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Old 01-09-2009, 03:20 AM   #1
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Phoenix , Arizona
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I just joined this forum to lurk around and learn. I have my TV, and am dreaming of a Travel Trailer. My TV is a 2007 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab SR5 V6. Without tow package.

The guy at the parts counter said I could just put a hitch, and it would be fine, but I don't believe him. I think I will need at least a Transmission cooler.

The truck is rated to tow 6500lbs with tow pakage, but I am not sure about the tow capacity without.

Since this is my daily driver, and I get awesome fuel economy (Lifetime average 24.5MPG), I don't plan on getting a bigger TV, but I have toyed with the idea of trading for another Tacoma with the tow package, but the coolers could be added to my truck.

I lived for just over a year in a stationary Silver Streak. The box measured 20' not including the triangle shaped garden out front. The landlord said it was a 23' trailer, I suppose that the triangle thing was about 3'. I am single, and that is not likely to change anytime soon, so I know I can live in a TT that size if I decide to. The question I have is what would be the biggest, most practicle, and versitile TT that I could tow with my Tacoma? I have done some searching, but found little in the way of information that answers my specific question.

I like the look and durability of the Silver Twinkies, and my primary use would be Burning Man. Burning Man is a week long art festival about 150 miles north of Reno, NV with around 50,000 participants. I wouldn't be surpprised if I am not the only Burner that is on this forum. I live in Phoenix, AZ.

Eventually I am considering retiring and living in the TT fulltime, so I want to invest in something that will last. A/C and heat will be required, and I hope to be able to live off grid vagabond style, so solar is an eventual modification.


Allan Greenblazer

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Old 01-09-2009, 05:50 AM   #2

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Welcome aboard, Good Luck in your Airstream adventure.

Here is a thread that should help.

“We were young and knew we're old and everyone else knows everything.”

"It is more wiser to ponder all things with diligent suspicion, than follow with blind assumption."

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Old 01-09-2009, 06:14 AM   #3
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1993 34' Limited
Melbourne Florida , Springfield Ohio
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Welcome to the forum - I am sure you will receive many responses. I have a friend with a vehicle like yours and he tows a 17 or 19 foot Casita like it was not there.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:48 AM   #4
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Dewey , Arizona
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Welcome to the forums from another Phoenix resident. There are many members from the valley here on the forums.

The rating of the Taco will depend on the hitch that you have installed. An cooler for the tranny is always a good idea.

There have been many members from the forums at the Burn and they had a forums rally there last year at Burnstream Court.



Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:06 AM   #5
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

You've found the right place to get your questions answered.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:27 AM   #6
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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Hi Allan welcome to the forums from a second Phoenix resident. As for your type of trailer, keep in mind that the older units weigh less than the newer ones so you can actually get more length and living space by going vintage. If you are not in a tremendous hurry to be camping, are handy with a number of tools and skill sets, then finding an older model that suites you're style and budget, undertake restorations/renovations and you'll have exactly what you want, outfitted the way that suites you.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:10 AM   #7
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North Vancouver , British Columbia
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Welcome Allan. I am living in my 1972 Tradewind, which is 25 feet long (these trailers are measured from bumper to ball), and find the size just perfect for me. It has the storage that I need and the space to be comfortable without being cramped. I use the front goucho as my bed because I have the twin bed arrangement at hte centre of the trailer. If I were to start over, I would get the centre double bed, with the additional cabinets replacing the other single. This would allow the front goucho to become more of a living room/lounge area. Presently I use the centre twins area as my lounge and home office. It really does work very well for me, so I really have no complaints. When I get my next trailer, I'll know more about what would make for a better living space and can shop for a floor plan that suits me better. The Tradewind weighs just over 4000 pounds empty (if I recall correctly). I'm not sure how that translates to towability for you with your vehicle but others with more experience will chime in and help you out.

Good luck with your search!
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:07 PM   #8
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Campbell , California
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You might want to ping Viking for some inputs. He and his wife bought my (I mean their) '64 Safari (22ft total length; #3100 dry) a few weeks back. They towed it with a 4DR 2WD Tacoma up to their place in the Santa Cruz mountains. According to Rich, it towed like a dream. That 4.0L V6 is a GREAT power plant. If my old Land Cruiser had that sort of power I wouldn't have needed to upgrade my tow vehicle. Happy Trails!

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Old 01-09-2009, 12:09 PM   #9
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Side note...

When I saw your posting I was sure you were going to introduce yourself as Ritchie Cunningham along with your wife Oprah.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:34 PM   #10
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Boulder Creek , California
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Greetings Greenblazer,
I saw Toddster on this thread, so I had to check it out. What he said is correct; the Tacoma pulls just fine (with the tow package). without it I wouldn't pull anything over A 20' TT. We went for a jaunt to Big Sur for a few days over New Years and it was great. There were a few grades to deal with but they were no problem. Keep in mind though that the older AS trailers do not have grey tanks and have only a small black tank unless you find one that was modified. That's my Spring project with my Safari.
I'll see you at The Burn. Look for the Tuna Guys.
Good luck,
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:40 PM   #11
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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I believe the newer Tacoma's are basically the same as the first generation Tundras—at least they're long enough. Toyota has a couple of upgrades for pickups—the TRD and towing packages. For example, a typical towing package might have outside mirrors that extend outward, higher capacity battery and alternator, transmission oil cooler and temp gauge, weight distributing hitch receiver and 4 and 7 pin female receptacles for the trailer plug, a set up to plug in a brake controller, and gear ratios in the rear differential for towing; suspension upgrades I'm not sure of. The TRD package does have the suspension upgrades including Bilstein shocks. One package can overlap another.

If you have the TRD package, you probably have some of the things that go with the towing package. A dealer should be able to tell you just what you have from the VIN or other information of those metal plates on the truck.

The Toyota V6 is a great engine and has been around since the early '90's and constantly upgraded. It has plenty of HP, but I don't about the torque. I think with the Tacoma you'll be only able to tow either a Bambi or an older, light model.

Keep lurking, read all about tow weights, payload, and the rest. You've found the right place to learn.

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Old 01-09-2009, 06:31 PM   #12
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Canyon Lake , Texas
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Wimped Out Tacoma Owner

Maybe our very recent experience can help you make some decisions. We decided to buy a 20' Safari, with a GVWR of 5000#, thinking our Tacoma had the towing package. Well, a little research further on we found that it doesn't have the towing package and is good for only 3500#. We quickly came to the realization that we would either have to cancel the Airstream or get a bigger tow vehicle.

A bigger tow vehicle was the answer, although a financially painful one. We expect to take delivery of an '07 Tundra next week, with a verified tow package and 10,500# capacity. This not only gives us real comfort towing the 20 footer, but some room for upgrading if we fall in love with 'streaming.

There are lots of forum participants that think pulling even 80% of the rated capacity is too much. I'm not sure I completely agree, in part because I think the manufacturers almost certainly allow a safety factor as well. But there is no doubt about it--the larger the tow vehicle the safer the tow.

I'm not sure there is an Airstream made that would fit within the 3500# limit of your Tacoma. If there is it would be very close, maybe too close for comfort.

One final thought and I'll shut up. If you start shopping for tow vehicles be careful of claims on towing capacity. Most owners (and many dealers) don't have a clue. Many think a receiver hitch on the back end is a sign of a towing package. It isn't. And we haven't found a truck yet that has the towing capacity on a label somewhere. You usually have to figure it out by engine size, special accessories (such as an automatic transmission oil temperature gauge), body style (reg cab, extended cab, crew cab), and the name on and configuration of the hitch.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:50 PM   #13
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Good points Dreamnair. Some believe the manufacturers pump up towing figures to sell trucks—I have no idea whether that's a myth of not.

You're right about hitch receivers. Our 4Runner has one (plus connector for trailer lights, and one for a an aftermarket brake controller), but no tow package. Lots of vehicles can tow a small trailer with a snowmobile or a motorcycle or a load of bricks. Airstreams are a lot heavier.

My experience with Toyota is that you can get brochures with a lot of info at the dealer as well as on the company website. For an older one, ask the service manager or perhaps a salesman will do the legwork. Ask to see anything in print. The owner's manual has a lot of info in it if you look around—there's a section on towing and some other info elsewhere in the manual. You can also call Toyota, but the people who answer the phone are not always knowledgeable and don't know how to find info either.

Also, I believe every Tundra since 2007 has the towing package as standard. TRD is an option, but frequently included.

Allan, look under the back bumper and see if the hitch receiver is part of a larger assembly welded to the rail type truck chassis. If not, it's not a weight distributing unit. You can have towing modifications made to your Tacoma, but you'll have to check carefully to see if the suspension is up to it and what modifications have to be made there. Go around to some 4WD shops and see what they say—you'll get different answers all too often. The dealer may be no more useful. Find out whether the Tacoma with the tow package has a different suspension, drive shaft, differential.

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Old 01-10-2009, 10:37 PM   #14
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Tucson , Arizona
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We tow a 19' 2006 Bambi Safari SE LS (dry #3500, loaded #4500) with a 2007 Tacoma Double Cab TRD V6 with a factory tow package (necessary) rated at towing #6500. The Tacoma does very nicely with the Bambi. We may be able to get away towing a (newer) 20' but beyond that I'm pretty sure I'd want a bigger truck. We are pleased with the Tacoma, as it is also our day-to-day transportation. The Tacomas were beefed up in 2007, the same year that the Tundras were...previous years of Tacomas may have some issues. Older Tundras should be adequate. It's already been pointed out that older Airstreams are lighter than newere ones, so that may be a good dirction for you to explore if you want to stick to the Tacoma but want a larger unit. Good luck and we hope to see you down the pike...

TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Prez & Membership Chair, 4CU/WBCCI
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