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Hauling Behind the Bed: Tacoma Receiver Hitches

Hauling Behind the Bed: Tacoma Receiver Hitches

Fifth wheel towing may not be exactly what to plan to do with your Tacoma, but this doesn’t mean all hitches are out the window for these trucks. The Tacoma may be a light-duty truck, but it is still plenty powerful. The bed can be quite restrictive when it comes to large cargo, you may want to haul a boat or even a small camper; this is where receiver hitches come in. With one installed, you have access to all sorts of accessories and options to better equip your Tacoma for the working world.

Shop Tacoma Receiver Hitches

Fitting your Tacoma with a receiver hitch is a pure utility move. Need extra gear for your overlanding or camping trip? Put a cargo basket on the back. If you're looking to haul heavy trailers and the like, be sure to purchase a hitch with the right weight rating.

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What is a Receiver Hitch Used For?

Receiver hitches are the perfect hitch type to be paired with smaller vehicles like the Tacoma. These units mount to the frame and peer out just below the bumper. The term “receiver hitch” is used because these units use a receiver for towing equipment and accessories to slide into. The size of the receiver is dependent on the hitch class used. On a Tacoma you will likely find 2 and 2.5-inch receivers.

Receiver Hitch Class

Hitch class is used to dictate the weight capacity of the hitch mounted to the rear of the vehicle. Before purchasing a trailer hitch you need to think about the job you are trying to take on with your Tacoma. The more equipment you are hauling with your truck, the higher the hitch class you will need. 

Class 3: Based on Tacoma’s towing capacities, a class 3 hitch will be the most common hitch available to these trucks. Class 3 hitches are designed to handle a gross trailer weight up to 10,000 lbs. Class 3 hitches are ideal for hauling boats and small trailers. Class 3 hitches use a 2-inch receiver which means they can accept most trailer hitch balls and accessories.

Class 4: A class 4 hitch is also very common for use with Tacomas. These hitches are rated to handle a maximum gross trailer weight of 14,000 lbs. As the step above a class 3 hitch, this class can easily handle anything you can throw at a Tacoma within range of its towing capacity. These hitches are also fitted with 2-inch receivers making them an excellent option for all workloads.

Class 5: Toyota Tacomas can be fitted with a class 5 hitch. These hitches have a gross trailer weight capacity of 12,000 lbs., but are designed to work best with weight distribution hitches. If a large enclosed trailer is being hauled behind your Tacoma, this is the hitch to reach for. These hitches are fitted with 2.5-inch Receiver hitches which leaves them dedicated to hauling trailers.

Front Mounted Hitches

Hitches aren’t always mounted to the rear of the vehicle. Front mounted hitches are an option for Tacomas. These hitches are not designed for the Tacoma to take on any hauling but to be pulled or hauled. If you are pulling your Tacoma to safety or to the campsite, these hitches are mandatory.

Tacoma Towing Capacity

Toyota Tacomas are light-duty trucks. They are rated with maximum towing capacities ranging from 3,500-6,800 lbs. The low maximum towing capacity of these trucks keeps them from being a smart choice for hauling huge trailers via fifth wheel. Open trailers and small campers are at the high end of what can be pulled behind these trucks.

Hitch Accessories

Receiver hitches aren’t solely limited to being fitted with equipment for hauling. The 2-inch receivers have been taken advantage of by many manufacturers in order to fit accessories into the receiver tube.

Cargo Baskets: Mounting a cargo basket is perfect for long hauls and weekend adventures that require the bed to be fully loaded and then some. Coolers and other cargo fit perfectly into a cargo basket making them perfect for those looking for a little extra room without having to haul a trailer.

Winch Mount: Front mounted hitches are a perfect location to mount a winch into. Many off-roaders on a budget opt to use this method of securing a winch to their vehicle. This is much more cost effective and time intensive than equipping a Tacoma with an aftermarket bumper with a built-in winch mount.

Bike Racks: The receiver tubes on Tacomas are perfect for mounting bike racks. By relocating bicycles to the rear of the truck, the bed will be freed up to carry other essential cargo needed for a trip to your favorite bike trails.

Trailer Wiring

With a trailer mounted to the rear hitch lighting will need to be hooked up. Without brake lights and turn signals in place on the trailer you can be very hazardous to other drivers; cops will pull you over and fine you as well.

If your truck isn’t fitted with a trailer wiring harness, you will need to have one installed before you begin towing. These kits are affordable though and easy to install.

Load Leveling

Tacomas aren’t going to be hauling a lot of equipment, but the rear end can sag with cargo loaded up to the hitch or a trailer attached. If you find yourself in this scenario it’s important to level the truck out.

Load leveling kits correct the sag that occurs due to excess weight. This also brings the front of the truck to the ground which will correct any steering issues caused by a sagged rear end.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRd-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro