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Old 09-29-2014, 12:07 AM   #11
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Catchlight, before you give up on your V6, try downshifting and forcing higher rpm's. Our 4Runner V6 torque is uninspiring under 2000rpm, but much better over 3000rpm. It's a Japanese engine -- sustained high revs doesn't seem to hurt it -- so if you haven't already done so, wind 'er up and see if it helps.

V8's, on the other hand, typically have good low-rpm torque.

FWIW, we drove West Glacier to Browning at 55mph, but we were driving east and pulling a 19, so not a good comparison.

Bill R
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:32 AM   #12
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Best read the manual before you do that.
I dropped my RAV4 V6 into 3rd and kept it there going up the Coquihalla ( snowshed to summit ) which caused my transmission temp warning light to come on.
The manual says not to do hard towing in 3 for any prolonged length of time. Says to tow in 4, not D, not 3, but 4.
My RAV has transmission fluid cooler, but I'm not doing that again. It is the steepest section, but it was only a few minutes, maintaining 90 KPH ( 56 MPH ).
Not sure what the 4Runner manual says, but I'd check it out.

BTW, that doesn't keep me from stomping on the gas and letting the transmission downshift.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Best read the manual before you do that.
I dropped my RAV4 V6 into 3rd and kept it there going up the Coquihalla ( snowshed to summit ) which caused my transmission temp warning light to come on.
The manual says not to do hard towing in 3 for any prolonged length of time. Says to tow in 4, not D, not 3, but 4.
My RAV has transmission fluid cooler, but I'm not doing that again. It is the steepest section, but it was only a few minutes, maintaining 90 KPH ( 56 MPH ).
Not sure what the 4Runner manual says, but I'd check it out.

BTW, that doesn't keep me from stomping on the gas and letting the transmission downshift.
Valid concern.

But the 4Runner transmission torque converter unlocks at 45mph in 4th, so any sustained pull below that speed will cause the temperature to climb regardless of the gear. In fact, if you can't maintain 45mph, you're better in a lower gear, as the transmission coolant pumps faster. If you can keep it above 45mph in 4th, that will keep lock and keep the temperature down. There is no lock in 3rd. The Toyota manual doesn't give the above detail, but that's really what it is trying to say.

This is where a transmission temperature gauge is invaluable, as you can see when you can push it and when you can't.

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Old 09-29-2014, 03:57 AM   #14
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My suggestion in post #11 should really have a big caveat, and that's don't try it unless you have a transmission temperature gauge and the temps begin and remain within a safe operating range.

I had just posted on the transmission concerns in post #10, but didn't explicitly link that to post #11, and I should have.

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Old 09-29-2014, 12:34 PM   #15
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Catchlight, if that head wind was a week ago (Sept. 20/21), it was a really big head wind! We were pulling a 17b across Montana on I-90 with our Highlander. We got as low as 11 MPG that day (our average for the whole trip to the west coast was 15.6) I don't have any knowledge of 4runners, but you do point out the effect of wind on towing. My worst days pulling trailers had nothing to do with hills, but everything to do with 40-50 mph head winds on the plains.

Our first towing experience was pulling a rented Scamp with our Sienna across North Dakota. We could only go about 50 MPH on the flats, and the engine was straining (I would have done better to have down shifted, but what did I know?). We got horrible mileage that day. On the other hand, two days later the wind was still blowing and we drove back to St. Paul with 23 MPG.
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
At least for 2014, the rated towing capacity for a Flex is the same (4500 lb) regardless of drivetrain (either engine, 2WD or 4WD). To put performance and mileage information into context, which engine is this, and is it 4WD?
We do NOT have the Ecoboost engine and this is 2WD.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:31 PM   #17
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I should clarify that our 2011 4Runner has done a good job of pulling our Escape 21, except for the one headwind-at-altitude situation we encountered in Montana (Post #4 above) last week.

Since then we have hauled from West Glacier, MT to Coeur d'Alene, ID, and from there to just south of Portland, and the rig was rock steady and held speeds close to the limit on uphills. I've come to love the sound of that V6 working hard to take us up a long uphill

Bill R, I typically downshift when the revs drop to 2500 in fourth or third during a climb, and occasionally to second if it bogs down in third. When the revs hit about 4500 in second or third I just hold that speed until the crest of the hill when I can upshift without losing speed again. I never use fifth when towing. I sure wish the tachometer was the big central dial on the instrument panel, not the speedometer. I get my speed from the GPS, anyway, especially when in the USA, because the MPH readings are illegible on the Toyota speedometer.

Back to the original poster's question, based on our three weeks' experience I think a newish 4Runner would be a solid TV for an Escape 19, both uphill and downhill. The performance of the 4Runner and Escape 21 brakes on steep down grades has been excellent, and there would be an even bigger safety margin with an Escape 19 weighing 500 pounds less. It's important also to downshift at the right points, and to err on the side of applying engine resistance earlier rather than later.

After five Toyotas we know our local dealer quite well, and I think his guys will let me put the Andersen hitch assembly on one of his Tundras, and on a Sequoia if he gets one in, and see what difference the increased power and torque of a V8 would make hauling the 21' up our ski mountain, which is nearby. If the difference is dramatic, I'll reluctantly consider making a change in TV.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
At least for 2014, the rated towing capacity for a Flex is the same (4500 lb) regardless of drivetrain (either engine, 2WD or 4WD). To put performance and mileage information into context, which engine is this, and is it 4WD?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rvomaha View Post
We do NOT have the Ecoboost engine and this is 2WD.
Thanks
That makes it a 3.5L "Duratec" V6 with about 262 hp maximum output... roughly comparable to a 4Runner V6.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #19
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Lots of great input here, thxs.

Not trying to add fuel to the fire, but test drove a 4Runner today. Picked up a US sales brochure, and it states it has a towing capacity of 5,000lbs. I thought it was 4,700lbs??
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #20
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The tow capacity in Canada is 5000 pounds, and both our dealer and Toyota Canada confirmed that rating when that 4700 pound figure showed up in the US.
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