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Old 02-19-2013, 11:20 PM   #29
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:44 PM   #30
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I've searched other RV forums for peoples experience with a 4Runner. Most agree the 109" WB is a limiting factor for trailer length and the 4.7L V8 has plenty of power to pull most trailers up to 23' and longer. I have not read of any issues with the hitch failing or torquing due to weight distribution or weight not being transferred correctly from a WDH. Most of the posts I read involved stick trailers and mileage figures ran from 8mpg to about 12mpg. I would think towing an Airstream would be a better towing experience vs the stick trailer.

Here is a quote from a Bigfoot owner, August 2011 with a 2004 Toyota 4.7L V8. Mine is a 2005 4.7L. Toyota bumped up the horsepower at bit in 2005 from 235hp to 270hp but torque is similar 330ft lbs at 3400rpm.

"I just towed 1500 miles from Austin to Ruidoso, NM pulling a Bigfoot 22ft 5000lbs travel trailer. I've logged approx 10,000+ miles using the Runner as my tug vehicle and it does a great job! I never had to floor the truck, even while climbing the Davis Mountains during this trip. The MPG avg'd 10.1. However, I keep a fairly constant speed of 72MPH on I-10 (the speed limit is 80) and actually got the truck up to 90MPH down a long, rolling hill. I have near zero sway and it only squats in the back approx 1 inch or so, but I use the Equal-i-zer 4 point sway and weight distro set up. I doubt I would pull anything without this hitch. It makes all of the difference in the world. I use the Prodigy brake system which I also like. "

Kelvin
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:29 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I've searched other RV forums for peoples experience with a 4Runner. Most agree the 109" WB is a limiting factor for trailer length and the 4.7L V8 has plenty of power to pull most trailers up to 23' and longer. I have not read of any issues with the hitch failing or torquing due to weight distribution or weight not being transferred correctly from a WDH. Most of the posts I read involved stick trailers and mileage figures ran from 8mpg to about 12mpg. I would think towing an Airstream would be a better towing experience vs the stick trailer.


Kelvin
That's your dilemma I guess; so much information out there and much of it conflicting. Plenty of people tow with 4Runners and I think Andrew T is only saying that they're OK but that there are better tow vehicles. As you say, towing an Airstream is normally easier than towing an SOB so that eases things up a bit. In the long run, your Airstream will easily outlast your tow vehicle so if one TV isn't doing for you then you'll have the opportunity to try another.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:29 PM   #32
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Hi everyone. Thanks for all the great info. We towed our Flying Cloud 23 FB home to Seattle this weekend from Spokane, WA with our 4Runner. It did great on the flats, but on the uphill grade out of the Gorge we slowed to 45 mph. I think if I were going to be constantly doing mountain grades it would be smart to upgrade to the Tundra, but will have to sacrifice gas mileage and smallness for it. Otherwise, the 4Runner is good, but in the future, I'll be buying a Tundra for the TV. I'm a Toyota guy through and through. Never had a problem....

I thank all of you for your insights. I wish I'd waited to pull the trigger on the 4Runner before we bought Margaret, but there you have it. You can follow our trip here: Travelin' Light | An Airstream, The Road, The Sky
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:08 PM   #33
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I checked your link and saw the picture of your AS 23FB and your 4Runner. It looks great! I have the same color as you, the Salsa Red, on my 2005 4Runner. Your's looks like its a 2011 or higher. Aren't you running with the 4.0L V6. And you still was able to go up the mountain passes at 45mph. Nothing wrong with that. I bet you weren't the slowest vehicle.

My 2005 has the 4.7L V8 and when I shift it to 3rd (5 speed), when pulling my 17' Casita' it puts the rpm right at the peak torgue rating which is about 55 to 60 mph. When I approach grades I will manually shift down to keep my 55-60mph cruise speed. In 3rd gear I have to back off the accelerator on most interstate grades to keep from going over 60mph. That is fine with me. I know I'm sucking gas but even during that leg of our Glacier trip we still got a decent 13 mpg tank.

My 4Runner came with the 7300lb hitch and the 7 pin connector is right next to the receiver. All I had to do is add a fuse in the fuse box slot for the controller and using the Prodigy 2 Toyota cable hook it up to the factory plug under the dash and mount the Prodigy. Mine is located to the right of the steering column. I did the install my self.

What hitch do you end up with?
Do you know what the hitch weight was?
Did you take the trailer and 4Runner to a CAT scale.
How does the trailer track behind the short wheelbase (109") 4Runner.
Did you hit any cross winds?
What was your range per tank fill up? I think yours still has a 23 gallon tank like mine. I usually get 260 to 280 miles per tank with a 3 to 2.5 gallon reserve pulling my Casita. For some reason when I pull it in east Texas I don't get as good mileage, only 13 mpg.

We are looking for preowned Tundra Double Cab 5.7L. We were tempted to go to one of the remaining 2012 Ecoboost Ford F150s. With the incentives the prices are close to clean used late model, low mileage Tundras. So we decided to find a Tundra under $20k that has less than 80K miles and use it for the next 5 years. We only need it to tow and the occasional 2nd car use since I'm fortunate to be able to work from home most of the time.

We don't need the high end Limited models with leather and navigation. SR5 or Grade. I prefer the console shift to the steering column shift. I wish Tundras came with a large gas tank (26 gal).

We looked at a 2012 23D this weekend. We drove 300 miles with the Casita to Little Rock to Crain RV. They were nice enough and the technician Phil was knowledgeable but their lack of any action to get the trailer ready for me to test tow or even clean it up was instrumental to us not wanting to buy. We did find deficiencies in the floor plan which compounded our decision. But they had a second buyer that was local and their attitude was if we didn't buy it this other customer would and apparently he did so they got away with it. At least we got to see a 23D and determine it wasn't the floor plan for us. They had a 2013 23FB there and we actually had a change of heart on this floorplan from when we saw it several weeks ago. The biggest negatives for us are the lack of foot room under the dinette. We will need to accommodate three people, the lack of pots and pans storage space under the double sink. The plumbing from the right sink restricts frying pans. The International version solves this by using the single round sink. This opens up the shelf to allow more pots and pans storage. The other negative is the lack of a sitting area or lounge area that the 23D/C has. I guess the dinette could be taken down to create a large lounch couch. The TV swings around so it can be viewed from the bed or the dinette. The AC in the 23D was loud and probably will be loud in the 23 FB. Living in Texas and travelling though the midwest the AC is always on during summer trips. Gotta buy a stick trailer to go a quieter duct air AC environment.

Thanks for posting.

Kelvin
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