Toyota 4Runner as TV - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #1
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Toyota 4Runner as TV

Ok, it was suggested that I ask if anyone else tows with a Toyota 4Runner and the pros and cons of it being used as a TV. Ours is a manual transmission, but it is an older 1997 model. If your TV is a 4Runner, what kind of camper are you pulling? This newbie appreciates your input!
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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we pulled a 17 casita with 4 runner over the rockeys no prob.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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Yes I do and did on the previous thread. 2005 4 litre six 4wd auto pulling a 17WB Burro about 2800lb. Disadvantage: short wheelbase; passenger friendly rear suspension. Advantages: I have one; has towing capacity of 5000lb.; low-range 4WD is the berries for backing.

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Old 09-27-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BAMA & Pachyderm Posse View Post
we pulled a 17 casita with 4 runner over the rockeys no prob.
With V6 or V8? What year?
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #5
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Jennifer

Sorry, thought you might have read the other thread where this was discussed. The 4Runner is a 1997 V6 manual transmission with 4WD.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:55 AM   #6
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I do not know your model specifics but I just bought a FJ to pull my Escape 19'. I'll post my experience in 2 weeks.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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You have a lot of variables in asking your question. Trany cooler, radiator size, type of hitch all will make a difference. Most important, is what are you pulling? You should become acquainted with gross vehicle weight rating. You need to find it for your model 4Runner. Then you can calculate whether the 4Runner is adaquate for your towing needs.

The 4Runner is recognized as a very good towing vehicle, it does have limitations. That is the reason you need to be able to calculate GVWR.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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I was asking BAMA whether he used a V6 or V8 to pull his 17' Casita.

We're looking to a 17' Casita; here are some particulars:
we have a 2007 base SR5 with a 4.0L V6 and trailering package (tranny cooler etc.)
however, it has a "weight-bearing hitch (receiver)"; the V8 has a "weight-distributing" hitch (receiver).
It's not clear what the difference is. Maybe I can use a load-leveling hitch with it, but not a weight-distributing one? How important is that?

The rated towing capacity is 5000 lb.; the 17' Casita likely won't be more than 3300 lb.

We had a 2000 lb. pop-up. It towed OK, but we only got about 15 MPG. Is it likely to be much lower with the 17' Casita?
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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Expect close to the same mpg, 14 or 15 seems likely.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:39 AM   #10
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I, too, have a 1997 4Runner (currently for sale!) V6, automatic, 4 wd all options. It has a 5,000 lb tow rating. I did move a 12,000 lb trailer about 10 city blocks, all on flat ground with it and it had no issues doing that, but I never went over about 25 mph that day. Otherwise, I never towed with it at all as the 14-15 mpg it got on the highway when NOT towing discouraged me from using it at all, so I never even put a brake controller into it!

I now drive a one-ton Chevy Diesel 4X4 (vintage 2006) that consistently gets way over 20 mpg - usually about 22-23 - and I LOVE IT!
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:24 AM   #11
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Hi, Jan,

A manual usually is rated far below an automatic for towing capacity. You would need to find the numbers for your specific vehicle including GVWR, towing capacity and GCWR.

Our automatic is rated at 5,000 towing capacity. Our city rating (not towing) is 17 and highway is 22/23 which is exactly what we get. Our towing mpg is usually about 17. With lots of hills we can be down at 14 to 16 but we also just had 19 which was probably our highest mpg when towing.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:08 PM   #12
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We've towed with a 2005 V6 (tow cap 5,000lbs) and 2006 V8 (tow cap 7,000 lbs) Towed our 17ft Casita. We don't travel light! Loved both vehicles - the V6 was a little slow up some of those long steep roads in the western mountains but very doable (passing the big rigs). The V8 is a limited and self leveling - gotta love it. Don't even know trailer's there. I don't think Toyota is making the V8 anymore...Good luck!

Kathie
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:20 AM   #13
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I appreciate everyone's input! We've read our owner's manual and it does say max 5,000 lbs, and we have towed our 18' pontoon boat up and down some hills with it without problems in the past, but then we weren't going very far. I believe we'll probably just shop for a 13' egg, unless we decide to upgrade our vehicle. Thanks!
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:01 AM   #14
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1997 4Runner Towing

I think you are underestimating that model 4Runner and its towing capacity. The specifications state the 1997 3.4 liter 4 wheel drive has a gross combined weight rating of 9,200 lbs. Take from that the vehicle weight of 3,940 and you have a weight of 5,250 lbs for fuel, passengers, cargo, tongue weight and trailer. Some folks like to stay under the rating at 80%, if you choose you have 4,208 lbs.

18 gallons of fuel is 110, estimate three passengers at 400, cargo of 150 and tongue weight of 350 gives you 960 lbs leaving 4,290 to 3,248 for the weight of your trailer depending on your desire for a safety margin.

My 19 foot Escape, as measured on the scales, fully loaded, weights in at 3,600 lbs. You can certainly look for a lot more trailer than a 13 footer.

Plug in your own numbers and get even closer.

With the trany cooler and other towing features you mentioned you have an excellent tow vehicle that can pull just about any fiberglass trailer made today. I do not use a weight distribution hitch (don't forget to include the weight if you use one) and have never had a control issue. Now my trailers dual axle has something to do with that as well.
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