How to Tow a 1996 Toyota Tacoma Two-Wheel Drive Behind an RV
Before towing your 1996 Toyota Tacoma truck, several custom additions are required. All Tacomas need a baseplate, which connects the RV to the truck via tow bars. In addition, brake lights and turn signals need to be set up with either a wiring kit or a supplemental light system. The five-speed manual transmission needs no alteration to be ready for tow, but an automatic transmission requires a drive shaft coupling. This disengages the transmission while the Tacoma is in tow to prevent transmission wear and damage.
Estimate the gross vehicle weight of your Tacoma. The curb weight of a 1996 Tacoma ranges from 3,240 to 3,435 lbs., depending on your model. Calculate your gross weight by adding any extras installed in the truck and the weight of the towing equipment to the curb weight. Check your RV and your RV's hitch to make sure that they are capable of towing your gross vehicle weight. The RV tow rating is listed in its owner's manual, and the hitch tow rating is stamped directly on the hitch.
Drive the Tacoma approximately three feet behind your RV. For now, the Tacoma should be in gear with the parking brake set.
Connect the tow bars to attach the RV to the Tacoma. Manufacturers use a variety of ways to connect and lock these bars into place, so be sure to carefully read and follow the product directions. After the bars are in place, connect the safety cables from the Tacoma to the RV hitch, securely fastening the hooks or clamps. Hook up the lights by inserting the cord on the front of the Tacoma into the plug next to the hitch. Fasten the breakaway device, if present.
Prepare the Tacoma for towing. Shift the transmission into neutral, release the parking brake and leave the steering column in the off-unlocked position. For an automatic transmission, disconnect your rear axle using the directions included with your drive shaft coupling. Prepare any other towing equipment or custom alterations on your Tacoma for towing by following the product instructions.
Walk around the RV and Tacoma, rechecking the connections on all towing equipment. Check the tires and tire pressure. Test the brake lights, turn signals and running lights to make sure that all lights are operating correctly.