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Why Switch From Our 4 Runner to a Toyota Tundra?

Why Switch From Our 4 Runner to a Toyota Tundra?

It had to be fate.  Our trusty 2006 6 cylinder Toyota 4 Runner was 10 years old this summer. Typically we replace vehicles every 10 years.  So we went truck shopping.  Both of us would have preferred another 4 Runner (this is the 2nd one we’ve owned and loved), but the prices were a bit outlandish comparatively. For the same price as a new 4 Runner, we could upgrade to a pickup truck, giving us more towing capacity & allowing for the option to upgrade to a Lance 1985/1995 in the future if we decided we wanted a slightly bigger travel trailer.

All the way to Chaco Canyon! We made it!

All the way to Chaco Canyon! 2006 4 Runner!  Our “Little Engine That Could”!

So we started looking at pickup trucks.  I loved the GMC Canyon Duramax Diesel (Chevy version is the Colorado), but David hated it.  So much for that idea.

The full size pickups with the full size back seats were similar to riding in David’s old Chevy Tahoe – we sold it and consolidated to just my 4 Runner 12 years ago and have never given a thought to a different vehicle … until now.

David wanted a GMC Sierra or a Chevy Silverado.  I still liked Toyotas.  So we drove all three and then decided we should also drive the Ford F150 EcoBoost.   Prices were similar on the Sierra/Silverado/Tundra, but the F150 (which we also liked) was more expensive at least at our local dealers.

Then we put the whole idea on hold.  After all, our trusty little 4 Runner was the proverbial “little engine that could” and we loved it, both for pulling our Lance 1685 and everyday running around.

2016 Toyota Tundra ... "used" with 800 miles!

2016 Toyota Tundra … “used” with 800 miles!

A few weeks later, David dropped me off at the dentist for a routine cleaning.  His cleaning appointment wasn’t until an hour later, so he just “happened” to drop by the local Toyota dealer where we had already looked at trucks, allegedly “just to see” if they had anything different on the lot.

It must have been fate.

The dealership had literally just then taken in a 2016 Toyota Tundra equipped almost exactly we wanted in trade.  It had a whopping 800 miles on it as well as a bed liner/running boards and an aluminum folding bed cover (worth a couple thousand dollars that we’d have to add to any new truck).

When David picked me up from getting my teeth all pearly, he informed me we were headed to the Toyota dealer.  Huh?  Not what I had planned for the rest of my day.  But we went, test drove the Tundra, the dealer made us a deal and the rest is history.

A sad day in history ... our trusty 4 Runner is traded for a new Tundra.  :(

A sad day in history … our trusty 4 Runner is traded for a new Tundra. 🙁

So we no longer tow our Lance 1685 with a 4 Runner, although I miss it every day and wouldn’t hesitate to pull our Lance 1685 (3800 lbs dry weight, 5000 lbs loaded) with another 4 Runner, even out west through the mountains.

Maiden Voyage - 2016 Toyota Tundra with our Lance 1685

Maiden Voyage – 2016 Toyota Tundra with our Lance 1685

Having said that, the Tundra does tow the trailer easier and we enjoy the added room in the bed for storage.  Gas mileage sucks, but as David says, you don’t buy a pickup truck thinking about the gas mileage…. I didn’t remind him that the little GM Canyon Duramax Diesel would have provided the best of both worlds.  🙂

Cheers!  Jan & David











  1. Love your blog as we drive a 2013 4Runner towing a ’71 Streamline Princess. It has a 3300# dry weight. So far so good. I have a specific question I wanted to see if you had insight on. We want to travel from Kansas City to Moab in March for Spring Break. My concern is we had east right through Colorado Have you driven through mountains with snow on the roads? I’ve been driving through snow my entire life but not in the mountains and not with a camper behind me. Would love to hear any insight you have on this. Thanks

    • Hi Jonny! We’ve driven through Colorado several times, but the only time with any snow was May 2015 when we were headed to Denver from Durango – a blizzard was forecast in the higher elevations, so we opted to drive all the way back to Santa Fe & catch I-25 to drive up to Denver as opposed to heading over the high mountain passes with wind and snow. Turned out for the best as there WAS a blizzard in the high elevations and the mountain pass. We missed it, just had some snow and wind, but manageable. We also left a day early to miss the bulk of the weather. Luckily we have the flexibility to wait a day (or more) to miss weather. Other than that, we have not driven in snow – David’s motto is that since we retired he never wants to wear long pants again, only shorts … it’s not worked out exactly for him, but we try! Cheers — Jan

  2. Thank you for this great information We have owned Toyota 4 runners since the 80’s & too would like to combine it with a travel trailer.We’ve looked at the Jayco single axle Hummingbird & double axle Keystone 195RB. We notice that the Lance has a double axle too & wonder if that was a consideration in choosing it?

    • Hi Bill! Yes, the double axle was one thing we liked (although it adds weight to the trailer). For the other reasons we love our #Lance1685, see this post: Why We Love our Lance 1685 Travel Trailer Good luck! Looking at all the different trailers available was fun for us! Cheers! Jan

  3. That’s what happens when you hang out with a farmer….bigger trucks.

    • Looking forward to seeing you & Carla on the return leg of our out west adventure in September! 15 days and counting … not that anyone’s counting… 🙂 Cheers! J

  4. how many miles did you have on your 4runner? thinking about what vehicle to tow 4500lbs with

    • Hi Lee! We had a bit over 166K miles and it was 10 years old. It had plenty of life left in it, even towing our 3800# dry/5000# loaded weight Lance 1685. Read my post on Towing A Travel Trailer With a 6 cyl 4 Runner here. Cheers! Jan

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