View Full Version : 03 taco handle a 600 lb slide in camper?

11-16-2011, 01:23 PM
Who knows if a '03 double cab TRD could handle about 600 lbs worth of slide in camper, nothing over the cab, but long enough to hang out on the tailgate, maybe a couple inches over the tailgate......

Factory everything else though, truck is stock except for some replaced rear shocks.

DeMented Toys
11-16-2011, 01:26 PM
I don't see why it wouldn't. Add air bags on the rear and you will definitely be good to go.

11-16-2011, 01:41 PM
That was one option talked about, that is what I did on my tundra, just wondered if the taco would hate the weight....

Dave Bennett
11-16-2011, 02:06 PM
Mpg and power will suffer but with air bags it will handle it fine, regearing will bring back the lost power.

11-16-2011, 09:02 PM
600lbs with no gear....so with gear 1,000lbsish.

You better reinforce the frame behind the wheel wells. Wouldn't hurt to also buff up the rear cross member that the spare tire moutns to, the unboltable one.

Don't buy AirLift air bags, they suck hard. Go with Firestone, 10x better.

11-17-2011, 02:52 PM
I second the reinforcement plates on the rear of the framerails (companies like demello sell them as a kit) and a set of airbags to carry the weight and retain the stock ride if not in it. this is if you plan on USING the rig, if it will just be on the paved roads going to campgrounds it will be ok stock needing maybe only some load leafs to handle the wt. Stock taco rear leafs suck, you could just replace them with some HD springs and be good to go and have a better ride.

11-17-2011, 03:37 PM
I have a pop-up camper (with almost all options) whose data plate reads 740 lbs. From reading here, I knew the truck wouldn't handle the camper in stock form. Here's everything I've done:

1) re-geared my Taco to 4.88
2) added beefier leaf springs (Alcan)
3) added beffier shocks (Bilstein 5100s)
4) added Firestone air bags
5) installed E-rated sidewall tires

My truck now rides great, corners great at speed on the highway and I have plenty of power for real mountain driving both on and off road.

Depending on how your camper is attached to the truck, you might not NEED to install the Demello frame stiffeners although they certainly will improve handling. I am considering installing a flatbed on my Taco and having 4WC complete my camper with some storage boxes. If I do that, I will probably have the frame stiffeners installed.

Although your truck is rated to accept the load, its performance limitations will become apparent quickly in terms of engine, braking and handling performance. If I were to propose a modification sequence, I'd go 1) E-rated sidewalls tires, 2) air bags, 3) re-gear and 4) springs.

A coupla questions to ask....

1) What is the terrain like that you anticipate driving? Mountains or rolling plains?

2) Does the truck also serve as a DD?

3) Do you pack the kitchen sink when you camp or do you cut down your toothbrush to save ounces in a backpack?

HTH. Best of luck!

Jonathan Hanson
11-17-2011, 03:43 PM
My concern would be less about the weight and more about the weight distribution. If, indeed, the camper will hang out beyond the dropped tailgate, you're adding a lot of mass where it wasn't intended to be. I'd expect both spring sag and sway to be magnified over, say, a properly fitted Four Wheel Camper, which weighs around 700 pounds empty, but orients the center of its mass over the rear axle.

On our 2000 Tacoma TRD we added air bags and heavy duty shocks, which took care of the addition of a FWC with no trouble.

11-17-2011, 03:51 PM
maybe a couple inches over the tailgate......

I re-read your post....you probably would benefit from the frame stiffeners.

11-24-2011, 03:32 PM
4 cylinder or a V6? Either way, The mountains will slow you down, more with the extra 1000#. Is it doable? Sure. I tow my 2000# trailer thru the mountains, 3.4L, and I get my mind set on "it's going to go the speed it's going to go". On the flats, you probably won't know that it's there.

Go for it and know that you may need to add some of the above mentioned items.

11-24-2011, 05:04 PM
I have a fourwheel camper (680lbs dry weight) on my 01 DC and been thru northern coast, mountain road in CA with no issue. My camper is intended for 6' bed so it stick out more than a foot. I just made my own rear spring consist of stock oem with additional firestone airbag and HD rear shocks. No frame reinforcement yet but that will be my next project and I'll just make my own.

11-10-2012, 03:11 AM
My rig. 1992 pickup, flat deck, 4 cyl 22re, re geared to 4.88, OME Dakar medium duty springs

my camper. 1983 Valley 7.5 approximate dry weight 800lbs. Well that is the weight less our cloths and snowboards. There is no water tank, or black water. I also gutted some of the cupboards to make room for drying racks.

I might look into some Timbrens, and make them easily removable for when the camper is off. Otherwise rolls down the highway fine, I live in Calgary AB and most of my driving (while the camper is on) is in the mountains.