Venza towing UHaul 13/Scamp 13 - Fiberglass RV



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Old 12-11-2018, 08:18 PM   #1
JAB
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Name: John & Joanne
Trailer: UHaul CT13
New Hampshire
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Venza towing UHaul 13/Scamp 13

I'm thinking of a Venza V6 AWD to tow our UHaul 13 (tongue abt 200lbs, loaded wt abt 1500 lbs). Some Venzas come with a "tow package" that includes an an oil cooler, larger fan, larger alt. My questions:
1. Is anyone towing a similar low wt camper w/o the tow package? For instance, is the stock alt at 120A large enough to handle the minimal lighting. Can running in the "manual 5" mode decrease the wear on the engine and trans without the cooler?
2. If I purchased a V6 w/o the tow package can it be retrofitted, perhaps with just a larger fan or oil cooler. (I read the alt is a pain to replace.)
3. Most important: anybody towing this wt camper with a Venza? What's your experience?
Thanks for your help.
John
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:32 PM   #2
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We towed a 13' Scamp with a 2000 3.0L V6 Sienna without the tow prep package, rated 2000#. Our Scamp is a very basic unit similar to a U-Haul. It pulled beautifully until we encountered severe conditions on our first trip and the transmission overheated. "Severe conditions" consisted of a 10 mile, 7% grade against a 35-40 mph headwind in 103*F ambient temperature (WB I-8 headed into San Diego).

The engine temperature gauge never moved, and we were not pushing it speed-wise (35-40mph, OD off per the owner's manual). Sensors caught the overheating condition and sent it into limp mode before catastrophic damage occurred. After a 45 minute cool-down we finished the climb. I did a transmission service before the return trip, and the fluid showed slight discoloration. No issues on the return trip.

I would definitely add an ATF cooler. Based on my experience I think you will be fine without upgrading the alternator or fan. We were only running 4-pin wiring at that time, so no charge line or brakes. Brakes are highly recommended. I wish they still made the Venza. It's a nice-sized tow vehicle for a small egg trailer.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:53 PM   #3
JAB
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Name: John & Joanne
Trailer: UHaul CT13
New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
We towed a 13' Scamp with a 2000 3.0L V6 Sienna without the tow prep package, rated 2000#. Our Scamp is a very basic unit similar to a U-Haul. It pulled beautifully until we encountered severe conditions on our first trip and the transmission overheated. "Severe conditions" consisted of a 10 mile, 7% grade against a 35-40 mph headwind in 103*F ambient temperature (WB I-8 headed into San Diego).

The engine temperature gauge never moved, and we were not pushing it speed-wise (35-40mph, OD off per the owner's manual). Sensors caught the overheating condition and sent it into limp mode before catastrophic damage occurred. After a 45 minute cool-down we finished the climb. I did a transmission service before the return trip, and the fluid showed slight discoloration. No issues on the return trip.

I would definitely add an ATF cooler. Based on my experience I think you will be fine without upgrading the alternator or fan. We were only running 4-pin wiring at that time, so no charge line or brakes. Brakes are highly recommended. I wish they still made the Venza. It's a nice-sized tow vehicle for a small egg trailer.
"Severe conditions" - I guess so - it was bad enough until the 103* temp and then it got really bad! This is what I was looking for - someone with actual experience. I'll look into the ATF cooler - odd that they have an engine oil cooler but not an ATF cooler in the tow package. I've read that the trans is the weak spot, and your experience verifies that. Thanks for your reply.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:54 PM   #4
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The Uhaul 13 does not have brakes and can not easily be retrofitted with them, other than replacing the axle. The tow rating of many vehicles is dependent on whether the trailer has brakes or not, the rating being lower if no brakes.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:07 AM   #5
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Regarding transmission use when towing, best to consult the owner's manual. See both the transmission section and the towing section.

We're on our second tow vehicle, and each has somewhat different transmission recommendations when towing. In general, newer vehicles have more sophisticated transmission control software and require less driver adjustment.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:06 AM   #6
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Why do so many what to turn the family vehicle into a tow vehicle, shouldn't it be the other way around, get a tow vehicle and use it as the family vehicle.

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Old 12-12-2018, 10:21 AM   #7
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So what's your definition of a "tow vehicle"?

Mine is any vehicle with a tow rating, equipped with required towing equipment, and used within manufacturer's specs to tow a trailer.

We are not suggesting ignoring any manufacturer's ratings here, only about optimizing a competent vehicle to tow within its ratings.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:54 AM   #8
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Name: John & Joanne
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Originally Posted by trainman View Post
Why do so many what to turn the family vehicle into a tow vehicle, shouldn't it be the other way around, get a tow vehicle and use it as the family vehicle.

trainman
It's a practical and budget decision: we're using a vehicle to tow maybe 10% of the time. So we want a vehicle that my wife (esp) feels comfortable driving for the other 90% but one that can also tow a small camper. We haven't ruled out a mid-sized SUV, but the Venza seems comparable in towing (V6) to an Edge or Terrain, for instance, with a more manageable size. That's why I'm asking the questions about the Venza.
If money weren't an issue, we'd buy a V6 4-door truck with a cap as our tow vehicle and also have a sedan in the driveway.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:35 PM   #9
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I don't know all the details one should provide to help so here is everything i can think of for you...

We have a 2016 V6 Venza AWD but no fancy tow package. The manual gave us a 3500lb tow max.

We tow a '74 Trillium 1300 with generally a 200 to 250lb tongue weight and have a 7 pin wiring harness. (Trailer is about 1800lbs loaded)

In 2016/17 we traveled around 15,000 km (trips around Ontario then down to Florida and all the spaces in between) We had absolutely zero issues with transmission or brakes etc.

In 2018 we added trailer brakes and another 15,000 kms by heading West across all of Ontario & Manitoba then down through the Dakota's into the Rockies and through Yellowstone etc. (fantastic trip FYI). Again we had zero issues with anything vehicle related - we even wonder if the trailer brakes were a bit of overkill

We love our Venza and find it to be an amazing tow vehicle.
Hope this helps.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:36 PM   #10
JAB
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Name: John & Joanne
Trailer: UHaul CT13
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Originally Posted by Julie.OC View Post
I don't know all the details one should provide to help so here is everything i can think of for you...

We have a 2016 V6 Venza AWD but no fancy tow package. The manual gave us a 3500lb tow max.

We tow a '74 Trillium 1300 with generally a 200 to 250lb tongue weight and have a 7 pin wiring harness. (Trailer is about 1800lbs loaded)

In 2016/17 we traveled around 15,000 km (trips around Ontario then down to Florida and all the spaces in between) We had absolutely zero issues with transmission or brakes etc.

In 2018 we added trailer brakes and another 15,000 kms by heading West across all of Ontario & Manitoba then down through the Dakota's into the Rockies and through Yellowstone etc. (fantastic trip FYI). Again we had zero issues with anything vehicle related - we even wonder if the trailer brakes were a bit of overkill

We love our Venza and find it to be an amazing tow vehicle.
Hope this helps.
Hi Julie,
We're glad you noticed our post. Yes, your experience is helpful and reassuring. Our campers are similar weight so I think we'd feel confident with a Venza. We too want to head out west! Thanks so much. John
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:40 PM   #11
JAB
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Name: John & Joanne
Trailer: UHaul CT13
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
The Uhaul 13 does not have brakes and can not easily be retrofitted with them, other than replacing the axle. The tow rating of many vehicles is dependent on whether the trailer has brakes or not, the rating being lower if no brakes.
I realize adding brakes to the UHaul is not a reasonable option without some major work and expense. We're towing with an old Ranger now and my first surprise was how the camper wants to keep pushing you when you want to stop - anticipation became very important! John
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:54 PM   #12
JAB
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Name: John & Joanne
Trailer: UHaul CT13
New Hampshire
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie.OC View Post
I don't know all the details one should provide to help so here is everything i can think of for you...

We have a 2016 V6 Venza AWD but no fancy tow package. The manual gave us a 3500lb tow max.

We tow a '74 Trillium 1300 with generally a 200 to 250lb tongue weight and have a 7 pin wiring harness. (Trailer is about 1800lbs loaded)

In 2016/17 we traveled around 15,000 km (trips around Ontario then down to Florida and all the spaces in between) We had absolutely zero issues with transmission or brakes etc.

In 2018 we added trailer brakes and another 15,000 kms by heading West across all of Ontario & Manitoba then down through the Dakota's into the Rockies and through Yellowstone etc. (fantastic trip FYI). Again we had zero issues with anything vehicle related - we even wonder if the trailer brakes were a bit of overkill

We love our Venza and find it to be an amazing tow vehicle.
Hope this helps.
Hi Julie (again),
I meant to write that I read somewhere that all Canadian Venzas have the tow package as "standard" - could that be? Maybe you have the benefit of the oil cooler, larger fan, and larger alt. Also, it looks like the Venza was made for export for a few years after it was discontinued in the U.S. in 2015, hence your 2016 model. John
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:53 PM   #13
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Name: Julie
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Ontario
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Yes, Canada had an extra year of Venza's than the US however, I do not believe that towing packages were included. We negotiated the hitch and 7 pin harness and they were installed by a third party co.

We have the base model v6 because all others had a panoramic glass roof that doesn't allow for roof racks which we need.
I could share our specs sheet if you like.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:01 PM   #14
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie.OC View Post
Yes, Canada had an extra year of Venza's than the US however, I do not believe that towing packages were included. We negotiated the hitch and 7 pin harness and they were installed by a third party co.

The hitch receiver and 7-pin were not part of the tow prep package. My 2008 RAV4 Sport had the tow prep package which included larger alternator, transmission fluid cooler and larger radiator. These were standard in Canada and optional in the US at the time. My hitch receiver and installation of brake controller and 7-pin was done by a third party at the dealership.
The key is the word "preparation" in prep package.


If you have your dealer run the VIN they can tell you if you have the package or not.
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