Towing with a Toyota FJ Cruiser? Or simply driving one? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-04-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
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Towing with a Toyota FJ Cruiser? Or simply driving one?

Hi folks:
Any of You have some experiences to share about this vehicle?
Fuel economy.
uphill towing.
Downhill engine braking.
Off Road performance.
Manoeuvring in small spaces (Parking or turning back from a narrow road)

Any Pros and Cons, What You like about this Vehicle and what You'll add to improve Your driving pleasure and economy.

Any info will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

G. Clatz.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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There have been several lengthly discussions on the FJ Cruiser as a TV. In Search, type in FJ Cruiser to find all of the previous discussions which may answer any and all of the questions you may have. From what I have read previously, sounds like a good TV .
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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As indicated by Techfan, there are some discussions on this site regarding towing an Escape with an FJ. Do a search and you should find them. There is also a lot of really good information on the FJ at the FJ Forum which is found here: Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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I didn't take a test drive. I just sat in the driver seat and realized I wouldn't be able to see a traffic light without craning my neck, because of the lip of the roof. And, turning my head around, both rear quarter panels are huge, blocking that view. So, if you get one, order the rear view camera ( there is a huge tire hanging off the back ).
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
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Thank You Tim and Julie:
There is one particular discussion about "Towing with an FJ Cruiser" It gives some insight about fuel economy which is great, But leaves Me with the rest of My questions unanswered. Also I did some research in other threads, is extensive, I didn't find specific answers to My Q's.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
As indicated by Techfan, there are some discussions on this site regarding towing an Escape with an FJ. Do a search and you should find them. There is also a lot of really good information on the FJ at the FJ Forum which is found here: Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Thanks for the link.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I didn't take a test drive. I just sat in the driver seat and realized I wouldn't be able to see a traffic light without craning my neck, because of the lip of the roof. And, turning my head around, both rear quarter panels are huge, blocking that view. So, if you get one, order the rear view camera ( there is a huge tire hanging off the back ).
I should go and test drive one after some research.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I didn't take a test drive. I just sat in the driver seat and realized I wouldn't be able to see a traffic light without craning my neck, because of the lip of the roof. And, turning my head around, both rear quarter panels are huge, blocking that view. So, if you get one, order the rear view camera ( there is a huge tire hanging off the back ).
So what if the blind spots are huge and the visibility front and back is poor. Remember, you are driving an FJ. The ride is too fun to get yourself worked up about everything that is happening around you. You should lean back in your seat, turn up the stereo and just drive.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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I have an FJ Cruiser and towed my Escape 19' last year. I'm awaiting delivery of my new Escape 21' and will report back. The rear view camera is great for hitching and I used an Andersen w/d set up with the 19'. Got around 14 mpg towing and around 18 not towing. Great vehicle. It is rated 5000/500 with factory hitch.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:39 PM   #10
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But, don't buy the factory hitch.
I had aftermarket hitch installed at the Toyota dealership by a guy they brought in. He upgraded some wiring and installed the brake controllerl. Cost me $650 for class III Hidden Hitch vs. more than $900 for the "factory" class II without brake controller install.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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Jim, are You happy with overall performance going uphill towing.
Downhill engine braking.
Off Road performance.
Manoeuvring in small spaces (Parking or turning back from a narrow road)

Any Pros and Cons?
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
But, don't buy the factory hitch.
I had aftermarket hitch installed at the Toyota dealership by a guy they brought in. He upgraded some wiring and installed the brake controllerl. Cost me $650 for class III Hidden Hitch vs. more than $900 for the "factory" class II without brake controller install.
which dealership? in North Van?
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:50 PM   #13
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I got the factory hitch with the factory trim piece that hides the hitch. The dealer threw it in with the deal. The FJC holds it's value, I was offered $30k for it last week, sight unseen due to it's limited availability. After doing "It's a Jeep thing" for 20 years, I switched to Toyota and I'm not looking back.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:00 PM   #14
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I tow with either a Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi or the FJ Cruiser. The FJ gets better gas and handles towing just fine, BUT, I travel with 2 dogs and you can not open the rear hatch while towing unless you switch jacks to a swing up. The FJ feels more nimble and is certainly smaller than the Ram but gets 15 vs 10-12 with the Ram towing. I'm researching replacing my tongue jack with a flip up that would allow opening the back versus the side doors for the dogs. The camera making hitching a breeze, it is built into the tire cover. Also the FJ has bluetooth and a fantastic stereo system. I got the roof rack but have not had to use it yet.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:39 PM   #15
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Thank You all for Your answers.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gclatz View Post
which dealership? in North Van?
Jim Pattison Toyota.
I was buying new.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I didn't take a test drive. I just sat in the driver seat and realized I wouldn't be able to see a traffic light without craning my neck, because of the lip of the roof. And, turning my head around, both rear quarter panels are huge, blocking that view. So, if you get one, order the rear view camera ( there is a huge tire hanging off the back ).
I was really excited when Toyota announced the FJ several years, being a fairly long-term owner of a '74 FJ40, and a shorter-term owner of a '77 FJ40. I took two test drives and had the same experience as gbaglo...visibility not what I liked at all, so I bought another Tacoma for towing.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:46 PM   #18
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I share the concern with the novelty body shape causing visibility problems. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the rear doors, which are rear-hinged... a design which was popular in pickups for a while but has fallen out of favour, and which was the main subject of criticism when the FJ Cruiser was new.

If you want one, don't wait too long... the model is doomed to be discontinued without a next generation after a long run of the first generation. This is what happens to specialty variants, after everyone who wants one gets theirs. Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chevrolet HHR and SSR, Honda Element... It's not a criticism, just an observation of specialty model history.

The FJ Cruiser is built on a Land Cruiser Prado platform. The 4Runner is on another Prado platform version, and shares some characteristics with the FJ Cruiser - anyone considering an FJ Cruiser might consider the 4Runner as well, although they are certainly not interchangeable.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:53 PM   #19
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Of course it is not all bad to own an FJ, amongst numerous other great attributes they do have an extremely high resale value.Kelley Blue Book
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:19 PM   #20
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Of course it is not all bad to own an FJ, amongst numerous other great attributes they do have an extremely high resale value.Kelley Blue Book
I don't think it's bad at all - the design is certainly appealing to many, and the chassis underneath is very capable, which are two reasons that it holds its value.
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