Vorshlag 468x60 Banner
PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 11 Feb 2012 03:39 PM by  mitchman
Tacoma to tow a Miata?
 17 Replies
Sort:
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages
Fab
New Member
New Member
Posts:60


--
25 Aug 2011 08:26 PM

    I am toying with the idea of finally converting my miata to a dedicated STS car. It's currently still a dual purpose car autocross/daily driver.

    While I will still drive it to local event, I'd rather tow it for out of town events.

    So I would need a new daily driver that will double as towing vehicle.

    A Tacoma V6 4x4 is rated at 3,500 lbs towing capacity, the Miata is currently at 2,200 lbs and I figure I can get a lightweight open aluminium trailer that weight 1,000 lbs or less.

    Would that be enough to tow the miata comfortably?


    lowside67
    Basic Member
    Basic Member
    Posts:273


    --
    25 Aug 2011 08:50 PM

    What Tacoma are you looking at? The current bodystyle from 06+ can tow 5000lbs which is plenty. On the other hand, the old bodystyle Tacomas can barely move themselves and although they may technically be capable of pulling a trailer that weighs 3500lbs, it will be miserable. Also, a 2200lb car coupled with a trailer leaves no capacity whatsoever for parts, tires, etc. To give you an idea, on a recent trip, I took down 400lbs in wheels/tires alone (2 spare sets), and another 350lbs of tools - it adds up quickly.

    Mark

    Fab
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:60


    --
    25 Aug 2011 11:33 PM
    I was just looking at the 2011 Tacoma numbers, towing specs are 3,500 lbs, you have to get the TRD package to get 6,500 lbs towing capacity.
    daveds50
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:


    --
    25 Aug 2011 11:56 PM
    lowside67 wrote:

    What Tacoma are you looking at? The current bodystyle from 06+ can tow 5000lbs which is plenty. On the other hand, the old bodystyle Tacomas can barely move themselves and although they may technically be capable of pulling a trailer that weighs 3500lbs, it will be miserable.

    not true.


    totally effortless, even at 80+... uphill even... and 17 mpg round trip at those speeds.

    course, it is an 01 S Runner, which most people have never heard about or ever seen.

    3500 is for manual transmission, 5000/6500 is automatic.

    an 05+ V6 manual or automatic will tow effortlessly too.

    both the 05+ and earlier 4 cyl wont do it... unless you like going up hills in 3rd gear at 45 mph.


    MattP
    Basic Member
    Basic Member
    Posts:350


    --
    26 Aug 2011 09:18 AM
    Fab wrote:
    I was just looking at the 2011 Tacoma numbers, towing specs are 3,500 lbs, you have to get the TRD package to get 6,500 lbs towing capacity.



    Not true. Any 05+ V6 Tacoma (except the X runner) is rated to tow 6500 lbs with the towing package. I had an 07 for a few years and it towed great for open trailers under 4500 lbs or so. I think you'd be safe at 6500, but it would be pretty slow. Mine was 2WD with the SR5 and towing packages only, and was indeed rated to tow 6500.

    Oh, and highly recommend having the rear spring TSB done before towing. Basically you get the Bilstein HD shocks from the TRD package and an extra leaf in the rear springs.

    The stock springs will put the axle 1" from the bump stop with 400 lbs or so in the bed. The replacement ones make it act like a truck (what a concept!)
    dmitrik4
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:1332


    --
    28 Aug 2011 02:53 PM
    you could also look at the Frontier; I believe tow rating with the V6 is 6500 with either transmission.
    mitchman
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:610


    --
    28 Aug 2011 09:23 PM
    Make sure you have a lightweight trailer. My first trailer weighed 2800 lbs (more than our Miata), but our Trailex trailer weighs less than 1000 lbs.

    Also, it depends on where you tow. For us, to get to the "big name" autocross events we have to tow over a mountain pass. Pretty extreme. If you're just towing over hills around town and such, you'll be fine. Heck, Grassroots Motorsports was towing with a Honda mini-van.
    Sho Torii
    Basic Member
    Basic Member
    Posts:108


    --
    07 Feb 2012 11:20 PM
    I agree with Lowside67. I wouldn't even dream to use a 6500-lb towing rate truck unless only towing locally and occassionally. I used the Titan (9300 lb rating) to tow a CSP Miata (2000 lbs) on an open trailer (1400 lbs) for 5 years. I towed 12000 miles per year on the average and the truck was not up for the task in my opinion and I have repair bills to back it up.
    BigEnos
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:570


    --
    08 Feb 2012 01:02 PM
    Get a short bed extended cab F150 with the Ecoboost V6. No worries and probably decent gas mileage (when not towing). And you can save a bunch of cash and buy a steel trailer.
    IntegraR0064
    Basic Member
    Basic Member
    Posts:151


    --
    09 Feb 2012 01:31 PM
    dmitrik4 wrote:
    you could also look at the Frontier; I believe tow rating with the V6 is 6500 with either transmission.

    6300 with 4x4, 6500 4x2

    The frontier is definitely worth looking into, check my other thread in this forum- some people did recommend it when I was asking a similar question. And the Frontier ends up being significantly cheaper than the tacoma if you're looking at new, especially if you want the higher tow capacity (which you should). I ultimately decided to go with the titan, but it was a tough choice - the frontier was really nice to drive, felt like a car.

    mcfandango
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:26


    --
    10 Feb 2012 11:50 AM
    For 09 and 10 Nationals, I used a 2001 Dodge Dakota quad cab V8 with just over 5000lbs tow rating. This was on a relatively light open tandem axle utility trailer and my XP Miata (was ~2100lbs in 09 as it was an SSM car sans carpet and dash that year)

    It was capable of doing it but not much else. Luckily there are no major hills between central Texas and Lincoln. I would also say it was unnerving at times. Granted the v8 in the Dakota wasn't very special, I would wager you could not be in a hurry with a v6. But if you only do it occasionally, it is probably fine.

    I had to get a new tow vehicle last year before nationals. I ended up getting a new F150 quad-cab EcoBoost. The ease of towing with that thing is insane compared to the Dakota. Averaged ~11mpg with the Dakota and 15.7mpg on the less than month old EcoBoost. Biggest down side is the size of the F150.
    TOMstir62
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:14


    --
    10 Feb 2012 12:46 PM
    BigEnos wrote:
    Get a short bed extended cab F150 with the Ecoboost V6. No worries and probably decent gas mileage (when not towing). And you can save a bunch of cash and buy a steel trailer.

    This is a very good option. The extended cab 6.5' box ecoboost easily pulls the miata on an aluminum trailer plus it has the headroom for future larger cars and trailers. Pulling the miata on an open aluminum trailer the ecoboost f150 gets between 16-19 MPG for me. Empty, the truck is always over twenty and on one trip reached 26. Also, the ecoboost equiped trucks are quick! Only a handfull of trucks are much quicker.

    Smaller trucks are convienient because they are smaller than a half ton but much less capable no matter what the numbers tell you. Empty they get only slightly better gas milage than a typical full size v8 and loaded up they get much worse. The ability to control a trailer in difficult conditions and in an emergency situation is deffinetly not something the small trucks do well.

    They key to a safe and enjoyable towing experience depends heavily on the size of the tow vehicle. I would not even attempt to get close to the maxium tow ratings on a half ton or smaller truck.

    Claff93STS
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:59


    --
    10 Feb 2012 09:59 PM
    We towed 10,000 miles last year with a 2011 Toyota 4Runner (V6). 1700lb trailer, 2100lb Miata, two people and all the accouterments needed for those people who do not pack lightly. Yeah the wagon kicked down a gear or two in the western Maryland mountains but we had no issues and got 14 MPG.
    Sho Torii
    Basic Member
    Basic Member
    Posts:108


    --
    11 Feb 2012 12:27 AM

    Claff93STS,

    I don't mean to jinx you, but you should wait a few years before you conclude your setup is sufficient. The first year (2007) with my 2006 Titan with the 1400-lb trailer + 2000-lb Miata was rosy, no issues at all. The second year, the front transfer case went on our way to Topeka, and in the third year the transmission died.... I do 12000 miles of towing per year and am convinced that the Titan is not up for the task.

    S2kTas
    Basic Member
    Basic Member
    Posts:144


    --
    11 Feb 2012 12:48 PM
    And on the Flip Side, I towed my H & H 20 foot enclosed trailer hauling my 2003 Honda S2K around for 7500 miles with my 2004 Nissan Titan......and never had one issue with the Truck or Transmission. However, I will say that on the Titan Forums, there were drivers of other 2004-2005-2006 Titans that were having Transmission and Transfer Case problems.

    When Gas got to be $4.00 per gallon, I decided to make a few changes. Traded the Truck, and sold my enclosed trailer. Man oh Man, do I miss that Trailer......but I know it is in good hands with one of our Club Racer / Solo Drivers in Oklahoma.

    If I was looking for a new truck, I would probably go with a Ford Ecoboost F150, Toyota Tundra......or 3/4 ton Chev Duramax Diesel.


    mitchman
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:610


    --
    11 Feb 2012 01:22 PM

    If you do decide to go with a smaller pickup, I would strongly recommend a transmission temperature gauge. (or a Scan Gauge OBD II reader)

    I've towed a C-Stock Miata with a 1998 F-150 4.7 2WD and then upgraded to a 2005 F-150 5.4 4WD. The 2005 with the 5.4 is MUCH better, but both trucks generate a lot of heat towing over mountain passes. When ever the torque converter unlocks it starts to generate heat. You'd never know how high the temps get without the gauge. When ever I see the temps rise close to 200 degrees, I slow down and use a lower gear. I suspect that many transmission issues are because the driver isn't keeping an eye on a transmission temperature gauge.

    Of course if you buy a big diesel truck that's meant for towing, a trans temp gauge wouldn't really be necessary. (some come with them from the factory)

    (Is the original poster even watching this thread anymore? It's 2 years old.)

    John V
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:1854


    --
    11 Feb 2012 03:22 PM
    8/26/11 to 2/11/12 is two years?
    mitchman
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:610


    --
    11 Feb 2012 03:39 PM

    Oops! I looked at the date he joined, not the date he started the thread.

    You are not authorized to post a reply.


    Sunoco 88x31 Button
    Woodhouse Motorsports SPS 88x31 Button
    G-Loc Button Vorshlag 88x31 Button
    Leroy Engineering Micro Button

    Advertise on SCCAForums.com and reach thousands of visitors per day!

    SafeRacer FREE SHIPPING over $99

    Shop for Pirelli tires at Tire Rack. blank




    Sunoco Bottom 468x60 Banner