What’s the Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity – What Trailers and Campers Can It Safely Tow?

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How Much Will a Toyota Tacoma Tow?

To start things off, the towing capacity of the Toyota Tacoma greatly varies depending on the trim you choose. If we are talking about the standard 2022 Toyota Tacoma, which comes with a 2.7L 4-Cylinder engine with 159 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 180 lb.-ft. at 3,800 rpm, the maximum towing capacity is 3,500 lbs. However, trims such as the Tacoma SR 4×2, SR5 4×2, and TRD Sport 4×2 with the 3.5L V6 engine with 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque have a maximum towing capacity of 6,800 lbs.

What Travel Trailer Size Can a Toyota Tacoma Pull?

Before we recommend some travel trailers, we have to mention that Toyota Tacoma comes in 6 different grades, each with up to 6 trims. While they may look similar on the exterior, there are differences in the engine power, axle ratio, the length and weight of the truck, the payload capacity, etc. 

For instance, with the Tacoma SR 4×2 4-cylinder engine, you will get a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. However, if we are talking about the Tacoma TRD Sport 4×2 V6, the max towing capacity jumps to 6,800 lbs.

Because Tacoma has a pretty wide towing capacity range, we can mention a few travel trailers that can suit the truck. Some of them include:

  • Teardrop Trailers;
  • Pop-up Trailers;
  • Airstream Trailers;
  • Fifth Wheel Trailers (smaller versions);

However, you’ll need to be careful, as you’ll have to know the exact towing capacity of the truck you own, including the trailer’s length and weight. 

Can a Toyota Tacoma Tow a Fifth Wheel Trailer?

Fifth-wheelers are a type of trailer that the Toyota Tacoma will have difficulty towing. This is because fifth-wheel trailers are huge and can weigh up to 20,000lbs.

Given the numbers, it’s more than obvious that the Tacoma can’t tow a full-sized fifth wheel trailer. However, if you browse around, you will be able to find smaller versions that only weigh about 2,400 lbs.

If you already own a sizeable fifth-wheel trailer, no matter the trim of the Tacoma, this mid-sized truck won’t be able to carry your five-wheeler. Instead, it is better to go for a full-sized truck, like a Toyota Tundra, which has a towing capacity of up to 14,000 lbs.

The Towing Capacity of Different Toyota Tacoma Models and Years

In the table below, you will be able to check out some Tacoma models over the years, the engine they come with, and their towing capacity:

Toyota Tacoma by yearLow-end engineMid-end engineHigh-end engine
Toyota Tacoma 20162.7-L 4-Cylinder 6A, 158 hp, 180 lbs torque – towing capacity 3,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder  6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,700 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder 6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque  – towing capacity 6,800 lbs
Toyota Tacoma 20172.7-L 4-Cylinder 6A, 158 hp, 180 lbs torque – towing capacity 3,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder  6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,400 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder 6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,800 lbs
Toyota Tacoma 20182.7-L 4-Cylinder 6A, 158 hp, 180 lbs torque – towing capacity 3,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder  6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,400 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder 6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,800 lbs
Toyota Tacoma 20192.7-L 4-Cylinder 6A, 158 hp, 180 lbs torque – towing capacity 3,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder  6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,400 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder 6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,800 lbs
Toyota Tacoma 20202.7-L 4-Cylinder 6A, 158 hp, 180 lbs torque – towing capacity 3,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder  6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder 6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,800 lbs
Toyota Tacoma 20212.7-L 4-Cylinder 6A, 158 hp, 180 lbs torque – towing capacity 3,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder  6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder 6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,800 lbs
Toyota Tacoma 20222.7-L 4-Cylinder 6A, 158 hp, 180 lbs torque – towing capacity 3,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder  6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,500 lbs3.5-L 6-Cylinder 6A, 278 hp, 265 lbs torque – towing capacity 6,800 lbs

What Affects the Overall Towing Capacity of the Toyota Tacoma?

What’s the Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity – What Trailers and Campers Can It Safely Tow? 1

Instead of simply looking at the engine power, you should consider multiple factors before deciding if the Toyota Tacoma is a suitable towing truck for you. Even though exterior factors contribute to the truck’s towing capacity, such as the terrain and the weather, the mechanical characteristics play the main role.

Let’s see what affects the overall pulling capacity of this truck: 

Engine Strength

It is no wonder that engine strength is on top of the list of features that affect towing capacity. Strength is determined by the horsepower and torque the engine produces.

Regarding Toyota Tacoma, we can see the 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 lb.-ft. at 4,600 rpm of torque is the strongest engine. However, not all trims with this engine have the highest capacity of 6,800 lbs. For instance, while the TRD Sport 4×2 has a 6,800 lbs pulling capacity, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4 with the same engine has a maximum capacity of 6,400 lbs.

Axle Ratio

If you want to check out how your Toyota Tacoma uses its torque, you should look for the axle ratio. The number that pops up will show you how many times the wheels turn using the engine’s power.

Because the Tacoma is a mid-size truck, most of the time, it’s supposed to tow lighter weight. For the lighter-weight trailers, the axle ratio should be higher. Most standard Tacoma trucks have a rear and front axle ratio of 3.91, which is perfect for towing lighter loads.

The Length and Weight of the Truck

The truck’s control is another big part when towing campers/trailers. No matter whether you own a Tacoma or a full-sized truck, you should always know the length and the weight of your vehicle and the dimensions of the trailer.

Even if you have calculated the weight of the trailer and it suits your truck’s capacities, other factors can cause you to lose control of the truck while on the open road. High winds are always a hazard when traveling, and if sway occurs, the best thing to do is stop and wait for them to pass by.

That is why most sellers and dealers will tell you that a lighter and smaller trailer is best suited for the Tacoma. This way, the trailer’s weight won’t have any impact when it comes to controlling the truck.

Payload

The payload capacity determines how much weight the truck can carry. Because there are various versions of the Toyota Tacoma, each model has its own payload capacity. On average, the payload capacity of Tacoma ranges from 1,095 to 1,685 lbs.

Keep in mind that any added features to the truck, such as extra lights, grills, and spoilers, can affect the payload capacity. You will have to be mindful of the numbers, given that if you go above the limit, you are likely to experience problems while towing your trailer.

Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is the amount of pressure the trailer puts on the truck, affecting the control and stability of both the vehicle and the trailer. 

Unlike other weights, the tongue weight needs to be in the suitable min-max range. This means that it shouldn’t be too heavy, but a light tongue weight won’t do the job either.

The tongue weight should be around 10 up to 15% of the GTW (Gross Trailer Weight).

Towing Package

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma comes with a tow package, and all of the accessories and features will help you tow your trailer/camper safer and easier. Here is what you get in the tow package:

  • Engine oil and transmission cooler;
  • A class IV receiver hitch with trailing wiring;
  • A 4/7-pin connector that fits in the three-piece bumper;
  • Battery;
  • Sway Control for trailers;
  • 130-amp alternator;

Which Mid-Sized Trucks Provide Similar Towing Capabilities to the Toyota Tacoma?

While we showcased the Toyota Tacoma in this piece, we will also provide you with other truck brands with similar towing capabilities. Here are some that are available on the market:

  •  2022 Chevy Colorado – up to 7,700 lbs 
  • 2022 Honda Ridgeline – up to 5,000 lbs
  • 2022 Nissan Frontier – up to 6,720 lbs 
  • 2022 Ford Ranger – up to 7,500 lbs  

Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity FAQs

Can You Pull a Trailer With a Tacoma?

Yes, with the latest 2022 Toyota Tacoma, you have a towing capacity that ranges from 3,500 lbs to 6,800 lbs. By having a wide towing capacity range, there are numerous types of trailers/campers that a Tacoma can tow. You can undoubtedly tow teardrop trailers, airstream trailers, pop-up trailers, and even fifth-wheel trailers. However, you should look for smaller five-wheeler versions.

Which Tacoma Trim Is Best for Towing?

Three models or trims are best for towing trailers or campers. The Tacoma TRD Sport, Tacoma SR 4×2, and the Tacoma TRD Off-Road are the three trims with the most towing capacity. The TRD Sport and the SR trims have a towing capacity of 6,800 lbs, while the TRD Off-Road has a maximum towing capacity of 6,700 lbs.

Which Tacoma Trims Come With a Tow Package?

All 4×4 configurations come with a towing package, plus the 4×2 configurations of TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road. There are at least 7 components that will come with a towing package, including a Class-IV towing hitch, engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4-pin and 7-pin connector with converter, and trailer sways control.

Which Tacoma Has the Highest Payload Capacity?

Towing capacity is one thing, and across all trims of the Toyota Tacoma, you will get at least 3,500 lbs of towing capacity. However, different trims come with different payload capacities. The TRD Off-Road has the lowest with 1,395 lbs, then comes the TRD Sport with 1,525 lbs, while the SR and SR5 have a payload capacity of 1,685 lbs. You should always calculate the payload capacity of your Tacoma because if you overload it, that extra weight can cause problems.

Does the Toyota Tacoma Have a Good MPG?

It’s no wonder why so many people have chosen the Tacoma as their vehicle, considering that it is made to be efficient. All in all, it isn’t the best at MPG, however, if we consider its contenders on the mid-sized trucks market, with a 20 city/23 highway MPG, the Tacoma is up there with the best. Whether you have work to do all day or want to cruise around, the Tacoma has got your back.

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About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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