Scamp 13 and RAV4 I4 - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-05-2014, 12:37 PM   #15
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Oh - I asked the Toyota dealer about a transmission cooler. They had never heard of one...
I'm thinking there could be a number of explanations. One is simply ignorance, as MC1 suggests. I ran into that at two different Honda dealers, at which a salesman, a sales manager, a service manager, a service writer, and a parts counter man- none could tell me exactly what towing-related equipment came standard on a 2-year-old Pilot.

Another is that a RAV4 I4 already has a transmission cooler, so Toyota does not make a separate auxiliary unit for that model. An increasing number of modern vehicles include them to protect highly sophisticated and expensive transmissions even in vehicles that are not designed for towing. I believe some are even integrated into the radiator, so there isn't anything dangling in front that looks like a cooler.

A third possibility is that the I4 is really not intended for towing, so there are no factory authorized towing upgrades for that model. Toyota wants you to spring for the V6, which does have a factory tow package, and doesn't want to do anything to encourage towing with the I4. It's even possible that adding your own could void the power train warranty.

As long as it's under warranty and you adhere strictly to the towing limits in your owner's manual, you should be covered. I would check the fluid often and watch for color change indicating heat damage, and have the fluid changed more often. Once out of warranty, you could take it to a good independent mechanic and get a second opinion about adding an aftermarket transmission cooler.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:50 PM   #16
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Ait transfer transmission coolers have been around at least since Adam got his first automatic transmission, for heavy duty users such as Police vehicles, and intercoolers (meaning built into the radiator) have been pretty much standard since the 60's in American vehicles.

Contact Hayden or any of the other aftermarket cooler companies and ask what they have for your vehicle for additional cooling capacity.

Eventually your warranty will run out and you don't want your transmission be cooked 5000 miles after than happens. be proactive and protect it before it starts working harder than it should.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:24 PM   #17
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In our Honda manual it clearly states to add a transmission cooler if towing. Our son went to a Uhaul dealer and had an aftermarket cooler installed, $150.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:48 PM   #18
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I got curious and looked up the towing section of the owner's manual for a 2013 RAV4. It limits trailer weight to 1500 pounds (1000 pounds without trailer brakes) and mentions a "towing kit." You could ask the dealer what that consists of, likely a receiver and wiring harness. Sounds to me like it is not meant for anything more than a light utility trailer. Almost any FGRV is going to be over the limit.

Also checked a 2011 manual, since it is the previous generation, which offered a V6 and towing package as options. Same limits on the I4 (except trailer brakes required over 600 pounds).

Looks like Toyota is not going to support any towing adds on the I4 because it wasn't intended for serious towing. You could go to an independent shop and have a cooler put on. It might void your power train warranty, but then, towing over the manufacturer's limits would do that anyway.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I got curious and looked up the towing section of the owner's manual for a 2013 RAV4. It limits trailer weight to 1500 pounds (1000 pounds without trailer brakes) and mentions a "towing kit." You could ask the dealer what that consists of, likely a receiver and wiring harness. Sounds to me like it is not meant for anything more than a light utility trailer. Almost any FGRV is going to be over the limit.

Also checked a 2011 manual, since it is the previous generation, which offered a V6 and towing package as options. Same limits on the I4 (except trailer brakes required over 600 pounds).

Looks like Toyota is not going to support any towing adds on the I4 because it wasn't intended for serious towing. You could go to an independent shop and have a cooler put on. It might void your power train warranty, but then, towing over the manufacturer's limits would do that anyway.
It is against federal law to deny a warranty claim due to aftermarket equipment being added to a vehicle unless it can be proven that the specific failure is directly caused by the device.
It is (of course) not wise to overtax the actual capacities of a vehicle as properly equipped (OEM or SEMA).
Get educated and take ownership and responsibility for your TV and your trailer. That should lead to a much safer and more satisfying ownership experience, free from threats or intimidation.
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:00 PM   #20
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It is against federal law to deny a warranty claim due to aftermarket equipment being added to a vehicle unless it can be proven that the specific failure is directly caused by the device.
Okay, so adding the cooler would not void the warranty. What about towing over the limit? Of course, that would be harder to prove…
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:11 PM   #21
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I found it interesting that in the list of additions to my 2010 RAV4 (V6) tow package, it did not include a additional or larger transmission cooler. They increased the alternator size, and the fan coupler. They did not include a hitch or trailer wiring...
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:18 PM   #22
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To find the real scoop on any Toyota question, contact their corporate customer service. What with law suits and recalls, they are very sensitive about customers getting correct info, which may be part the reason that it's hard to get a straight answer out of anyone at a dealership.

Now, While one would expect the transmission to last at least 150,000+ miles on a new car, towing at or over the limit, even with an added cooler, is sure to shorten that somewhat. Like maybe until just after the 60,000 mile warranty is expired..... Then the Yokes on the customer, as well as the repair bill.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:01 PM   #23
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Okay, so adding the cooler would not void the warranty. What about towing over the limit? Of course, that would be harder to prove…
That's true,
While in fleet we had a code instructor from GM relate this story...
A man who bought a new Camaro. He broke the transmission while under warranty.
The onboard computer revealed that he was approaching 115MPH in second gear when the damage occurred. The dealer denied coverage, but corporate paid upon appeal, citing that the warranty language did not specifically deny coverage.

I would never suggest intentional abuse of any product, but a buyer with anything close to reasonable claim will likely be covered.
You would not believe what I have seen covered on fleet trucks with abusive drivers!

One interesting point though...
It is common knowledge (and on the waiver) that both warranty and insurance will be voided if the event happens on a closed circuit race track while participating in a contest of speed against time or other drivers.
Which goes to your point and leaves us with one caveat....

To quote that famous philosopher KingFish ..
"Yes SUH Amos, Ya know da BIG print giveth and da fine print taketh away!"

So don't do this...

Trailer Racing Figure 8 - YouTube
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:36 PM   #24
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Floyd that's how I feel going through some of these major cities! Lol!


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Old 11-07-2014, 10:40 PM   #25
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What about towing over the limit? Of course, that would be harder to prove…
If you brake down on the highway while towing and call the 1-800 number to get it towed under the warranty your kind of at the mercy of the tow truck driver not to mention the size of the trailer he left sitting on the side of the highway
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post

Now, While one would expect the transmission to last at least 150,000+ miles on a new car, towing at or over the limit, even with an added cooler, is sure to shorten that somewhat. Like maybe until just after the 60,000 mile warranty is expired..... Then the Yokes on the customer, as well as the repair bill.
Could be true in some cases but amazingly you don't here of many.

In our case we towed a 2,500lb pop up and then a 4,500lb TT for many years with a 93 Nissan mini van. The van had 280,000miles on it with no tranny issues.

Our Infiniti sedan now has 150,000 miles on it and towed our 4,500lb, 23'TT for over 200hrs. The car/tranny works as new with no drive train problems. Still has the original factory universal joints in the IRS rear suspension.

Note... Before towing both vehicles had a technical review by a reputable towing specialist and a tranny cooler installed before towing.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:23 PM   #27
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Wow

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To find the real scoop on any Toyota question, contact their corporate customer service. What with law suits and recalls, they are very sensitive about customers getting correct info, which may be part the reason that it's hard to get a straight answer out of anyone at a dealership.

Now, While one would expect the transmission to last at least 150,000+ miles on a new car, towing at or over the limit, even with an added cooler, is sure to shorten that somewhat. Like maybe until just after the 60,000 mile warranty is expired..... Then the Yokes on the customer, as well as the repair bill.
We towed with a vehicle and had 225,000 miles on it when we traded it in. It was not an automatic but it never had a driveline failure, actually the clutch was the original. It was North America rated for 1500 lbs and we towed 2600 pound (Scamp 16) just about every where you can go.

I've had big powerful vehicles before we became RVers that never towed and needed a 'transmission cube' (like a flash cube).

We now have a vehicle with an automatic transmission, a Honda Odyssey. The added transmission cooler is huge. Our plan is to own this for 10 years, towing every year, on the road, at least over the past 14 years, for 7 months a year. I would be tremendously disappointed if Honda's transmission did not last 200,000 miles.

I talk to Honda nationally every so often, they know I tow and have never said a negative word about it. If I were them I would consider me and our Scamp an experiment.

I would always suggest a transmission cooler and trailer brakes.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:25 PM   #28
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FWIW: In more and more locales, any trailers over 1500 lbs gross weight are required to have some sort of trailer brakes. That said, there are very few FGRV's that wouldn't meet that criteria going down the road.
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