What’s the Towing Capacity of a Toyota 4Runner?

Want to tow a smaller travel trailer with your Toyota 4Runner? Here's everything you need to know about the towing capacity of the Toyota 4Runner.

The Toyota 4Runner has been a staple for years. In fact, it has been around for over three decades as a vehicle that is great both off and on the road.

Not only is it great for off-road travel, but it is great as a tow vehicle. While it might be true that a full size truck can tow more than the 4Runner, there are downsides to larger trucks.

With smaller truck like this one, you are able to have a smoother ride and get better mileage. So, what is the Toyota 4Runner towing capacity? 

What is the Toyota 4Runner towing capacity?

white toyota 4runner on the beach
Image credits: Lance Asper

A Toyota 4Runner can tow up to 5.000 lbs at a time. That is thanks, in part, to its 4.0 liter v6 engine that provides 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque.

Additionally, if you are planning on towing an RV, you need to factor in the tongue weight. The Toyota 4Runner has a tongue weight capacity of 500 lbs.

You should be happy to hear that the Toyota 4Runner is equipped with a standard hitch receiver and a wiring harness 4 pin and 7 pin connectors.

As a result, you do not need to purchase an additional towing package. These features help give the Toyota 4Runner the edge of its competition.

Notably, vehicles like the Honda Pilot and Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo only have towing capacities of around 3.500 lbs. 

What kind of trailers can a Toyota 4Runner tow? 

So, a Toyota 4Runner can tow up to 5.000 lbs, but what does that mean. Not everyone just knows how much every trailer weighs, so I will do my best to help you out. 

You should be able to tow almost any teardrop trailer without any difficulty with a Toyota 4Runner. These campers are much smaller and lighter than the average camper, and as a result, it does not take much to tow them. Many of them could even be towed by regular cars. 

Additionally, you are going to be able to tow the vast majority of pop up campers with a Toyota 4Runner. These campers are designed to be lightweight and easy to tow.

The best thing about these campers is that they are expandable. So, they do not take up much space, but they can fit several people. Some of them can even hold up to six people at a time.

That being said, since they are expandable, they are made out of lightweight materials that do not provide a lot of wind resistance.

Note: I’ve written a post on the best small travel trailers. Might be interesting!

What else can a Toyota 4Runner tow? 

If you do not plan on attaching a trailer to the back of your Toyota 4Runner, you can still take advantage of its towing capacity. You are able to use this vehicle to pull ATVs and boats as well.

Anything that is safely under 5000 lbs can be towed by this vehicle. All ATVs should be able to be towed without a problem.

As for boats, you will need to check the weight of yours. Most boats should be fine, but some can get heavy, and you do not want to get into trouble if you have a larger one. 

What will happen if you tow over capacity?

black suv towing a large white trailer
Image credits: Benjamin Zanatta

At this point, you might be asking the question, what will happen if I tow over capacity? I have asked myself that question before too, and trust me, I get it, but you need to avoid this temptation. It is true that some people will get away with exceeding the towing capacity by a little bit, but you are far more likely to cause damage to your vehicle. Not only could you cause damage to your vehicle, but someone could get hurt as a result of something breaking while driving at high speeds. 

The main issues you will run into by exceeding towing capacity include erratic steering, hampered acceleration, impaired braking, reduced fuel efficiency, and lessening of the vehicle’s durability. By not adhering to tow weight specifications, your vehicle could easily start to sway, and you could cross lane divisions. Not only could you run yourself off the road, but you could cause a collision with another vehicle. It is one thing to put yourself and those in your vehicle at risk, but it is another to put innocent bystanders at risk. As a result, you should never exceed your Toyota 4Runner’s towing capacity. 

Can you increase the towing capacity of your Toyota 4Runner? 

If you want to tow something that is a little heavier than 5000 lbs, you might think that there are some things that you can do to increase the towing capacity of your vehicle. There are a few things you can do to increase your Toyota 4Runner’s towing capacity, but you will void your warranty. Toyota warranties do not apply to damage done by towing something that exceeds the weight limit. 

Something you can do is install a trailer brake system. This will reduce the weight that your vehicle needs to endure, and it can assist your vehicle in coming to a stop. Alternatively, you can improve your exhaust system with upgrades to your air filters. This will increase the torque and horsepower of your vehicle. 

There are a few other things you can try, but for the most part, you should not try to increase your Toyota 4Runner’s towing capacity. Not only could it be financially damaging as you void your warranty, but it could be dangerous. If you do not successfully change the thing you are trying to adjust, you could put yourself in a negative situation on the road. As a result, it is better to work within the predetermined towing capacity. 

Final thoughts 

The Toyota 4Runner is a great vehicle for a variety of reasons. Not only is a great vehicle for off-road driving, but it is strong enough to pull many camper trailers.

So, if you want to go on a trip with your family, you are able to bring a trailer with you to have the best overall experience. Just make sure you are not towing in excess of 5.000 lbs.

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Jakob Staudal

I love to spend time outside and reconnect with nature every now and then and cut-off all the noise from social media and everyday life.