Can I tow a Toyota 4Runner

Hello all,
I own a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab. Specs: 4x4 5.2L (318) Automatic transmission Hitch is the factory bumper hitch (Class III I think?)
Axle ratio (unknown) Tow package is installed (minus the Class IV hitch, thats a long story) including bigger transmission cooler
I have to move cross country (3000 miles+) and I have two vehicles to move. The last time I did this move I only had one so it was alot easier! Now I own a 2004 Toyota 4Runner (4x4) V6. I am thinking about towing it (car dolly) or trailering it during the trip.
Frankly though, I don't know anything about how to figure out if I can tow that big a load or not. Hopefully this group can help. My questions:
1) The 4Runner has a GVWR of 5570#. If I'm not mistaken that bumper hitch on my Dodge is only rated for 5,000# is it not? Which would mean if I did tow, I would need a Class IV hitch wouldn't I?
2) Does a car dolly change anything with regard to how much weight you can tow vs. towing a car on a trailer?
3) Assuming I do need a Class IV hitch, do I even have enough truck to pull that much weight? The Max trailer weight for the truck is 7200# and the GCWR is 12,500#.
4) On the last cross country move, I pulled one of those 5" x 8" little Uhaul trailers but it only weighed about 1700# loaded. Truck pulled it just fine at 70 MPH on interstate highways, except in the mountains, where I had to take it out of overdrive and the gas mileage sucked horribly. I realize that towing this Toyota is a whole new ball game which is why I'm here.
5) Am I just setting myself up for a transmission or rear-end failure trying to pull that much weight over that distance? If so, I would be open to any suggestions anyone has about how to ship a vehicle cross country, including if they know any reputable shippers in the Seattle/ Tacoma/Bremerton area of Washington State. Moving to Virginia.
Buying a new truck is not an option, as other than moving like this I never tow anything above little 1000# trailers, I like my truck and it is in awesome condition, its got less than 60,000 miles, and its paid for.
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No - you can tow the 4Runner, but you definitely need a real receiver - the bumper pull won't cut it. Not only is the bumper not rated for the weight, it's way too high for a proper mount, and it also limits your turning radius.
I would install a transmission temperature gauge, to keep an eye on the transmission. Heat is what kills it, and if you manage the heat, you'll be fine. Keep it out of overdrive in mountainous areas (to prevent the transmission from hunting back and forth between gears).
As for equipment, a low flatbed trailer is preferable to a car dolly - it will save the wear on the towed vehicle. If you have to use a car dolly, put the front wheels on the dolly, disconnect the 4Runner's rear drive shaft from the rear axle, and secure it up against the frame. Make ABSOLUTELY sure it can't come loose. Heavy wire through the yoke and around the frame, tied in such a way so that it can't slide rearward.
Given the above, and with a healthly amount of common sense applied during the trip, I think you'll be fine. Make sure you get a spare tire for the trailer/dolly to bring with you. Some people forget that trailers get flats, too.
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You will have the added expenses of getting your vehicle ready for towing, Much added fuel costs, stress,saftey factor, TIME Have you considered shipping the vehicle ??? probably cost $1400-1500
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On Mar 21, 12:38 pm, "sqdancerLynn"

It may not even cost that much. I recall when I went to Hawaii, that it would have only cost me about 700 to ship a car from the port at Long Beach to Honolulu. Mind you this was back in 98 and it may have been a price for military shipping a second vehcile.
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Yep, I have considered shipping and that is still an option that is on the table. Which is why I also asked if anyone knows a dependable and reputable auto shipper. Right now the ones I have priced are about $1000. And yes, this is in conjunction with a military move. Unfortunately, the government no longer pays for shipping vehicles inside the US, which is why I am trying to save money by towing. I really am only concerned about crossing the mountains while towing, but I guess worst case scenario, I could have my other driver (going to split driving with someone) just drive the Toyota through the "rough" spots of the trip and then trailer through the easy, flat parts.
If I do have to buy a Class IV hitch, anybody recommend a particular model or brand?
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When did they stop shipping vehicles in CONUS? This has to be something with in the last two years. What pure and mindless bullshit that is, just another way to fuck our service members over!
I would not be overly concerned with towing it. I towed a 12x6 U-haul trailer, fully loaded, from AZ to NY a few years ago using my 97 Ram 1500 2wd 5.2l, auto with absolutely no problems. The trailer even at some point in the trip had a brake hang and I didn't know it until I reached NY.
I would not buy a hitch from U-haul only because they are so expensive. Home Depot, Wal-Mart, JC Whitney area ll good places to go. I have always used Reese and never had a lick of trouble.
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This is an excellent point, except that one of my riding partners is my German Shepherd. I strapped his metal kennel into the bed of the truck last time and I think he loved being in the fresh air. He has about the same amount of room in the metal kennel that he would have in the back of the 4 Runner. Although it will be June, meaning *hot* so he may need to be inside where its cooler. I love my buddy, and his welfare is the most important part of the trip. This is the main reason that I plan on staying at KOA campgrounds and what not so my buddy has room to run each night. Thats the main reason for this topic though, for me to explore options and choose the one that is the safest and most cost efficient. Three years ago, it cost me a little over $800 in gas to make the trip. If I drove the Yota, would still need a small Uhaul, but it can handle it just fine. Toyota is a V6 Automatic, but generates pretty good horsepower and torque for a V6.

Its been at least 5-6 years (how long I've been in) because I distinctly remember being told on each move that the only places that government will pay to ship a vehicle to are OCONUS and then its only one. I hear you though, when just about every family now owns two vehicles, it does make these moves difficult sometimes.

Got any idea what that trailer weighed loaded? Trying to make a comparison. As I said above, I figure that with added weight of a trailer or dolly plus the 4Runner I am figuring max about 6200# (5570# Toyota plus trailer wt) and thats probably a heavy estimate.

Been looking on JC Whitney myself. Found this one: http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/Product/tf-Browse/s-10101/Pr-p_Product.CATENTRY_ID:2011895/p-2011895/N-111+10714+600007227/c-10614
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What branch are you in? What rank? Something just doesn't sound right about them not flipping the cost for moving a vehicle on a PCS in CONUS? I have only been out 2 years, after serving 16 and NEVER, single or married was told anything even remotely similar.

Man, honestly have no idea on the weight anymore. If I had to guess, I would say somewhere around 3 or 4k. It was a completely enclosed trailer, which I figure was about 1500 or so.
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USMC - Officer. Check the Joint Federal Travel Regulations @ http://dodtravelregs.hqda.pentagon.mil/propub/template.htm?view=main Chapter E talks about POV moves. I will talk to my admin folks just to be sure.

Well the more I investigate it doesn't really matter. Looked at Penske, Uhaul, etc. None of the car dolly's or trailers that you can rent are capable of hauling a 4Runner. Either the wheels are too big or its too heavy. Looks like my only option is to have it shipped unless I am wrong. Will have to find out tomorrow. Maybe I can convince the government to reimburse me. Wife has a medical condition that prevents her from driving, and I can't very well drive two vehicles at once. Maybe I can use some kind of doctors note to get reimbursed. Certainly would make the trip easier.
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Are you sure?? I've seen some fairly large cars on rental trailers.
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I'm starting to see what you mean. The tire issue isn't a big deal to resolve. How much does it weigh?
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wrote:

Well that explains it.<G> Thanks for your service.
Anyway, thinking about this it is mo that by the time you get done messing around getting the truck set up to tow, renting the trailer, paying for the extra gas and toll, plus the stress and bs of a cross country ride you'd be probably be way better served shipping whichever one of the two is cheaper. Also if you do ship, go to the company not a broker.Tell them your in the military maybe they have a government rate.
I hear ya regards the German Sepherd. Ours is 9 years old now and rides back and forth to Fl with us. You'll never have a better friend.
Roy
Check the Joint Federal Travel Regulations @

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Wow! What a way to screw the military over even more!!! I am SOOO glad I am not in anymore, it is stupid shit like this that I do not miss and hated to deal with. I wish you the best, have a safe move however you accomplish it and as Roy said, thanks.
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On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 15:55:37 -0700, azwiley1 wrote:

i was going to suggest a reese myself. having forgotten what vehicle he has to tow with i've assumed a 97 ram 1500 in my search. valley and drawtite both make good hitches too. here's a class IV from etrailer.com that looks reasonable. been a wile since i bought a reciever hitch. last couple of trucks already came with them.
http://www.etrailer.com/pc-H~V82520.htm?vehicleid 975638
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Thanks for all the replies.
I think I am pretty much resigned to shipping a vehicle. Just going to have to figure out which one. The Ram will only be about $100 more than the Toyota to ship. My question now is which one do you think would be better on gas mileage while pulling one of those small Uhaul trailers (less than 1500#).
The 2004 Toyota 4Runner is a 4.0L V6 generating about 245hp and 283 ft- lbs of torque. Its a stock factory setup.
The 1999 Dodge Ram is a 5.2L V8 (318) generating originally 230hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque, although I'm quite sure it probably gets less than that due to the age of the engine, at about 53,000 miles.
My guess would be the 4Runner since it doesn't generate much less torque than the Ram and it has more horsepower.
Any thoughts?
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Unless the Ram has a shell, the Toyota will have somewhat better aerodynamics for towing a small enclosed trailer.
I get 18 MPG in my 2006 RAM CTD at 70MPH with no shell. When towing a toyhauler, it goes down to about 12.5MPG.

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On Thu, 22 Mar 2007 21:50:23 -0700, Dave wrote:

The ram 1500 would be my choice. i would expect about 9 mpg towing at interstate speeds with it. being a full sized truck pulling what will be a fairly light load for it (you stated previously a small uhaul trailer) it should handle well. I'm sure the 4 runner would do the job nicely too, but IRRC those are more along the lines of a Dakota sized vehicle. my personal preference is to pull with the larger vehicle always.
NOTE: my guess/estimate of 9 mpg is just that a guess. I'm basing that on my personal previous experience with my wife's 5.9L durango and v10 2500 trucks. (both previously sold) with each truck unloaded we were seeing 10 ~ 13 mpg empty. your actual mpg will depend greatly on your driving habits and load. keep in mind I've never owned a 4 runner and have no idea what mpg you could expect out of one when towing. my recommendation was solely on the size of the tow vehicle.
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I'm with Chris on this for all the reason's he mentioned. Ship the toy and tow with the truck. You will be more comfortable in the bigger cab, also more room for the dog.

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I'd use the older larger to tow . No wear on the newer smaller vehicle that way.
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Additional info You might consider driving the Toy and shipping the Dodge. Be reasistic 3K mile trip you will spend an extra $300-$400 on gas at todays prices
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