Should FWC's Swift & Fleet be marketed towards Tacomas?

Nvbrian

Member
Hey guys,

My old roommate (who has a 4WD Toyota Tacoma) reached out to me regarding buying a truck camper for his rig. Since I've seen a lot of FWCs on Tacos, I did a little bit of research and found that the Swift (935 lbs) and the Fleet (1,045 lbs) are specifically marketed towards the Toyota Tacoma. Just to be sure (I've had a few issues of coming close to GVWR) I asked my buddy to snap a pic of the payload sticker on his driver's side door and found that his Tacoma had a payload of 1,152 lbs (not including driver or passengers). Checking the forums, it seems that ~1,150 lbs payload is pretty typical for a 4WD Taco. Pairing a Tacoma with a Swift or a Fleet would come very close to exceeding the GVWR once you add the driver. Throw in a bunch of gear or an additional passenger and you’re over GVRW.

My question: Should FWCs market the Swift & Fleet towards the Tacoma, even though the buyer will be at max GVWR when the camper is on the truck?

Also: I completely understand this is not just an issue with FWC but other TC brands as well.

I would argue that the Swift & Fleet models should be marketed towards half ton trucks (Tundra/F150/1500). FWC should only market their Project M towards Tacomas to allow for adequate additional payload.

Thanks.
 

bkg

Explorer
maybe... maybe not.


It's up to the owner to know his/her GVWR limitations and make correct decisions from there...
 

Nvbrian

Member
maybe... maybe not.


It's up to the owner to know his/her GVWR limitations and make correct decisions from there...
Agreed - owners should be aware of their payload capacity and make a decision on whether or not they want to exceed their payload capacity.

I find it kind of odd that if you go on FWC Swift & Fleet's webpages they're shown exclusively on tacomas. However, it you put one on a Taco, you'll be very close (or exceeding) your GVRW. It's almost as if FWC is saying we made this product for a Toyota Tacoma but if you use it how we intended you'll be over the GVWR that Toyota has given to the Tacoma.

I understand that people put Swifts & Fleets on Tacos all the time and don't have issues too. Overall it just seems like a shady marketing practice.
 

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Trikebubble

Adventurer
99.9999999999% of FWC clad Tacoma's are out there every day, every year, year after year, and mile after mile doing their thing without so much as harming a flea..... never mind self-combusting from being "overloaded" and starting us down the road to the Apocalypse, or shedding their brakes entirely and mowing down entire schools of children in their wake.
When I bought our Hawk for my Tundra our dealer said the majority of FWC's he sells are for the Tacoma. I honestly think in reality it's a bit of tempest in a teapot, with the payload police stirring the cup of tea vigorously.
 
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beef tits

Active member
Toyota's GVWR is significantly underrated in my experience. Also, you need to beef up your rear springs in some way that it rides level or with a slight rake when fully loaded. This would unofficially raise your rear end carrying capacity. Just don't go much more than 10% over total GVWR and you'll be just fine with brakes/etc.

Techincally, yes they put you over GVWR. Anyone who has never put their truck over GVWR probably doesn't need a truck in the first place. Maybe should all buy corollas and sleep in the back seat??
 
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phsycle

Adventurer
Toyota's GVWR is significantly underrated in my experience.
This is often the mindset of many Tacoma overblanders. Tundra owners are the same. Because of the larger gearset. Bigger brakes, makes them 3/4 ton equals.

Right. What actual claims do you or any of the others have to back this up? And secondly, why would Toyota go out of their way to underrate their trucks when they are trying to stay as competitive as possible? Does not compute.
 

grogie

Like to Camp
I bought a Tacoma TRD OR access cab last November. Its payload is 1140#s. With that being said, I attended Expo East last fall and talked to the FWC dealer from Maine. They rent the Tacoma below with a custom suspension and it has rather favorable reviews as to how well it drives. I'll note that this is a loaded Fleet (around 1500#s).

I also have a Jeep TJ puling a small trailer and I'm all about keeping things light. I think a similar Tacoma would work well with taking what you need vs. everything and the kitchen sink. I haven't decided yet what to do with my Tacoma, but if I was going to do this, I think I'd just go with the Fleet shell with the roll out couch and heater (which I think is about 1050#s).

 

Nvbrian

Member
Appreciate all of the feedback. I'm not saying that a Tacoma cannot adequately handle a 1k TC in the back (I've seen plenty of people with this set up). I'm just bringing up the issue that if you use the "Find [a camper] Based on my Truck" on FWC's website and select "Mid Sized Truck" it will return the Fleet & Swift campers. Both of these campers are near or at the payload of a 4WD Toyota Tacoma. FWC is saying that the Fleet or Swift is an appropriate camper for a Tacoma while Toyota is saying that a Fleet or Swift is too heavy.
 

beef tits

Active member
This is often the mindset of many Tacoma overblanders. Tundra owners are the same. Because of the larger gearset. Bigger brakes, makes them 3/4 ton equals.

Right. What actual claims do you or any of the others have to back this up? And secondly, why would Toyota go out of their way to underrate their trucks when they are trying to stay as competitive as possible? Does not compute.
No one said anything about being a ¾ ton equal.

My very own truck, for example, handles, brakes, accelerates and feels much safer than my Super Duty ever did, both being loaded up 10% over their respective GVWR. This does not mean the truck will do all the things a Super Duty will do.

Frankly, Toyota has way better engineers so if anything, they're numbers are safer than safe. I'd trust them any day over the big three's piss poor designers and their ratings.

What does not computer is selling vehicles that have major issues over and over and over again, like Ford does. Why go through all the effort to design market and sell a truck just to have to repair them under warranty for free all the time? THAT does not compute.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
No one said anything about being a ¾ ton equal.

My very own truck, for example, handles, brakes, accelerates and feels much safer than my Super Duty ever did, both being loaded up 10% over their respective GVWR. This does not mean the truck will do all the things a Super Duty will do.

Frankly, Toyota has way better engineers so if anything, they're numbers are safer than safe. I'd trust them any day over the big three's piss poor designers and their ratings.

What does not computer is selling vehicles that have major issues over and over and over again, like Ford does. Why go through all the effort to design market and sell a truck just to have to repair them under warranty for free all the time? THAT does not compute.
Tacomas are unbeatable for reliability but how about enlarging that cab so the other half of the population can fit in them? Raise that roof and get those seats off the floor.
 

grogie

Like to Camp
Tacomas are unbeatable for reliability but how about enlarging that cab so the other half of the population can fit in them? Raise that roof and get those seats off the floor.
I just spent a week long road trip with my 4Runner. I get home, go to get into my Tacoma and I hit my head on the entry... as I have to duck to get inside it! I'm okay with seat positions (I'm 5' 11"), in fact I think over all the seats are more comfortable (better padded and fitting) than in the 4Runner. I also appreciate that my 2019 Tacoma still has a manual seat. I test drove a 2020 and I didn't find the power seat (only for the driver...lol) that appealing like it was simply thrown in to appease a complaint.

Quality wise, both the Tacoma and 4Runner are solid built!
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
This is often the mindset of many Tacoma overblanders. Tundra owners are the same. Because of the larger gearset. Bigger brakes, makes them 3/4 ton equals.

Right. What actual claims do you or any of the others have to back this up? And secondly, why would Toyota go out of their way to underrate their trucks when they are trying to stay as competitive as possible? Does not compute.
I believe there's margin in the Tacoma ratings to some extent but I think the reputation for being very overbuilt is a legacy of the older 79-95 Hilux/Truck/Pickup. IMO they also tolerated being overloaded with less stress to the vehicle relatively. Surely Toyota understands that if you say GVWR is 5,000 lbs then people will think "challenge accepted" and load it to 5,000 and more. We know that's true as evidenced in most overland outfits. The trucks prior to the Tacoma also weighed less so the GVWR was larger simply because you gained 500 lbs in lower curb weight. I think the Tacoma is *probably* safe to something more but without documentation there is no justification for that so all I can say for sure is 5,350 lbs is my goal and it's not easy to stay within it.
 

bkg

Explorer
No one said anything about being a ¾ ton equal.

My very own truck, for example, handles, brakes, accelerates and feels much safer than my Super Duty ever did, both being loaded up 10% over their respective GVWR. This does not mean the truck will do all the things a Super Duty will do.

Frankly, Toyota has way better engineers so if anything, they're numbers are safer than safe. I'd trust them any day over the big three's piss poor designers and their ratings.

What does not computer is selling vehicles that have major issues over and over and over again, like Ford does. Why go through all the effort to design market and sell a truck just to have to repair them under warranty for free all the time? THAT does not compute.
Toyota has way better engineers?

how much $ has toyota spent on replacing frames, again? lol
 

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ns7i

New member
I had this debate with myself although it was more so around 1st Gen Tundra + FWC Hawk. The general consensus (although I don't know how proven this is) is that at least for the Tundras, putting Load E tires makes a huge difference. By the time you've added a beefier spring pack or airbags, upgraded the brakes, and added a hellwig sway bar, you've effectively (although not legally) increased your payload. This is all great until you get into an accident and need to make an insurance claim.

It's also important to point out the FWC shell models are a bit less in weight. The Fleet Shell is 810lbs base.

I think if you spend enough time poking around WanderTheWest you'll find a lot of stories where people start out with a FWC on a Toyota and end up moving to a FWC on a 3/4 or 1 ton truck.

Eventually this debate played into why I ordered a Vagabond Nomad instead of a FWC.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Toyota has way better engineers?

how much $ has toyota spent on replacing frames, again? lol
For all their faults, Tacomas at least haven't had any bending in half issue. At least before they rot and collapse anyway.

And to be fair the corrosion thing I suspect isn't an engineering issue but rather a business one (cost-cutting). I bet if asked Chikuo Kubota (chief engineer, it was still designed in Japan) would probably have started zinc dipping them in the 2nd gen to solve it once and for all. The 3rd gen, I dunno though, the Chief Engineer is Mike Sweers here in the U.S.
 
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