Can a Toyota 4Runner tow a camper? This question is often asked by those who admire the Toyota 4Runner, a midsize SUV celebrated for its versatility and substantial 5,000-pound towing capacity.
This strength makes it exceptionally suitable for towing small to midsize campers and trailers.
While the 2023 4Runner model comes equipped with essential features like an integrated towing receiver hitch and wiring harness, it's important to note that these are not standard across all model years.
In this article, we will cover the aspects of selecting campers compatible with the 4Runner, provide insights into its towing capacity, and discuss strategies to utilize the towing potential of this midsize SUV fully.
What Is The Toyota 4Runner's Towing Capacity?
The Toyota 4Runner's towing capacity has been consistent, ranging from 4,700 to 5,000 pounds in most models made between 1996 and 2023. This shows the 4Runner's reliability across various model years and trims.
Earlier models with a V8 engine had better towing capabilities, handling over 7,000 pounds.
When considering your specific 4Runner, it's important to check the tow rating for your vehicle's model year and powertrain. Different models may have slight changes in towing capacity.
For safety and control, especially in difficult conditions, it is advised to limit the load to 80% of the 4Runner's maximum capacity. This means around 4,000 pounds for most 4Runners and helps manage the vehicle better.
Consult the official towing guide for your specific Toyota 4Runner model to know the exact towing capacity and stay safe. These guides provide detailed information tailored to your vehicle's specifications.
Find out if you can flat tow a Toyota 4Runner by reading our detailed guide here.
What Is The Maximum Size Of Camper That A 4Runner Can Tow?
When choosing a camper for your Toyota 4Runner, carefully consider its towing limits. To ensure safe and efficient towing, it's advisable to adhere to the 80% rule.
This rule means picking campers that weigh no more than 4,000 pounds, including their full load. Doing so helps maintain better control of the vehicle and reduces strain.
Apart from the camper's weight, consider the weight distribution, hitch type, and brake condition for safe towing.
Proper weight distribution prevents vehicle imbalance and ensures smoother handling, while the right hitch type secures the load effectively. Also, regularly maintain the brakes on both the 4Runner and the camper for safe stopping.
If you're craving more towing power, though, check out this article: What’s The Best SUV for Towing A Travel Trailer? [Including Six Recommendations]
Top Camper Options For A Toyota 4Runner
Airstream is a well-known brand in the travel trailer industry, and their Bambi 16RB is a perfect fit for the 4Runner, with a GVWR of 3,500 lbs. Despite being only 16 feet long, it has all the RV essentials and the quality you expect from Airstream.
Forest River's Independence Trail offers floor plans like the 172BH. It weighs 3,836 lbs and provides ample sleeping space. The 172RB is more suited for couples, featuring a larger bed and a spacious bathroom.
The No Boundaries NB10.6 by Forest River suits adventurous trips. It features a ramp door for easy loading and off-road tires for rough terrain. It has a GVWR of 3,736 lbs, with a cargo capacity of 1,973 lbs.
The Viking 7 ft Saga also comes in two-floor plans under 4,000 lbs. The 17SBH weighs 3,883 lbs and has a 54x74" master bed, two bunks, and a convertible dinette.
The 16SFB has the same master bed and dinette but loses the bunks, making it easier to drive and maneuver.
L'Air Camper Co.
Trillium Heritage 4500 has a retro design that goes back to their first campers in the 1970s, but its recent improvements landed it in RV Life's list of the 10 best lightweight travel trailers of 2022.
It is the lightest camper on our list, with a GVWR of 2,500 lbs.
When choosing a camper, consider the amenities, kitchenette, bathroom, slideout, and other factors that may influence your camping experience.
Explore our article on the Toyota 4Runner's cargo space and its practicality for your needs here.
Respecting Towing Limits
The manufacturer sets the 4Runner's maximum towing capacity, which cannot be legally increased. While certain upgrades may improve performance, accessories only make towing safer and more convenient without boosting capacity.
Towing more than the recommended capacity can strain the brakes and suspension, risking safety. This can also cause mechanical damage, leading to costly and early repairs.
Planning and weighing your load carefully ensures you stay within the towing limits. This approach helps maintain control, prevent breakdowns, and ensures safe towing. Check towing guides for your specific 4Runner model and adhere to those limits.
Find out the best SUV for towing a travel trailer, including our top six recommendations, in our specialized article.
Safely Maximize Your Toyota 4Runner's Towing Capabilities
The Toyota 4Runner can tow small to midsize campers and trailers well with the right setup and load. Though SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Tundra are good for towing, the 4Runner is especially suited for modest camping trips.
For the best towing experience, set up your hitch correctly, distribute the weight evenly, and stay within load limits.
To learn more about this and related topics, check out this article: How Much Does RV Camping Cost? [A detailed Analysis with Examples] You'll find information on camping across the US as well as the best places to overnight when campgrounds aren't available.