I would have appreciated a thoughtful answer to the overweight question when I was purchasing, so I will expound a bit. I used to design aircraft including a little bit on landing gear, which means I know enough to be dangerous, but no expert. We ordered our 4WC Fleet, then while waiting for delivery bought an off-road 2018 Tacoma (GAWR: Front: 2910 lb; Rear 3280 lb. GVWR: 5600 lb). We weighed it with two smaller people and a full tank. Front: 2700 lb; Rear: 2000 lb. We were already at 4700 lb, which means only 900 for the camper "wet" left. The truck looks so dang big (I'm a Prius driver) and has less than a half-ton payload. Hmmm.
The day we got the camper, we put 1/4 tank of gas, a few gals of water, (5 gal), removed the sliding bed since we're short, one of the propane tanks, added a nights worth of stuff and weighed it: Front: 2700 lb; Rear: 3150 lb. Right off the bat we are at 92% front and 96% rear but 104% for the total truck. Oops.
Our heaviest weighing so far: 96% front and 109% rear, 113% total (i.e. 2800 front, 3600 rear, 6400 total). That's with two people, about half or 3/4 full water tank, full gas, 2.5 weeks supplies. Yikes.
I try to minimize water en route and fill up only when we need it, like in Death Valley. I drive slow (and walk fast!) and am pretty gentle in rough terrain.
This overweight of 600 lbs really bothered me, but here's how I'm rationalizing.
- The stock kevlar P-rated tires still have quite a bit of margin -- 125% of derated (that 1.1 factor using P-rated tires on trucks). We've been using E-rated tires which have much higher capacity*, and are good for desert rocky travel, but would still use the P's on pavement and forest service roads in Washington.
- Brakes are designed for towing so are probably ok (plus we rarely drive at 70 mph, use low gears on steep downhills).
- Suspension upgrade is just the black Sumosprings which have worked great on all terrain and re-leveled the back end.
- Engine is designed to tow a heavy trailer, should be ok (plus we don't drive 70 up hill -- ok I often drive 50 or less up hill -- what's the rush!).
- The rear axle is loaded about 10% over specs, so I'm drive gently and "hope" the safety factor should cover our bases. Folks really abuse trucks so hopefully Toyota has been conservative.
* We pump up or E-rated tires to 45 psi front, 55-60 psi rear. That's a whole 'nother story I put here: