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Old 05-18-2014, 09:50 AM   #15
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I have been towing a 19 foot Bambi with a 2011 4runner.. 5000 lb capacity.. 275 hp v6. The bambi loaded pushes 4500 lbs..I have had no problems in 20,000 miles of travel. The runner pulls great and does everything well including gas milage. We just returned to Portland from a six week trip to the SW desert area and averaged 16 mpg....includes about 20% of miles without trailer. However, best to use high octane fuel. Important for yourRunner to be equipped with factory tow package. Good luck.

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Old 05-19-2014, 11:24 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by norcal bass View Post
richw46 -
I also pull a Ranger ... 18'6 ... that is probably my bigger concern with the 4Runner than the Airstream since no electric brakes ... just surge. And pulling out of a wet boat ramp has me wondering. I guess you can always pop it into 4WD for some extra traction. I just don't want the boat pushing me around when stopping ... feels unsafe. Weight of the boat is about the same as the 16 bambi ... roughy 3750 lbs loaded.
I had a lot of problems with the brakes on my Ranger Trail trailer. Both in and out of warranty the "largest Ranger dealer in the US" couldn't get them fixed, even cut a master cylinder line once. I finally just disconnected them and gave up on the Ranger dealership.

When I had my '89 Toyota pickup it was a problem because it didn't have sufficient weight to stop the trailer on wet streets. When I got the '04 4Runner it wasn't a problem of weight but the 4Runner brakes weren't really sufficient to easily perform a panic stop. I replaced the calibers and rotors on the trailer myself and haven't had any problems since then (3 years). When I start braking I can feel the trailer engage the surge brakes but then it's just normal braking, even better than when not pulling the trailer.

I am still new to pulling the AS so I really begin stopping sooner, keep lots of distance between me and the vehicle in front of me. The electric brakes are really nice but I think there is still a delay on engaging, kind of like the surge brakes but without the knock/clunk they have; more of just a delay, then they engage. I feel comfortable with the AS but I'm still much more attentive when towing and I take more frequent breaks.

I have the V8 engine with full time 4-wheel drive. I wasn't sure if I would like it but I really do. No problems with spinning tires on wet streets when turning corners. I also have the X-REAS suspension (standard on the SE in 2004) which may help with steering when I pull the AS.

In any event, my 4Runner performs very, very well with both the Ranger boat and the 23' AS. I'm very happy with the handling, wish they still made the V8 or would put a diesel in them.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:03 PM   #17
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I tow my 16' Sport with a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited. It has the same limit as the AS, 3500 lbs. I have been towing it for almost 2 1/2 years, up the mountains, to the beach and in the desert (in windy areas). I have had no problems whatsoever, so far. When in the mountains, I turn off the a/c and drive around 40 mph, depending on the incline and curves. Jeeps are built to climb and it has no problem pulling my AS.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:31 PM   #18
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We have a 2005 19' Bambi Safari that we tow with a 2007 Tundra 5.7L DoubleCab. We're looking into used 5th gen. 4Runners like your own. Does yours have 4WD? Or KDSS? Tow rating on your 2011 is 300 lbs. higher than on the 2014-2015s.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:23 PM   #19
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I have a 2005 4Runner SR5 4WD V6. I've towed a 19' Bambi in the past and now I am towing a 20' Safari SE. The tow rating for my 4Runner is 5,000lbs. My 19 was well below that, my current Safari is just below that.



I have and no problems towing either with my 4Runner. I have a decent WD and anti-sway hitch (Reese) and have never experienced any sway. I have been satisfied how it handles.



Many folks are weary of towing so close to the rated load for a vehicle, but I've never experienced any issues and have been very happy with my setup.



-J

I have been towing my 19' bambi for over three years with a 2011 4wheel drive 4 Runner. Loaded I weigh close to 4500 lbs and the rig has been excellent in towing under all conditions. Make sure you have leveling and anti sway bar. i use 87 octane when pulling. I am just completing a 4,000 + mile road trip in SW from Portland an averaging 15.8 m/g. We are more than pleased with the Bambi and Runner.


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Old 05-08-2015, 08:31 PM   #20
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We have a 2010 4Runner Limited and 2012 Bambi Sport 22FB. No problems. Logged 10,000 miles last year from Austin to Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington Utah, Montana, Colorado and New Mexico. Love our rig.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:53 PM   #21
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Please do not tow more than a 19 with a 4 runner. It has the power but not enough weight. We lost our 20 when a big tanker truck doing 90 bumped our trailer with his rig. I almost lost my life as well. I was in the hospital for a month. We had a Hensley hitch but when the trailer swung over by the bump it took the 4 runner with it. The 4 runner just wasn't heavy enough. We rolled over. We had at least 30.000 miles without any issue at all until the accident happened. We tow our 22 with a Sequoia now but wouldn't go a foot bigger with the Sequoia.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:46 AM   #22
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Yikes! What year/model was your 4runner? 4 wheel drive? The Hensley hitch transfers sway to the tow vehicle. Do you feel a Sequoia will avoid rollover in another tanker truck hit?
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:47 AM   #23
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Toyota has changed the 4Runner dramatically over the years. 2003 was the first year they offered a V8 but initially they had only a bumper hitch with a 5,000 lb. capacity. Starting in late 2003 MY and through 2009 (but '09 V8s are rare, only a few were sold) the tubular frame hitch was installed and towing capacity was 7,300 (2WD) 7,000 (AWD). Maximum tongue capacity is 700 lb. If you're looking at a 2003, make sure it has the tubular frame hitch.

The 5th generation, starting in MY 2010, offered only the V6 and 5,000 towing. The current generation reduces that even further, now down to 4,700 towing. In my opinion, they've pretty much gutted it as an SUV.

The Sequoia now offers the same capacities that the V8 4Runner did but with additional HP and torque. My 2004 V8 has no trouble with my 2006 23' Safari but if I were buying a new TV today, I'd opt for the 5.7 L Tundra or the Sequoia. (Probably the Tundra so we can go for a 25-27' AS ).
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:35 PM   #24
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I'm getting Tundra envy....put a 4000kw propane generator in the back and boondock with Air Conditioning....tempting.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:30 PM   #25
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Paul, the 4runner was a 2008 w/o 4 wheel drive. The a/s was a 20 foot Bambi. The Hensley was a cub. I have a 23 Safari now and tow it (very carefully!) with a 2010 Sequoia 5.7. The Sequoia is much heaver than the 4 runner, has a longer wheelbase, and has a wider track. Remember all, always expect the unexpected.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:17 PM   #26
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Well we went for it and pulled the trigger on a fine certified 2012 4Ruuner SR5 4WD. What a great SUV! The Aistream guys in Paso Robles tell me I should be fine towing our 19' 4400# Bambi with it. Will stay with Equalizer. Does anyone with a Gen 5 4Runner have a photo of where your brake controller is mounted? Mine's a Tekonsha Prodigy.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:20 PM   #27
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2013 4Runner Brake Controller location

Here is where I put mine. It is out of the way of the airbag and my legs. 1st attempt at a photo so.. maybe this will work. Looks like I get to vacuum after work today.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:31 PM   #28
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Dear RFR36--Do you lock out the overdrive using Sport Mode when you tow? What about turning Eco off? Thanks.
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