Towing Flagstaff 25KS with 4Runner
I tow a 2012 Flagstaff KS25 "Microlite" (which we LOVE) with my 2005 4Runner SR5 4WD V8. 74,000 on the clock. This 25' TT weighs approx 4500# dry and 5500# all up...verified on truck scale. TT's tongue weight is 700#, verified by scale. I carry 2 bikes on TT's rear bumper. Per owner's manual, the 4Runner is rated for 7000# with a 700# tongue weight. The 4Runner's factory class 4 hitch has a sticker on it stating 7300# tow and 1095# tongue weight capacity when used with WD hitch. I use a Hensley Arrow hitch. When hitched and WD bars adjusted, the 4Runner sits level. I've added a Hayden trans cooler in series with the OEM cooler. Otherwise, the TV is all stock. I run syn oil in everything. Based on all this, here's my experience, towing in all kinds of conditions: Tows very well, tracks flawlessly under all normal conditions. Performs well on twisty mountain roads, too. The 4Runner pulled the Tehachapi Grapevine, I-80 to Lake Tahoe, and the Oregon 1-5 passes at max legal speed, accomplished by manual gear selection using 3rd and sometimes 2nd when speed falls towards 50 mph. All temps remained normal with outside air at 90-95 degrees and A/C on. Towing at 55-60 mph, I average 10 mpg =/- 2 mpg. Have seen it drop to 8 mpg on long hills and headwinds. Biggest issue I've encountered was fighting a 30-40 MPH gale headwind heading up I-5 in California between Sacramento and Redding...I could barely hold 55 mph in 4th gear on flat land. But that was the only time and everybody was moaning about it at the roadside rests. I never use 5th gear, only use CC on long, FLAT stretches. The remarkable Hensley Arrow hitch positively solved the crosswind / semitruck passing "twitch" I saw with my prior EAZ-Lift simple WD hitch with two friction sway dampers in use. I HIGHLY recommend the Hensley on this shortish wheelbase 4Runner! I use the same gears going downhill as going up and watch my speed carefully. No brake issues noted. Prodigy brake controller. Clamp-on mirror extensions. Yes, I'd like to have a Gen2 Sequoia 5.7, but the tough little 4Runner is getting job done and the extra $15k I'd have to lay out for even a 2008 used Sequoia is savings in my pocket. Plus the 4Runner is nimble, gets 22 MPG when not towing, and fits in my carport with the trailer behind it. Note that it is just my wife and I traveling...no kids. So the 4Runner is pretty much empty inside...thus, it works for us.