RAV4 and equalizer hitch - any problem? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2008, 06:16 PM   #1
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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The owner's manual with my 2008 RAV 4 V6 Sport says "Toyota does not recommend the use of an equalizer hitch". I asked Toyota, I went on the WEB and couldn't find out why.

My mechanic put me in touch with Hitchco's tech department and he looked up my specific hitch (a class 3 Hidden Hitch ) and my specific model of vehicle.

He said that Hidden Hitch makes one model hitch for my vehicle and rates it for 4,000 lbs. What that means is that Hidden Hitch is opening themselves to liability if the hitch failed under their rating for it.
Toyota, on the other hand is covering their butt. They don't issue a warning, but they don't recommend it. Just as some manufacturers of four-wheel-drive vehicles "recommend" that you don't take them off-road.

The tech guy said he wouldn't hesitate to install my hitch on my vehicle and use the equalizer.

baglo
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:05 PM   #2
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Glenn
How do you find the Rav4 for towing your Escape in the mountains of BC. Now that's a real-life road test for anybody. My wife remembers driving out there on, gravel roads, in the 60's and thinks that I need a mega monster to tow with through the mountains. I'm trying to convince her that the Toyo would fit the bill perfectly.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
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Glenn
How do you find the Rav4 for towing your Escape in the mountains of BC. Now that's a real-life road test for anybody. My wife remembers driving out there on, gravel roads, in the 60's and thinks that I need a mega monster to tow with through the mountains. I'm trying to convince her that the Toyo would fit the bill perfectly.
Jim
How fast do you want to go? Over or under the speed limit? The V6 delivers 269 HP.
I found myself doing 120 kph so I could get out of the passing lane after I passed a couple slow trucks on an uphill grade. You'll pay for it in gas though, if you drive like that.

There is a rest area that I pulled into that has a really short access going onto the highway. Vehicles were coming in the slow lane, but I didn't hesitate. I just stepped on the gas and merged easily. In fact it took them a while to catch up.

I haven't gone over a couple of the major climbs yet. There is the 17km climb to the Coquihalla summit, but I'm confident that it will pull my Escape without difficulty given the hills we have climbed. I choose to use either Hwy. 1 or 3 when heading to the interior because I find the Coquihalla boring to drive. Only pain will be in my pocket book as gas consumption rises substantially for that 17K if I do take Hwy. 5. They've taken the toll off that road now, however.

I used to tow my tent trailer with my Subaru over these same roads and crawled up them in second gear wondering if I would make it. Now, the question is, should I pass this guy or save the gas.

With the equalizer hitch I've not experienced any problems with sway. I had to take evasive action once to avoid a pothole ( hit it anyway ) and realized after that the Toad was still following me. On that same road, I once found the tent trailer coming up to join me alongside the Subaru when my driving got too enthusiastic.

I think it's a great tow vehicle for eggs and it gets good mileage if you keep it down to about 90kph. Without the trailer, mileage improves substantially. Of course, I try to do my chores around town in the company car while I'm on shift, but I think the RAV does both jobs as well as anybody could expect.

I'm extremely happy with my choice of trailer and tow.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:03 PM   #4
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A WDH puts unusual stresses on both the TV and the trailer (which is why some pop-up manfs forbid their use; the front part of the tongue and frame can't the stresses).

If, for example, the receiver bolted only to the sheet metal, the receiver might rip out on a large bump...

I don't agree that receiver manf would be liable unless it was written that the specific application would handle WDH hitch.

BTW, my favorite, but not perfect, analogy to a WDH is a person moving a load with a wheelbarrow -- The weight that was on the rear legs of the barrow is now split between the wheel and the person's feet.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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I don't agree that receiver manf would be liable unless it was written that the specific application would handle WDH hitch.
The tech rep for Hitchco looked up my vehicle, year and model and referred to Hidden Hitch documents that state this is the hitch for that application and this is the rating. It's all in my first note on this.

baglo
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #6
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I agree, the Rav4 with V6 is a great choice. I have a Highlander with the same engine, and I can drop into 3rd gear and accelerate up any hill while towing (if I have a mind to). The Rav is a little lighter and shorter wheelbase than the Highlander but the tow power will be great. And when not towing they are fun to drive, too... not a Corvette but way way better than an Aveo!

Mike
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
The tech rep for Hitchco looked up my vehicle, year and model and referred to Hidden Hitch documents that state this is the hitch for that application and this is the rating. It's all in my first note on this.
Be sure to get a copy in writing if it's not in the instructions, just in case.
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