Can A Toyota Tacoma Be Flat Towed? (Explained)

Towing Toyota Tacoma using the Flat Method is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of pulling a motor.

That is why most people always wonder if they can pull their cars this way.

If you belong to this group, congratulations, you made it to the right spot to clear your questions.

If you value your car’s gearbox, which I know you do, you should not flat tow your Toyota Tacoma. The user guide for Tacoma states emphatically that the vehicle should not be flat towed. Flat towing will cause severe damage to the car’s transmission, and I’m sure you don’t want that. 

Can You Tow A Tacoma Behind A Motorhome?

Can A Toyota Tacoma Be Flat Towed?

There are several ways of towing a Tacoma behind your motorhome.

The method appropriate for a particular auto depends mainly on the gearbox type.

That could be either an automatic or manual transmission. I will explain all of them in detail.

The most common types of pulling methods include:

  1. Dolly
  2. Flat-Towing
  3. Wheel-Lifting
  4. Flatbed

That being said, you can pull Toyota Tacoma behind a recreational vehicle(a motorhome).

However, flat towing is not well suited because most current models are automatic transmissions.

The most recommended pulling method for the Tacoma is the Wheel-lifting and the flatbed. Can You Flat Tow A Honda Odyssey?

Can You Tow A Tacoma With A Tow Dolly?

You can use a dolly to drag Toyota Tacoma, provided you fulfill some conditions.

According to the Tacoma manual, the following applies to pulling your Tacoma with a pushcart.

  • The vehicle’s axle and wheels should be in decent shape on the ground.

    If they are wrong, you should use a flatbed truck or a cart.
  • Before you pull your auto, you should examine it closely to rule out any issues with your car.

    If your Tacoma produces a noisy sound or the engine is running, but the car won’t move, it’s a pointer to a problem.

    Therefore, I suggest reaching out to your local Toyota dealer before attempting to pull the auto.
  • Cars having an automatic gears should be towed with a dolly.

    That should be underneath the rear wheels.
  • As for the two-wheel-drive models with a manual gears, you should pull under the rear wheels with a dolly.

    Anytime you are not utilizing a dolly, you should free the parking brake and move the lever to Neutral.
  • Furthermore, the four-wheel-drive(4WD) models having a manual transmission should be towed under the rear wheels by a dolly.

    If the dolly is not in use, you should also ensure to free the parking brake and move the shift lever to Neutral and push the front-wheel-drive control switch to H2.
  • If your Toyota Tacoma is the automatic model to forestall severe damage to your vehicle’s transmission, don’t ever tow it with the four wheels on the floor.

    It would be best to pull from the rear with a truck(the wheel lift-type). Your engine switch should be in the ACC position for the two-wheel-drive models.

However, if your Tacoma is the four-wheel-drive model, you should use tow under the front wheels with a dolly.

Remember to move the engine switch to the ACC position when not utilizing the towing dolly.

Also, move the shift lever to Neutral and place the control switch of the front-wheel-drive to the H2 position.

  • Furthermore, you should not tow the motor in the lock position or without the key to prevent harming your car.

    The steering lock mechanism is not sufficiently strong to stabilize the front wheel.

    Also, ensure you have enough ground clearance to pull the auto when raising it.

    That is because, without it, the towing can damage the car.

Can A Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Be Flat Towed?

The truth is, a Toyota Tacoma 4×4 can be flat towed, with all its four tires rolling on the floor, if you choose to.

However, you are doing this to your peril.

Because according to the manufacturers, you shouldn’t flat tow it, especially the automatic type.

Maybe it’s the manual gearbox model, but it’s a no for an automatic.

There are several reasons why you should not flat pull your Toyota Tacoma.

Firstly, you’re very likely to cause terrible damage to your vehicle’s gearbox if you flat tow it.

That is because the transaxle and center differential of Toyota Tacoma does not freely rotate when the engine is off, and this is by design.

As a result, this affords the drivetrain and differential protection.

When the engine is not running, trans fluid doesn’t get to the transmission as the tranny pump is inactive when the engine is off.

For the fluid to flow to and cool the moving gears, the car engine needs to be working, or else overheating of the drivetrain is likely to transpire.

When this occurs, your transmission is at grave risk of irreparable damage because it overheats and burns out.

Also, the speedometer attached to the car may be harmed and the gauges damaged due to flat towing.

False mileage can also record on the odometer, and you surely don’t want this to complicate your Toyota Tacoma.

Furthermore, the Toyota company wants to protect itself from liability.

Pulling vehicles puts them at a greater risk for damage than actual driving.

Therefore, to save their necks regarding extra expenditures, they prevented Pulling.

What Is The Correct Way To Flat Tow A Toyota Tacoma?

From my earlier explanations, there is no correct way of flat towing a Toyota Tacoma.

It’s already crystal clear that the manufacturers do not recommend this.

However, in case you are bent on flat towing the motor on its four wheels.

In that case, you can find your way around it by following this recommendation.

If you insist on flat towing your car, one alternative is using a driveshaft disconnect.

It functions by uncoupling the rear axle to spin freely when the motor is towed.

Uncoupling the driveshaft will forestall damage to the gearbox.

 Additionally, when installing a drive shaft disconnect device, you don’t have to wiggle underneath the motor every time you need to drag your vehicle.

You can uncouple the driveshaft disconnect from the driver’s seat through a long cable.

When you draw the knob attached to the line, the mechanical clutch is engaged, and it frees the driveshaft close to the axle.

It is free to spin without involving the gear or the driveshaft components.

To reverse this, you have to push back the control cable and drive the vehicle again.

One significant driveshaft disconnect I’ll recommend is the Remco driveshaft disconnect.

To circumvent the problem regarding lubrication, you can use an external lubrication pump.

The pump transmits transmission fluid at similar pressure as the engine pump.

Therefore during trailing, that results in pressurized lubrication of the transmission.

Another solution is to get a supplementary braking system so your auto can be in tandem with the towing vehicle.

It works using an automatic pressure sensor that detects when the towing vehicle slows down. 

The device is installed externally, mainly around the tow bar.

There is an electrical wire that connects it to the brake pedal.

When you apply the brakes in the towing vehicle, signals are conveyed to the unit to slow the auto down.

Which Toyota Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed?

Not so many cars can handle the heat generated from flat towing.

Only a few vehicles can withstand being dragged on all four tires.

In the Toyota family, this also holds. Flat towable cars in the Toyota niche include:

One common fact about the vehicles mentioned earlier is that they are all manual transmission vehicles.

Manual cars do not automatically shift gears, so the driveshaft doesn’t lose any lubrication. Consequently, the gearbox is safe.

Watch This Before Towing With YOUR Tacoma!


Towing your Toyota Tacoma behind your Recreational vehicle can be a headache.

You’ve got to figure out what towing method is best for your auto or risk burning your gearbox.

For the Toyota Tacoma, never pull it on all fours. However, if you insist, always use a driveshaft disconnect.

Most importantly, before I drop the curtains on this one, always refer to your owner manual when you are unclear about anything.

That will save you from a lot of trouble expenditure-wise.

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