The 2012 Toyota Tundra maximum towing capacity is between 4,000 lbs and 10,400 lbs, depending on the truck’s specifications.
Any trailer exceeding 1000 lbs must have its own brake system when using the Tundra and should not exert a tongue weight over 11% of the total trailer weight.
You should always check your manual and weight ratings (on the inside of the driver’s door) for the most accurate information before towing and make sure you are adequately equipped.
This article will help you identify your Tundra’s towing capacity and GCWR based on your engine, cab size, bed size, and trim.
The information from this article was compiled using the 2012 Toyota Tundra e-brochure and 2012 Toyota Tundra owner’s manual.
Though I tried to make this information as accurate as possible, you should always check your manual or contact your local dealer to determine the appropriate towing capacity of your vehicle and the necessary equipment.
2012 TOYOTA TUNDRA OVERVIEW
The 2012 Toyota Tundra has a 4.0 V6, 4.6 V8, and a 5.7 L V8 engine.
They can have either a 5.5 ft, 6.5 ft, or 8.1 ft bed. These are referred to as the truck’s short, standard, and long beds.
There are three available cab options, the Regular Cab, the Double cab, and the CrewMax. All cabs allow two rows of seating, but the CrewMax provides more room for the back row.
The Regular Cab and the Double Cab are compatible with both Standard and Long beds, and the CrewMax is only compatible with the Short bed.
There are two trims in the 2012 Toyota Tundra. These are:
Each of these variations has slightly different options, including wheel options, bed sizes, cab sizes, interior colors, and engine options.
THE BEST WAY TO CHECK TUNDRA TOWING AND PAYLOAD CAPACITY!
The information here should be used as a guide to finding the towing capacity of your vehicle.
To do so, you will need to find the GVWR and GCWR of your vehicle.
The GVWR will be located on the vehicle certification label on the inside of the driver’s side door.
The GCWR can also be found in this document, but you must know:
- your engine
- your cab size
- your bed size
- the drive (4×2 or 4×4)
Your engine can be found by looking under the hood. There should be some type of label identifying the name.
You also can use the VIN decoder on this site: driving-tests.org to identify the specs of your vehicle.
After you have these numbers, you can calculate the towing and payload capacity.
I walk through how to do this in How is Towing Capacity Calculated? And there’s even a calculator!
TOWING CAPACITY BY ENGINE
The Tundra has three engine types: the I-FORCE 4.0 L V6 engine, the I-FORCE 4.6 L V8 engine, and the I-FORCE 5.7 L V8 engine.
4.0 L V6 eNGINE
The 4.0 L V6 Engine is a 6-speed automatic transmission engine. It provides a peak power output of 270 hp @5,600 rpm and a 278 lb-ft @4,400 rpm of torque.
I-FORCE 4.6 L V8 Engine
The 4.6 L engine is a 6-speed automatic transmission engine. It provides 310 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 327 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm.
This engine can tow up to 8,600 lbs with the tow package.
I-FORCE 5.7 L V8 Engine
The 5.7 L engine is a 6-speed automatic transmission engine. It provides 381 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm.
This engine can tow up to 10,400 lbs with the tow package.
TOWING PACKAGE FOR TOYOTA TUNDRA
There is no major towing package that has an impact on towing capabilities.
A tow package is a standard for the Regular Cab Tundra Trim, Double Cab Limited Trim, and the CrewMax Cab Limited and Platinum Trim. It included a towing receiver hitch, a trailer brake controller prewire, a 4.30 axle ratio, a TOW/HAUL Mode switch, a transmission fluid temperature gauge, a supplemental engine cooler and transmission cooler, a heavy-duty battery, a 170 amp alternator, and a 7-pin connector.
TOWING CAPACITY BY TRIM
2012 TOWING CAPACITY TOYOTA TUNDRA
The 2012 Toyota Tundra towing capacity ranges from 4,500 to 10,400 lbs.
|Drive||Engine||Cab Size||Bed Size||Towing Capacity|
2012 TOWING CAPACITY TOYOTA TUNDRA LIMITED
The 2012 Limited Toyota Tundra towing capacity is between 9,000 and 10,000 lbs.
|Drive||Engine||Cab Size||Bed Size||Towing Capacity|
2012 TOYOTA TUNDRA TOWING CAPACITY CHART
WHAT IS THE MAX TONGUE LOAD OF A TUNDRA?
The tongue load is the amount of weight that can be exerted on a trailer hitch.
This value is 10-15% of the total trailer weight for most trailers.
Toyota specifies that for all of their engines, a tongue weight of 11% should not be exceeded. That means a max towing capacity of 10,400 lbs can only have a tongue weight of 1,144 lbs.
In addition, you should not tow above 1000 lbs on any 2012 Tundra without a trailer with a braking system.
Similarly, a trailer weight over 5,000 lbs requires a weight-distributing hitch.
How can you make sure you don’t exceed this value?
You can ensure this by weighing your trailer’s tongue weight. There are multiple ways to do this, which I outlined in the article: What is trailer tongue weight? & How to Measure It
2012 TOYOTA TUNDRA PAYLOAD CAPACITY AND CURB WEIGHT
The 2012 Tundra can carry up to 1,885 lbs in payload. Don’t know what I’m referring to? Check out: What Does GVWR Mean? GVWR Explained for Trucks and Trailers.
2012 PAYLOAD CAPACITY TOYOTA TUNDRA
The 2012 Toyota Tundra payload capacity is between 1,325 lbs and 1,885 lbs.
|Drive||Engine||Cab Size||Bed Size||Payload |
2012 PAYLOAD CAPACITY TOYOTA TUNDRA LIMITED
The 2012 Limited Toyota Tundra payload capacity is between 1,555 and 1,720 lbs.
|Drive||Engine||Cab Size||Bed Size||Payload Capacity|
HOW TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOUR TUNDRA CAN ACTUALLY TOW
Toyota states that the 2012 Tundra can tow between 4,500 and 10,400 lbs under the right conditions and is adequately equipped. However, the exact amount you can tow at any given time is slightly different.
Max towing capacity is calculated by subtracting the curb weight from the GCWR, which is essentially what is reported by Toyota. However, there may be other factors that will limit your capacity even more.
This means that the total weight of a truck plus a trailer at any point cannot exceed the GCWR (found in the owner’s manual). The e-brochure lists that the GCWR is between 14,000 – 16,000 lbs for all trim levels, but the manual shows varying ratings.
If you add any passenger or cargo weight, you will need to subtract this from the towing capacity to determine the actual towing load allowed.
Don’t forget that you will need to consider whether or not your truck has exceeded its payload capacity with this load.
Does this confuse you? I run through an explicit example of how you need to know both the payload and towing capacity to determine if you have safe driving conditions in the following article: How to Calculate Towing Capacity.