Fresh off a 2022 redesign, the 2023 Toyota Tundra is an superb half-ton pickup with a number of endearing qualities, including a lush interior, a smooth ride, and a user-friendly “infotainment” system. Unfortunately, it’s the only full-size pickup being sold in North American without an optional V8 engine. Moreover, the import’s payload ratings are rather weak due to the truck’s new coil spring suspension. Still, the half-ton pickup is more than capable of hauling a small truck camper, but beware. Before you buy, it’s extremely important to know what it’s rated for when it comes to payload. Why is the payload rating so important when buying a truck camper? Because the payload rating tells you how much weight you can safely carry without overloading your truck. The weight rating includes passengers, your camper, and cargo—basically everything not permanently attached to your truck.
Unfortunately, finding the Toyota Tundra’s payload and GVWR ratings online can be a often be a chore. Fortunately, Truck Camper Adventure has done the research for you with most of these ratings in one, easy-to-read location. In order to streamline the payload information presented in our chart, only the Toyota Tundra’s SR5 trim is presented with one engine choice though various options including drivetrain (2WD and 4WD) and bed-size are presented to help buyers make the right choice.
2023 Toyota Tundra Highlights
The Toyota Tundra’s only engine is the iForce twin-turbo 3.5L V6 that generates 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque with an optional hybrid version that cranks out an impressive 437 horsepower and an amazing 583 pound-feet of torque. The new engine is coupled with a brand-new 10-speed automatic with a 3:31 rear axle. Fortunately, the new V6 is an improvement over the older and larger 5.7L V8 that offered 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, which says something about Toyota’s commitment for improvement. Due to the Tundra’s soft coil spring suspension that limits payload, hauling should be limited to a pop-up camper rather than a hard-side. A double cab model with 2WD and a 6.5-foot bed nets a payload of 1,940 pounds, whereas as double cab 2WD model with an 8.1-foot bed offers an even lower payload rating at 1,875 pounds. Even though the TRD PRO off-road package features Bilstein shocks, a Heritage grill with light bar, tow mirrors, and the excellent Faulken Wildpeak all-terrain tire, we recommend bypassing the package because it features 20-inch aluminum wheels that are poor for airing down for off-road excursions.
- Base price: $35,170
- Powertrain: 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission
- Max Payload: 1,940 pounds
A Warning About Options
When it comes to payload, options can either hurt or help a truck’s rating. As a truck camper owner, you should always opt for the “maximum payload” or “max tow package” as this maximizes payload. As for other options, however, choose wisely. Yes, having a diesel engine is great for climbing mountains and raising your testosterone, but it’s also heavier. This means less payload—not to mention more emission hassles—for you. Ditto for 4WD. That feature, while great for driving on rough roads, sand, and snow, isn’t so great for your payload rating—the typical 4WD drivetrain weighs 300 pounds more that the 2WD version. Think twice about getting that spacious crew cab as well. That larger cab outweighs a standard cab by roughly 350 pounds. For a half-ton truck, that increase in weight can be huge.