16 foot long kayaks on top of TV - Page 8 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-08-2014, 04:25 PM   #99
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Just one last thing, in case there's any lingering idea that installing an aftermarket hitch that "fits" automatically puts one in the capacity/class of that single component:

This Curt 3500 lb hitch remains a recommendation for all RAV 4 models/years, including the present 1500 pound-limited four-cyls.

The hole pattern is the ONLY part of the hitch that was "designed for the RAV 4", and that hasn't changed. Yes, it will fit. But it will NOT provide 3500 pounds of towing capacity to any Rav 4 it's mounted on. That can only be achieved by the installation on a six-cyl Rav of the OEM hitch AND the other upfits required by Toyota for the purpose. Otherwise, tow limits of 1500 to 2,000 pounds are the limit.

If one has any lingering doubts about this, I suggest an inquiry to the hitch installer as to the nature of any guarantees per the install. I'd bet they're limited to "Defects in workmanship/failure of the hitch itself"....but I very much doubt one could receive any commitment as to the capacity of those four attachment points on the car to withstand the stresses imposed by attempting to load the hitch much beyond the lesser 2,000 pound max- let alone anywhere near 3500 pounds, especially if adding W/D into the mix.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:50 PM   #100
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Hopefully I won't need weight distribution. Reviewing the post "trailer weights in the real world" once again, I think it is reasonable to assume I will be between 1500-1800 pounds with my basic scamp. Tongue weight might drift a bit over 200, but not by much. We do currently have two propane tanks, but plan on keeping only one full, and might have one removed.

I will probably add a sway bar, though. That can't hurt. And I am, of course, adding electric brakes. So I think I should be fine - - my tow capacity is at least 2000 pounds, and that is likely conservative.

If we ever upgrade to a 16', I will upgrade the hitch.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:45 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by VicCT View Post
Wow, thanks everyone!
Yes, I do have a 2008, and it does not have a third row.
Just spoke to trailer guy. I should say up front that the dealership service department referred me to him, and kept saying "why don't you just go to -----? That's where we send most of our cars anyway." Trailer guy says the curt hitch was designed by the same engineers Toyota uses, and is specific to the vehicle. It's what he installs on Rav4's that the dealership sends him. The dealership seemed unwilling/unable to even deal with me. I am now completely confused. I will call a different dealership and see what they say. And is it true the Totota hitch is class II only? Why is this so hard?!
A class II hitch is rated to handle up to 3500lbs so thats more than enough to tow a Scamp 13' or a Scamp 16'. The RAV4 V6 for 2008 is if I am not mistaken is only rated to tow 3500lbs so no surprise that the vehicle manufacture is only offering a hitch up to that rating.

Your experience with the dealer is pretty well the same as others including myself, have experienced at other brands of car dealers. If the vehicle didn't come from the factory with a hitch installed then they send the vehicle to a hitch shop to have one done after the fact. Installing hitches is a bit of a speciality so they probable don't feel it is worth training their staff to do it.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:57 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by VicCT View Post
So I think I should be fine - - my tow capacity is at least 2000 pounds, and that is likely conservative.

If we ever upgrade to a 16', I will upgrade the hitch.

Thanks everyone!
Ok so I am confused. Is your new RAV4 a V6 or a 4 cylinder? If a V6 its rated for more than 2000 lbs if a 4 cylinder its rated for less....... what does your manual say.

Regardless with a Class II hitch you would not need to upgrade to a Class III hitch to tow a 16' Scamp - I pulled a 16' for 6 years with no issues with a Class II hitch as the trailer weighed in loaded at 800lbs under the Class II rating.... but as has been stated if you only have a 4 cylinder then changing the hitch isn't going to change your vehicles tow rating.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:14 AM   #103
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My recollection is that she has a 2008 RAV4 V6, same as me.
The reason I opted for a Class III hitch, which Toyota didn't offer as OEM, was that I could use a WDHitch with Class III and couldn't with Class II. The RAV4 is 4WD but most of the time the front wheels are getting the power. The WDH would transfer weight to the driving wheels.
My Toyota dealer brought an after-market installer into their shop at the dealership to do the install prior to me getting the vehicle ( new ). The bonus was that it cost about 2/3 what the OEM hitch cost ( and that included brake controller install which was extra with OEM ).
My RAV rear end dropped 2" without the WDH. The WDH was installed such that it brought the rear end back to level ( no more ).

So, indeed, I could tow my 17B Escape ( for instance ) without a WDH, and I have for short distances, but there is a significant improvement in ride and security when using the WDH.

Believe me, I would rather not have to lug the WDH to the receiver and hook it up, if it wasn't worth the effort.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:25 AM   #104
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Looking back, I have no idea which RAV4 the OP has bought.
Doesn't change anything I've said, but could be huge for the OP.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:48 AM   #105
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I have the v6 with tow prep. I said that about the 2000 lb capacity because, as Francesca pointed out, the v6 without tow prep is rated for 2000 lbs. If we assume the increase with tow prep package to 3500 lbs is due solely to the extra hitch attachment points with the OEM hitch (an extremely conservative assumption), I still have at least 2000 lbs capacity with an aftermarket hitch.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:07 AM   #106
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The only hitches I've ever heard of that depart vehicles with some frequency are factory dodge pickup receiver hitches. If these aftermarket hitches were falling off, you would hear about it, and they wouldn't be in business. Me, I won't own a class II hitch, but each to their own. Class III has more and stronger accessories (bike/cargo racks/etc.), and will work on any vehicle most people own, so you don't have to have two of everything for different size hitches.

I've been told the same thing about the dreaded aftermarket hitch on my subaru...you know, the one that held the rear wheels off the ground when the bike rack hung up (more than once, with no damage to the rack either, remember the class III thing?), yet apparently the connection is so awful, the tiny trailers it's rated to tow will rip the back of the car off?

Buy whatever common brand you want, check the bolts for security, and check it for severe rust once in a while, and forget about it the rest of the time.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:50 AM   #107
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Seriously not even the 4 plug hidden in the rear area that the harness plugs into ? What year was that?

Nope. 2007
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:57 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by VicCT View Post
I have the v6 with tow prep. I said that about the 2000 lb capacity because, as Francesca pointed out, the v6 without tow prep is rated for 2000 lbs. If we assume the increase with tow prep package to 3500 lbs is due solely to the extra hitch attachment points with the OEM hitch (an extremely conservative assumption), I still have at least 2000 lbs capacity with an aftermarket hitch.
Well as you have said previously the dealer has confirmed based on your VIN that your vehicle does have the tow prep package from the factory - if your going to believe anyone it should be them as they have the ability to call up the details of your car on the manufactures computer to be able to see what the vehicle actually left the factory with - something no one here can do for you

If the dealer didn't believe that by installing the hitch and by using the hitch installer they have suggested that you use that the vehicle was not capable of giving you the 3500lb tow cap using that hitch, I am pretty sure they would tell you!

As per the link supplied by Francesca there is *more* to the factory prep tow package than hitch attachment points. With a Class II hitch & the tow package you would indeed have a 3500lb towing capacity. With that hitch you should have no safety issues pulling a 13' Scamp or a 16' for that matter. Neither is known to be overly heavy on the tongue so not likely a WDH will be needed. If stowed correctly a tongue weight in the 250lbs range on the 16' and one in the 200lb range on the 13' should give you a solid tow. If you think that your future needs will include a 17' such as a Casita, Escape, Parkliner or Bigfoot to name a few, then going with the Class III hitch right off the bat to accommodate a WD might be a wise investment as they all more often than not have much heavier tongue weights & the RAV4 has been know to squat in the rear with those heavier weights. If you went with the Class III hitch you would avoid the need to change out the hitch at a future date to accommodate the WDH (it will not give you extra towing capacity) but it would be IMO a good bet its not really necessary with your current choose of trailer.

I do BTW appreciate that getting to the bottom line on what hitch and wiring you really need to be safe on some of the smaller tow vehicles can be a little frustrating and confusing. Been there done that! Was very very happy that discover my latest tow vehicle only required a $15 harness adaptor for the brake controller that took less than a minute to plug into the prewired cab and it was all good to go.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:21 PM   #109
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Click to enlarge picture below of receiver tube on Toyota OEM hitch- looks like 2" to me, if that's what y'all are kickin' around re. bike racks, "classes" etc.

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Old 04-09-2014, 01:26 PM   #110
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Spoke with Toyota customer service. They said they can't opine on tow capacity with an aftermarket hitch, but the hitch manufacturers are motivated to ensure their hitch performs up to the rated capacity. They recommended going with the advice of an eatablished and reputable hitch installer.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:04 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post


looks like 2" to me, if that's what y'all are kickin' around re. bike racks, "classes" etc.
I am confused as well in regards to the worries about bike racks etc. Have two very good bike racks - a Yakama & Kuat and a both built to work on a Class II hitch and both came with built in adaptors for a Class III as well. Both racks have been used a lot on Class II hitch as well as a Class III and one of them carries up to 4 bikes some of which are worth more than my trailer on many occasions without any problems on both hitches. So one doesnt actually need a Class III hitch in order to get a nice solid bike rake.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:22 PM   #112
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I am actually looking to install a spare tire bike rack on the rav. My thule t2 hitch rack won't fit with the side swinging read door, I am told. I was just concerned about clearance between the bikes and trailer. Someone brought up overall payload with bikes and kayaks on the car, an issue I appreciate needs to be considered. But I don't need to carry a bike rack on this hitch.

This thread covers so many topics! Lots of info, I hope it helps others as much as it has helped me.
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