2006 Toyota Tundra Towing Capacities

Even though the newer trucks seem to have more and more towing capacity as time goes on, the 2006 Toyota Tundras really surprised me overall when it came to their maximum trailer weight ratings. There was quite a range in the numbers, however, and it all boiled down to a couple of different things, which I go into more depth in this article.

I gathered all the information I could online from owner's manuals and brochures and organized it in an easy-to-read format that I think a lot of people will find helpful. Enjoy!

Be sure to read through your owner's manual to get familiar with your vehicle and to adhere to all of Toyota's recommendations when it comes to operating your vehicle.

2008 Highlander Overview


Overall Towing Capacity:

The overall towing capacity for the 2006 Toyota Tundras ranged from 4,800-7,100 lbs., the highest ratings reserved for the models that had the 4.7 L engine installed with the additional tow prep package.


Engine Options: You only had a choice between two different engines for this model year truck, and this was either a 4.0 L engine or a 4.7 liter engine. The 4.0 L engine was a six-cylinder engine, while the 4.7 liter engine was an 8-cylinder engine and the available tow prep package only seemed to be available for the 8-cylinder engine, giving you the highest maximum trailer weight ratings in the charts that I found.


Trim Levels: There we're only three different trim level options for this specific model year truck and this was either a Base model, an SR5 model or a Limited model. 


Although the maximum trailer weight ratings were not dependent on the trim level that you had, some models did not have the option of having the additional tow prep package installed, so you would not be able to get some of the higher ratings that were specified in the charts.

Assumed Weight: I could not find anything in the literature online that stated if there was any assumed weight (like the driver's weight) included in the maximum trailer weight ratings or gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle. Typically, 150 lbs. is the standard for most manufacturers weight assumptions because a driver has to be present in the vehicle in order to operate it.

4x2 and 4x4 Charts:

The tow charts for the 2006 Toyota Tacomas were identical, but were broken up into two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models and is why there are two charts listed. These charts were listed in separate brochures and I posted the two-wheel drive model's charts first and below that the four-wheel drive model's chart. 

There is a lot of useful information in these charts, not only the maximum trailer weight capacity, but the payload capacity, the gross vehicle weight rating, the curb weight and the gross combined weight rating, all of which are helpful when doing the more complex calculations for your vehicle and trailer. I also listed the notes found I in the brochure below the charts.

2006 Tundra 4x2 Towing Chart

4x2 Chart

[4] Includes the weight of occupants, optional equipment and cargo; limited by weight distribution. 

[5] Before towing, confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible, hooked up properly and you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Ratings and follow all instructions and cautions from your trailer hitch manufacturer and Toyota vehicle Owner's Manual. The maximum amount you can tow depends on the total weight of any cargo, occupants and optional equipment.

2006 Tundra 4x4 Towing Chart

4x4 Chart

[4] Includes the weight of occupants, optional equipment and cargo; limited by weight distribution. 

[5] Before towing, confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible, hooked up properly and you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Ratings and follow all instructions and cautions from your trailer hitch manufacturer and Toyota vehicle Owner's Manual. The maximum amount you can tow depends on the total weight of any cargo, occupants and optional equipment.

Tongue Weight Rating:

I was also able to find the maximum tongue weight rating that was listed in the owner's manual, and it states that the tongue load should be approximately 9 to 11% of the total trailer weight, which is pretty standard for most vehicles and manufacturers.

I always like to use the 10% rule myself, because the math is a lot easier when you do that and it makes the calculations simple to do, as well. Not only that, but I found screenshots in the owner's manual (that I posted below) that will help those of you out there that may not be that familiar with trailer towing and what the tongue (or hitch) weight actually is referring to.

2006 Tundra Tongue Weight Ratings

Tongue Weight Ratings

Trailer Brakes:

Toyota also requires trailer brakes on their '06 Tacomas if your trailer weighs 1,000 lbs. or more, which is quite surprising because some of the newer vehicles have a 2,000 lb. minimum threshold instead of the lower 1,000-pound threshold that we see with these model-year trucks. Below is a screenshot of what I found in the owner's manual that states this.

2006 Tundra Trailer Brake Requirements

Trailer Brake Requirements

Engine Options For 2WD and 4WD Models:

Knowing which engines were available for which models was a little bit confusing for me, but I was able to find this chart that shows which engines and transmissions came equipped (or were available) with the two-wheel drive models and the four-wheel drive models, which is how Toyota broke up the 06 Tundra's data.

The two-wheel drive models had the option of either a 4.0 L engine or a 4.7 L engine and additional options of either an automatic transmission or manual transmission, as you can see in the chart below. There were no optional choices in the chart, so everything seemed to be a standard option and that was the only available engine and transmission package you could have.

If we look at the chart below that, for the four-wheel drive models, we can see that only the 4.7 liter engine was offered with an automatic transmission, again with no optional variations available, as far as the chart goes.

2006 Tundra 4x2 Engine Options

4x2 Engine Options

2006 Tundra 4x4 Engine Options

4x4 Engine Options

Trim Levels:

There were three different trim levels available for the 06 Tundras and this was either a base model, an SR5 model or a Limited model, which I posted an image of below that shows the three different models, but I did not notice any significant differences in the exteriors besides the extra trim on the side of the vehicle, the slight differences in the bumper material, along with the different styles of wheels.

Most of the differences were associated with the different trim levels were usually tailored for the interior and other additional features on the vehicle, and the towing capacity did not seem to be affected by the trim level you had. You still had that same capacity range of between 4,800-7,100 lbs.

2006 Tundra Trim Level Options 2

From Left To Right: Base Model, SR5 and Limited

GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Figures:

GVWR & GCWR: The GVWR and GCWR specs were noted in the trailer weight rating charge that I have posted at the top of this article, which makes it really convenient if you are one of those people who like to calculate your loads, just to be on the safe side.

GAWR: The Gross axle weight ratings are never usually listed anywhere in the owner's manual or the brochures for any vehicle that I have done research for, and this was true for the '06 Tacomas as well. You can find the gross axle weight ratings for both the front and rear axles on the certification label that is located on your truck.

Certification Label: You can find the safety certification label if you open your driver side door and look on the side of the door, like the image below shows. This will have your gross vehicle weight rating listed, along with your gross axle weight ratings, VIN, paint codes for your vehicle and other helpful information.

2006 Tundra Certification Label

2006 Tundra Certification Label Location

The Tow Prep Package & What's Included...

The tow prep package had to be equipped in order for you to achieve those higher-capacity ratings and I was quite surprised that it only included a class IV hitch, a 130 amp alternator, a transmission cooler and a 7 pin connector for your trailer lights and that was about it!

I would have expected an oil cooler and possibly even an upgraded radiator as well, but each manufacturer has different packages. I took a screenshot of the information I found in the brochure that outlines what's included in one of these packages.

2006 Tundra Tow Package Contents

I was also able to find a couple of different charts in the two-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive brochures that shows which vehicles had one of these packages as standard equipment and which models had it as an optional accessory that you could have added on to the vehicle.

2WD Models: If we look at the first chart below, for the two-wheel drive models, we can see that only two models had this package equipped standard, while most of the other models had it as an optional add-on accessory. I do want to make a note that four of the models did not have this package as an option, so you were not able to get those higher-capacity numbers with these four models, which were two base models and two SR5 models.

4WD Models: Moving down to the four-wheel drive options, we can see that there were two models that had one of these prep packages installed on the vehicle as standard equipment and the other five models had it as an optional add-on, but all four-wheel drive models were able to have one of these prep packages installed, unlike the two-wheel drive models.

2006 Tundra 4x2 Tow Package And Trim Levels

4x2 Tow Package And Trim Levels

2006 Tundra 4x4 Tow Package And Trim Levels

4x4 Tow Package And Trim Levels

More Information I Found:

As I was browsing through the owner's manual a little deeper, I came across some additional bits of information that I think a really important and I wanted to post screenshots of what I found below. If your vehicle only has a bumper hitch then your maximum trailer weight rating is set at 5,000 lbs., no more

I was also able to find a little note on the tongue weight if you are towing a trailer that has a fifth wheel hitch, as it differs from the standard tongue weight ratings that I have listed above.

Finally, the last bit of information is about a sway control device for your trailer and the maximum gross combined weight ratings for your vehicle, which are a little different from the information I have in the charts I have posted at the top of this article.

2006 Tundra Bumper Hitch Limitations

Bumper Hitch Limitations

2006 Tundra 5th Wheel Tongue Weight

5th Wheel Tongue Weight

2006 Tundra Sway Control Requirements

Sway Control Requirements

Helpful Links:

There were three main resources I used in the research for this article and these were the 2006 Tundra owner's manual and the brochures for the two-wheel drive models and four-wheel drive models, which were separate brochures. 

I posted links to the owner's manual and the two-wheel drive brochure below and also the URL for the four-wheel drive models brochure, as it is a downloadable PDF that you will have to download to your computer in order to view it, as I was not able to find a browser friendly version myself.

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