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Old 12-06-2010   #11
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
Drove Tacoma trucks for a long time, always with the 6 ft bed and recommend that. Got into rafting and trailer hauling and got a 2005 V8 Tundra ext cab with 6 ft bed. Awesome truck, just the right size. Getting lots of miles on the Tundra but just will not buy the new Tundra's way too big. Will most likely go back to the Tacoma and hope the newer v6 engines can pull a trailer ok.
Like everyone else, if the Taco came with a diesel it would be a no brainer for me. I have seen the diesel taco's all over central and south america and they run forever. I cannot understand why every one else in the world (even the Brits) can have a diesel Taco but the US cannot.

Get the 6 ft bed for all the reasons stated. Extra space and ability to sleep comfortably in the shell makes it worth while.

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Old 12-06-2010   #12
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by okieboater View Post
seen the diesel taco's all over central and south america and they run forever. I cannot understand why every one else in the world (even the Brits) can have a diesel Taco but the US cannot.
Emissions. Also, we have ridiculously high safety standards to meet, so high that some models just don't make it here. I want Hilux too. It might never happen.

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Old 12-06-2010   #13
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billings, Montana
Paddling Since: Tues
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 333
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Like yourself, I shopped for a Tacoma dbl cab long box. After six months I purchased an 06 Tundra trd with 45k for 3500 less than a comparable tacoma. It gets about three to five less mpg than the tacoma. Would never go back, the cab is much more spacious and it hauls the slide in camper and raft trailer effortlessly. When not using the camper I sleep in the topper with room to spare. Drove the last 5 years in a ext cab tacoma 4 cyl with the same load. For the money the newer tacomas don't get the mileage I was hoping for, and they are not physically much smaller anymore than their bigger brothers. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-07-2010   #14
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
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I owned a ’06 Tacoma Dbl Cab 4x4 TRD. While the fit and finish was second to none, I didn’t like the short bed and TERRIBLE fuel economy the V6 delivered. I kayak AND Raft… pretty much anything you put in the back of that truck hangs over the tailgate due to the short bed. If hauling a lot of people (in the cab) is not an absolute requirement, I’d go with the long bed w/ extended cab. The four cylinder engine is just a wheezier here in Colorado – it might be enough where it is flat. I sold my Tacoma Dbl cab due to the short bed and heinous gas mileage.
I’m in Iraq right now ~ there are SOOOOO many small truck options with diesel, 4 door, 2 door, long bed or short and these trucks are truly smaller like they used to be (in the US) 10-15 years ago. Toyota, Ford, GM, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Kia, Isuzu, Mazda – you name it (and many brands I’ve never heard of before) The newer Tacoma (US) body style is NOT a small truck by any means. Ford has a KILLER little diesel 4x4 truck here called the Ranger that looks nothing like the Ranger we have in the US (it’s actually a Mazda). These diesel trucks are getting 30+ mpg.
The emissions and safety argument is a B.S. argument as the newer trucks here all have clean running diesels and the safety features could be easily built-in / added. But, why would the (manufacturers) do that when there is so much more profit to be made selling the BIG gas-hogs they sell in the US? Profits are notoriously smaller on smaller vehicles and US consumers aren’t very discerning (case in point – the Big 3 still manage to sell cars). Sorry for the rant…
Anyway – stay away from the short bed and go for long bed!
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Old 12-07-2010   #15
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
I have an 08 Tacoma 4X4 dbl cab long bed and haul a 14' Sotar and all the gear that goes with it. Long bed is essential for me, and I even have Thule bed rack for my frame and oars. Also, you might want to think about installing airbags or an extra spring for the rear suspension.
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Old 12-07-2010   #16
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1901
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by wildh2onriver View Post
Also, you might want to think about installing airbags or an extra spring for the rear suspension.
Ditto - an extra leaf spring is pretty much essential on the Tacoma if you plan on having a cap and any type of rack and haul loads in th bed. I learned the hard way that you will bend the stock springs out of shape if you try to load 8 kayaks, gear and people without an extra spring. It's a lot cheaper to put one in to start than fixing broken springs after the fact.
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Old 12-07-2010   #17
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 61
I have the double cab short bed in TRD sport. My playboat fits in fine as well as my paddle but they do go in diagonally. I can get enough in and on my truck to carry all I need. One note... I would never go back from a double cab! The newer body style (2005+) has a good amount of room in the back seat unlike the older style (about the same as the 4runner of same year) but even with the short bed has a lot more room under the cab than the storage of a 4 runner.

Still a long bed truck is hard to find in that make and I find it unnecessary as I never sleep in my truck. But echo the need for another leaf spring with a cap and loaded down. As far as the mileage...I find I do better than 20mpg almost all the time unless hauling a trailor and pounding on the gas but not finding it at all underpowered.
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Old 12-07-2010   #18
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
Agreed on all the points mentioned. I have an 07 DCLB TRD sport. It is pretty much a fullsize truck to me...(coming from a '91 standard cab 4x4 toy) You cannot get a LB with an E- locker or manual transmission (both avail. w/ TRD OR package).
Honestly for my use (same as everyone else.... 'yakking, rafting, skiing,mtn bikes, and lots of dumploads and occasional dirt or gravel loads) the LSD tranny and LB are SO much more useful I wouldnt even consider a short bed. And I can still run a tool box and have room in the bed.
The SB ORs are very popular with the serious offroaders for the wheelbase and locker, but I have issues with romping the shit out of a 25-30K truck just yet. only when necessary. give it a few years. lol.
The 5 speed automatic transmission is sweet. its super smooth, and responsive. I dont really miss manual so much any more, and /or i am growing up a bit, and dont 'need' to torch it off the line very much anymore. Plus i can still downshift pretty close to how i used to. So that is another plus. sport pkg also has transmission cooler and tow package....which is good. I have hauled yards of dirt and gravel easily. dont own my own raft yet, but dirts pretty heavy.=]

Upgrading to a heavy duty leaf spring is next on my list as well. The Old Man Emu Dakar 7 leaf is what i am eyeing... meant for loads and offroad, and gives 1.5" lift. I have some other suspension mods ready to go new shocks, upper control arms, etc...

Anyone on here who owns a Toyota should check out Toyota Tacoma Forums - Tacoma World -its my other favorite interweb time eater. I have learned a ton about Tacos there. There is lots of tutuorials with pics- for brakes and anything else you'd want to do yourself... there is a section devoted to cheap and free mods, (very cool) and a Buy/sell/trade forum to get parts,and even TW member discounts with Toytech lifts and other vendors. I got seatcovers,floormats, UCAs and bilsteins all through there at very healthy discounts 7-20%. Its like the 'buzz...for trucks. but when I am broke, or its river season, I have to stay away from TW. It always makes me want to spend $$ on the truck.
...Also for options on a purchase check and Craigslist all over the west -esp. cali, denver, and phoenix... I had to look for a while, but i got mine barely broken in with 37000 miles for a very good price.

here is the Taco loaded up for our Colorado trip to the Ark and a wedding near CB. two kids, dog, pregnant wifey, and a lot o carcamping crap... truck was plenty happy with the load. Except the pinche leafsprings of course...

yes, I need some racks
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Old 12-07-2010   #19
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
I had a DC LB 2009 Tacoma until a few months ago, and it was just fine for most everything I needed to do. I didn't like that I couldn't get the TRD offroad package, as I really like the E-locker and A-TRAC for the nasties, but it worked just fine.

As far as towing, the truck did just fine for everything. I wouldn't say that it excelled like a HD would, but it did fine. The pigtail for the trailer brake control was clinch, as was the 7-pin. My buddy and I moved a FJ40 on a flatbed over the mountains using the truck and it was drama free.

As far as kayaking, with the rack on the topper, I could always get 7 creek boats on the truck and usually six boaters in the cab. I was able to sleep in there comfortably with a paco.

Your mileage may vary: mine ranged from 17-22 with a heavy foot. I really miss the steering feel - my Chevy's is too soft.
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Old 12-07-2010   #20
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Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 330
have a 97 with the longer bed... don't even have my raft yet, and i already want a bigger bed. so i can't even fathom doing it with the short bed. go big or go home.

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