Can A Toyota Tundra Pull A Horse Trailer?

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No matter what you are thinking about pulling behind your vehicle, you’ll need to know the towing limitations of your vehicle. Exceeding the towing capacity can have dire consequences, so educating yourself about your vehicle’s specs is critical. If you want to pull a horse trailer with a Toyota Tundra, we can help you. We researched this popular pickup truck from numerous professional sources, so you can be sure of what you can safely tow behind you.

A Toyota Tundra pickup truck can safely pull a horse trailer with two horses. The towing capacity of a 2021 Tundra is between 9,400 pounds and 10,100 pounds. The average horse weighs 900 pounds to 1,200 pounds, and the average two-horse trailer weighs between 2,400 pounds to 3,200 pounds. At the high end of this range, the horses and horse trailer’s combined weight would be 5,600 pounds. This weight is far less than the maximum towing capacity.

Now that we know a Toyota Tundra pickup truck can safely tow a horse trailer let’s look at towing capacity. You might also be curious how big of a trailer a Tundra can pull or which Tundra model is the best for towing. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

Image of a modified Toyota Tundra for off road trail and towing, Can A Toyota Tundra Pull A Horse Trailer?

What you need to know about towing capacity

Simply put, the towing capacity of your vehicle is the maximum weight that the trailer being pulled behind it can be. This includes not only the trailer itself but the cargo on or inside of the trailer. Before you tow, it’s essential to understand several terms associated with the weights of your vehicle and your trailer.

A huge Toyota Tundra moving along the snowy road of the countryside, 5 Best Front Wheel Drive Trucks

GVWR

This is the gross vehicle weight rating. The GVWR is the maximum loaded weight of a vehicle.

GTW

Gross trailer weight is the maximum allowable combined weight of a trailer and its cargo. A good rule of thumb to follow is that you cannot safely tow the trailer if the GTW exceeds the towing vehicle’s towing capacity.

GCVWR

The GCWR is the gross combined vehicle weight rating. Gross combined vehicle weight rating is the maximum weight of your tow vehicle and trailer combined, both loaded with all cargo and passengers.

GAWR

GAWR refers to the gross axle weight rating. This is the maximum weight you can put on each axle.

GTW

This is the gross trailer weight. The GTW refers to the total weight of the trailer.

Payload

Payload is the total weight of all cargo and passengers. Each vehicle will have its payload capacity, including any trailer attaching to a tow vehicle.

Curb weight

The curb weight is how much the vehicle weighs, empty of passengers and cargo.

To calculate how much your vehicle can safely tow, you need to do a little simple math. Take the curb weight of the vehicle, and subtract it from the GCVWR. The resulting number is the towing capacity.

It’s best to err on the side of caution and stay no less than ten percent under your final figure. People make mistakes with adding up the weight of all the cargo and passengers, so giving yourself an extra bit of wiggle room ensures that your potential math errors won’t make you exceed maximum towing capacity.

Toyota Tundra 4x4

What if I exceed towing capacity?

Your manufacturer sets a towing capacity for a reason. It’s very important to be aware of the towing ability and ensure that it is strictly followed. Exceeding the towing capacity can lead to costly repairs, as well as puts your safety at risk.

Towing more than the manufacturer recommends will place more strain on your brakes, engine, transmission, radiator, and other vital parts of your vehicle.

The more weight you tow, the harder your engine has to work. The harder your engine works, the more pressure on your radiator to cool the engine. The more weight you pull, the more friction your brakes will endure when stopping your vehicle. Brakes are only meant to handle so much before they prematurely wear out or fail.

Exceeding the towing capacity puts the safety of you and others on the road at risk. An overloaded trailer will be harder to control, make turning more difficult, and increase the likelihood of the trailer detaching. Each of these possibilities can have devastating consequences, so be sure to always abide by your vehicle’s limitations.

For the full specs on the Toyota Tundra, you can view them on Toyota’s official website.

How big of a trailer can a Toyota Tundra pull?

A Toyota Tundra has quite the towing capacity, at up to 10,100 pounds. Remember that it isn’t the size of the trailer that you should be concerned with. Instead, it’s the combined weight of the trailer and its cargo. So long as the trailer and what you load onto it are under the towing capacity, you’ll be in the range of what can be safely towed.

It’s important to point out that just because your vehicle can tow a trailer doesn’t mean that you should automatically assume that you’re ready to haul a heavy load across the country.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with how your vehicle handles light loads. Notice the difference in braking times when you are trailered versus when you’re not. Finally, review your owner’s manual, and follow all of their recommendations for towing with your Tundra.

a horse getting in a horse trailer

Can you pull a gooseneck with a Tundra?

If you’re considering pulling a gooseneck trailer with your Tundra, you’ll be happy to know that many of them fall under the maximum tow capacity for your pickup truck. Doing so will require some extra work on your end, as you may have to install a hitch ball. This doesn’t take too long to do yourself. If you have a professional do this, it will cost between $870 and $3,000.

More information about a Tundra pulling a gooseneck can be found at Trucks Authority, along with complete video instructions on how to safely install a hitch ball on your own. 

Which Toyota Tundra model is best for towing?

The SR, the SR5, and Limited Toyota Tundra trim levels are great for towing. Each has a maximum towing capacity of 10,100 pounds, as well as an available towing package. 

The towing package includes a towing hitch receiver, a TOW/HAUL mode switch in the cab, an integrated brake controller, a heavy-duty battery, a 170amp alternator, and a 4.300 rear axle ratio.

This towing package is available for the SR, the SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRPRO trim levels.

Toyota Tundra at the Miami International Auto Show

How do I increase the towing capacity of my Toyota Tundra?

Suppose you scour the internet for ways to increase the towing capacity of your Toyota Tundra. In that case, you’re liable to find information on several forums on ways people claim they were able to.

Despite what some individuals in these forums might say, it is unwise and unsafe to attempt this. The manufacturer set the towing capacity for good reasons, and modifications to your Tundra cannot and will not be considered legitimate.

Of course, there are modifications you can have done to increase the performance of your Tundra during towing. Better shocks, a bigger radiator, and other upgrades will make towing heavy loads easier on your drivetrain and suspension system. But these modifications are not meant to increase the amount you can tow.

In Closing

The Toyota Tundra can tow a great deal of weight and easily tow a horse trailer with at least two horses on board. But before you tow anything, it’s strongly recommended to familiarize yourself with all of the weights associated with your vehicle, your trailer, and what you will be filling each with. Abiding by the maximum numbers that Toyota has determined is essential, as they ensure both the safety of the people on the road as well as the well-being of your Tundra.

If you found this post on the Toyota Tundra to be helpful, we believe you’ll enjoy reading the following posts on this popular pickup truck:

Taking Your Toyota Tundra Off-Road? Here’s What You Need to Know

Pick Up Truck Curb Weight Comparison [Including Table]

 How Much Weight Can A Truck Carry [By Truck Type]

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