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Suitable trailer for a Toyota 4Runner TRD off road 6 cylnder rated to 5,000 lbs with a towing package

I’m more concerned about their build quality as the amount of vibration from washboard roads may or may not have been factored into their engineering. Hearing about experience with these trailers on these types of roads would be the most helpful.

I don’t know your particular F150’s specs. But I wouldn’t tow an American trailer with a 5 liter engine. That’s just me.

I think I’d be a little concerned about the 4Runner having enough juice to push a trailer backwards uphill on gravel or icy/muddy/slick conditions or enough pushback going down a steep spot, switchbacks. Short wheelbase for that too, perhaps. We drive a ton of FS/gravel/goat trail type roads.


How many everyone’s are hauling with a rig like you describe? If you can’t find anyone else doing it, then there is probably a reason! I haul a lot of forest service roads, (and I think we probably have better ones in the ANF than in the mountains out west) and never in a million years would I try it with a fully loaded euro-rig and a v-6 4Runner! I don’t imagine 10 ply tires would be the solution to all your problems in that situation.


There are no everyones hauling with a 4Runner and a euro-trailer because there are no euro-trailers where I live. Just because nobody local is doing it doesn’t automatically make it a bad idea. The local knowledge is limited to what people have always done, for the most part.

The locals do plenty of things I would never do because I consider those things foolish or hard on horses. For example, I don’t shoe my horses. I also don’t think you can fix a bad saddle fit by putting on a thicker pad. If I looked to the local wisdom for guidance my horse life would be infinitely worse off.

also, @LSMarnell, please tell me why, specifically, you would never drive down a FS road with a 4Runner and a fully loaded euro-rig ? What specifically are the issues? The 4Runner capacity is within guidelines. People are telling me the european trailers are sturdy (how sturdy I am still trying to ascertain). Do you have personal experience with this, specialized knowledge? Or are you just reacting to what you think you know?

@OnAMission I share some of those concerns (I’m not going to do some of those things even with my 3/4 ton truck), but I am here to learn from people with experience and knowledge of these trailers what the capabilities are.

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I have a Bockmann and think it is well-built but really can’t comment on how it would do on those types of forest roads. I think you’re going to be hard pressed to find many folks with modern Euro trailers who have spent much time driving them under the conditions you’re talking about.

Both the Canadian Bockmann dealer (Maple Lane trailers) and the MD dealer (Traveled Lane trailers) are super helpful, so you might try contacting them.


I have towed, or been a passenger while towing, 2 Brenderup Barons, an Equitrek Day Trekka, and a Böckmann Portax LK, using a V6 4Runner, a V8 4Runner, and another V8 SUV, loaded with either one or two 16h+ horses for day trips.

The V6 4Runner struggled perceptibly up slight to moderate inclines (eg freeway on/off ramps), even with just one horse in a Brenderup.

I do not have experience with the type of hauling you are talking about. My experience is limited to ordinary driving on paved roads with maximum climb to 2000 feet. But no way would I feel comfortable hauling two horses + gear into challenging terrain where rescue may be difficult to come by with any V6 SUV. I wouldn’t haul 2 biggish horses with a V6 at all if I had any choice about it.


Towing a trailer off of paved roads is when ground clearance becomes really important - of both the trailer and the truck.

The 4Runner TRD has close to 10 inches of ground clearance, so you are pretty good with the truck. Ground clearance of your 2007 Chevy 2500 may actually be lower than the 4Runner, depending on how the 2500 is configured.

Maverick and almost no other trailer makers list ground clearance of their trailers, but in general trailer floors are at about 10 inches, and the axle tubes are lower. Measuring my two bumper pull trailers, floors are about 10 inches, axle tubes are 8 inches, and the leaf spring mounts are under 6 inches above the ground.

Then there is the hitch itself. The ball is going to be about a foot above the ground, but under that is the tongue to frame structure which is only about 6 inches above ground level. So as your rig becomes a “V” as the truck goes uphill with the trailer still going downhill that may dig into the ground.

So, IMO, the best for off-road horse hauling would be to keep your Chevy truck, and shelve the bumper pull-Toytota idea for a gooseneck trailer. The shorter the better, to make those tight turns. You could add bigger diameter tires and wheels on the trailer, or even have the trailer lifted. I have seen pictures of lifted horse trailers, but have never seen one in person.


@LCDR I’m not going to have a ground clearance issue with this 4Runner. There is so much ground clearance I couldn’t even get into it until we added running boards. The trailer I already have–a two-horse, slant, bumper-pull steel trailer with a conventional bullnosed hitch–has plenty of clearance for the driving I do. Plus the Chevy truck has quadrasteer, so the trailer tracks perfectly behind it on turns. I have ten-ply tires on this trailer, and that is more than adequate. I’ve been hauling in bad country with this setup for 7 years. I have no interested in getting a gooseneck trailer because I like to sleep in the bed of my truck when I go camping. It has a topper with windows that open, and I keep a thick mattress covered with a heavy duty hay tarp over it in the truck bed at all times.

I will find out what the ground clearance is of the european trailers, but from the photos I’ve seen they don’t look lower than the Maveriick. The specs for the 4Runner TRD fit the euro trailers. I would like to see what it feels like to haul this setup, though, before I commit. I really do not want to sell my truck if it turns out I will need a truck after all. Quadrasteers are very hard to find, and I wouldn’t want to own a truck without it.

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@irishchick I’d have to see the exact specs on the 6 cyl 4Runner you had issues with to know if it is comparable to mine. This is a TRD Off Road model.

OK, I get it. I am sorry that I offended you.

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Well, several of us have reiterated the issues to you.

Yes, it does in my opinion. What I have learned is there are a lot of people out there doing the thing you want to do. And they know a lot, they have done a lot, and they have seen a lot. They know what works lol.
And, I hope you have cell service out there. (I have ZERO service in 95% of the horse trails in the ANF.) I’m sure it’s worse where you are. How are you going to get help if your plan fails? WHO exactly do you have in mind to help you?


Interestingly, trim level does not have an effect on towing capacity or relative specs, per Toyota. And the V6 is the only engine available in the 4Runner since 2010, when the two other options were discontinued.

The previously available V8 was a beefy engine to have in a midsize SUV like the 4Runner. It also gave the model a reputation of being more truck than it actually is. I wish they’d bring the V8 back, but I expect instead we will see the hybrid engine they’ve put in the new Tacoma. Which will be interesting.


I’m a small/short rig supporter.

I wouldn’t do this. Not with a v6, and not on the roads you’re talking about.

I get you want to make it work with what you’ve got. But in this case, I don’t think it will.


It was an SR5. Most likely stock; I wasn’t aware of any additional options.

I defer to you about the difference in off-road capability between the two vehicles. As I said, that’s not something I have experience with. My point simply was that even though we were within manufacturer specifications for the V6 4Runner, we were using pretty much all our power just to move the rig in fairly basic circumstances and had no surplus of power available should circumstances have arisen where that would have been needed. For me, that’s not a set up I would put my horse in if I had a choice.

If your current trailer is at all within towing specs of your 4Runner you could always load it with hay or supplies to reach your anticipated towing weight with horses and gear and do some test driving to see if you think this is a road worth going down. I believe the euro trailer virtues come in to play more in terms of braking and stability during basic driving vs how much power it takes to get the rig up a hill and through difficult terrain.


@LSMarnell, you are addressing one of those people who has done this for years and who sees and knows a lot. I and my kind know what works–what we have always done, and what our mentors taught us long ago. Our mentors and our peers don’t have access to european trailers. That could be the reason none of us is hauling them down Forest Service roads. I doubt anyone I know who travels with horses like I do has ever tried it. I am not getting any info here on the suitability of these trailers–only the suitability of the towing vehicle. I would never dream of using a 4Runner with an American horse trailer, not even to drive the 15 minutes on pavement to the fairgrounds, excepting escape from a wildfire. And the little lecture on cell service isn’t useful. Like i said, I have been doing this long enough to know what I am doing when I head into the backcountry. If I depended on cell service for my safety I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. I am not taking my horse to the backcountry with a european trailer until Iknow it would hold up as well as my steel trailer. As for what the 4Runner can or can’t do with a European trailer–there are people hauling these trailers with Outbacks. Which I also wouldn’t do, but it is common in Europe to use a car that small, and they are hauled over the Alps. Which are paved, but certainly steep. Most people don’t do the kind of riding I do, and most people, because they don’t have the experience, think it isn’t “safe”. That’s okay with me. More wild country for me to roam without crowds. What most people think, in my experience, is a poor barometer of safety. Which is not the same thing as me being willing to do foolhardy things with my horse. It does not mean that. If you have enough knowledge and experience, it isn’t foolhardy.


Thanks, @irishchick. From the little that I understand so far about European trailers, towing my current trailer, even if it fell within specs, wouldn’t tell me much about how the 4Runner would perform with a European trailer. There’s more to it than weight. There is also aerodynamics, and braking ability and most importantly, tongue weight. I have a couple of other options here–talking to horse folks in Europe, or talk to 4Runner enthusiasts, or both.

I only just learned that 4Runners used to have a V8, so that is good to have in mind, in case people say they didn’t have a problem, I will enquire as to which engine they had.

@endlessclimb, thanks for your input. What is your own rig and what kind of driving do you do with it?

Do you really need a European style trailer? You can buy the smallest steel trailer on the market. (2 horse straight load without tack compartment. My original trailer was 12 ft long and I towed it with a Ford Ranger for perspective. I took that trailer camping, and evacuated from hurricanes. Drive slow, drive safe, and we always made it home safe, except for the one near miss when someone ran a red light while texting.

People have a choice in how aggressive they drive. What you can’t control is other drivers. At 7 am on a Sunday morning there was a wreck on my street… apparently someone pulled out in front of another vehicle. There was hardly any traffic and no reason for that accident to happen. I typically feel safe driving mostly empty roads… It just shows you that people can still be careless.