talonian
talonian New Reader
11/6/23 9:18 a.m.

Hey folks. After driving my dailies to SCCA events for years I’m finally ready to graduate to a tow rig. This isn’t happening immediately but I’m trying to do as much research beforehand so I can focus on the already all-consuming buying process. 

I’ve built my rusty GC coupe for rallycross and have been going to events at least once a month. I also plan on getting into a “low cost” racing series like vintage or improved touring in the next few years. I feel it’s time to invest in the right truck (and trailer) for peace of mind and accessibility for future racing. 

After a lot of reading, and staying true to my interests, a 1st gen V8 Tundra is the obvious choice. They can handle the light cars I plan to own, are fairly affordable, and will do well enough as a reliable daily. I'd get a 05-06 4wd access cab ideally with the tow package. I don’t want a Sequoia or overpriced Lexus whatever. I also can’t bring myself to buy a domestic vehicle and expect it to just run. 

That being said, I haven’t seen many 1st gen Tundra tow pigs. Instead I often see current/newer Tacomas and 4Runners towing rallycross cars. These have lower towing capacity, smaller chassis, and comparable MPG so their popularity confounds me. My only guess is some people aren’t willing to rely on a ~20 year old rig anymore, despite the renowned reliability? My 1st gen Tacoma reinforced my faith in the iconic dependability and left me wanting another one. 

 

So my question is to those who tow with Toyota trucks, which truck and why?

cyow5
cyow5 Reader
11/6/23 1:35 p.m.
talonian said:

So my question is to those who tow with Toyota trucks, which truck and why?

'23 Tacoma 6MT. I wanted something that could be a daily driver for the next decade and pull my Elise. Bonus points for manual. The 2nd gen Cayenne was in the running but would have higher miles by far and German maintenance but did also come in manual with the VR6.  The 3rd gen tacomas are rated nearly the same as 1st gen Tundras, more power (slightly), so performance-wise are pretty close. I didn't want anything big since the Tacoma is the first vehicle  I've owned without being lowered in like ten years. So far, it has been awesome. It pulled a ~2200lb trailer + 1900lb car with no problems. The engine does go into an Atkinson cycle at low rpm (<3k) and is totally gutless there, but that's where you just downshift, and it is happy. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
11/6/23 1:47 p.m.

2011 Tundra, 5.7, 4x4, 9ft flatbed.  Big engine because we tow 1k+ miles at a time and low stress is preferred, 4x4 because sometimes those miles have snow or mud and we use the truck for recce and recoveries at rallies sometimes, flatbed because we carry lots of spares.  I might've considered a first gen Tundra, but around here they all rusted in a hurry.  This one works great so far, maybe overkill for just hauling to rallycrosses a couple hours away:

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/6/23 2:45 p.m.

I had a 2013 Tacoma 6MT Double Cab TRD offroad.  I would not recommend it if you are planning on towing.  The biggest issue with it is Reverse is WAY TO HIGH of a gear.  The truck will do like 35 mph in reverse and the minimum practical speed is way to fast to back up trailers.  Any amount of backing required either way to much clutch slipping or putting the truck in 4 low which resulted in binding in the front axle.

Apparently there is a kit to make the truck go into 2 Low which is a realistic solution but it shoudn't be required to do something like that.  The truck also got 16-18 mpg during my 40K miles of ownership.  Towing it was closer to 11-12.  

It was a fine truck I guess.  The cab is very short vertically and at 6' tall the top of the windshield was basically even with my eye line.   This made it to where If the stoplights on the other side of the street where above the street and not on poles beside it I would have to lean forward to be able to look up at them and see them.  

If you are buying for towing I would proceed directly to a Tundra.   I towed the same trailer the Tacoma got 11 with a 2017 Tundra to Florida and it got almost 14mpg.   The Tundra cab had none of the issues of the Tacoma cab.  Obviously it's a bigger truck and Tundras aren't know for unloaded efficiency but the Tacoma is no hero for economy.   Auto only on the Tundra, but for a tow vehicle that's not the worst.

Or it sounds like the current gen Tacomas may be better for towing then the older ones were.  

Fupdiggity (Forum Supporter)
Fupdiggity (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/6/23 3:49 p.m.
cyow5 said:
talonian said:

So my question is to those who tow with Toyota trucks, which truck and why?

'23 Tacoma 6MT. I wanted something that could be a daily driver for the next decade and pull my Elise. Bonus points for manual. The 2nd gen Cayenne was in the running but would have higher miles by far and German maintenance but did also come in manual with the VR6.  The 3rd gen tacomas are rated nearly the same as 1st gen Tundras, more power (slightly), so performance-wise are pretty close. I didn't want anything big since the Tacoma is the first vehicle  I've owned without being lowered in like ten years. So far, it has been awesome. It pulled a ~2200lb trailer + 1900lb car with no problems. The engine does go into an Atkinson cycle at low rpm (<3k) and is totally gutless there, but that's where you just downshift, and it is happy. 

I was in a similar boat and also briefly cross-shopped cayennes (because manual). I haven't towed w/ mine yet, but I expect it to be adequate for the handful of times a year I'll need to tow with it. 

I don't particularly like driving trucks, but if i'm going to have one, it needs to do truck stuff (dirty crap in bed), adventure stuff (camping gear and/or bikes on fire service roads), and tow a 5k lb trailer. I'm not a fan of full size trucks and manuals make me smile, so that pretty much narrows it down to one vehicle on sale today, the taco. For a dedicated tow rig there's much better and cheaper options. 

On paper, they look pretty damn close to a 1st gen Tundra v8, although I would guess the 4.7 in the tundra would be less strained than the 3.5 in the taco. If you can find a good example, I'd be leaning towards the tundra. 

buzzboy
buzzboy UltraDork
11/8/23 1:28 p.m.

Test drive a Tundra and a Tacoma if they're both on the table. The 1g Tundra drives better than the 2g/3g Tacoma, in pretty much every way, and will be cheaper to purchase. Look into frame rust and/or replacement with Toyotas. 

 

The go price out a LX450 and LX470 just to be sure they're actually more expensive than a truck

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