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-   -   Towing With Toyota 4Runner (http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f10/towing-with-toyota-4runner-5477.html)

GerriJ 04-29-2015 11:18 AM

The review team is trying to make sure you are not setting them up for a warranty issue.

Mark

Ian G 04-29-2015 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill and Earline (Post 91105)
Dave,
I did some studying on Toyota's "weight carrying hitch" then took mine off and replaced it with an aftermarket hitch for our 21'. The WCH appears to be fully capable for downward forces, but was bolted only to a rear cross-member, not the frame rails. The bolts used appeared very strong but were concentrated in an area about 4 by 5 inches. The receiver I installed also bolts to the same rear cross member and also to each of the frame rails. According to my Toyota owner's manual, this more complete receiver design allows a higher tow rating, and more importantly allows a weight distributing hitch, which is what I was after. My guess is the Toyota engineers thought a WDH would put too much strain on the what is essentially the single mounting point of the WCH.

My 4Runner has very little squat from the trailer, with or without the WDH, so I'd get info from other 4Runner owners on the need for the WDH at all with their 17s. I just thought I could help out with the definition and description of the factory Toyota receiver. I ended up with the Andersen hitch which also serves as sway control. Other less expensive sway controls are available, including one ETI sells and installs. I didn't know whether I needed one. With the weight of the 21', I just did everything to try to be safe. I might not have gotten the Andersen or the new receiver with a 17.
Bill

I did exactly the same as Bill. The V8 4Runner uses a hitch similar to the aftermarket ones that are attached to the side frame rails these direct the load to that main frame structure, The V6 uses more of a hitch block that is attached to the rear crossmember, this relys on the integrity of that crossmember which is probably not designed for the twisting loads experienced by a WDH.

So I also installed the aftermarket hitch and it worked flawlessly with similar comments that Bill made

gbaglo 04-29-2015 12:09 PM

BTW, my Hidden Hitch receiver ( class III for WDH ) was installed at the dealership prior to me taking possession.

Brian B-P 04-29-2015 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave & Penny Smith (Post 91100)
My owner's manual calls the factory installed receiver hitch that came with the vehicle a "Weight Carrying Hitch" and states that WDH cannot be used with the receiver hitch that came on my 4Runner. Thus, it appears that if I will need a WDH to tow the 17B, I'll need to replace the receiver hitch. What experience do people have with the need for WDH for 17Bs?

Right... replace only if you need WDH. I think you're on the right track asking about experience; you could also look at why a WDH would be used, and if that reason applies to you. The primary purpose of a WDH is to reduce load on the tug's rear axle, and if that's not excessively loaded with the desired trailer's tongue weight, then you may not have any need for WDH.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave & Penny Smith (Post 91100)
Another issue is the need for a "sway control device". Toyota says that this is required if the trailer weighs over 2,000 lb.--which the 17B clearly does. What information have folks found regarding these questions?

My 2004 Sienna manual stated the same requirement, and when I asked Toyota Canada for clarification, they said that the sway control requirement was no longer applicable. I don't use any sway control device with my 3000 pound trailer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill and Earline (Post 91105)
I did some studying on Toyota's "weight carrying hitch" then took mine off and replaced it with an aftermarket hitch for our 21'. The WCH appears to be fully capable for downward forces, but was bolted only to a rear cross-member, not the frame rails. The bolts used appeared very strong but were concentrated in an area about 4 by 5 inches. The receiver I installed also bolts to the same rear cross member and also to each of the frame rails. According to my Toyota owner's manual, this more complete receiver design allows a higher tow rating, and more importantly allows a weight distributing hitch, which is what I was after. My guess is the Toyota engineers thought a WDH would put too much strain on the what is essentially the single mounting point of the WCH.

Excellent info, and makes perfect sense.

In general, Toyota practice - at least as of a couple years ago:
  • cars: no provision for hitch
  • unibody SUVs and van: planned mounting points in unibody
  • body-on-frame SUVs: base hitch mounts to rearmost crossmember of frame << 4Runner
  • trucks: hitch is part of bumper structure or separate part integrated with bumper structure, bolted to frame rails in either case

Quote:

Originally Posted by gbaglo (Post 91125)
BTW, my Hidden Hitch receiver ( class III for WDH ) was installed at the dealership prior to me taking possession.

That's pretty normal. The OEM accessory hitch is dealer-installed, but dealers also offer aftermarket hitches (as part of the purchase package), either installed by the dealer or the dealer sends the vehicle out to a hitch shop for installation.

Ian G 04-29-2015 05:28 PM

To expand on my reply here are pictures of the original 4Runner hitch compared to the aftermarket, The last picture is the two hitches side by side.
http://www.proud-canadian.com/wp-con...86-640x481.jpg

http://www.proud-canadian.com/wp-con...90-640x481.jpg

http://www.proud-canadian.com/wp-con...89-640x481.jpg

Rossue 04-29-2015 06:29 PM

Your Hidden Hitch looks almost identical to the "OEM" hitch I bought from Toyota(included wiring harness) for $298 for my son's 2004 Highlander.

Brian B-P 04-29-2015 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian G (Post 91167)
To expand on my reply here are pictures of the original 4Runner hitch compared to the aftermarket...

Thank Ian.
I think it's unfortunate - but not surprising - that the aftermarket hitch doesn't tie into the crossmember like the OEM hitch, in addition to extending to the frame.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rossue (Post 91171)
Your Hidden Hitch looks almost identical to the "OEM" hitch I bought from Toyota(included wiring harness) for $298 for my son's 2004 Highlander.

They all look pretty much the same, even between different hitch brands and different vehicle models. It may be that the OEM hitch is made by Cequent (the company whose brands include Hidden Hitch as well as Draw-Tite and Reese); my OEM Sienna hitch was made by Cequent.

Ian G 04-29-2015 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian B-P (Post 91175)
Thank Ian.
I think it's unfortunate - but not surprising - that the aftermarket hitch doesn't tie into the crossmember like the OEM hitch, in addition to extending to the frame.

Brian you totally misunderstood my post, the aftermarket DOES NOT tie into the crossmember because that is NOT as structurally sound as the main frame rails. Looking at the design of the crossmember it will definitely handle a vertical load better that any rotational forces. The V6 OEM is only connected to the stamped steel crossmember is a much weaker connection. This is evident the V8 4Runner version which uses a design similar to the aftermarket, does have a WDH rating and has increased tow capacity.

Bill and Earline 04-29-2015 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian G (Post 91179)
Brian you totally misunderstood my post, the aftermarket DOES NOT tie into the crossmember because that is NOT as structurally sound as the main frame rails. Looking at the design of the crossmember it will definitely handle a vertical load better that any rotational forces. The V6 OEM is only connected to the stamped steel crossmember is a much weaker connection. This is evident the V8 4Runner version which uses a design similar to the aftermarket, does have a WDH rating and has increased tow capacity.

You guys really had me double-checking all this. I installed a Hidden Hitch 70779 that appears the same as the one in Ian's photo. It uses three bolts into each of the frame rails and one toward each end into the cross member, just not in the center location as in the V-6 OEM weight carrying receiver. That's a total of 8 bolts in mine, now. I am pleased with mine, but again, not sure it's necessary for a 17. Hidden Hitch has installation manuals on their site, if anyone wants to take a look. I paid $153 delivered last August.

Dave&Kathie 04-30-2015 10:29 AM

It's very important to consider the year and model of 4 runners. That can make a huge difference. Our 06 V8 Ltd came with the WDH receiver which states on it that it will tow 7,000 lbs and carry 700 lbs hitch weight. With a weight distributing hitch the tongue weight goes up to 10,000. We also had a 05 V6 4runner with the WCH. We did use a WDH with built in sway control with the Casita on that vehicle (maybe we shouldn't have - we were newbies and Casita recommended it!). Toyota is very specific about their hitches and towing capacities - you don't need to call - just read the manual. They also state that your vehicle may be able to tow more with a different hitch properly installed. This is for 4runners only.

Be safe, have fun!
;) Kathie


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