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Old 09-23-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Question

I'm looking to purchase a new 19' International Signature Series Airstream and a vehicle to tow it. I'm looking at a 2009 Toyota 4Runner. The V6 version has a 5000 lb towing capacity and the v8 has 7000 lbs of capacity to tow. The International is 4500 lbs, so I think getting the v6 might be pushing it since I live in Colorado and plan and doing a lot of camping in the mountains. However, I really want the v6 version of the 4runner since it has 7 seats, which the v8 does not (which i think is odd). Any thoughts or comments? Does anyone tow a airstream with an 09 4runner?

This is my first post and I'm looking forward to learning more about the Airstream community!!
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:45 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

The 4Runner might do it, but I believe that you would be happier with the V-8 version. By the time that you are done loading the 19 footer to go camping, you will likely tip the scales at 5000# plus. On top of that, the 4Runner is likely to be well loaded, also, compounding the situation.

Also, start doing research on a quality sway control/weight distribution hitch system. The 4Runner is a fairly short wheel-based vehicle, and you don't want the trailer driving the truck.

Do your research before committing to an Airstream/tow vehicle combination.

Brian
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
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Why not look around at other TVs?? We pull our 25' International with an Armada - 123" wheel base, 5.6 L v8 engine with a tow capacity of 9,600. It does a wonderful job with a 25' - I would think you'd forget you had a TT behind you and you could certainly pull it anyplace you wanted to. We run about 13 mpg pulling and 21 on it's own. It has the tow package plus seven seats interior and rides like a dream. Just a suggestion.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:03 PM   #4
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Toyota is also about to introduce a redesigned 2010 4Runner almost any day now. I would wait and see if that's a better match.

If an Armada/Sequoia/etc is too big, I believe the Nissan Pathfinder can be had with a V8 and three rows of seats. I'm guessing you want the 3 rows for daily driver use, rather than filling them all and then hitching up to go camping - if you're doing that, a 4Runner or Pathfinder would get mighty tight...

Tom
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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Hi Rush,
Based on my experience with towing a small travel trailer (3000 max GVW) with a V6 Pathfinder, I would definitely recommend something with a V8 for Colorado Mountains. It gets a little tedious creeping up hills.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush View Post
..I really want the v6 version of the 4runner since it has 7 seats...
hi rush

explain WHY 7 seats.

we need to get to the bottom of this issue.

pistons aside, the PAYLOAD for the 'runner is an issue while towing.

there will NOT be much (payload) left for people and STUFF in the runner after hooking up a stream.

generally it is UNwise for a total newbie (to streams and towing) to buy BOTH tv and trailer...

without a lot of consideration of ALL of the issues (use, location, STUFF, stats and so on)

explain YOUR needs, expectations, experience and as many related issues as you care to share...

IF specific/useful advise is important.

there are 100s of threads here on tow vehicle options and trailer combos and every related issue.

so keep reading and use the air-borg collective, there are 1000s of seats in this ride.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for the posts. I just really like the 4runner and wish it would work out perfectly to tow a 19 ft TT. I really don't want to get a huge SUV or truck, but it looks like I might not have too many options. The Nissan Pathfinder has 7 seats and can tow 7000 pounds, but the $45k price tag is a little steep imo.
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:21 PM   #8
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hi rush

explain WHY 7 seats.

My wife's requirement, plan and simple or I would get an 09 4runner with V8 that can tow 7000 pounds

we need to get to the bottom of this issue.

pistons aside, the PAYLOAD for the 'runner is an issue while towing.

there will NOT be much (payload) left for people and STUFF in the runner after hooking up a stream.

i understand that, thus why i don't think getting a 4runner with a v6 is an option, unless i got a 16 ft TT.

generally it is UNwise for a total newbie (to streams and towing) to buy BOTH tv and trailer...

Well, my two current cars (lexus is 250 & volvo cx 90 with a straight 5 engine) won't tow a TT, so I have to get a new ride if I want to get a TT. plain and simple.

without a lot of consideration of ALL of the issues (use, location, STUFF, stats and so on)

this has been considered and debated. trips to mountains, football games, recreational use, the list goes on .....

explain YOUR needs, expectations, experience and as many related issues as you care to share...

I have been camping my whole life and had been camping in TT's for quite some time. My expectation is to have fun and make some memories with a new airstream TT.

IF specific/useful advise is important.

there are 100s of threads here on tow vehicle options and trailer combos and every related issue.

so keep reading and use the air-borg collective, there are 1000s of seats in this ride.

cheers
2air'
Thanks for the reply.
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:27 PM   #9
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I really don't want to get a huge SUV or truck, but it looks like I might not have too many options...
and neither huge thing is needed, depending on many issues.

there are LOTs of options, but not much info yet...

here are 2 other threads on basically the same issue from ONE TIME posters...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...eam-21565.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...cle-39142.html

those answer should be useful, until we know more.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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An SUV has less payload than the comparable pickup (the Tacoma) and those extra seats weigh a lot too. Take you time with this decision. 2air's got it right.

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Old 09-23-2009, 06:26 PM   #11
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I am sure factory towing specs are written for towing in a level parking lot and not in the mountains.

Which ever you consider I would suggest an after market trans cooler as a must and see if there is an option for a higher rear ration.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:16 PM   #12
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I am sure factory towing specs are written for towing in a level parking lot and not in the mountains.
They're written for towing up a steep desert grade at temperature, maintaining a mininium speed (which can differ by manufacturer) without overheating.

A new SAE standard goes beyond that, including maximium allowable acceleration times at the rating and evaluating stability.

Rush, what comes to mind is a used last-generation Toyota Sequoia. Higher tow rating (6500 lbs, IIRC) than the 4Runner and a bit more room. I know multiple families who tow bigger trailers with them and have been quite happy. (I talked with them in the Grand Tetons, so they had to survive some mountain pass.) The reason it comes to mind is that it's smaller than the current-generation Sequoia (which is something of a brute) and it has all of the modern safety gear, including stability control and curtain air bags. The V8 isn't the most powerful one out there though - but it will do the job.

Tom
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:32 PM   #13
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The same could be said of the 1st generation Tundra, especially the later models which had a bit more power than earlier years. It would have a 4.7 L. engine and the extended cab can seat 2 adults and 3 kids, or 4 adults, or even 5 adult (tight).

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Old 09-23-2009, 11:00 PM   #14
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Hmmmm......wife wants a vehicle with seating for 7 suggests you have kids, and kids have friends, and this vehicle will serve daily-duty to haul everyone around....?

Anyway, that was my situation when I got my 16' Airstream. I started out towing with a Lexus GX470 - basically an 4runner with wood paneling and leather seats.....and it has 3rd row seats - 7, altogether. Plus it has the 4.7 liter V8. It pulls my 3,500 pound trailer just fine, tho' later on I got a Dodge Cummins (cuz I always wanted one, and had visions of someday getting a big Airstream.....) and it is the winner when it comes to towing. But the GX tows just fine - I live in Utah and often tow in the mountains, and high altitudes.

Alas - the bottom dropped out of the Luxury SUV market, and used GX470s can be had for a song, lots of them with low miles - perhaps an option to consider since you seem to like the Toyota family - and it has both the V8 and seating for 7. Even new GXs can often be found with significant discounts, if you want to buy 'new'.
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