Towing with a RAV4? Anything else I should be looking at? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-13-2015, 05:23 PM   #15
Senior Member
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 770
As to using air bags the rear is lifted and the springs are stiffer. This added stiffness is helpful to improve the damping of the rig.
The higher spring rate is reduced when the bags are aired down keeping a better ride quality.
Higher spring rate with higher weight keeps the damping nearer the damping to match the shock absorbers installed.
Adding rubber spacers will raise the car, but the rate in lbs per inch of deflection stays relatively the same. The idea is the make the rear end stiffer so the bobbing is reduced.

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Old 10-19-2015, 08:44 PM   #16
jlbails's Avatar
Name: Jamie
Trailer: Boler 1977
Posts: 97
I'm also towing a 13 footer Boler with a 2007 V6 Rav4. I started with a 2005 4-cyclinder, but it just didn't have the power on the hills or the control coming down. It was not heavy enough to carry the weight of the trailer. Downright scary coming down the pass. It also felt it was a bit bouncy at 60 mph.

The Rav4 v6 is very balanced and stable. 60-65 mph on the freeway is no problem, nor is going up or coming down the Cascades. I don't have a sway bar or brake controller. I keep the trailer as light as possible, and load gear in the Rav4. Another great thing about the Rav4 is the cavernous back area. With the seats down, I transported a 6 foot tall Rubbermaid storage unit. Lumber and hay bales are no problem!

I turned the ball up so it is level with the trailer. No drag.

Yes, the side open door only opens to the hitch when hooked up, but that's ok because if I want to load things like a kayak on top, I can stand on the back bumper. I could not do that if the door opened up. And given the height of the Rav4, I'd be pushing around a stool for height.

The only sad thing about the Rav4 is that the 2014 and new models do not include a V6. So some of us (me) will be sucking every last mile out of it before deciding what to get next. Luckily that is about 5-10 years away for me.

Good luck with your decision!


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Old 10-19-2015, 11:51 PM   #17
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Name: Glenn
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 3,425
I had brakes on my 2008 RAV4 V6 done a few weeks ago. Cost about $700.
You can tow a trailer without brakes, but you will pay for it in the end, and much sooner than desirable. And, you might not stop as soon as desirable.

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