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Old 12-15-2016, 07:56 PM   #1
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Tacoma Pulling 23 ft Flying Cloud

hello to all,
am beginning the adventure of less work and more play, and part of the plan is an airstream. am interested in the 23 flying cloud. presently own a 2016 toyota tacoma 4x4 with towing package, rated to tow 6500 lbs.
i get different stories from various sales people about the ability of the truck to handle the trailer. the numbers are in line, so i admit confusion. any guidance based on real life experience would be much appreciated. thanks in advance.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:37 PM   #2
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My 2013 Tacoma was rated to pull 5400 lbs with the tow package. I didn't pull an Airstream with it. I did pull a 14 ft stock trailer with cattle often usually grossing between 3000 and 3500 lbs. I felt like the truck was working too too hard for me to be comfortable. I know there's a few on here with Tacomas that pull AS's without issue. Not sure on the size or weight of their trailers. Tongue/hitch weight and payload are going to be the big numbers to watch. Check the sticker inside your driver side door frame to check your actual weight limits for your truck as built. You'll get axle weights and towing capacity there.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:43 PM   #3
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If the numbers match up, you should be fine. The Tacoma should pull comfortably and efficiently, and entirely adequately. But not everyone thinks enough is enough. If you need an overpowered truck that will sprint up mountains, then the Tacoma will feel inadequate. The guys who need everything overbuilt will tell you the Tacoma is not good enough for you.

Whether it is the truck of your dreams or not, Toyota makes a fine and worthy machine. You will always be able to trust it to perform capably at spec.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:14 PM   #4
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I think it probably would do okay in your neck of the woods, maybe not as well in the high country. You really need a very capable weight distribution hitch and sway control bars to get the weight back on the steering axle and some off the drive axle to the steering will be dangerously light.

We had a Tacoma but didn't tow a large trailer, my concern would be the hitch receiver being too weak and twisting vertically when weight distribution is applied, thereby preventing enough wt distribution, and there may be a little frame flex. Perhaps someone who has used a Tacoma this way can comment.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:29 AM   #5
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I pull a 2007 23' International CCD with a 2012 crew cab Toyota Tacoma. Use a ProPride hitch setup and a Prodigy wired brake controller. Direct wired to the Taco's harness with the Prodigy harness. It does take a little patience going up long hills.

That said, I don't plan to change it out any time soon. It works for us.


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Old 12-16-2016, 01:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
I pull a 2007 23' International CCD with a 2012 crew cab Toyota Tacoma. Use a ProPride hitch setup and a Prodigy wired brake controller. Direct wired to the Taco's harness with the Prodigy harness. It does take a little patience going up long hills.

That said, I don't plan to change it out any time soon. It works for us.


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And there's your answer OP. Enjoy!
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:48 AM   #7
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Tacoma / 23

We had a 2012 Tacoma Access Cab, 4WD, with towing package, and were anticipating getting a FC 19. For a number of reasons we ended up with a FC 23FB (love it!), and after some consideration traded the Tacoma in on a new 2014 Tundra Double Cab with the 5.7 V8 before picking up the Airstream. While I loved my Taco, and it might have been capable, the knowledge that we were going to be towing cross country a lot made me opt for the bigger truck. And now that we have looped the country twice, I have no regrets - I love the Tundra even more than the Tacoma. It's roomier (the dog loves the full back seat), it has a greater margin in tow capacity, it has more payload, and it has the power to maintain speed up the mountains if I choose. The Tacoma might have worked, but it would have involved too many compromises for my comfort.

As with everything else, the choice is really driven by how you will use your truck and trailer. And the nice thing about TV decisions: if you try it with the Tacoma and it works for you, great; if not, it's a simple matter to move up to something else. A lot less of an issue, and less expensive, than deciding you wanted a different Airstream.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:41 AM   #8
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If the numbers are in line, try it.
You might like it.
Look at the payload sticker in particular inside the driver's door jamb.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by crawdaddy View Post
presently own a 2016 toyota tacoma 4x4 with towing package, rated to tow 6500 lbs.
.
What’s the payload capacity? Gotta add up the people, gear and fluids (gas, propane, water, beer...), and see if the truck can handle it - more than just whether or not the truck can pull it... and in the future, will you be getting a generator or two? Kayaks? Bikes...? Also, pay attention to the tongue weight.

Good luck in your adventure!
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:28 PM   #10
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I've actually known people to trade chevy or ford to go to the Tacoma as a TV. We see a lot of them at rallies but to be fair we still see more ford, dodge diesel & chevy trucks and SUV's
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:23 PM   #11
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I see more and more Tundras, Tacomas, 4Runners, Pathfinders, Frontiers, Pilots, Durangos...
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:26 PM   #12
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We have towed our 2006 19' Safari SE (model re-named to Flying Cloud in 2008 or 9)...with both a 2007 and now a 2016 Tacoma TRD 2WD/Double Cab/tow package ... with a tonneau cover (the tonneau helps us keep load down). It is completely adequate for the 19 and would PROBABLY be OK with a 23' but I have always maintained that if we went to a bigger rig I'd want a bigger truck as well, most likely a Tundra. Your experience may vary.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:16 PM   #13
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I believe you will find the Toyota Tacoma too light..my daughter has a new one, I wouldn't attempt to pull our 23' avion we used to have, with it
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:19 PM   #14
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I have seen a new Tacoma pulling a tandem axle sob trailer maybe 24-26' in length.


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Old 12-16-2016, 09:43 PM   #15
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Thank you all. Very helpful information.

Am not going to abandon the idea.

Where do I find someone competent to properly install weight distribution hitch and other needed gear? So far it seems everyone I talk to is primarily trying to sell me his version of things. Are there independent mechanics out there?
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:25 PM   #16
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You need to be your own weight distribution hitch installer. Yes, it would be nice to have someone set it all up for you, and if you buy one locally, they should give you some assistance. But you really want to become your own expert. At the very least you can go on YouTube for some very informative instructional videos.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:18 AM   #17
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We towed our 16' Bambi with a Tacoma, and it went fine, but when we bought the 19' Flying Cloud we traded in the Tacoma for a Tundra. In our part of the world, we are up and down the mountains a lot, and really notice how much easier the Tundra tows up the hills. Also, for long trips, the Tundra is a much more comfortable vehicle. The highway mileage of the two is actually comparable.
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Old 12-17-2016, 03:15 AM   #18
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For purchase price and mileage you might as well have a Tundra.


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Old 12-17-2016, 04:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
We towed our 16' Bambi with a Tacoma, and it went fine, but when we bought the 19' Flying Cloud we traded in the Tacoma for a Tundra. In our part of the world, we are up and down the mountains a lot, and really notice how much easier the Tundra tows up the hills. Also, for long trips, the Tundra is a much more comfortable vehicle. The highway mileage of the two is actually comparable.
I am not sure comparing your Tacoma to others is a fair comparison. You should be focusing on the rear end axle ratio and the transmission characteristics. With a 4x4 and tow package, it would seem likely you are better set up for towing than a regular Tacoma.

Having said that, I have a Tundra and I don't think there is any option except 4.10 for the rear axle ratio (at least not in 2014). Did they do the same to the Tacoma line? The 6 speed transmission in my Tundra puts 4th at 1:1 and the next two just give it normal bad gas mileage on the highway instead of horrendously bad gas mileage, but I love it despite the small tank and poor gas mileage.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:42 AM   #20
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Since you already have the truck, try it and see how it goes. If you don't like towing with the Tacoma, trade it in on a tundra.
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