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Old 02-26-2014, 03:20 PM   #1
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2014 Toyota 4Runner/Flying Cloud 20'

I'm looking for any insight/advice on towing a 20' Flying Cloud with a 2014 Toyota 4Runner. The 20' has a dry weight of 4271 lbs and GVW of 5000 lbs. The 4Runner is rated to tow 4700 lbs w/270HP and 278 ft lbs of torque. Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by allenkelley View Post
I'm looking for any insight/advice on towing a 20' Flying Cloud with a 2014 Toyota 4Runner. The 20' has a dry weight of 4271 lbs and GVW of 5000 lbs. The 4Runner is rated to tow 4700 lbs w/270HP and 278 ft lbs of torque. Thanks!
You only have 430lbs. difference... add in 2 people, the dawg, gasoline for the 4Runner, any gear you might be carrying (e.g. clothing items, pots, pans, cooking utensils, food, ice, beer, coffee, food, books, etc.), basic tools, small amounts of water left in the trailer (maybe some in the black tank, grey or fresh water tanks) and all that adds up to a great deal more than 400 lbs.. With all that, you’ve already exceeded your limits.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:46 PM   #3
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allenkelley,

I tow a 2008 20 foot Safari Special Edition with a 2005 Toyota 4Runner V6. The 2005 4Runner is rated for 5,000 lbs, and the Safari GVWR is 5,000 lbs. I have been very pleased with how the 4Runner has performed. I have a Reese Load Distribution Hitch.

The topic of tow limits is a hot one on the forums, so I am sure you will get many different opinions on the matter.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:04 PM   #4
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allenkelley,

I tow a 2008 20 foot Safari Special Edition with a 2005 Toyota 4Runner V6. The 2005 4Runner is rated for 5,000 lbs, and the Safari GVWR is 5,000 lbs. I have been very pleased with how the 4Runner has performed. I have a Reese Load Distribution Hitch.

The topic of tow limits is a hot one on the forums, so I am sure you will get many different opinions on the matter.
Just because your vehicle can tow the trailer doesn't mean it's safe. The tow ratings are provided as a guide to what the truck can safely tow, same with the trailer weight, what's safe in terms of axles. A weight distribution hitch does just that, doesn't change the weight. We're you to get into an accident, even at no fault of your own, you could be held at fault because of exceeding manufacturers specs.

With fluids (gas, water) passengers & gear, you are already overweight. This can degrade suspension, maneuverability and control. But you are right, this has been discussed ad nauseam. To each his own.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
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Sounds like u need a dually.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:22 PM   #6
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I once saw a very rough "rule of thumb" that was to try and keep the weight of your towed trailer at about 2/3rds or so of the rated vehicle rate. That way you have some cushion, even with factoring in the additional weight of people, luggage, dogs, beer, wine, ski poles, surfboards, etc. Just a very rough guide.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:49 PM   #7
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I tow a 23' 2006 Safari SE with a 2004 4Runner SE V8. It handles very well, start, stop, cornering, heavy traffic including multiple semi-trucks passing me. This is running between 60 - 65 mph using a WD hitch and anti-sway.

PO towed with a 2006 Tacoma V6 for over 2 years with no difficulty. The Safari specifications are:
Tongue - 560 lbs
Dry weight - 4200
GVWR - 5,600

The information I have found for the 2004 4Runner limit is
V6 2WD - trailer 5,330 tongue 500 towing capacity 5,000
V6 4WD - trailer 5,570 tongue 500 towing capacity 5,000
V8 2WD - trailer 5,450 tongue 730 towing capacity 7,300
V8 4WD - trailer 5,710 tongue 700 towing capacity 7,000

2004 Toyota 4Runner - Specs, Info

These numbers assume the optional towing package is installed. I don't understand why the trailer maximum exceeds the towing capacity for the V6. It seems odd but then, that's the information that was provided. Since my V8 is well within the maximum, I'm OK.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:57 PM   #8
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Actual measured weight of my 2014 FC 20' loaded with water, propane, food, normal "stuff" for camping is: AS alone: Axle: 4240 Tongue: 680.

I will not chime in on any further comments as to the tow vehicle needed, there is a lot of opinion and only you can make the choice.

I tow with a 2012 Grand Cherokee V8, but think the V6 would have done the job just fine too.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:03 AM   #9
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Yes this has been discussed more than probably any other topic on these forums. So there is no need to spread any more FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). There is no case law of anyone ever held at fault like you state. If so please provide it.

It baffles me why people perpetuate these urban legends like they are the truth. My personal policy is not to state things over which I have no real expertise or experience on.

I am not going to say any more as I don't want this thread to devolve into another one of those baseless argument threads.


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Just because your vehicle can tow the trailer doesn't mean it's safe. The tow ratings are provided as a guide to what the truck can safely tow, same with the trailer weight, what's safe in terms of axles. A weight distribution hitch does just that, doesn't change the weight. We're you to get into an accident, even at no fault of your own, you could be held at fault because of exceeding manufacturers specs.

With fluids (gas, water) passengers & gear, you are already overweight. This can degrade suspension, maneuverability and control. But you are right, this has been discussed ad nauseam. To each his own.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:05 AM   #10
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Yes this has been discussed more than probably any other topic on these forums. So there is no need to spread any more FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). There is no case law of anyone ever held at fault like you state. If so please provide it.

It baffles me why people perpetuate these urban legends like they are the truth. My personal policy is not to state things over which I have no real expertise or experience on.

I am not going to say any more as I don't want this thread to devolve into another one of those baseless argument threads.
Last year we flew to Florida for vacation. We rented a Tahoe. We get rear ended by a Ram 1500 at a traffic stop in Tampa (I am guessing the driver was texting and not paying attention to the road). The Tahoe was thrown forward about 20 yards. Thankfully, no other vehicle crashed into us. The police and EMS folks showed up immediately, and my daughter was taken to hospital in fear of a neck injury. I could tell she was fine but the EMS folks said they could not take a chance. She got released an hour later and she is fine. For several months after the incident, I was contacted by may be half a dozen law firms, asking whether I wanted to sue the other party due to injuries to my daughter (I am not sure how they got this info). Of course my daughter is fine, and I did not get back to any of those firms.

Moral of the story is, if you are in an accident, you may get in legal trouble. If you are towing with an underrated vehicle, you are giving the other party a big fat excuse (even if your TV being underrated had nothing to do with the accident). I do not consider sharing my concern about towing with underrated vehicles as FUD, but rather facts about the litigious society we live in.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:22 AM   #11
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Rostrum, with all due respect, your statement as well as the previous one is pure conjecture and not based on any experience or legal basis. The fact remains that there is no case law of anyone being prosecuted as it is being claimed.

The same could be said about under inflated tires, little thread on the tires, under maintained vehicle and dozens of other reasons.


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Last year we flew to Florida for vacation. We rented a Tahoe. We get rear ended by a Ram 1500 at a traffic stop in Tampa (I am guessing the driver was texting and not paying attention to the road). The Tahoe was thrown forward about 20 yards. Thankfully, no other vehicle crashed into us. The police and EMS folks showed up immediately, and my daughter was taken to hospital in fear of a neck injury. I could tell she was fine but the EMS folks said they could not take a chance. She got released an hour later and she is fine. For several months after the incident, I was contacted by may be half a dozen law firms, asking whether I wanted to sue the other party due to injuries to my daughter (I am not sure how they got this info). Of course my daughter is fine, and I did not get back to any of those firms.

Moral of the story is, if you are in an accident, you may get in legal trouble. If you are towing with an underrated vehicle, you are giving the other party a big fat excuse (even if your TV being underrated had nothing to do with the accident). I do not consider sharing my concern about towing with underrated vehicles as FUD, but rather facts about the litigious society we live in.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:22 AM   #12
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Using that reasoning I would caution anyone towing with a highly over-rated vehicle they may get in legal trouble if they have an accident because it's extreme size led to poor steering ability, reduced braking, less visibility, and loss of control and was therefore a factor in the collision.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:35 AM   #13
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This is a much more reasoned statement. Specially with the use of the word "highly". If one is grossly negligent, yes there may be a basis for liability, but even then the definition of grossly will depend on the court. In any case I do agree that driving a rig that is highly over rated would be a real cause for concern, not only for liability issues but also for your own safety as well as those around you.

To be clear, I am not advocating that anyone tow a rig that is highly or otherwise over rated, my point is that there is no need to be spread fear that if you are 1 pound over rated that you will be automatically be found negligent. Things are not that cut and dry in the legal system.

As was very well stated before, tow ratings are provided as a guide.


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Using that reasoning I would caution anyone towing with a highly over-rated vehicle they may get in legal trouble if they have an accident because it's extreme size led to poor steering ability, reduced braking, less visibility, and loss of control and was therefore a factor in the collision.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:21 AM   #14
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rostam,

Glad to hear your daughter is fine.

In case you really wanted to know, the reason you got those solicitations from law firms is quite simple.

In many many jurisdictions police reports are a matter of public records (as they should be, except in some special cases like those involving minors, etc.). In many locations where there are quite a few ambulance chasing law firms, those same law firms will have someone peruse and record relevant information from police reports pretty regularly just so that they can solicit business from the "victims".

This is a major problem in florida, where many many out of state tourist who get in a minor fender bender are subsequently "black mailed" by attorneys in FL. I say black mail, because that is what it looks like and feels like, they will make all sorts of threats to the out of state visitors once they are back in their home states and many of them "settle" out of court instead of enduring the hardship of dealing with courts in FL and the cost and travel involved. For those that decide to actually fight they find that in most cases the cases are dismissed because they where frivolous or baseless, or at the very least they are settled for a tiny fraction of the original asking amount.

This is so prevalent because many of these attorneys will take on a case without any money down while taking a large percentage of the settlement or winnings. Different states have laws as to how much money they firms can take, and they vary from 1/3 to 1/2 plus costs. As you can imagine this can be pretty lucrative.

-J

Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
For several months after the incident, I was contacted by may be half a dozen law firms, asking whether I wanted to sue the other party due to injuries to my daughter (I am not sure how they got this info). Of course my daughter is fine, and I did not get back to any of those firms.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:35 AM   #15
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I'm looking for any insight/advice on towing a 20' Flying Cloud with a 2014 Toyota 4Runner. The 20' has a dry weight of 4271 lbs and GVW of 5000 lbs. The 4Runner is rated to tow 4700 lbs w/270HP and 278 ft lbs of torque. Thanks!
Ours is a 2006 23' Safari. I think they are narrower than the Flying Cloud, definitely lighter. Unless you are looking at buying new, there are other AS that would fit within your capacity. We found a 25' 1996 wide body Flying Cloud we really liked but it was just above what I could tow. We kept looking and found the 23' we have now and we're very happy with it.

So keep looking, consider another model. I'm sure you'd rather not have the TV limits worrying you every time you get on the road Go to the AS site and you can find the weights of all the AS models, old and new. When you see an ad for one you like, check the specifications to determine if you are comfortable with towing it.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:41 AM   #16
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How Often, How Far, Over what Terrain

Airstreams are designed to be towed - to move on down that road.

If you are mobile & full timing primarily in the Rocky Mountain states- then go over the top - get a big honkin' 3/4 ton truck (or equivalent). 4WD & Diesel are great. The brakes and suspension and cooling are really robust and sooner or later you'll really need that stuff.

If you're out six to twelve weekends in the summer - or take it to the lake for 8 weeks, and to the mountains for 6 - then home for the winter... and your favorite destinations are within 100 miles of home... well what do you really NEED for that? You're not going to grossly shorten the life of your "tow" vehicle if you tow over relatively flat terrain now and then.

With a lower rated tow vehicle you will need to keep your speed modest as you don't have overkill on the braking capacity of the tow vehicle. You might want to limit your towing to off peak traffic hours as you can seriously p*** off anyone on the road if you're going 20 mph less than the "flow" - even if you are going the speed limit. Keep your vehicle well maintained as you've got no margin for error - keep yourself the same way!

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Old 07-16-2014, 08:08 AM   #17
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The 2014 4Runner is not capable of weight distribution towing. I wouldn't tow any airstream with it. Just look at the hitch receiver ... (4) 1/2" bolts connecting a small 2" receiver to a crossbar that is minimally connected to the frame rails. Toyota also deleted all references to "weight distribution towing" in the 2014 owners manual.

If you want to tow with a 4Runner, get an older V8 4th generation version with a real tow package designed for weight distribution towing.

I'm not saying it can't be done ... hundreds of people on this forum tow with 5th generation 4Runners and don't have any issues. And for whatever confusing reason, the 2012 & 2013 owners manuals do mention weight distribution in the towing section. But that weak receiver can be easily bent with a stiff weight distributing hitch. And with any heavy trailer ... 20' and greater, you are putting yourself, passengers, and others on the road at risk.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:45 AM   #18
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2014 Toyota 4Runner/Flying Cloud 20'

Interesting info on the 4runner hitch. Do you happen to know if the Highlander hitch suffers from similar limitations? A member of my extended family tows a large white box trailer with their Highlander V6 in combination with WD and I've always been curious why the Highlander is "rated" higher than a 4runner.

Edit: I was viewing the Timeline...just saw the other thread about Highlander.
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