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Last Post 22 Nov 2009 10:59 AM by  Steve Hoelscher
2002 Toyota 4 Runner 3.4 V6 Towing advice
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mvharvey
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21 Oct 2009 09:34 PM

    I have a 2002 Toyota 4 Runner 3.4 V6. I want to use a U Haul tow Dolly to tow my 1990 Toyota Camry from Topeka KS to Orlando FL (1300 miles)

    Trucking towing cap is 5000

    Camry is 2850- tank on E

    Dolly is 750

    Total 3800 to 3850

    Im the only person driving with luggage

    * The main question is with the 1300 milage towing and going through TN I24 do you think this would be a good idea to try. I only need to tow it once like this. Will the grades in KS, MO TN be a killer to the 4 Runner.

    Any advice and tips would be helpful. mvh78nc@msn.com

    Outlaw26
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    13 Nov 2009 12:03 AM
    I've towed multiple times my M3 and other heavy loads on my flatbed trailer behind my Taco 3.4V6 between nebraska and alabama. I'd say you'll be just fine, though I don't know the dynamics of a towdolly and if anything your brakes may be a little weak. My trailer has dual axle electric brakes.
    Steve Hoelscher
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    13 Nov 2009 08:59 AM
    mvharvey wrote:

    * The main question is with the 1300 milage towing and going through TN I24 do you think this would be a good idea to try. I only need to tow it once like this. Will the grades in KS, MO TN be a killer to the 4 Runner.

    Well, I have made that same tow many times, except I take I-10 to/from Jax and then down to St. Augustine instead of I-75 all the way down to the center of the state. There are two significant climbs/decents on I-70 in Mo. Neither is longer than a mile or so and shouldn't present any trouble as long as you take your time. If you take I-64 east from St. Louis then I-55 south to I-24, Illinois is very flat until you reach the one mountain range between I-55 and the Ohio River. There is one climb/decent there and its only slightly longer than the two in Mo. Buy gas in Mo and run all the way to Kentucky where prices are lower than Illinois.

    The biggest mountain (climb/decent) on the whole route is in Tennessee. North west of Nashville there are a couple of minor ones (similar to Mo but have turns in them) but the biggie is Mont Eagle mountain. Its a six mile climb to the top and then a couple of miles across the top before an equally long decent. Either side isn't very steep but the grade seems to go on forever. My van climbs it comfortably in 3rd at 70 mph. Both sides have multiple "runnaway truck ramps" so keep an eye on your speed and brake temps.

    From there you have the mountains around Chattanooga which aren't any worse than what you have already seen. Then from Chattanooga all the way to Macon, Georgia, there is hardly a level spot. Nothing big but it seems like you are always going up or down. From Macon south, its as flat as the midwest. Be on the lookout in middle/south georgia for local cops/sheriffs running radar looking for out of staters as easy marks. Keep it under 80 and you are typically fine. Also keep an eye on your speed in the construction zones in south Georgia. The locals like to pick off out of staters there. Typical construction zone speed limits are 55 or 60.

    If your truck is an automatic, make sure you have an external transmission cooler before you start the trip. And it would be a good idea to change the transmission fluid if it hasn't been done in a while. When towing, you can tow in OD if it will stay in OD and not hunt between gears and the torque converter clutch stays locked. If it doens't, tow in 3rd.

    Outlaw26
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    21 Nov 2009 08:02 AM

    Good tips all in all but, i gotta say..

    Keep it under 80mph because of speed traps??????????

    Thats just nuts, towing anything bumper pull at 80 mph is reckless IMO, I can't think that a dolly would handle better than a trailer. Frankly I think semi's doing 80 mph is nuts most of the time. Sorry, pet peeve rant of mine is the fact that many americans think it absolutely necessary to tow things at sports car speed and be able to tailgate, lane change, intimidate, stoplight drag, and climb mountains as if they were Mr Fast and furious incarnate.

    As for travel, maybe consider I65 south through alabama, roads are real easy south of nashville all the way down to I10 (cut through Dothan on 231) except for one more mtn pass south of nash, not terribly steep.

    KC and St Louis traffic is a PITA, watch for sudden stoppage on the interstate. St Louis, wow, I drive an hour out of my way to avoid that place anytime near rush hours. Probably saves time doing, it would take two drivers on same day to prove it.

    TN and KY i24 are easy.

    Steve Hoelscher
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    22 Nov 2009 10:59 AM

    I wasn't advocating towing at 80. I have recently driven that stretch of I-75 several times in the last few months, many of which were in a passenger car not towing anything. I simply pointed out my observations. Traffic typically runs at 75 to 80 mph in south Georgia. I don't know what speeds the original poster tows at, I was only warning him of known speed traps in the area.

    That said, I regularly tow at 75~80 mph, conditions permitting. For an experienced and skilled driver, in a properly prepared rig, there is no safety issue. In fact, keeping up with the traffic flow is typically safer than beng a rolling traffic impediment.

    The route down I-65 to Montgomery, is the best alternative is you want to avoid Atlanta. And you do want to avoid Atlanta if you would be passing through anywhere near rush hour. However, it is further and 231 through Dothan is slow going and adds time to your trip. Nor is there any benefit to terrain. I-65 from Nashville to Birmingham is every bit the terrain that it is from Nashville to Warner-Robbins, Georgia. The only difference is Mont Eagle Mountain. Given the choice I will always take I-75.

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