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Toyota Tacoma Trailer and Towing Questions

kdeakdea Posts: 3
Has anybody out there hooked up an electric brake controller to their 2005 taco, according to the owner manual the truck is prewired, but my dealer isn't able to confirm or deny this? If the truck is wired i don't want run more wires!


  • gandalf1gandalf1 Posts: 62
    My 2006 Tacoma has the tow package and came with a plug-in connector on one end, and some wires on the other end. This connector was found in the glove box in a plastic bag. Maybe they only come with Taco's equipped with the tow package, but perhaps non-tow package Tacoma's still have the under-dash plug in, so you would just need to buy the connector that came 'free' with mine.

    Anyway, my understanding is you just plug in the connector under the dash, and then connect the loose wires on the other end to the brake controller.

    Has anyone out there hooked up a brake controller and is it a big deal (it doesn't seem like it)?

  • Just purchased a 2006 4x4 4cyl tacoma. On occassion I plan to take an atv with me. Atv whighs 650 lbs. My question is, Am I better just carrying the atv in the bed of the truck or trailering it with a light trailer 200 lbs. What would be less wear and tear on the truck carrying or towing. May be useing it on a long trip or two. dd
  • Just purchased a 2006 toyota tacoma 4x4 4 cyl. Will be takeing an atv (650lbs) with me on occassion. Would I be better off carrying the atv in the pickup bed or trailering it with a light trailer (200lbs)? Which would create less wear and tear on the vehicle, towing or carrying?
  • I have a 2004 toyota tacoma prerunner 4x2 4 cyl. My question is if anybody could help me out here it would great. I need to hook up a trailer but i see no standard hook ups for the taillights on the trailer. Is this not a standard thing that comes with an 04 truck? Do i have to buy something for the light hookups and if so how much? If anybody could help me out i would greatly appreciate it. :shades:
  • My son bought his wiring kit at Wal-Mart for about 30 bucks.
  • I have a 06 Double Cab TRD Sport long bed with the tow package. I installed Prodigy brake controller with the cable that was in the glove compartment. Slicker than snot to put in (easy to wire)and works great. I also purchased a Equalizer weight distribution hitch to help pull my camper. That works great also.
  • That Truck is a Beast I have a 99 version of your truck and I have carried up to 2500 lbs in the bed. that truck can handle what ever you can fit in it, and barely break a sweat
  • but seriously if it fits in the bed a trailer is a waste of time. Dont worry about wear an tear on your new toyota from using it with in the manufactureers guidelines, you interior will be the first thing to go, then the paint job, but that is only after 300,000 miles or so. And the 2.7L (I am assuming that is the 4 cylinder you have) is the cummins 5.9 of gas engines. Happy hauling!!
  • I'm interested in getting a truck and will be pulling a 3000 lb aluminum fishing boat in the summer. I'm looking at the 2007 Tacoma Pre-runner TRD with "Limited Slip" and "Locking differential". Note that is a 2WD truck. I'm mechanically ignorant and need opinion on whether this is enough to pull a boat in and out of fresh water. I understand that 4WD is better but won't be utilizing the option very much. Thus I don't want to spend the extra $$ for the option. Also I've heard that by adding the 4WD, it's just another thing that can go wrong. I want something that will last 200k+. All opinions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • I use to have a 1995 toyota Pickup 4x4. I put over 100,000 miles on it and never had a single issue with the transfer case. yes... it is another thing to go wrong and can be expensive to repair. However, if you are not using it that much, It will probably last a VERY long time. My only concern about a Tacoma 2wd would be wheel slip because the back end is so light.. you would probably need to add some weight in the bed.

    Currently have an F250 but "trying" to sell to get a toyota truck again.
  • gillumgillum Posts: 5
    What's the tongue weight with a 3000lb boat? I'd say the back end wouldn't be all that light and a 2WD would do fine.
  • cawwiecawwie Posts: 15
    I just bought an '07 Tacoma Pre Runner V6 4.0 access cab with tow package (extra $650). It's a class 4 hitch, and will tow 6,500lbs. It comes with supplemental oil coolers and transmission coolers...sufficient alternator and battery. Have fun!!!
  • ltmarltmar Posts: 45
    I pull a 3-seat PWC with my '06 4WD TRD Tacoma. There were three occasions last year where I had to use 4 Low to pull the boat out of the lake. After a heavy storm, silt ran down the ramp and settled just below the water surface; boat trailers were sinking in the silt as the boats were winched on. Early in the season, the water was so high over a ramp that a very steep approach road became the ramp. In both cases 2WD trucks needed assistance in pulling out. I was able to switch to 4 Low and drive away. I was also able to use a gravel ramp one time that I am not sure I would have tried with a 2WD.
  • Cawwie,

    I'm sure the truck can pull the weight just fine. I'm mainly interested in how effective the "limited slip" and "locking differential" is on a surface with little traction.
  • mewmmwmewmmw Posts: 4
    Any advice on purchasing these type options? Not very mechanically inclined but have seen these options recommended by Consumer Reports. May occasionally pull a pop-up camper or possibly a fishing boat sometime in the future.
    Thanks in advance!
  • chiznadchiznad Posts: 2
    I didn't think it was possible to have both Limited-Slip and a Locking Differential. The Sport Package has LSD and the Off-Road package has the Locker. I've been trying to decided which package to buy. It sounds like LSD would be handy in the snow since it's automatic, whereas I'd rarely get into a rough enough situation that would require the locker (but who likes to get stuck?).

    Another point of interest, I'm not sure if towing would be advised when you have the Locker turned on???
  • Maybe I misunderstood. I was looking at the Tacoma TRD Sport. The ads that I've seen always mentioned the two items together.

    Anyhow after test driving the 07 Tacoma TRD and 07 Frontier. I've decided to go with a 07 crew cab 4x4 frontier. I'd rather have the 4x4 option and not use it, then need it and don't have it. The other discussion regarding the Tacoma road noise and visibility problem was very noticeable for me during my test drive this past weekend. The Frontier had more torque and was very noticeable during the test drive. Another unexpected experience that I felt from driving the Tacoma was the rear wheel slipping as I was pulling away from the lot. Did anyone experience this? I don't know if it was because the TRD Pre-runner that I drove was light in the back or what?

    Thanks for all your inputs.
  • ltmarltmar Posts: 45
    I don't think the rear wheel was slipping. I have a TRD Sport with the limited-slip. After coming from a truck with an open diff, when I first got the Tacoma, I could hear a tire scrubbing a little bit when making tight turns on dry pavement. I believe this is the limited-slip doing its' job. It is forcing both tires forward.
  • tdomet11tdomet11 Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Tacoma 4 cyl.. Would like to pull a lightweight pop up camper. I am being told it can not be pulled from the bumper (just using a tow ball) with out adding a permanent tow bar, witch will be bolted onto the bumper. We pulled a heavier camper just on the bumper of a Mazda are Tacoma’s that much different?
    Can anyone tell me if a 2007 Tacoma is pre wired for the light hook up. I have been told by a garage it is not and will have to buy a converter for it and they want to charge me for 2 hours of labor to install a converter and run the wires for my camper.
    Please send information will appreciate anything I can find out. Thank You
  • bhdpalbhdpal Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2007 Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab 4X4, V-6, 5 speed automatic transmission Pickup Truck. It does not have the towing package. I checked under the rear bumper for a trailer connector wiring harness but did not find any.
    I want to wire the truck lights to a four wire flat plug that will activate the lights on a small boat trailer.

    Where can I find do-it-yourself instructions for this task or would I be better taking it back to the dealer ?
  • mtranchmtranch Posts: 1
    My husband and I are considering purchasing a Tacoma and they have a towing package ($650) and an off-road package ($3800). Which of these is worth the money? Does the off-road package help with towing or increase towing capacity?
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Find a good hitch and trailer shop. They do it every day.
  • dperdper Posts: 1
    I bought a toyota tocoma 2007 and need to know if this truck ready to be hookup with wiring kit to pull a trailer. If the truck is already wher are the conection
  • tent2tttent2tt Posts: 46
    I am trying to find a reliable truck with as good gas mielage as possible that can tow a maximum 5,500 lbs hard sided (not fold-down) travel trailer (that's the GVWR fully loaded up + 2 passengers)without overtaxing the engine going up hill and while still getting decent gas mileage towing and around town (particularly around town). I noticed that several versions of the Tacoma have a GVWR tow rating of 6,500 lbs, but no one seems to be using them for tow trailers. I have seen one posting about using a Tundra for towing loads, but the gas mileage on the Tundra looks awful. Does anyone out there use their Tacoma for towing a travel trailer? If so, how much do you tow, how does the Taco do uphill and what's the towing and non-towing real world mpg? Is it true that I should get a Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins Turbocharged diesel instead? I like the Toyota reliability, but want the right truck for the job.
  • gandalf1gandalf1 Posts: 62
    I have a 2006 Tacoma V6, 4x4 DC (with tow pkg) that I've been using to tow my 22' travel trailer for the past year. The unloaded weight of the trailer is 4,340 (max. rating of 5,500). I would estimate that the trailer weighs around 5,000 lbs. when I tow - plus two adults, one rugrat.

    Your situation might be different but here's what I was looking for. I wanted a truck that can serve as my hunting truck, our second family 'car', and then tow our trailer adequately when necessary - and get reasonable mileage, especially around town when not towing. My Tacoma consistently gets 17 mpg (checked today and it was 17.25) in strictly in town driving (SoCal suburb driving with lots of signals and traffic), and usually 21 mpg in strictly freeway driving - @70mph. The Nissan Titan I was considering probably gets a 'real world' 10-11 mpg in town - I am sooo thankful I bought the Tacoma and not the Titan (plus, the Titan has some quality issues as well).

    So far, I've towed the trailer on 4 trips, the longest about 600 miles with lots of big hills. And I am leaving next week on another 600 mile trip. Obviously, a big V8 or diesel will outpull the Tacoma up a hill but so what if I have to drop down a gear and it takes me a few minutes extra to pull a long, steep grade? Besides, I'll pass the V8 while they're getting gas - or would if they didn't have a much bigger tank than my 21 gal's! ;) I do take it fairly easy on those steep hills (maybe 3-3.2k rpm)and the truck could take a lot more but I plan on keeping the truck for a long time so no use pushing it. Of course, the Tacoma is fine on the flat stuff at the CA posted towing limit of 55 mph (and could probably do 70 mph if I wanted to push it..). I get around 12mpg when towing, big hills and all (or, about what a V8 gets in normal driving and not towing).

    So then, the Tacoma was a compromise for me. It's great the 95% of the time I'm not towing with very good mileage for a 4,100 lb truck, and adequately tows my trailer when called upon. Frankly, I was a little worried initially about how it would tow up hills and much relieved when it did a pretty good job.

    I haven't jumped on this forum for quite a while but will check back over the next few days in case you have more questions.
  • banowetlbanowetl Posts: 6
    I have an 06 Double Cab Sport long bed (with the tow package) that I use to tow our 21' Starcraft camper. It't dry weight is only 2900lbs and probably 4000lbs when loaded. I have an Equalizer weight distribution hitch which distributes the load over the trucks two axles. The long bed gives my truck an extra foot of wheelbase which makes the ride smooth when pulling the camper. I use my truck for comuting and hauling as well as towing much as gandalf1 does. The Tacoma gets mush better gas mileage that a full size truck and I am satisfied with the towing performance that it gives me. On a recent trip of about 140 miles going thru hilly areas, I got 16-17 mpg towing the trailer. Yes, a full size truck would have been going faster up the hills, but the gas savings with the Tacoma the rest of the time is worth it for me.
    I have a brother who has a Dodge 2500 diesel and I would not be able to drive such a truck the rest of the time. The noise of the engine is unacceptable to me.
  • tent2tttent2tt Posts: 46
    Thank you, gandalf1 and banowetl, for your helpful responses. Most of our road trips will be 1,200-2,000 miles round-trip, including plenty of hills and grades, so I am glad to hear that you've both been getting decent mpg even towing. I still have a few questions:

    1. Engine power (my biggest concern): I want to feel confident that the truck has enough power to maintain a reasonable highway speed on most hills. Could you confidently take 5,000 lbs. up a long, mild grade at say 50mph, or would the Tacoma slow way down to say 25 mph? How often and under what circumstances have you had the feeling that you couldn't get it to go faster if you got behind and pushed?

    I am in total agreement that getting better mpg is more important than being able to race up a hill at 75 mph--I don't expect to be able to go even 40 mph up a steep grade--but at the same time, I wouldn't be comfortable slowing to, say 25-35 mph on a mild but long grade, because to me, that means that my tow vehicle is underpowered for the load and could be unsafe in inclement weather and challenging conditions.

    2. I definitely plan to use an Equalizer sway control and weight distribution hitch and appreciated hearing that the long bed helps in keeping the ride smooth--Banowetl, are you using a 4 x 4 too? I was planning on getting a Double Cabd in a 2 x 4 because the gas mileage is supposedly a little better and my wife's older Nissan 4 x 4 used to go out of alignment a lot even when it wasn't taken off-road. Would you both recommend a 4 x 4 for towing, or will a 2 x 4 do just as well? We will be taking some washboarded dirt and sandy roads, but I have seen minivans doing well along them, so wonder if would we need the 4WD? Do you feel it helps with towing traction?

    3. Any other optional equipment or after-market add-ons that you would recommend for increasing safety, power, mpg?

    4. Banowetl's Starcraft is, I assume, a fold down--Gandalf1, what kind of travel trailer are you towing--is it a hardsided or fold down? If hard-sided, are you happy with it?

    Thanks for your input on any of the questions above!

    We want a lightweight hard-side that doesn't fold down So far, looking at the 17' Casita, the 18-20' Trail-Lite Crossover and TrailCruiser, and similar "lightweight" TTs. The manufacturer's websites are not all very straightforward about the GVWR of their TTs, so I am still researching which will get us the lowest GVWR with the size fridge and storage we need, and just 1 Q bed).

    Like gandalf1, this would be the second family car, so the Titan and Tundra's mpg are unacceptable(we are in Phoenix, AZ, with traffic that is often very similar to SoCal, though I try to avoid getting stuck in it as much as possible).

    Banowetl's note about the Dodge engine noise would ring true for me as well--can't stand noisy engines. The main strengths that caught my attention with the Dodge 2500 Ram Turbocharged Cummins diesels were the gas mileage and that Dodge is now manufacturing their 6.7L engine to comply with 2010 clean emission standards, while the current Tacoma and Tundra have very poor air pollution ratings (which makes no sense from a manufacturer that is able to make a Prius--the plug-in electric hybrid will be our next purchase when it comes out).
  • gandalf1gandalf1 Posts: 62
    tent2tt: Whew, hope I don't miss a question! But I know this is important to you so I'll give my honest opinions.

    First, my trailer is a 2005 22 foot Outback by Keystone(although model is listed as 21RS, the length is 22.1 feet), and hard-sided, two axles. This is not one of the so called 'lite' models. It has every option available (A/C, microwave, awning etc.) so that puts the unloaded weight up to the 4340, although the brochure says it's 3990. And like I mentioned before, it is probably around 5,000 when I tow it (and 1,500 under the Tacoma's rating). The queen bed slides out the rear so it's essentially a 26-27 footer once it's set up. Frankly, from what kind of trailer you're thinking about, the weight should be much less than my trailer.

    Yes, it will pull a long, mild grade at 50mph or better, but you will have your foot in it a bit, and of course, we're talking 4th gear, not overdrive. On the trip I took it on last year (and will again next week), I got up to 7,500 ft. elevation and there's a long, very steep grade (like 10-15 miles or so long) that seems like it is 30 degree's, that I pulled at 35mph, but could have gone 40mph (and I could have gone 140mph coming down that sucker..). Btw, they say you lose 3% hp for every 1,000 ft of elevation, so at 7,000 ft, I was 21% short of sea level hp.

    I use an equalizer hitch and sway control bar (very unwise for anyone not to I think). Also, Toyota gives you a handy little pig tail plug-in (they hide it in the glove box) for connecting up your electric brake controller (I put in a Prodigy model)- to the left of the steering column, making the spare change holder inaccessible

    I think a 2x4 PreRunner model will be fine, and perhaps even better since it won't have as much to haul around as a 4x4. That said, and it sounds like you plan on doing some mild off-roading, so you get stuck just once in sand and you'll wish you'd bought the 4x4! I mainly got the 4x4 for my quail hunting trips, but there is peace of mind knowing that I can probably get my trailer out of mud, deep sand (when we beach camp) or anything else if need be, especially with the locking differential (part of the Off Road pkg). Btw, I put 140k miles on my last Toyota 4x4 and it never needed an alignment so I wouldn't be too concerned about that...although that was a solid front axle, not like these new independent front ends.

    I don't have any other optional equipment (other than I just bought clip-on extender mirrors, the regular mirrors wasn't quite enough). . The tow package comes with the good stuff - aux. transmission cooler, aux. engine oil cooler, HD battery, alternator etc. The only things Toyota should have included, but didn't, was the brake controller and extendable mirrors.

    Well, hope I didn't miss anything! And good luck!
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