T-100 tow as a tow rig?

Discussion in '05+ Tacoma, T100, Highlander' started by SBFJ60FIG, May 19, 2018.

  1. SBFJ60FIG

    SBFJ60FIG

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    Hey all, I'm wondering if anyone uses their T-100 to tow kinda big stuff?

    I'm thinking about replacing my LX450 with a T-100 (prolly one with a automatic trans) and wanted to see how it works as a tow vehicle and what y'all have towed with your T-100 and how it went?

    I'd at most be towing an 18' aluminum boat, my T-100 will have a blower so powa is not my concern, more so just brakes, road handling manners with say 4k lbs hanging off the rear bumper, et cetera.

    And yeah, I searched a bit (lazzzzzzyyyyyyy) and didn't see much so if ya know any great threads on this topic, please mock me for not finding 'em and share the link! ! ! !

    Thanks in advance! !
     
  2. rscoleman

    rscoleman

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    I have 1997 T100 4x4 5speed 3.4L V6
    It tows my 20foot bay boat with out to much issue about 3000lb trailer and boat weight. Note never get to use 5th gear in 4th or 3rd when hit a big hill.
    I have towed a 4500lb 25ft travel trailer. Same thing 4th and 3rd for most of trip.
    Gas mileage goes to pot and by pot I mean 8 to 10 miles to gallon.
    You will get their it is just not going to be fast.
     
  3. SBFJ60FIG

    SBFJ60FIG

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    Good info - thanks for the response - always good to hear real-world experience. The T-100 for sure seems under-powered, but then again pretty much all Toyota trucks up until say 1998/99 were under-powered!

    Nice to know it's not the worst tow rig - my blown LX 450 does just okay towing my 18' boat, but it also did pretty well towing much bigger stuff too!
     
  4. rscoleman

    rscoleman

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    Note I have brake controller and class 3 hitch. I was towing the boat off bumper but when I had to move the 25 ft trailer I had to upgrade. I like towing the boat now with class 3 and 4 inch drop compared to off the bumper. It seems more stable and due to height of my truck the 4 inch drop is nice to have it makes the boat level. I feel less bounce at rear end.
    Like I said biggest issue is you are going to be running 3000+ rpm in 4th or 3rd to stay moving and top end is maybe 70 on level ground. As I have manual tranny I was not worried about transmission temps. I was worried about motor oil temp and coolant temp. Luckily with gas mileage drop you will be stopping for gas ever 150 miles or so.
    Brakes seem ok mine are still stock. I give myself about double the distance to stop. Brake controller for 25 ft trailer was nice. With boat it all comes from truck. Make sure the proportioning valve for rear breaks is in working order so you get more out of rear drums.
     
  5. ncpapaul

    ncpapaul

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    My T100 is a 1995 with 338,000 miles on it, original engine/auto. I tow with it regularly. I attached some photos but can't find any with my tractor in tow at this minute but I do haul several tractors with it. Not huge diesels but a 900 series Ford and a 4000 Ford and an 630 two cylinder John Deere and a 3020 John Deere. Just have to watch braking distance and slow down very slow and maybe use back roads a bit. Paul Hauling 10x10 posts.JPG Hauling cherry logs.JPG IMG_5681.JPG
     
  6. MoCoNative

    MoCoNative

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    Wow, that's some heavy loads Paul.

    If you feel the LX450, with supercharger is under-powered, you will be very disappointed with the T100. I love my truck, I love my truck because it was the last big Toyota you could get with a manual tranny. It is not a great towing vehicle though. It will do it, and does it okay but it is slow. On the other hand, in daily driving I get 20+ MPG and it is is comfortable ride for a pickup.

    I have towed upwards of 6000 pounds with it for short hauls. We have a 20 foot camper we bought last summer. So far I have pulled it once with the T100, and will hook on to it tomorrow for another trip. Conversely, I have pulled the camper with our FZJ80 4 times, and it handled the trailer better. The 80 is heavier and has more power. I have added airbags to both trucks to help with the tongue weight. Trailer is 3500 pounds dry, so probably around 4000 loaded or better. We'll see how it does with the airbags on this trip. As mentioned above, 4th gear and high RPM's, the 80 series is running down the road the same way with the camper.

    Towed an older Starcraft tent trailer with it quite a bit, again the FZJ80 handled it better too. The tent trailer was 2000-2400 pounds loaded and I still felt under-powered. I added brakes to that trailer so that long mountain passes would be less scary. Of course I'm in Colorado, so elevation and passes make driving different. Either way, on long descents, even in 2nd gear the 5VZFE just raps out and does not have enough displacement and compression braking to hold the load.

    I would spring for a good receiver hitch so you can level the trailer and a brake controller.

    If having a manual tranny is not a requirement, I would look at the first gen Tundras, V8 power and a little more truck weight will make them tow better. If I could get one with a manual I would have it. Seems pretty impossible to convert the 2UZFE. I've thought about the 1UZFE in my T100, but the original engine shows no signs of death, so why mess with a perfect truck.

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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  7. Kris

    Kris But my friends call me Kris

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    We used to have a 97 Limited on the juice (supercharged) with an auto to pull a 2-3 horse trailer with it. The super charger definitely helped with the power issue, but hurt gas mileage towing (worse than N/A) and it still felt light. You will absolutely learn how to drive a trailer that is pushing you around - even with a trailer brake. We never tried towing without an external transcooler on.

    That being said, in chicagoland you would probably be ok. Just don't expect to get there fast.

    Otherwise, we really enjoyed the hell out of that truck. The 5VZ really is a good engine that you can easily get a lot of life out of.
     
  8. MoCoNative

    MoCoNative

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    Meant to update this, spent a month camped out on a once in a lifetime hunting oppurtunity. Fortunately it was close to home, and I left the camper at camp most the time, but did drag it the 75 miles from home to camp and back on three occasions. Picture below was my trip back to camp halfway through the month, reloaded for another two weeks of camping. Actually had a close encounter with a Mtn Lion and then had to pull up camp and outrun a wildfire that week.

    Truck has the gas tank full, 500 pounds of atv, three jerry cans of fuel, one jerry can of water and other misc stuff in the bed. Trailer was loaded with my needed camping gear, clothing, bow, backpack etc... propane grill, chairs, blocks, normal camper stuff. Two full 20lb propane bottles, 100lb of generator, full 30gal freshwater tank, plus 20 more gallons of water at front wall of camper. Fridge was full, and there was enough cangoods and other snacks stowed under the sink and seats to keep me alive for another week or so if the cold food was lost for some reason.

    I can't guess the true trailer weight, close to 4000 plus pounds I'm sure. Tongue weight was whacked with the spare water under the bed in the forward compartments. Extra load in the bed of the truck was obviously a factor too. Had the air bags at 95PSI to get the load as level as it is in the picture. Overall it pulled pretty good. Strong cross winds were an issue at times. Headwinds on two trips knocked me to 2nd gear at times. Long grades were slow too. Braking was good though. Very happy with the way the airbags are leveling the load on this truck and the our FZJ80 and this camper.

    Overall, the picture shows a lot of load on a T100, in the mountains, there is no way you could tow the rated 5000 pounds in a safe, sane manner on busy highways. My roads were pretty rural and empty, so I took my time.

    On one trip out and back I noticed the brake controller was intermittently blinking like it lost connection. Figured out it was a bad spade in the trailer plug. Was very happy and surprised how well I was able to stop at the bottom of a long grade while trying to figure out why I didn't have any trailer brakes.
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