Tundra Towing Capacity

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Thread: Tundra Towing Capacity

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    Default Tundra Towing Capacity

    Just purchased a 2006 Tundra Double Cab. Wondering what people have been towing with their Tundras. I have heard Toyota is a bit conservative with the towing capacity numbers, but I am wondering if anyone has gone above those numbers but paid a price to do so. I would like to be able to tow around a skid steer intermittently, but this would 15-20% above the stated towing capacity of the vehicle.

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    I pull a 6800lb Grady White Boat with my 2000 Tundra. Wouldn't go much bigger than that though. My towing cap is 7200lbs.

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    I tow a 5,000 lbs travel trailer with my 05 DC. With my family and gear in the truck, I am at the GVWR of the Tundra. It's a comfortable tow, but I wouldn't go bigger in the travel trailer size unless I left my gear and family at home. I have a non TRD DC and need to upgrade the shocks as the stock ones are not well suited for towing my trailer.

    I would be very reticent to go above the listed ratings. Just to get to those ratings, the truck needs to be empty anyway. BTW, what's a skid steer?

    Tom

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    Default skid steer clarification

    skid steer loader - commonly called a bobcat, sorry about that.

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    No troubles. I just had visions of a steer that was being skidded up a ramp into a trailer.

    Tom

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    Have you weighed your skid-steer and trailer to see exactly where you're at? Most 1350lb capacity skid-steers (i.e., Bobcat 753) weigh around 5500-6000 lbs. If you've got a relatively lightweight trailer and perhaps a weight-distributing hitch you may be able to handle it safely, although at your max combined weight and only if you don't have a whole lot of cargo in the bed.

    For reference purposes, my '05 DC SR5 2wd weighs 5300lbs with 3/4 tank of gas, my crossover toolbox, and myself. Subtracting that from the 11800 lb GCWR, you get about 6500 lbs of towing capacity. Check your trailer weight, though, its probably heavier than you think.

    I have pulled trailers that resulted in a max GCWR loading, though I try to avoid doing so. The truck has plenty of power, at least here in relatively flat Florida panhandle, and handles fine so long as you are careful and don't try out-drive its capabilities. Make sure you have good trailer brakes and a good controller.

    I think the 11800 max GCWR is being driven primarily by Toyota's concern for component durability, especially for items such as the ring & pinion and transmission. Nissan tried to impress everyone with a 9000 + lb towing capacity on the Titan, from what I understand they've had to buy a lot of rear-axle assemblies as a result.

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    I pull a 6254 lb (loaded across the scales) 5th wheel with my Tundra. Have for 2 years now. Works great. Did my 1st major trip out to Nova Scotia last summer (3400miles). No complaints or problems at all. Must admit though.....I'm really looking forward to seeing the 07's I just hope the box will take a 5th wheel hitch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcschuf1
    Just purchased a 2006 Tundra Double Cab. Wondering what people have been towing with their Tundras. I have heard Toyota is a bit conservative with the towing capacity numbers, but I am wondering if anyone has gone above those numbers but paid a price to do so. I would like to be able to tow around a skid steer intermittently, but this would 15-20% above the stated towing capacity of the vehicle.
    I've towed 7000 lbs with a '89 Tacoma, for short trips, 15 miles one way. It was a load all right and wouldn't want to travel at high speeds, but IMO if you are taking your skid steer for relatively short trips at no more than 40-50 mph, it should be ok.

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    Thumbs down Don't do it

    Quote Originally Posted by jcschuf1
    Just purchased a 2006 Tundra Double Cab. Wondering what people have been towing with their Tundras. I have heard Toyota is a bit conservative with the towing capacity numbers, but I am wondering if anyone has gone above those numbers but paid a price to do so. I would like to be able to tow around a skid steer intermittently, but this would 15-20% above the stated towing capacity of the vehicle.
    Quite frankly, Toyota's tow capacity numbers for the Tundra are not at all conservative...they're quite realistic in fact...and several people who have regularly gone well above (like the 15% to 20% you mention) have indeed paid a very big price for doing so.

    Fundamentally, your Tundra is an upsized pre-'05 Tacoma (or maybe T100). The brakes, drivetrain (including transmission and especially rear axle) are right out of the earlier model Tacomas. Your axle R&P gears are completely swappable with Tacoma units (I know...I did it!). Your brakes are Tacoma units. And the rear part of the frame is a very light duty C-section that's not much stronger than the frame under a Tacoma. So while the traditional Toyota ratings (based on the Tacoma and 4Runner) are fairly conservative because of over-engineering, the Tundra's ratings are not.

    Furthermore, because the Tundra is being measured against other 1/2 ton trucks...all of which have substantially higher tow ratings...Toyota marketing has definitely forced the engineers to raise the Tundra's ratings to substantially higher levels...with much less margin than they normally build in.

    The result of using components from the Tacoma...and no-margin ratings...is that you can do serious damage if you repeatedly tow a trailer that exceeds the ratings by more than 1% to 5%. Too much load over several thousand miles has caused destruction of the rear wheel bearings for one TS member; another TS member's brother in law snapped the rear axle in half as the result of towing a too-heavy toy-hauler trailer over rough ground, and I've seen pictures of a Tundra with a broken frame (on both sides) that resulted from putting a too-heavy camper in the bed.

    I strongly recommend you consider your truck's GCWR of 11,800 lbs as a very real do-not-exceed number. Sure you could occasionally go over by 1% (120 lbs) without harm but even going over by 5% (600 lbs) is really pushing your luck. And going over that by 15% (roughly 1800 lbs) is just about guaranteed to seriously overstress, possibly outright break, the frame or axle within a few hundred miles.

    Finally, keep in mind the DC is heavy...about 5300 lbs with just driver & gas for the 2WD version; about 5700 lbs for the 4WD version. With no other load in the truck, that means your loaded trailer should never exceed 6500 lbs if you have 2WD, 6100 lbs if you have 4WD.

    And that's in the flat, near sea-level conditions of MN. Here in steep, high altitude Colorado, I (and my dealer's service manager) consider that the max trailer weight a Tundra can safely tow is 5000 lbs or less, 4000 lbs or less for decent performance.
    Ray


    Natural White '03 Access Cab V8 SR5 4X4 with TRD Off Road Suspension, Limited Slip Differential, and Towing Package

    Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Hellwig Anti-Roll bar, Prodigy Trailer Brake Controller, Autometer Z-Series Transmission Temperature Gauge, Magnefine Transmission Filter
    Utility & Misc Mods: Genuine Toyota OEM Step (Nerf) bars, Peragon Tonneau Cover, TracRac Rack and Rail System, Muth Signal Mirrors, Pop&Lock tailgate lock, TruSpeed speedometer calibrator, "$20" RS-3200 Upgrade, Auto-Dimming mirror w/ Temp and Compass, Clear/Red/Clear Taillights with Silverstar Signal bulbs, 3M Clear Bra


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    Don't go over your recomended towing. It is not safe for you or the rest of us. The stock tires that Toyota puts on the Tundras I would not tow over 5,000 lbs. An excellent site for tips on towing is http://www.rvtowingtips.com/index.htm

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    Default Re: Tundra Towing Capacity

    I have an 04 Tundra Limited 2WD and planning on towing my race car for the first time. I have a Featherlight Trailer that weighs 3200lbs and my race car weighs 2800LBS. Does anyone have any suggestions? BTW I am driving from Miami, FL to Atlanta, GA.

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    Default Re: Tundra Towing Capacity

    Shiz nit thats a lot, i tow a 31' travel trailer, dry weight 5k, close to 6k after all is added. You should be cool, don't forget that brake controller.

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    Default Re: Don't do it

    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnRay View Post
    Quite frankly, Toyota's tow capacity numbers for the Tundra are not at all conservative...they're quite realistic in fact...and several people who have regularly gone well above (like the 15% to 20% you mention) have indeed paid a very big price for doing so.

    Fundamentally, your Tundra is an upsized pre-'05 Tacoma (or maybe T100). The brakes, drivetrain (including transmission and especially rear axle) are right out of the earlier model Tacomas. Your axle R&P gears are completely swappable with Tacoma units (I know...I did it!). Your brakes are Tacoma units. And the rear part of the frame is a very light duty C-section that's not much stronger than the frame under a Tacoma. So while the traditional Toyota ratings (based on the Tacoma and 4Runner) are fairly conservative because of over-engineering, the Tundra's ratings are not.

    Furthermore, because the Tundra is being measured against other 1/2 ton trucks...all of which have substantially higher tow ratings...Toyota marketing has definitely forced the engineers to raise the Tundra's ratings to substantially higher levels...with much less margin than they normally build in.

    The result of using components from the Tacoma...and no-margin ratings...is that you can do serious damage if you repeatedly tow a trailer that exceeds the ratings by more than 1% to 5%. Too much load over several thousand miles has caused destruction of the rear wheel bearings for one TS member; another TS member's brother in law snapped the rear axle in half as the result of towing a too-heavy toy-hauler trailer over rough ground, and I've seen pictures of a Tundra with a broken frame (on both sides) that resulted from putting a too-heavy camper in the bed.

    I strongly recommend you consider your truck's GCWR of 11,800 lbs as a very real do-not-exceed number. Sure you could occasionally go over by 1% (120 lbs) without harm but even going over by 5% (600 lbs) is really pushing your luck. And going over that by 15% (roughly 1800 lbs) is just about guaranteed to seriously overstress, possibly outright break, the frame or axle within a few hundred miles.

    Finally, keep in mind the DC is heavy...about 5300 lbs with just driver & gas for the 2WD version; about 5700 lbs for the 4WD version. With no other load in the truck, that means your loaded trailer should never exceed 6500 lbs if you have 2WD, 6100 lbs if you have 4WD.

    And that's in the flat, near sea-level conditions of MN. Here in steep, high altitude Colorado, I (and my dealer's service manager) consider that the max trailer weight a Tundra can safely tow is 5000 lbs or less, 4000 lbs or less for decent performance.

    Ray, I have an '06 DC 4.7 4wd. After reading your write up, I'm now concerned about the 5,000 (dry weight) Trail-Lite (M-26RKS) that I was looking to buy. I have been reading the forums, and noticing that people are pulling everything under the sun with the Tundra. Frankly, this will be my first RV, and I may be better off downsizing to a Trail-Lite (23QB) 3,100 lbs dry, or, looking at the trail manors (can we say $$$) everyone likes.

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    Default Re: Tundra Towing Capacity

    The boat/trailer in this pic are right around 6,000 lbs. I had towed this boat from FL to MA, 1,600 miles, no issues whatsoever.



    Over the past 3 seasons now I have towed the boat about 1,500 more miles and as my truck now has 97,000 miles, still not a single issue with anything.




    This boat/trailer was about 3,500 lbs, a real-easy tow.
    Last edited by Thundra04struck; 11-07-2009 at 04:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Tundra Towing Capacity

    I guess the question really is...how often and how far are you planning to tow this? Without knowing how heavy your skidsteer is, it's tough to say. I wouldn't PLAN on pulling overweight though. I've been overweight on my Tundra before and really, it did about as good of a job as any 1/2 ton I've owned. I personally don't think any 1/2 ton out there can handle heavy towing all the time, but if it's just a few times a year.....you might get away with it. I wouldn't want to do it very far or often, but it got the job done in a pinch. Skidsteers are heavy.....I've pulled a pretty big JD on a 3,000# trailer and I certainly knew it was behind my 1-ton. Trailer and all was probably in the 9,000# range.
    '08 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 (my DD)
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