Can you tow a Toyota 4runner behind a motorhome?

A motorhome is a large vehicle also known as a recreational vehicle (RV). A motorhome is a specially designed vehicle with accommodation and all the home facilities. You can visit distant areas using a motorhome during your vacations and can enjoy your vacation with necessities within your vehicle. A room to rest, a kitchen to cook food, storage space, and a bathroom also. Once you reach your desired destination and park your motorhome you can’t carry it everywhere to explore different points at your destination. As the motorhome is giant enough and it’s difficult to take it to every place you go.

So, you need a regular vehicle to visit other places at your vacation point. Does hiring a vehicle a good option? What do you think? In our opinion, it’s not a good option every time. Because maybe it is expensive or the vehicle you hire may be of not your type and it can also be very time taking. To save your time, energy, and money the option left is to tow your vehicle behind a motorhome.

There are different methods to tow a vehicle behind your RV. It also depends on the type of vehicle you have. Let’s discuss it all in detail!

Vehicle Type

How many categories of vehicles do you know? Yes, there are some two-wheelers and some four-wheelers. But here we are going to discuss only four-wheelers and specifically Toyota four-wheelers.

Do you know how many four-wheelers are there? There are three types of four-wheelers:

  • Front wheels moving only
  • The rear wheels move only
  • All four wheels moving

It all depends on the type of model you have.

How a vehicle is operated?

Vehicles can be operated manually, automatically, or CVT. All three operations require different methods of towing as it affects gear systems, steering role, and lubrication of the drive shaft.

Methods of Towing

There are a few methods that will enable you to tow your Toyota 4Runner behind a motorhome easily. Let’s find out!

Tow Dolly

Tow dollies have chains straps and brakes that safely tie your vehicle with its self with front/rear wheels of the vehicle on it. The other wheels of the car are on road. While towing using a tow dolly you should read your Toyota manual book. You should also know in which gear your vehicle should be and it is also discussed below. Points include:

  • Automatic Front Wheel drive: Front wheels of the vehicle should be on the tow dolly and the rear touching the ground. Leave your vehicle in park and start towing.
  • Manual Front Wheel drive: The gear of your car should be first. The placement of the car on the tow dolly is the same as above.
  • Automatic rear-wheel drive: Gear is not the concern here. Right! The thing to consider here is to remove the drive shaft so it doesn’t matter in which gear your car is. Keep the front wheels on the tow dolly and your car is ready to tow.
  • Manual rear-wheel drive: Front wheels touch the ground so your car’s back is facing your motorhome with rear wheels on the dolly. The gear is neutral.

Adjustment and gear have been discussed in detail and it depends on the Toyota four-wheeler’s model. The towing dollies also cost an expense and require storage space too.

Towing with a dolly that supports only the front wheels of your vehicle can help reduce wear and tear on the back tires. However, if you have a front-wheel drive car in tow, this may mean less power as there will not be an active drivetrain for those turning wheels.

More information on this is here

Flatbed Trailer

In this method, a trailer is used behind a motorhome on which the vehicle is placed which has to be towed. So, all four wheels of the vehicle are off the ground. This is the safest method but the thing to calculate is the weight of the trailer and the weight of the Toyota 4 runner both of which must equal 10,000 to 15,000 pounds. However, a motorhome can only hitch an approximate weight of 16,000 pounds.

Four-Wheels Down

This can also be an option. This type of towing is also known as dingy towing as it resembles a yacht towing a dingy.  But reading the owner’s manual first is essential. An automatic vehicle needs drive shaft coupling if you want to tow it with four wheels down. Drive shaft coupling is a device that allows you to shift from driving mode to towing mode from the driver’s seat.

One of the major considerations while you flat tow a vehicle is its transmission lubrication. Toyota vehicles are designed such that they need the continuous operation of a pump inside the transmission to keep the moving parts lubricated. A car can suffer severe transmission damage if it is towed without the necessary lubrication of the drive shaft.

With automatic transmissions and pump-dependent manuals, the output shaft isn’t being lubricated unless the vehicle’s engine is running. So, it is required to stop a vehicle and turns its engine on to lubricate the drive shaft or a device can also be used which is very expensive.

Towing four wheels down without necessary changes can result in transmission damage. None of Toyota four wheelers have auto transmission. If you disengage any of the components of the Toyota 4wheeler then it may get malfunction which is not recommended. Flat towing is not recommended for any of the Toyota 4runner models.

Role of Hand-Brake in Towing

Hand brakes function to stop the rear wheels. So, if the hand brake is on the rear wheels should be off the ground.

Assistance from Tow Service Companies

What will you do if you face any difficulty in towing your vehicle? You should have all the emergency numbers including the companies related to tow services. They are available 24/7 and equipped with skilled workers who know the minor details of the vehicle as well as towing mechanisms.

Wrap Up

Towing your Toyota is perfectly fine. But you should have complete knowledge of your vehicle which you can get by reading the owner’s manual. Moreover, the weight of the vehicle which has to tow shouldn’t exceed the motorhome’s weighing capacity. You should, therefore, seek the help of some professional before carrying out any of the above methods.

Do not rely on previous experiences or the experience you had with your previous vehicle. Because every new model has its configuration which has to be understood first. The recommended method for towing a Toyota four-wheeler is “flatbed” or “tow dolly”.

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Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by travel. I inherited this passion from my parents. Since my college years and to this day, I have had a passion for traveling in a motorhome. I am here to share my experiences with you.

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