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Old 04-15-2019, 10:58 PM   #1
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Location: Smithers, BC, British Columbia
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Update on E21 experience

Hello all,


Been since last year that I have posted, but I thought I would provide an update on our purchase of an E21 last summer. We have since done one long trip last fall, and are in the beginning of another at the moment.



First, I will note that we are happy with how our Tacoma handles the trailer, and will not be considering a move to a larger truck. Yes, on infrequent occasions the truck needs to gear down and slow to climb steeper hills, but I find this an acceptable compromise given my better half's and my preferences to avoid getting a larger truck. Not everyone's cup of tea, but it works very well for us.



Second, I need to enthusiastically tip our hats once again to Escape Trailer for their incredible level of friendly and competent service. We dropped in on our way through Chilliwack today with a couple minor issues that I wanted to get advice on, and ETI had us out the door sorted in less than half an hour. They could not have treated us in a more friendly and helpful manner in spite of us arriving there unannounced without an appointment. This was also in spite of the fact that they probably could not have been busier than they must be at this time of year. I can't recall having ever been treated better by any commercial enterprise. The few minor glitches with our new trailer have now been 100% sorted, and we could not be happier with the trailer.



Onward to Washington and Oregon.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:04 AM   #2
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Towing a 21 with a Tacoma

Just finished a 10,000 mile tow with my 2009 Tacoma and new 21 over 5 months and faced 8 percent mountain passes and sometimes heavy wind gusts...have airbags only and towed flawlessly but did work hard to maintain 55 over steep grades. Larger truck would have worked less but I liked the Tacoma much better when unhitched and exploring "off road". Each to his own!
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprinkledavid@gmail.com View Post
Just finished a 10,000 mile tow with my 2009 Tacoma and new 21 over 5 months and faced 8 percent mountain passes and sometimes heavy wind gusts...have airbags only and towed flawlessly but did work hard to maintain 55 over steep grades. Larger truck would have worked less but I liked the Tacoma much better when unhitched and exploring "off road". Each to his own!
I have a Tundra with the 5.7 engine and like to travel with the cruise control on. When traveling along west Texas going up and down the hills in cruise, the transmission shifts up and down quite a bit. On some hills, the cruise control will kick out due to the engine rpms going too high.

Can you travel with the cruise control on with the Tacoma or are you having to regulate speed yourself?
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:34 AM   #4
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Towing a 21 with a Tacoma

On relatively flat terrain I can leave it in 5th gear and cruise in 5th gear at 58 to 60 mph with no head wind. In 4th gear I can leave it in 4th gear for most grades with CC on an it will shift to 3rd as needed. When I sense a slowing down below 50 mph on a steep grade I release CC and push the accelerator to engage 2 gear and the engine comes to life and I start climbing up to 55+. I am heavily loaded, I might add.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:22 PM   #5
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I am glad to hear that theTacoma does a good job towing the 21. I have a new (4K miles) 2018 Tacoma and am picking up my 21 on May 3rd. Gotta admit that I have been a little nervous about towing since this is my first trailer. I did order the E2 sway and weight control hitch from ETI and plan on towing in fourth gear with the ETC power button on. I do agree that ETI has been fantastic to work with.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sailjoe View Post
I am glad to hear that theTacoma does a good job towing the 21. I have a new (4K miles) 2018 Tacoma and am picking up my 21 on May 3rd. Gotta admit that I have been a little nervous about towing since this is my first trailer. I did order the E2 sway and weight control hitch from ETI and plan on towing in fourth gear with the ETC power button on. I do agree that ETI has been fantastic to work with.
Allan shows he has a 2014 Tacoma in his Profile. David does not indicate his model year. I have owned 3 Tacoma's over the years, 2001- (1st generation) 2014 -(2nd Gen) and a 2016 - (3rd Gen.) I towed my 19' with both the 2014 and the 2016. The 3rd generation uses a slightly smaller engine than the 2nd generation, it also comes with a 6 speed tranny instead of the 5 speed. I found that for the same grades and conditions I often had to use one lower gear with the 2016 than in the 2014. Granted the 6 speed tranny has different shift points so the end result was that my engine was revving about 700 RPM higher with the 3rd generation Taco than the 2nd gen.

It still had plenty of power, it is just that the power band was 700 RPM higher. The net result was my gas milage while towing went down about 1-2 MPG over all with the 3rd generation truck. When not towing, the 3rd generation was 2-3 MPG better than the 2014 because of the 6 speed and smaller engine. I often would get 20 MPG + on the highway when not towing. But down around 11 to 13 while towing.

Then in anticipation of my new 5.0 TA, I traded in the 2016 Tacoma on a 2017 Tundra Crew Max. with the 5.7 engine. It can cruise in D with the tow mode engaged and not even break a sweat pulling my 19'. And I get 13 to 14 MPG about the same as I used to get with the 2nd gen 2014 Tacoma because it has the torque to pull in a higher gear. I prefer the Tacoma's around town and do miss those great trucks. But for towing, I would recommend the Tundra over a 3rd gen Taco from the perspective of gas milage and engine noise.

Different travel styles and terrain will affect all of this so of course your milage may very.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:56 PM   #7
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All interesting replies, for which thanks.



As to mileage, I only get 11-12 miles per us gallon, so others are doing better than I am, perhaps I was on more hilly terrain.



I have heard from others that mileage with the Tundra while towing is at least as good as the Tacoma with similar load, but it is interesting to have that confirmed again here.



I tend not to use cruise control with the trailer because doing so results in too much hunting between 5th (locked) and 4.5 (unlocked). Someone more tolerant of that behaviour might choose differently. I have a scangauge installed which continuously displays transmission temperature, and to my surprise, operating in 4.5 does not seem to significantly raise temperature, so perhaps shifting down a notch from 5 is just a matter of fuel consumption, which definitely suffers.



Sticking with the Tacoma rather than moving to a Tundra was a reasonably close decision for us. From Arniesea's post, I expect our decision would have been for a Tundra if we started with the gen 3 Tacoma rather than our gen 2.



OTOH, if I ever manage to wear out the Tacoma, the Tundra may be back on the list.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:14 PM   #8
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All interesting replies, for which thanks.



As to mileage, I only get 11-12 miles per us gallon, so others are doing better than I am, perhaps I was on more hilly terrain.


OTOH, if I ever manage to wear out the Tacoma, the Tundra may be back on the list.
I suspect the biggest difference in our mileage is the weight and frontal area difference between the new 21í and my ďClassicĒ 19í. Your 2014 Taco is doing quite well, really!

Oh and thanks for the one year review. Iím sure it will be helpful to many.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:40 PM   #9
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Towing a 21 with a Tacoma

No one has discussed at what average speed they are towing their trailers. That can make a significant difference in mileage especially in hilly conditions or with headwinds. My 2009 Tacoma towed my 19 trailer for over 50,000 miles and average almost 15 mpg with a 58mph goal on freeways. On steep mountain passes I limited my speed to 50mph and with heavy headwinds dropped to 55mph on the freeway. Towing my 21 after 9000 miles I averaged just shy of 14mpg with the same strategy. A close friend of mine has a new 21 Escape and is towing it with a 2018 Tacoma with AT. He traveled over 8000 miles this winter with similar driving habits and averaged 13.5 mpg. If you are cruising at 65 then the mileage will drop to around 12 mpg. Your choice.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprinkledavid@gmail.com View Post
No one has discussed at what average speed they are towing their trailers. That can make a significant difference in mileage especially in hilly conditions or with headwinds. My 2009 Tacoma towed my 19 trailer for over 50,000 miles and average almost 15 mpg with a 58mph goal on freeways. On steep mountain passes I limited my speed to 50mph and with heavy headwinds dropped to 55mph on the freeway. Towing my 21 after 9000 miles I averaged just shy of 14mpg with the same strategy. A close friend of mine has a new 21 Escape and is towing it with a 2018 Tacoma with AT. He traveled over 8000 miles this winter with similar driving habits and averaged 13.5 mpg. If you are cruising at 65 then the mileage will drop to around 12 mpg. Your choice.
David,

Point well taken! Headwinds and tailwinds had a much bigger impact on my milage than hills. I generally traveled at 60 - 65 MPH on freeways so that would explain our different experience for sure. When I had my Aliner folding trailer, I easily averaged 15+ MPG with my 2014 Tacoma.

It will be interesting to see how things go once I gat my 5.0 next week. It appears to have less frontal area since it overlaps the rear of the truck. Iím hoping for similar MPG to pulling my 19í even though it is a larger rig.

Thanks!
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