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Old 10-09-2021, 11:11 AM   #1
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Toyota Tacoma or Toyota Tundra for Escape 21'?

Hi All,
My husband and I just put down a deposit on an Escape 21' that will be ready in April 2023 and we are super excited. We need another car at the moment so we are going to go ahead and buy the truck that will eventually pull the Escape. Our original thought was always to buy a Toyota Tacoma, which according to Toyota has a towing capacity between 6400-6700lbs depending on the options selected. The GVWR of the Escape 21' is 5000lbs. The tongue weight on the Tacoma is about 670lbs and the hitch weight on the Escape would be about 500-750lbs. We are a family of five with kids in middle and high school so in the early years the truck would be carrying 5 average size people and eventually tapering down to two people. Camper use would be one -2 months a year -RV sites but also boondocking, mountains/flat, etc. Has anyone towed a 21' Escape with a Tacoma or otherwise know if it would work? Our other option would be to size up to a Toyota Tundra though the price difference is not insignificant. Our initial impression is that the Tacoma might be cutting it close and the Tundra is probably overkill. That said, this will be our first camper and we have never towed anything so we are a bit like the blind leading the blind. Any assistance would be very much appreciated!

In advance, thanks to all!
Sandra
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Old 10-09-2021, 11:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandra View Post
Hi All,
My husband and I just put down a deposit on an Escape 21' that will be ready in April 2023 and we are super excited. We need another car at the moment so we are going to go ahead and buy the truck that will eventually pull the Escape. Our original thought was always to buy a Toyota Tacoma, which according to Toyota has a towing capacity between 6400-6700lbs depending on the options selected. The GVWR of the Escape 21' is 5000lbs. The tongue weight on the Tacoma is about 670lbs and the hitch weight on the Escape would be about 500-750lbs. We are a family of five with kids in middle and high school so in the early years the truck would be carrying 5 average size people and eventually tapering down to two people. Camper use would be one -2 months a year -RV sites but also boondocking, mountains/flat, etc. Has anyone towed a 21' Escape with a Tacoma or otherwise know if it would work? Our other option would be to size up to a Toyota Tundra though the price difference is not insignificant. Our initial impression is that the Tacoma might be cutting it close and the Tundra is probably overkill. That said, this will be our first camper and we have never towed anything so we are a bit like the blind leading the blind. Any assistance would be very much appreciated!

In advance, thanks to all!
Sandra
I own one of each, Tundra hands down, for every one of your concerns.

My Tacoma is the truck I prefer to use for my work and errands. It has the 4.0 but fully loaded and towing much more than a utility trailer it will be crawling on inclines.

The Tundra is for traveling.

The new Tundras come with an improved motor, more power and much improved gas mileage.

Buying cars has really changed, you wonít be able to bargain with them so you may as well just order it to be built.
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Old 10-09-2021, 11:55 AM   #3
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I towed both a 2011 17B & a 2017 21C with a 2016 Tacoma Off Road (3.5 engine). It was fine for the 17. but not enough truck for the 21. Most of the time I was 150 - 200 pounds over payload, it spent far too much time at 4000 RPM, mileage was around 10 - 11 MPG. I switched to a 2018 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost, have lots of left over payload, under 2000 RPM at 63MPH, and 12 - 13 MPG.

I know there are other forum members that are comfortable towing a 21 with the Tacoma, but I was not.
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Old 10-09-2021, 12:15 PM   #4
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Our Tacoma struggles with out 17A.
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Old 10-09-2021, 12:20 PM   #5
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Talking

I use a 2014 Tacoma (4.0 engine) with a manual transmission and pull a 2015 E-21 (4500 gvw). Only two people max and with practically nothing in the truck bed it does OK most of the time. Going uphill out of Denver is a struggle but the manual engine doesn't complain if I use the correct gear (generally third going up to the tunnel). And as mentioned previously - gas mileage is the pits. But its a fun truck for off-road play.


My suggestion: Get one of each.
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Old 10-09-2021, 01:20 PM   #6
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We towed our E21 home from Texas to Santa Cruz by way of Reno with our 2008 Tacoma, a TRD Offroad 4x4 access cab, 4.0L V6 w/ 6 speed stick shift, that had better bilsteins and riderite airbags. It 'towed' it just fine, but the gas mileage was atrocious on the southern interstates, and the payload was nearly non-existant when you add in us and the tongue weight.

definitely a fun truck off road!
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Old 10-09-2021, 02:13 PM   #7
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I towed my 2017 19 foot with my 2016 tacoma sport and it was fine on the flats. Pulling uphill was a bit of a struggle as it wants to gear down too much. Iím going to try and tow my 21C with it we will see how successful that will be. Hoping I wonít have to upgrade to a more powerful truck.
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Old 10-09-2021, 02:27 PM   #8
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We have a 2017 19ft Escape. I have towed it with a 2005 Toyota Tacoma and with a 2018 Tundra. The Tacoma towed the 19 fine but on some of the long hills going through the Mountain passes in BC it was working hard. I was ultimately more worried about the downhills. The Tundra has lots of power, more payload and better braking. We feel safer with the trailer behind our Tundra.

The new Tundra (2022) has a hybrid option but Toyota has not yet released the gas mileage or price. It has even more payload, horsepower and Torque. Overkill for an Escape 21 but the improved fuel economy might be worth the wait.

With five of you traveling together I would go for the Tundra.

Good luck.
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:08 PM   #9
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I towed my 2017 19 foot with my 2016 tacoma sport and it was fine on the flats. Pulling uphill was a bit of a struggle as it wants to gear down too much. Iím going to try and tow my 21C with it we will see how successful that will be. Hoping I wonít have to upgrade to a more powerful truck.
'gear down too much' ?? as long as you aren't bouncing off the redline, there's no 'too much'. My 4.0 pulled up steep grades just fine at around 4500 RPM, I could do 55-60 in 4th gear (6 speed stick shift) at those sorts of RPMs... I think the red line was around 6000 or 6500? Don't remember exactly.
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:10 PM   #10
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The new Tundra (2022) has a hybrid option but Toyota has not yet released the gas mileage or price. It has even more payload, horsepower and Torque. Overkill for an Escape 21 but the improved fuel economy might be worth the wait.
I don't think a hybrid is a good idea for towing. for towing, you need sustained torque, and hybrids are all about stop and go economy, once you've used up the limited electrical capacity, they revert to their underpowered gas engines.
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:21 PM   #11
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I think your passengers will be much happier in a Tundra. 5 in a Tacoma, especially teens, will be a squeeze unless everyone is of fairly small stature. Might work for short trips. 5 people plus hitch weight might also be pushing the payload limits as well.
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:45 PM   #12
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I think your passengers will be much happier in a Tundra. 5 in a Tacoma, especially teens, will be a squeeze unless everyone is of fairly small stature. Might work for short trips. 5 people plus hitch weight might also be pushing the payload limits as well.
oh, and a Tacoma crew cab has even less payload than a Toyota Access Cab. in the gen 2 series 4x4 like my 2008, its 1200 lbs payload for an Access Cab, and only 1000 lbs for a Crew Cab. a couple 180 lb adults and a couple 100 lb teenagers in that crew cab and 500 lbs of tongue weight, and BAM, you're overweight with NOTHING in the bed of the truck. now, yes, I realize the later gen 2 upped the payload some.
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
'gear down too much' ?? as long as you aren't bouncing off the redline, there's no 'too much'. My 4.0 pulled up steep grades just fine at around 4500 RPM, I could do 55-60 in 4th gear (6 speed stick shift) at those sorts of RPMs... I think the red line was around 6000 or 6500? Don't remember exactly.
I also had a 2008 off road Tacoma and it towed much better then the 2016. They came out with a new motor in 2016 and it likes to pull uphill at much higher RPMís which I personally donít likeÖto each their own
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Old 10-09-2021, 04:57 PM   #14
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horsepower is proportional to RPM and torque. I suppose I got used to small engine european sedans such as my old VW Jetta GLI that ran just great while revving up in the 4000s and 5000s, and even up to 7000 before shifting. below 3500 that engine had zilch.
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Old 10-09-2021, 05:59 PM   #15
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Thank you!

Thank you to everyone for your responses! They have been super helpful and it sounds like there is little question that for multiple reasons we should upgrade to the Tundra, so that will be the plan. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone and thanks again!

Sandra
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Old 10-09-2021, 08:51 PM   #16
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I think your passengers will be much happier in a Tundra. 5 in a Tacoma, especially teens, will be a squeeze unless everyone is of fairly small stature. Might work for short trips. 5 people plus hitch weight might also be pushing the payload limits as well.
I solved that problem quite effectively - took out the back seats in my Access Cab Tacoma.
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Old 10-09-2021, 08:52 PM   #17
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2021 tundra here, with the 5.0.
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Old 10-10-2021, 01:52 PM   #18
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I think you've made the right decision to get the Tundra. As nice as the smaller pickups are for many daily tasks, if Jon was over payload with the Tacoma I can't even imagine how much more over payload you'd be when carrying 5 kids and all the stuff they need.
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Old 10-10-2021, 01:54 PM   #19
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I don't think a hybrid is a good idea for towing. for towing, you need sustained torque, and hybrids are all about stop and go economy, once you've used up the limited electrical capacity, they revert to their underpowered gas engines.
The new tundra hybrid, like the Ford F-150 are different animals and are built for torque and towing. Will be interested in the reviews.
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Old 10-10-2021, 03:42 PM   #20
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With Tundra, you get a bigger, significantly heavier truck, and one hundred more horsepower.
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