Towing an Escape 21: 4Runner or Tacoma? - Page 5 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-02-2014, 12:56 AM   #41
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Hmmm... I just noticed that Toyota USA explicitly states that their 4700 pound towing rating for the 4Runner is SAE J2807 compliant, but the Toyota Canada web page which shows their 5000 pound towing rating for the same model makes no mention of the standard.

It is possible that the Toyota Canada rating (of 5000 lb) is obsolete and pre-J2807. I just submitted this as a question through their website - perhaps a response will arrive in a couple of days.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:06 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
The Toyota Canada website ...
rates the 3.5 liter VVT-i engine's output at 270 hp @ 6200 rpm, and the peak torque at 248 foot-pounds @ 4700 rpm.
That's the 2GR-FE engine, same as used in most V6 Toyota models (e.g. Camry, Sienna, Venza, Avalon, and previously the RAV4), and in the same family (just a different displacement) as the 1GR-FE in the 4Runner and Tacoma. That's a dual VVT-i version, as are all the 2GR-FE examples I listed; horsepower varies slightly by model due to differences in the intake tract and exhaust system.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:28 PM   #43
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Response from Toyota Canada

To Brian B-P and others following this thread -- I emailed Toyota Canada to get their answer to three questions:

1. Since all 4Runners are made in Japan, it seems likely that the Canadian and USA imports have the same towing capacity, including our 2011 Trail Edition. However, Toyota's USA site now lists 4Runner tow capacity as 4700 pounds and cites the SAE J2807 standard. The Toyota Canada site lists capacity at 5000 pounds, and makes no reference to J2809. Which is the correct towing capacity?

2. Could you please explain why a Tacoma with a tow package is rated at 6400 or 6500 pounds towing capacity, although its engine puts out less horsepower and torque than the 4Runner's. The Tacoma's 500 pound lighter curb weight likely accounts for 1/3 of the difference, but the Tacoma is still rated as capable of pulling 1000 pounds more than the 4Runner.

3. Are Toyota Canada's tow ratings for the Tacoma compliant with SAE J2807?

In their reply, Toyota Canada's "Customer Interaction Centre" ignored questions #2 or #3, and replied as follows to #1:

"We would like to take this opportunity to explain that Toyota Canada Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS) are separate business entities. As such, vehicles distributed and sold in the Canadian market will adhere to various standards including Government safety requirements as per Transport Canada. With that in mind, Toyota Canada Inc. is not in a position to comment with respect to another countrys testing practices or the towing capacities of models sold in the United States.

As previously advised, your 2011 4Runner is listed to be capable of towing up to 5000 lbs. In addition, our 2014 4Runner model also has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs."

So all I learned is that Toyota Canada doesn't want to disclose to customers how it calculates its towing capacities, and what standards they meet.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:40 PM   #44
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At least they replied.
Better than I've ever accomplished.
Do me a favour, since you got that far. Ask them why a WDHitch is "not recommended" on the pre 2013 RAV4.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:50 PM   #45
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Toyota Canada gave you the right answer.

Toyota (the manufacturer) rates the 4Runner for 5000 lbs. Toyota Canada rates the vehicles they sell based on the manufacturers standards which are acceptable to Transport Canada, the regulator in Canada.

Toyota Marketing USA has chosen to market the 4Runner in the US using the SAE J2807 standard. As of 2013, they were the only company using that standard for full size pickups in the States. The big 3 are all using a different standard as well. Most will not use it until they redesign the vehicle or introduce new models, if at all.

Toyota Canada basically stated that they are following the regulator and manufacturers standards here in Canada. They cannot and should not comment on what someone else is doing in some other country. In respect to detailed questions on how they rate a vehicle, ask the manufacturer direct, not the marketer.

I tend to think of the towing standards listed in the manuals as being max in ideal conditions. It is better to go a little lighter to leave safety and mechanical wear margins to create a better comfort zone and leave some leeway for topography, weather, drivers experience, etc. If you are pulling at max all the time, expect to shorten your tow vehicles life or worse, find yourself in a bad spot under less than ideal conditions.

My rule of thumb is generally 30% less than recommended but do occasionally break that rule for short hauls in ideal conditions.

Here is Edmund's take on standardized tow ratings (SAE J2807)
Standardized Tow Ratings: Why Automakers Aren't Using Them -- Edmunds.com
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:08 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
1. Since all 4Runners are made in Japan, it seems likely that the Canadian and USA imports have the same towing capacity, including our 2011 Trail Edition. However, Toyota's USA site now lists 4Runner tow capacity as 4700 pounds and cites the SAE J2807 standard. The Toyota Canada site lists capacity at 5000 pounds, and makes no reference to J2809. Which is the correct towing capacity?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
In their reply, Toyota Canada's "Customer Interaction Centre" ... replied as follows to #1:

"We would like to take this opportunity to explain that Toyota Canada Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS) are separate business entities. As such, vehicles distributed and sold in the Canadian market will adhere to various standards including Government safety requirements as per Transport Canada. With that in mind, Toyota Canada Inc. is not in a position to comment with respect to another countrys testing practices or the towing capacities of models sold in the United States."
...
So all I learned is that Toyota Canada doesn't want to disclose to customers how it calculates its towing capacities, and what standards they meet.
I asked Toyota Canada a similar question, in two exchanges. First, the standard:
Quote:
The current 4Runner is listed on your website with a 5000 pound trailer towing capacity. Is this rating compliant with the SAE J2807 standard?
The response was "yes":
Quote:
Please be advised that the 2014 Toyota 4Runner models meet the tow-vehicle trailering requirements of SAE International per SAE J2807.
Asked more directly, or perhaps just asked the of person I reached, they clearly stated the standard used.

With the standard established, I asked about the difference:
Quote:
The Toyota Canada and Toyota USA websites list different towing capacities for the 4Runner - 5000 pounds here, 4700 pounds on the U.S. site. It appears to be the same vehicle, and both ratings are compliant with SAE J2807. Do you know why there is a difference in the rating?
The response was:
Quote:
Please be advised the variation in towing capacity rating in Canada compared to the United States is due to vehicles being equipped with towing packages. Canadian Specification vans and trucks come equipped with towing package; this package includes heavy duty battery, starter, alternator and transmission cooler.
It is true that on some models, the towing preparation package which is optional in the U.S. is part of the base equipment in Canada, and not even mentioned as an option on the vehicle. This doesn't make sense to me as an explanation for the 4Runner difference, because a prep package would make a larger difference, and web specs usually list the highest available capacity (that is, with any available packages), not the lowest; this looks like a stock answer for multiple models.

I suspect that the two operations have just fallen out of synch, and that there is no differences in the vehicle between the countries. The rating process is approximate enough that a difference of 300 pounds in a vehicle combination over 10,000 pounds may not be relevant. Indeed, if the GCWR is just over 10,000 lb in Canada and just under that in the U.S., there may be regulatory implications to that combination weight.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:13 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
2. Could you please explain why a Tacoma with a tow package is rated at 6400 or 6500 pounds towing capacity, although its engine puts out less horsepower and torque than the 4Runner's. The Tacoma's 500 pound lighter curb weight likely accounts for 1/3 of the difference, but the Tacoma is still rated as capable of pulling 1000 pounds more than the 4Runner.

3. Are Toyota Canada's tow ratings for the Tacoma compliant with SAE J2807?

In their reply, Toyota Canada's "Customer Interaction Centre" ignored questions #2 or #3...
I am not at all surprised that they did not explain the Tacoma versus 4Runner difference. I have been told in the past that the customer service line is not a technical information service, and I should consult my dealer. The dealership staff, of course, know nothing useful. While this is specific to Toyota, I am sure that it is not limited to Toyota.

As I mentioned above, they answered question 3 (about SAE J2807) for me. I very deliberately asked only one question at a time, since this selective answering is normal - for everyone, not just auto manufacturers.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:20 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Buddy View Post
Toyota (the manufacturer) rates the 4Runner for 5000 lbs. Toyota Canada rates the vehicles they sell based on the manufacturers standards which are acceptable to Transport Canada, the regulator in Canada.
I would be very surprised if Transport Canada sets any expectations for towing ratings of non-commercial vehicles, and if they do they are very likely closely aligned with U.S. standards. The U.S. and Canadian motor vehicle safety standards are closely and deliberately aligned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy View Post
Toyota Canada basically stated that they are following the regulator and manufacturers standards here in Canada. They cannot and should not comment on what someone else is doing in some other country. In respect to detailed questions on how they rate a vehicle, ask the manufacturer direct, not the marketer.
Yes, there are often detail differences between the countries in the management of marketing and customer issues, and I agree that it is understandable that the operations in each country respect each other's territory.

I do not believe that it is possible to ask the manufacturer of a Toyota made in Japan or the U.S. anything at all, without becoming a government regulator or recognized automotive journalist. Toyota - like every other major company - is built of a network of related companies, and the ones the build 4Runners in Japan and Tacomas in the U.S. are not the ones which sell vehicles through dealers in either the U.S. or Canada.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:28 PM   #49
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Edmunds summarized it pretty well at the end of their article.

"So it's fairly simple right now: if you're in the market for a pickup and want one with a tow rating generated by the SAE method, the Toyota's Tundra is the only model complying with the new standard — and its tow rating subsequently is not the highest you'll find.

If you want a Chrysler, Ford or GM full-size pickup truck rated under the new towing standard, it appears you'd have to wait until 2015 when Ford launches the new-generation F-Series. That's assuming the three companies stick to their positions and all bite the reality bullet at the same time.

Until then, it's best to continue to view tow ratings skeptically, particularly when comparison-shopping."
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:54 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy View Post
Here is Edmund's take on standardized tow ratings (SAE J2807)
Standardized Tow Ratings: Why Automakers Aren't Using Them -- Edmunds.com
According to Edmund's then, except for a few Toyota models, marketing continues to trump standardized ratings when it comes to tow capacity.

It looks like the only way to get any certainty is to tow our Escape 21' up some mountain passes when we get it in September to see if the 4Runner can handle it safely and without too much strain.

If it can't, we'll look for a Plan B, preferably one that doesn't involve a full-sized pickup or SUV. At this point, the Tacoma with the towing package is worth a look, but I still don't understand how it can tow significantly better than a 4Runner when it's so similar mechanically.

Meanwhile, we'd sure like to continue hearing the experiences and observations of everyone who's towing an Escape 21 with any kind of TV, particularly those with a V6 and a 5000 pound tow capacity, whether SAE compliant or not.
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