Trucks & Trailers - Towing w/ a 4runner

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View Full Version : Towing w/ a 4runner


TroutSlayer
03-13-2011, 09:53 AM
Looking into getting a slightly used 4runner, and looking ahead to a boat in the future. Biggest I would go on first boat would be a 21ft. center console. That would be the biggest. Most likely would be 20ft. or so bay boat.

I'm curious if anybody here is towing with a V6 4runner and what they tow with it. V8's are just so incredibly hard to find (2007-2009), let alone a V8 with 4x4.

Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

I should add that I would be doing alot of highway towing. At this point I'm basically trying to decide between a V6 4x4 and a V8 4x2.


patrickg
03-13-2011, 10:20 AM
I towed an 8,000 pound skid-steer with a 2,000 pound trailer for a couple of weeks after a hurricane until I bought an F250. I definitely don't recommend towing over max capacity. I had to do it out of necessity. 4,000 pounds will not be a problem for a 4-runner. 4runners aren't speed deamons. The v8 will be a lot nicer on the interstate, but the v6 will get the job done.

seaMooch
03-13-2011, 12:31 PM
I'm towing around 6500# (21' wa) with a v8 4runner. I towed a a 3500 - 4000# CC with an older v6 for a while, it did ok, but it did tend to sway a bit at highway speeds due to the short wheel base. On the v8 I'm using a WDH with sway control, which seems to solve that issue.If you poke around on autotrader you can probably find a V8 out there, there's not a ton, but they are definitely there and the V8 is rated for 7k and has plenty of power.


Bamaskeetshooter
03-13-2011, 03:55 PM
I'm towing around 6500# (21' wa) with a v8 4runner. I towed a a 3500 - 4000# CC with an older v6 for a while, it did ok, but it did tend to sway a bit at highway speeds due to the short wheel base. On the v8 I'm using a WDH with sway control, which seems to solve that issue.If you poke around on autotrader you can probably find a V8 out there, there's not a ton, but they are definitely there and the V8 is rated for 7k and has plenty of power.



I tow a 22' Pathfinder with a 2007 V8 4X4 4Runner, the rig weighs just shy of 5000 lbs. It does a great job

jzd
03-14-2011, 08:02 AM
maybe i shouldnt admit this on a public forum but....in a dire situation (really wanted to go fishing) and had prblems with my regular tow vehicle, i towed my contender 23t (7-8k#) with my 04 v8 runner. my crew, and i, were really impressed with how well it did but would not rememend even getting close to the tow capacity if you plan to tow often. these trucks have great power and great brakes (mine has the upgraded brake package). not sure how the rest of the drive train would hold up to heavy towing.

TroutSlayer
03-14-2011, 08:27 AM
Great, thanks for all the input THT'ers.... going to def. go wiht the V8.... is it worth it or necessary to get the 4x4???


I'd rather not tow near capacity so as to have a "comfort window", esp. towing on the highway from ATL to charleston.

Joe
03-14-2011, 11:18 AM
I have an '05 2wd V8 4runner that tows my 22' Scout as good as, if not better than my 07 GMC Yukon 5.3l. It doesn't bounce around like the Yukon does and gets better gas mileage towing (and just driving, too).

I've never needed, or wished I had 4wd drive in it...especially when filling up. Also, oddly, I get better gas mileage with 89 octane gas than I do 87 or 91/93. The owners manual suggests 91 octane in the v8.

Wicked Awesome
03-14-2011, 11:26 AM
I use a 2002 V8 4WD 4runner to tow a 22' Edgewater with a single 200 HP outboard. The 4runner is a great tow vehicle for my use. I live about a mile from the ramp, and the route is Florida flat and below 40 MPH. Low range & 4WD is great to have on the ramp - I think "no drama" is the term. I feel your pain on looking for a late model used V8 - my current 4runner has 120,000 miles on it and my son is chomping at the bit to 'inherit' it as his first car. Two of my neighbors also told me they were interested in my current 4runner if I decided to sell . . . . I started looking for a newer V8 4runner and couldn't find much. I'm not happy with my new car/truck alternatives.

Joe
03-14-2011, 11:47 AM
Sure that's not an 03 V8 4 Runner?

They didn't put the v8 in the old body style 4runner..that ended production in '02.

And you won't find it in the '10s or '11s as they don't put it in those either.

Auburn02
03-14-2011, 02:46 PM
Good timing for this thread. I was just hypothesizing this morning on what I'll get to replace my 2001 Pathfinder in the next year or so and my first thought was an ~'06-'07 4Runner, 2WD, V8. 7300 lb towing capacity would do me just fine. They do seem hard to come by though.

Joe
03-14-2011, 03:57 PM
I looked and our local Toyota dealer has two of them with V-8's

http://www.toyotaofcharleston.com/used/Toyota/2008-Toyota-4runner-abce5cd10a0a006501acc36fc63481c3.htm

http://www.toyotaofcharleston.com/used/Toyota/2007-Toyota-4runner-c72a64620a0a0002010ac31704ed7635.htm

stripa
03-14-2011, 05:15 PM
Get the V8. I tow a 215 Kencraft with a 225HP, about 4400 lbs loaded. No issues, I do have the tow package, transmission cooler AWD. It gets 19 MPG during regular driving, can tow 7000 lbs. I drove to Jacksonville, non top other than fuel. Test drove the boat, bought the next day, dove straight back fo Massachustts, about 23 hours to get home. ZERO issues. Paint is not great fomr the factory, not high end as far as fit & finish. but it does was what I need it to real well.

seaMooch
03-14-2011, 06:17 PM
If you go with the V8 if you can get the self leveling (air suspension) and/or their xreas (sp?) shocks they seem to help a lot. The air suspension keeps the ride level and the shocks reduce body roll and can help with sway. The v8 also has a much better hitch assembly setup with a WDH from the factory. The V6 hitch doesn't seem to fit a lot of standard receivers because the spare tire is right in the way (not sure if the newest version has this issue too). I'm not sure if it was the same on all years, but mine (08) came standard with a transmission cooler.

Wicked Awesome
03-14-2011, 08:23 PM
Good catch, Joe. Yes, it is a 2003, not a 2002.

JOEKEN
03-15-2011, 03:12 AM
I've towed my boat with my wifes 06 V6 many times and it does a great job.
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m135/JOEKENBOB/Bluewater%202150/Bluewater2150001-6.jpg

baypro21
03-15-2011, 04:19 AM
My buddy has an older 4 Runner with V-6. When I had my SeaPro SV2100 bay boat we used it to tow once. It was on a flat island and we never got above 45mph but it felt very capable.

TroutSlayer
03-15-2011, 05:29 PM
Ok, I think this is the last question...

If a 4runner has a tow hitch on it, does the necessarily mean that the car comes with the "Tow Package"???

Many thanks for all your helpful responses!

JOEKEN
03-15-2011, 07:42 PM
Ok, I think this is the last question...

If a 4runner has a tow hitch on it, does the necessarily mean that the car comes with the "Tow Package"???

Many thanks for all your helpful responses! 2003-2005 came with a hitch. Starting in 2006 only the V8's had hitches from the factory from what I've seen. I don't remember if the V8's had tranny coolers or not. From what I have seen all the new body style comes with a hitch.

Joe
03-15-2011, 07:54 PM
The v-8's have a transmission cooler. Small..but it has one.

Bamaskeetshooter
03-16-2011, 04:12 AM
Ok, I think this is the last question...

If a 4runner has a tow hitch on it, does the necessarily mean that the car comes with the "Tow Package"???

Many thanks for all your helpful responses!


You will see 4 Runners with two different kinds of class 3 hitches. The factory 7300 lb hitch has tubular supports. They are easy to see from the back of the vehicle.

JoeR2
03-16-2011, 06:36 AM
you don't need a v8 if your load is 5k or below. The v6 will tow 5k lbs no problem. I towed a grady 1400 miles in one. It got 13+ mpg when towing and it never had an issue. I weighed the package at a truck stop. 4950 lbs total weight of the load. I did a lot of hills too. the v8's are hard to find, as you know. Plus, I wouldn't buy an suv without 4x4 as I live in new england and it comes in real handy - on the snow and on slick ramps - or over sand - or off road, etc.

Also, I think you say this would be your first boat - do yourself a favor and start small. There is a lot to learn about trailering, let alone on the water. Good luck.

05VWFF
03-16-2011, 08:12 AM
I have on 05 Sport V8 awd, love it. pulls great, has great power and gets decent mileage for a V8 unloaded i can get around 21-22mpg 65mph flat ground. City is about 18, most I have towed is 5k with it and it hasn't been a problem. still get 13-14mpg. Great SUV's i just wish they would have put a timing chain instead of belt on the V8, would have been one less thing to maintain

sandiegosteve
03-16-2011, 11:44 AM
If a 4runner has a tow hitch on it, does the necessarily mean that the car comes with the "Tow Package"???

I've got a 2008 V6. It came with a towing package according to all of the documentation and the dealer. I haven't checked under the hood for sure. It is rated for 5k towing. The hitch is factory installed.

My rig is about 3k and is no problem as others have said too.

JOEKEN
03-16-2011, 12:05 PM
Great SUV's i just wish they would have put a timing chain instead of belt on the V8, would have been one less thing to maintain I wouldn't worry about the belt. I have seen them as high as 170k when done and the belt still looked great. Get rid of that garbage coolant they put in them and you won't have to worry about the water pump either.

Elizabeth Reed
03-16-2011, 12:08 PM
I pull my boat with my Frontier pickup 6cyl. My boat is Seahunt Triton 177. The truck has a 6500lb towing capacity. The truck does a ok job pulling. Stopping is another issue if you got to do it quickly. I mostly pull to and from Oak Island NC from Gaston County. Its about 500 miles round trip. I make 6-10 trips down per year. During the summer months when I have the a/c running the truck struggles and drinks a lot of gas. About 3/4's of the trip both ways I have to fill up the truck. I really have not figured the actual gas mileage I get, I just shake my head and keep getting it. Gas mileage is a concern but safety, wear and tear is a bigger concern. With that in mind, I have been looking for a F-250 with a diesel engine. Seems to me a truck this size would pull the boat with much more ease and get much better gas mileage. Plus the F-250 would be a safer vehicle for quicker stops than my Frontier. It may be a bit overkill for my current boat size, but if one day I go to a bigger boat, I am covered. The main thing is I will feel safer pulling with a bigger truck than getting by on a smaller truck.

Southernfan
03-16-2011, 12:29 PM
When I had my 29 fountain I towed it a few miles to the ramp every weekend with a 05 2wd v6 4 runner and never had an issue, got some wierd looks at the ramp though! If going any distance I would use a full size truck but it did fine then and still runs like new with 167000 miles on it. It was the sport edition with xreas suspension

jko2004
03-16-2011, 12:41 PM
I have a 2004 v-8 4x4 limited....been a vrey nice vehicle and tows very well. I have towed a 22' boat with hardtop from Panama City to Marathon Key and back.

The brakes are excellent which is more important than big engine when towing (to me).

Go for it.:thumbsup:

Joe
03-16-2011, 06:09 PM
I had someone ask me if I my V-6 Tacoma (Same V6 and transmission as in the '03-09 4 Runner) was big enough to pull my boat when pulling out of the landing a few months back. Something sarcastic about needing to wind it up. Little did they know it towed it better than my '07 Yukon does!

A few minutes later I saw their Dodge 4x4 diesel pulling their 16' skiff. I asked one of them if their boat was big enough for that truck--got some pretty dirty looks.

TroutSlayer
03-23-2011, 07:58 AM
At what point (size boat etc) does sway begin to be a problem @ highway speeds?

Belzelbub
03-25-2011, 03:56 PM
I pulled my boat (sig) with an '06 4WD V8 4Runner a few times. Pulled it home from the dealership, then once or twice to the ramp (about 1 mile away).

To be on the safe side, I'd use 4 low pulling out of the water. It actually did fine, to and from the ramp. Highways and overpasses were a different story. It'd slow way down going up an overpass, took full throttle to keep pace.

So, I got a Tundra with the 5.7. Granted, I was likely overweight on the 4Runner. Otherwise, I'd say it pulled great.



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