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Old 09-02-2011, 09:52 AM   #1
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Toyota Tow Vehicle?

I need to buy a tow vehicle for a 1950's 22' Airstream and I would prefer to buy a Toyota (just getting over the expense of a German sports car, ug!). What are my options?

Do I need to get a V8 Sequoia, or can I get a V6?
Would a 4-runner to the job well enough?

Thx for your expertise!
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:07 AM   #2
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I believe all Sequoias are V8 and should be ample. The 5.7 is an absolute brute.

4runner is a very sweet little rig, very well built. I don't know the weight of your 22. From driving 2006 with the 4.0 V6 and towing a small trailer I'd say it is enough to tow 3500 maybe 4000 pounds plus passengers and "stuff" in the tow vehicle. There was a V8 option in some 4runners.

I'd up the power requirement if you tow frequently in high elevations.

The Tundra and some Tacomas are probably up to the job too.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:50 PM   #3
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Love towing our 2010 23FB with a '04 V8 4Runner. Just gotta have WD hitch and orig tow package (good for 7300lbs). I towed a 3000-4000lbs SOB in the past and I hardly noticed it except in strong side-winds.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:12 AM   #4
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I had an '03 4Runner with the 4.7 V8 and I pulled my SOB with it. I think the GVW on the trailer was something like 5.5K and it did just fine. I now own an '08 Tundra with the 5.7 and tow my Airstream with a GVW of 7500 and it is GREAT at pulling the trailer.

The interesting thing to note is that the 5.7 gets better mileage than the 4.7 while towing. The 4.7 is a fantastic motor and will last a very long time but when it comes to pulling, the 5.7 is amazing by comparison. I loved my 4Runner and wish I still had it.

Check the weight on your trailer and see where it comes in. Both are good choices as long as you are not over the limits.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
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Would a 4-runner to the job well enough?
Not too long ago I was at a towing seminar. The well known towing specialist used the 4 Runner as an example of how "not", to build a TV. He said everything is wrong with the vehicle as far as stable towing is concerned.

There are so many great TV's out there for that size of Airstream. If you have a choice why not go for a top rated TV.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:11 AM   #6
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But I believe the towing specialist would agree that it is not because of a lack of power that the 4Runner is not a good TV, but mostly because of a short wheel base, rear overhang and other factors. In fact, that same tow specialist has suggested the Sienna (v6 mini-van) over the Sequioa.
He set us up to tow our 30' Excella (7,000 lbs loaded) with our Honda Odyssey (and Hensley Arrow hitch). Just finished a 7,000 mile trip across North American, including twice through the Rockies. Yes we were slow on hills (first gear at 25mph on some), but it performed well on the hills and was exceptional during the rest of the trip.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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There are many choices for tv's. I personally dont prefer toyota's/honda's because they are too small. But that has less to do with the ability and more to do with legroom/headroom.
The new F150 crew cab is worth looking at while you are looking. Lots of toys available and very roomy inside!
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:38 AM   #8
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I just purchased a 2008 Sequoia 5.7l to tow my 20' Globetrotter. I too had thrown out the question to the forum members and you are going to get a lot of different ideas.

I wanted an SUV because it was going to be my everyday driver so I wanted something that fit me full time.

I am not an expert on the stability of the vehicle and its suitability for towing my Airstream. My unit is light (2640 lbs dry) and I try to minimize extra weight. I use a WD hitch and will soon purchase a sway control device. The vehicle does not feel unstable towing the Airstream but that does not mean I am not cautious.

With that said, that engine is a beast. I tow in the Colorado mountains and it won't break a sweat at the 7% grades around here. However, she's a very thirsty tower when you use her power! Like TouringDan and I have noticed, the vehicle can get 4.5 mpg working up a steep pass and 99 mpg going down! It all evens out to about 12-13 mpg towing.

I bought a CPO with an extended manufacturers warranty and let me tell ya, these things aren't cheap.....good luck in your search.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:55 AM   #9
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But I believe the towing specialist would agree that it is not because of a lack of power that the 4Runner is not a good TV, but mostly because of a short wheel base, rear overhang and other factors. In fact, that same tow specialist has suggested the Sienna (v6 mini-van) over the Sequioa.
Yes Geobie... The 4 Runner gets top marks for reliability, and the power is good.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:25 AM   #10
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I looked at the weights for 1950s 22-footers, and they all appear to weigh less than 3,000 lbs (dry), and have tongue weights below 300 lbs.

As far as engine size, I don't think you should worry too much about it, a good V-6 should be able to tow it.

But as has already been pointed out, other factors are important too.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:09 AM   #11
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I think some of our recommendations come from regional differences and preferences. I've recommended the 4runner on a couple threads as long as tow weight is appropriate.

Given the heat of so. CA. and the extreme grades and elevations, I'd much prefer towing a 3500 pound trailer 12 months out of the year with a 4runner than a Sienna, Odyssey or other vehicle that was not factory designed to tow 5000 pounds. Even at a sacrifice of ultimate handling dynamics. I feel the drivetrain of the 4runner will hold up better in the conditions I tow in.

I'm quite in agreement if you hook a very good handling vehicle up to an appropriately sized trailer, the rig will handle better (maybe much better) than a mediocre handling truck hooked to the same trailer. Vehicles such as 4runner bring their own set of positives. They're very reliable, they cool well, ground clearance, they should pull the load up and down big mountains in hot weather. If I was towing a 3500 pound trailer in this area and I had a choice between an Odyssey, Sienna, Mustang, or 4runner - you know my choice and my reasons. FWIW I have not seen many complaints about 4runner towing problems when the vehicle is used within reason. Two posts on this thread did not allude to scary handling, sway or other issues.

Personally if towing handling was highest priority and I could afford it, I'd choose an appropriate Mercedes or BMW tow vehicle. They combine great handling and ample capacity ratings.
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