Can a Toyota Tacoma be Flat Towed? No! Here’s Why

Flat towing is the practice of towing a vehicle behind an RV. Four-down towing or dinghy towing are other names for this technique. Does this apply to Toyota Tacomas?

Can a Toyota Tacoma be Flat Towed?

It is not possible to flat-tow a Toyota Tacoma according to the manufacturer. The transmission may be severely damaged, as stated explicitly in the owner’s manual. Flat towing is prohibited in most model years.

Why the Toyota Tacoma Cannot Be Flat Towed

For a variety of reasons, the manufacturer forbids the Tacoma from being towed while it has all four tires off the ground.

Some of these considerations are specific to the vehicle, while others may have an impact on your wallet as a whole. This is important:

  • Design Considerations

If you don’t have an engine going, the center differential and transaxle on the Tacoma won’t spin freely. In this way, the transmission and the rest of the drivetrain are guarded against damage. Fluid circulates only when the engine is operating, and if it isn’t, the transfer case will overheat.

  • The Transmission Isn’t the Only Component That’s at Risk.

To prevent damage to the instruments while flat towing, the speedometer is attached to the Tacoma. It’s also possible that the odometer will show erroneous mileage.

  • Liability of the Manufacturer

There are numerous automotive companies who take a hard stance on what they consider safe practices when towing their vehicles.

Toyota is not an exception in this regard. To avoid extra liabilities for the company, it is sometimes wiser to refuse flat towing altogether.

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Ignore Manufacturer Recommendations

Despite Toyota’s ban on flat-towing your Tacoma, there are ways to get past it. Complicated and pricey are two words that describe certain solutions. Rule-breakers, on the other hand, have a number of possibilities. Below, you’ll find the most sought-after cures:

  • Disconnect Devices for Driveshafts

Disconnecting the driveshaft is exactly what it sounds like. While being towed, it decouples from the back axle, allowing it to spin freely. To avoid transmission component damage, disconnect the driveshaft.

You no longer have to crawl beneath the vehicle every time you wish to tow your truck with a disconnect device fitted. It is now possible to remove the driveshaft from the vehicle’s cockpit by connecting a long cable to the device.

To release the driveshaft, a mechanical clutch is engaged by pulling the cable’s knob. As a result, it can spin freely without interacting with the transmission or the driveshaft.

Once you’ve pushed the control cord in, you’ll be able to get behind the wheel of the truck again.

  • Pumps for the lubrication of machinery

Flat-towing your Toyota Tacoma is impossible because of the absence of transmission fluid when it is being towed.

When the engine is turned off, the pump does not function. While driving, if the transmission is not greased, it will overheat and fail.

This problem can be solved by using an external lubricating pump. Transmission fluid is pumped through the system at a similar pressure to that of the engine’s pump.

Towing a truck results in a pressured lubricating system for the transmission.

  • Braking Systems that Aren’t the Primary System (Dinghy Brakes)

It is possible to brake in unison with the towing vehicle thanks to additional braking systems for your Tacoma.

When the towing vehicle slows down, pressure sensors in the trailer take over and start working automatically.

The gadget is mounted externally, typically on the tow bar. It is connected to the brake pedal by an electrical line. In order to slow down both your Tacoma and the towing vehicle, you must apply the brakes.

Towing a pickup truck behind an RV adds a lot of weight. One braking system for the towing vehicle might not be enough to prevent an accident.

For these kinds of towing operations, most states require an additional brake system because of the requirement for increased stopping capability.

ALSO SEE: What Can A Toyota Tacoma Tow?

Why These Systems May Fail You in the Long Run

So, let’s assume you decide to flat-tow your Toyota Tacoma behind your motorhome in defiance of the manufacturer’s advice.

  • Expensive

You’ll have spent a lot of money by the time you’ve installed new driveshafts, lubrication pumps, and auxiliary braking systems.

The money you’ve spent defying the manufacturer’s advice could have been better spent on towing equipment.

  • Void Warranty

A broken Tacoma won’t get you any compassion from your local Tacoma dealer. Because of this, it could void your car’s warranty.

For the rest of your life, you’ll have to foot the bill for all repairs.

  • Void Insurance

If an insurance company suspects a violation of its terms, it is likely to deny an accident claim.

You flat-towed your Tacoma despite Toyota’s warning in the owner’s manual that you shouldn’t.

The type of insurance doesn’t matter, whether it’s a liability or comprehensive. Neither claim would be paid.

  • Personal Liability

If your car is involved in an accident while towing an unlicensed vehicle behind it, a judge and jury may be less forgiving of you.

When there is a fatality, it is the worst-case scenario. Even if you are found guilty, you could face criminal charges.

If you still intend to flat-tow your Tacoma while knowing all of this, you should get legal advice beforehand. Starting with insurance agents is a smart move.

Make a few phone calls to people you know in your neighborhood. Be honest with them and tell them what you’re going to do. Inquire about the specifics of their legal responsibilities.

In most circumstances, what you hear will not be pleasant.

Can a Toyota Tacoma be Flat Towed

How to Tow Your Toyota Tacoma the Right Way

In an emergency, the owner’s manual offers no specific instructions on how to tow the vehicle.

Commercial tow trucks are the primary target audience for this guidebook.

Moreover, there is no mention of using a four-down strategy.

The only way to properly tow a Toyota Tacoma over long distances is to use a flatbed trailer with all four tires off the ground. ‘

  • Using a Flatbed Trailer

Flat-towing requires a lot of equipment, so if you believe the investment is too much, think about all of it. All of those extras, as previously indicated, might easily cost more than a high-quality trailer.

To begin, look for a trailer with a weight capacity of at least 5,000 pounds. Consider a vehicle with a pre-installed auxiliary braking system as well.

The brakes on your RV or other towing vehicles won’t be damaged as a result.

  • Cautionary Tales

Your Toyota Tacoma is at risk when you flat-tow your vehicle. Not only is it against the law by the manufacturer, but you may also find yourself in trouble with your insurance provider.

Another consideration is the malfunction of the towing apparatus. That thing you installed on your truck is likely to cause severe transmission damage if it fails.

So, if you’re planning on towing your Tacoma behind your RV, I recommend using a flatbed truck to transport it. You might also leave it at home.

Can You Tow A Toyota Tacoma Behind A Motorhome?

No, that is the unequivocal response. Driving wheels should not be in contact with the ground during towing, which is why you may see people towing with two wheels off the ground.

This allows the non-driving wheels to roll freely while the driving wheels remain in the lock position.

Can A Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Be Flat Towed?

It is not possible to flat-tow a Toyota Tacoma according to the manufacturer. It is explicitly stated in the owner’s manual that it can cause serious transmission damage. Flat towing is prohibited in most model years.

How to Flat Tow Toyota Pickup

As long as you have the right towing equipment installed, the Tacoma and SR5 can tow 3,500 pounds. It can tow up to 6,800 pounds and haul up to 1,440 pounds with its 3.5-liter V6 engine and optional tow package.

Can You Flat Tow A Toyota Tundra?

Unfortunately, Toyota says that none of its Tundra pickups built between 2000 and 2020 will be able to be flat towed.

They have an automated transmission that requires the engine to be running in order to oil various components.

Can A Nissan Frontier Be Flat Towed?

There are a few variants of the Nissan Frontier that allow it to be safely flat towed. There is no limit to the number of trim levels that can be eligible, as long as they have manual transmissions.

Can A 2019 Toyota Tacoma Be Flat Towed?

It is not possible to flat-tow a Toyota Tacoma according to the manufacturer. It is explicitly stated in the owner’s manual that it can cause serious transmission damage. Flat towing is prohibited in most model years.

Can A 2018 Toyota Tacoma Be Flat Towed?

It is not possible to flat-tow a Toyota Tacoma according to the manufacturer. It is explicitly stated in the owner’s manual that it can cause serious transmission damage. Flat towing is prohibited in most model years.

Can A 2016 Toyota Tacoma Be Flat Towed?

It is not possible to flat-tow a Toyota Tacoma according to the manufacturer. It is explicitly stated in the owner’s manual that it can cause serious transmission damage.

Can A 2005 Toyota Tacoma Be Flat Towed?

It is not possible to flat-tow a Toyota Tacoma according to the manufacturer. It is explicitly stated in the owner’s manual that it can cause serious transmission damage.

What Year Toyota Tacoma Can Be Flat Towed?

It is not possible to flat-tow a Toyota Tacoma according to the manufacturer. It is explicitly stated in the owner’s manual that it can cause serious transmission damage.

Flat towing is prohibited in most model years.

Author: Mechanic Mike Besso

Hi There, I am Mike Besso and this website is dedicated to the automotive industry. I have been a mechanic for many years and my experience includes fifteen specialization in heavy commercial work as well as private cars. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked for a long time at Global Rebound Automotive companies (Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others ) as a Mechanic and Mechanics Supervisor. I hope to share some of my knowledge with others.

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