Towing with Sienna/Rav4/Highlander? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-14-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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Towing with Sienna/Rav4/Highlander?

In prep for the spring I'm thinking of replacing my 2007 Sienna with a Rav4 6 cyl or a Highlander 4 or 6 cyl pulling a Scamp 16'. The Sienna (6 cyl) has no overdrive button like old models and needs to be driven in 4th gear to avoid constant down shifting even on flat hi-way. At 60 mph I get 12 mpg. Thatís what I get in Chicago traffic and Iíd like to improve both if possible. Iíd love to get a 2 or 3 year old Highlander but donít know if I can get away a 4 cyl which is rated to tow 3500 I believe. (Scamp 2,000ish lbs)???? My biggest fear is the transmissions on all these vehicles.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:50 AM   #2
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If you are looking at a RAV4 it will need to be one prior to 2013 since there is no longer a tow package or V6 available. For the older RAV4's, the tow rating is 1500 lbs for the 4's, 2000 lbs for the V6's and 3500 lbs for the V6 with tow package. I've had no problems with the transmission or anything else in my 2010 V6 with tow package towing a 3100 lb (loaded) Escape 17B for 33,000 miles over the past two years.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Jeff with the Rav4, probably going to have to look into airsprings or a weight distribution hitch because they have a soft rear end. Look at my album and check the pic with the rav4 connected to my new ParkLiner...Im trying airbags first to see if the "squat" gets better... if not a wdh

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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Highlander for Towing

Jeff:

According to Toyota's website, (Toyota Highlander - 2013 Performance and Specifications)
the 4 cylinder Highlander has a towing capacity of 1500 pounds. The V6 Highlander has a towing capacity of 5000 pounds.

Last July we considered a RAV4, Venza and Highlander for towing our Escape 13 which has a loaded weight of 2000 pounds. We chose the Highlander V6 based on reviews, features and my evaluation.
1. adequate towing capacity even if we get a larger trailer
2. lifting tailgate rather than side-swinging one
3. good reliability and performance

We have been happy with it so far.

We get about 15 - 20 mpg (US) (=12 - 16 litres per 100 km) while towing, and about 20 - 23 mpg not towing (=10 - 12 litres per 100 km).

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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Both replies, Great info. Thanks. May I ask about the High-way towing MPG and non towing city MPG for both?
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:31 AM   #6
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Jeff, We haven't towed with the Rav4 yet, brand new. We have one of the last 6 cyl with tow package. so far we are quite happy with it.

We are averaging about 27 mpg, we mostly drive highway. We drove 150 miles recently in a headwind with temps about 10 degrees. I think our mpg dropped down to around 24. We were pleased as that is better than our other cars. The Rav4 was also quieter than the others in the headwind.

Our Honda mini van consistently gets 17 1/2 mpg on our 4,000 mile trips pulling our 13 Scamp. I am confident we will easily better 20 with the Rav4.

Having said all that I miss the space in the Honda and I especially don't like the rear swinging door. We bought the Rav4 because it fits me and they were to discontinue the 6 cyl.

good luck with your search.

Nancy
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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The Rav4 is a contender for me but I would like the Highlander for size and comfort. Upon checking the link above, I see the Hybrid is the model that is ratted to tow 3500 lbs. That sounds interesting, yes?Toyota Highlander - 2013 Performance and Specifications
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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I must be a more agressive driver lol. I average around 22-23 highway miles and around 20 city. Towing my new ParkLiner, doin 50-55mph I averaged 16.5 mpg...averaging 65-70mph I averaged around 13.5mpg. Next trip Im gonna shoot for 60mph and see how that works out, The first half of the return home trip was local roads so couldn't fly, the last half was rt 95 so I was booking to see how the ParkLiner felt behind me.

Im real happy with the way the Rav4 tows, just dont care for the soft rear end. Hopefully the airsprings will stiffen it up for towing!

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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As for speed, I can't imagine doing 55 when everyone else is going 75. But even at 60 I get 12 MPG in my Sienna. The strange thing is it gives me a reading of 30 + MPG without the trailer. Must be the gearing in the 2007 model I have.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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We are in the flat Midwest and do not speed. The Rav4 gets better mpg on cruise. We won't be seeing 27 again for a few months. It is finally winter here with temps below 10, a sure mpg killer.

Nancy
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #11
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Jeff, with the Honda we tow at 60, maybe 65 on interstate. On the curvy rural roads less.

We have never done 75, even without towing. I believe our recent non towing trip with the Rav was mostly 65- 70 mph on interstate. We still had decent mpg.

BTY, our mpg avg on the car runs about 1 mpg different from my arithmetic.

Nanncy
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffee View Post
In prep for the spring I'm thinking of replacing my 2007 Sienna with a Rav4 6 cyl or a Highlander 4 or 6 cyl pulling a Scamp 16'. The Sienna (6 cyl) has no overdrive button like old models and needs to be driven in 4th gear to avoid constant down shifting even on flat hi-way.
Selecting "4" on the shifter is the same thing as turning an "overdrive" button off. What you're preventing is not just downshifting, it's "hunting" (shifting up to 5th and back down to 4th excessively).
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:49 PM   #13
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When I looked at the Highlander I saw that the v-6 required premium fuel. Might want to check on that.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jeffee View Post
I’d love to get a 2 or 3 year old Highlander but don’t know if I can get away a 4 cyl which is rated to tow 3500 I believe. (Scamp 2,000ish lbs)???? My biggest fear is the transmissions on all these vehicles.

Good health to all.
I spend most of my time on the Airstream forum and there are many who use the V6 Sienna's and Highlander's to tow 3,000lb+ Airstream's. Haven't heard of any tranny issues with those vehicles. Not sure what tranny is in the 4cyl model.
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