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Advise needed from Tacoma owners


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#1 tacomatraveller

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 12:40 AM

New member with a question for small truck owners, preferably Tacoma owners with a FWC.  
I own a 2018 Double cab 4X4 Tacoma.  Payload is only 1000 pounds.  I also have a FWC which weighs about 1100 pounds.  Fully loaded, with me, wife, dog etc I am at 6500 pounds.  I did not expect that when I went to the weight station...I love my Tacoma, paid for and no plans on selling.  Don't tell me to buy a bigger truck, not an option right now.
 
I had Boise Spring Works add additional rear springs and the truck with the FWC runs and feels great.  At 6500 pounds I am about 900 pounds over my GVWR of 5600 pounds, and 200 pounds over my GAWR weight.
 
My question for fellow Tacoma owners who are also overweight, what are the longterm problems to my Tacoma with being so overweight?  I see a ton of similar setups, and really have not read any real negative long term reviews.  FWC seems to have a huge Tacoma following, and no one ever talks about breaking their Tacomas with the extra weight.
 
I am starting to get a little paranoid with my total weight on my truck.  I don't want to end up braking my axles or something else major.  I have now taken my camper off and only load it when I go on trips.  I have taken my awning and one of the two propane tanks off in order to save a little weight.  We travel light, so not much more I can do to lower weight.
 
Fellow Tacoma owners, talk to me.  A lot of you are at my weight or even over.  Have you had longterm issues?
Am I being too paranoid?  Am I ok leaving the FWC on full-time, which I would prefer to do?

Edited by tacomatraveller, 19 December 2020 - 12:57 AM.

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#2 bfh4n

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 03:55 AM

I think probably all Tacomas with FWCs on them are technically overloaded, but there are a lot of them out there!

 

Mine is 2014 Fleet on 2007 Access Cab with air bags and "E" tires. With the tires and air bags appropriately inflated, the truck handles well and driving it seems safe. I go on long trips and take lots of stuff, trying to have as much weight as possible in the cab and down low in the camper

 

I had a couple of bad wheel bearings and they were all replaced (before I got the camper), so I'm good on that. Toyota replaced the rear springs under recall, so I'm good on that, too. What else might wear out prematurely? Tacomas historically have had frame-rust problems which could definitely be a weakness, but your '18 is probably still too new for that. I had to have my frame repaired, so it's stronger than ever.

 

The only thing that troubles me is braking distance. I got some better front brake pads that are designed to shorten stopping distance. Wagner, as I recall. And I just don't drive very fast - about 60 max.

 

- Bernard


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2014 silver Fleet front-dinette

2007 Tacoma Access Cab 4WD TRD V6 6-speed

 


#3 Kolockum

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 04:54 AM

I am not too concerned with the long term effects of the camper on my Tacoma. Some things will wear out faster but just replace them with better parts. With proper tires, suspension (which you have) and conservative driving habits you should be fine. There are guys that mob around Baha and the deserts with campers with few issues.

 

The only thing that troubles me is braking distance. I got some better front brake pads that are designed to shorten stopping distance. Wagner, as I recall. And I just don't drive very fast - about 60 max.

 

- Bernard

 

When it comes time to change my brakes I will be doing a similar upgrade. I believe there are some kits for upgrading to larger diameter rotors. I also upgraded my suspension. 

 

One weak thing on our trucks is the CV axle needle bearing on the front passenger side of the truck. It is a well known issue. I replaced mine with ECGS bushings (link down below) as a preventative measure when I upgraded my suspension. I was amazed at how much quieter the truck became. It seems to be 50/50 on whether or not it will go bad.

 

Relevant threads:

https://www.tacomawo...nt-poll.500521/

https://www.tacomawo...bearing.580979/

 

Replacement Part https://eastcoastgea...le-bearing.html


Edited by Kolockum, 19 December 2020 - 04:56 AM.

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2017 Toyota Tacoma with 2000 FWC Eagle

 

"The nut behind the wheel is the most important one. Don't forget to snug yourself up every once in a while." John D & ri-f

 


#4 JHanson

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 02:15 PM

Tacomatraveler,

 

You're facing the same issue virtually all Tacoma owners do, whether they know it or not. We've had two Tacomas and two FWCs.

 

There are a bunch of parameters used to determine the GVWR of a vehicle: engine power, transmission, braking, suspension, axle rating, chassis design, etc.

 

Your truck's power and engine (assuming V6 and auto?) are more than capable of hauling the load. The Tacoma's third member (rear diff) is also very strong. I'm not a fan of the open-channel rear frame in current Tacomas, but it's . . . adequate. If your truck rides level with the extra springs and your shocks control rebound and roll well, you're okay there.

 

Your biggest concern should be braking, especially on long highway downhills. Toyota continues to cut corners by retaining rear drum brakes on the Tacoma (don't listen to their risible lie that drum brakes are "better off road"). You can enhance the stock system with better pads and higher-rated brake fluid, but don't fall for cross-drilled rotors; they do nothing to stop brake fade and can in fact make it worse. The only way to significantly improve braking is to install larger diameter, wider, or heavier rotors (the latter meaning rotors with more central cooling fins). I believe there are rear disc kits available for the current Tacoma as well. How much you should invest depends on where you travel. Lots of mountains=better braking needed. Please read this article.


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#5 doghouse_riley

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 04:36 PM

I don't have much to add other than to say "hi" from a fellow Ventura County Tacoma/Fleet owner.  I recently bought a shell model and am in the process of outfitting it.  Before adding the camper I got a custom set of rear leaf springs from Deaver, bilstein 5100 shocks (they were overdue for replacement anyway) and load range E tires.  Seems to run great, with almost no sag in the back but I haven't had to test the braking distance.

 

Mileage sucks tho.


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#6 tacomatraveller

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 08:01 PM

I appreciate the feedback so far. Keep it coming. Is the consensus that even being 900 pounds over gvwr, the truck will be ok?
What are the vehicle parts that I should keep an eye for? Bearings?
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#7 camper rich

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 08:11 PM

Not a Tacoma, but I have a friend I met in Baja who has a 1st gen Tundra who broke his frame in front of his rear wheel.  He had converted it to a flatbed and turned it into an overlanding rig.  Just something to think about.  I don't know how the Tacoma frame compares but there are limits to everything.  


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#8 wicked1

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 08:23 PM

I've got a tacoma flatbed fleet.  2012 truck, camper and flatbed installed in 2015.   I don't do any rock crawling or anything crazy, but frequently go out on OHV trails.  Has driven 90,500 miles since it received the camper.
Extra leaf springs, airbags, E rated tires, suspension. 
Photo of the rig is currently the last pic in the photo thread in this FWC forum. 


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#9 CraggyMan

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 09:39 PM

I've had no issues with the Tacoma, 2009 with 2 different campers since 2010. I was a builder pre-retirement so my truck did double duty as a  weekend recreational vehicle plus 5 days a week ferrying tools and lumber with a steel rack up until about 2 years ago.

I initially just put Firestone airbags on along with the E-rated tires as I did not want the harsh ride of a beefed up suspension. I saw the folly of my ways so when the FWC Fleet came along in 2016 I had the rear springs rebuilt with advice from Deaver who referred me to a suspension shop in my neck of the woods. I always run better quality than the factory equipped for my shocks, currently running the Bilstein 5100.  I had my front brakes upgraded in 2013 but the shop I used never really got it right, so I switched back to the original factory setup. Later this winter I'm going to try the brake rebuild again with the prospect of longer trips and more high speed driving.

 

Many miles of really nasty terrain here in deserts of Oregon on this rig.  I take it easy and enjoy the view and the truck is holding up well.


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2016 Four Wheel - Fleet, 2009 Toyota Tacoma TRD - https://www.flickr.c...sertdustimages/

 

 


#10 BobD

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 03:25 PM

For the 2nd Gen Tacoma here is the link to a front brake upgrade that works well.  I imagine someone has done the same for the 3rd Gens.

 

https://www.tacomawo...stalled.443656/

 


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2010 Tacoma DCLB   2012 FWC Eagle

2017 F350 4x4 -  Super Doody Flushed

2019 DCLB Tundra - 2012 FWC Granby





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