Hybrid Highlander for lightweight towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2010, 09:22 AM   #1
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We just got back from three weeks on the road towing a Scamp 13 with our Hybrid Highlander. We drove over 7,000 miles, crossing the Rockies, Cascades, Snowy Ranger, etc... averaging 15mpg.

The wiring was no problem, used a 6 way converter to 4 way, no brakes, aux power run from a keyed hot lead under the rear cover, hitch was Toyota.

The HiHi had plenty of power for sure, pulled as fast as I was willing to go, passing motor homes like they were parked

With a couple bikes on the rear bumper, two full gas bottles, one battery, and a lightly loaded hitch box, we had just about an inch of sag running a 1.5" rise on our tow bar, so really quite level.

I think the HiHi could tow a heavier trailer, but mileage and climbing would suffer, esp if you were crossing mountains or driving into the wind.

The CVT is a funny tranny for pulling a load, but works fine. I would not use a CVT tranny as a daily TV, too much stress and slippage, better off with an auto or manual.

The HiHi is my wife's daily driver at home, where she averages 26mpg with 70% in tow driving.

My dream TV is the Mahindra 4cyl Diesel, coming soon I hope!
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:48 AM   #2
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Just out of curiosity, what is the Hybrid Highlander rated for, towing wise?

(I don't have one; I'm just curious about tow ratings for various vehicles.)

The Rockies, etc....... ahhh that sounds nice. I can almost remember crisp, non-muggy weather

Raya
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Just out of curiosity, what is the Hybrid Highlander rated for, towing wise?

(I don't have one; I'm just curious about tow ratings for various vehicles.)

The Rockies, etc....... ahhh that sounds nice. I can almost remember crisp, non-muggy weather

Raya
Raya:

According to http://www.toyota.com/highlander/features.html
the towing capacity for the 2010 Highlander hybrid is 3,500 pounds

Brian
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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Thanks, Brian!
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:53 AM   #5
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That's right, 3500. For comparison, the non-hybrid version is 5000 lbs towing.

I'm surprised the mileage numbers weren't higher for the hybrid. I just used my nonhybrid Highlander ('08) to tow the WB Burro 2900 miles, including mountains in Colorado, Utah, and N. New Mexico. Average mileage was 14.3. Driving speed varied with terrain but on flat plains I mostly ran 64-67 mph.

The Highlander is a very capable tow vehicle. Nice ride, good performance, good handling.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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The non hybrid has the same max tow as the hybrid, same engine, only difference is the tranny and additional HP from electtic motor, so 3500#. Honestly, I don't see this vehicle towing a true 3500# on hills and at freeway speeds, it's just not powerful enough. I'd stay away from the HH unless you're towing less than 2500#, so Scamp 13/16, Casita 13/16.

For sure, if you go heavier than a base Scamp 13, get trailer brakes. We have a base Scamp 13, no bath, no water tank, and some stops were very slow, too slow to be safe. I'd get trailer brakes next time, Highlanders are not trucks, so tey don't have the brake capacity for hauling heavy loads.

The CVT is designed for aroond town driving, doesn't seem to deal well with freeway driving, esp while pulling a load. Around town and on twisty roads, the lower max speed put MPG more within the expected range. The electric power certainly makes the HH faster and more powerful than the standard Highlander, but it's still a lightweight, V6 SUV.

As a primary driver and an occassional TV, the HH works great. If our HH were used as a TV more often, I'd get something else cuz 14-15mpg is not that good.

Quote:
That's right, 3500. For comparison, the non-hybrid version is 5000 lbs towing.

I'm surprised the mileage numbers weren't higher for the hybrid. I just used my nonhybrid Highlander ('08) to tow the WB Burro 2900 miles, including mountains in Colorado, Utah, and N. New Mexico. Average mileage was 14.3. Driving speed varied with terrain but on flat plains I mostly ran 64-67 mph.

The Highlander is a very capable tow vehicle. Nice ride, good performance, good handling.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:06 AM   #7
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I got a PM from a member who pointed out that the 2010 Highlander has a large engine option, 4l V6 with an additional 60hp, and a larger body. This vehicle is listed with a max tow of 5000#.

However, I still think that using the Highlander as a dedicated TV for big trailers is not a good idea due to their design. For comparison, a Toyota Tundra pickup with a 4l V6, the smallest motor used in this truck, the tow capaicity is 5200#, and that's a truck which is designed for towing, so HD brakes, tranny, and a full frame.

Small SUV's due their nature as a passenger vehicle, don't offer the same towing potential as a truck, smaller brakes, unibody construction, lighter suspension. Maxing tow capacity with the Highlander is a bad idea other than for quick tows of the boat to the lake. This is why I suggested not maxing the tow on the Highlander. So maybe the newer all gas Highlander could tow up to 3500# on long trips, but it would be a mistake to tow 5000# for extended periods.

If you want a Toyota TV for larger trailers (>2500 GVWR), then the FourRunner or Sequoia is your vehicle, or just get a truck

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Old 07-15-2010, 09:25 PM   #8
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Since the original query was about the hybrid, I did not think to say "2008 and later models" when mentioning the 5000 lb tow rating. I guess I was thinking that in any model year in which there was a hybrid model made, the non-hybrid version was 5000 lb.

I feel the Highlander is a quite capable tow vehicle. I use mine for work 5 days a week, 37 weeks a year, towing a 6x12 tandem axle cargo trailer as I deliver books to schools. Its GVWR is 7000 lbs but typical actual weight of that trailer, when loaded, is around 3500 lb. And in the summer months I'm towing the Burro, which is physically larger but lighter at 2300-2500 lb. I have yet to experience any undesirable handling problems. My Highlander has over 66,000 miles on the odometer. IMO it performs and handles better than my previous tow vehicle, a Mercury Mountaineer SUV with V8. I think my Highlander could do a fine job of towing just about any FG trailer out there except for the larger Bigfoot trailers.

Of course, Ben, you're right about the hybrid and the 2007 & earlier models. It's never good to push right up to the limits for towing. 2500 lb, maybe 3000 lb, but that's probably about it.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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I still agree on a Diesel being the perfect TV... But I don't see the Mahindra coming over here anytime soon. Gosh, they should bring the European Toyota truck over here, perfect Diesel!! See link... Oh well, this was discussed already numerous times.

http://www.toyota.de/cars/new_cars/hilux/specs.aspx

The Toyota HiHi is also used as TV by some Escape owners. Does apparently well.
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