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Old 08-02-2010, 11:33 PM #1
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Towing experiences with your 5th Generation

Has anyone done any serious towing with your 5th gen. V6 and factory hitch?

I want to buy an Equal-I-Zer weight distributing hitch to tow my 20' camper; it has an empty weight of 3600 lbs and a GVWR of 4950 lbs. I figure it'll be about 4500 lbs loaded. 500 lb hitch weight.

I can't find anything in the new owners manual that says not to use a weight distributing hitch with the factory receiver (rated for 5000 lbs.)

Also, has anyone found decent extended towing mirrors?

Thanx
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:14 AM #2
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I towed a rental 17 foot trailer for a week all around Michigan, about 2000 miles. I don't have much experience towing, but I thought it was a pain in the ass. Fifth gear was useless, so I left it in S-4 the whole time. I think I averaged 10 MPG, it was down to 7 MPG for a whole tank going across Wisconsin.

I think the trailer was around 3400 lbs and seemed to tow straight, it never swayed (even going over the Mackinaw bridge). It sat pretty level too, which surprised me.

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Old 08-03-2010, 09:15 AM #3
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If you're really gonna have 500# on the tongue, you may want some rear end spring help, like Timbrens, etc. You're likely going to get some sag otherwise.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:53 AM #4
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IMO every gasoline engine powered vehicle sucks at towing long distances, especially if there are any hills/mountains involved. I think I was spoiled by the one and only time I towed something long distance with a diesel powered vehicle. Anyway, I've used my 4Runner to tow a flat utility trailer to pick up a bunch of furniture. I'm guessing the trailer probably weighed 2,000 pounds empty and maybe another 500-800 with the furniture on it. The 4Runner performed as I expected, 5th gear useless most of the time, gas mileage in the toilet. No swaying and no problem holding my speed on the highway.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:03 AM #5
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Aren't you supposed to turn off overdrive when towing?

mpaquette- Our Suburban tows just fine. We've made two or three trips to Florida that total over 2,500 miles at least.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:15 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsir56 View Post
Has anyone done any serious towing with your 5th gen. V6 and factory hitch?

I want to buy an Equal-I-Zer weight distributing hitch to tow my 20' camper; it has an empty weight of 3600 lbs and a GVWR of 4950 lbs. I figure it'll be about 4500 lbs loaded. 500 lb hitch weight.

I can't find anything in the new owners manual that says not to use a weight distributing hitch with the factory receiver (rated for 5000 lbs.)

Also, has anyone found decent extended towing mirrors?

Thanx
Welcome to the forum..

I would only use a weight distributing hitch for something that close to the max. There is no special setup for the reciver tube itself..the hitch assembly should slide right in. I think the bigger part of the issues are with passenger tires towing that type of weight. I'm running scared with the stockies.

I've been looking for a decent towing mirror myself. I always had the "slip-on" versions and loved them, but I always added a little more foam on the inside of the mirror to protect and dampen vibration.

Pat
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:27 AM #7
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I've towed 2300 lbs (17 ft jet boat) without any problems. Hilly terrain needed a little extra gas, but overall it did well... I barely noticed a difference in the braking too.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:51 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsir56 View Post
Has anyone done any serious towing with your 5th gen. V6 and factory hitch?

I want to buy an Equal-I-Zer weight distributing hitch to tow my 20' camper; it has an empty weight of 3600 lbs and a GVWR of 4950 lbs. I figure it'll be about 4500 lbs loaded. 500 lb hitch weight.

I can't find anything in the new owners manual that says not to use a weight distributing hitch with the factory receiver (rated for 5000 lbs.)

Also, has anyone found decent extended towing mirrors?

Thanx
The rule of thumb is only tow 80% of the OEM (Tow and tongue) rating. You can get away with just the trailer but with it loaded you will most likely have problems. If you are committed to this trailer, this may be your anwser;

Trailer Sway Elimination Guaranteed - Hensley® the ONLY trailer hitch guaranteed to totally eliminate trailer sway.

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Old 08-03-2010, 02:01 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemsonfan15 View Post
Aren't you supposed to turn off overdrive when towing?
How do you turn off just overdrive?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemsonfan15 View Post
mpaquette- Our Suburban tows just fine. We've made two or three trips to Florida that total over 2,500 miles at least.
This is a 4Runner forum last time I checked. Unless you mean you were towing a Suburban I don't see how that helps.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:50 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_S View Post
How do you turn off just overdrive?
Just move the selector to 4th gear.

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Old 08-03-2010, 04:21 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_S View Post
How do you turn off just overdrive?

This is a 4Runner forum last time I checked. Unless you mean you were towing a Suburban I don't see how that helps.
It was mentioned Gasoline engines are not the best for towing.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:59 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koz View Post
The rule of thumb is only tow 80% of the OEM (Tow and tongue) rating. You can get away with just the trailer but with it loaded you will most likely have problems. If you are committed to this trailer, this may be your anwser;

Trailer Sway Elimination Guaranteed - Hensley® the ONLY trailer hitch guaranteed to totally eliminate trailer sway.

Koz
I don't tow much, but only 80% of the OEM rating seems ludicrous. They should already have a pretty big factor of safety built into the rating, especially considering what the tow ratings for identical vehicles are set at in Europe. (i.e. vehicles with zero tow rating here are rated at 2000 and 3000 lbs in the UK)
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:03 PM #13
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Quote:
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I don't tow much, but only 80% of the OEM rating seems ludicrous. They should already have a pretty big factor of safety built into the rating, especially considering what the tow ratings for identical vehicles are set at in Europe. (i.e. vehicles with zero tow rating here are rated at 2000 and 3000 lbs in the UK)
I agree..

Ive been towing my whole life and never heard that before. The truck companies aren't going to rate em' to downsize them. I am a firm beleiver in a safety factor, but I let happen with quality equipment, and careful considerations to your surroundings.

But...i been wrong before..



Once...


lol, Pat
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:20 PM #14
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I have towed our 22.5' Crownline boat (around 4000lb) with gas, trailer, and loaded with stuff. The 4runner did just fine although not as great of acceleration off the line as my 2006 V8 but once going just fine. Braking was adequate and as others mentioned, if hills are involved, its best to keep it out of 5th gear. All in all, I was satisfied with it and it probably towed as well as my 2003 4runner with the non-VVti V8.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:22 AM #15
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I have towed our 22.5' Crownline boat (around 4000lb) with gas, trailer, and loaded with stuff. The 4runner did just fine although not as great of acceleration off the line as my 2006 V8 but once going just fine. Braking was adequate and as others mentioned, if hills are involved, its best to keep it out of 5th gear. All in all, I was satisfied with it and it probably towed as well as my 2003 4runner with the non-VVti V8.
If you research on RV sites you find that towing at a vehicles max ratings can be dangerous without safety equipment (WD hitch, sway control, trans cooler etc.). I'm not saying you can't tow up to the OEM rating. I'm saying if you do, you will need safety equipment . If you tow 80% you will be in the safe zone of the rating. There are rules of thumb for the max length of a trailer that can be towed based on the length of the tow vehicle's wheelbase. You NEVER exceed the rated tongue/hitch weight. You need to adjust the weight in the trailer so 10 to 12 percent of the total weight is on the tongue. You need to include the weight of passengers and supplies in the tow vehicle in the total tow rating. You can tow 5K lbs with a vehicle rated to tow 2K lbs. The problems come about when you have to make a emergency maneuver, climb a hill, descend a hill, high winds, etc. Then you start having big problems with the tow vehicle, engine, trans, overheating, brakes, suspension, etc.

There is a big difference between towing a boat and a travel trailer (aerodynamics). Also, 4K lbs is exactly 80% of the vehicle’s rating.
There is also a big difference between a short trip to a campsite or a launch ramp and taking a long distance trip across mountain passes.

If you plan on towing, do some research and protect yourself, your family, others on the road, your vehicle and trailer.

No one has done more stupid towing then me, when I was young (young and dumb). I’m embarrassed to even talk about it. All can say is, I thank God no one got hurt! Towing is serious business, do it SAFELY!

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