Does 2007 Toyota 4Runner Towing Travel Trailer Need Sway Control

Question:

Towing Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe with a 2007 4 Runner SR5 V6 4x4. This is a big multi faceted question. Both of the above are new to us and it is also our first trailer.a lot of folks on forums and advice spots say that we should be using a weight distribution system but my owners manual shows that you should not use one with the weight bearing receiver factory mounted on the V6. Whats your take on this. We plan to keep the trailer weight at or under its 3500 pound rating. Lets get that answer first and then move on from there. Thanks

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Expert Reply:

I took a look at the owner's manual for your 2007 Toyota 4Runner and it was a bit convoluted in its presentation (as owner's manuals tend to be) but it did say that an '07 4Runner with a 4.7L V8 engine is the only model that can use a weight distribution system, which is understandable because some trailer hitches simply are not rated for use with weight distribution systems.

The only way to use one is by removing the factory trailer hitch from your 4Runner and adding an aftermarket hitch, the Curt # 13445, which is rated for use with weight distribution and has a 5,000 lb towing capacity and 500 lb tongue weight capacity, each of which is more than enough for your travel trailer.

Alternatively, the owner's manual of your 2007 Toyota 4Runner does state that it is "necessary" to use a sway control system and for that I strongly recommend going with the Reese Friction Sway Control Kit # 83660 because it is going to make your towing experience much more pleasant.

This kit, true to its name, will allow you to maintain control of your 4Runner and Casita trailer at all times. The only thing you would need is to use a sway-control bracket and assuming your factory hitch has a 2 inch receiver you would need the Reese Sway-Control Bracket for 2" Ball Mounts # RP26003.

I have added links to video reviews of the sway control kit and bracket for you to check out as well.

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expert reply by:
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Kyle S

Question:

Thanks for checking this out. I've not gotten a response from Toyota yet but assumed that the weight distribution issue was related to the weight bearing hitch which is only attached to the rear cross member of the frame but did not know if there was a reason beyond that. Although I'm planning to keep the overall trailer weight at or below 3,500 lb. the design of the Casita is such that you're pretty much guaranteed a tongue weight of 400-450 lb. Fear that the addition of a heavier receiver and the WD system would send me over my 500 lb limit. I don't think that I can use the friction bar that you've listed as the Casita frame uses a 3" C channel with the flat side to the inside and the connection plate is to big to fit inside the channel. Got any other ideas. I'm considering the Hayes anti sway controller that works via the brakes but am having difficulty figuring out how to mount it on the limited space available on the Casita frame. Do you have any experience with it? There aren't a lot of reviews of it on the site. Again thanks for your help with this.

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Expert Reply:

A C-Channel frame with the channel facing outwards is odd and certainly causes an issue but you might be able to still use the Hayes Sway Master Electronic Sway Control System # HA81775 with your Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe.

What you can potentially do is mount the system on the inside of the frame where the flat part is - opposite on the side of the channel. The reason I say "might" is because you mentioned having limited space and I am unsure of if there is enough room in that space on the inside. The Sway Master is 7" long x 3-1/2" wide x 4" tall so you will have to take a measurement to see if it will fit. I took a look at some photos of the Casita and was unable to determine from those if you have that much room. The accompanying photo is of the directions that show the Sway Master being mounted; you would just do this on the inside of the frame.

If there isn't enough room for that then the last option would be to have the ball plate assembly of the Reese Friction Sway Control Kit # 83660 professionally welded onto your Casita's frame.

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expert reply by:
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Kyle S

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