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Old 04-24-2019, 07:06 AM   #29
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Hell, my 2016 4Runner can barely get out of it's own way. Just the worst acceleration. I couldn't imagine towing anything with it.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:43 AM   #30
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Hell, my 2016 4Runner can barely get out of it's own way. Just the worst acceleration. I couldn't imagine towing anything with it.
What is the rear axle gear ratio? This ratio has a lot to do with acceleration, top speed and towing ability.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:57 AM   #31
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Based on my research I have found the following:

V6 4Runners are rated for 5000/500 primarily due to the hitch being mounted to the very last frame cross member. This is a weight carrying set-up that is not recommended for use with a WDH as this set-up cannot effectively absorb the energy from the WDH.

V6 Tacomas are rated for 6400/640 with what is essentially the same drivetrain etc. The only difference here is that the Tacoma has an oil cooler and a beefier hitch set-up that is mounted to the frame rails rather than the crossmember. This set-up can be safely and effectively used with a WDH without fear of the crossmember failing.

V8 4Runners are rated 7000/700 (4WD) and 7300/730 (2WD) with much of the same drivetrain components save for the 4.7L V8 and pneumatic levelling in the rear. Most everything else is the same.

Based on this data, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that with the beefed up frame rail mounted hitch and an auxiliary trans cooler the V6 4runner could tow somewhere around the 6400/640 of the Tacoma - assuming tires and such were considered as well. Who knows how much closer to the 7000/700 the airbags would take you.

Not only is it possible to beef up the 5000/500 rating on the TV a little, it is also possible to pare down on what's in the TT. As mentioned, we will be doing 90ish% travelling within a few hours of home and will be on serviced sites 95% of the time until we retire and have the time to travel more. We do not need the twin 30lb propane tanks. We do not need to travel with 39 gallons of water on board. We will not have a generator. We will more often than not drop the trailer on-site and then run into town for groceries and beer. We will buy firewood at our destination. Outside of a weekend's worth of clothes for two people, a duvet and some well thought out kitchen wares and folding chairs, I think we'd be lucky to see 200lbs of goods travel with us.

With that being said, I think a little planning and some out-of-the-box thinking will go a long way towards making this combination work for us and I think the intent of my original post was to see what others have done, tips and tricks wise, to make their odd pairing work for them. Surely everything is not static - there are many more variables than a TV/TT spec sheet would suggest.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:38 PM   #32
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4Runner/25 FB Safari SE

I have a 2009 V-8 4-Runner and pull a single axle 2009 Flying Cloud single axle 20 footer. The trailer has.a gross vehicle weight of 5000 pounds. My tow vehicle V-8 4Runner, has a towing capacity of 7,300 pounds. I am able to adequately pull my trailer however would never consider pulling a 25 foot double axle with it.

The V-6 4Runner has a towing capacity of only 5,000 pounds which would not adequately/safely pull your trailer.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:04 PM   #33
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I'm as bullish as any when it comes to modifying vehicles and making them perform. I use to own a 2005 4Runner Limited, but in V8 guise, and very greatly enjoyed that SUV. Still believe in and enjoy Toyota products.

That said, you're going to be challenged on a couple fronts.

1) Vehicle size, weight, and configuration
The 4Runner is made as a nimble, high clearance, and great suspension articulation vehicle. With relatively short wheelbase and long overhangs. Qualities that are not exactly ideally suited for laden or load bearing work on account of its softly sprung nature. Even Andy himself in many threads has qualified it as not an ideal tow vehicle for larger loads. Sure, he can do enough things to make it work, including installing a weight distributing hitch (Toyota OEM offers one for your generation), lower profile tires, and a hitch ball close and tight. You could also choose to use a pivot point projecting hitch that completely mitigates the short wheelbase/stability issues.

2) Power
The V6 is only rated at 236 hp / 266 tq. It completely depends on your power expectations. But very few would be happy with that kind of reserve to motivate 10,000+ lbs of rig. Andy can again help a bit with shorter tires to increase gearing and torque at the wheels, but it will be tepid at best. Perhaps even a safety issue at speed and grade at worse.

What the 4Runner is truly excellent at is retaining its value.

I suggest to take the opportunity to realize the great equity in it, rather than to sink monies into modifications to make it work. You don't have to go out there and spend tens of thousands in a new tow vehicle. Trade it in for a new to you, gently used Toyota if you must stay in the brand. Anything that utilizes their 5.7L will be great to pair with your 25ft AS.

Like you, I'm a die hard SUV guy. There are many great choices out there that will be more competent.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:07 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by pteck View Post
I'm as bullish as any when it comes to modifying vehicles and making them perform. I use to own a 2005 4Runner Limited, but in V8 guise, and very greatly enjoyed that SUV. Still believe in and enjoy Toyota products.

That said, you're going to be challenged on a couple fronts.

1) Vehicle size, weight, and configuration
The 4Runner is made as a nimble, high clearance, and great suspension articulation vehicle. With relatively short wheelbase and long overhangs. Qualities that are not exactly ideally suited for laden or load bearing work on account of its softly sprung nature. Even Andy himself in many threads has qualified it as not an ideal tow vehicle for larger loads. Sure, he can do enough things to make it work, including installing a weight distributing hitch (Toyota OEM offers one for your generation), lower profile tires, and a hitch ball close and tight. You could also choose to use a pivot point projecting hitch that completely mitigates the short wheelbase/stability issues.

2) Power
The V6 is only rated at 236 hp / 266 tq. It completely depends on your power expectations. But very few would be happy with that kind of reserve to motivate 10,000+ lbs of rig. Andy can again help a bit with shorter tires to increase gearing and torque at the wheels, but it will be tepid at best. Perhaps even a safety issue at speed and grade at worse.

What the 4Runner is truly excellent at is retaining its value.

I suggest to take the opportunity to realize the great equity in it, rather than to sink monies into modifications to make it work. You don't have to go out there and spend tens of thousands in a new tow vehicle. Trade it in for a new to you, gently used Toyota if you must stay in the brand. Anything that utilizes their 5.7L will be great to pair with your 25ft AS.

Like you, I'm a die hard SUV guy. There are many great choices out there that will be more competent.
I appreciate the well thought out response.

I think if I cashed out the 4runner for something else that would suit my daily needs and provide a decent towing platform I would move in the other direction with a CamAm outfitted Volvo wagon, Ford Flex or even an Odyssey/Ridgeline.

Getting into a Tundra or Sequoia or any other full-sized vehicle seems wasteful when considering it would only be towing 40-50 hours in a year. It also doesn't mesh well with our lifestyle as we live in a 'parking challenged' condominium - which is one of the reasons we are looking to an Airstream to do some weekend tripping an hour or so out of town.

I can appreciate that the 4runner will never be an ideal tow vehicle, however towing is only one of many hats my vehicle must wear - and is likely the largest vehicle I would ever consider owning. I can appreciate the virtues of having a full-sized truck for long hauls or full/part-timing and would certainly rent a pick-up for weeks long trips out to the East Coast on our vacation, however keeping a vehicle like that for a dozen or so short trips in our locale each year doesn't add up.

I will certainly need to consider my options, however none of them would include walking away from the 4runner within the next few years - if the 4runner is indeed that poor at shunting a 25 footer around the region, the Airstream will be put on hold and we will revisit when it is due for replacement (which could be a very long time given its durability)...
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:30 AM   #35
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What is the rear axle gear ratio? This ratio has a lot to do with acceleration, top speed and towing ability.
Axle ratio has nothing to do with the engine sounding like it's going to blow up when I give it gas in a passing situation.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:06 AM   #36
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I would have no issues towing a 25 with a 4 Runner, especially if CanAm set it up. I would pay attention to the hitch and whether it needs reinforcement to handle WD equipment. I would respect published axle weight ratings, those are hard stops to me. And we travel light, never with firewood (not legal to transport in many places), generator, extra fuel, boats and motors, etc. If you want to carry all those sorts of things you may need more cargo capacity in a tow vehicle, but that is a personal choice.
Jcl - precisely my thoughts. We already know the spare tire will be removed and the hitch beefed up and reinforced. Trans cooler will be added as will brake controller. And again, travelling light makes a difference.

I am content to cruise at 95-100kmh in the slow lane all day long, and most of the others we will travel are 70-80kmh two laners. When we retire and start to go on longer adventures through varying types of terrain I might consider reassessing.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #37
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In post #4 I suggested you are just looking for positive opinions here to support your decision to use your 4runner; not really interested or able to get a new TV now. Ptek is absolutely right with his comments/suggestions in post #33. Sure you can throw $$ at your 4runner with CanAm or someone else to modify to tow the 25'AS, but you will still have the other issues such as Payload, power, handling and braking to consider. If your just looking for a weekend getaway type AS, perhaps look at something smaller like you were doing, or face the reality of the situation. You appear ready to modify your 4runner to tow the 25; why not look outside the box at how you can just use the equity of the 4runner (Ptek) to get something better suited for your needs? Hope you end up with a safe solution.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:34 PM   #38
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Axle ratio has nothing to do with the engine sounding like it's going to blow up when I give it gas in a passing situation.
For example the 2014 4Runner with the 4.0-liter V-6 is rated at 270 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 278 pounds-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm,

Are you exaggerating for effect ... or are you afraid of getting performance from you vehicle by revving the engine (as it was designed to do)?
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:10 PM   #39
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Greetings! After a few months of shopping travel trailers, we have landed at Airstream and can't seem to go back. It all started with shopping small teardrops for quick weekend getaways, moved on to Armadillos and the Happier Campier HC1, and the we finally graduated to the Bambi Sport 16, until we toured the Sport 22. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the 'buy your second AS first' advice, and it seems to make sense. So here is our situation:

We are early 40s, both have careers and will be travelling just the two of us plus our 40lb dog on occasion. Because we both work full time we will be spending most of the next 15-20 years doing short weekend trips within 300 or so kilometers of home in Ontario - which is primarily flat. We will likely do a 2 week or so trip out to the East coast in the summer each year but don't plan to do any really big trips until retirement. We will be 95% on serviced lots so will be travelling lightly for the most part - some clothes and supplies only. Water, groceries and such will often be sourced after camp is set up. We don't intend to bring company - this is for the two of us only - company can bring their own rig. So my quandary is this:

Getting back to the 'buying your second AS first' thing - I have fallen for a used 2007 Safari 25 FB SE with a proper bed, decent sized fridge, front and rear panoramas, vistas, recessed lighting etc etc. It is large enough to be our 'forever AS' and has enough of the AS niceties to keep the geek in me satisfied. It has just had the floor redone by Airstream as these apparently have an issue with leaking at the rear? Anyhow - the Safari 25 needs more that the 5k lb class 3 set-up that came with my 2006 4runner V6. Andy and his team at CamAm will be fabbing up a proper frame rail mounted hitch set-up, WDH, twin stabilizers, brake controller, trans cooler etc. I know there seems to be a contingent that believes anything short of an F150 is inappropriate, however there is another contingent that seem to have a pretty good grasp on engineering and handling dynamics that say an AS with a properly set-up TV/hitch assembly deems big dollar, huge trucks as irrelevant. I have read all manner of opinion on whether the 4runner/Taco family are worthy TVs. I prefer their more compact size and incredible durability and am willing to sacrifice some towability for a decent daily driver - if I was travelling mountain passes I might be singing a different song.

Many will say pulling a 25 around with a 4Runner is crazy. Andy/CanAm seem to think it will work just fine. I tend to think he knows what he is talking about. Anyone want to pipe in?
It’s too small, and too old, to use for pulling a trailer that size. But hook up and try it. I towed a Bambi 19’ exactly three times with a Grand Cherokee with more power and weight than a 4runner, and switched to a truck (and then a larger airstream).

I assume you’re a reasonably good driver. Try it and see. You’ll just get opinions on here.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:01 PM   #40
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Here was our situation you can take what you want from it. We are newbies by all means so we are not as experienced as others on here but this is what we did. We looked for a year or so then settled on a 2005 25 Safari. We looked at #'s and thought our Tahoe would do fine. We had it about 2 months before we upgraded to a 2500HD. We could have sunk money in it for modifications that may have helped or may have not. It was NOT relaxing being the passenger while towing. It felt like the Airstream might "own" the truck vs the other. We too are in our early 40's and plan on doing mostly weekend trips and live in FL on flat ground compared to many but it still wasnt comfortable towing it. I wanted safety above all. Then I wanted to be able to take those week long trips once a year that may involve mountains up to the Carolinas or to see family out of state. The experience from those "old timers" are what helped us decide to just make the plunge and go with the 2500 HD. I spent many hours researching previous posts on here to come to the conclusion we needed to upgrade. It is my daily driving vehicle (small city driving)...is it a bit more of a pain to park etc yes but safety while hauling trumps all of those things. Along with the fact camping is suppose to be relaxing and if the drive there and back isn't relaxing then it defeats the purpose. I figure you pay for health insurance life insurance and save money for retirement why not have some extra "insurance" while towing by having a TV that doesn't have you guessing whether it will do the job or not.
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:36 AM   #41
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For example the 2014 4Runner with the 4.0-liter V-6 is rated at 270 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 278 pounds-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm,

Are you exaggerating for effect ... or are you afraid of getting performance from you vehicle by revving the engine (as it was designed to do)?
I guess you are having trouble figuring out that acceleration on a downshift to say, pass someone, sucks when I call for it to "perform".
But anyway, have a nice day.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:40 AM   #42
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Thank you to everyone who contributed with a response here, they were all great and I read them all, however RVeeNoob has made a concise, data driven argument against the 4runner. I simply can't have a vehicle that sounds like it's going to blow up when attempting a pass and instead will opt for the 26.5L Merlin powered Ford F22000 to show the AS who's boss.

Really though - thanks for the input. Andy/Canam seem to be a constant around here and in the Airstream world and I have read through every post he has made here and on the various blogs over the past few days, and at the end of the day his vast amounts of first-hand experience setting up and testing various TV/TT combinations and the incredible insights he has and shares in the community simply can't be ignored. Luckily I am local to his business. I am going to work with the team at Canam to get the 4runner dialled in and will let my experience drive my decisions from there.

Thanks!
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