Towing with Toyota Sienna 3.3L - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
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Name: Alan
Trailer: Triple E Surf Side
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I'm on the verge of buying a 2004 Toyota Sienna 2WD to tow my Surf Side 14. Anyone had any experience with these. 2004-2006 are 3.3 L. Earlier is 3.0 L and later is 3.5 L.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Alan
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Old 05-26-2007, 07:20 PM   #2
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Dlx / 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4
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heres info on the sienna.. dont really know what your looking for ?
http://www.carsdirect.com/2004/toyota/sienna

I think some are towning with vans and have no problems....

I would suggest putting in a tranny cooler too..
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:11 PM   #3
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The Sienna's rated to pull 3500lbs . . . you should be fine.
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Old 05-27-2007, 03:26 PM   #4
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Alan...I tow my 13' Trill with an 06 Sienna CE. Love it! It tows in overdrive with little hunting up and down. Gas mileage at110km/hr (70 mph) with a/c on is about 20mpg. The Van at same speed and not towing is giving me about 30 mpg...not toobad a cost of towing.
Had another Sienna...an 02 with the 3L...and it was ok as a tug ...EXCEPT this "off lease" beast had been damaged and repaired (sold by Toyota dealer to me in Ottawa-pm me and I'll tell you the dealer's name). That one had been cosmetically repaired and not frame checked..and spat out a tranny every 30000 miles! Toyota was great about repairs but I lost faith in the van and got the 06 (my local dealer was very fair and gave me a good deal).
I love the 06 and would recommend it heartily. It took us to PEI through the mountains of Vermont and Maine, and down to Key West and back this winter on the I75 route.
Just be sure the 04 did not come from Quebec. The Ontario ownership history listings may not include accident damage from la belle province.
Cheers...Alistair
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:10 PM   #5
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Name: Alan
Trailer: Triple E Surf Side
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Thanks Alistair, that's just the kind of personal experience I was looking for, and it's reassuring too.

One other question has to do with braking. Our trailers would be roughly comparble in weight and behaviour I believe. Is there any trouble getting the van and trailer slowed down or stopped in the case of an emergency. I'm very impressed by the brakes and handling of the 2004 Sienna, without a trailer behind. Just wondering when there is 1,600 or 1,700 lbs pushing from the back, how difficult it is to control?
Does your Trillium have electric brakes and do you use them? Mine does and I had no real concerns towing with my Subaru Outback with respect to control under braking, but the van is taller and front wheel drive.

thanks
Alan
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:02 PM   #6
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Allan...My Trill (2nd year of production - a73) did not have electric brakes. Never had any problems with either Sienna. Long mountain descents (California, West Virginia, Maine) I lock out overdrive and use 4 or3. My CE model only has drums on the rear wheels (as did my 02 )and i never once experienced brake fade or smelled 'em smokin'.
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:21 PM   #7
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Name: Alan
Trailer: Triple E Surf Side
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Thanks Alistair: No attempts by the trailer to pass the Sienna under panic braking?

And what about climbing steep gravel road - any wheelspin due to unloaded front drive wheels?

I was planning to get a all wheel drive - but so far it looks like they are quite difficult to find and seem to cost a lot more used than the difference between all wheel and front wheel when new.

Alan
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:31 PM   #8
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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I have just returned from roughly four thousand kilometers (roughly 2500 miles) of towing a 3000 lb Boler B1700 around British Columbia (and back and forth to the Edmonton area) with my 2004 Sienna LE. Braking is fine (I have the stock brakes on the trailer and a common controller; the LE has all-disk brakes) and I had no problem with keeping up with traffic, or controlling the trailer.

My new discoveries on this trip included Highway 99 (the whole thing, Cache Creek to Vancouver), which is one big series of curves, hills, and rough pavement - good fun even with the trailer attached. The looong grades of Highway 97C and the Coquihalla can be tedious, and the fuel consumption looks scary on the way up, but the downhill averages out the fuel issue and I still kept up as fast a pace as any other RV or commercial truck traffic overall.

Traction going uphill on loose gravel can be an issue - I have to be careful to minimize wheelspin in some situations, typically pulling in or out of campsites with steep approaches. The traction control of the higher (above LE) trim levels would help, as of course would AWD.

I use more fuel than Alistair, but my trailer is heavier, wider, and taller... and we carry too much stuff in the van as well.

The 2007 version is different only in the engine. The new one is certainly preferable, simply because it is more powerful at every speed, but I find the 3.3L more than adequate.

For more than you probably ever wanted to know about towing with this specific vehicle, I suggest checking out the Towing subforum in the SiennaClug.org? site.
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