Towing with Rav4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2019, 02:33 PM   #1
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Name: Don
Trailer: In the market
Oregon
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Towing with Rav4

I have a Rav4 with the V6. Plenty of power but it seems the rear springs are weak when even only 240 lbs of weight on the tongue. Will this be a problem, because of the sagging? Has anyone gone to a weight distribution system? Or can it be left the way it is? Thanks ahead for any help. Don
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:00 PM   #2
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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I use a WDH and wouldn't be without it. I don't care where the headlights are pointed since I don't drive at night. I do care how the WDH makes my 17B and the RAV4 feel like a unit. No porpoising. I've made a couple abrupt lane changes to avoid debris or a collision and experienced no sway.

My tongue weight is 320 - 340 lbs.


Mine is nothing fancy. A Pro-Series without sway control.
Pictures 1 and 3 are without WD; 2 and 4 are with WD.
Attached Thumbnails
No WDH2.jpg   With WDH2.jpg  

NO WDH1.jpg   With WDH1.jpg  

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Old 07-03-2019, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I don't care where the headlights are pointed since I don't drive at night. .
Next you will be telling us you never drive in the rain.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:24 PM   #4
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
Pennsylvania
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I have a Rav4 with tow pkg. to tow my scamp 16 front bath. I do not use a WDH, it goes down some but not much. I do use an anti rattle hitch bracket. The Scamps are on the lighter side then other brands though. I am careful in small gas stations where their driveway has steep exits and entrances so it does not catch. It has done a great job towing. I keep it level with the right rise ball hitch.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:34 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2005 13 ft Scamp / 2004 Honda Odyssey
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We have Rav4 6 cyl and only 200 pounds on the tongue. No problem at all. We just have a 13 with total weight of 1600. Ours is very basic and we carry no water. When we haul a bunch of stuff we try to put the weight over the wheels in the center.

We also watch for entry to gas stations.

Is there any way you can lessen tongue weight?
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:42 PM   #6
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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Tongue weight should be around 12 per cent of trailer weight. If you lighten the tongue, you can induce sway.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:54 PM   #7
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
We have Rav4 6 cyl and only 200 pounds on the tongue. No problem at all. We just have a 13 with total weight of 1600. Ours is very basic and we carry no water. When we haul a bunch of stuff we try to put the weight over the wheels in the center.
...
Is there any way you can lessen tongue weight?
Yes, but I'm not sure you want to. 200/1600 = 12.5%, which is just about perfect for this trailer and should make for very stable towing. The minimum recommended 10% TW would be 160# so you have at most 40# to play with. You lighten the tongue by transferring some heavier items behind the axle.

However, based on our experience carrying bicycles on the back of our basic Scamp 13, I found the closer you get to the minimum 10% tongue weight, the more squirrelly the back end gets, with every little gust of wind or passing semi causing a little waggle. Never tended toward dangerous sway , but required diligence and added to the stress of towing. I finally found an easy way to move the bikes inside the trailer, centered over the axle, and the improvement in stability and handling was dramatic. We run about 1700# with a little over 200# on the tongue, so close to 12%.

I'd recommend leaving the weight distribution as it is. For some vehicles you can install airbags to take some of the squat out of a soft rear suspension (common in many Toyota products).
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:43 PM   #8
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Name: Mac
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Another vote for airbags. They're inexpensive, and while they don't increase the carrying capacity, they can raise the vehicle. We have them on our 4Runner. Loaded down, the rear sagged about 2". Air bags cut that in half, which made a big difference in headlight aim and stability, in my opinion.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:28 AM   #9
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I towed an Escape 17B 85,000 miles with a 2010 RAV4 V6 with tow package. Trailer at 3010 pounds, and tongue at 345 pounds. I used a weight distribution hitch. I liked the combination, except for the small gas tank and low ground clearance.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:44 AM   #10
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Name: Doug
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16, 2011 RAV4 V6
California
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Air bags. I tow our Scamp 16 with a Rav4 V6 and the bags work great. A bit of a pain to install but worth the effort.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:39 AM   #11
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Name: David
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 13 S1 BB
IL
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Another vote for the airbags, really helped with rear squat with our scamp 13 in tow.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:47 AM   #12
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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Air bags do not transfer weight to the front axle of the tow and the trailer axle. They just make it harder to compress the springs. As an option, you could replace your springs with a chunk of train rail.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:48 AM   #13
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Airstream
Connecticut
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Airbags may be fine if you don't have any trailer stability issues when towing. Remember that all the tongue weight remains on the ball, even with airbags added. WDH distributes a portion of that weight to all four corners of the tow vehicle. As Glenn mentions a properly set up WDH will increase stability and make the rig more responsive if an evasive maneuver is ever needed.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:53 AM   #14
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Name: David
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 13 S1 BB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Air bags do not transfer weight to the front axle of the tow and the trailer axle. They just make it harder to compress the springs. As an option, you could replace your springs with a chunk of train rail.
True, but in my situation the car is rated to tow the load, just the rear sag was making people very angry about my led headlights. The airbags were a better option for me without adding all that extra metal from a weight distribution system. Toyota/Lexus also doesn't specifically say weight distribution is ok on a 2008 unibody rav4/nx200t so i didn't want to take any chances. Train rail may be a bit hard in the suspension department, the airbags help stiffen it up, but the ride isn't bad at all.
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