Used Toyota 4Runner to tow 16' Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-07-2008, 09:40 PM   #1
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My plan is buying a used (lower mileage) 2WD 6 Cyl. Toyota 4Runner as my tow vehicle. I don't want to get something that won't tow or tow properly my new Casita, does anyone have experience with the 4Runner as a tow vehicle for a 16' egg? Any input will help bunches. Thanks!!
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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I'm towing my 17' SD with a Toyota Tacoma 4 cyl, manual tranny. It has plenty of power. The 16' can be pulled with any 4 cyl vehicle... I've seen a lot of Subarus pulling them and other small cars. A 4-runner with a 6 cyl won't have any trouble at all.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
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Wow, thanks, I have always wanted a 4Runner anyway and now that I am planning this full time, I just wanted to make sure that ALL my dreams can come true!!
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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The 16' can be pulled with any 4 cyl vehicle...
I think a lot of people would have a different opinion on this one, especially for a 16 footer.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:00 AM   #5
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Monica, it depends on which 6 cyl you're planning on towing with. I'd pass on the 3.0L, but the 3.4L would do much better. I've had both. The 3.0L has problems developing enough power to drive the radio. The 3.4L OTOH is a very competent engine. Which ever you get, just make sure you change the oil regularly so it doesn't sludge out.

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Old 12-08-2008, 09:29 AM   #6
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I concur with Daniel on this one - there are not many 4 bangers with that kind of pull power. Our 170hp 4 cyl Subaru is competent for our 13' Trillium but a 16' Casita with a bathroom would be pushing the engine. My 2.4l Toyota truck has to work pretty hard pull the 13' up hills.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:28 AM   #7
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I tow our 16 foot Fiber Stream with a 1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5, 5 speed manual transmission, 3.4 liter V6, and factory-installed tow package. Factory tow rating is 3500 pounds. I am just shy of 300,000 km (185,000 miles) on it, and the only challenge I had was towing into a very strong headwind from the Coutts border crossing to Calgary a few years ago. about 90 km/hr (55 mph) was the maximum I could do and my gas mileage really suffered. Grades have not been an issue if I can anticipate them and downshift soon enough.

I believe that 1999 was the last year a manual transmission was available in the 4Runner. The model year change was in 1996, with the ones before that being much smaller and prone to rusting badly.

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Old 12-08-2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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Rust? Oh yeah, my 91 Toyota's body has little holes all over from where the kids like to poke at it with their fingers =)
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:16 PM   #9
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Please be careful of judging tow capability by the number of cylinders -- A lot depends on how big the cylinders are and what is feeding them (fuel system, number of valves, ignition system) and how they are arranged (straight or V) -- My old '82 Dodge had six cylinders and was rated to tow 2,000 lbs and would have been inadequate to tow a 16' Scamp with my gear -- My current '98 Ranger also has six cylinders but is rated to tow almost 6,000 lbs, three times the Dodge rating.

The first thing one should look at is the tow capacity for THAT vehicle in the Owner's Manual -- There are a lot of different things that go into that rating besides the number of cylinders.

BTW, it seems counter-intuitive, but a 2WD will be rated to tow more than the same vehicle with 4WD because the additional equipment weighs more.... However, I find the most stressful times for the engine and transmission are backing on rough ground and getting started on a steep grade -- In these cases, having 4WD gives you access to lower gears to fit the problem.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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Pete, in this case, the Toyotas with 6 cyl engines are rated at either 3,500 lbs or 5,000 lbs with a tow package, depending on the engine and tranmission. Toyota is, thankfully, significantly more consistent with their tow ratings than many of the domestic manufacturers. Toyota trucks (and 4Runners) with the 3.0L were rated at 3,500 lbs, and those with the 3.4L rated at 5,000 lbs. Now the 4.0L six is generally rated at 5,000 lbs (the exception being the Tacoma with the tow package at 6,500 lbs).

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Old 12-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #11
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I found with my '98 Ranger that going to the bigger 6-cyl engine automatically got you a beefier transmission and a larger (beefier) rear differential -- There was more to it than just the engine, because the 4-cyls had even smaller gear attached to them.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:29 PM   #12
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Wow, I have learned so much already. I knew you all would know more than I do. Keep posting the advice and info, I am taking notes!! Thank you all so much!!
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:00 PM   #13
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We occasionaly tow with our 05 4runner, v-6 and a 4x4. It does fine here in Wy. We use our Tundra most of the time just so we can throw dirty messy in the back.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:08 PM   #14
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I called the main office of Casita to find out about towing ratings and capacity for my Real time 4WD- 4cyl Honda Element. They told me very specifically that my car was not the proper towing vehicle for even a 13' Casita.
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