Towing with 2008 Toyota Highlander - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2008, 03:35 AM   #1
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I am looking to replace my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, has anyone tried the new 2008 Toyota Highlander? How does it tow, what are you towing with it? Are you using a stabilizer tow?
Thanks, Francine
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:33 PM   #2
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Hi
A friend of mine bought a 2008 Highlander this summer and uses it to tow his 17 ft bigfoot trailer. He has had no problems towing with the Highlander even going up the mountains in BC. If you have any specific questions I could ask him for you.
Cheers
Greg
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
I am looking to replace my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, has anyone tried the new 2008 Toyota Highlander? How does it tow, what are you towing with it? Are you using a stabilizer tow?
Thanks, Francine
I bought a 2008 Highlander AWD a year ago in September (because the transmission died in my '96 Windstar and it wasn't worth spending $1800 to fix a van worth $1200). The Highlander does a great job towing. I tow a 6x12 Haulmark enclosed cargo trailer 5 days a week (for work) with this vehicle. The Haulmark is actually 15' long with tongue, for a truer comparison with travel trailer lengths. It is usually loaded to the 2500 lb to 3000 lb range. I lock out overdrive for towing. I can zip down the expressway at 70 mph if I want to, no problem, but on decent hills it wants to kick down to 3rd gear at that speed. If I am going 60 it rarely needs to go to 3rd. Plenty of get-up-n-go, and tows nice and stable. I just hook to the ball, no special hitch (I own an Equal-i-zer hitch that I used with a former 23' stick-built travel trailer but don't feel a need for it with this short trailer). I do have trailer brakes though.

I'm sure the Highlander will handle just about any egg, with the caveat that on the 17' Casitas and such you would have to be careful to not exceed the 500 lb. tongue weight and you would want to use a weight distribution hitch. A FG trailer won't have as much wind resistance as my cargo trailer does, so it should tow easier. I'm in the process of buying a 17' Burro and will be excited to see how it tows (and what mileage I get) in comparison to the Haulmark.

I would recommend the Highlander.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:21 PM   #4
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I bought a 2008 Highlander AWD a year ago in September (because the transmission died in my '96 Windstar and it wasn't worth spending $1800 to fix a van worth $1200). The Highlander does a great job towing. I tow a 6x12 Haulmark enclosed cargo trailer 5 days a week (for work) with this vehicle. The Haulmark is actually 15' long with tongue, for a truer comparison with travel trailer lengths. It is usually loaded to the 2500 lb to 3000 lb range. I lock out overdrive for towing. I can zip down the expressway at 70 mph if I want to, no problem, but on decent hills it wants to kick down to 3rd gear at that speed. If I am going 60 it rarely needs to go to 3rd. Plenty of get-up-n-go, and tows nice and stable. I just hook to the ball, no special hitch (I own an Equal-i-zer hitch that I used with a former 23' stick-built travel trailer but don't feel a need for it with this short trailer). I do have trailer brakes though.

I'm sure the Highlander will handle just about any egg, with the caveat that on the 17' Casitas and such you would have to be careful to not exceed the 500 lb. tongue weight and you would want to use a weight distribution hitch. A FG trailer won't have as much wind resistance as my cargo trailer does, so it should tow easier. I'm in the process of buying a 17' Burro and will be excited to see how it tows (and what mileage I get) in comparison to the Haulmark.

I would recommend the Highlander.

I was planning on getting an equalizing hitch and the Highlander manual says to get "sway bars". What about brake controller????
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:11 PM   #5
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Name: Laura & Rick
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I have a 2008 Highlander Limited AWD and a 17' Casita SD. The HL is a great TV. I used the factory hitch and an anit-sway bar and NO equalizing hitch (not needed!). I use a Prodigy brake controller. I installed the hitch and brake controller and the wiring myself. Very easy job. Since the HL, with the "tow package," comes only with the 4 wire setup, you'll need to wire in for the 7 wire setup. I posted how I wired the HL and installed the Prodigy brake contoller at CasitaForum.com,
http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...showtopic=3414

It is also posted on ToyotaNation.com,
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=238811

BTW, the ToyotaNation is a good site for Highlander informatiom. The 2008 HL site is http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/fo...play.php?f=122

If you have any questions at all, either post it here or drop me a PM.

Rick

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Old 09-26-2008, 04:02 PM   #6
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I have a 2008 Highlander Limited AWD and a 17' Casita SD. The HL is a great TV. I used the factory hitch and an anit-sway bar and NO equalizing hitch (not needed!). I use a Prodigy brake controller. I installed the hitch and brake controller and the wiring myself. Very easy job. Since the HL, with the "tow package," comes only with the 4 wire setup, you'll need to wire in for the 7 wire setup. I posted how I wired the HL and installed the Prodigy brake contoller at CasitaForum.com,
http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...showtopic=3414

It is also posted on ToyotaNation.com,
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=238811

BTW, the ToyotaNation is a good site for Highlander informatiom. The 2008 HL site is http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/fo...play.php?f=122

If you have any questions at all, either post it here or drop me a PM.

Rick
Thanks, Rick
I am not handy and my husband is even less handy and very easily frustrated. We don't trust ourselves and will need to have it done for us. The info is great tho!!
Francine
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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Name: Laura & Rick
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Francine, forgot this. I got the Prodigy brake controller from www.rvwholesalers.com/ for $90. I got the Toyota hitch and wire harness from Cowboy Toyota for exactly $500 shipped to my Washington State house from Texas, http://www.toyotapartswholesale.com/....aspx?MakeID=1,

The Toyota hitch is part number PT228-69080 and the wire harness is part number PT219-48871. Other Highlander owners have used after market products, which are lower in costs. But, to some owners, the after market products do not match the installation or appearance of the factory items. For example, the after market hitch mounts below the bumper while the factory hitch is within the bumper. Either option will work; itís mostly a personal preference.

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Old 09-27-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Francine, forgot this. I got the Prodigy brake controller from www.rvwholesalers.com/ for $90. I got the Toyota hitch and wire harness from Cowboy Toyota for exactly $500 shipped to my Washington State house from Texas, http://www.toyotapartswholesale.com/....aspx?MakeID=1,

The Toyota hitch is part number PT228-69080 and the wire harness is part number PT219-48871. Other Highlander owners have used after market products, which are lower in costs. But, to some owners, the after market products do not match the installation or appearance of the factory items. For example, the after market hitch mounts below the bumper while the factory hitch is within the bumper. Either option will work; itís mostly a personal preference.
Hey Rick, that's exactly what I needed, I don't like the look of the after market hitches, and think that when they sit lower on the bumper it makes it harder to go anywhere off road. Many thanks, I am going to take your lead, then have someone else install it!!!!!
Francine
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:57 PM   #9
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Francine, forgot this. I got the Prodigy brake controller from www.rvwholesalers.com/ for $90. I got the Toyota hitch and wire harness from Cowboy Toyota for exactly $500 shipped to my Washington State house from Texas, http://www.toyotapartswholesale.com/....aspx?MakeID=1,

The Toyota hitch is part number PT228-69080 and the wire harness is part number PT219-48871. Other Highlander owners have used after market products, which are lower in costs. But, to some owners, the after market products do not match the installation or appearance of the factory items. For example, the after market hitch mounts below the bumper while the factory hitch is within the bumper. Either option will work; it's mostly a personal preference.
I took a look at your photos on toyotanation and it looks nice and tidy. The higher position of the receiver sounded like an advantage, but I see that the electric receptacle still hangs down... maybe as much as my Curt hitch hangs down, which seems to negate the advantage. The aftermarket hitch was about $300 less than Toyota's, easy enough for me to bolt on myself, and I haven't scraped it on anything yet (although I don't go offroad).

One thing surprises me. The hitch place that wired me up (7-pin receptacle and brake controller) claimed there was some sort of converter box needed for the late model vehicles like the Highlander, to convert or join (or something) the taillight and turn signals so it's compatible with the trailer. Thus they charged quite a bit more for that work than I paid in the past for my 2000 Mercury wiring. But I don't see any mention of such a box in your install. So maybe they pulled one over on me?
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:37 AM   #10
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Name: Laura & Rick
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Michael, I'm with you regarding the low hung electrical connector. It's way too low! Thereís a post on ToyotaNation where an owner was able to move the connector up a little bit. Someday, I'm going to give a second look and try to make the connector blend in with the hitch.

If you buy the Toyota wiring harness, it includes the converter box. Toyota has a weird sense of what is a towing package. If you buy a new Highlander with the optional towing package, you get a bigger radiator and alternator, oil and transmission coolers and "prewired harness." The prewired harness is only part of the total wiring required.

To complete the wiring, you must buy the wiring harness part. This wiring harness part includes the converter box and a wire harness. The wire harness plugs into the "prewired harness" in the interior near the right rear wheel and then is routed to the hitch and ends with a 4 pin connector. Follow all this?

Oh, you must also purchase the hitch, as it's not part of the towing package option.

It' funny, the new Highlander is rated for 5,000 pounds with the towing package. But you must go beyond the regular installation of the wiring harness for the 7 wire setup. Buy a 4-Runner, a 5,000 pound tow vehicle, and it already for the brake controller (plug-and-play) and 7 wire setup. Go figure!
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:59 PM   #11
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hitch install and harness videos are here if interested HERE
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