2020 Toyota Tundra Towing Guide

July 10th, 2020 by

A black 2020 Toyota Tundra is towing a black enclosed trailer on a dirt road.

When people start shopping for a pickup, the towing potential of a vehicle is often at the forefront of their minds. We have customers come to us at Colonial Toyota all the time after searching “best Toyota dealership near me” because they are interested in a Toyota truck, like the 2020 Tundra. But oftentimes, they are unsure of which model is right for them due to confusion over towing, payload, and everything else. So we thought we would help out by providing a simple 2020 Toyota Tundra towing guide that will explain everything you need to know before you visit the dealership to purchase a pickup truck.

If you already know which truck is right for you, then that’s great – but this is going to help if you still have a lot of questions. We’ll look at what “towing” and “payload” mean, along with some other important terms you should be familiar with, and make sure you know the requirements necessary to meet your towing needs. Then we’ll look at the different configurations of the 2020 Toyota Tundra to see how they compare for towing. Finally, we’ll briefly consider the midsize Toyota Tacoma to see how it stacks up and help you decide on which model is right for you.

Towing, Payload, and More

Before we get into the details of the 2020 Toyota Tundra, let’s first take a moment to make sure we’re all on the same page regarding some important towing and pickup terms. First up, “towing capacity” refers to the amount of weight a truck can pull behind it, including the weight of a trailer and anything loaded onto it. Second, “payload” indicates how much weight can physically be loaded onto a truck, which includes you, your passengers, and any cargo in the cabin or the bed of your truck.

Next up, you should know that the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of a truck refers to the full weight of the pickup along with any passengers, cargo, and anything else on it. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) for a particular truck tells you the absolute maximum weight allowed for that model, including the weight of the truck itself, any cargo on it, etc. And the “curb weight” of a truck is how much it weighs without any passengers, cargo, or anything else on it.

So, an empty truck has a GVW equal to its curb weight. As soon as you get in or any cargo is placed in the truck, this increases its GVW higher than its curb weight. And the payload capacity of a pickup is essentially its GVWR minus its curb weight – letting you know how much additional weight it can handle.

A brown 2020 Toyota Tundra is pulling a boat out of the lake after leaving a Toyota dealership near me in Indiana, PA.

What You Need in a Truck

Now that we have all of that sorted out, you must identify what it is you actually need in a truck. Otherwise, all of the specs and information you find won’t mean much to you. This isn’t something we can do for you, though we can help you think about some things you might otherwise miss.

For starters, figure out how much payload you need to be able to handle with your truck. Start with yourself and your passengers and figure out how much you all weigh. If you often have friends or coworkers in your truck, make some rough estimates on their weight and be generous to make sure you’re covered. Then figure out what kind of cargo you need to load up – this is particularly important if you often need to haul piles of drywall or lumber across town in the bed of your pickup. You can find out how much these kinds of things weigh and estimate a reasonably accurate payload capacity that you need.

Since we’re talking about towing here, you should also figure out the bare minimum towing capacity you need in your pickup. Start by figuring out what kind of trailer or camper you want to be able to pull behind you. It’s easier to find the right trailer, and then pick a truck that can handle it, rather than working the other way around. Be sure to factor the tongue weight of your trailer into things when looking at the maximum payload of any truck you’re interested in, which refers to how much weight the hitch on the trailer places on your pickup.

The 2020 Toyota Tundra

Now that you have calculated your needs let’s take a good look at the 2020 Toyota Tundra and see what it has to offer for towing and payload. There’s one engine available on the Tundra, which makes this pretty simple, though you can choose from three different bed lengths, each available with rear-wheel drive (4×2) or four-wheel drive (4×4). Below are the three bed lengths with their corresponding maximum towing capacities:

  • Standard Bed – 10,200 lbs 4×2 / 9,900 lbs 4×4
  • Long Bed – 10,100 lbs 4×2 / 9,800 lbs 4×4
  • Short Bed – 10,100 lbs 4×2 / 9,800 lbs 4×4

It’s worth noting that the chosen trim can affect your towing capacity slightly, so be sure to look at the specs on any particular vehicle you are actually interested in buying. But you can see that you get impressive towing power with any bed length, and the difference in maximum capacity is pretty minimal. In general, a 4×2 model offers greater towing power than a 4×4 design. However, the difference is quite small, and you can still choose a 4×4 2020 Toyota Tundra with nearly 10,000 lbs of maximum towing available.

Now let’s look at the maximum payload on these three bed lengths:

  • Standard Bed – 1,730 lbs 4×2 / 1,630 lbs 4×4
  • Long Bed – 1,700 lbs 4×2 / 1,600 lbs 4×4
  • Short Bed – 1,660 lbs 4×2 / 1,560 lbs 4×4

The trend is pretty much the same as with towing, where you get a higher maximum with a standard bed and 4×2, though the difference is quite small. Still, if you determine that you need 10,000 lbs of towing and 1,700 lbs of payload, then you know you need to pick a 4×2 model with either a long or standard bed.

A father and son are next to a blue 2020 Toyota Tundra with a four-wheeler in the bed.

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma

Even though we’re focused on the 2020 Toyota Tundra and its full potential, let’s quickly look at the 2020 Toyota Tacoma to see how they compare. The Tacoma is a midsize truck, whereas the Tundra is a full-size model, so you get lower towing and payload capacities from it. Still, if you don’t need the performance of the Tundra, then the Tacoma can be a great choice. There are two engines available on the Tacoma: a 2.7L 4-cylinder engine and a 3.5L V6.

Maximum towing capacity with the Tacoma is:

  • 2.7L 4-cyl – 3,500 lbs
  • 3.5L V6 – 6,800 lbs

So, as we said, there’s a pretty big difference in maximum towing here compared to the 2020 Toyota Tundra, which makes sense. The bigger Tundra comes pretty close to doubling the maximum towing of the Tacoma. This is why it’s so important to figure out what you need before you go shopping for a pickup, or you can end up with something that is a great truck but lacking in terms of the power you require.

Let Us Help You Find the Perfect Truck

Still uncertain or looking to find out more? Call or visit us at Colonial Toyota today; we’ll answer any questions you still have and help you find the perfect truck to meet all of your towing and cargo needs.