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Old 11-29-2017, 09:06 AM   #1
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Towing 21 with tacoma

I have read a number of rhe old threads on this and much discussion is on the 5.0ta. Can anyone who has towed the 21 with a Tacoma comment? With the tow package, the trailer weight is well within specs. I talked to a fellow recently that towed his 21 with a Nissan that is the same size as the Tacoma and he had no problems. I suspect that sway bars would be needed for sure. We use a F-150 now which is naturally fine but I would just rather have a smaller truck.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:20 AM   #2
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Our Escape 21 tows well behind our 2005 Tundra, which is very similar to current Tacomas in size and capabilities. We love our smaller truck. The new Tundras are much much bigger.


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Old 11-29-2017, 09:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
I have read a number of rhe old threads on this and much discussion is on the 5.0ta. Can anyone who has towed the 21 with a Tacoma comment? With the tow package, the trailer weight is well within specs. I talked to a fellow recently that towed his 21 with a Nissan that is the same size as the Tacoma and he had no problems. I suspect that sway bars would be needed for sure. We use a F-150 now which is naturally fine but I would just rather have a smaller truck.
I have friends in NH that picked up their 21 this past summer and are towing it with a Tacoma. I will call them and ask what hitch they are using and let you know. They have no problems with it.

Update: They use an equalizer hitch with a sway bar.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:40 AM   #4
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I am towing an new 21 with a 2016 Tacoma Off Road with added Sumo Springs. No WDH when towing my 17, but I do use one with the 21.

While I love the truck, and it worked well when I had a 17 that weighed 3100 lbs, I feel the 21 may be a bit much for it. While it is well within specifications, at 4600 lbs, and the truck has no problems towing or stopping the 21, the truck spends a lot of time in 3rd gear at 4000RPM sucking gas. Over the 3250 miles I've towed the 21, I have been getting 12MPG (US) or less. This is towing at 60MPH on secondary roads. On the interstates (still at 60MPH) it does a little better, but rarely makes it to 5th gear (with a 6 speed transmission).

Once I get back to NY, I may start looking at something else - Maybe the rumored 2019 Tundra redesign, or even one of the Ford Ecoboosts. It is a dilemma, because I really love the truck for everything but towing the 21.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:00 AM   #5
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I used a Nissan Frontier with a 4.0 l V-6 to tow a 19 ft Scamp and it did ok but as others have said it seemed to be working awfully hard. I now have a Toyota Tundra Double Cab 4x4 w/the 4.6 l V-8. It hardly works at all towing my 5.0 TA and gets almost the same mileage as the V-6 running empty and towing does maybe a bit better because the RPMs stay much lower. Very comfortable and no suspension mods necessary. Gotta keep your foot out of the throttle though!
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:02 AM   #6
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Jon, I recall you were pretty sure you were going to a 19 when you got ur truck. Guess the surprise change to the 21 kinda veered off the plan.
12 mpg or less would be pretty hard to take for us in retirement planning as the FTimers say, fuel is usually the top expense.
We get between 15-16mpg with the Frontier and the 19 and I’d like to do better than that if I cud.
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:18 PM   #7
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Jon, what sort of mileage do you get with your Tacoma when you are not towing?

I'm sorry to hear that the new Tacoma / new 21 combo doesn't work as well as my 2013 Tacoma / 2014 Escape 21. I get 13 mpg towing and 20 mpg not towing, and I'm pretty happy with its driveability when towing.
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Old 11-29-2017, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
I have read a number of rhe old threads on this and much discussion is on the 5.0ta. Can anyone who has towed the 21 with a Tacoma comment? ...
We tow a '21 with a 2014 Tacoma with off-road and tow package plus manual transmission. While I love the manual tranny for driving in the mountains (with or without the trailer), it doesn't appear to help with gas milage. We're getting a nominal 12 mpg while towing. I'm usually driving in 5th gear while on the level.

The gross tow weight and hitch weight are well within the specs, but the total payload weight is very constrained. With a passenger and my topper I think I have about 200 pounds of remaining cargo capacity out of an initial 1100 pounds. So most of the time you will find us towing our '21 with an almost empty truck bed. Anything heavy, like spare water bottles for example, goes behind the front seats in our Access Cab (shorter than the Double Cab).

Drivability and stopping seem quite predictable. Especially after having to make a tire-screeching panic stop this summer while trying to merge onto the interstate. The stop was straight and it felt like all 8 wheels were doing what they were supposed to - thankfully.

Sometimes I envy the bigger Ford 150 for its power and capacity - but only until I have to pull into a tight parking space at my local grocery store. The envy stops there!

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Old 11-29-2017, 02:02 PM   #9
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I believe the new Taco's use the Atkinson motor. After test driving one and looking at the spec's it appears that Toyota's change from the older 4.0 L motor which was in my FJ Cruiser to the new one was a mistake. they are using gear and rear end ratios to make up for the lower power.
But the lower power gives it better efficiency and mpg. I decided against one.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:39 PM   #10
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Hopefully more folks will chime in. Wait seems the jury is split on the Tacoma.

As to gas mileage, my f-150 ecoboost gets 11.5-12 towing the 21 going about 67mph.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:03 PM   #11
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I am more concerned with how well my vehicle tows and how comfortable and safe it is .
Fuel mileage and how well my vehicle fits in a parking spot at Walmart are far down my list of priorities.
I've found that if I don't try to park 5 ft from the store's entry and walk a little farther , finding an adequate parking spot is not an issue.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:20 PM   #12
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As others have mentioned, a Tacoma will pull a 21, but your challenge will be with payload. You basically can't put anything in the truck once you have passengers and the basic stuff. Having owned a Tacoma with the 4.0 and 3.5, the 4.0 is a much better tow vehicle, but the payload on both is the limiting factor. Calculate the weights you'll have in the truck (people, stuff, WDH, tongue weight, firewood, grill, chairs, etc...) and see if you are over the your payload limit. We did these calculations and quickly realized we could never carry our kayaks as it put us over the limit every time. Without the Kayaks we were under, but only by 25lbs. That doesn't leave any room to gain weight. Tacoma's are great trucks, but pulling a 21 with a ~500lb tongue weight makes it tough. We moved to a full size truck and not having to worry about overloading the truck has been a relief. We also get to go kayaking when we camp! Yippie.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Once I get back to NY, I may start looking at something else...
....even one of the Ford Ecoboosts.
Don't do it Jon. It'll ruin you for towing with anything less.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:57 PM   #14
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I also ran into issues with my new 2017 Tacoma off road. It was a difficult decision to make but I traded it in on a 2017 Tundra just prior to picking up our new 19 in late Oct. it was the right decision for us and we love the Tundra.


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Old 11-29-2017, 06:14 PM   #15
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I used to tow a 30ft stick built trailer...approx 7500lbs dry with my toyota tundra 5.7L. It was a marginal tow but ultimately the tundra did work. Towing that much weight...near my limits effected my shocks and required a beefy WDH. Now we are so much more happier with our Escape 21 and towing it with our tundra.....so glad we kept the full size truck with our 21....it is nice not to have to worry about overloading the trailer or truck. We get about 12mpg while towing the 21.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:18 PM   #16
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Air bags would increase load capicity of the bed. I have them on my old 2003 Tacoma
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:27 PM   #17
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I also ran into issues with my new 2017 Tacoma off road. It was a difficult decision to make but I traded it in on a 2017 Tundra just prior to picking up our new 19 in late Oct. it was the right decision for us and we love the Tundra.


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Had an almost identical experience when 4 months after buying a new Highlander for our 17B we ordered a 21. After a lot of research and talking to many people I decided to bite the bullet and traded in for a full size. 40K+ towing miles later zero regrets. Almost always get 13 mpg. I really doubt others claims of better mileage with a V-6 gas engine unless they are towing on flat terrain only.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
I have read a number of rhe old threads on this and much discussion is on the 5.0ta. Can anyone who has towed the 21 with a Tacoma comment? With the tow package, the trailer weight is well within specs. I talked to a fellow recently that towed his 21 with a Nissan that is the same size as the Tacoma and he had no problems. I suspect that sway bars would be needed for sure. We use a F-150 now which is naturally fine but I would just rather have a smaller truck.
We picked up our 21’ in Chilliwack last may with ou 2016 Tacoma and traveled cross country to our home in New Hampshire. We have the equalizer hitch with sway control bar and I felt that the Tacoma did a good job towing the trailer. It did slow down quite a bit on the long climbs in the Canadian Rockies but we did not try to push it too hard. We averaged about 15mph to our trip. Hope this helped. Skibum1949.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:23 PM   #19
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Jon, what sort of mileage do you get with your Tacoma when you are not towing?

I'm sorry to hear that the new Tacoma / new 21 combo doesn't work as well as my 2013 Tacoma / 2014 Escape 21. I get 13 mpg towing and 20 mpg not towing, and I'm pretty happy with its driveability when towing.
Non towing, 19 - 20 mixed driving, 21-22 Highway. Short trips around town, not hitting any highways, 15-16. I'm not all that concerned about the mileage - I wouldn't expect all that much more with a different truck.

As I said, I love the truck, lots of fun running off road, but it just seems to be working too hard when towing. It tows the 21 far better than the RAV4 did the 17, but I really get tired of listening to the engine whine.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:20 PM   #20
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Thanks for that frank assessment. I have been saying for years that Escape needs to update their website as it pertains to towing claims. Those claims were made when the 17 was their flagship and has never been updated.
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