Tow Capacity RAV 4 - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-10-2015, 11:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Oh Dear.... and now for the Elephant in the room:


While some will provide support for towing over limit and have done so without "Reported" problems to support their positions, at least in the lower Provinces (Meaning the US of A) towing over a vehicles manufacturer's specified limits can be seen as unsafe operation of a vehicle by the courts should an accident happen that can be attributed to any number of issues.


As I also advise, before going to Can-Am, or making your own decision to tow overweight, get at least one opinion of the possible consequences of that decision should an accident happen from both your insurance company and your attorneys.


And YES, I know that some will quickly whip out the story about having done that, but they can't back that up with an accident/issue to prove that it was also Okey-Dokey in court.


Think about this... If you can be found guilty of causing an accident because you were using your cell phone while driving, how can intentionally towing overweight be overlooked?????
Most likely the most important thing to consider. Good point(s). Lawyers can really make your life miserable. Lawyers on this side of the pond is why identically equipped vehicles in North America have lower towing specs than those across the pond. The fear of law suits in North America, against car companies, causes them to be extra stringent over what they claim their vehicles are capable of. Even though a vehicle can do it, doesn't mean you should as it could be costly.

Words to consider.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:09 PM   #16
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IDoes anybody have experience with exceeding the rated load capacity by only 250-500 lbs?

Thanks very much from a "soon to be" Scamp owner.

Bert
Bert... Our vehicle is set up to tow over the tow recommendation but it does not exceed the payload weight rating/axle ratings for the car when the trailer is connected. I understand the modifications and it works as it is designed to.

Norm and Stefman have given you some great information and I would add to that..... IMHO to go over the tow recommendation one is strongly advised to have a qualified technical adviser oversee the overall project.

As Norm and others mentioned Can Am in London is probably the best qualified and very well known. RVers from all over North America rely on their expertise for hardware and setup advice/assistance.

Good luck with your venture to find a nice trailer and to get it set up professionally.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:22 PM   #17
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I own an 07 RAV4 V6 with the tow package. While I would not discount the legal ramifications of being over GVWR on trailer or TV, I do think you could modify your vehicle to pull the trailer and not self destruct. Toyota uses a larger alternator and radiator on vehicles with the tow package. You could find the part number for the V6 tow equipped radiator and install it in yours. The transmission cooler is internal to the radiator. This will probably take some significant mechanical ingenuity as things may not match up. I removed my radiator last year just to get to the alternator for replacement (also removed the front bumper and a bunch of other stuff). They really pack things in tight in these modern cars. Remember that not only will your tranny need more cooling, but your heavily loaded engine will too.

Considering all of the above, I personally would go looking for a different tow vehicle.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:40 PM   #18
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When one chooses to do something with the full knowledge that what they are doing is illegal ,unlawful or inprudient ,why then when something goes wrong does it become the fault of the legal profession ? If one chooses to tow over the tow rating of their tow vehicle ,then they should assume the responsibility for their actions. I can assure you if I or my family was injured or suffred damage from someone towing over the limit , I would contact an Attorney immediately. I have often heard the same rational from those caught driving while intoxicated , IE It's the fault of everyone else but them.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:56 PM   #19
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Read carefully

Quote:
Originally Posted by stefman View Post
I'm kind of glad that Norm chimed in. He towed all over with his CRV with a 2.4L 4 cyl. He is why I'm planning to tow my Trillium 1300 with my 2010 4 cyl Rav4. I'll add the tranny cooler and keep it under 100k. I realize my trailer is lighter than what you are planning to tow, but Norm and Ginny towed a much heavier load than mine. Yes, you'll be over spec. for towing. Keep in mind that the brakes and suspension for the V6 and I4 are the same. I know because I've worked on them enough. Mounting for the trailer hitch is the same. The main difference is the horsepower and torque of the engines. If you look back to the late 1980's, as an example, people used to tow heavy 17' - 20' tent trailers behind vehicles with much less horsepower and torque. Doesn't make it right but I worked on lots of them and the most important thing was to keep the automatic transmission cool and drive with good sense.

This is my opinion and my opinion only. Lots of people here have towed with 4 cylinders and had great success. I've had customers with 3/4 ton pickups with big V8's have problems because they shouldn't be allowed to drive with or without a trailer on the back of their vehicle.

I'm sure you've looked here
Tow Vehicle & Trailer combos - POST INFO

Hope this helps
There is a lot of good thought in this posting. There is truth in that today's 4 cylinder are powerful for their size, that the structure of a Rav 4 is essentially the same whether 4 cyl or 6 cylinder.

I have "reported" no problem towing with a 4 cylinder because there were no problems. We drove 250,000 miles with that 4 cylinder... it did not burn oil, it had the same clutch...we drove where few go, driving a 1000 miles of dirt roads across Labrador, crossed the Rockies numerous times. We averaged 21 mpg for 7 years of towing. It wasn't just "reported" it was fact. In ten years we replaced one cooling fan and a thermostat.

Now I've never owned a Toyota product except they have a solid reputation, particularly their engines. I do believe it's possible to tow a trailer with a 4 cylinder. If you decide to tow with your 4 cylinder Rav 4 I'll give you more information about our towing configuration.

By the way towing with a 4 cylinder is not illegal. You can tow with anything and be sued. I know plenty of people who've towed with large trucks and dumped them.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:36 PM   #20
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Norm ; Whether it is a 4 cyl , is not the issue !
If you check the NHTSA website it states no admonitions against towing with a 4 cyl. vehicle but it does specifically state that you are not to exceed the tow rating of the vehicle as set by the vehicle manufacturer . The. notion that you can have an accident with any vehicle and can be sued is a rather convoluted argument for towing over the limit. Evidently laws only apply to those who choose to follow them. Count me in as one who chooses to follpw the law.



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Old 03-10-2015, 02:56 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Norm ; Whether it is a 4 cyl , is not the issue !
If you check the NHTSA website it states no admonitions against towing with a 4 cyl. vehicle but it does specifically state that you are not to exceed the tow rating of the vehicle as set by the vehicle manufacturer . The. notion that you can have an accident with any vehicle and can be sued is a rather convoluted argument for towing over the limit. Evidently laws only apply to those who choose to follow them. Count me in as one who chooses to foll0w the law.
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g
Steve,
I consider the NHSTA's document to be pretty good but not really complete. There's much missing that would help a person but definitely a good first read.

I did re-read the entire NHTSA document on towing.

U.S. Department of Transportation - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - Towing A Trailer, Being Equipped for Safety - Introduction - DOT HS 809 433 - April 2002

You wrote that the NTSHA states, "it does specifically state that you are not to exceed the tow rating of the vehicle as set by the vehicle manufacturer" Please let me know where it says this, I can not find it.

The following is quoted from NTHSA and is what Can Am does to improve the ability of Tow Vehicles. "To ensure safety, you may have to install extra towing equipment." As well as installing additional hardware, Can AM actually uses and test their solutions, rare at an RV dealership.

I have nothing to gain by this, just relating my experience. When I began towing a small trailer I only wanted to tow for two months to cross Labrador. There was no way I was going to buy a new tow vehicle for two months.

It turned out we liked the small trailer and that our 4 cylinder handled it with ease and did so for the next 7 years. When I looked into the situation I found people all over the world were towing similar and larger trailers with CRVs, often with smaller engines than ours. I am not one to cower and smart enough to have seen it worked. Life is about choices, I honestly try to make good ones as I'm sure you do.

The only reason I tirelessly respond to the 4 cylinder postings is to let people know what is possible. No one needs to do what I've done, but they have the right to know and make their choices.

Steve let me know when you find that line..
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:48 PM   #22
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Can-Am setup and liability are both non-issues. The Rav4 is basically the same vehicle in either V6 or I4... same brakes, same body, same hitch receiver. The difference is in the drive train and under the hood. These differences do not affect the vehicle's stoutness or safety with a trailer of up to 3500 lbs.

Therefore, the issues we should focus on are drive train integrity and the towing "experience" with a smaller engine.

Realistically, a 16' Scamp is likely to weigh closer to 2500 lb when loaded for camping. The Rav4 I4 makes 179 HP @ 6000 rpm (screaming). Let's face it, not a speed demon by any stretch with a trailer in tow. It will be slow, sluggish, and tedious. Towing up a long steep grade will require downshifting and major slowing.

Can it be done? Yes. Will Bert want to do it? Not sure. Bert, you'd definitely want to throw on all the extra cooling for transmission and whatnot that you could buy. If you wanted to stay in Ontario (close to home) for occasional short trips, and if you didn't drive much faster than about 90 kph, you would probably get by ok.

For long distances or especially for a trip to the mountains, I think you would be very unhappy. Safe? Yes. Not ruin the vehicle? Probably, but never any guarantees. Enjoy it? Not likely.... well, unless you're as patient and soft-footed (on the gas pedal) as Norm. That's my opinion, and I know others will differ.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:06 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Realistically, a 16' Scamp is likely to weigh closer to 2500 lb when loaded for camping. The Rav4 I4 makes 179 HP @ 6000 rpm (screaming). Let's face it, not a speed demon by any stretch with a trailer in tow. It will be slow, sluggish, and tedious. Towing up a long steep grade will require downshifting and major slowing.

If you wanted to stay in Ontario (close to home) for occasional short trips, and if you didn't drive much faster than about 90 kph, you would probably get by ok.
Mike, I agree with most of your post except maybe the power issues.

For years we towed our 23' dual axle with our 180HP @ 6,000RPM V6 engine Nissan Mini Van.

Our combo weighed over 2 tons more than the proposed Rav4/Scamp combo. We could easily cruise all day long on the highway at 60MPH/100kph. The RPM in 3rd gear at highway speed was 3,000RPM. Ontario hills no problem. No big deal.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:24 PM   #24
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If you want to discuss retro-fitting the RAV4 to equip it for towing, I suggest you look into the cost of doing such.
I bought a second eye-bolt ( tow hook ) for my RAV for tying down my canoe. Cost $60.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:52 PM   #25
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Liability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Can-Am setup and liability are both non-issues.
I don't think that anyone can be dismissive of the liability issue, at least as this question applies in the United States.

Just last year, this issue was carefully explained by a member of, I believe, the Illinois Bar, and her reply indicated that towing over manufacturers limit could become a distinct liability issue in the event of an accident.

Liability is never non-issue.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:46 PM   #26
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I admit, I never did pass the bar exam. But I think you're correct that it "could" (not necessarily would) become a liability issue. The thing is, any decent defense lawyer will introduce evidence as to the vehicle's physical capabilities, which would trump a mere technicality based upon drive train shortfall.

Torts was one of the fun classes.

Wayne, I could have overstated things somewhat about the lack of HP. My perspective has been colored by experiences in the Rocky Mountains. I sometimes have to fight with myself to remember that many folks never set tread near anything so high and steep as the western grades. On the flats, once the vehicle is up to speed it stays up to speed pretty easily.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:27 AM   #27
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The number of cylinders in the engine is really not relevant, nor a "similarity" to a vehicle with a higher tow rating, nor add on parts to provide better transmission cooling, or better brakes, or whatever. The issue is whether or not to tow over the manufacturers published capacities. That is just not a good idea, so why encourage it?


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Old 03-11-2015, 06:45 AM   #28
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Perspective

Moderator's note: the previous post has been removed by the site team.

First the previous post is beyond me, and made me wonder about the whole thread.

Second, it appears we're going over board on this topic. Since Mike Magee's thread on Trailer and Tow Vehicle Combination,

Tow Vehicle & Trailer combos - POST INFO

it is very clear that 80% of the trailer and tow vehicle combinations are V6s or larger, and that the majority of people towing with 4 cylinder vehicles are towing 13 foot trailers.

Third, at least in my case, I towed with our Honda CRV because I owned a highly reliable 4 cylinder vehicle and was not about to purchase a new tow vehicle. The end result was it worked very well for me, very good mileage per gallon and outstanding reliability.

When it came time to buy a new tow vehicle after 250,000 miles and 10 years, we choose a Honda Odyssey with a V6, partially because the CRV in the USA comes with a CVT transmission,since the CRV no longer available with a manual transmission. Ginny also said we were old enough for an automatic.

By the way, having studied Physics I would never touch a below zero pole with my tongue.
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