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Old 10-19-2019, 09:10 PM   #1
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2020 4Runner for TV

Will be purchasing 2020 4Runner TRD. Is it suitable as TV for new Escape 19? The GVWR is 6,300lbs tow weight rating is 5,000lbs.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:46 AM   #2
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I had a 2017 4Runner TRD Off Road and a 2007 E17B. Here is my experience.

2017 Toyota 4Runner 4.0V6, towing, my experience

We currently have a E19 on order. To accommodate the E19 I just bought a new Tundra SR5 Plus DC 4X4 4.6L. I can say the 4Runner could tow the E19 no problem east of Denver, but if you plan to head to higher elevations I would want a full size V8 or diesel. I made the upgrade as I wanted a truck again and we plan to return to Colorado, Arizona and Utah, elevations of 8000' to 10,000'
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:07 AM   #3
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Thank you Doug for your feedback. Very helpful information. My wife loves the 4Runner so we just have to decide which is more important the tow vehicle or size of trailer. We would get a Sequoia but it is out of our price range. Again, thanks.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
I can say the 4Runner could tow the E19 no problem east of Denver, but if you plan to head to higher elevations I would want a full size V8 or diesel. I made the upgrade as I wanted a truck again and we plan to return to Colorado, Arizona and Utah, elevations of 8000' to 10,000'
I agree with this sentiment. Also, so much of “is it enough” depends upon variables like number of people in the vehicle, additional gear like bikes, firewood, traveling with water, etc. A lot of this really depends on what else you’re hauling.
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:08 PM   #5
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Thank you for your feedback. Very helpful.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:58 PM   #6
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A Google search gave some numbers.

At 1000í elevation you loose 3% horsepower due to thinner air. I pulled the 17b up Loveland Pass at 11,000í this a 33% horsepower reduction. The 4Runners power went from 276 hp at sea level to 188 HP.

We were coming back from LA last year. We were on the west end of I70. We had been doing a slow steady climb and I didnít realize our elevation. I had it in 4th gear for a while, then to tackle a minor grade I dropped it into 3rd. I thought something was wrong. I pulled over checked the trailer brakes to see if they were dragging. I pressed on thinking it was the truck. We came upon a sign and it said 8800í, what a relief, just thin air. This was totally new to me.

Around the province of Ontario on my camping trips, the 4RUNNER pulls like a champ. I could pull out and pass slow traffic with the trailer no problem. Iím sure I could pull the 21í around Ontario as the elevation is 600í to 1000í. You just have to think of where you want to go.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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A little bit of trivia, which states are the most level? North Dakota, Illinois and Florida........
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:08 PM   #8
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More trivia:
What is the highest mountain pass in Canada?
Highwood Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.206m (7,238ft) above the sea level. Located in Alberta, it's the highest paved pass in Canada.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:36 PM   #9
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The Eisenhower Tunnel on I70 is over 11,000 feet and the highest interstate pass in USA.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:53 PM   #10
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The Eisenhower Tunnel on I70 is over 11,000 feet and the highest interstate pass in USA.
I had no idea about mountain passes till last year, suprise. We where leaving Denver on I70 heading into the mountains, it was like a scene from the Matrix where the cars start driving up the side of a skyscraper. In front of me I could see the roofs of the cars, OK here we go.

What does it take? I like these guys on YouTube The Fast Lane Truck. They test trucks on the approach to The Eisenhower Tunnel at 11,000í at max tow capacity. Fast forward to about 6 minutes, LISTEN TO THE TUNDRA SCREAM!!!! Heís working it.

This is why I preach no more than 50% tow capacity for travel trailers.

https://youtu.be/AFg6eDuZ85E
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:23 PM   #11
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Thank you all for the feedback. We have decided as much as we love the 4Runner we will look at other tow vehicles. We don’t want to be restricted to east of the Rockies or to a 17’ Escape.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:50 PM   #12
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Cresting high mountain passes adds very little time to any trip. This is my 2008 RAV4 at Coquihalla summit after a 17 kilometre climb, towing my 17B. I maybe could have gained three minutes with another tow vehicle.
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cokhuysen View Post
Thank you all for the feedback. We have decided as much as we love the 4Runner we will look at other tow vehicles. We don’t want to be restricted to east of the Rockies or to a 17’ Escape.
That is a good idea for other reasons as well.
From the current edition of the Car and Driver magazine.

https://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/4runner
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
More trivia:
What is the highest mountain pass in Canada?
Highwood Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.206m (7,238ft) above the sea level. Located in Alberta, it's the highest paved pass in Canada.
Interesting. That's in Kananaskis country, on Highway 40. The highest passes on the major Rocky Mountain passes between Alberta and British Columbia are I don't think anyone needs fantastic high-altitude performance to enjoy their travel trailer in the Rockies.

Of course there are other mountain highways - the Coquihalla highway is notorious for its long and steep grades, but the Coquihalla Summit is at 1,244 m (4,081 ft).
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:13 PM   #15
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Google maps shows Highway 40 goes from nowhere to nowhere and is currently closed ( by snow? ).
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:28 PM   #16
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Over the top

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Cresting high mountain passes adds very little time to any trip. This is my 2008 RAV4 at Coquihalla summit after a 17 kilometre climb, towing my 17B. I maybe could have gained three minutes with another tow vehicle.
And a very nice photo at that. Time is not of the essence. Great life experiences come along when you least expect them and very rarely depend on three minutes of free time.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:51 PM   #17
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Thank you for the review from car and driver on the 4Runner.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cokhuysen View Post
Thank you for the review from car and driver on the 4Runner.
You are welcomed.
I didnít want to rain on your parade but Iím also researching SUV type tow vehicles and had eliminated the 4Runner for a number of reasons.

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Old 10-20-2019, 11:47 PM   #19
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We have a 2014 Toyota 4Runner SR5 with over 90,000 miles.

We had a 2014 Escape 19 that we towed over 25,000 miles. Trailer weight was 3180lb with 420lb on the tongue.

We have a 2018 Escape 19 that we towed over 10,000 miles. With more options, trailer weight is 3620lb with 530lb on the tongue. Note that the trailer weight is well below the 4Runner's 5000lb rating but the tongue weight is above the stock 4Runner's 500lb rating.

We towed both trailers in the Rockies. We towed the 2014 the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.

You will get a range of opinions on tow vehicle. Some will be comfortable with a smaller dog and/or bigger tail. Some will only be comfortable with a bigger dog and/or smaller tail. I am not challenging either camp, just giving my opinions and experiences.

IMO, the stock 4Runner is a marginal tow vehicle for long-distance trailering over 3000lb. I did 3 modifications that IMO make it an adequate tow vehicle:

1. Add a transmission temperature gauge. I added a ScanGauge above the rearview mirror with a BlendMount, which gives both pan and torque converter
transmission temperatures, see post here.

2. Add a transmission cooler. I added a Long 4589 transmission cooler with hard mounts (no zipties), routing the lines to the passenger side of the radiator with strain relief. I'd estimate that it lowers the transmission temperature by more than 20 degrees.

3. Add a beefier hitch. After several years of use with a weight-distributing hitch, the stock 4Runner hitch (51909-35011) did not stay parallel to the ground. I added a Lexus GX460 hitch (PT228-60140), which bolts to the front-to-back frame rails. To also attach it to the back crossmember, I added a spacer of rectangular tube stock and a plate, which I bolted and tig welded to the hitch, then bolted that to crossmember with the 6 stock bolts. The GX460 tongue weight rating is 650lb.

In my experience, the engine has enough torque, even at altitude.

I do use engine braking on downhills, but never doubted the 4Runner brakes. FWIW, my first set of brake pads lasted 90,000 miles.

I am concerned with the transmission temperature. Even with the cooler and careful driving, I've gone up to 213 degrees F in the torque converter (but less than 200 in the pan). I have changed the fluid and it was fine, so I don't know what temperature it can really take. Maybe I have OCD on this, but heat kills transmissions, so I don't want to find the limit.

Is all this worth it? Why not just buy, say, a Tundra, which has better towing? For us, the modified 4Runner is a better vehicle for our overall needs. It's more nimble and gets better gas mileage than a larger truck and I just like a SUV better than a pickup.

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Old 10-20-2019, 11:56 PM   #20
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I am concerned with the transmission temperature. Even with the cooler and careful driving, I've gone up to 213 degrees F in the torque converter (but less than 200 in the pan). I have changed the fluid and it was fine, so I don't know what temperature it can really take.

Maybe you should ask Toyota what temp the transmission and fluid is designed to run at. Too low a temp could also be an issue. I don't know the answer, but seem to recall 230 degrees F as normal.
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