Can You Tow A Boat With A Tacoma

Most Toyota tundra’s equipped with V6’s are able to tow 6500 lbs per Toyota.

A typical bass weighs around 1,700 lbs and some speed boats weigh less than 6500 lbs thus concluding that the Toyota Tundra is capable of towing such a boat.  The average pontoon or deck boat is around 3,000 lbs and towing one shouldn’t be a problem, but there some things to consider.

This does not account for the weight of the fuel, or trailer the boat is being hauled on.  There are some variations between the towing capacity of the Toyota Tacoma and we will look at a few examples of this.

·      SR 4×2 6-speed Automatic models: 3,500 lbs.

·      SR5 4×4 Access Cab 4-cyl 6-speed Automatic: 3,500 lbs.

·      SR 4×4 Double Cab V6 6-speed Automatic: 6,400 lbs.

·      TRD Sport 4×4 Double Cab V6 6-speed Manual: 6,400 lbs.

·      TRD Sport 4×4 Double Cab V6 6-speed Automatic: 6,400 lbs.

·      SR5 4×4 Double Cab V6 6-speed Automatic: 6,400 lbs.

·      TRD Sport 4×4 Access Cab V6 6-speed Automatic & Manual: 6,500 lbs.

·      TRD Sport 4×2 Double Cab V6 6-speed Automatic Long Bed: 6,500 lbs.

·      SR5 4×4 Access Cab V6 6-speed Automatic: 6,500 lbs.

·      SR5 4×2 Double Cab V6 6-speed Automatic Long Bed: 6,600 lbs.

·      SR5 4×2 Double Cab V6 6-speed Automatic Short Bed: 6,700 lbs.

·      TRD Sport 4×2 Double Cab V6 6-speed Automatic Short Bed: 6,700 lbs.

·      SR5 4×2 V6 6-speed Automatic: 6,800 lbs.

·      TRD Sport 4×2 Access Cab V6 6-speed Automatic: 6,800 lbs.

After seeing these numbers from Toyota it is apparent that that there are very small differences between the towing capacity of all the V6 Tacoma models. 

I would not recommend getting a 4 cylinder Tacoma if you plan on towing a boat around, however I do know someone who has one and carries around a small trailer quite often.

Fishing Boats – Average Weight of 1,700 lbs

This is a boat that most people have in mind when they ask the question can my Toyota Tacoma tow a boat.  They could be a pretty good size boat with some reaching over 2,000 lbs.

The Tacoma should have no problem hauling one of these around, if you account for the dry weight of the boat, the fuel, and trailer you will most likely still be under 3,000 lbs.  Sure you could go down the road a few miles to the lake towing the boat, but taking it on the highway is something else entirely.

Towing The Boat

Most All Tacoma’s should be towing a boat in 4th gear with the rpm’s between 3,200 and 3,500. This will be at around 60 and 65 mph on flat land, if you are going uphill you will most likely be doing it in 3rd gear.

You will feel and see the weight of the boat once it’s hitched up the Tacoma will sit a lot lower. You will want to make sure you have have a good trailer with good breaks. If your trailer does not have brakes, you will not have enough stopping power to tow your boat with your Tacoma.

An upgrade you can make to your Tacoma is adding a good electronic break controller, which is necessary when you have electronic brakes. You could add a couple of overload springs to the rear suspension, they will help with the tongue weight of the boat.

Most Tacoma’s come with a 7 pin connection, a lot of trailers with disc brakes use a 5 pin connection and you will need to use an adapter to use the trailer.

Towing with a mid size truck means you will have less visibility with your rear-view mirrors being more narrow. With this loss in visibility you will have a hard time viewing the cars and trucks behind your boat.

Trailer Towing

A travel trailer could be more difficult when being towed by a mid sized truck. They usually measure in at about 22 feet and they possess more surface area allowing the wind to blow it around.

You will feel this more so than you would in an F-150. While, I would say the max size of trailer you could pull is a 22 ft trailer, it will still be uncomfortable for long distance use.

Upgrades to Help Your Tacoma Tow

I have already mentioned a few upgrades your truck could use if you are planning on towing a boat of a trailer frequently. The obvious one, would to get the Tacoma with a towing package. This would be the smartest move to make if you have not yet purchased one and you’re kind of on the fence about which package to get

The next would to get a good electronic brake control module. This is necessary because you will want to be using a good trailer with electronic brakes, this will save the brakes on your truck and offer a safer towing experience for you.

One upgrade, that is not necessarily required is to get an transmission oil cooler for your Tacoma, this will lessen the strain on your transmission it receives when towing for long distances and extend it’s life.

Tacoma’s have excellent transmissions manufactured by Aisin who is knows for having one of the best and most reliable transmissions on the market. They will last the lifetime of the truck if they are taken care of. So you want to do everything you can to do so.

A good backup camera could help some bit, and most modern Tacoma’s will come with one, but if not it is easy to install an aftermarket one these days, as they are quite universal.

Check with your Toyota dealership, many offer a towing package that they will put on your truck for around 1,000 dollars. It will include a transmission oil cooler, a bigger alternator, and a larger battery.

It may not be a bad deal for you to just go ahead and let the dealership install these before you buy the truck, Tacoma’s sell very quickly so if you find one you really want they usually do not last long on the lot. Everyone you talk to will tell you that, the Toyota Tacoma hold’s its value better than any other truck.

I myself have found this to be true, used ones typically don’t tend to sit around very long as they seem to be everyone’s favorite mid-sized pickup.

Your maximum tongue weight for the Tacoma is right around 500 lbs and this is a bigger factor that the weight of the boat or trailer. Weight distribution is important when towing with any mid-sized truck.

If your truck is an automatic, you will want to pay attention to your transmission fluid temperature. It breaks down quickly during high heat situations. There are some fluid temperature readers that work by simply plugging them into the OBD-II plug underneath your steering wheel.

They are typically pretty cheap, under 30$ to pick up. You will want to make sure it stays under 225 degrees Fahrenheit, the light will come on at about 300 and at that point it’s too late.

The Fuel economy could run around 10 to 15 mpg, sometimes even less if you have modified your Tacoma, such a lift kit, bigger wheel, tires etc. Just don’t expect to get great fuel economy while towing with your Tacoma. Toyota’s pickups are not known for their fuel economy anyway.

Josh Gallardo

Josh is a product enthusiast trying to help everyone fine the things they need.

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