2003 V8 4Runner as a TV for 19ft Escape - doable? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-25-2019, 03:10 PM   #1
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2003 V8 4Runner as a TV for 19ft Escape - doable?

Currently we are towing a 2001 Casita Liberty Deluxe with a 2003 V8 4Runner using an EAZ-Sway sway bar. No problems in crosswinds and plenty of power for mountain towing. It is not a "C" model so I would place total towing capacity to be 5000 lbs.

With the addition of our aussie we are a bit cramped at times in the Casita and are thinking of moving up to 19 ft. Escape.

Is there anyone towing a 19 ft. Escape with a V8 4Runner? Is a WDH being used and if so what brand?

My research tell me the empty weight of a 19 footer is 3150 lbs and the empty hitch weight is 290 lbs. Can anyone confirm these numbers or provide more realistic numbers.

First we need to find an Escape and we are hoping the 4Runner will be sufficient to use as a TV once we find a 19 footer. If the 4Runner is marginal we would bite the bullet for a Tundra, which I know can handle the load

Any information is appreciated
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:19 PM   #2
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Based on my experience towing with a 2009 4Runner with only the V6, I think you'd be just fine. We only bumped up to a vehicle with a bigger tow capacity because (1) we tend to travel loaded up with four people, plus four bikes (as well as 5-10 gallons extra water, firewood, etc.); and (2) nearly all of our towing is in the mountains at altitude. If it was just my wife and I traveling we would likely still have the 4Runner.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:25 PM   #3
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:32 PM   #4
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I have a 4.7L V8 Lexus GX470 (2008 model), twin to the 4Runner. I wouldn't hesitate to tow a 19' or a 21' Escape with it. With a 21' I would want a WD hitch with built-in sway control. With a 19', ehhh... probably I'd try it without at first. It tows my Hauley (17') fine with no hint of sway.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:08 PM   #5
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I have done the very towing you describe, an excellent tow vehicle, especially with the same V-8 I had. Use a WDH depending on Toyota’s recommendation for your year and personal preference.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaSue View Post
Currently we are towing a 2001 Casita Liberty Deluxe with a 2003 V8 4Runner using an EAZ-Sway sway bar. No problems in crosswinds and plenty of power for mountain towing. It is not a "C" model so I would place total towing capacity to be 5000 lbs.

With the addition of our aussie we are a bit cramped at times in the Casita and are thinking of moving up to 19 ft. Escape.

Is there anyone towing a 19 ft. Escape with a V8 4Runner? Is a WDH being used and if so what brand?

My research tell me the empty weight of a 19 footer is 3150 lbs and the empty hitch weight is 290 lbs. Can anyone confirm these numbers or provide more realistic numbers.

First we need to find an Escape and we are hoping the 4Runner will be sufficient to use as a TV once we find a 19 footer. If the 4Runner is marginal we would bite the bullet for a Tundra, which I know can handle the load

Any information is appreciated
I talked to a retired couple towing a 21' stick built trailer last summer. They had a 4Runner V8. They said it towed very well. They went all the way to Baja for a few winters. 200,000 trouble free miles. They were upset, they figured a new Toyota wasn't in the books $$$$$ They used a WDH hitch.

I had a 2007 Escape 17B and a 2017 4Runner. With a full load, there was to much squat and it was to bouncy. With the WDH, it was a nice ride. Money well spent.

Since then, the E 17b has been sold and a new E19 is on order! We sold the 4Runner, not because it wasn't capable, but because I just wanted a truck again. I recently bought a 2019 Tundra 4X4 V8 4.6L and love. None of us here pulling an Escape needs 400 ft lbs.

As far as the weight, the older 19's, I think up to 2013 were around 2600 lbs, they had a 3" frame. At some time in 2014, they went to a 4" frame making the trailer a little heavier at 2850 lbs. In 2017, the new style was released with weights listed at 3150 lbs. These numbers are my own observation looking at used units over the last 2 years and are approximate base weights.

There was an issue with the frames up to 2013. Not sure what, that's why they went to the bigger frame. Any used trailer, make sure it has had the recall done.

Here is a link that shows real world weights, hope this helps.

Trailer Weights in the Real World - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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Thanks to all of you who have given me information I did not have.


First I will need to upgrade the factory hitch, which is not strong enough for a WDH setup to a third-party hitch. I've found threads on the Hidden Hitch which is stronger and increases the hitch weight to 600 pounds.


Next, we will start our search for a used 19 footer.


And thanks for the heads up on checking any used trailer we find has had the recall work.


Cheers,
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:50 AM   #8
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If your maximum tongue weight is 350 lbs and you mount a hitch receiver that is rated 600 lbs, your maximum tongue weight is still 350 lbs.
"Do not exceed lower of vehicle manufacturer ratings or"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg WDHitch capacity.jpg (129.6 KB, 12 views)
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:18 PM   #9
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Here is another thread you may be interested in and another.....

Here is a thread from an owner, similar drivetrain.

Towing a 21 with the Tundra 4.6L V-8

As far as buying used....

Well we waited for 2 years for a reasonably priced 19 to come available. We sold our Escape 17B in the spring not expecting to go without all summer. Only maybe 10 have changed hands in the last 6 months. Most used units were priced near or above replacements. Many justiced the price because of extras, stuff I didn’t want, or wouldn’t order. Frustrated we started looking at other manufacturers. We narrowed it down to a Gulfstream Vista Cruiser, aerodynamic, fibreglass sheet warped from the front all the way to the back bumper like an R Pod, fairly light. But after viewing a few and looking at the depreciation, 35k to 12k in 5 years, we new there was only one option. BUY NEW. We pick up a new unit next spring, AC really was the only option I needed. New 34k.

I figure we can use it for 5 years and sell it for 40k, seems to be the trend.

Oh, Escape builds the best trail, keep your Airstream

No Reason to Buy Used?
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:16 PM   #10
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With a bit more research I've discovered there is a work around for the factory bolted-on weight bearing hitch. I'm not the first 4Runner owner to run into this problem.


The solution is:


1. Remove the weight-bearing hitch (it has a TW limit of 500lbs and Gross of 5000 lbs). But, because it is bolted to the last cross-member of the frame it is not suitable for attaching a WDH. Not recommended at all!


2. Install a "hidden" hitch which attaches to the side rails and the cross-member. This set up allows the use of a WDH.


Several of the third-party hitches indicate the TW at 600 lbs and Gross at 7000 lbs.


I will never approach any of those loads so it's not a safety factor.


Changing out the bolt-on hitch is a cost-effective solution to keep the 4Runner.


Details on this approach can be seen here:
https://www.toyota-4runner.org/4th-g...per-cover.html


Again, thanks to all for your comments.
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaSue View Post
1. Remove the weight-bearing hitch (it has a TW limit of 500lbs and Gross of 5000 lbs). But, because it is bolted to the last cross-member of the frame it is not suitable for attaching a WDH. Not recommended at all!
The type of construction is not a problem - later 4Runners with the same type of hitch are rated for WD use with the factory hitch. This is only an issue of the rating of this specific generation's factory hitch receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaSue View Post
Several of the third-party hitches indicate the TW at 600 lbs and Gross at 7000 lbs.
Okay, but whatever those hitch receivers can handle, hitch weight and trailer weight are still limited by the 4Runner's ratings.
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Old 09-27-2019, 07:12 AM   #12
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Below are a few posts from a few years ago when I was considering the towing capability of our 2003 V-6 4Runner. Seems to agree with what you are finding.
We towed with that 4Runner for 20,000 miles and eventually upgraded to our Ram. First of all, you should never get rid of your 4Runner--we still have ours. I'd try it for a good while, and then decide.


9-19-2014, 07:03 AM #44
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We use a WDH with our 4Runner and would not be without it. Of course, it can tow without it but no chance we would not use it. Much more added safety. It redistributes about 300 lbs up to the front of the TV and back to the Escape.


As we prepare to pick up our 21' next month, let me pass along the 4Runner receiver/hitch knowledge I've learned about my 2003 4.0. The factory receiver for this vehicle is rated at 5000 lbs, but there is an optional factory receiver rated at 6400 lbs, that probably just came with the V8. The difference is the design of the receiver. The lighter one (my original one) is approximately 6" by 8" and fastens to a rear cross member with 6 hefty bolts. It does not connect to the frame rails and a WDH is not recommended to be used with it. I have bought and installed a Hidden Hitch full size receiver that bolts to both frame rails and the rear cross member, now making the same vehicle supposedly capable of the full 6400 lbs., as shown in the owners' manual. This will also allow me to safely add an Anderson, if needed.

If someone will remind me how to attach a photo, I'll try to post a pic of the new and old receivers.

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Old 09-19-2014, 09:00 AM #45
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What's the tongue weight ratings for these receivers on the 4 runner? Don't believe changing the receiver will add anything to that capacity.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:06 PM #46
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What's the tongue weight ratings for these receivers on the 4 runner? Don't believe changing the receiver will add anything to that capacity.
Bob,
According to the 2003 owner's manual, the max tongue weight for the "weight carrying hitch" (the small receiver) is 500 lbs. The tongue weight for the "weight distributing hitch" (the larger receiver I just installed) is : V-6 2wd 670 lbs
V-6 4wd 640 lbs
V-8 2wd 730 lbs
V-8 4wd 700 lbs.
As you probably guessed, this represents 10% of the tow rating, so multiply by 10 to get the rating of each, at least in 2003.
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:14 PM   #13
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Bill,


Thanks for your detailed comments.


We do want to keep the 4Runner and switching out the hitch will allow us to use a WDH and keep the 4Runner.



I too saw those various TW numbers and since our 4Runner is a V8 it is more than capable of towing the higher loads.


The current hitch is the 500/5000 unit similar to what your 4Runner had. I plan to replace it with a "Hidden Hitch" when we find an Escape.


For the time being we will enjoy our Casita and try to teach our Aussie to bunk under the bad at night.


If you click on the paper clip icon on the top line of the menu bar you can attach a file or image. Try that to upload the image you want to attach. I would like to see the set up you had the 4Runner.


Cheers,
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:02 AM   #14
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In terms of power, a 275HP Highlander is good enough for the most part, but is a bit short on power for high-altitude passes (really, just places above about 9000' like the Eisenhower Tunnel). It'll do it, but you'll be in the right lane with the semis going 30-50MPH. Looks like the V8 4runner for that year is 235HP but with a broader power curve that probably makes it roughly equivalent.
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