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Toyota FJ Cruiser Towing Capacities | Ultimate Guide On Towing

If you are talking about power, luxury, and overall performance then there are very few vehicle models that come close to the FJ Cruiser model from Toyota. The Toyota FJ Cruiser is one of the most popular models from Toyota with over 6 different models over the years, there is no doubt that the vehicle is a giant on the car scene.

One of the reasons why the FJ Cruiser has withstood the test of time is the vehicle towing capacity

Depending on the FJ Cruiser model you have, you are assured to be able to tow between 4700 lbs. and 5000 lbs. Most models of the FJ cruiser cross the 4700-pound threshold.

One thing that is important to note though is that when it comes to FJ Cruisers and towing there is more to the subject than the flashy numbers. We are going to be exploring all that in this article. 


FJ Cruiser Towing Capacities (According to Model Year & Trims) 

Over the years Toyota has churned out different models from their FJ Cruiser line and each model comes with different specs. In terms of towing capacity, most FJ Cruiser models tend to have different towing capacities.

The main reason behind the decision to have different capacities for different models might be as a result of the shift of focus from one performance aspect to the next during each model’s design. Before making a purchase decision it is important to know the towing capacity of the FJ Cruiser of your choice. 

FJ Cruisers are not equal in their towing prowess. It is also equally important to be sure of your vehicle before hooking up a trailer to the vehicle.

If your vehicle does not get damaged, you are probably going to get in legal trouble for that. Let’s look at some of the information that is important when measuring the towing capacity of the “towing beast” that is the FJ Cruiser. 

What Is Braked Towing Capacity

One term that is part of our information tables in this article is braked towing capacity. Braked towing capacity simply refers to the weight that the FJ Cruiser will be able to tow if the trailer being towed has its independent braking system.

If you are not familiar with trailers then you will be glad to know that over the years trailers have seen leaps and bounds of development. This makes it important to know the braked towing capacity of your FJ Cruiser to avoid running into problems as you try to tow your trailer.

What Is Trim?

Trim is a specific version of a car model. When car manufacturers especially Toyota create a car model they tend to differentiate and create different trims for different sections of their market.

One of the aspects that tend to differ from one car trim to the next is towing capacity. 

What is Unbraked Towing Capacity?

Unbraked towing capacity refers to a vehicle’s maximum capability to draw a trailer without an independent braking system.

In simpler terms unbraked towing capacity refers to the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can tow if the trailer does not have its braking system. In most instances, this is the general measure of towing capacity on the car scene.

2008 SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser 

The 2008 FJ Cruiser model catapulted the FJ Cruiser brand into the limelight., A vehicle that was able to provide the best available interior luxuries available on the market at the time and also be able to pull 5000 lbs. in braked trucks. This was the dream truck at the time of its launch and the numbers that the vehicle sold are testament to how huge the model was. 

  • 5000 lbs. Braked towing capacity 
  • 1700 lbs. Unbraked towing capacity

2009 SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser

After bursting onto the scene and receiving a lot of critical acclaim especially in the towing department, Toyota made sure that they maintained their vehicle’s towing capacity specifications.

The 5000 lbs. braked towing capacity and 1700 lbs. unbraked towing capacity would end up becoming the signature species of the FJ Cruiser line. 

  • 5000 lbs. Braked towing capacity 
  • 1700 lbs. Unbraked towing capacity

2010 SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser Model 

In 2010 the FJ Cruiser model remodeled the car scene and one of the most popular specs when it came to both the SUV model 4D 4WD trim and the 4D 2WD trim was the towing capacity. In 2010 a truck being able to pull around 5000 lbs. of extra weight was a big deal and the FJ Cruiser did that with relative ease.

The unbraked towing capacity was not far off, at 1700 lbs., the specs were overall impressive and it is fair to see why people were madly in love with the vehicle. 

  • 5000 lbs. Braked towing capacity 
  • 1700 lbs. Unbraked towing capacity

2011 SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser

The 2011 model of the FJ Cruiser came after the very successful 2010 model and there were not a lot of changes especially in the towing department. There is a saying that goes if it is not broken do not fix it and Toyota stuck to it.

Both the 4WD AND 2WD trims of 2011 FJ Cruiser models come with a 5000-pound braked towing capacity and a 1700 unbraked towing capacity. At the time the FJ Cruiser ranked as one of the highest-ranking Toyota vehicles in terms of towing thanks to these numbers. 

  • 5000 lbs. Braked towing capacity 
  • 1700 lbs. Unbraked towing capacity

2012 SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser

There wasn’t a change in towing capacities from the 2011 FHJ Cruiser models to the 2012 FJ Cruiser model. At this point, Toyota had made the 5000 braked towing capacity and 1700 unbraked towing capacity the standard.

  • 5000 lbs. Braked towing capacity 
  • 1700 lbs. Unbraked towing capacity

2013 SUV 4D 2WD/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser

The 2013 FJ Cruiser model on both the SUV 4d 2WD V6 trim and the SUV 4D 4WD V6 trim all have an impressive 5000-pound towing capacity when it comes to braked trailers and an impressive 1700 unbraked towing capacity.

  • 5000 lbs. Braked towing capacity 
  • 1700 lbs. Unbraked towing capacity

2014 Base 4WD/AWD 2D Sport FJ Cruiser 

When it comes to towing capacity the 2014 FJ Cruiser was one of the least performing models on the FJ series. Both the 4WD and AWD base models of FJ Cruiser have a 4700 Braked towing capacity and a quite impressive 1700 unbraked towing capacity. 

  • 4700 lbs. braked towing capacity
  • 1700 braked towing capacity

ModelTrim Braked towing Capacity Unbraked Towing Capacity
2014Base 4WD/AWD 2D Sport FJ Cruiser 4700 lbs.1700 lbs.
2013SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser 5000 lbs.1700 lbs.
2012 SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser 5000 lbs.1700 lbs.
2011SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser 5000 lbs.1000 lbs.
2010SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser 5000 lbs.1000 lbs.
2009SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser 5000 lbs.1000 lbs.
2008 SUV 4D 2WD V6/SUV 4D 4WD FJ Cruiser 5000 lbs.   1700 lbs.
FJ Cruiser Towing Capacities According to Model Years and Trims


FJ Cruiser Payload Capacity

Payload capacity refers to the maximum amount of weight that you can accommodate by your truck.  To put it into simpler terms, payload capacity is generally the maximum weight that you can load into your truck, which also includes the truck bed without the suspension giving in.

If you exceed the payload capacity, your suspension will not be the only thing that will give in. Most models in the FJ Cruiser line tend to have similar payload capacities, this is because for most of the models very few Alterations were made in terms of the technical design.

Be sure not to exceed the payload capacity, if you do your FJ Cruiser might end up being a hilarious meme on social media. 

Model Trim Payload Capacity 
2007Base 4DR 4×41325 lbs.
2008Base 4DR 4×41325 lbs.
2009SUV 4DR 4×4 V61275 lbs.
2010Base 4DR 4×41325 lbs.
2011Base 4DR 4×41272 lbs.
2012Base 4DR 4×41227 lbs.
2013Base 4DR 4×41272 lbs.
2014 Base 4WD/AWD 2D Sport5530 lbs.
FJ Cruiser Payload Capacities According to Model Years and Trims


Can The FJ Cruiser Tow a Travel Trailer? 

If you have a truck then one of the main agendas on your to-do list will certainly be camping. You are going to need a traveling trailer to do that easily. This makes it very important for your truck to be able to tow a traveling trailer.

If your truck is an FJ Cruiser, towing a traveling trailer is one thing that you are never going to have to worry about though. The FJ Cruiser regardless of model or trim is a Juggernaut when it comes to towing and adventures, with some models with a towing capacity of over 4700 lbs., towing a travel trailer should certainly be lightwork. 

We have highlighted that an FJ Cruiser can tow a travel trailer but another thing that we have to highlight again is that there are some limitations. The weight of the trailer is one of the main limitations.

Remember not all travel trailers are the same and that doesn’t ring truer than when we are talking about travel trailer weight. All FJ Cruisers models and trims come with specific towing capacities. As long as your travel trailer does not exceed the towing capacity of your FJ Cruiser model, you can tow the travel trailer.

The very moment your trailer weight becomes more than the towing capacity on your FJ Cruiser towing that trailer is a huge NO.

Another important thing that FJ Cruiser drivers have to note is that the weight of your vehicle includes the gear in your trailer. If you have a 5000-pound trailer with over a thousand lbs. in gear then it easily becomes a 6000-pound trailer.

It is very important to keep most of your gear in the truck rather than in your trailer. In most cases, excessive gear in your trailer will give you problems, the biggest one being fishtailing. 

Best Travel Trailers to Tow with an FJ Cruiser 

The best thing about having an FJ Cruiser is that as long as you do not exceed the towing capacity your towing experience is going to be seamless. Many travel trailers are just made for towing with an FJ Cruiser. Regardless of the FJ Cruiser model, towing the following travel trailers will be a breeze.

Airstream Sport Travel Trailer 

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Airstream Sport Travel Trailer  (Image Credit;airstream.com)

The best part about choosing the Airstream Sport Travel Trailer is the fact that it comes with a modest 3000 lbs. weight. This means that you have a lot of room to add extra weight to the vehicle. Nearly 2000 pounds of extra weight can be added to the Airstream Sport Travel Trailer.

This means you can carry all the gear you need for your adventure without having to worry about fishtailing or getting into some legal trouble. 

In terms of design, the Airstream Sport Travel trailer is the best-looking out there. The aluminum exterior is not subtle, it is quite loud. The interior does make up for what the Airstream Sport Travel Trailer lacks in terms of appearance.

Air-conditioned interior and USB charging ports are some of the key features that you will have in your interior. If the weather ever gets chilly, the Airstream Sport Travel Trailer has heating onboard.

In terms of comfort, there are very few travel trailers that come close. The fact that you get all these in a 3000 lbs. trailer makes it even more amazing. One thing that you will also love is the awning. 

 Forest River R-Pod Travel Trailer 

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Forest River R-Pod Travel Trailer (Image Credit;forestriverinc.com)

Weighing a maximum of only 3500 pounds the Forest River R-Pod Travel Trailer provides comfort and convenience not just for you and your family but for your pets too. If you decide to take your pets along on an adventure with you, then the Forest River R-Pod Travel trailer must be your travel trailer of choice.

The trailer allows for pet bowls and there are very few trailers that allow for this. A maximum of 4 occupants can sleep in the R-Pod making it the perfect family trailer. 

The fact that it only weighs a maximum of 3500 pounds means that you can take it anywhere using your FJ Cruiser. 

FJ Cruisers and Boats

There is no better relationship than that of an FJ Cruiser and a boat. One thing that nearly all FJ Cruiser owners tend to have in common is a persuasion towards boating. The manufacturers of the FJ Cruiser that is Toyota seem to have noticed and over the years they have been trying to leverage this. The trend in the towing capacities of the FJ Cruisers models is one of the main indicators of this.
 

Can FJ Cruiser Tow a Boat? 

The best part about having an outdoor machine like the FJ Cruiser is that they make the possibilities of adventures quite extensive. Boating is one of those adventures. We have already highlighted that fj Cruisers have different towing capacities and as long as you plan to tow a boat within the towing range of your FJ Cruiser then you won’t struggle and you will certainly enjoy your boating experience. 

What is important is to make sure that you know the weight of your boat and make sure that it does not exceed your FJ Cruisers’ towing capacity. 

Most FJ Cruisers have a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. or more and this means there is an extensive list of boats that you can tow with these “monsters” from Toyota. Here are some of the boats that you can tow with any FJ Cruiser.  

Boat Weight(lbs.)Fuel Capacity (Gallons) Passenger Capacity
Cobalt 2CS3 420059 12
Stingray 215LR28244611
Tahoe 195031354010
Sun Tracker Party Barge 18 DLX149532.19
Macgregor 262550246
Yamaha SX21031725010
Yamaha 212 Limited S35985010
List of boats, Weights Can Be Towed Using an FJ Cruiser 


The list of boats you can tow with your FJ Cruisers is well-rounded. If you are a “speed demon” with an appetite for speed you can always tow and enjoy your speedboat with your FJ Cruiser. Fancy some speed? You can always bring the Yamaha 212 Limited on your adventure easily with your FJ Cruiser.

If you just want to sun bask in the water and get the best luxury, bringing along the Sun Tracker party Barge 18 DLX won’t be a problem for your FJ Cruiser. 

One thing that you are certainly going to need for most of these boats is a hitch. A hitch will make it easy for you to tow your boat securely with your FJ Cruiser. If your FJ Cruiser does not have a hitch, you can easily get one and install it. 

How Do You Install a Hitch on an FJ Cruiser? 

One thing you are going to need when you decide to put your FJ Cruiser to the towing test is a hitch. A hitch is a link between your vehicle and your trailer. If you are towing a trailer with your FJ Cruiser you need to install a hitch if it does not come preinstalled.

The hitch installation process is quite easy and you can do it yourself. Here are the steps you need to follow to install a hitch to your FJ Cruiser. 

Locate The Rear Tow Hooks and Remove them 

The FJ Cruiser was designed to make towing easy, if it does not come with a pre-installed hitch, it will certainly have rear towing hooks. To be able to install your hitch you have to remove these first. Once you locate them, they should be quite easy to remove with the right tools.

Once you remove the rear towing hooks, you can move to the next step. Be sure to keep the rear towing hooks close by though because once you are done installing the hitch you are going to need to reinstall them. 

Lower the Exhaust Rods

The exhaust is fixed in its place and trying to lower its y force will do nothing but damage your FJ Cruiser. To install a hitch though you are going to need to lower it though.

The best way to do this is by loosening the exhaust rods that hold it in place. If you are struggling to remove the rods, use a lubricant or spay water to make them easy to loosen.

Place the Hitch and Securely tighten the Bolts 

With the exhaust lowered, place your hitch in position and attach it to the frame. Hitches come with bolts and washers to help you keep them in place. Use the bolts and washers to attach your hitch to existing weld nuts.

This should hold your nuts in place. Depending on the hitch that you are installing your FJ Cruiser might need to go ahead and fishtail the hitch. 

Use a Torque Wrench 

One of the most important things that you have to keep in mind especially if you are going the DIY route when installing your hitch is that it has to be secure. If your hitch detaches from your vehicle as you tow, things can turn nasty.

Make sure you use a torque wrench to tighten all the bolts involved in the whole hitch operation. It is very important to ensure that every component is tightened and is held securely in place. 

If you want a more comprehensive guide on how to install a hitch to your FJ Cruiser, you can check out Below video. 


Can I Tow More Than My Towing Capacity? 

This is one of the most common questions when it comes to towing with trucks. The answer is yes and no. The towing capacity is the recommended weight that you can tow with your FJ Cruiser, and in most instances, your FJ Cruiser will tow weights that are significantly above their towing capacities.

The first part is that in the literal sense yes, you can tow more than your towing capacity up to a certain limit. In the real sense, though towing more than your towing capacity is very dangerous and regardless of the situation, you should not do it.

Aside from the danger, it exposes you to, towing more than your recommended towing capacity can have a lot of legal consequences. 

Is It Illegal to Tow More Than the FJ Cruiser Towing Capacity? 

We have already highlighted that the maximum towing capacity of the FJ Cruiser ranges from 5000 lbs. to 5000 lbs. depending on the model. 

Will you get in trouble with the law if you decide to tow more than the manufacturer’s towing capacity rating? The simple answer is yes, the likelihood of facing civil suits as a result of exceeding your FJ Cruisers Towing capacity rating is very high.

One thing that might not happen is getting stopped by the police and your towing capacity is compared to the weight of the trailer.

If an accident happens though and you end up damaging your vehicle, your insurance company can legally deny you your insurance claim because you exceed your towing capacity rating. 

If you use your FJ Cruiser to pull more than the recommended towing weight and you have an accident that results in other vehicles and infrastructure being damaged you become liable to a civil lawsuit either from the state or from the owner of the property you destroyed.

Depending on where you leave in other areas, pulling a trailer that exceeds your FJ Cruiser’s towing capacity can result in civil suits or actual criminal charges being filed against you. Exceeding your FJ Cruiser’s towing will get you into trouble, trust us.

If you are lucky and the law does not catch up with you when you tow your “overweight” trailer or boat with your FJ Cruiser, chances are your vehicle will be damaged. Either way, you are on the losing end. Do not do it!

Tips For Towing with an FJ Cruiser

If you Have an FJ Cruiser then the temptation to put it to the towing test can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. It is perfectly normal and if there was an SUV that was made just for towing it has to be the FJ Cruiser.

There are some precautions though and some actions that can make your towing experience seamless and amazing. The following tips are very important and if you follow them, you are guaranteed a seamless towing experience. 

Do Not Exceed the Towing Limit 

Most FJ cruisers have a 4700-pound towing limit and some get up to 5000 lbs. If you have a 6000-pound trailer, trust me it is very Dangerous to use your 5000 towing capacity capped FJ Cruiser.

If there is one thing that experience, backed by physics, has consistently shown is the fact that the more weight you tow, the more dangerous the towing experience becomes. For every pound of weight, you are over the towing capacity, the more danger you bring to yourself and your precious FJ Cruise. 

Another important thing that you have to understand is that the weight you put inside your trailer also counts to the total weight of the trailer.

If you have a 5000-pound trailer and you carry 2000 lbs. worth of gear on the trailer then you are certainly over the 5000-pound towing capacity of the FJ Cruiser. No matter what happens, do not exceed the towing capacity of your truck. Do not do it!

Avoid Fishtailing 

Fishtailing can easily be described as the behavior of trailers to sway from side to side as they are being towed. This is very dangerous as your trailer can encroach on the oncoming traffic lane or can make it point-blank difficult to steer your FJ Cruiser. In most instances, fishtailing ends with an accident and it’s not pretty.

The best way to avoid fishtailing is to make sure that 50 percent of the weight you are carrying on your trailer is at the front part of the trailer. This is very important. This means if there are people and gear in your trailer as you travel try as much as you can to keep the mat at the front end of the trailer. 

The good news though is that most modern trailers being made now are designed to keep most of the weight on the front end. If you have a modern RV, chance you won’t have to worry about fishtailing.

Another hassle-free way to avoid fishtailing is to travel light. Try as much as you can to keep the gear in your trailer as minimal as possible. We have already highlighted that every pound you add to your trailer increases the danger of the whole adventure. 

Be Careful When Braking 

Towing a trailer with your FJ Cruiser changes a lot of things concerning your driving experience. This means that there is a need to be very careful to avoid accidents. The best tip that we can give you with regards to your driving is there it is nowhere to rush to. Keep things slow and exciting. 

Remember you are towing thousands of extra lbs.; this makes it very difficult to stop your vehicle when the need arises. Try to always stay below the speed limit. This is very important; the speed limit works but adding a couple of thousand lbs. to your truck changes the dimensions of your driving.

The most affected element for your driving experience when you are towing are the brakes, this makes it very important to know what to do when they need to use the brakes.

One thing you have to understand is no matter what happens do not slam the brakes. Slamming the brakes will do nothing but only cause a worse accident.

Ever heard of jackknifing? Well, slamming your brakes whilst towing a trailer with your FJ Cruiser. Do not do it. If you really can’t control your braking urge, the best thing you can do is to avoid high speeds. Just keep it slow. 

The FJ Cruiser is made for towing, if you are looking for a vehicle to take down the adventure route, the FJ Cruiser will serve that purpose effectively.

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Have fun and safe towing!!


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