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Old 03-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #1
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Port Moody , British Columbia
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I have a 1998 4runner v6 sr5 manual -- Thinking of sport 22

I know the numbers work out with very little wriggle room.

Tow cap (5000 to 4500 max weight on trailer, GCWR allows for 4800lb trailer)

Anyone online tried it?

Right now I'm towing a Chalet xl 1930 (TW 350 avg load 3000lbs), seems more or less fine. Steering feels a little floaty on some interstates (where they've done the weird striated pavement). That's somewhat scary but it's the only time I've had issues.

I would definitely be in for a WD / sway control hitch and possibly air bags on the rear axle.

We would be at least 2 years away from purchasing an airstream, so a different vehicle is possible in that time... But I'd ideally really like to make it work with the 4runner, at least until it's time to retire that beast.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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If it feels scary, dont take the wife and kids. And try to let us know where your heading. Sal.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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Weight distribution makes a big difference. A good setup will shift weight to your front tires thereby eliminating that floating feeling.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #4
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balance is the key

Any time one drops 500+ lbs on the bumper the weight comes off the front. I found even with my full sized Dodge that our 27 footer Overlander took too much off the front..

I will say,, and I understand that its all part of the master plan,, but the hitch system for my AS sticks back 2 feet more than a normal receiver hitch ball.. I felt that was working against me,, but once the equlizer bars were pinned up the pu leveled out and towed well.

Why wait 2 years? It took us 5 to find our AS,, but seems if you are anywhere in the South west,, south east or west coast is where all the good ones seem to hide.. Out here in the high plains of Kansas finding a AS within 500 is rare..

Sodbust
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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Well, it sounds like it's doable if not optimal.

Sodbust, we're waiting a couple of years to save up the $$ and also to get usage out of our current trailer. We'll hopefully have done a fair bit of traveling between now and then.

I'll be keeping my eyes open for a decent used Diesel pickup... If something drops in my lap so much the better

I may upgrade my current hitch setup to a WD setup for the current trailer... The only time I've had concerns we're on I-5 heading north somewhere around Tacoma... The ashpalt had been striated or ground up in some way and the truck was floating around, very unusual and I've never had a problem with this sort of thing on other ground. I'm not sure if I'll be heading back down that way again anytime soon. I just tried to google it to see if anyone else has talked about it but didn't find anything... In my case I just slowed down and it seemed to be fine.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:18 PM   #6
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I used to tow my Caravel with a 1996 4-runnner v-6, 5 speed, but its about the same weight as your current trailer. Adding a WD hitch definitely helped the handling/stability.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan Z View Post
I used to tow my Caravel with a 1996 4-runnner v-6, 5 speed, but its about the same weight as your current trailer. Adding a WD hitch definitely helped the handling/stability.
What year was your caravel?

Thanks much

edit... Let me guess, it was 1965 like it says in your signature.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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I am proud owner of a brand new 19' Bambi International. My tow vehicle is 1998 Toyota 4Runner, Limited edition, with V6 engine and over 213,000 miles.

The Airstream dealer added a brake controller and a heavy duty Equal-i-zer tow hitch with 4-way sway control just before my 500 miles maiden voyage from San Diego to Palm Springs.

Except feeling the heavy weight while going up the hills, I didn't even feel the trailer behind me. There were absolutely no sway, pulling, or pushing what so ever. Could I use more power and more oomph? Certainly, but my car did it without ever going over 3000 RPM or without its temperature needle move from the middle. I kept the over-drive off, ECT on, and the A/C off at all times during the towing.

It would be nice to eventually upgrade to a V8 but I love my old 4Runner and I LOVE not having a car payment.

Get the right equipment on your truck and hit the road my friend.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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Thanks Doneeta, we're still evaluating. We're probably going to keep what we have now for at least another year or two... If we see a good price on something in the meanwhile we'll probably go for it
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary_lucas View Post

Right now I'm towing a Chalet xl 1930 (TW 350 avg load 3000lbs), seems more or less fine. Steering feels a little floaty on some interstates (where they've done the weird striated pavement). That's somewhat scary but it's the only time I've had issues.
You really shouldn't be having scary moments. There were a few pro set up 4 runners discussed on various forums over the years.

The pro set ups had either LT tire upgrades or high end hitches (ie Hensley) plus some beefing up of the vehicles receivers as the factory ones are weak.
Hope these ideas help make your rig more stable.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:18 PM   #11
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Gary,

I towed a '67 21ft. Safari with a '98 4Runner with Reese WD and friction bar. Worked okay for midwest flats and hills (I'm in Illinois). Later I used an '05 Tacoma to take that Safari out to Yosemite and Yellowstone. Worked great but a little slow going up the big hills.

Watch your payload, my '05 4Runner only has 950 lb. which isn't much but it works. I don't remember the '98 payload.

Also, take a look at your tranny cooler. Tho I did not tow more than 10k miles, the '98, at 240,000 miles, did develop tranny problems. I'll probably ungrade the tranny cooler on my '05 4Runner before I use it for towing just to be conservative.

John H
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