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Old 05-05-2014, 08:48 PM   #1
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16' Bambi with a 4Runner?

Does anyone out there tow their 16 or 19 bambi with a Toyota 4 Runner? Just curious if it's within legitimate weight rating and, if so, how it handles.

Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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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

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Originally Posted by norcal bass View Post
Does anyone out there tow their 16 or 19 bambi with a Toyota 4 Runner? Just curious if it's within legitimate weight rating and, if so, how it handles.

Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal bass View Post
Does anyone out there tow their 16 or 19 bambi with a Toyota 4 Runner? Just curious if it's within legitimate weight rating and, if so, how it handles.

Thanks.
The V8 has a higher towing capacity than the V6 but with either you're well within your limits. I have the V8 and I tow a 23' Safari without any issues at all. I've towed on the Interstate with heavy truck traffic and it handles just fine. I have an Equal-i-zer WD hitch.

I have attached data for the 2004 model, which is what I have.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:46 AM   #4
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We tow our 2007 16' with our 2001 4Runner SR5 V6 and an Equal-i-zer hitch. We've also added a transmission cooler to the 4Runner. It handles just fine. We're not the fastest rig up the steeper inclines, but we get there without any problems. Our trailer weighs 3500 lbs loaded, which is well under our 4Runner's 5000 lb. towing capacity. However, I wouldn't want to tow much more more than what we're currently doing. I feel safe not towing more than 80% of the tow vehicle's capacity.

I don't know what happened between 2007 and 2009, but the weight of the 16' trailer went up by 800 lbs, going by Airstream's spec sheets. I guess what I'm getting at is that it's a good idea to check all your weights and capacities and make sure you're being safe, for yourself and for others out on the roads.

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Old 05-06-2014, 11:14 PM   #5
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Thanks to all three of you. Appears that the 4 Runner will get it done.

Our trailer is a new 16 Bambi. I currently pull it with a newer Toyota Tundra ... obviously no issues whatsoever with that tow vehicle. I am considering downsizing, but want to make sure the 4 Runner can handle it. The GVWR on the new 16 is 3500 lbs. I guess when loaded, it's higher, but with a tow rating of 4700 lbs on the new 4 Runner, it appears ok. I'll be using the Equalizer hitch. My biggest concern would probably be the smaller sized brakes on the 4 Runner. I towed a decent sized boat about the same weight as the 16 Bambi with a Toyota Tacoma ... towed fine, but had to think ahead on the brakes ... it pushed me a little which I didn't like.

One other question: With the full height swing up rear door (or gate) ... can you still get it open even with the Airstream hooked up? i.e. LP tanks or jack doesn't get in the way?

Thanks again.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:41 AM   #6
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Why downsize from the Tundra? You may not see an increase in fuel economy.
GVW is the maximum weight of the trailer- actual weight + water, propane, clothing, camping gear, etc.- the weight the axle is rated to carry-
I don't know the actual weight of a Sport 16, but GVW - actual weight = cargo capacity (your "stuff")
You should never exceed GVW. If GVW is 3,500# it will not get heavier when loaded. It will most likely weigh less than 3,500# when loaded.
Actual weight is less than GVW. Load is GVW - actual trailer weight.
Trailer GVW's are cut and dried measurements. It is simply the axles.
A single axle trailer with a 3,500# axle has a 3,500# GVW.
A tandem axle trailer with (2) 3,500# axles has a 7,000# GVW.
A tandem axle trailer with (2) 5,000# axles has a GVW of 10,000#.
A tandem axle trailer with (2) 7,000# axles has a 14,000# GVW, and so forth and so on and scooby dooby doo...
This applies to camping trailers, horse trailers, utility trailers, cargo trailers, car trailers...
My trailer, (2) 5,000# axles, 10,000# GVW, has an actual weight of 8,600# ready to camp.
My tow vehicle (Tundra) has a towing capacity of 10,400#. I am close to the towing capacity by GVW, but 1,800# away in actual weight.
Payload, however, is a different ball game. Payload is the truck's GVW - actual weight. I'm not sure of the actual number for the Tumdra, but I think the number is 1,700#.
That is tongue weight of the trailer, gas in the truck, passengers in the truck, and camping gear. It is easy to overload the truck with too much campfire wood.
With a Bambi or Sport this will not be an issue...my trailer has a 1,000# tongue weight- a Bambi or Sport might have a 400# tongue weight-
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:00 AM   #7
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The newer generations of the 4Runner lost a bit of tow capacity, but I think you should still be fine.

In regards to the brakes, keep in mind that the Airstream has electric brakes, so it will brake a lot quicker than your boat did (as most boat trailers do not have brakes). The brakes work remarkably well, even when emergency braking I never felt that my rig could not stop in time.

On the rear hatch, in my case i can open it only when the AS is perfectly inline with the 4Runner. Even then it is close, it passes the electric jack by about one inch. But remember we have different generation 4Runners and different AS, so your setup may be different.

-J

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Originally Posted by norcal bass View Post
Thanks to all three of you. Appears that the 4 Runner will get it done.

Our trailer is a new 16 Bambi. I currently pull it with a newer Toyota Tundra ... obviously no issues whatsoever with that tow vehicle. I am considering downsizing, but want to make sure the 4 Runner can handle it. The GVWR on the new 16 is 3500 lbs. I guess when loaded, it's higher, but with a tow rating of 4700 lbs on the new 4 Runner, it appears ok. I'll be using the Equalizer hitch. My biggest concern would probably be the smaller sized brakes on the 4 Runner. I towed a decent sized boat about the same weight as the 16 Bambi with a Toyota Tacoma ... towed fine, but had to think ahead on the brakes ... it pushed me a little which I didn't like.

One other question: With the full height swing up rear door (or gate) ... can you still get it open even with the Airstream hooked up? i.e. LP tanks or jack doesn't get in the way?

Thanks again.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:52 AM   #8
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M Hony -

Agreed ... I don't really want to get rid of the Tundra ... best truck I have ever owned hands down. Reason for downsizing is not to try and get an increase in fuel economy while towing ... I know that won't happen. The reason is when I am not towing. We live in an urban area ... around town is tough sometimes with the big tundra ... parking, parking garages, etc, etc.

Thanks for the GVWR info ... that clears it up for me. I'd be fine with the 4 Runner and the 16.

Jpons -

Thanks for the info ... good point on the AS trailer brakes helping me (which is different than the boat). And that's good info on the tailgate door. Glad yours clears ... I'll definitely double check that prior to buying a 4 Runner. That would be a deal breaker for me if I couldn't open the back while hitched up.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:57 AM   #9
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Just as a point of reference, I am getting about 14 MPG towing the 20 footer.

I have thought of upgrading to a tundra myself, but I love my 4Runner, easily the best car I've ever had.

I am sure the tailgate clearance will also be affected by the hitch you are using. Like I said, mine clears only when the TV and the AS are perfectly straight. I bet that if my hitch was one inch longer the gate would clear 90% of the time.

Best of luck.

-J

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M Hony -

Agreed ... I don't really want to get rid of the Tundra ... best truck I have ever owned hands down. Reason for downsizing is not to try and get an increase in fuel economy while towing ... I know that won't happen. The reason is when I am not towing. We live in an urban area ... around town is tough sometimes with the big tundra ... parking, parking garages, etc, etc.

Thanks for the GVWR info ... that clears it up for me. I'd be fine with the 4 Runner and the 16.

Jpons -

Thanks for the info ... good point on the AS trailer brakes helping me (which is different than the boat). And that's good info on the tailgate door. Glad yours clears ... I'll definitely double check that prior to buying a 4 Runner. That would be a deal breaker for me if I couldn't open the back while hitched up.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:36 PM   #10
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Don't get rid of the Tundra!
If you do, let me know!
Get the 4Runner for a daily driver and keep the Tundra.
I get 10-12 mpg towing my 30'. A Sport is narrower, also. I bet you could get 13-14 mpg with a Tundra pulling a Sport.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:06 PM   #11
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One other question: With the full height swing up rear door (or gate) ... can you still get it open even with the Airstream hooked up? i.e. LP tanks or jack doesn't get in the way?
Thanks again.
My '04 4Runner door opens without any issues when hooked up to the 23' Safari. I don't recall if that changes when it's at an angle to the trailer, like jpons said. I know it doesn't have to be perfectly aligned, there can be some angle to it. I haven't had to lower the rear window that I recall, but that's the nice thing about having the 4Runner; alternate access to the back.

I tow a 17' Ranger bass boat and when the brakes on the trailer weren't working it was quite a bit for the 4Runner to handle on wet pavement; dry was OK but not great. I fixed the Ranger trailer brakes myself (replaced the calipers and rotors) and now it's back to normal.

Pulling the 23' Safari with my 4Runner is no problem with the brakes, but I haven't had any 'panic' stops yet. Normal traffic is just that, normal, like pulling the boat with surge brakes. The AS electric brakes, using the Prodigy P2 controller, was a snap to install and easy to use. You can adjust your trailer braking power right from the driver's seat.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:54 PM   #12
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4 Runner

We tow our 16' Bambi with our 2013 4 Runner and it works fine.We have an equalizer hitch and have had no problems so far. We are in Colorado and haul it in the mountains. Depending on the wind, we get 14-17 MPG. It handles great.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:57 PM   #13
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kpatrick -

Thanks ... glad to hear you tow in the mtns with no issues. I'm in the sierras of NV/CA and do lots of mtn towing as well. Was curious how the 5th generation 4Runner did with a 16 bambi. One question: what size bars are you using for your equalizer hitch 400 lbs, 600 lbs, 1000 lbs?

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.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:09 AM   #14
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Our bars are 600 lbs
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