to Alaska and back. My impression was it was the max the truck could handle, both in terms of adequate power and payload. I think the max tow rating was 5000 lbs, but you have to remember that any light duty truck will max out its payload due to trailer tongue weight long before the trailer weight actually reaches the truck's max tow rating. Guess a trailer's loaded weight or go by it's GVWR, multiply that value by 15% to estimate the tongue weight. This is how much weight your truck will have to carry in addition to any cargo and passengers. Light duty trucks may have strong engines, but they still aren't designed to carry the types of payload that towing a modest sized trailer requires. Regardless of its max tow rating.

My recommendation for sticking with a Tacoma is microlight single axels (think Casita or Scamp) or popup trailers. 3500 GVWR is a good rule of thumb for max trailer size. Note that this is loaded/gross weight, not the dry weight which will be less than that.
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for your response

I am appreciative of your advice. Not quite sure what to do with this situation now. Seems like the RV dealership should have steered us to the correct weight capacity but I know they just want to move the TT's. My bad!!! And I'm so bummed at the moment. Has definitely taken the shine out of the excitement of the TT.
Thanks,
Jan
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:16 PM   #6
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My Colorado has very similar specs to the Tacoma, with the max tow at 7000lbs. I tow a 213 with it in Tennessee. I will say that I certainly wouldn't tow anything bigger with it as it's pushing the limits of handling imo. We only do shorter trips, usually within 75 miles of the house, so it's not really an issue. My camper weights 5400lbs fully loaded. Just be mindful of your payload rating.

I believe mine is at 1540lbs, so with the tongue weight and cargo weight, I stay well below that at just under 1000 lbs. Not sure of the Tacoma horsepower/torque ratings, but I wouldn't be in a hurry to get anywhere.

Little trucks can tow big!!
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:08 PM   #7
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Towing your rig

The TT you have weighs 6,600 lb. fully loaded. Your truck according to TRAILER LIFE 2016 GUIDE TO TOW RATINGS says it can tow 6,800 lb. if you have a full tow package. You still have 200 lbs. left. I would say you would have a tough time loading 1545 lbs. of cargo in your trailer. Your truck can safely tow this trailer fully loaded, if you look at the numbers. Just do not overload your truck payload. Remember truck payload includes 2 passengers @ 150 lb. x 2 and a full gas tank 8 lbs. a gallon. and you must minus the dry hitch 556 lbs. weight of the trailer. If it were me I would just hook the trailer up and try to pack light and not bother with a heavy weight distribution hitch/anti sway. Those things just add to the hitch weight and are a pain to hook up. The newer trucks are very powerful and a designed to tow alot of weight safely. Alot of people think the trucks are from the 1970's to 1980's. These newer truck motors, suspensions and transmissions are very advanced and can handle the weight. Congratulation on your new truck and trailer go enjoy it.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikergal View Post
I don't want to ruin the transmission overworking it.
Jan & Chuck
Welcome to the forum, Jan and Chuck.

Before I put a bunch of towing miles on a new truck, I would install an extra transmission cooler.

Heat is the killer for automatic transmissions, automatic transmissions. When you start getting over 175F the life exceptancy drops off dramaticalty.

Transmission Temperature Failure Chart

Keep your transmission fluid clean, with regular filter changes and fluid flushes. I shorten up the tranmission service schedule on all my vehicles and it pays divedends. My wife had a Mustang 2.4L-4 cylinder, had 140,000 miles on it when we sold it, The person that bought it got another 20K out of it before the engine was run dry of oil.

A second transmission cooler such as this Delrale will help controlling heat. Delrale was and may still be a NASCAR supplier and they make a good product.

https://www.amazon.com/Derale-15800-...mission+cooler
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:34 PM   #9
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Thank you both so much!!

dawniewest and master blaster thanks for your encouragement. My brother just came up to help us and he was a trucker for years. He felt that the Tacoma could handle it so we will go with both your experience and his feelings on this. We will just pack light as possible get out there and enjoy it. Sure can't afford to switch vehicles at this point in the game. Thanks again for your information. And I guess you noticed dawniewest, we are in TN also! Happy trails to you both!
Jan
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:37 PM   #10
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Thanks! We will certainly take your advice on this and do that before we head out on our first journey!!
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