What will an overweight Taco and a slip off a rock get you?

wicked1

Active member
Thanks for all the replies.. And yes, I am very aware of the situation I am in, and agree w/ all of it. I have done everything I can to cut weight from this rig.. It's likely almost 1000 lbs lighter than it used to be when it had the lead batteries, heavy solar, extra stuff in the camper, heavier/wider wheels and tires, etc, etc... It's really a lot better than when Mainline Overland built the rig in 2015. But, having said that, (and as others acknowledged) we're all this much overweight.. Any tacoma FWC rig is the same. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary to add weight to this build. People w/ slide-in's have posted theirs don't weigh this much, but mine is a flatbed, and it does.. Again, it's just a factory FWC Fleet Flatbed, and all the mods to my truck are as light as possible. No rock sliders or armor, aluminum flatbed (rather than steel).. I don't know.. People keep saying I should decrease the weight, but there is nothing more I can do. (If I'm missing something, let me know).

I did purchase aftermarket rotors, and they do weight more than OEM.. But they're still about the same size. (stoptech slotted, cryo). Next time I need tires, maybe I'll think about going up to 17" wheels and get larger rotors.

I do engine brake a LOT.. If I'm on highway mountain passes, I'm almost never touching the brakes.. it's all down shifting.

I've only had one close call in my over 80k miles driving this thing as a camper.. Was cold and raining. A car passes me on my left, then immediately slams on the brakes when they get in front of me to make their turn into a gas station. I had to swerve around them, or I would have hit them. Their little sports car definitely stopped a lot faster than my truck could!. Luckily there was no one in the left lane.. If there was, someone of my choosing would have been hit... It would have been the car that cut me off.
It's crazy being on the road a lot, and watching the little self centered drivers cutting off myself in my heavy camper, and cutting off big-rigs.. Just squeezing in as tight as possible.. No thought about anyone other than themselves. No thought about how other heavy vehicles might react on the road. How they could be crushed by the large heavy vehicles they just cut way too close in front of....
 

rruff

Explorer
I think the FWC's weigh a bit more than they advertise. I see you mentioned elsewhere that the sticker on yours says 1600lb... ! You don't have to carry much extra stuff to get the numbers you have.

You won't be able to stop as fast as a sportscar, regardless. And a distracted or careless driver of a large vehicle behind you won't be able to stop as fast as you. The first you have control over though, most of the time... the later, pretty much none.

I looked up this info for 2nd gen Tacomas:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (pounds) 5450.00
Front Gross Axle Weight Rating (pounds )2755
Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (pounds) 3110
Curb Weight 4220.00

Earlier I said the CG of the weight you added was behind the rear axle, but it's not. At any rate, if there is a way you could get more of your weight forward, that would help with handling and take some stress off the rear end.
 

montypower

Adventure Time!
We have a friend traveling full time in his Tacoma FWC. It weighed in at 8,000lbs. Which is really light for a truck, camper and full time gear. However, it is a LOT for a little truck. He has 140k miles or so from 5 yrs on the road. Not ideal. I'd feel more confident with the Tundra (and similar load). Essentially every overland Tacoma is over weight. Heck you max out the weight with 5 passengers. Obviously Toyota has underrated the Tacoma and Tundra to fit in the weight classes. Need to exercise major caution with heavy loads and upgrade all the weak parts which is costly.

With that said... HD trucks are the way to go for a camper or heavy load. They are BEEF compared to any Toyota product. Bolt on big tires (no trimming). Just much easier, safer and cheaper!
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
We have pretty much the same rig as you; FWC flatbed fleet with a Norweld flatbed. We also worked hard at minimizing the weight; no skid plates, aluminium front bumper, near stock tires, synthetic rope, etc. We have 75,000 trouble-free (fingers crossed) miles on ours after 2 years of full-time living in it. After one hot downhill grade I upgraded the front brakes with stoptech rotors and Toyota TRD semi-metallic brake pads and now the overheating is history and have good braking. Putting on Helwig anti-sway bars front and rear dramatically flattened the cornering.

I realize it’s overweight and I drive it slow and leave plenty of space in front while driving. We have the manual tranny and we’re now averaging 15 mpg but I have to work to achieve that.

I had ours weighed with an otherwise empty Camper & 33 gallons of gas - Ft/Rr - 2,860/3,980 lbs, total 6,840 lbs. Our GAWR - Ft/Rr - 2,910/3,280 lbs so we’re over weight as well.

We shipped our truck last year to Europe and are VERY happy with a Tacoma. The narrow roads here are, at times, very challenging even with a mid-size. Just earlier this week driving in Sarajevo, Bosnia, we went up a 25% grade, very narrow, paved road following Google maps up to the Olympic bobsled course and the road ended. Having to back down with the front wheels sliding on the pavement while negotiating turns was challenging, with a full-size truck we probably would have slid into a wall. Driving a Tacoma here, at times, feels like I'm driving my old crew-cab full-size 3/4 ton.

Drive these overloaded trucks conservatively and I believe they’ll serve us well. Now if I would only build a carbon fiber composite camper that is a pop up everyone would be happy
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I chuckled about the break comments. Sever buddies years ago eventually gave up on their Tacoma primarily due to brake ability. Having done some trips with them and driven one a bunch no way in hell is a over loaded Tacoma able to out stop a RV within its rated loads.

They all ended up in bigger trucks because the braking thing isn’t solved with bolt on parts.

I recall the one I drove some between the tires he had and our loaded weight you could stand on the pedal till you burst brake lines and never lockup a tire. First thing he said when we swapped seats was brakes suck so don’t count on any quick stops😆
 

dstefan

Well-known member
Exactly why I gave up my Tacoma for a 2.5 gen Tundra before getting a poptop camper. Even at 362lbs for the camper I’m 100 lbs over my GVWR with the truck mods and camper build-out when loaded. But that’s on 10.5” rear diff, more beef all around, and 4 wheel big disk brakes.

I kept the Tacoma under GVWR, only ground tented in it, and still had poor brake performance and handling (with upgraded shocks and leafs) when loaded for a trip.

The 2nd gen Tacomas have been known to have weak rear ends, especially the off-road models with the locker which have only 8” rears. Folks that wheel ‘em hard tend to prefer the sport models with 8.75 or 8.5” rears (I forget which) and an aftermarket locker.

I loved my Tacoma and it took me to really difficult and wonderful spots, but I do not miss it.
 

wicked1

Active member
I really like having the smaller truck. Just about every place we go, we end up on narrow disused roads or jeep trails. I scrape the sides of my truck every time out.. I can't imagine a wider vehicle. My goal in going out is to never see another person, once I get out there.. I wish there were less people camping these days, but there are a lot. So, the only option is going on small rough roads. (Or beg you all to send me some premium spots... wink wink, nudge nudge) :)

About the brakes........
I got a power/pressure bleeder and changed my fluid. DId a quick change w/ new pads and rotors one day. It worked.. Everything felt the same afterwards. Then I had to pull the diff to send off for repair, and that required disconnecting brake lines. This time, I bled them again, but for some reason decided to press the pedal while also pressure bleeding. I heard a lot of bubbles move.. Seemingly from in front of me (so not just from the brake lines in back).. from possibly the master cylinder. And all of a sudden, my squishy pedal firmed up considerably. I haven't been able to drive it yet.. Installing the repaired differential tomorrow! So, then I can finally drive it again. I can't wait to see if the brakes are better. Maybe they'll finally be able to lock up. But otoh, maybe I'll have a nice firm pedal, but still can't stop.....

My diff is the larger one.. Maybe 3rd gens got larger again? I don't know.. But there was an 8" and 8.4" option. I have the 8.4, non locker. But, my repaired diff does have an air locker now.. (Hope I don't regret it, over an Elocker... But I already had the compressor, and ECGS says the leaking issues from a couple years ago are resolved...)
 

wicked1

Active member
Now if I would only build a carbon fiber composite camper that is a pop up everyone would be happy
I'd love a lighter pop-up camper, w/ most of the same 'features'. I have seen a very expensive carbon fiber, non pop-up truck camper. (I think it's the one Jay Leno had on his show, on youtube).

I've put a lot of thought into saving weight, and the best I can come up w/ is replacing the wood cabinetry w/ something light.. Carbon fiber composite, or aluminum frame w/ some cladding.
But, I'm not sure it's worth it.. A 4x8 3/4" MDF sheet is about 90lbs. I don't think there are more than 3 or 4 sheets worth, in everything, including the rear seat/cabinets.. 400 lbs at best before adding the new cabinetry. So, maybe could shave off 200lbs after building the new cabinets.

New campers seem to be lighter than my 7 year old one.. I don't know what FWC is doing differently to save weight now.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I'd love a lighter pop-up camper, w/ most of the same 'features'. I have seen a very expensive carbon fiber, non pop-up truck camper. (I think it's the one Jay Leno had on his show, on youtube).

I've put a lot of thought into saving weight, and the best I can come up w/ is replacing the wood cabinetry w/ something light.. Carbon fiber composite, or aluminum frame w/ some cladding.
But, I'm not sure it's worth it.. A 4x8 3/4" MDF sheet is about 90lbs. I don't think there are more than 3 or 4 sheets worth, in everything, including the rear seat/cabinets.. 400 lbs at best before adding the new cabinetry. So, maybe could shave off 200lbs after building the new cabinets.

New campers seem to be lighter than my 7 year old one.. I don't know what FWC is doing differently to save weight now.
FWC is near by my understanding is they have done small tweaks but otherwise pretty much the same in construction.

Weight savings gets tough when your down to panel weight for cabinets not much material there so not much you can shave by getting high tech light weight. Its not much different than shaving 20lbs off your duffel bag.
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
I really like having the smaller truck. Just about every place we go, we end up on narrow disused roads or jeep trails. I scrape the sides of my truck every time out.. I can't imagine a wider vehicle. My goal in going out is to never see another person, once I get out there.. I wish there were less people camping these days, but there are a lot. So, the only option is going on small rough roads. (Or beg you all to send me some premium spots... wink wink, nudge nudge) :)

About the brakes........
I got a power/pressure bleeder and changed my fluid. DId a quick change w/ new pads and rotors one day. It worked.. Everything felt the same afterwards. Then I had to pull the diff to send off for repair, and that required disconnecting brake lines. This time, I bled them again, but for some reason decided to press the pedal while also pressure bleeding. I heard a lot of bubbles move.. Seemingly from in front of me (so not just from the brake lines in back).. from possibly the master cylinder. And all of a sudden, my squishy pedal firmed up considerably. I haven't been able to drive it yet.. Installing the repaired differential tomorrow! So, then I can finally drive it again. I can't wait to see if the brakes are better. Maybe they'll finally be able to lock up. But otoh, maybe I'll have a nice firm pedal, but still can't stop.....

My diff is the larger one.. Maybe 3rd gens got larger again? I don't know.. But there was an 8" and 8.4" option. I have the 8.4, non locker. But, my repaired diff does have an air locker now.. (Hope I don't regret it, over an Elocker... But I already had the compressor, and ECGS says the leaking issues from a couple years ago are resolved...)
Yes, my Tacoma version ( a 2019 TRD Sport) has the upgraded 8.75” differential which I believe is the same as used by the Hilux. The normal size 8.0”. Also installing the braided brake lines improved braking feel.

I installed front and rear ARB locking diffs as well as 5.29 gears. The rear diff leaked a little bit of diff fluid out the breather hose until it was repacked. Otherwise they’re working fine.

I agree with your view on narrower trucks, we’re heading to Morocco in two months to begin our Africa leg of our trip, can’t wait! Driving there a few years ago with a rented Hilux, the ruts ( and tunnels through the brush) are created by like sized vehicles. A full-sized truck would have had more than “pinstripes” from the brush and would have to ride with one wheel out of the ruts making progress much harder.

Whichever vehicle and camping system we all chose is a series of trade offs that we all need to be comfortable with
 

bkg

Explorer
Yes, my Tacoma version ( a 2019 TRD Sport) has the upgraded 8.75” differential which I believe is the same as used by the Hilux. The normal size 8.0”. Also installing the braided brake lines improved braking feel.

I installed front and rear ARB locking diffs as well as 5.29 gears. The rear diff leaked a little bit of diff fluid out the breather hose until it was repacked. Otherwise they’re working fine.

I agree with your view on narrower trucks, we’re heading to Morocco in two months to begin our Africa leg of our trip, can’t wait! Driving there a few years ago with a rented Hilux, the ruts ( and tunnels through the brush) are created by like sized vehicles. A full-sized truck would have had more than “pinstripes” from the brush and would have to ride with one wheel out of the ruts making progress much harder.

Whichever vehicle and camping system we all chose is a series of trade offs that we all need to be comfortable with
the 8.4 has been around since ~01. the 8.75 is not really any different.
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
I'd love a lighter pop-up camper, w/ most of the same 'features'. I have seen a very expensive carbon fiber, non pop-up truck camper. (I think it's the one Jay Leno had on his show, on youtube).

I've put a lot of thought into saving weight, and the best I can come up w/ is replacing the wood cabinetry w/ something light.. Carbon fiber composite, or aluminum frame w/ some cladding.
But, I'm not sure it's worth it.. A 4x8 3/4" MDF sheet is about 90lbs. I don't think there are more than 3 or 4 sheets worth, in everything, including the rear seat/cabinets.. 400 lbs at best before adding the new cabinetry. So, maybe could shave off 200lbs after building the new cabinets.

New campers seem to be lighter than my 7 year old one.. I don't know what FWC is doing differently to save weight now.
Funny, just last night I pulled out the plywood pullout for the bed to see how much it weighed, about 15 lbs or so. I figured I could replace it with a composite panel such as: https://www.carbon-core.com/product/veneered-panels-sheets/. These panels in 1/2" thickness are 20 lbs per 4'*8' sheet vs the 40 to 45 lbs of 1/2" plywood that 4wc uses. Unfortunately these are quite expensive $160 per sheet) and are more complicated to attach hinges and drawer hardware. If there's 4 4'*8' sheets of plywood in a 4wc then you could save 80 lbs, not a bad start. I spent $1,000 for a lithium camper battery that probably saved 60 lbs of traditional batteries.

The big weigh savings would come from building a popup camper out of 1" carbon fiber composite panels such as:
https://dragonplate.com/Images/uploaded/Weights and Specs/DPSpecDivinycell.pdf

Using a Fleet flatbed as a pattern for size and using this type of panel just the materials to build a shell is $25,000. The payoff is that the shell w/o windows and a door would weigh around 350 lbs.
 

wicked1

Active member
About the brakes........
I mentioned I had high hopes of better brakes after pushing some bubbles out of the system... I got my truck back together yesterday, and.... They are the same... if not worse! I haven't been able to bed them yet, so they'll likely end up the same as before once that's done.. (Minus the warped rotors, so that's a plus I guess.) I am giving it one more shot.. I just ordered a techstream (knockoff), and will bleed the ABS system when it arrives.

The differential is great! And was a pretty easy swap. I'd say easier than the brake work! Other than the thing is heavy.

So now I've got two break-in procedures.. One says, accelerate/decelerate as slow as possible for 500 miles. (differential break-in).
The other one says floor it to 30, then slam on the brakes, over and over.. (brake bedding) Heh.. I guess I'll give the diff its 500 miles, then bed the brakes.
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
I mentioned I had high hopes of better brakes after pushing some bubbles out of the system... I got my truck back together yesterday, and.... They are the same... if not worse! I haven't been able to bed them yet, so they'll likely end up the same as before once that's done.. (Minus the warped rotors, so that's a plus I guess.) I am giving it one more shot.. I just ordered a techstream (knockoff), and will bleed the ABS system when it arrives.

The differential is great! And was a pretty easy swap. I'd say easier than the brake work! Other than the thing is heavy.

So now I've got two break-in procedures.. One says, accelerate/decelerate as slow as possible for 500 miles. (differential break-in).
The other one says floor it to 30, then slam on the brakes, over and over.. (brake bedding) Heh.. I guess I'll give the diff its 500 miles, then bed the brakes.
I’d do the break ins one at a time. With the TRD brake pads that installed they were very particular about following the break in. If not, the pads may not be seated properly. I believe it was 10 hard, repeated stops without coming to a complete stop and never keep the brake petal depressed when stopped. It would be hard to do that while accelerating as slow as possible for the gear breakin
 

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