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Old 04-01-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
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Towing with small size pickup.

Hi all, Iím getting ready to change things up in tow vehicle and camper. Looking at the Toyota Tacoma and the Rockwood A122S or Flagstaff equal. I know that going from a Ford 150 to the Tacoma is going to make a difference in towing power and the weights between the A122S and what I have are close. My question is if you tow youír a-frame with a Tacoma or any small truck do you wish you had a full size truck and for what reason?
Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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We had a Chevy Colorado. We thought about using it to tow but, as a tow vehicle there far more "PROS" then "CONS" for upgrading. We upgraded to a GMC 4x4 1500 Sierra. We wanted more room, wanted a better towing capibility, wanted the 4x4 option because we never know where the roads will take us. The mileage wasn't even worth complaining. The smaller engine will work harder thus use more gas. The only advantage we saw for staying with the smaller PU was that after we unhooked the camper, the gas mileage was better for cruising around. Our two sense......LOL
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:14 PM   #3
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what are the weights on the a-frame you are looking at?

I just saw one in the campground the other, towed by a Kia mini-van.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Our A-126 has the max weight of I believe it to be 3600lbs. Empty I'm thinking about 2200lbs. That may not be accurate but not too far off I imagine.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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What are ratings on the Tacoma? If you are looking new, I believe they are actually rated fairly high, well above those weights anyway. It may not have CCC to give, but the tongue weight should still be very manageable.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
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A122S weighs about 1,195 lbs, Tacoma can pull about 6,200. There is no problem there, just thinking about other reasons.

jmfpanzweman, the A126 a-frame should weigh around 2,000 lbs +/- about 100 lbs. unloaded. My pickup is my only transportation. Better gas millage when not towing is one reason I'm thinking about going smaller. I do like the size of my F150, makes it easier to hall canoe and kayaks'.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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I am towing our A122S with a 2013 Santa Fe 2.0T Limited. I did add air bags to combat the rear end sag and they worked awesome. Well until the air line sat on the exhaust and sprung a leak (fixed now).

Anyways we went camping this last weekend so we had it full of food, beer, lawn chairs, accessories, and some additional appliances. Went up some steeper hills (we went to the mountains) and the RPMs never hit above 2500 RPM all while keeping it at around 100KM/H (63mph or so). I mean you know its there but it towed amazingly well and I never had an issue keeping the speed up.

Gas mileage went from around 27mpg normally on highway to around 20-21mpg while towing.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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I am towing our A122S with a 2013 Santa Fe 2.0T Limited. I did add air bags to combat the rear end sag and they worked awesome. Well until the air line sat on the exhaust and sprung a leak (fixed now).
How much did the air bags cost? Did you measure how much sag you had before and after the air bags?
I have the 2007 Torrent SUV which has the same towing capacity as your SUV and a A128S. I got .25 inch rise in front and an 1 inch sag in the rear, it was measured from the center of the tire well to the ground. The propane tanks where off and the tongue weight was 340 pounds. The trailer was not level hitched, I have to replace my ball mounts to raise it by 2 inches. I'm interested with your stats for comparison.

Does anybody know by how much you could be off +/- inches the level of a hitched trailer? I think if it is too low, it my pop out the ball on sudden hard stop or bump, it happened once on me but it maybe mounted wrong, I now double check the mounts.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:16 PM   #9
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Edmunds review seems to favor the V6 Tacoma for "frequent hauling and towing". You may fall into the category more of an occasional hauler/tower...

For more details, in the link below you can pick a specific year by clicking on the blue "year" box.
This will give you more info on the different models (within the Tacoma line up) for varying mpg etc.

Here's a link that might be helpful:
Toyota Tacoma Review - Research New & Used Toyota Tacoma Models | Edmunds

hth,
Deb
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:26 AM   #10
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I tow with a Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew. The truck pulls very well, and has no issues at all ... its been Superchiped since I got it .. which proves more horsepower/torque that the stock tune, and makes it much faster off the line, giving you a choice of performance tunes, with an economy and towing tune.
Was looking at Tacos before i bought the Frontier .. but I couldnt justify the price points. Its a robust little truck with tons of getup and go.

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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How much did the air bags cost? Did you measure how much sag you had before and after the air bags?
I have the 2007 Torrent SUV which has the same towing capacity as your SUV and a A128S. I got .25 inch rise in front and an 1 inch sag in the rear, it was measured from the center of the tire well to the ground. The propane tanks where off and the tongue weight was 340 pounds. The trailer was not level hitched, I have to replace my ball mounts to raise it by 2 inches. I'm interested with your stats for comparison.

Does anybody know by how much you could be off +/- inches the level of a hitched trailer? I think if it is too low, it my pop out the ball on sudden hard stop or bump, it happened once on me but it maybe mounted wrong, I now double check the mounts.
Air bags were like $80 and the compressor unit around $220. Before I inflate the airbags I probably get around 2" of sag in the rear. After I inflate them it almost goes back up to stock. Front end lifts around .4 inch and I am sitting right around 330-340 with everything loaded (propane tanks still on the front).

I think the biggest advantage to the air bags is not only levelling it back out, but at the same time the ride is so much better and it will save my suspension in the long run while towing.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #12
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Thanks rkuffler, just the kind of infor im looking for. camping already up north are ya. I use to like cold weather camping, the older you get the less you like it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:15 PM   #13
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Thanks gregory, hadn't thought to check what edmunds had to say. a lot of good info there.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:19 PM   #14
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Thanks D-mo, the chip is a good idea and I havn't ruled out Nissan yet.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #15
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pm me if you decide on the nissan .. as i have a few value notes also about superchips tune ...

enjoy the purchase ...
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #16
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I tow our A127TH with the current gen Taco and it does great. I have the Access Cab, V6 TRD 4X4 with 6sp manual. When I got it I didn't want the Double Cab, but now that I'm towing a camper, I kinda wish I had the double just for more people. Otherwise I'm not left wanting a bigger truck. I'm toying with the idea of getting a full size truck, but it has nothing to do with towing the A-frame. BTW I've gotten around 14mpg one the few trips we've been on with the camper.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:56 PM   #17
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IndyRC, thanks for the info. 14 mpg is better than what I get with my F150 pulling a pop-up, about 11 mpg.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:06 PM   #18
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IndyRC, thanks for the info. 14 mpg is better than what I get with my F150 pulling a pop-up, about 11 mpg.
Wow, that is pretty bad! I see now why you are having an issue with your F150. Is your truck a 4x4?

Reason I'm so taken back is that we get 16-18 mpg towing our A126 with our E150 (4.6L) cargo van and 18-20 not towing.

I guess popups are heavier too...?

Deb
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:27 PM   #19
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gregory, yes its 4x4, 5.4 triton with a 4:11 posi-track rear end. at best, not towing I get around 15mpg.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:11 PM   #20
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gregory, yes its 4x4, 5.4 triton with a 4:11 posi-track rear end. at best, not towing I get around 15mpg.
Ouch! I figured something like that had to be going on. I understand that it would get in your pocket driving it daily.

Our E150 has 3.73 limited slip differential. It's smaller motor and no 4x4 makes it lighter weight and helps with mpgs. Still, I feel your pain at the pump.

Gary installed a ScanGauge II on the van in 2008, so we see real time and average mpgs. Even though we are conservative drivers, one tends to modify their style of driving with that info in your face.

Best of luck with your tow vehicle decision.

Deb
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