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Old 07-17-2006, 05:57 PM   #1
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2005 25' Safari
summerfield , Florida
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changed from Liberty to Tacoma..

I was looking at the Liberty the other day for towing and airstream, after reading the feedback I received thought I should reconsider it. I looked at the Tacoma double cab with tow package plus TRD sport handling package.Rated for towing at 6500 lbs with 127" wheelbase. Can I tow a 19 or 20 ft now? This has the V-6 engine with 236 hp, 266 lbs ft torque. It has the GCWR is 11,100. Appreciate some opinions...

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Old 07-17-2006, 06:10 PM   #2
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That'll probably do it, but the V8 version would be better for you. For towing, torque is really more important than horsepower. 266 ft-lbs isn't a whole lot. You could probably get by with it, though I do think the V8 would be better. With the V8, you'd have no problems. A friend of mine pulls a 26' Prowler with his V8 Tacoma, and that trailer would be heavier than your 19 or 20 foot Airstream.

Dodge has the cylinder deactivation with the newer hemi trucks. A friend of my dad's has one that he gets 21mpg with running empty. Pretty fantastic. But when you need it, you've got 350 horsepower available. My buddy just bought one last week, got a $34K truck for $27K with the deals they have going. Got the quad cab short bed hemi 2wd (he lives where it doesn't snow). Said he got 18mpg with it the other day, but he just turned 600 miles on it. Should get better after it breaks in.

You can get that same engine in a Durango if you prefer an SUV. Grand Cherokee has it too. Although, the guys I know with the SUVs don't get as good a mileage as the guys with the pickups. Not really sure why...

I believe Chevy is introducing that feature too. I know a couple of their cars have it; not sure if their trucks do yet. It's a good idea.

Good luck whichever way you go,

- Jim
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:20 PM   #3
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Hello stonecrest2,
your on the right track there ,especially with the double cab and the longer
wheelbase .the v8 would be better ,whats the mileage with both engines
as posted on the window sticker? You do want the torque ,really important.
If you are wanting the freedom of not worrying about hills or mountains
a bit more grunt under the hood is a good idea.

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Old 07-18-2006, 12:22 AM   #4
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I agree with the majority and suggest that torque is your best friend, a V6 can be a rocket in some vehicles, but even at high RPMs, the torque just isnt always there when you are towing.

If you can wait a bit, there is a lot of talk from Japan and US manufacturers about small diesels in Tacoma-like trucks and SUVs. With the gas prices escalating, there is a lot of incentive for the manufacturers to expedite these programs. Just a thought.

Good luck,

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Old 07-18-2006, 03:43 AM   #5
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I have the V6 Tacoma. It tows a 19' 1963 Globetrotter very well. The older Globetrotter weighs 2700 pounds. I tow a 5000 pound boat locally with no trouble, but the Tacoma does not have the torque to handle big hills with the big load.

Bottom line -- in my opinion, you can handle a vintage, but not newer 19-20 footer.

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Old 07-18-2006, 05:11 AM   #6
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You might also consider the Tundra. Toyota often has incentives for the Tundra (financing/discounts/etc) that bring the cost of a Tundra near to that of a Taco.

- Mark
Happy with his Tundra and Tradewind
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:32 AM   #7
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You are definitely headed in the right direction. Look seriously at the flex fuels from GM and Chrysler V8 if economy is a priority with you. It is too bad the manufacturers are not putting a diesel in their lighter trucks. Maybe if the Liberty is a success that will push them to do it.
I just completed a month as a camp host and experienced several people trying to put their trailers or pop ups into spots with tow vehicles which were too small or too light. Listening to the engines strain while they tried to pull their relatively light trailers up hill was not pleasant. My rule of thumb is to subtract from the tow capacity the truck dealer states and add to the weight of the trailer to reach reality. Always error on the side of safety.
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1994 30' Excella 1000, Chummy III- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:25 AM   #8
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I need to modify my original posting....I thought you said "Tundra". I now see that it was "Tacoma" that you mentioned.

My error. A Tundra with a V6 would be marginal, I think. A Tundra with a V8 would do fine.

A Tacoma is too small.

Sorry for the confusion...I'm a Mopar man myself
- Jim
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:34 AM   #9
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Hi Stonecrest2

Not to offer you anything others hear have not done so...but more to offer what many of us go through at the beginning in determining the "right" tow/trailer combo.

First and foremost we learned was personal preference offered up through the advice.

Second we learned that safety should come first - beyond $'s, looks or even vehicle conveniences.

Third was the technical jargon ...HP, Torque, V6 vs V8 and of course Wheelbase

Fourth is the style of use - will you be camping all the time, towing and dropping for the summer or winter. Where will you be towing - mountains or flats or neither or occaisionally for both or just out and about with mixed rolling terrain. Style of driving Keep up with the "jones" and push the mountains at 70 or take you time and work your way. Take the extra time to enter - and let the rules of the road prevail (you know move over for entering traffic) - or push the limit to come off the on ramps at full speed.

And Fifth thing we learned was to factor in worldy possesions What to take and what to leave behind - what to pack in the trailer and what to pack in the vehicle.

We started off with a Kia Sorento 4x4 (had it before the trailer) picked up our 69 Globe Trotter 21' 3330lb dry with 390lb tongue Now looking at it - she had 192 hp with 217lb of torque at 5500rpms - compared to the Jeep liberty at 210HP/235lbs at 5200rmp or the Tacoma 164hp/183lbs at 5200 The truck wheel base is longer and would give you a more stable ride in certain situations. Torque many say is what you need and I have to agree. If you are doing mountains all the time I think this would be the area to look at the most.

The little V6 in the Kia hummed like a sewing machine whether she had a trailer behind her or not - she was peppy and had no troubles with pulling the GT home dry. The question for us was how much stress were we prepared to put on her when we started to load up - where were we going to travel and in what conditions. Doing weekend camping trips around home and the odd week vacation would have been fine - but loading up to travel south for a Month in the middle of winter was what we were facing.

Tow ratings from manufactures we found out are lets say they just don't have any standards. Take the Kia for example - the year they came out with the Sorento it was rated 3500lbs with trailer brakes and 1500 without. The next year the specs came in at 5000lbs with trailer brakes and 3500lbs without. By the third year it was dropped back down again. We contacted the manufacturer to ask why and how it changes when there was absolutely no change in any of the specs. Kia builds the car with an undersized cooler which can overheat - so basically change the cooler or add to it and you have the ability to tow remove it and you don't. So their solution was they did not want to deal with towing issues - so they dropped the figure on the specs. They did not want to offer any type of tow package - now they do 4 years later....with virtually still the same engine specs.

At the end of all this we settled with a very simple formula that made the most sense. 75% of Vehicles tow rating. (Trailer weight, Liquids and cargo including fur babies and us must not exceed 75% of the vehicle tow rating.)

Thus with the Kia for example - at 5000Lbs gave us 3750 to play with less the 3330 trailer weight and that left us 420Lbs - hmmmmmm add in two big dogs and Peter and I guess what. No food, toys or liquids are coming on the same trip.

Now we have moved up to a 6500lb tow capacity with our limit of 4875lbs. So we are nice and comfortable - still have to watch the amound of junk we bring - but space is more of an issue there. Keep in mind when you max out your Limit - you are still 25% from the actual vehicle tow rating - so on some occaisions you can bring the extra dog or case of Canadian Ice if need be.

Nothing concrete for you but food for thought - the combo is not just the tow vehicle. And while torque, HP wheelbase are all important variables it is as equally important to look at all the other variables too.

Good luck...
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:31 AM   #10
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I tow a 2005 Bambi 19' with my 1990 Landcruiser with a 4.2l turbo diesel, 168hp/268ft-lbs with no problem whatsoever.

Actually on the last trip we passed a newer 4Runner towing a 3500# trailer up a hill at 55mph. I'm assuming it would have had the v6.

I love my truck but for the next trailer we'll definitely be going with a diesel p/u.

Get the V8 if you can.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:56 PM   #11
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It's all about Load Capacity - Ignore tow capacity

Originally Posted by gowyn
I tow a 2005 Bambi 19' with my 1990 Landcruiser with a 4.2l turbo diesel, 168hp/268ft-lbs with no problem whatsoever.

Actually on the last trip we passed a newer 4Runner towing a 3500# trailer up a hill at 55mph. I'm assuming it would have had the v6.

Get the V8 if you can.
4Runners have never been spoken of as high capacity tow vehicles in these forums. There is a basic conflict between a vehicle we want to drive to work every day and a tow vehicle for our Airstreams. We are seeing some comparisons between vintage (lighter by up to 1000#) and newer trailers.

I was taking my son fishing yesterday as we saw a somber sight. A towtruck was pulling a Tundra with bad damage to the right rear quarter -- looked like jacknife damage. In train was a flatbed trailer carrying one of these newer lightweight approx 20' SOBs that had bad damage to one side -- I figure it rolled to one side after the jacknife. I wasn't looking at what type of weight distribution/antisway was installed -- sorry. This is an example of what stares us all in the face when we hit the road -- this driver had a pretty good matchup on trailer length/weight and his Tundra IMHO. Bit if you get too wimpy on TV, your chances go up in leaps and bounds. Absolutely, I'd go with nothing less than a Tundra for a 20' new Airstream. Big bucks are being spent on the trailer and it is not time to scrinch on the tow vehicle.

stonecrest2 -- Please realize the Forums returns all sorts of advice --some valuable, some to be taken with a grain of salt. I'd suggest paying attention to conservative towing principles and recommendations. The beneficiaries are both your health and well being and that of those you choose to bring with you. I originally disagreed with the Jeep Liberty option. Sorry, the Tacoma is going to not be the most versatile for loading the tongue weight and many things we like to take camping. Would you be putting a topper or tonneau cover on? Add the pounds. Would you be carrying firewood? Add the pounds. What else do you carry in the box? Add the pounds. How many passengers? Add the pounds.

My post in your Jeep Liberty thread referred you to look at the TV's load capacity. Buying a new trailer will call for the prudent to insure it very well -- you are obligated to if you take out a loan. Just what do you think insurance will think of your risks if you drive a truck/SUV that is overloaded? That may not be apparent until after you have your first accident claim and you become a bad risk ever after. I stated that you don't want to trust an overloaded vehicle, even if you aren't pulling a trailer. Put a trailer behind the overloaded vehicle and the ways it can go bad climb rapidly.

My GMC 3/4-ton truck manual specifically states that maximum tow capacity is measured with a driver-only onboard. This implies a minimum load above empty curb weight. It should also tells you there is more to the tow equation than tow capacity (and by same analysis, GCWR). My mantra is to drive a safe and a not overloaded vehicle in the first place. It is not about "will it pull it down the road" (the torque argument) or "will it pull in the mountains."

Take it to the bank -- if you stay within your TV's payload it is almost assured you will never exceed tow capacity or GCWR. Payload (sometimes called load capacity) rules the roost. If you're pulling anything more than a small popup camper with gasoline power, I'd say always go with a V8.


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