I know that much has been said regarding the instability of the Fortuner. I don't want to rehash the whole issue, I simply am looking for a solution to my problem. Perhaps some members have experienced similar problems and could prevent a reoccurrence by sharing how they overcame the problem. I was towing a Jurgens Xcape with my 2007 Fortuner 4x2 on tar at approximately 100km/h. The Xcape developed a severe sway which I barely managed to control. Fortunately the episode did not end in an accident but I am nervous to tow again until I have resolved the issue. The Fortuner seems extremely sensitive while towing. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
First thing off the bat, fit a drop plate and lower your tow ball so the caravan nose is slightly lower than lever (pionting down)
also pack the caravan so that it is nose heavy, slightly heavy than you would pack for any other car...
if that doesnt help, you might have to upgrade your rear suspension
You don't need eyes to see...
You need vision.
I agree. Many owners towing caravans do not make sure that the tow hitch is slightly lower and that weight must be on the nose. I tow a heavily laden bush trailer and even at high speed over currugated roads, it is as stable as a rock behind my Fortuner.
Fortuner 4.0 4X4, Conqueror Conquest, ARB Bullbar, OME, 105L Aux Fuel Tank, ARB Spare Wheel Carrier, Bash Plates etc etc
Brian, apart from ensuring that the van is packed correctly, do you perhaps use a stabilizer? We tow with a heavy duty straightliner and never had any swaying problems. Even in strong side winds.
"If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"
Install a set of Airhelper springs (Airbags) in the rear coils. This will solve most, if not all of your towing problems. I suggest this even when replacing the suspension with OME, Ironman, etc... as it increases the lifetime of the rear shocks and coils. Since you don't need/want the extra lift that comes with an aftermarket suspension because your vehicle is a 4x2, I would suggest you find out about the airbags. Also, when the time comes, put on decent tires if you haven't done that already.
Jaco van Schalkwyk
Land Cruiser Prado VX
Brian, something else to look at, is tyre presure. We tow at 2.8 bar at the back of the vehicle and 2.5 in the front. Caravan at 2.8 bar. Been towing since 1993. I don't agree with Jaco on the installation of all those extras. It will cost you a fortune. Decent tyres I agree with. Make sure heavier items in the van is either over the axel or a bit to the front. Just do not stop caravaning, please!!!!!
"If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"
Thanks very much for the information, it is much appreciated. I will definitely make use of your advice to rectify the situation - I certainly don't want to go through an episode like that again! Don't worry, I won't give up caravaning!
My BIL also drives a fortuner and has a Jurgens Explorer. He upgraded the suspension of his tuna, and was really impressed with the difference the suspension made with his setup. He never complains about instability even with caravan.
Saw another tuna with offroad caravan in the free state trying to dodge potholes, almost ended up in a tragedy!
IMHO do the suspension upgrade
Jy ry net te stadig! Kyk hier: http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...ad.php?t=50116
I have the same rig - Fortuner [4X4] & XCAPE.
Just after getting the Fortuner I experienced [the now well publicized and TSA phantom] severe Fortuner instability that I resolved by fitting Koni shocks all around.
We then bought the Jurgens XCAPE and have traveled very far and wide - on good and bad roads, travelling fast and slow, and have not experienced any swaying or instability issues.
I have the Toyota eye-blind upgraded Grabber tyres fitted and pump these 2.1 front, 2.5 rear and 2.8 XCAPE.
Jurgen's recommend a towball height of 570mm.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the tip PRA.
I can agree with most of the advice that is being passed on here - with regards to towing. I would start with the practical approach though, before opening your wallet to all types of upgrades. I have been towing military trailers since 1990 and caravans since about 4 years ago. It is true that heavy items should go over the axle (if slightly forward). Also try to minimize lose items that can fall around in the caravan and upset it that way. One thing that you should be careful of is not to overload the towball, as it has a maximum weight capacity of about 100 kilograms and could spell disaster if overloaded. Look at this page on caravanparks.com for the full rundown, from people who have just done 50 years of caravanning journalism: http://www.holidayresorts.co.za/108....out+towing.htm
Good luck and keep on towing! AND enjoy your spectacular Fortuner!!
2001 Toyota Hilux 3.0L KZ-TE 4x4 Raider d/c >
with some extra bits...
I spent many years in the automotive fitment industry. To rectify some of the Fortuner problems you can start by replacing the rear coils springs with stiffer ones. East Rand spring works can make you a set that is the same lenght and diameter but is made of a thicker coil material. Price should be less than R 1000 and any fitment centre should be able to fit for you. This will also remove any axle tramp caused by uneven surfaces.
Next get a set of tyres with a stronger sidewall that will allow less roll. When towing pump the rear tyres to 3 bar. I pump my caravan tyres also to 3 bar (even 3.5bar) to ensure that I have minimum roll on the sidewall and less chance of a sidewall cut.
Next, find and fit a goosneck tow coupling that is forged and not cast. The forged goosenecks has a higher breaking strain and can handle up to 120kg down weight. This allows you to pack the caravan nose heavy. I also agree with the drop plate allowing the caravan to run slightly nose down. By transfering the weight to the towhitch you are forcing the rear axle of the car to cary more weight and hence be less prone to undersired axle movements. Caravan sway and tow vehicle rear end movements are normally caused by the towing coupling being light because of weight transfer to the extremeties of the rig. (Front and back but also left and right). By loading the towhitch weight (within reason) and by assiting the rear axle to resist side transfer of mass, stability is created.
My humble 2cw
Find the solutions, not the problems.
I am glad that I do not tow with a Forturnover . I have towed thousands of km in my life which included a lot of Totota`s . Yes you have to have the correct tyre pressure, the trailer, caravan have to be loaded correctly. However, I did not once experience all the trouble as what Fortuner owners except as part of their heaven of driving a Toyota. On not one of the numerous vehicles I towed with, there was something like dropped drawplates, the need of upgraded suspensions, critical tyre pressures and tyre brands. You hook up and go. At some stage, I pulled a boat behind a caravan and even find that stable enough. Maybe I am just to laid back but making tape measures , hi- tec pressure gauges , a tyre manual , becoming a racing driver and a scale calibrated in milli grams part of my towing kid is just ridiculous . It is just unbelievable that people are willing to do al these things just to tow with a Forturnover. Toyota SA can be lucky they are not dealing with the Americans. They surely would have to recall al the Fortuners or facing lawsuits bankrupting them .
But luckily the have brainwashed Toyota owners over the years who will in the good name of Toyota just keep quiet and modify their vehicles at their own cost and no matter what happens . They even are willing to risk their love ones live in defense of Toyota.
I am also one of the Fortuner (Hop en Rol) owners, not impressed at all with the road holding. I tow a Jurgens Fleetline for about 6 years, for 5 years with a Ford Ranger 2,5 D/c 2x4. I had one bad experience, my own fault, my Tando unhooked and I was in a bit of a hurry from Potch to Parys doing 140 a Taxi decide to stop in front of me on the main road to offload his "insittendes", I had to move over to the right line to avoid the taxi. The caravan start swinging, the Ford had no more power to pull it out of the swing, I timed the swing and as soon as the caravan was directly behind my car I hit the brakes as hard as I could and accelerate again. THIS IS NOT THE CORRECT WAY TO DO IT, IT WORK FOR ME.
I fitted my Fortuner with BFG 265/75/16, I keep my tyre pressure at 2.1 bar (nitrogen) as Toyota specify. Dec we went Moz, towing the Caravan, leaving Potch 01h00 travelling with friends, all Toyotas, Hilux D-4D 4x4 d/c towing a Oryx and Hilux D-4D s/c 4x2 towing a quad trailer, the 2 Hiluxes have some super conversion done by Steves, mine still standard. We started travelling within the speed limits up to the Witbank freeway, we slightly speed up to 140/150 kph, none of us experience any unstability.
We came back from Moz newyear day, that is when my problems start, I could not go faster than 110 kph, the caravan start swinging, specially when a truck pass us from the front.I had a few bad swings, I decide to sell my Fleetline and are looking for a Xcape, I will have to do some modifications to my Fortuner as we plan to watch the soccer world cup from Botswana, Zambia and Moz. I had a few close calls on dirt and rough tar roads with the Fortuner, at high speeds (160 kph) and low speeds (80 kph) on dirt roads with the Grabbers. The Fortuner is a very nice vehicle, good off-road capabilities, but keep to the speed limits and do not brake and turn at the same time. I had mine on 2 wheels trying to avoid an accident.
Any recomendations that are really working to improve the problem Toyota are ignoring. I tried to sell it but I cant afford to loose so much money in such a short time.
Last edited by Koos Engelbrecht; 2010/02/09 at 10:14 PM.
Hi to all Contributors,
I have read all in this thread and conclude and contribute as follows:
1. The Fortuner, which I do not own, has from what I have read and heard, does not have a great reputation as far as road stability is concerned. This is applicable to towing as well as not towing. I believe that the fault lies in the design of the rear suspension, but do not wish to comment further.
2. So why do caravans tend to sway. The answer is dependent on the speed traveled. The nose needs to be slightly down and the weight needs to be greater on the nose to a maximum of 100 kg. It is preferable to have this weight about 60-80 kg. No caravan will ever sway or be possible to sway at say 40 km/h. The reason is that the air flowing on the sides of the caravan cannot generate a "Polar Moment of Inertia" at low speed. Polar moments are moments when looking at the caravan from the top, i.e. on the center of the roof while travelling. These moments are caused by airflow creating forces that cause the caravan to sway.
So, when the caravan starts swaying, it is say slightly clockwise and not 100% in line with the trowcar. The air flow forces exert a force on the LH rear on the caravan trying to rectify this misalignment and pushes the caravan in the opposite direction about the vertical center of the caravan. It over compensates due to the inertia of the caravan and is now slightly anti-clockwise causing the air flow to exert a force on the RH rear of the caravan. This process repeats itself and repetitive polar movement occurs known as sway which can easily become out of control.
The speed causing sway will vary from rig to rig.
3. So how do we fix it. Quite simply a stabilizer, Tando or Yellow Blade or other, is in effect a horizontal clutch pack offering resistance to movement. This resistance acts as a damper and prevents horizontal movement at the tow hitch.
It is important to tow with a stabilizer of your choice so as to prevent swaying, prevent disastrous accidents, protecting your assets and keeping your family alive and well. You may not always need it depending of many aspects pertaining to your rig, but you should always tow with a stabilizer when towing a caravan.
Do you wear a seat belt to stay alive or because the law says so? Why wear a seat belt if you have no intention of having an accident?
The same applies to a stabilizer. It should be a legal requirement that a stabilizer is fitted when towing a caravan. Hope this helps in keeping our community safe on the road. Tow safely with intelligence and pride
Alan Exton - ZS6EXT
LandCruiser 100 Series VX 4.2 Diesel
Not an Xcape but towed my (correctly packed) Echo 4 for thousands of km's without any stability issues at all. 2006 and 2011 model Fortuner. Still have to tow with the new one.
Brian much has been said and all is in effect correct. However I would encourage the cheap route first. I also suffered with both a 2X4 and 4X4 Fortuner but with a Penta van.
Get the attitude of the van correct, nose down by about 5deg.
Pump your caravan at 3.0bar, Fortuner rears at 3.0bar and the fronts at 2.5bar. This is probably the quickest and most cost effective improvement.
Get as much out of the van and into the boot of the Fortuner. I pack my extra fridge, and the full tent and groundsheets and other stuff to get some weigh in the rear of the vehicle.
Have more that 90kg on the ball.
Hope like hell my new Fortuner does not suffer the same.
In the case of the Fortuner one unfortunately requires more than merely a stabiliser IMO. I have towed Penta's successfully without stabilisers until I bought a Fortuner that is. I currently tow with a Trapezium, would prefer not to as it extremely bulky and places additional loading on the tow bar. Speaking of which it would be nice if tow bars came at a practical height with no need for drop plates which add additional force to the tow bar.