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I tow Thesaurus on a double axle galvanized roller trailer with a 1997 Toyota 4Runner, 4 WD, 6 cylinder automatic and have no problems whatsoever. The trailer is a heavy one but also sits very low and seems to distribute tongue weight perfectly. I weighed the rig once, minus most gear and it was around 4000 lbs as I recall.  I also tow a 24 foot powerboat that outweighs the SJ23 by 1000 lbs but the trailer is a bunk aluminum double axle. Still, the powerboat weighs more and sits up much higher. I had to modify the trailer slightly to get better tongue weight, which is critical with dual axle trailers by the way.  I know this rig is much heavier and with gear is probably a bit higher than 5000 lbs and it doesn’t tow near as well. Mileage drops to 9-10 mpg with powerboat versus 14-15 with SJ23 and normal 22 highway.

The 4Runner has a heavy towing package, coolant system, big tires etc….it’s one of the big reasons I bought the vehicle when looking for a mid-size SUV….better towing package that anything else at the time for the class.

If I were buying a new SUV for towing today though, I’d probably look hard at the Volkswagon Touerag.  Excellent reviews and I believe a 7000 lb towing package.


New Bern, NC

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