The 60 Series drive train can certainly handle the strain. However, the short wheel base and poor braking can make towing more than a light trailer a challenge. I've towed campers, boats, moving trailers, etc. but I've always been keenly aware of how limited the braking and sway control is on my 60. Loading matters and a heavy tongue weight really adversely affects the 60's because of how far forward the rear axle is. It's hard to overstate this.
Start small, go slow, and be careful. Anything with 2 or more axles is too large. Toyota's stated Tow Capacity is only like 1,500 lbs. As a general rule, up to half a vehicle's weight tends to be OK if loaded properly and the trailer has brakes. Figure 2,500 lbs if the Cruiser's brakes are new OEM, the trailer has brakes, the road is mild, and the driver has experience.
When we first purchased our '85 FJ60 (when it was clean and rust-free) - I desmogged it and Jim C rebuilt the carb and curved the dizzy. We (wife and two small kids) camped in Washington state for a few years pulling a good-sized pop-up. It had electric brakes which was a must I think - of course we were slow going up the mountain passes - but we survived and the engine did fine. I now have a smaller trailer since the kids are more grown. It doesn't have electric brakes, but it's also not nearly as heavy overall. BTW, that's my folks in their 17' Casita next to us - great trailer. Might have to purchase my in-laws Casita (also 17'), but may need an engine upgrade in the 60 for that - they weigh a bit more then the ole' pop-up.
Yes, I actually towed quite a bit with my 60, both a 15' 1967 Aloha travel trailer and an oversized raft trailer, throughout eastern Oregon.
With the OME mediums in the rear, I didn't even know it was there - the 60 behaved the same! Slow and steady off the line, stock 2F and 4 speed just plugged merrily away. Make sure your cooling system is tuned up as well. As called out, braking is the biggest challenge, but I'm in a *very* rural environment, so I wasn't dealing with traffic and such, and it was mostly just loafing along around 50 to 60 MPH top speed.
One other recommendation - step up for 62 series manual mirrors - they make a world of difference when hauling a trailer. The stock 60 mirrors are a joke for that purpose, and I would say create a legitimate safety hazard.
I picked up a Tundra a few years back, so my 60 doesn't see the tow duty it used to, but I wouldn't hesitate to tow with it, so long as you aren't in a hurry...
Feel free to send me a PM if you need/want more info
I tow a 5x12 flat bed trailer weighs about 450 lbs. I have used it to past several weekends to move trash bulky items from my new lake property with acreage. I also used it to move my wife's teaching materials. Filled the trailer and rear of the 60 with seats down. It was @ 1200 lbs. On the trailer. Ran the A/C since wife was with me. We drove 60 on freeway and FJ60 was fine. She is still smogged, but that will change very soon. I have towed with it to the deer lease 130 miles away with all my gear and 500 lbs of corn on trailer. You just remember to keep it @ 60 mph and no more. Don't push it, if I want faster I'd buy an 80 or 100 series LC.
I tow an 18’ travel trailer from time to time. Drivetrain is upgraded to a 5.3l LS and 4l60e which makes a huge difference of course. This trailer weighs around 3000lbs and the cruiser does fine with it. Mind you I have good trailer brakes with a very good controller - this is essential IMHO.
I did tow this same trailer with the old 2F once or twice. While the 2F had the torque to get it moving and even drag it up pretty steep grades it was absolutely no fun to do.
About the heaviest I tow, I also have a bantam trailer I pull occasionally but it’s lighter than the boat. It pulls it fine but as said above hillls can kinda suck. My biggest deal was figuring out how to wire it for trailer lights. Lol
I tow my 18" boat, about 2500#, but it's mostly flatish to the ramp, no problems. H55 trans in an FJ62, that low 1st gear definitely helps jerking it out of the water. It might get slow cruising over a long steep grade, but no issues getting to 65+ mph around the coast.
Ok, seriously, what I am I freaking missing with the trailer lights?
It's been a while........ but I have done 3500-4000 miles worth of flat towing project cruisers with my 62, and towed a tandom axle U-Haul moving my buddy's family across a few provinces. As others have said, you have to be aware of the limitations of your brakes. As far as power, I got around fine with a 3FE. The extreme valve body with 3rd gear lockup helped a lot..... later on the 2FE swap helped even more
Now-a-days I tow much more comfortably with a 3/4 ton and good trailer brakes.
I'm pushing 7K lbs on my 62 with manual transmission. 300k miles on the 3fe. I somewhat regularly tow a 16' Klamath boat....not sure of the weight. Single axle trailer. It's only slightly less doggy on inclines. Doesn't seem to materially affect it one way or another.