Tow Vehicle for Tab 400

Another newbie to the small camper world - thinking of purchasing a 400 to tow with my older 2007 Tacoma. Am wondering if folks tow their 400 with smaller trucks or SUVs and how it handles and/or problems. Thank you!


  • VernaVerna Posts: 4,980Administrator
    2015 Tacoma, V6, transmission and oil coolers, factory tow package. 

    I would not tow with a Tacoma without the above specs because you will be ruining your Tacoma.

    I get no bounce, no swaying, semi trucks really don’t push me around as they pass me as they did with my 320.. I have not tried tall mountains, only smaller mountains and I do need to get better at looking ahead and anticipating the extra effort required to go up mountains.

    Gas mileage.....I choose to tow at 55 mph to 60 mph for economic reasons, and that being +2 or more mpg than driving at 65 mpg. 9.9 mpg heading north with a 25 mph wind, while traveling 55 mph to 60 mph last week. The best Gas mileage I have gotten was 11 mpg to 12 mpg going 55 to 60 mph on a flat 4 lane federal highway. 

    I do have approximately 5,000 miles of towing since I purchased my 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite in July. 

    I love my 400 and my Tacoma, and I hope to still own have both in 6 years as that is when the Tacoma should still be good at 10 years old, but maybe I’ll be ready for a new vehicle. The 400, my full time home, should last many years past that. 
    Verna, Indianapolis, Indiana, but living full time in my [email protected] 400; 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red; towed by a red 2015 Toyota Tacoma V6 TRD 4x4; [email protected] Administrator.  “If not now, when?”

  • atlasbatlasb Posts: 390Member
    We pull with a 2016 Nissan Frontier CC, 4.0 V6.  The Mileage varies but mostly in the 11 to 13 mpg area.  Usually run in 4 th (ATM) which is about 62 mpg at 2200 RPM.  Have pulled in windy and up and down moderate hills , mts.  The frontier handles it well and we like the size for us.  We pulled a 2013 320 MaXX Q before with this same rig and I believe the 400 actually pulls easier.  The longer cabin gives better air flow.  We have a ARE MX cap on the bed and it is kicked up and it aids the air flow.  I have not noticed any need for extra trans coolers  and the engine temp maintains steady.  I did add a set of Timbren SES springs for added support in the back of the truck.  Love the rear mounted camera on the truck and it makes hitching up a lot easier.
    2018 [email protected] 400, 2016 Nissan Frontier Crew cab
  • Awca12aAwca12a Posts: 242Member
    As @Verna pointed out, the issue is your specific configuration.  If you could post what engine (4 vs 6), drivetrain (2 vs 4WD), body cab style (regular, extended, crew) and the payload capacity data from the yellow sticker on the drivers side door.  This type of info is important because a 4-cyl in 2007 was rated at 3500# while the 6-cyl was rated up to 6500#.   All depends on your options and configuration.

    As to the advice on the transmission cooler, we added one to our 2013 4-Runner and it only cost $300 installed so if yours doesn't already have that, adding it isn't a problem.

    One of the things I still need to do is put the TAB400 onto CAT scales and get an accurate wet & loaded measurement so I can only offer you the factory specs.  Factory says that dry it is 2690# curb weight which really means empty.  You add water, supplies and tank loads to a max of 3500#.  The hitch/tongue weight range is between 400# and 460#.   

    I did a quick search and came across this explanation of the background you'd want to have when asking this question of random people on the internet.  There are better ones perhaps but it covers all the bases you should be aware of.

    F150 Pulling 2019 [email protected] BDL
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 324Member
    The bigger your tow vehicle within reason, the better your experience will be IMO. Assuming you don't mind a bigger rig due to limitations of city living, parking, etc.. I know a truck driver who gets 10 MPG with a new Freightliner semi with 53 foot trailer loaded up to 80,000 pounds, a little overkill for a Tab, LOL, point is a bigger vehicle will likely give you better tow MPG than a smaller one that is worked to the max and your drive-train life should be substantially longer.

    It still seems to me the best TV for MPG is the newer smaller diesels from Ram, Jeep, GM and soon Ford. Folks on these forums reporting around 20 MPG towing and 30+ solo....
  • BigGroverBigGrover Posts: 407Member
    I towed my 400 with a Nissan Frontier Quad cab v6 with no problems.  I did use clamp on towing mirrors.  I upgraded to a Ram 1500 because it had a larger gas tank so I could tow further between fillups and no longer need towing mirtors.  I got about 10 mpg towing with the Nissan, 12-14 with the Ram hemi.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2018 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Hemi
    Central Alabama
  • djbright2573djbright2573 Posts: 2Member
    Thanks to all for the great, detailed comments and suggestions! Very helpful to a newbie, as well as the link to general towing guidelines. My 2007 Tacoma is in fact a V6 with the 6500# towing package and 1200# payload. From your responses, and since this 12 year old vehicle doesn’t have too many miles on it (just over 100k), am feeling better about starting with this vehicle before looking for something bigger. Good suggestions on possible transmission cooler and/springs upgrades. Thank you!
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 324Member
    My tow vehicle is knocking hard on 300k, not even a Toyota :)
  • kaylevine1kaylevine1 Posts: 72Member
    I tow my [email protected] 400 with a gmc Sierra 4wd-very stable, virtually no sway even without sway bars-when i asked at the dealer they said i should not need them.  ocassional bounce but only on very uneven roads. Sometimes when going down the highway i look in the rear view mirror instead of the rear camera because i momentarily forgot it was there?? by the way-love the rear view camera-the dealer installed it just above the 3 small lights above the stargazer window-i mount the screen on dashboard-plugs into 12v plug in console put lights on-a few times in really rainy weather it was a little blurry but mostly very good visually
  • BigGroverBigGrover Posts: 407Member
    edited February 2
    Forgot to add that my Frontier had the 1500 lb Sumosprings on it, helped prevent excessive sag and bounce. Cost about $200
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2018 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Hemi
    Central Alabama
  • TaBle42TaBle42 Posts: 28Member
    I tow my 400 with a GMC Canyon 4 cly. diesel with exhaust brakes!
    30 mpg without [email protected]
    18-20 mpg with [email protected]
  • ecyfotoecyfoto Posts: 72Member
    TaBle42 said:
    I tow my 400 with a GMC Canyon 4 cly. diesel with exhaust brakes!
    30 mpg without [email protected]
    18-20 mpg with [email protected]
    What kind of speeds are you usually towing at on flat terrain? Is your GMC 4WD? I've a Chevy Colorado Duramax waiting for its 400 early next month.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Silver/Black
    2018 Chevy Colorado Z71 Duramax oil burner
    Tampa, Florida
  • NCNativeNCNative Posts: 79Member
    I tow my [email protected] 400 with a 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road with a factory towing package. So far it has managed multiple maintain ranges without a problem (going over the grapevine near LA has been trouble free as well)
    [email protected]
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite   
    SF Bay Area
  • nbrandtnbrandt Posts: 10Member
    I am nervously reading these posts with a 2018 [email protected] 400 coming to our driveway soon.  I have a straight six cylinder in a Volvo XC60 and am not going to make a move until I try it, but fear I will be making a move to a different TV.  Having towed a larger trailer at an earlier time in our life, I have to agree with N7SHG_Ham that a larger TV makes this easier.  Anyone towing with the RAM diesel?  And Ford is coming out with one?  One other observation - it seems the longer the wheel base of the TV the better the towing experience. 
  • BigGroverBigGrover Posts: 407Member
    I tow with a Ram Hemi, upgraded from a Frontier quadcab.  The Frontier towed the 400 with no problem but it does tow and handle  better with the Ram.  I considered a diesel but when I did the math on the fuel costs it was a no brainer to stick with the Hemi. I get comparable  to town and hwy mileage to the Frontier with the hemi and get 2-4 mpg better when towing [email protected] I don't tow anything larger than the 400.  Now if I was pulling something over 7,000 lbs the diesel might make sense.  Diesel here runs about 30% higher than 87 octane.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2018 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Hemi
    Central Alabama
  • MrsSivadMrsSivad Posts: 3Member
    2011 Chevy Colorado inline 5, added electric trailer brakes. Tows our 400 great! Tows smoother than our pop up did.
  • LSkrabutLSkrabut Posts: 127Member
    I now tow my 400 with a GMC Canyon Denali CCSB Diesel. I got about 2200 miles towing so far in Utah, Nev, CA and AZ. Mostly at speed limits but for the 80 MPH in Utah, only doing 75 for the most part. Pulls the passes without breaking a sweat. But if above 65, my mileage does drop to 13's or so. At speeds below 65 I will see 17-19 again for the most part. Really depends on the terrain and traffic. No issue keeping up with the traffic on merging or pulling away from a light or stop. Plenty of power left over, rare to find a need to do a hard acceleration.

    I had a bed cover on, but now I replaced that with a topper, but haven't towed the 400 yet, too much SNOW still :( 

    Without the 400, I been seeing MPG anywhere from low 20's to mid 30's. This is taking in the dirt road traveling and high speed on Interstates. I do have now over 9k on the engine, should be breaking in soon :)

    Utah Driven

    2019 [email protected] 400 (Ex 2018 400)

    2015 MB GLK 250 Diesel

    2018 GMC Canyon Denali Duramax CCSB

  • cotracyecotracye Posts: 9Member
    I tow a 2008 [email protected] with a BMW x3. It does fine. I took it all the way from Colorado to California and back. Gas millage is not the best but that is expected. 
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 324Member
    Since this floated back to the top, I will say a 400 has turned out to have a heavier hitch weight than many thought and the limiting factor on smaller tow vehicles may be that hitch weight. If your tow vehicle can't handle 500 pounds on the hitch EASILY it would probably be prudent to either not get a 400 or to upgrade to a bigger vehicle.
  • lisacolisaco Posts: 1Member
    edited April 16
    Unfortunately, I discovered the hitch weight issue after I had already purchased a 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite. (sigh) My tow vehicle is a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk v6 with factory tow package. It can pull the trailer weight, but the tongue weight is over the limit. I love my Jeep so going to trade the 400 for a 2020 320s Boondock Edge. Ordered a black one with silver trim so will have to wait up to 12 weeks (hopefully less) to get it. 
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite --> 2020 [email protected] 320s Boondock Edge
    Portland, Oregon
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