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Old 08-12-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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Weight distribution hitch on 2014 Toyota 4 Runner

I have a 2014 Toyota 4 Runner SR5 V-6 5 speed and recently purchased a 19' Rockwood Roo Hybrid 3,600# dry. Tongue wght 350 dry. I have been doing quite a bit of research and it appears there is no wght distribution receiver available for my model year 4runner. Question is, and there are conflicting opinions, can I utilize my wght distribution hitch with the stock weight bearing hitch receiver that is only bolted to the frame cross member and not the side rails? There is some conversation, in some of the forums I have been reading, that I will be putting torsional force on the cross member that it is not designed to handle . Car and Driver does mention weight distribution in their review of the 2014 4 Runner - 'Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. 705 lbs ' I towed this setup once so far and only needed minimal tension to level both vehicles. Here are some of my specs. 4 Runner Towing capacity 4,700
GVWR 6,100
GVCWR 11,000
GVW (loaded for camping with one passenger) 5,000
GAWR F 3,000
GAWR R 3,440
Trailer - 2 axels
GVW 3,600 (dry)
GVWR 4,700
GVW (actual) 4,200
Tongue weight 400
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:18 PM   #2
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Are you saying the WDH will harm the car frame or the trailer frame?

I am pretty sure the Roo frames are designed to accommodate a WDH. There was a time when campers were made with U stock steel and could not take a WH. But most all campers now use square stock steel. People correct me if I am wrong.

I cannot comment on the vehicle you have but most vehicles I see say that a WDH is needed!

One last point I am confused on is you say there is no receiver for a WDH available for your TV? Do not all WDH's just mount on a standard 2" class III hitch? Or am I just misunderstanding your post? (totally possible. hehehe)

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Old 08-12-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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My suggestion is you contact Toyota directly with your question. I do know that not all hitch receivers can be used with WDH's. Looking around I could not find an after market receiver for your model in any recent model year so it looks like you are stuck with whatever Toyota says or maybe have find someone who can fabricate a custom receiver.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmkd View Post
I have a 2014 Toyota 4 Runner SR5 V-6 5 speed and recently purchased a 19' Rockwood Roo Hybrid 3,600# dry. Tongue wght 350 dry. I have been doing quite a bit of research and it appears there is no wght distribution receiver available for my model year 4runner. Question is, and there are conflicting opinions, can I utilize my wght distribution hitch with the stock weight bearing hitch receiver that is only bolted to the frame cross member and not the side rails? There is some conversation, in some of the forums I have been reading, that I will be putting torsional force on the cross member that it is not designed to handle . Car and Driver does mention weight distribution in their review of the 2014 4 Runner - 'Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. 705 lbs ' I towed this setup once so far and only needed minimal tension to level both vehicles. Here are some of my specs. 4 Runner Towing capacity 4,700
GVWR 6,100
GVCWR 11,000
GVW (loaded for camping with one passenger) 5,000
GAWR F 3,000
GAWR R 3,440
Trailer - 2 axels
GVW 3,600 (dry)
GVWR 4,700
GVW (actual) 4,200
Tongue weight 400
I'm going to second the proposal that you go see a custom hitch fabricator. Hopefully you have someplace that's fairly close. These guys really know their stuff and often can recommend more than one option. You already know you're pushing the limits of the 4 Runner so you'll want to be as sure a possible on the safety of your hitch and WDH. I wouldn't leave home without mine
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:00 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting. I'm worried about the frame on the TV. There are 2 types of class 3 hitch receivers on the market. My receiver mounts only to the frame cross member with 4 bolts. The other type are like a yoke that bolt to the frame side rails also. The older model 4runners (pre 2009) had a V-8 option and heavier towing capacity and you can find this style of receiver at Curt and some of the other hitch dealers for those earlier models.Unfortunately the newer 4 Runners don't have a V-8 option and have gone with this new style of stock receiver.
I have been unsuccessful finding an after market receiver like I described.
The manual doesn't even mention WD yes or no. I guess as long as I don't go crazy maxing out my tongue weight where I have to put a huge amount of tension on my bars I should be ok. Here is the excerpt from a 4 Runner forum that freaked me out. I'm not sure if this is true but it kind of makes sense :

'The oem weight carrying hitch (for the V6's) is mounted to the rear crossmember, underneath the bumper cover. It is rated for 500 lbs max tongue weight and 5,000 lbs max pull weight. It is NOT designed to be used with a weight distribution system, because the rear crossmember it is mounted on is not designed to handle the rotational torque stress that a weight distribution system will put on it. On the other hand, the frame mounted hitch, like those on most V8's, is designed to be used with a weight distribution system because it is directly mounted to each of the main frame rails. When a weight distribution system is used with it, the rotational torque is applied directly to the frame rails through the hitch. If you need a weight distribution system to control sway or handle a heavier trailer, you MUST have a frame mounted hitch for it to work properly and not damage the rear crossmember.

Since Toyota, as far as I know, does not have a V8 option available for the 5th gen 4Runners, I doubt they have a factory frame mounted hitch available. I do not know if there are any aftermarket 5th gen frame mounted hitches available yet. And I don't know if the frames between the 4th gen and 5th gen are close enough to allow a 4th gen frame mounted hitch to fit the 5th gen. '


Sorry for the lengthy post
P.S. I called Toyota yesterday - said they would get back to me- will let you know
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice on the custom idea. Can't believe they don't make a heavy duty receiver for this vehicle.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:23 PM   #7
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Ah. Ok. I understand your concerns now. I did not realize the way the new hitches are mounted to your TV.

Good for you for asking this question. Much better to know ahead of time than to make a costly mistake.

Vin.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:41 PM   #8
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While not a hard/fast rule, the difference between similar hitches with different ratings (class 2 vs class 3) is more attachment points (given similar construction). I know that when I was outfitting our minivan a few years ago to tow our 3000 lbs popup (which required using a WDH), the class 2 option attached with 4 bolts. The class 3 option required drilling 2 more holes and fishing 2 extra bolts thru the frame members to get to 6 attachment points.

I think it's about spreading out the attachment points, as well as increasing the number, to handle the torsional forces involved. But again, that's not a rule I've seen. There are likely some Class 3 setups with 4 bolts that are inherently stronger by design (?).
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:16 PM   #9
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The 4 bolt attachment on this particular class 3 set up is obviously fine for the rating (4700 lbs.) only I don't know how thick the cross member tube is on the frame, but it is part of the frame. One good thing the 4 runner has going for it is it is one of the last body on frame SUV's like a pick-up. Not a unibody like 95% of suvs and cross overs nowadays. Like I mentioned earlier my tongue weight is near the minimum (400lbs) for the weight distribution hitch so I don't think I am putting a large amount of torsion on the receiver attachment point when I arm the hitch.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:43 PM   #10
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I have a 2006 4runner with a V6 to pull my new Coachman Clipper 17BH. I have one of these on mine. Amazon.com: Fastway 94-00-1000 e2 Series 2-Point Sway Hitch - 10000 lbs. Capacity: Automotive
The dealer didn't seem to think that it was a problem, so I am just going to see.
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