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Toyota 4Runner Towing



  • thomabrithomabri Posts: 1
    I'm planning a mass exodus from Alaska to Colorado and I'm curious what size trailer I could pull with my V6 '01 4runner. I'm also curious what the max acceptable load would be.

    I currently own a little 4x6 but I'm considering something as long as 16'. I'd plan to install trailer brakes for the larger trailer. Thanks for any insight you can shed.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
    When I moved down to Idaho from Anchorage, I just sold everything that wouldn't fit in my minivan. I don't know squat about towing, but I'd want to try to keep the length and weight down as much as possible. Those frost heaves for the first 2,000 miles would be enough to take out your frame!

    You may want to think about a transmission cooler too if you don't have one already.

    You can check out towing laws for the states, provinces and territories here.

    Have a safe trip!

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • boats3boats3 Posts: 41
    Bottom line is that you should not exceed your GVRW of 5,000. However, if you are moving I would think that you are going to have more "stuff" in your 4Runner, therefore I would be very careful, and as Steve said becareful of the ice on the road.
  • 054runner054runner Posts: 1
    I just got an 05 4runner, V6 2wd, and plan to tow my 19ft boat with it. Was wondering what gear is recomended for towing this boat??? My boat only ways at most 3000 pounds. Any help is appreciated!!!
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 41
    When towing you should always use 4. Double check your owners manual but I am pretty sure on this.
  • I have a '93 17' BigFoot and need to purchase a used tow vehicle. I haven't towed the trailer yet. After reading reviews, I've decided the 4Runner to be a great choice. I would appreciate advise on the following:
    Did all V6 4Runners come with factory non-weight distributing hitches? Is it bolted to the bumper or axle?
    Would I have to replace that hitch with a weight distributing one or is it an add-on? Two anti-sway bars came with the trailer and its GVWR and GAWR are 3500lbs. with standard equipment. It lists a standard built dry weight of 2670lbs. with a hitch weight of 230lbs. With some optional equipment, four passengers, camping equipment, etc. could I get by with a V6 with a weight distributing hitch and additional coolers or would I have to go with a V8? Thanks, Ruth
  • chuck1919chuck1919 Posts: 176
    Search the web for the towing capacity of the 4Runner model year you are looking at. I believe the V6 is rated at 5,000 pounds. You don't want to exceed 80% of the towing capacity (4,000 pounds) so you should be alright. I don't know what year(s) but at some point Toyota stopped putting WD hitches on the V6. Again, a search will help you. Some have switched to an after market hitch or have bought the V8 hitch from Craig's List or a Toyota specific forum site. I understand it will bolt right in.
  • Hello to all, and I'm hoping you can answer a question for me. I'm trying to determine which hitch I have installed on my '07 SR5 V6. The car has the tranny cooler installed and it appears to have the heavier duty hitch (frame mounted), but I'm trying to make sure. The hitch appears to be installed to the frame with six bolts, two in the rear and one farther up on the beams running parallel to the front/back axis of the car. It also has a seven pin connector. I'm asking because I want to determine if I can use a weight distributing hitch with it to haul a trailer which will be under the 5000 max. weight but the tongue weight will be between 5-600 pounds.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    At some point Toyota switched to a "lesser hitch" (on the V6) that will not hold up to a WD hitch.

    Take your VIN down and call Customer Care at Toyota, they should know.
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 41
    Look at your hitch, my hitch has a weight limit sticker right on it on the driver's side. It is yellow with black writing. If the sticker is not there, Chuck1 has led you in the right direction.
  • I am looking at getting a new 2011 V6 4Runner. It says it has a 5,000 lbs towing capacity. My boat and trailer weigh 4,000 lbs. Has anyone towed this much weight with one of the newer V6 4Runners? If so how did it do?
  • You have to keep in mind also how many passengers and ice chests, etc. This all takes away from the GVRW. What is the weight that will be resting on the hitch?

    If your going to tow this boat and passengers with some cargo on a regular basis, I would suggest looking at a Full size 3/4 ton pickup. Look at the GVRW - it's a yellow sticker on the driver's side door jam. Also, I would assume the weight on the boat is the DRY WEIGHT. Once you add fuel, and other items it's going to be more.

    I tow a 5,000 pound travel trailer with an 05 Sport Edition 4Runner w/V8. But it's rated at 7,500 pound towing. And my wife is the only passenger. Toyota, IMHO really blew it by not offering a V8 with the redesign.

    Good luck!
  • Rule of thumb is that you should not tow more than 80% of the listed towing capacity. Thus, 4000 lbs is just at 80% of 5000 lbs, and hence should be okay.

    Good luck.
  • Towing capacity is indeed important. Most people forget about the GVWR.

    If your in an accident, and even if in your tow rating, BUT OVER GVWR you have big problems.
  • I just bought an 07 4Runner V6. It is an automatic. My understanding of towing is that if I am going to tow anything with an automatic transmission, the vehicle needs the transmission cooler. There is no record or information from toyota that states that my vehicle has a tranny cooler. Though the vehicle was built with a trailer hitch receiver. The dealer states Toyota never installed tranny coolers on 07's, and that it doesn't need it. Any help in this issue would be greatly appreciated!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    The cooler will be located in front of the radiator-it's very easy to see. Your dealer is an idiot. They can run your VIN and see exactly what it came with.

    If your towing-you need a cooler. In addition, if your going to use a weight distributing hitch, you need to check to see if your receiver can handle one of these. At some point Toyota started putting receivers on that can't handle the load of a WD hitch. (I believe it was after '06)

    If your trailer has electric brakes, you will need a brake controller mounted in the 4Runner.

    I towed a 21 foot -5,000 pound travel trailer for 4 years with my '05 Sport Edition with a V8. The 4Runners are OK tow vehicles, the 110" wheel base however never gives you the confidence you need while towing. At 98,000 miles (it still ran great) I traded mine in on a Silverado, it's a much better tow vehicle.

    Check your owners manual for maximum towing capability and DO NOT exceed 21 feet in length for your trailer.

    Good luck!
  • Thank you for your response.

    So, even though the dealer is stating the car DOES NOT a transmission cooler, you think it does? The dealer claims the car is good, as is (without the cooler), and it doesn't need one to tow.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    edited October 2011
    Look for yourself. It's located directly in front of the radiator. It's in plain sight. It looks like a mini radiator.

    Dealers know nothing about towing. Are you ready to put the safety of your loved ones at the knowledge of the dealer? Please read the following:
  • My family decide to purchase a travel trailer.would like to buy a 24 ft.I have no knowledge need some help.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    edited November 2011
    Go through the pages on this forum. Others, and myself have posted a lot of useful information. I towed a 21 foot travel trailer with a '05-2WD V8 4Runner for 4years. Please note due to the 109.5" wheel base, the 4Runner IS NOT an ideal tow vehicle. But can be used if you plan to stay mostly in the flat lands. Make sure your 4Runner has the hitch that can accept a weight distributing device such as an Equalizer hitch. This device distributes the weight among all 4 axles of the rig. The two axles on the 4Runner and the two on the trailer. Make sure it is set up properly. ( At some point (maybe '08?) Toyota starting putting lesser hitches on the 4Runners. The stronger hitches (from the V8 can be interchanged) on the V6s on those years with a lesser hitch.

    Your also going to need an electronic brake controller, I would suggest the Prodigy brand.( You can go to the Toyota dealer and buy a factory wiring harness to connect it, it makes it very easy.

    I would suggest no longer than 24 feet, that is the maximum length that should be towed with a 109.5" wheelbase vehicle.

    If your towing with 4 passengers I would highly recommend purchasing a bigger SUV or truck. You can get $9,500.00 off sticker on a new 1/2 ton Silverado, that is what I bought to get a proper tow vehicle for what I needed to tow.

    BTW-there is alot of info out there-google is your friend.
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