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Old 07-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
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Toyota Tacoma tow vehicle

We are looking at the FC Bambi 20 (4211 dry, 5000 wet) and using a Toyota Tacoma 6-cylindar with tow package (6500 max capacity). The numbers seem to work with enough spare room. However, I'm interested in hearing from anybody with Tacoma towing experience, and what any issues you have encountered.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:47 PM   #2
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Doing it over and needing a small truck, that's the one I would choose for our 20' instead of the cumbersome Tundra. Would change tires to XL (Extra Load) for less sidewall flex side-to-side, better stability.

Otherwise would look at SUV's with full independent suspension for safer handling.

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Old 07-05-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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Pulled OK, but mileage was terrible. Big loss in mpg with small additional weight.

If most of your driving is not towing, it would be fine. I'd look elsewhere if you do a lot of towing.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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Pulled our 19' FC for about 6 months with a V-6 Tacoma w/tow package. It did fine on flat roads but struggled on any road grade greater than 4% up or down. Up it had to gear so low the engine just screamed. Going down it had a hard time staying in front of the trailer. Make sure you have a super deluxe brake controller. Mine was a mid-grade model and it just did not do a good enough job balancing the trailer and truck brakes. I agree with 65VC gas mileage was terrible. Can the Tacoma do it, absolutely; but honestly I suspect after a few trips you will be like me and start looking for a bigger truck
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:16 PM   #5
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We are OK towing our 19' (#3500 dry, #4500 loaded) with an 07 Tacoma Double cab short bed with V6 and 2WD...and factory tow package (a must)... You could probably do OK on a 20' but I always tell people when they ask if I had any bigger of a trailer I'd want a bigger truck. I would guess it's going be more than #5000 full, all told, too.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:32 PM   #6
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Listen to the above advice with regard to pulling up mountain passes, fuel mileage, and brakes / controller issues. Absolutely, you CAN make it work. We moved from a 6 cyl Mopar to Ford F150 / v-8 and ended up with a Mopar diesel ... you will love the FC20 !
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:02 AM   #7
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We tow our 16' Bambi with a Toyota Tacoma (2011, crew cab) and it works pretty well. We have a cap/canopy on the back of the truck which gives us a lot of storage space otherwise lacking in the Bambi itself.

Our milage is about 15 MPH on the highway, towing the trailer. It is 20-something without it. We take it slow, however, as the milage goes down at higher speeds. If the speed limit is 70, we cruise at a comfortable 60/65.

We bought a good-quality towing package with sway bar and brake controller. This wasn't an area where we wanted to economize.

Our decision to go with the Tacoma was influenced by our decision/need to get by with one all-purpose vehicle. Sure, there are more powerful trucks out there, but we didn't want something too expensive to run for our other normal driving purposes. Tacomas are one of the better vehicles for resale value.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
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65CV, Chaps and TBRich: Please put some numbers around "terrible mileage."

Y'see, I have a 5.4 liter V8 with a 3.55:1 diff, and it's pretty laid-back about towing the Argosy (24-foot). I have to cane it a bit in the mountains, but it's not all that dramatic. I get 10.5-11 mpg towing the trailer, 14ish around town without the trailer, 19-20 highway without the trailer.

So, did you get less than 10 mpg pulling a 19-20 ft Airstream? Or is it that with your Taco you think that 10 or 12 mpg is just shockingly awful mileage?
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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Tacoma works for us

We tow our 2008 19 foot Bambi with a 2007 V6 Tacoma double cab, long bed with the tow package and Reese duel cam hitch. Florida to up state N.Y., Maine, Smokey Mountains, Blue Ridge, no problems going up or down but must downshift on up hill grades. If we stay between 55 and 60 on level roads we get between 16 and 17 mpg, 14 mph over 65 or through the mountains. Fully loaded it comes close to tongue weight. Without the trailer 17 to 21.5 mph.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #10
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I think it is a shame that the Tundras morphed into the huge trucks they are now. I love my 2001 with the 4.7L. Good size for around town driving and yet big enough and with enough power to tow our Trade Wind with no problems. I don't know what I will do when I need a new truck, the Tacoma is too small and the newer Tundras are too big for my needs.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
65CV, Chaps and TBRich: Please put some numbers around "terrible mileage." ....<snip>......
I didn't say we got "terrible mileage"...we get about 12-13 towing which I am pretty happy with...we stick around 65 MPH...
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:49 PM   #12
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I don't know what I will do when I need a new truck, the Tacoma is too small and the newer Tundras are too big for my needs.
The Ridgeline would be a great replacement IMHO. With the stiff unibody and IRS it would would be quiet and have a good ride.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I didn't say we got "terrible mileage"...we get about 12-13 towing which I am pretty happy with...we stick around 65 MPH...
Sorry, you're right... the 2 before commented on mileage (without offering any numbers) but not you.

I'd say 12-13 towing is decent, especially if you're in the hills. I was guessing that the people commenting on the Taco's mileage while towing saw it as a "terrible" figure because it gets so much better mileage without the trailer, where in a full-sized truck you get so much less mileage solo that the drop to towing mileage doesn't come as such a shock.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:00 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=DKB_SATX;1170419]65CV, Chaps and TBRich: Please put some numbers around "terrible mileage."

2003 Tacoma V6 Extended Cab without 19' FC got about 18 straight Highway. I don't know what the gear ratio was. Pulling the 19' FC caused mileage to drop to 11.

2012 F150 5.0 Extended Cab without either trailer, straight Highway 24. With
25' FC I am getting 17 straight highway running about 60. About the same pulling the 19'.

My biggest issue was not really mileage as it is just an expense, my biggest issue was up and down the mountains which is every trip for us.

I use the F150 exclusively for a TV.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #15
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I towed with an 06 DCab 4.0 and it was fine... the rear springs are too soft for anything more than 400lbs on the hitch - you'll either want to add a leaf, or get something like the Timbren springs or air bags. Mileage? 22-25 empty at normal highway speeds... 12-15 with the trailer in easy towing, a bit less in big winds or hills.

Don't go to a Ridgeline as a step up from a Tacoma... it isn't... it's a step down as far as a tow vehicle.

A 2nd gen Tundra with the 4.7 is a nice compromise... but the new Tacoma isn't that much smaller than the 'old' Tundra. I've had 3 Tacoma's... loved every one.

Went to a Sequoia just because we have a munchkin, dog, and bigger trailer.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=Chaps;1171655]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
65CV, Chaps and TBRich: Please put some numbers around "terrible mileage."

2003 Tacoma V6 Extended Cab without 19' FC got about 18 straight Highway. I don't know what the gear ratio was. Pulling the 19' FC caused mileage to drop to 11.

2012 F150 5.0 Extended Cab without either trailer, straight Highway 24. With
25' FC I am getting 17 straight highway running about 60. About the same pulling the 19'.

My biggest issue was not really mileage as it is just an expense, my biggest issue was up and down the mountains which is every trip for us.

I use the F150 exclusively for a TV.
Wow, that performance from the 5-liter F150 is impressive. Do you know the rear axle ratio offhand? The only time my '07 5.4 liter w/3.55 lsd sees 24 mpg is coasting downhill!! I tow about 65 mph most of the time, and get 11ish towing. I knew the 6-speed would get better mileage, but that's crazy! I need to figure out how many miles it would take to justify the cost of a new truck.
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