Toyota Tacoma Trailer and Towing Questions

kdeakdea Member 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 Member 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)?

  • doubled2doubled2 Member Posts: 3
    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
  • doubled2doubled2 Member Posts: 3
  • doubled2doubled2 Member Posts: 3
    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?
  • darren5darren5 Member Posts: 2
  • darren5darren5 Member Posts: 2
    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:
  • coldfootcoldfoot Member Posts: 49
    My son bought his wiring kit at Wal-Mart for about 30 bucks.
  • banowetlbanowetl Member Posts: 6
    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.
  • tacomasta1tacomasta1 Member Posts: 2
    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
  • tacomasta1tacomasta1 Member Posts: 2
    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!!
  • subaru_mansubaru_man Member Posts: 17
    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.
  • kristopherlkristopherl Member Posts: 5
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • subaru_mansubaru_man Member Posts: 17

    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 Member 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 Member 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???
  • subaru_mansubaru_man Member Posts: 17
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2,045
    Find a good hitch and trailer shop. They do it every day.
  • dperdper Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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!
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    You really took some time and effort to answer my questions and provide some important details that are very helpful. Your trailer actually sounds lighter weight than many of the supposedly "lightweight" models we are looking at, so I will check out the smaller Outback models to see what they have to offer.

    It does sound as though the 4 x 4 option might be smarter for our needs. We were recently trying to drive a "shortcut" dirt road on our way to Southern Utah. We were in my little Nissan Altima, which did as well as it could considering that it has hardly any clearance and the road was very rutted and washboarded. When we came to a sand pit, however, we had to turn around and go the long way (turned out to be the more scenic way anyway, but the dirt road would've shaved an hour off our time and gotten us a better camping spot). The trucks of course were plowing right through, though in slightly rainy conditions, I bet only a 4 x 4 would have made it.

    Really helpful also to hear about the brake controller set up and extendable mirrors. Thank you again and happy trailering!
  • gandalf1gandalf1 Member Posts: 62

    There will be probably be times when you will be towing and maybe thinking you should have gotten a Chevy or Ford half ton and their 9500lb (or whatever) tow rating, but I look at it this way. The Tacoma is just about the perfect truck for me the 99% of the time when I'm not towing (carries stuff - bed extender is cool, good mileage - esp. compared to a V8, and goes like stink - no kidding, it's fast), so I can handle the 1% 'adequate' while towing. And by adequate, I'm saying pretty good, and that's including towing up some major mountains.

    Good luck, and happy trailering to you too!

    Ps. Today, at the 10,000+ mileage mark, it needed a new air filter so I sprung for a lifetime K&N filter at Auto Zone for $36.99 (best price I found), instead of a standard filter for $20+ that will need replacing in another 10k miles. Plus, the K&N is supposed to flow a lot more air.
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    You know, it really is a question of being willing to make some compromises and determining in what areas those will be.

    It looks as though the Cummins diesel engines last a long time without issue, but it's the other parts of the American vehicles that I am worried about: transmission, AC, electrical, fuel pumps, etc. There is deep loyalty and pride expressed by many diesel owners and at the same time, the reliability reports of the Ford/Chevy/Dodge products and warranty services are not anywhere near those of Toyota or Nissan. There must be some deficiencies in order for the reliability to be considered "average" or "below average" as compared with "above average." I wonder if the diesel owners giving their trucks rave reviews are just used to having to deal with a certain amount of chronic repair issues and consider them normal, or if in fact their particular truck has not had problems?

    If the Tacoma can tow 5,000 lbs. safely and steadily, and get better overall mpg, then I am willing to make do with going slower uphill (within reason) at times and having the diesel owners wave at me as they pass by. I am also considering the Nissan Frontier because it has higher torque than the Tacoma, which might give it a little more oomph up the hills, but the Taco gets better mileage (reliability wise, I have a Nissan Altima which has been terrific and my wife has a Toyota Echo, which is also fantastic, so I feel pretty confident in both makers).

    I really appreciate learning of the 10K air filter--I am right with you in being willing to spend a little more to improve performance and increase the car's longevity--after all, new cars cost as much as a downpayment on a house (well, maybe not a house in CA, but in a lot of other places still). These forums are really helpful and I thank you again for sharing your experience and great tips!
  • banowetlbanowetl Member Posts: 6
    1. In my towing of our trailer which is a 21 foot hard sided hybrid (pop out beds), I have always taken it easy on the big hills simply because of the mileage. I could have given it the gas and gone faster, but whats the point. I live in Iowa and was going to take it to Montana this summer until we found a house to rent north of yellowstone. I don't think that I would have had any problems with the hills in WY and MT. I know that I would be using more gas.
    2. I have the 4x4 sport package and use it in the snow here in Iowa and beach driving down in Texas. I plan on using it this summer on national forest roads in Montanna. I wouldn't change to a 4x2 even for better gas mileage.
    3. The Equalizer brand hitch is the best and works great with the Tacoma and my Starcraft. I purchased mine online and saved a bundle (free shipping). I also got the Prodigy brake controller. It was a snap to install witth the tow package and also works great. My other option was the skid plate which we used while beach driving
    4. We had been looking at the 2006 Jayco Feather Lite campers for $16,000-$20,000 when we found this hardsided 2001 Starcraft 21ck for sale down the block from our house for $4000. It is 21 feet long and has a queen pop out in the front and a full pop out in the back. It has the bigger dual powered fridge, microwave, hot water, air, and a 30 gallon water tank. The only thing that it lacks is an oven. On a few trips with the wife and my self, we did not put out the pop outs and slept on the dining table bed. Our next camper most likely will be a 25 foot Jayco Feather Lite. They have a slideout and an oven.
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    Yours sound similar to our needs and we are happy to stay with a smaller footprint TT anyway...thank you for sharing what has worked for you and the excellent tips on hitch and brakes!

    We are both dreaming (literally) of taking some wonderful road trips soon.
  • caverdudecaverdude Member Posts: 1
    Interested in an 07 Prerunner with a limited slip diff. Salesmen have claimed that they all have LSD standard, but their literature indicates it is optional. Anyone know if they just don't know what they are talking about or do all Tacos come standard with LSD?
  • subaru_mansubaru_man Member Posts: 17
  • ltmarltmar Member Posts: 45
    The literature is correct. Depending on which model and option package is selected, different rear axles are offered. There are open, locking and limited-slip available.
  • bototowbototow Member Posts: 2
    Nice info.
    First, I just wanted to comment on the truck purchase issue.
    Go Toyota!! Nissan's are way less money for a reason. Dodge are scary too. Toyotas run and run and run.

    I will be getting my Pre-runner V6 4x2 w/ towing package set up this week. I am being quoted $700.00 to 900 for hitch, weight distrib., brakes and anti-sway. Also need the wiring redone for 7 prong instead of 4. Is this w/in reason?

    Tent2tt - I am purchasing a trailer that weighs 5100 dry and a little concerned myself. I hooked my truck up to a similar trailer at the dealership to test and it felt pretty good w/ out any of the equipment on yet. I have to wait for my trailer to come in so they are giving me a loaner w/ similar weight to take on a trip July 15th. I will be going into the mountains then. When I get back, if it felt like too much, I am going to jump down to a 4300 lb trailer instead. I will post my findings when we get back.
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    That trailer weight of 5100 dry is worrisome... the dry weight, as you know, doesn't include all your fresh water, your food, your cargo and your passengers, so a dry weight that high could easily surpass your max towing capacity if you aren't really careful. We are looking at trailers with GVWR (that's dry plus all cargo) of 4300-4500 lbs., allowing a safety margin for towing up steep grades and at high elevations. Also, if you haven't bought your trailer yet, you may want to join the RVConsumer Group as a member--we did and believe it's well worth the membership cost because they rate trailers, campers, toyhaulers, etc. in terms of quality, durability and safety/highway stability. There is a huge amount of crap sold because there are few standards for the manufacturers, so if you are planning to really get a lot of use from your trailer, it may be worth narrowing it down to the best makes and models that would suit your needs. We have narrowed it down to just three manufacturers.

    A tow package price of $700-900 seems okay, but only if you are getting a good wdh/sway control with that--the Equalizer brand is particularly favored on online forums, as are the Prodigy brakes, so if you are getting a less-expensive brand for that price, then it is not a good deal.

    Really glad you like the Tacoma so much. We test drove a Tacoma 4 x 4 but didn't like how much it swayed back and forth when driving down the highway as well as off-road. Because we are planning to take a 5,000 GVWR trailer on backroads that can be muddy or sandy, we need a 4 x 4, so we took the Frontier out and really love the's much smoother. It's a matter of ride preference though, certainly not performance. We own both a Toyota Echo and a Nissan Altima and they have been equally excellent cars, so we like both manufacturers.

    Please do post your experiential results after your trip to the mountains! We would be eager to know how things went.
  • tacowoodytacowoody Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 V6 Tacoma Double Cab 2wd with TRD. I want to kick myself for not getting it with a tow package. Even without the constant need for towing I'd rather have the extra goodies for better performance.I have to tow a 19' travel trailer with a dry weight of 2900. Is there anyway I can get the tranny cooler, oil cooler, and 130amp alt and install them myself or have someone else do it?Toyota parts dept. says they don't sell those parts as accessories and if you don't have a tow package you're out of luck...told me to get another Taco with the package. That was a dealer in So Cal 909.Other inept parts workers don't even know what I'm talking about. One told me that a Taco without the tow package can tow up to 5,000lbs. What can I do? I went to the dealer yesterday and looked at the tow package Tacos and saw that the installation of the tranny cooler is pretty straightforward. Now the oil cooler was different.I don't know if it's an internal cooler within the radiator or something like that. Also if I tow...does it need to be in 4th gear so as not to burn out the tranny?For those in So Cal, I have to tow north up the Cajon Pass and then through the desert on the 395 and up Tioga Pass.I want to make sure my lil Taco can tow through this.
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    I know what you mean about the parts and service people knowing jack squat--that's been true with Nissan too. However, I called a transmission shop and asked them and they said that an aftermarket transmission oil cooler could be installed, but they didn't think an engine oil cooler could and they do not recommend changing the alternator from 110 to 130. For one thing, it doesn't make that much of a difference to go from 20 amps higher, for another, putting in an after-market alternator in can apparently mess up the electrical components in the vehicle. Personally, I would talk to a few more transmission and repair shops that deal with trucks instead of talking to the dealers--they just seem intent on selling new cars and not providing good information and service on the ones already sold. If you find out any more details, please post them as I am sure we would all be interested to hear more on this subject!
  • tacowoodytacowoody Member Posts: 3
    I know of this place in Corona,CA called Hayden Automotive and they make tranny coolers including some of different ratings for the 2005-2007 Tacoma. I'm going to look into that. The part number is #402. I think PepBoys had it for $29. Those guys at Toyota gave me different answers from dealer to dealer. They didn't know what gear is best for towing. They told me to refer to the owner's manual which I did but it say's nothing about it. I told them my old Dodge recommended towing with the overdrive off. Then this Toyota service nut said, "well if Dodge says to do that you probably should with your Tacoma." Don't know if he was being sarcastic. They don't know jack.I really would like to have an oil cooler too. I bet that could really improve performance. Do you know if the oil cooler is internal like in the radiator? Would you trust the stuff from JCWhitney? They claim to have some after-market oil coolers for 06 Tacos but I don't know if that's possible or trustworthy info. I see what you're saying about the alternator too. Do they put in a heavier duty alternator to keep up with providing power to the trailer lights or am I missing something? Never quite understood why a heavier output alternator for towing. I'm going to start off with the tranny cooler and let you know how the installation goes. I wish Toyota had tow accessories they could install for you. At least you'd be more confident in the results. I wish they had more informed service techs. Thanks. I'll keep you posted.
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    I was told by that transmission shop that the engine oil cooler would be a little box near the oil dipstick... I tried looking for it, but not being a mechanic, I couldn't tell what I was looking at. Maybe if you compare your engine with a truck that you know has one, then you'd know what to look for. I did get the impression that the higher amperage was because it was powering a trailer, but several people, including a few on some car forums said that 20 amps wasn't enough to make a big difference.

    Haven't heard of JC Whitney, but would recommend doing as much online research and posting on forums like this one to ask about other people's experiences. With how uninformed the dealers are about their product, I would swear they just drive go-carts themselves. Good luck!
  • bravesfan27bravesfan27 Member Posts: 3
    Does a bed entender require drilling into the composite bed liner? Thanks.
  • bushsm135bushsm135 Member Posts: 2
    It is my understanding from a transmission person that a transmission cooler can be added to any vehicle. All it is, is a small radiator that is attached infront or off to the side of your vehicles radiator. I have one installed on an old 1978 Forf Granada which burned transmission oil due to heat after it was installed and the transmission overhauled I had no problems with the vehicle. As for the oil cooler if I am not mistaken its the same thing. The reason a larger amp altenator is used is because some trailers have electric brakes which puts a strain on the electrical system. If you do not have electric brakes then I would not change. Hope this helps.
  • bototowbototow Member Posts: 2
    We just got back from our trip in to the mountains with our toyota taco 4x2 v6 w/ towing package. The truck did great. We borrowed a trailer that weighed in at 4900 dry. We drove up to Mt. Hood which has a pass summit at around 4000 ft. and a pretty steep grade for about 6 miles. We waited to fill up the fresh water until we got to the top, but our route brought us back down quite a ways and then back up, didn't notice the difference really. We were able to go up the steep grades at 45 mph without pushing it much. Hanging around 3000 rpm ( no constant shifting into low gear) We probably had around 1000 lbs of gear and fluids between the truck and trailer not including us and the 20 lb kid. The only thing I am considering is adding some leaf springs for stiffer rear suspension. I think we are pushing the limit a little, and would recommend slightly less weight (maybe around 4000-4300 dry) only so you could load up more gear and fluids more comfortably. We are going to go ahead and buy the trailer w/ 5100 lb dry weight and deal with it, we really like the trailer. In a couple of years when we pay the truck off, we are going to buy a slightly used 4-runner w/ v8 which should give us a little breathing room.

    We got a Reese 1000 lb hitch w/ weight dist. and will be putting a dual cam sway control on new trailer.

    Does anyone know if the taco towing package has larger wiring to charge the house batteries quickly? And any tips on getting a generator. I am thinking of starting out with just a converter along with two 6 volt house batteries for quick 120v use.
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    This is very helpful, gandalf & bushsm 135. Thanks for sharing this information. I will definitely be installing a supplemental transmission and engine cooler, as well as a heavier duty battery because we expect to tow up to 5,000 lbs. (total tow weight, cargo included).

    Really glad to hear that the Taco did so well.

    Happy Trails!
  • mwhitney1mwhitney1 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 07 prerunner,4door,TRD with factory tow package and 5000 miles. My first chance to check highway milage I pulled an open trailer with motorcycle total 800-900 lb.
    Ran 70-80 mostly , some flat (florida) some mountains Ga , NC . Worst MPG was 16.5 Best was 20. Truck ran as if trailer was not there on the flats. Going up hill in 5th the tranny would come out of overdrive then down to 4th. Never needed 3rd.Never ran hotter than normal.
  • aaronhiaaronhi Member Posts: 8
    I admit I am new to trailers with trucks but used to have a Tacoma and really loved it. My wife is going to be getting a horse and I wonder if a new tacoma can haul it in a two horse trailer? I would like to get either the extended cab or double cab 2007 or 2008 truck with the V6 and 4 wheel drive. I would only haul the horse 1-2 a month for horse shows in/around Connecticut. Can the tacoma do it or should I be thinking Tundra? Thanks for any advice.
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