One all purpose vehicle

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Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
615
Connecticut
For years I've had an SUV or car, and a truck. With retirement age approaching, I plan to downsize to one vehicle. I recently changed jobs, I had a 2012 SUV with bluetooth, backup camera, etc. and an older full size pickup truck. The new job's commute is less, hardly any traffic and just to the office and back home. The SUV was good with the longer commute and doing field service.

I went backwards, traded in the SUV for a mid-sized pickup truck. While I'm working I'll hang onto the old Chevy Silverado as a backup. It's actually going to be hard
to part with that truck... but need to consider insurance, registration, etc. I haven't had a vehicle payment for 13 years. I was 'on the fence' about trading both vehicles in for one full size extended cab truck (existing one is a regular cab 8' bed). Of course I'm taking a hit with capacity, and took a hit financially with the trade in, That's ok, used Tacoma prices are crazy high around here and the particular model I found was very rare, especially for the price.

Since I'm still working, I went with the 4 cylinder manual transmission model. My question is does anyone here have experience with a Toyota Tacoma, and how it works out with firewood? I was considering one of those bed, or tailgate extenders for mine.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,734
central pa
For years I've had an SUV or car, and a truck. With retirement age approaching, I plan to downsize to one vehicle. I recently changed jobs, I had a 2012 SUV with bluetooth, backup camera, etc. and an older full size pickup truck. The new job's commute is less, hardly any traffic and just to the office and back home. The SUV was good with the longer commute and doing field service.

I went backwards, traded in the SUV for a mid-sized pickup truck. While I'm working I'll hang onto the old Chevy Silverado as a backup. It's actually going to be hard
to part with that truck... but need to consider insurance, registration, etc. I haven't had a vehicle payment for 13 years. I was 'on the fence' about trading both vehicles in for one full size extended cab truck (existing one is a regular cab 8' bed). Of course I'm taking a hit with capacity, and took a hit financially with the trade in, That's ok, used Tacoma prices are crazy high around here and the particular model I found was very rare, especially for the price.

Since I'm still working, I went with the 4 cylinder manual transmission model. My question is does anyone here have experience with a Toyota Tacoma, and how it works out with firewood? I was considering one of those bed, or tailgate extenders for mine.
Tacoma's are great little trucks but none I have ever used had much weight capacity at all. And actually felt pretty scary driving with much weight in them at all. It wouldn't be my choice for firewood at all. Maybe with a trailer
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
615
Connecticut
Ya weight capacity is a concern. I saw a couple posts of firewood hauling on a Tacoma site - one was way overloaded, and appeared to be 2WD. I do have a hitch on mine.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
1,051
Northwest Lower Michigan
Not sure what a barebones or part time insurance and registration would be in CT. But if it was me I would keep the Silverado. You know its quirks and it’s history which is very beneficial. Let it take the beating for the firewood, and any other rough job. Or if anything happens to the Tacoma. I lost track of all the times I’m glad I had a second vehicle. Or even use the Silverado for winter and let it take the beating with the road salt. That’s what I do, I have a nice car for summer and a Jeep for winter and pulling the trailer. Keep the Tacoma well cared for and hopefully you will go another very long time without major repairs, rust, and a car payment once it’s paid for.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
We have 4 2021 Tacomas. All 4wd, 4cyl, back seat delete, with caps. We’ve put over 1000lbs in them of stone. I don’t think I’d put too much more in them.

They’ll tow 3500lbs. Maybe that’d be a better option for firewood.
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
615
Connecticut
Not sure what a barebones or part time insurance and registration would be in CT. But if it was me I would keep the Silverado. ...
I have bare bones/part time insurance, no collision. When the company I worked for previously made us part time due to Covid, I had comprehensive only for a while (couldn't drive it.. but stays registered) The battery in the Silverado was given to me by my neighbor, he retired it from his GMC 2500 box truck after 6 years. If I don't start it in a week I'll need to charge it as I did today, for less than an hour. Took it for a quick ride as I did a few weeks ago, That thing runs so well, it has the 5.3L V8. That, and your recommendations may cancel my plans to sell it. About a year ago I had new gas lines put in, the year before part of a brake line. I'll probably buy a new battery for it soon.

Generation 2 Tacomas are known to have frame rust, mine isn't that bad. The Silverado not bad at all. I always liked Jeeps, partly because they're one of the few 4WD vehicles that can be had with a manual transmission. Also because,. .. they just Jeeps! Good suggestions.

We have 4 2021 Tacomas. All 4wd, 4cyl, back seat delete, with caps...
Wow, 4 new Tacomas! Good getting the 2.7L when you did. I heard it may be retired, or downsized to be used in only turbo form or part of a hybrid setup. I'll need to do some consideration when hauling firewood. Even if the Tacoma ends up just as a commuting vehicle, that's fine, I really enjoy driving it and the last 2 gas tanks averaged over 23 mpg. Yours, with the 6 speed automatic may get better fuel mileage than my 5 speed manual.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I've read that the manual gets something like 17-18. I want one, lol.. I have guys that get 17-18mpg in the Tacoma and I have guys that'll get 22. Best I've gotten is 24. In a truck with a cap thats flush with the roof and a pair of tires designed for long life and higher mpg. I'll eventually swap all our tires over to them.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
we have a Maverick coming in soon. AWD version. I'm excited to see if its any good. The idea of a trucklet getting 33mpg on the highway tickles me.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,704
SE North Carolina
When you say all purpose I think Subaru with a trailer. A 5x8 single axel trailer can hold more than the Tacoma bed can. I’m not a truck guy. My dream is Quigley 4x4 full size van.
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
615
Connecticut
When you say all purpose I think Subaru with a trailer. A 5x8 single axel trailer can hold more than the Tacoma bed can. I’m not a truck guy. My dream is Quigley 4x4 full size van.
That's what I had years ago before I could fit a truck in my driveway when my kids lived here. I had a Forester and a small 4x8 trailer. I never mastered backing it up though. It was so light I'd get out and just pick the thing up and position it. I heard longer trailers - where the tongue is longer are actually easier to back up with.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Short tongue trailers are easiest to back up in a curve. That way you can see them with the mirrors or out the window.
 

Prof

Minister of Fire
Oct 18, 2011
657
Western PA
I'm a pretty loyal Taco owner--I've only had two over the last 2 decades (perhaps a day more). My 2012 broke a leaf spring and I upgraded the springs. I can put a half of a ton in the back and it still doesn't sit quite level. It can easily haul what I need it to. I have a 5 ft bed. I often wish I had a 6 ft bed, but I have a couple kids who need their own door. BTW, the Taco has great off-road capability. I regularly cut wood on some pretty rough logging trails. The truck does just fine. Just know that it will take more loads than an F150 or bigger truck. But a tank of gas through the saw tends to get me a filled truck. Wash rinse and repeat--the nature of wood getting. My next Taco will likely be the last one I will own until I retire (it is funny, I thought I was young when I joined this site). I just had a beech come down a dozen yards from my house tonight--wood is often closer than I would like--won't need the Taco for this one. I get pretty fair gas mileage and great reliability (this is the real reason for my loyalty). In more than a couple decades, the Taco has always started and got me where I needed to be. BTW, I commute 40 mi one way.
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
615
Connecticut
I'm a pretty loyal Taco owner-...
Good to hear about that. Speaking of springs, they definitely aren't original on my 2007. Don't know if they just wore out - heard there may have been a recall, I've had it 2 months. That's a decent commute - mine is about 33 miles round trip. I've heard Tacomas are good off road, and yes I'll have to realize I'm not going to be hauling nearly as much with each trip if I use. The plus side of that is gas mileage, which for now at least, is a factor.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,721
Fairbanks, Alaska
I bought a new Tacoma in 2015. I was driving a pretty well used up Ford Ranger at the time, that size truck is a good fit for me and my life.

There should be in the driver's door frame a placard or sticker that lists the MGVW, Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight. What I did with mine was put all my usual crap in the cab, filled the gas tank and then paid the ten dollars at the gravel pit to weigh the truck with me in it. My bed capacity came in at 1040#, MGVW minus actual weight with empty bed.

I did install Goodyear Ride Rite airbags on my rear axle. Generally I run around with an empty bed at 5-10 psi, if I know I am loading a thousand pounds I pump them up to 30psi. In general running green cordwood I can fill the bed, standing the wood up on its endgrain, and I am near rated max capacity.

Once upon a time I used to load enough green cordwood into my Ranger that it would be hard to steer because of the front wheels starting to lift off the ground, but I am older and wiser and more feeble now.

Mine does have a class 2 trailer hitch with factory tow package, and is rated for 6000# total. I have never towed 6000# with mine, and have a half ton in the bed maybe twice a year. If you are really moving that kind of weight around frequently it is a compelling argument to keep the big truck so the your aren't putting wear and tear on the small truck.

FWIW mine has the 'big' V6 from the 2015 model year, automatic tranny, 4wd, access cab and the tow package. Today with 90k miles on it, it is worth more dollars than I paid for it. In mild weather when I can drive around in 2WD without AC, I can get 20mpg and nip at 22. If I need 4WD or AC, more like 18mpg.

I currently have my cordwood delivered to my driveway by men younger than me. If I was going to start felling my own trees again I would get a trailer and keep my Tacoma.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,734
central pa
Dont Take what I said wrong. They are great little trucks I have owned several of them mainly off-road beaters and yeah they are great off-road. I am just so used to 3/4 and 1 ton trucks that I personally don't see the little ones very useful as trucks. But I also regularly haul cubes of brick etc. So my perspective is different.

Just don't think that simply upgrading the spring rate will mean you can safely haul more than the rated capacity. The brakes axles tires etc etc are still light duty
 
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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,544
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
We have a 2018 Chevrolet Colorado with the 2.8 4 cylinder diesel. Its a crew cab short box (5ft bed). Its the wife's daily driver and our road trip vehicle when we don't need to pull anything large enough to need my 1 ton diesel. Flying down the 4 lane we can get 28mpg, and on a 2 lane road taking it easy 33mpg is possible.

I use it for hauling dry firewood to my house in town from my parents acreage, its more than enough truck for that, but I can't quite get 1/3 of a cord in the truck. I have pulled a trailer to also fill with wood (7700lb towing capacity), but I like my 1 ton better with it's higher ground clearance in the winter. I can easily get a 1/2 cord in the box of that plus 1.5 cords on our trailer.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,704
SE North Carolina
That's what I had years ago before I could fit a truck in my driveway when my kids lived here. I had a Forester and a small 4x8 trailer. I never mastered backing it up though. It was so light I'd get out and just pick the thing up and position it. I heard longer trailers - where the tongue is longer are actually easier to back up with.
I forget what task they gave me on the farm one summer. May have been loading stock tanks into a horse trailer, anyway it was lots of practice. I’m not great but a couple years ago I parked the pop up camper in a tight spot up a bit of a hill with the minivan.
I noticed a couple campers settling for some entertainment. I let them down. Didn’t plant the hitch in hill, high center or spin my wheels. I hadn’t back anything up for a couple years. Impressed myself. Hardest thing I ever backed was out small bay liner boat with an extended cab F250.

Those single axel trailers are rated for 3000 pounds? Not going to fill it full of wood but I’m not sure I’d want 6000# behind a Tacoma any faster than 55.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,344
Northern NH
BTW, Toyota is revamping the Tacoma for 2024. They are planning both gas and electric options. Toyota is trying to get solid state batteries out for hybrid use and my guess with the higher density the hybrids will have plug in capability.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Just don't think that simply upgrading the spring rate will mean you can safely haul more than the rated capacity. The brakes axles tires etc etc are still light duty

And if you were in an accident, any lawyer is going to pick you apart piece by piece. Upgrades don’t affect vehicle rating.
 
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Prof

Minister of Fire
Oct 18, 2011
657
Western PA
Dont Take what I said wrong. They are great little trucks I have owned several of them mainly off-road beaters and yeah they are great off-road. I am just so used to 3/4 and 1 ton trucks that I personally don't see the little ones very useful as trucks. But I also regularly haul cubes of brick etc. So my perspective is different.

Just don't think that simply upgrading the spring rate will mean you can safely haul more than the rated capacity. The brakes axles tires etc etc are still light duty
Just to be clear, I don't overload my truck and drive on roads. I get 90% or more of my wood on my own property--I have decent logging trails throughout. If I'm hauling any distance (which is only when I'm doing a favor for a friend) I stack the bed level and make a second trip if needed. Hauling wood much distance doesn't seem worth it to me--this is where the limited capacity of the truck comes in.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,734
central pa
Just to be clear, I don't overload my truck and drive on roads. I get 90% or more of my wood on my own property--I have decent logging trails throughout. If I'm hauling any distance (which is only when I'm doing a favor for a friend) I stack the bed level and make a second trip if needed. Hauling wood much distance doesn't seem worth it to me--this is where the limited capacity of the truck comes in.
That wasn't directed towards you or anyone else in particular. I have just seen to many people that seemed to think that was all that was needed
 
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Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
615
Connecticut
We have a 2018 Chevrolet Colorado with the 2.8 4 cylinder diesel. ...
I had considered a Colorado too. Didn't realize a diesel was an option. I remember the first generation had 5 cylinder engines.

I bought a new Tacoma in 2015....

Yours being the big V6, 4.0L, I heard was truly a truck engine while some say the current 3.5 V6 is a Camry engine. Not that it's a negative, just different in certain ways from the 4.0.
BTW, Toyota is revamping the Tacoma for 2024. They are planning both gas and electric options. Toyota is trying to get solid state batteries out for hybrid use and my guess with the higher density the hybrids will have plug in capability.

Heard that was coming - wasn't sure what year. Not that I'd be in the market for a new one - but even if I was I think I'd stick with a tried and true conventional drivetrain. If I'm going to have a truck, I'm not going to have great expectations for fuel economy. The vehicle companies are likely offering the new drivetrains due to their obligations to meet fuel economy requirements.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,721
Fairbanks, Alaska
I don't like the Gen 3 Tacoma V6s at all. Adkins, the ones with Adkins cycle I have driven two of them.

I had my fuel pump go out in warranty and was in a 2018 Tacoma while my part was on order for about two weeks. It was winter up here and I thought the 2018 V6 was a miserable, contemptible, little thing. For my 75k mile service I needed front rotors and those were on back order, so I was in a 2021 V6 taco for about ten days. Much improved over the 2018, but no useful torque at low rpm. If there was a way to force the engine to stay in Otto cycle at low RPM say when pulling your boat up a river bank (there may be) the 2021 would be a maybe in my book. I didn't have either of them long enough to get into a spot where I needed low end torque badly enough to open up the glove box and start reading. Both times I was relieved to have my 2016 truck back.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,721
Fairbanks, Alaska
I don't overload my truck anymore. I did used to do that, it is very hard on the equipment. Plus unsafe and antisocial and so on. With my Tacoma when I have it pretty close to fully loaded with 1000# of whatever it gets pretty droopy in the drawers. I use the air springs on the rear axle to level it back out- but it is much easier to pump up the airbags before the heavy load goes in.

If I read the manual on mine correctly it is rated to tow 6000# total, weight of trailer and cargo combined. Given my boat + trailer comes in around 350# I feel like I have a pretty good safety margin.
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
615
Connecticut
I don't like the Gen 3 Tacoma V6s at all. Adkins, the ones with Adkins cycle I have driven two of them...

Then it sounds like there is a difference between the two V6s. Interesting how it was better to get back into an 'older' truck - a 2016 would be new to me. The GM trucks I think it 2007 or so came with a system to deactivate cylinders in certain conditions on the 5.3 L engine. There's a lot of information on how to delete. disable or bypass that. Maybe it's been perfected or at least improved by now. but I'm glad my 2002 Chevy doesn't have it,

I don't overload my truck anymore. I did used to do that, it is very hard on the equipment. ...

I've done it, don't plan on doing it again. Not worth the risk in more ways than one.