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Can a Toyota 4Runner Tow a Boat? (Read This First!)

Toyota 4Runner has almost all the reliability that you can ask for. It’s also affordable, having good fuel economy numbers. It can be a valuable asset for you including all the necessities that you can need for going on a hangout, vacation or for any service. 

Can a toyota 4runner tow a boat?

Typically, a Toyota 4runner can tow a boat for having a powerful engine, strong gearing, and distinctive towing design and capacity. In fact, it is built with the increased capacity of 5000 pounds which can easily pull any average-sized boat or vehicle weighing between 3000 and 3500 pounds.

A 4Runner Toyota automobile can tow boats because the weight of the boats does not exceed that of the car. It can support a weight of up to 5000 pounds, whereas boats typically weigh between 800 and 3500 pounds.

A 4runner Toyota can readily tow a boat due to the medium-sized boats’ average weight of 2000 pounds. 

The towing capacity of a 4runner is also influenced by the weight of the boat’s body parts, in addition to how much extra weight is added to the boat’s actual weight when it is being pulled by a 4runner. 

For example, on average, a 4runner can tow a 2000-pound boat with a towing capacity of approximately 5000 pounds thanks to its 270 horsepower engine, which can produce nearly 211 megawatts of power. 

A 4Runner can even tow a large-sized boat with its powerful engine and wide range of towing capacity. A bow-rider boat, for instance, typically weighs between 3000 and 3500 pounds. 

The complete weight of a boat is carried by its motor engine and its body pieces; if the boat falls within the 4Runner Toyota automobile’s towing range, the car will not be able to tow the boat. 

Typically, a 4Runner Toyota is built with increased carrying capacity so that it can pull any average-sized boat or vehicle. 

Even though it’s not the best vehicle for towing boats, it has been designed like other pickup trucks, complete with a sturdy trunk frame. In addition to its ability to tow boats, the 4Runner Toyota car’s towing capacity is limited if the boat’s weight is within a certain range of pounds. 

In some cases, steep downhill grades also make it challenging for the 4Runner Toyota to tow a boat.

Despite some limitations, it can tow boats of all sizes with engines weighing between 600 and 4500 pounds. Since towing boats is not the optimal choice, various safety precautions should be taken before towing. 

In addition, the Toyota 4Runner can tow boats largely owing to its pickup truck-like structure, strong engine, strong gearing, and distinctive towing design for towing boats.

Can a toyota 4runner tow a pontoon boat?

A pontoon boat can be towed by a Toyota 4Runner because it falls within the vehicle’s towing capacity. A pontoon typically weighs between 2000 and 2500 pounds. 

The engine motor, the pontoon anchor, or the gasket may add to the pontoon’s dry weight, but this is still within a 4 runner Toyota’s weight range as the 4 runner is made to tow boats that weigh under 5000 pounds with its 270 horsepower engine. 

As a result, the weight and dimensions influence the size of the pontoon boat that a Toyota 4Runner can tow. However, on average, a pontoon boat weighs no more than 4,500 pounds. 

It can be concluded that the 4 runner Toyota can tow a pontoon boat because the newer model, the 2000, has more towing compatibility for pontoon boats because it was constructed with a pickup truck body frame with a corresponding pulling capability.

How big of a boat can a 4runner tow? What boats to tow?

Boats that weigh less than the maximum towing capability of a 4Runner Toyota can usually be hauled by one, though other criteria, such as the weight of the engine or the weight of the body components during towing, also are factors to consider. 

Small fishing boats may typically be towed by a Toyota 4Runner because they weigh less than 1700 pounds. Some watercraft only weigh 800 to 850 lbs., which can be easily hauled by a Toyota 4 runner engine with 270 horsepower. 

Other boats include sailboats and pontoon boats; these boats typically carry less weight than a 4Runner Toyota, which is between 1700 and 3100 pounds. 

Any pontoon boat, which is typically under 3100 pounds but the weight may vary depending on the manufacturer, can be towed by a 4runner Toyota. 

Small fishing boats:

Since these boats don’t carry a lot of weight, a 4 runner Toyota is preferable to tow the small fishing boats. They typically weigh 1700 lbs., which the 4-runner Toyota car is able to carry. 


Watercrafts are included in a Toyota 4Runner’s list of trailers. These boats can also be towed because they typically weigh 850 lbs, which is less than half of what a 4-runner Toyota can tow.

Pontoon boats:

Pontoon boats often have a lot of weight, but if they fall under a 4 runner Toyota’s maximum weight limit with reasonable caution, these boats can also be towed by it.

Toyota 4runner towing capacity

Toyota 4Runner can carry a huge weight, up to 5000 pounds and so, any medium size boat can easily fit in it as they are maximum 2000 pounds. 

The weight of the boat’s body parts is carried by Toyota 4runner motor engine and its body pieces and its 270 horsepower engine that can produce almost 211 megawatts of power. 

Its 4×4 system is another blessing for it which eventually makes it a go-anywhere type of vehicle, even having a towing boat.

In fact, a 4Runner Toyota is built with increased carrying capacity to pull any average-sized boat or vehicle. Small boat carries not more than 1500-1700 pounds while a middle sized boat carries 2500 pounds and so, so they can easily be hauled in it. However, it has some limitations as well.

It carries limited weight, can’t steep well in downhill or high hill track, not good for high winds and high speeds which typically makes it not the best vehicle for towing. 

How to tow a boat to Toyota 4runner? 

As Toyota 4runner bears a proper truck frame underneath, it’s quite easy to tow a boat with it. To tow a boat to Toyota 4runner, follow the steps in below:

Check the condition of your vehicle before heading to the road:

First you need to make sure your vehicle is road ready to carry the weight of the boat. Make sure the tire pressure is okay and have enough fuel before heading to the road. 

Check the braking performance and highway gradeability once more of your vehicle. In fact, have proper knowledge of the road and need to drive carefully. 

Ensure the correct weight:

Toyota 4runner can carry a huge weight, almost 5000 pounds but for towing it has some limitations. So, it’s a must to ensure the correct weight before carrying. 

Though it has a 5000 pound capacity, it can pull well any average-sized boat or vehicle that is probably within 3000 pounds. More than 3000 pound weight carrying, will be challenging for it.

Arrange the boat:

Arrange the boat in the truck frame carefully. If the heaviest part of the boat is set on the front, it will help suppress the fishtail well. Also, attach the hitch between trailer and boat well and ensure the height shallows the boat ramps.

Make sure to install the right hitch:

Installing the right hitch is really essential as it can support the load your Toyota 4runner is carrying. Though the hitch doesn’t increase the limit of towing capacity, it helps for the suspension of the weight. 

It helps to tightly attach the trailer and boat. So, installing the hitch correctly is also very necessary as trailers can sometimes get detached from the hitch, if not installed correctly. 

Have a safe drive:

After installing the boat, you’re not done. You also have to also ensure a safe drive for making sure the safety for others on the road and also for your car and boat. Have perfect control over your car to brake, overtake, turn, and swerve. 

It’s better to avoid hill track areas and challenging roads. If you find any issue while driving in the trail or hitch immediately stop and check out carefully.

Final Thoughts 

Toyota 4Runner has a convenient towing option to haul a boat. Its distinctive towing design capacity over 5000 pounds, 270 horsepower engine is eventually enough to pull an average sized boat. But it carries limited weight and for windy and downhill areas, Toyota 4Runner won’t be great.