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Old 05-11-2015, 07:53 PM   #1
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4Runner as tow vehicle for 19'

Ok, so I've been checking this subject out on the forum but have not gleaned enough info to make a decision. So I'm bringing this up again in Order to get more first hand experience on this.

I'm thinking of purchasing a new 4Runner to tow my 19' trailer. I have a tacoma but I don't have enough room for my family so I'm going to sell it and get a new vehicle. Who has actually towed a 19' with a V6 4Runner? What do you think? Should I consider getting something else or will the 4Runner get the job done?

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E
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:14 PM   #2
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I use a 4Runner for my 17B and have no problems. This doesn't directly answer your question but the "dry weight" of the 19' is less than 200#'s more which shouldn't have any adverse effect on the towing experience with a 4Runner.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:35 PM   #3
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V6?

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Originally Posted by OneOleMan View Post
I use a 4Runner for my 17B and have no problems. This doesn't directly answer your question but the "dry weight" of the 19' is less than 200#'s more which shouldn't have any adverse effect on the towing experience with a 4Runner.
Is your 4Runner a V6?
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:56 PM   #4
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I tow a 19 with a Highlander and it works fine, would like a bit more torque for the mountains which your 4 Runner will have. If it was me I would tow with the Tacoma and see what you think since it should have similar towing performance as the 4 Runner.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:51 PM   #5
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Can't tow with tacoma

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Originally Posted by gharper View Post
I tow a 19 with a Highlander and it works fine, would like a bit more torque for the mountains which your 4 Runner will have. If it was me I would tow with the Tacoma and see what you think since it should have similar towing performance as the 4 Runner.
I with I could tow with my Tacoma but I'm bringing the whole family up to Canada and they won't all fit in my extended cab Tacoma. This is why I need a new towing vehicle. We like the 4Runner because it can double as a family car when we are not towing. It also rides a bit nicer than my truck which is what I use to commute to work and it's a bit of a rough ride.

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Old 05-12-2015, 08:44 AM   #6
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The 5th generation Toyota 4Runner (2009–present) uses the 4.0L 1GR-FE V6 (270 hp) engine. The 4Runner uses the same 4.0 L 1GR-FE V6 engine that is used in the 2011 FJ Cruiser, which I have been using to tow my 2013 Escape 19' for the past 2 yrs. We have towed over steep grades on mountain passes above 10000 ft elevation and through strong gusty cross winds (+60 mph) in prairie storms with no real issues. I do not have an aftermarket transmission cooler (just the stock transmission fluid cooler in the radiator), but use a Scan-Gage to monitor transmission fluid temperatures. I use a WDH when I tow and use a Tekonsha Prodigy RF wireless brake controller. Unless you have super high expectations that you should not be able to "feel" your trailer behind your tow vehicle under any conditions, my opinion is that the 4Runner will be an excellent tow vehicle for you.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikcampbell View Post
Is your 4Runner a V6?
Yes it's a V6, the same engine ice-breaker is talking about, and as for ride quality, my 83 YO brother rode in it for the first time yesterday and commented on the smooth ride.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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Based on a year's experience of towing my 17B with our current 2011 4Runner V6, in the Idaho mountain country, I would not change TV for a 19 - maybe not even for a 21 initially. Great all-around vehicle!
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:21 AM   #9
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It's rumored that the 2016 4Runner will have a V8 engine so maybe I'll just wait and see if that's true. I don't pick my 19' up until November so I have time.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikcampbell View Post
It's rumored that the 2016 4Runner will have a V8 engine so maybe I'll just wait and see if that's true. I don't pick my 19' up until November so I have time.
Erik,
The one thing I would recommend to anyone towing any substantial trailer is a ScanGauge or some other method to keep an eye on transmission temps. Some of the newer digital dashes give that info, but many only have a warning light. It's been amazing to me to see the trans temp climb on some of the more gradual inclines when the car doesn't shift. Coolant temps are always fine, but trans temps can soar before you know it, unless you have something fairly powerful.
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Erik,
The one thing I would recommend to anyone towing any substantial trailer is a ScanGauge or some other method to keep an eye on transmission temps. Some of the newer digital dashes give that info, but many only have a warning light. It's been amazing to me to see the trans temp climb on some of the more gradual inclines when the car doesn't shift. Coolant temps are always fine, but trans temps can soar before you know it, unless you have something fairly powerful.
You tow a 21' with a V6 4Runner and everything has been fine towing with this vehicle?
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikcampbell View Post
You tow a 21' with a V6 4Runner and everything has been fine towing with this vehicle?
Yesterday we went over Monarch pass in central Colorado at 11,300. Air temps were in the 40s F. The cars' coolant temp stayed at 190F and transmission temps maxed at 205 as long as I stayed in a low enough gear, which often meant 30mph in first gear at 3500rpm. Downhill also used first gear which ran at 3000 to 3500 rpm with no braking needed. All in all not really any problem.
Ours is a 4th generation 4Runner (2003-2009). It is 245 hp @ 5200 rpm, but more importantly 282 lb-ft of torque at 3800 rpm. It is a four speed automatic.
According to Edmunds, the 5th generation 4Runner (2010-2015) is rated at 270hp @5600 rpm and 278 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm. It is a five speed automatic.
I am happy with my max torque at 3800, which equates to about 32 mph when first gear is needed, and about 55 mph when second gear is needed at full power. My wife is getting used to the sound of the engine running at 3500 rpm, or so, and the car doesn't seem to mind. I am running synthetic oil and synthetic transmission fluid which I changed before this trip.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:27 AM   #13
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I have a 17b that I tow through Colorado mtns as well as Montana and Utah etc. I use a Toyota FJ Cruiser. It has a 5k# tow rating and is very similar to the 4Rrunner.

You'll be able to haul the trailer, but I'm concerned about how many people you intend to have in the tow vehicle. I know I'm often in first or second gear going up over mountains at 40 mph or less, a feeling I personally don't like, as it sometimes makes you feel like you're taxing your vehicle (as well as the drivers behind you). It's just me and I tend to pack light. I was told all was well by others who use similar rigs, but I just personally don't like that feeling of low power. If you load up your vehicle with people and stuff, plus all the stuff in the trailer, you're definitely going to feel it. I guess it depends on how tolerant you are of such things. I personally would go with a pickup with a higher tow rating - get a club cab for the passengers. I don't think you would regret that feeling of security, plus you can haul stuff in the back.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:00 AM   #14
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I was glad someone here from Idaho gave me similar advice. With the 17B the Highlander was great. Now the Yukon feels very similar towing the 21. Going up prolonged 8% grades can still a bit of a struggle(don't like to whip my rides) but going down with the engine grade braking system that uses engine and transmission- not just the transmission- is very effective.

While I see many people so focused on MPG, I am focused on safety & comfort. The reality is that from what I see our Yukon at 13 mpg towing and 15/21 combined non-towing isn't much different from a Highlander or 4Runner V6. It is not as slick driving around town not towing, but one can't have everything. Talking to another 21 owner recently who switched from a 4Runner to a Tundra says he doesn't miss the 4Runner like he thought he would and the towing experience is far superior.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape While You Can View Post
I have a 17b that I tow through Colorado mtns as well as Montana and Utah etc. I use a Toyota FJ Cruiser. It has a 5k# tow rating and is very similar to the 4Rrunner.

You'll be able to haul the trailer, but I'm concerned about how many people you intend to have in the tow vehicle. I know I'm often in first or second gear going up over mountains at 40 mph or less, a feeling I personally don't like, as it sometimes makes you feel like you're taxing your vehicle (as well as the drivers behind you). It's just me and I tend to pack light. I was told all was well by others who use similar rigs, but I just personally don't like that feeling of low power. If you load up your vehicle with people and stuff, plus all the stuff in the trailer, you're definitely going to feel it. I guess it depends on how tolerant you are of such things. I personally would go with a pickup with a higher tow rating - get a club cab for the passengers. I don't think you would regret that feeling of security, plus you can haul stuff in the back.
I'll have my wife, two kids and dog in the tow vehicle. After reading some of these posts I may be leaning more towards a 2016 Tacoma or see if the 2016 4runner will have a V8 option.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:01 PM   #16
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We towed our 19 with a V8 4Runner and did fine.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikcampbell View Post
I'll have my wife, two kids and dog in the tow vehicle. After reading some of these posts I may be leaning more towards a 2016 Tacoma or see if the 2016 4runner will have a V8 option.
Erik,
A couple other things to keep in mind:
the 21 weighs 500 lbs more than the 19 -- which made no matter to me, once we saw the 21,
the 2010 and newer 4Runners and perhaps Tacomas have the 5-speed transmission.

I often wish I had more gear choices, and I would think second gear (on the 5-speed) might be the ideal mountain climbing gear. Hopefully other Toyota owners with that set up will comment. I know when I went from a 4-speed to 5-speed in our 2001 to 2002 Honda Odyssey, the feeling of more power was considerable.
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:43 AM   #18
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Time to get that 4Runner

Well, my build sheet has been signed off and my completion date is actually looking like a reality versus an unattainable distant dream. With that said, I'm going to look at the 2015 4Runner this weekend. It's time to commit to a TV and my wife and I are pretty happy with this choice. Just wanted to update ya'll out there who have responded to this thread.
Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:05 AM   #19
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Couple things to mention:

The tow rating for the 4Runner is currently down to 4700 lbs. It was previously 5k lbs with the current V6 engine. The difference is likely due in part to the new SAE tow rating system Toyota adheres to but does speak to how capable of tow vehicle Toyota thinks it is.

Also it wasn't mentioned here but the rear end of the 4Runner is SOFT. One will definitely want to get a WDH, or air bags (or the KDSS option if still available). The 4Runner uses a coil sprung rear end which means a nice ride, but put any weight in the back and it squats quite a bit. I towed a UHaul car hauler w/1,400lb. car nine hours at night with a 2012 4Runner (w/no air bags) on I-5 & I lost count how many times I got flashed by oncoming freeway traffic. It was a lot!
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:23 PM   #20
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Fwiw, I've used a 2009 Tacoma to pull a 19' nearly 6,000 miles since March. It does just fine, even in Colorado.

I use the Anderson hitch and would recommend a WDH of some sort; but I really haven't had any towing issues or concerns.
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