Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota 4Runner Towing



  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I agree - I would be afraid that some of these "Ultra Lite" trailers would fall apart during off road use.

  • jbrewjbrew Posts: 1
    Good Evening,

    I have a 2003 4Runner that I want to use for towing...will be towing boat and trailer which weighs about 3,200.

    The 4Runner did not come with the transmission cooler installed. Is it okay to haul the boat without having a tranny cooler installed.

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    If you are going to tow only once in a while - you should be OK. If you are going to tow on a frequent basis, install a tranny cooler and start with clean transmission fluid. IMHO!!
  • Greetings, all,
    I have recently purchased a 2007 2WD V8 to tow my ultra light travel trailer. Had the maiden voyage this week. It sure isn't the old F150, but overall, not bad. We did have a goofy experience, though. The VSC and TRAC lights came one when I accelerated to get on the highway. I am assuming this means these functions were shut down (probably due to the anti-sway hitch). Being a 2WD, there is no on/off switch for this. Once we turned off the car, the lights went out. No other problems unhitched. Anyone have an experience like this? This appears to be the only place on the internet talking about 4 runners and towing.

    Peace, Dennis
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I tow a 21' foot TT with a Weight Distributing hitch as well with an '05 4Runner Sport (V8) 2 wheel drive. I was going down the freeway when towing once, it was windy and these lights came on as well.

    They went off when I shut down the motor.

    I believe it has something to do with the sensors located on the truck for the computer that controls these devices.

    I think the WD hitch in certain situations puts more pressure on the SUV (perhaps) on one side causing them to come on.

    Just my guess. I am not worried about it.
  • bobw1bobw1 Posts: 19
    I looking at buying a '07 V-8, 2WD to pull a 21 ft. trailer. The brochure gives the max. trailer weight, but not the max. hitch weight. Does anyone know. Thanks...
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    If the dealer doesn't know, I wouldn't buy the vehicle from them. But that being said, I believe it's 750 pounds.

    But verify that figure. My hitch weight is around 500 pounds. A little on the heavy side for 21 foot trailer I pull with my V8 4Runner.

    Make sure you have a good weight-distributing hitch.(Hensley, pull-rite, or equalizer, etc.) And make sure it is most of all set up correctly.
  • we have a 2003 4 runner 2wd v-8. 24 foot tt. question should i pull in overdrive? trailer is 3800 lbs with about 460 lbs at hitch. i understandwhen pulling hills to stay out of overdrive but what about flat out highway. thanks for any advice you may offer. jim
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I do not pull my trailer in overdrive. I want the power for going up hills and for passing semi-trucks. I tow and get between 10-12 mpg depending on terrain, winds, etc.
  • i need some info. about towing a 4x4 4runner with all 4 wheels on the ground.i have a motor home that i will tow the 4 runner with.can some one tell me if this can be done.
  • Just returned from a short shakedown cruise. To recap, we have an '07 V8 2WD, Equalizer hitch, towing a 26 ft Jayfeather, loaded wt about 4800#. I had the dealer set up the hitch and install the Voyager brake controller.

    Well, it isn't the F150, but overall, it did well. It was a bit windy here in MN, and I found it pays to keep your hands on the wheel on the 2 lanes when trucks are passing, but I never felt unsafe. The VSC/TRAC lights came on (see above) but went out as soon as we turned off the truck. Plenty of passing power, and the torque range is very good,with a minimum of shifting. I think this thing will pull all day long at 55-60, but the wind resistance will start to drag if you think you are going to tow at 70.

    As noted elsewhere, have a good hitch and get someone experienced to set it up properly. The Voyager brake controller works much better than the old one we had on the pickup, so I never felt the trailer was pushing the 4R even on the off ramps.

    This was a short trip, but first impression is good. I hope everyone will keep posting their experience here.

    Peace, Dennis
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Glad you had a good trip. I believe I will be heading out this weekend to Palm Springs, CA with my 21 footer TT and 4Runner. You are right both hands on the wheel when semis pass. You feel a little sway - but nothing that will make something you don't want to happen....happpen! The V8 has plenty of torque and will pull all day long at legal towing speeds!

    Happy trails!
  • Where do you have your brake controller mounted? The RV dealer put mine under the dash where my right shin rubs against it. Any other ideas?

    Peace, Dennis
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Mine sounds like it's mounted right where yours is. The thing is that the wiring harness for the brake controller is just to the left of the steering wheel underneath the bottom of the dash.

    So the controller can be moved a few inches either way, but that's really the only area for it.

    I really can't figure out why arragements are not made to mount it closer to arms reach, after all if you get severe sway, you need to be able to reach the lever on the brake controller to correct it.

    Have him move it a few inches away from your knee if it bothers you. Or, you can do it your self assuming there is enough loose wire.

    Good luck!
  • Ok, I have done some searching and havent found what I am looking for. Or at least it was over my head and didnt know it.

    I just bought a 4Runner (V6) and need to hall a 10ft flatbed trailer in a parade. I checked the reciever and but the ball on but I didnt see the wire connector for the trailer. Do I need to have it wired? Am I missing something?

    I have never towed anything and honestly didnt buy this vehicle to do so but I got wrangled in...

    Thanks for the help!
  • The wiring harness is to the left of the receiver underneath the bumper; you have to get down on your hands and knees to see it. I now plug in by feel!
    Good towing!
  • I have a new 2007 4Runner SR5 4x4WD and has a boat to pull which is about +/- 2000 lbs. The Owner's manual suggestion under Trailer Towing Tips is not to put transmission in 'D' (Overdrive) to maintain engine breaking efficiency. It doesn't mention specifically what level to put on. I'm assuming it to be at '4'. So do you downshift to 4 when towing on flat roads as well, the same way you drive uphill or downhill? tnx.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Yes, when I tow my 5,000 lb. travel trailer I keep it in "4th". The electronic transmission will do the rest.

    I guess if it was a real steep hill, I could down shift further.
  • DQ,
    I have a new 2007 SR5 4Runner and has a receiver socket for trailer. I was looking at the wiring harness and saw two of them, one is black and flat the other one is white and a little bit round. Both wirings are connected to the receiver socket. Is the harness you're talking the black one? Do I just have to disconnect it and use the (female) portion to connect my boat trailer? My trailer wiring has the typical, green, yellow, brown and white wires. I'm just a little bit afraid of disconnecting the harness in my 4R. Would appreciate your help. Thanks.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Boat trailers and small utility trailers typically have a 4 pin flat electrical connector.

    Travel trailers typically have a 7 pin round connector.

    Apparently your 4 runner is equipped to handle either.

    All you have to do is to Plug your trailer into whichever connector on your 4Runner matches the trailer connector.

    Generally the 7 pin round connector will have a flap that swings opens to make the pins accessible. The 4 pin connector typically has a plastic cover that pulls off to expose the pins. They are both designed so that you can't make a mistake while plugging in.

  • Kip,
    Just got a 7-pin to 4-pin connector from my 4Runner to my boat trailer from my Toyota dealer yesterday. Haven't hooked the trailer yet but this should work fine. Thanks a lot for your response.
  • jlabriejlabrie Posts: 10
    Greetings. This is a good thread. I am getting a 20' Haulmark Thrifty Car Hauler, and it sounds like I should be ok with what I've read. I have got a 2005 SR5 4WD with the V-6. I'm replacing the factory hitch with a weight distributing one (bolts to the frame on each side instead of the rear cross member), and am also getting an Equi-li-zer weight distribution hitch and a Prodigy Brake Controller. With the car in the trailer it's about 4200 pounds. The only question I have, is the trailer manufacturer can add 6" or 12" to the tongue, which he said makes it easier to turn. With the Equili-zer, I think I get that extra foot anyway, right? Also, from what I read it sounds like I don't want to be very long with the total trailer length. So do I need the extra tongue length or not? If not, it saves me about $100. :-) Thanks for any feedback.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Your going to get that extra length as you have suggested with the equalizer.

    Good thing you are going to replace the factory hitch. I have read on several other boards that the V6 hitches are not built for a WD hitch setup.

    Also, I have read where the later model 4Runners with the V8 hitch can fit no-problem on the V6 model. Those are made for a WD-hitch setup.

    Also, remember your tongue weight (My 05 I believe 750 pounds). Good choice on he Prodigy brake controller, they are most highly rated!

    Good luck!
  • Thanks, Chuck.

    I got my new WD hitch (like the one used on the V-8 4Runners) and installed it yesterday.

    So when I was installing I ran into a few challenges. First, the factory hitch - unless you remove the bumper cover - is a pain to remove. There are 4 bolts that are behind the cover which give you very little room in which to operate - like 15 degrees or so. Takes forever to remove these 4 bolts.

    That just took patience (and tired arms) to overcome.

    I ran into two other issues. One is the electrical connection - is there a new bracket to use or a longer pigtail from Toyota that I need? Right now the thing just wants to hang there, and it just doesn't look finished to me.

    The second is on the right side where the hitch mounts in its frontmost points, the tailpipe is in the way. How do I move the tailpipe so I can slip the 2 frontmost bolts into their threaded holes? The tailpipe is hanging on a rubber piece, but I didn't see how to remove it without breaking anything (which is what I usually do).

    Any suggestions?


  • Okay, I figured it out. Unhooking the rubber exhaust hanger just requires a little silicone spray (or WD-40) onto the two posts on the front side of the rubber hanger followed by a bit of pushing and prying. Once it was off, installing the bolts was fairly easy.

    By the way, I don't recommend buying a Curt hitch if you ever do this, because while the hitch is really well made they forgot to create a place or bracket to which the 7-round connector would attach. I was able to attach the stock Toyota bracket to the frame after installing the Curt hitch, but I couldn't attach the connector to the bracket using the two holes/screws designed for that purpose because the hitch was in the way of the connector. So I zip-tied the connector to the bracket through two holes on either side of the connector, leaving about an inch of slack to allow clearance for the connector hood.

    It actually works just fine, but it's not what you would expect when buying a new hitch.

    Get a Draw-Tite or a Hidden Hitch instead.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    When I purchased my trailer, the power cord to the trailer was too short. Apparently this wasn't an issue for pickup trucks (my trailer was a slightly used rental) becuse they just used the bumper hitch and the connector next to that. But with the 4Runner it is underneath the vehicle, then you add the extra foot or so for the WD hitch, and the cord was too short. So I went down to the RV store and they showed me which power cord to buy, along with a diagram on how to wire the connector to slip on (like an extension cord) to the existing trailer connector.
    I was advised (by other froums) that this could cause extra electrical resistance and problems with my brake controller. This never happened and it's been over two years.

    I do wonder though if I ever get caught in the rain if it would be problematic. So I might (one day) go down to Autozone and buy some of that "electrical conducting grease" and take apart the extension and grease the leads.

    Happy Camping!
  • jlabriejlabrie Posts: 10
    Thanks for the heads-up on the electrical line. We had them measure it prior to getting the trailer and it was plenty long.

    It turns out the SR5 4WD 4Runner tows pretty well considering it's just a V-6. We towed a Haulmark 20' Thrifty Hauler with 500 lbs of stuff in it (total weight 3825 lbs) about 2200 miles without any issues. Yes, the V-6 was hurting in headwinds and hills, but on the flats it did well. Using premium fuel we managed to get 10.5 mpg average for the entire trip. There were 2 tanks at only 6 mpg, but we also had tanks at 12 mpg, so it varied considerably depending upon terrain and wind. We averaged 55 mph for the trip including our stops, which were frequent (15 fill-ups).

    The Equal-i-zer hitch made it an easy experience and did a good job of minimizing the effect of semis flying by; it could not entirely eliminate their effect. Particularly if the difference in speed between the overtaking semi and our rate of travel was 10 mph or more, the 4Runner would get sucked towards the semi as it passed. More specifically, when the front of the passing semi got even with the front of the trailer we would get pulled left into the semi. I learned to anticipate this (steer right) and that made it manageable, but found the safest way to travel (if the least fuel efficient) was to try and keep my speed up close to the posted limit (although 65 mph was all I wanted to go). That way the difference in speed was low enough that the pressure wave coming off the front of the semi wasn't powerful enough to suck us in as it went by.

    There's no doubt the V-8 version of the 4Runner would've towed better, but my normal tow from now on is less than 50 miles each way and very flat as well, so it won't be an issue.

    Thanks for the knowledge sharing and assistance. It helped to make our trip a safe one.

    Oh, and one final thing. The Curt Hitch is fine - just get a bracket for the connector from or any good towing supply store. You will apparently have the same issue I had using any after market hitch.

    Happy towing!
  • Could you please share the hitch install procedure for the 4runner? I have an 06 4Runner V6 Sport Ed and just bought the hitch from toyota but it does not have the install procedure. There are also 4 loose plates included in the package, first 2 was for the side beams and the other 2 I think is for the hitch receiver??? :confuse: Dont know where to put these 4 loose plates :confuse: , by the way there is another loose plate that I think would cover the bumper cutout :confuse: , but my rear bumper does not have that cutout since it did not came with the tow hitch option when I got it. if you could share your install procedure and post the pics of your hitch install it would be a great help. tnx
  • txgolfertxgolfer Posts: 2
    I am shopping for a vehicle to replace two current vehicles. My wife's daily driver is a FWD Ford Escape. I want to replace this car and my 1999 Suburban that I only use for towing my boat. Since I want to keep costs (both initial and operating costs) down I would prefer a 2 wheel drive and a V6. Would like to hear from anyone posting their experiences towing with a 2WD V6 4Runner. My boat is 21.5 feet and about 3000 lbs dry, so I would guess wet and with trailer about 4000 lbs, maybe a little less. Would like to hear whether going V6 instead of V8 is a big mistake. Keep in mind that 90% of miles will not be pulling the boat and most trips with boat will be 200 miles or less over flat terrain (SE and Central Texas). Also, any optional or aftermarket equipment that I need to look for or add?

  • txgolfertxgolfer Posts: 2
    Oh, I forgot to add that I will be buying a USED vehicle - 2004-07.
Sign In or Register to comment.