If you’re a proud owner of a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and you’re interested in dipping your feet into the boating and fishing world, the details provided in this article will surprise you. The Toyota Tacoma is one of Toyota’s beefiest pickup trucks to date and you’ll be highly impressed by its ability to tow large loads, which is exactly what you’re looking for when purchasing a boat.
How Much Weight Can a Toyota Tacoma Tow?
Before you even begin your search for a boat or watercraft, you need to learn just how much your Toyota Tacoma is capable of towing. The brand new 2020 Toyota Tacoma has a towing capacity ranging from 3,500 to 6,800 pounds depending on which model you purchase.
Understanding your Tacoma’s tow capacity is great, but there’s much more you need to consider before finally purchasing a boat. You’ll also need to know the types of boats your Tacoma can tow and specific models you might want to consider buying.
What Types of Boats Can a Toyota Tacoma Tow?
With a towing capacity ranging between 3,500 and 6,800 pounds, your options when it comes to the type of boat your Tacoma can tow is slightly limited. Given the Tacoma’s range in towing capacity, these are some examples of types of boats that you can expect your Tacoma to be able to tow with ease.
- PWCs – 850 pounds
- Small Fishing Boat – 1,700 pounds
- Deckboat/Pontoon – 3,100 pounds
- Ski Boat – 3,500 pounds
The list of types of boats compiled above is based on the average dry weights of these boats and the ability of the Tacoma to tow that average weight. It’s important to remember that these are simply averages and the actual weight of specific models may be much higher or lower than the list above suggests.
When you’re beginning the process of searching for a boat, the most important thing you need to remember is to consider the weight of your trailer. The best way to determine the weight range you should stay within for your boat is by subtracting the weight of your trailer from your Tacoma’s towing capacity.
Small Fishing Boat
In a country that views fishing as a staple in its culture, one of the most common types of boats that Americans purchase is small fishing boats. As compared to large fishing boats, these boats can be impressively lightweight and there are plenty of options on the market that your Tacoma can easily tow. No matter where you intend to use these boats, you can be sure that you’ll be relaxed and enjoy your time on the water. These are some small fishing boats you should expect your Toyota Tacoma to be able to tow.
- Ranger Z175 – 1,250 pounds
- Nitro Z18 – 1,700 pounds
- Sea Hunt Triton 212 – 2,150 pounds
PWCs are also called personal watercraft, but you might know them best as Jet Skis. Personal watercraft are, by far, the easiest type of watercraft to tow given their extremely small size and lower construction weight. Almost any vehicle can reasonably tow a PWC if it’s a smaller model. These are some personal watercraft you should expect your Toyota Tacoma to be able to tow.
- Sea-Doo SPARK 3up – 421 pounds
- Yamaha VX Cruiser HO -767 pounds
- FX Cruiser HO Full – 838 pounds
If you’re the type of person that enjoys spending time out on the water and participating in waterport activities like water tubing, wake surfing, and water skiing, a ski boat may be more your style. These boats are designed specifically for these activities and are recognized for their ability to dredge up waves behind the boat to encourage these water activities. These are some ski boats you should expect your Toyota Tacoma to be able to tow.
- Supra Comp TS6M 1989 – 2,350 pounds
- 2017 Malibu Wakesetter LSV23 – 3,400 pounds
- Malibu Wakesetter 247 LSV – 4,650 pounds
Though pontoon boats tend to be significantly longer than the typical fishing boat, these boats can also be used for fishing on the lake. What makes these boats most unique is their ability to seat a large number of occupants, which makes this type of boat ideal for parties and social gatherings. Pontoon boats are somewhat lightweight, but they offer an incredible level of stability that most other types of boats cannot. These are some deckboats/pontoon boats you should expect your Toyota Tacoma to be able to tow.
- Lowe SS210 – 1,680 pounds
- Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 24 DLX – 2,095 pounds
- Regency 230 LE3 Sport – 3,375 pounds
Now that you have a general idea of what you should expect your Toyota Tacoma to be able to tow, there are many other concepts you need to consider. In addition to towing capacity considerations and proper set up, you should educate yourself on how to drive your Tacoma with an attached trailer.
Tacoma Towing Capacity
The most important thing you need to remember before purchasing a boat is that your Tacoma’s towing capacity does not already include the weight of the trailer you’ll be using. You need to take this into account before purchasing a boat that’s on the upper end of your Tacoma’s towing capacity.
The amount of weight your Tacoma is able to tow will also highly depend on the type of hitch you use. For a lighter weight boat or personal watercraft, a Class 1 or Class 2 should suffice, with these hitches having upper limits of 2,000 pounds and 3,500 pounds, respectively.
For your Tacoma’s maximum towing capacity of about 6,800 pounds and a maximum tongue weight of about 640 pounds, your vehicle will be capable of using up to a Class 3 hitch, which can handle up to 5,000 pounds.
Setting Your Trailer Up
Setting up your trailer and connecting it to your Tacoma is a simple process that requires the assistance of another person to make sure it’s done correctly.
You’ll need to connect the ball and hitch to create a secure attachment between the trailer and your vehicle and apply safety chains for further security. In the rare situation that your hitch detaches, the safety chains will maintain a connection to your vehicle. You also need to remember to properly wire the light system on your hitch to notify other drivers of your turns and braking.
When securing a heavy load, you need to be sure that you set an appropriate hitch height. To provide the most amount of safety and guarantee the trailer stays connected, the trailer needs to be level with the ground.
Driving with your Boat
Driving a vehicle with an added trailer can prove to be a difficult feat for the average person, as this task requires extra attention to the road and extremely careful driving habits. With an additional 6,000 pounds added to your vehicle’s weight, actually driving your vehicle will be a remarkably different experience.
To drive safely while towing a trailer and boat, you need to consider the size and weight of the load you’re towing. For example, if you’re towing a 25-foot pontoon boat, you’ll need to be much more cautious than you would need to be if you were towing an 800-pound Jet Ski.
Generally speaking, the safest driving option when it comes to highway driving is staying in the right lane as much as feasibly possible. Not only is it more difficult for your vehicle to reach the speeds of the middle and left lanes while towing a trailer, but it’s also much more of a hassle to switch lanes when you need to get back into the right lane to reach your exit.
Make sure that you leave as much space between your vehicle and any other vehicle to account for the possibility of sudden braking, lane changes, and acceleration. The added weight makes it more difficult for your vehicle to stop and you should do anything in your power to provide safety.
This article thoroughly reviewed the towing capacity of your Toyota Tacoma and the types of boats it’s expected to be able to tow. Additionally, we included some information on how to properly tow a trailer after you finally make that big purchase.
If you don’t currently own a Toyota Tacoma or you’re a current boat owner just looking for a vehicle that you can use to tow your boat around, there are other vehicle options that can prove beneficial for your specific needs. Our recommendations would be looking into the Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Gladiator, as both are high-quality vehicles with impressive towing capacities.