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Toyota 4Runner Towing



  • Hi,

    I am relocating around 500 miles from NY to MI.

    I am renting a 16 foot truck from Penske/Uhaul for my 2 bedroom furniture but would like to tow my 2006 Toyota 4runner LTD behind the truck probably on a car carrier.

    Neither company would allow that saying the 4runner is too heavy for their trucks to tow. size wise I measured it and it should fit on their car carrier just fine.

    Penske website states the car carrier Load Limitations is 4050lbs, the Toyota site states the weight of the 2006 4runner is:
    gross vehicle weight rating (lbs) 5,330, curb weight (lbs) 4,045.

    I also was reading that the 18 inch wheels are too large for the car carrier. I believe my 06 4runner LTD has 18 inch wheels.

    What if I rent a 22 foot truck and leave half the truck empty to compensate for the weight of the 4runner? I would hate to have to fly one-way back and drive the trip again with my car.

    Any advice is highly appreciated. I considered towing the 6'x12' trailer from uhaul but my furniture wont fit in there and the wife wants it ALL.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Is there any chance that your wife could drive the 4Runner while you drive the truck?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    They are right - the 4Runner is too heavy for the carrier. You can drive it or ship it for around $500.00.

    Good luck!
  • Did you ever get an answer to this question? I just bought a 2006 4runner and didn't realize it didn't have the tow hitch on it. :cry: I too noticed that there has to be a cut out and there is not one on my car either. all help is greatly appreciated. :)

  • diegopdiegop Posts: 1
    I'm moving from South East Texas to Vancouver, BC (about 2,600 miles) and am looking at the possibilities for taking my stuff. I have a 2007 V-6 4 Runner and want to tow a 6' x 12' Uhaul Cargo Trailer.

    Is it safe to make such a long trip with this equipment?
    What kind of hitch would I need to install?
    Do I need a cooler, etc?

    I've never towed anything, so my concern is that I may damage the car. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    It seems these days that U-Haul will not rent a trailer to anyone (driving a vehicle) they deem unable to do so safely.

    They still won't connect the trailers to Ford Explorers even though it was the tires and not the vehicle.

    It looks like by the specs you provided you should be OK-but check your owners manual. Make sure your tires (especially in the rear) are at maximum inflation. DO NOT EXCEED 55mph. The tires on the trailer will not handle sustained highway speeds and high heat...they will blow for sure.

    I tow a 21 foot travel trailer w/ an '05 Sport V8 (2WD). It has a tongue rating of 750 pounds and a total weight of 7,500 pounds for towing.

    A transmission cooler and fresh transmission fluid is never a bad idea.

    Good luck!
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    How does everyone do without an Air Ride System? I just purchased a 2006 4Runner without the Air Ride and will be towing about 5000 lbs. I used to use a 2002 Jeep Liberty that did extremely well after I installed the Firestone Airbags which made it better. Do I need to do the same or install Air Shocks? Any and all coments is appreciated.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    First of all-check with your dealer or owners manual and determine what hitch you have. Do you have the one rated at 7,5000 pounds and approved for a weight-distributing hitch device?

    Make sure you have a weight distributing hitch such as an Equalizer, Pullrite, etc. When you have this follow the manufacturers installation instructions.

    In a nutshell after the WD hitch is hooked up to the 4Runner the front of the 4Runner should be within an 1" of what it was PRIOR to hooking up the trailer.

    This procedure will determine if you need air bags in the back.

    I tow a 5,000 pound 21 foot trailer trailer with a rather heavy 750 pound tongue weight and it does fine without airbags.

    It does however have the X-REAS cross linked sport suspension system. If you have this system you will not have a problem. BTW- I am assuming you are not exceeding 21 feet in trailer length. At 109.5" the wheelbase of the 4Runner can't handle anything longer safely..
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    I have the WDW hitch. Was ahead of the curve on that one being that I am just changing vehicles, not a novice just new to towing with a Toyota. The Camper is 22ft. all closed up 25ft. extended 450lbs tounge weght, it is an ultra light. If you are doing fine than I should be too. I am doing the fit test this weekend, still have the Liberty though. See my original post I was towing said camper with a Jeep Liberty which has a shorter wheelbase so I am improving. I upgraded to a V8 vice a V6 with the Liberty.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Yes, you have nearly the same setup as I do. Except my 21 foot has a "hardslide" that comes out the back to make a total length of 24 or 25 feet once you get to where you are going.

    The V8 has plenty of torque and is a great (if not a bit noisy) motor.

    Let us know what your suspension system is.

    Happy Camping!
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    My slide is the same as yours, out the back. I will have to look at the suspension system to see what it is.
  • I crawled under the car, read the manual, etc. can't determine for sure which suspension system I have, however, I just got back from a 400 round trip tow and had only 1/2" sag. Pulled great. No sway, no trailer pushing, like in my last tow vehicle, overall extremely happy with the purchase. Now if I can get the kids to be a little more quiet on the ride all would be grand!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    A 1/2"sag according to my WD instructions is acceptable.
  • I bought a used factory tow hitch for my 2000 4runner. I know where the bolts go but do I have to remove the spare tire and rear bumper to install It? The rear bumper is rusty and I'm getting a new blade for it so when I finally replace it will I need to take the hitch and tire off to do that? I've searched this forum and have checked my Haynes Repair Manual and don't have answers. Apologies if I should have put this with the 1997-2001 forum.
  • Hi,
    I just went through a lot of trouble to find out about my '06 4runner V-6 and got a lot of misinformation from dealers and their parts depts. Finally, I got through to Toyota and was told that I didn't need a transmission oil cooler added because my 4runner has a towing package. As far as other questions I got my answers from good sources: go to Toyota website.
    Jody Colorado
  • My 2004 V6 came with the factory towing kit but I am wondering if the hitch receiver will be sufficient to tow my new trailer. I bought a 19' travel trailer with a dry weight of 3600 lbs. I will be using a Reese weight distribution hitch with sway control. Thanks for your help.
  • I don't know if the V6s came with a hitch heavy duty enough for a WD device. Check with the dealer, or call Toyota with your VIN and they can help you. I do know the hitch from the V8 models will fit. Others have switched them out.
    Good luck!
  • I recently bought a 2008 V-6 4Runner with a Class III hitch. Just a few weeks later, I came to the conclusion that I need to be able to haul a horse trailer on short distances. The trailer will be something near, but less than, 3000 lbs, and my horse Ike is 1200-1300 lbs. Obviously, I can't haul a second horse, which will mean the weight in the trailer will be unbalanced, and I want Ike to have a safe and comfortable ride. I want to get a weight-distributing hitch, but am concerned by the messages I have read here that the V-6 hitch is not equipped to handle a weight-distributing hitch. I have contacted Toyota and Equal-izer online, but they could not tell me if my particular Toyota could use such a hitch.

    Any ideas? I know my 4Runner is not ideal for what I want to do, but need to find a way, if possible, to make it work for limited distances and low speeds.


    Does any
  • chuck1919chuck1919 Posts: 176
    edited April 2010
    Yes, for some reason Toyota stopped putting the heavier hitches on the V6. But I think your a little confused. First of the hitch HAS TO BE ABLE to handle a WD hitch DEVICE, the hitch itself does not distribute the weight. The WD hitch is actually a separate device.

    Number One - you have to switch out the hitch on your SUV. I am told the one from the V8 bolts in, but please check. Or, you can buy an aftermarket hitch that can handle a WD device.

    This is the WD device you should use after you switch out the hitch-

    This device distributes the weight across the axles of both your trailer and the rig.

    The V6 hitch cannot handle the downward pressure and must be switched out.

    I tow a 21 foot(5,000 lbs.) travel trailer with the Equalizer WD hitch on my '05 4Runner Sport V8.

    Here is the hitch info-

  • zahrezahre Posts: 3
    I had the same need with my 2002 V-6 4Runner. I agree that it is not an ideal situation, but it is doable. We added an aftermarket hitch that would handle the weight distributing hitch. The problem with the weight-distributing hitch wasn't with the truck it was with the trailer. The tongue on the new trailer we bought was solid metal and not open. We would have had to modify the trailer tongue. The manufacturer would not do this, due to liability issues. Lesson learned, buy the trailer first before you buy the hitch. Make sure that this isn't a problem with your trailer. We never did use the weight distributing hitch. We hauled my daughter's horse to and from her trainer (about 10 miles) I really wouldn't try more than that. We just had a two horse wakthrough without a dressing room, so the trailer was lighter than yours.
  • 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 Posts: 52,683
    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!
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    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: 42
    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: 42
    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.
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