Can a Tacoma pull a horse trailer?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can a Tacoma pull a horse trailer? We will also give you a few tips for towing the horse trailer in safety. 

Can a Tacoma pull a horse trailer?

Yes, a Toyota Tacoma can pull a horse trailer, with one to a maximum of three horses. But even if the numbers are right, there are other things you must consider when towing a trailer with your Tacoma. 

The engine of a Toyota Tacoma is capable of generating 278 hp and 265 lb.-ft. It doesn’t seem enough for most drivers but, in the end, being a vehicle designed to move cargo and avoid obstacles off the asphalt, an engine rich in torque is more important than a powerful one. It is controlled through a six-gear automatic transmission.

Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity

Car modelMinimum and Maximum towing capacity
Toyota TacomaMax – 6,800 poundsMin – 3,500 pounds
2.7-Liter Four-Cylinder (159 horsepower, 180 pounds-feet of torque)The maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds
3.5-litre V-6 (278 hp, 265 pound-feet of torque)The maximum towing capacity of 6,800 pounds for the SR, SR5 and TRD Sport.
For the  2WD double-cab auto  SR5, TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road towing capacity of 6,700 pounds. 
6,600 pounds for the 2WD Limited auto with the 5-foot bed and the 2WD TRD Sport and SR5 auto with the 6-foot bed.
Maximum towing capacity for Access Cab6,800-pounds: 2WD V-6 auto in the SR, SR5 and TRD Sport 
6,500 pounds: all 4WD V-6 configurations.
3,500 pounds: 2WD and 4WD four-cylinders in the SR and SR5 trims.
Maximum towing capacity for Double Cab6,700 pounds: SR5, TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road.
6,600 pounds: 2WD V-6 auto with the short bed in the Limited or the 2WD V-6 auto 6-foot bed in the TRD Sport or SR5.
 6,400 pounds: all 4WD double cabs
TRD ProThe maximum towing capacity of 6,400 pounds for both transmissions.

At the wheel, the Toyota Tacoma behaves like an off-roader. The suspension is bulging, as is usual in this type of vehicle, but without being uncomfortable. It is appreciated that, within its off-road approach, Toyota managed to keep the Tacoma from bouncing after going over bumps or deep potholes.

Its off-road capability is defined by a connectable all-wheel-drive system, which also includes a gearbox. High profile tires are added, 23.9 cm free from the ground, and entry and exit angles of 29º and 23.1º respectively.

How to safely pull a horse trailer with your Tacoma

Pulling a horse trailer requires being aware of your vehicle, the horse trailer, and the horse you are riding inside the trailer. To safely transport a horse, you must practice road safety and remember to take your time. 

You should always know the horse passenger you are carrying. Read the laws in your state for pulling a horse trailer. Each state has different laws that regulate how to legally and safely tow a horse trailer.

  • After the horse trailer is connected to the tow vehicle, walk through the trailer to make sure the roof vents are adjusted for the time of day. Check any safety releases to make sure they operate easily in case you need to get to your horse fast. Replace any old hay with new hay. 

Make sure there are no wasp or bee nests inside the trailer. Check the trailer floor to make sure it is stable with no rotten spots and to verify that there is nothing that can damage the horse’s feet.

  • Put a leather cap on any horse that has never been transported so it does not injure its head if it must back up. If it is a two-horse trailer and you are pulling a packhorse your horse on the left side of the trailer. When pulling over a horse, put the heaviest horse on the left side of the trailer. 

Roads are crowned in the middle to have the heaviest horse or the single horse on the driver’s side will allow the trailer to pull safely. When towing a horse on a tilt load trailer always put the heaviest horse in front first. The main weight should be at the front of the trailer.

  • Secure the horse loosely enough on the rope so that there is no danger of a horse hanging itself in an accident. Make sure there is not too much slack in the rope, however. Moving in a trailer will cause the trailer to drop and could be dangerous. 

Use a quick-release knot on the lead rope to secure the horse. If you are using tow links, make sure the ties have a quick-release clasp. Close all trailer doors and make sure doors are secure and locked.

  • Pull your horse trailer for a few blocks and pull to make sure the hitch is still secure. Starting and stopping distances will be greater due to the added weight of the horse and trailer, so give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle. and the vehicle in front of you when on the road.
  • Drive five miles under the speed limit. Use signals when changing lanes and slow down to avoid accidents. Keep your forward motion constant so that you always keep tension on the hitch to avoid any loss of control. You must influence the trailer, do not apply the brakes of the vehicle. 

Apply the trailer hand control brakes in rapid succession to stop the trailer from swaying. Take laps slowly and regain your speed quickly after a lap. You should gradually increase your speed after turns so that your horse can adjust its balance and maintain its balance.

  • Use a lower gear when shooting up steep hills. If the hill you are uphill is long, slow down your vehicle and keep your speed down. Apply the parking brake to slow the trailer down when driving down steep hills. If the trailer should start to skid or jackknife then you will have to apply your vehicle’s brakes hard. 

Look in the rearview mirror and if the trailer is going in the opposite lane, the brakes help the trailer traction recover. Do not use the trailer brakes as they are more than likely what caused the skates to start. The wheels will have to regain traction for the trailer to straighten out.

Tips and Warnings

  1. Avoid parking in degrees. If you must park on a grade then apply the brakes and chock the wheels.
  2. Avoid travelling on bumpy or rough roads. Horses often have a hard time balancing in a trailer so try to keep a smooth ride.
  3. Breakaway brakes are required in some states.
  4. Forty-six states require safety chains for a tow trailer and 29 states require safety chains for a gooseneck trailer. Please check the laws in your state.
  5. Horses often become restless and begin to kick or even back up when pulling down the inside path of a trailer. If this occurs, pulling over to calm the animal before an accident can occur immediately or the horse is injured.

How to properly unhitch a horse trailer from your Tacoma

Horse trailers are used for transporting horses and for horse shows and trail rides, veterinary appointments and horse trainers. Even if you don’t have your own horse trailer, knowing how to hitch and uncouple a horse trailer will help ensure the safety of your horse during transport. If you borrow a horse trailer, it will most likely be that you have to hitch and pull the trailer yourself.

  1. Park the towing vehicle and trailer in a straight line on a level surface.
  2.  Unload all horses from the trailer.
  3. Set the vehicle emergency brake and the trailer parking brake.
  4. Disconnect the electrical connection cable and the release cable. Lay the cables carefully.
  5. Unlock tongue trailer anti-theft device, if equipped.
  6.  Press the release trigger on the tow bar. Lift the release trigger to the up position to release the ball joint from the tow bar.
  7. Unhook the safety chains from the towing vehicle. Chains must cross under the hitch and connect the tow hitch to the tow vehicle. Carefully store the chains on the tow bar.
  8.  Turn the jockey wheel handle counterclockwise until the wheel touches the ground. Continue turning until the tow hook is clear from the ball joint.
  9.  Pull the towing vehicle out of the horse trailer.
  10. Wood or wheel chock place blocks between trailer wheels to maintain forward or reverse advancement if the parking brake fails.
  11. Lock horse trailer, including anti-theft devices on the trailer tongue.

Note: Do not uncouple a trailer while horses are inside the trailer or tied to the trailer. An unhitched trailer can be struck or pulled onto its side, damaging the trailer, injuring horses.

FAQ on Can a Tacoma pull a horse trailer?

How big of a trailer can I tow with a Toyota Tacoma?

A Toyota Tacoma has a towing capacity starting from 3,500 lbs to 6,800 lbs. This covers a different range of trailers and campers, some as big as 4000 lbs. 

Can a Tacoma tow an RZR?

A Tacoma can tow an RZR without a problem!

Can a Tacoma really tow 6500 lbs?

Yes, a Tacoma can really tow 6500 lbs. We are talking about a 2.7-litre DOHC four-cylinder that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque.


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