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Old 01-26-2015, 08:19 PM   #1
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Towing a 5.0 TA with a Tacoma - thoughts?

We are ordering a 5.0 TA for Sept delivery and currently have a 2013 Tacoma, double cab, short bed with tow package. We are wondering if anyone out there has a Tacoma with similar specs towing a 5.0 TA and/or what your thoughts are about towing up and down all the hills we will be seeing in our travels or should we be considering getting a different tow vehicle?
Thanks,
Charlie & Lucy
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:42 PM   #2
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Member named Alf of Ontario tows with a Nissan Frontier, similar vehicle, he may chime in soon.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:56 PM   #3
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Charlie & Lucy, I too just ordered a 5.0TA and did not even have a truck. After asking around (many, many people) I chose a Tundra over the Tacoma. Reason? While the Tacoma might (repeat 'might') be able to handle the load in the mountains from year to year (I keep a car/truck for many years), the Tundra definitely will not have a problem. I just as soon not put the stress on a Tacoma motor. Just my personal preference.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:18 PM   #4
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If you are willing to get another tow vehicle then there's no reason not to try out the Taco, if you find it struggles then you get the replacement. The only thing you'll lose is the cost of installing the hitch and the vehicle specific frame brackets you'll be tossing away. It is a bit light on the payload side.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie & Lucy View Post
We are ordering a 5.0 TA for Sept delivery and currently have a 2013 Tacoma, double cab, short bed with tow package. We are wondering if anyone out there has a Tacoma with similar specs towing a 5.0 TA and/or what your thoughts are about towing up and down all the hills we will be seeing in our travels or should we be considering getting a different tow vehicle?
Thanks,
Charlie & Lucy
Well, as an owner of a 2013 Tacoma extended cab, long box I can tell you that I was very close to buying a 5.0 (not 5 TA) a while back but after running all the numbers for weight I ended up with less than 100 pounds of cargo carrying capacity - and that's with an empty trailer and only the driver and one passenger. You have to factor in the pin weight, weight of hitch, liquid weight, etc. and the Tacoma rated CCC and you will see what I mean. That, and the 5 TA has an even heavier pin weight. No way would I do it with a Tacoma, even if all I drove on were flat highways, which you've indicated is not your intended use. I think the Frontier has a slightly heavier CCC, but it's up to you as it will be marginal at best.

I know people have done it and continue to do it, and I'm sure the Tacoma would handle the load, but you will absolutely not be legal - at least not in Canada. Also, I confirmed with Toyota that they would not honour any warranty issues related to the 5th wheel hitch attachment (rust, damage, etc) as it must be bolted through the box and directly to the frame.

This is just my opinion(backed up with Tacoma specifications) and I mean no disrespect whatsoever to anyone using the Tacoma for the fifth wheel - but I would advise going for a full size p/u and you'll never have anything to worry about.

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Old 01-26-2015, 10:22 PM   #6
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See my thread on Frontal Area. I bought a 2013 Highlander one year ago for my 17B then decided to get a 21 in May. It was agonizing but decided to go full size. No regrets.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:34 AM   #7
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I know people have done it and continue to do it, and I'm sure the Tacoma would handle the load, but you will absolutely not be legal - at least not in Canada.
Canada or elsewhere, if the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or Gross Axle Weight Rating (front or rear, but the rear would likely be the issue) is exceeded then the rig is not road legal. I agree this requires careful consideration with any potential truck - I have seen full-size truck owners (particularly Ram 1500 and Chev/GM Silverado 1500) run into these limits even with a conventional Escape-sized trailer.

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Also, I confirmed with Toyota that they would not honour any warranty issues related to the 5th wheel hitch attachment (rust, damage, etc) as it must be bolted through the box and directly to the frame.
Wouldn't this be the same for the Tundra, or any vehicle with a hitch not installed by the dealer or at the factory? They're all bolted to the frame... although in some cases it can be done without drilling holes.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:34 AM   #8
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Charlie, if your vehicle has a published towing capacity within the numbers for the 5.0 TA, then it will work. Will it be as pleasant a tow experience as with a full size truck? No. Personally I like having the extra margin in towing capacity and vehicle payload. I also like knowing that grades are not a problem. Tow vehicles are a touchy subject with many and much of the chatter is a matter of preference and not capability. If it were me, I'd go with something bigger.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:40 AM   #9
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Charlie, if your vehicle has a published towing capacity within the numbers for the 5.0 TA, then it will work.
... unless the rear axle is overloaded by the combination of the rear axle's share of passengers, cargo, and pin weight. Or if the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is exceeded by the combination of the trucks curb weight plus passengers, cargo, and pin weight. Both of those can happen even if the trailer is within the maximum trailer weight limit. The issue, compared to conventional trailers such as the Escape 21', is the high hitch (pin) weight typical of fifth-wheel setups.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:44 AM   #10
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... unless the rear axle is overloaded by the combination of the rear axle's share of passengers, cargo, and pin weight. Or if the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is exceeded by the combination of the trucks curb weight plus passengers, cargo, and pin weight. Both of those can happen even if the trailer is within the maximum trailer weight limit. The issue, compared to conventional trailers such as the Escape 21', is the high hitch (pin) weight typical of fifth-wheel setups.
Well I agree of course that you need to keep all the numbers in line -- including the TV's cargo and passenger capacity. Considering that a taco's cargo capacity is pretty light to begin with, towing a 5er doesn't leave enough of a margin for my liking.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Member named Alf of Ontario tows with a Nissan Frontier, similar vehicle, he may chime in soon.
I think that Alf is on his way to FL as don't see any posts from him in a couple of days. I'm sure once he's back on line in sunny Fort Myers we'll hear from him.

Last year we searched for a Tacoma or Frontier for our soon to be ours 5.0 classic. I pretty well eliminated the Taco due to the composite box and less towing ability it appeared than the Frontier. The right Frontier was not to be had so ended up finding a 2wd F150 Supercab with the 4.6. It has been great towing the 5.0, hardly aware it's behind us, just arrived Sunday in the Rio Grande valley with no issues.

So I would not recommend the Taco even for a 5.0 classic never mind the TA.

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Old 01-27-2015, 08:40 AM   #12
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I gave my Tacoma a chance with my new 21 last year towing from BC to my home in Williamsburg VA. I just kept having a feeling that the tail was wagging the dog. I made adjustments to the Anderson Hitch and that helped some but when driving through Oklahoma City on I-40 it got too scary. There was lots of construction, rough roads and me making abrupt moves due to conditions. So, I sold it and bought a Ford with the 5L V8. I miss my Taco for it's size, looks, gas milage but I love the Ford for it's larger footprint and quiet ride. I feel much safer towing with a full size truck.

John
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:22 AM   #13
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One thing to consider is the jittery factor. Once towed the 5.0sa with ford ranger but didnt like how the trailer pushed it around. I think the truck weight was just to lite. Sold it and went to sierra and all was hugely better. Will tow the new 5.0ta with sierra.
my advice stay full size. U will get just as good mpg and enjoy the ride more.

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Old 01-27-2015, 11:28 AM   #14
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I looked into the same thing and opted for a 19 for all of the reasons listed.

Toyota and my dealer were adamant that I was on my own if I mounted a fifth wheel hitch into the composite bed.

The length of the short bed makes it difficult to mount the hitch in front of or over the axle, you've got to leave clearance for turning.

Mostly, the load capacity of the Tacoma was too close to the pin weight of the trailer + 2 occupants.

I don't doubt that it works; but too many things were marginal for my taste. I may still end up upgrading the Tacoma; but I'll give it a try.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:13 PM   #15
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I think the more power and weight that you have in front of your trailer, the better off you will be. I ordered the GMC with 11,200 lbs. towing capacity to pull a 17 ft. Casita, but somehow things got changed to a 21 ft Escape. Well, you know how it goes. One of my favorite sayings is, "what ever you think it is going to cost, you're wrong. It's going to cost more". Loren
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:47 PM   #16
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Toyota and my dealer were adamant that I was on my own if I mounted a fifth wheel hitch into the composite bed.

The length of the short bed makes it difficult to mount the hitch in front of or over the axle, you've got to leave clearance for turning.

Mostly, the load capacity of the Tacoma was too close to the pin weight of the trailer + 2 occupants.
I've gone through this thought process as well to see if my Tacoma could haul a 5.0TA. I agree with the comments that there would only be about 100lbs of cargo capacity left if my wife and I were both in the truck.

With regard to the bed length, in order to mount the hitch over the axle, I'd have to have a slider hitch or a pin extender to keep the trailer from damaging the cab.

I don't necessarily agree with the comment about mounting a hitch to the bed. My understanding is that the hitch installer will mount the hitch directly to the frame, and will only need to punch mounting holes through the composite.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:53 PM   #17
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Isn't Toyota primarily concerned with frame corrosion by punching through the composite bed? There have been recalls for this.
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:18 PM   #18
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I understand the desire to tow a 5.0 TA with a small / midsize pickup truck . I own a 2014 Ram 1500 rated to tow 10,250 lbs and a payload capacity of 1480 Lbs. . I have talked to 3 Ram dealers ,1 Chevy dealer and Ram factory customer assistance and all have advised me that 1/2 ton trucks are not designed to tow a 5th wheel trailer .Also if I modify my vehicle to accommodate towing a 5th wheeler ,my warranty may be affected . The problem seems to stem from how the truck was designed and exceeding the GVWR ,RAWR and the payload capacity of the vehicle. Wheel base also enters into the equation . One could argue that their motive for such advise is self serving ( Getting you to buy a 3/4 ton truck ) but I don't believe that is their only consideration . So who's being honest ,the vehicle manufacturer or the company selling the 5th wheel trailer?
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:46 PM   #19
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One of the main reasons I went to a moulded fiberglass trailer, was to get away from the old mentality, of "Bigger is Better", for both the trailer AND the tow vehicle. There is no way I could ever be convinced you would need anything larger than a 1/2 ton, like your Dodge Steve, to tow the 5.0TA. Heck, look at Alf who is doing good with something much smaller.

What constitutes a pickup being "designed" to pull a fifth wheel. As long as the hitch is mounted firmly to the frame, there should be no issue. One would have to ensure the capacities are not surpassed. How much weight is on the hitch of a 5,0TA?
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:56 PM   #20
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Hi Jim

From what I understand you could run as high as 1000LBS hitch weight, depending on how you load. Any half ton truck should handle it with no issues. By the way, bigger is better, you will see when you order your new Escape 5.0TA.

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