Anyone tow with a Sienna van? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-18-2015, 10:48 AM   #1
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Name: Toinette
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Anyone tow with a Sienna van?

Hi, all, from northern Alabama. I have found so much wonderful information on this site! I’ve read and read and read, as I want a little fiberglass trailer.

I want a little trailer basically to get me and my dog to dog events. I would also love to take it to great places sightseeing and relaxing, as well, but don’t foresee going “off-road” really....

My question is: does anyone here pull your trailer with an ‘06 Sienna (Toyota) van? I don’t want to buy a new vehicle, as I love this van. I’ve read so much here about “true” pulling weights, that I wonder about the max weight I should really view as OK. I think the "official" weight is 3500 lbs., but I have learned from reading all the great info here that the weight needs to be distributed, and that some "official" weights may include hidden challenges.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:19 PM   #2
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We tow with a similar vehicle, a Honda Odyssey. Your Sienne should be able to tow most of the trailers you see on this site. We tow a Scamp 16, weight 2600 pounds with ease. The only modification we had was the addition of a transmission cooler, normal for vehicles with an automatic transmission.

Weight distribution systems are needed when the ball weight exceeds the vehicles design limit, for our Odyssey that amounts to 350 pounds. A weight distribution system transfer ball weight to the tow vehicles front axle.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:31 PM   #3
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Good day Toinette... We towed with a Nissan Quest for many years and learned from that experience how good a tow vehicle Mini Vans can be.

We have a pal that has a Sienna like yours and he has been towing a dual axle trailer for a number of years. Not that you are looking for a trailer as large as his but it does confirm the ruggedness of the Sienna's to take on the task of towing.

Depending on the size and weight of the trailer you find you may want to consider a WDH. Getting the connection right is very important. Also look for a trailer with electric brakes.

Good luck with your search.

PS.... We own a 2004 Sienna. Really like the vehicle in every way.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:47 PM   #4
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Thanks! Nothing beats the voice of experience!
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:43 PM   #5
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We tow our 1980 Bigfoot with a 2006 Sienna. We use a single arm WDH and Prodigy brake controller. Trailer weighs 2600 lbs. ready to camp with a hitch weight of 340 lbs. The only down side is the boxy, 8 ft wide Bigfoot drops the gas mileage to 12-13 mpg at 60 mph.

Lake Bardwell, TX Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:54 PM   #6
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Go for it! The Sienna will be fine with just about any 13' or 16' fiberglass 'egg'. A 17' Casita with front bath would be too heavy on the tongue for your van's rear springs and hitch receiver, but anything smaller should be good.

I've towed for well over 100,000 miles with my Highlander. It does have the somewhat more powerful 3.5L V6; I think you have the 3.3L, am I right? Still you have a good, durable tow vehicle in the Sienna.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
We tow our 1980 Bigfoot with a 2006 Sienna. We use a single arm WDH and Prodigy brake controller. Trailer weighs 2600 lbs. ready to camp with a hitch weight of 340 lbs. The only down side is the boxy, 8 ft wide Bigfoot drops the gas mileage to 12-13 mpg at 60 mph.

Lake Bardwell, TX Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket
What a gorgeous photo, Tom! I love the bluebonnets. I would love to get a Bigfoot. . . I am so thankful for all the details.

Thanks for sharing the good info and the photo.

Tonie
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Go for it! The Sienna will be fine with just about any 13' or 16' fiberglass 'egg'. A 17' Casita with front bath would be too heavy on the tongue for your van's rear springs and hitch receiver, but anything smaller should be good.

I've towed for well over 100,000 miles with my Highlander. It does have the somewhat more powerful 3.5L V6; I think you have the 3.3L, am I right? Still you have a good, durable tow vehicle in the Sienna.
Mike, my van is V6… I'll have to check to see if it is also a 3.5L… Thanks for the info about the front bath, 17' Casita. I'd like to have a bath in the "egg" but realize it will add a lot of weight…. I'm quite a way away from getting one, so plenty of time to research.

Thanks, Mike, for the info!

Tonie
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:14 PM   #9
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2006 Sienna has a 3.3 liter V6.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
2006 Sienna has a 3.3 liter V6.
Thanks, Tom.

Tonie
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:07 AM   #11
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We are in California with this combo right now from Canada.
We haul a bunch a stuff, probably weigh over 15oo \lbs, get about 20 mpg Imp gal at 55 mph. according to the computer.
Very nice combo, our trailer doesn't have brakes an the Sienna does a great job, but trailer brakes would be better.
our Sienna is an 04 but they were basically unchanged 04-06,, 07 they came out with the 3.5L motor and in 2010 changed the body style and added the 6 speed trans
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post

I've towed for well over 100,000 miles with my Highlander. It does have the somewhat more powerful 3.5L V6; I think you have the 3.3L, am I right? Still you have a good, durable tow vehicle in the Sienna.
Mike, that is good to know about the kind of long term towing miles the Highlander is capable of.

We too have a 3.5 in the G35 and a 3.3 in an 04 Sienna. The 3.3 is very strong by comparison even in the van which weighs a half ton more than the car. There are many, many Sienna's towing TT's here in our area. They perform.

PS/ Sienna trivia... Our 11 year old Sienna is getting a new rad. Did a lot of research on Sienna'a as they relate to ones with the tow pkg and ones without.

Apparently the only difference between the two is the tow pkg equipped model has a slightly larger rad and tranny cooler (internal to the rad). There are no other differences. No larger alternator, no heavier shocks or springs. The difference in cost of the upgraded rad was $45. Total cost of the replacement HD rad was under $300.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:43 AM   #13
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Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2016 Honda Odyssey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FRED SMAILES View Post
We are in California with this combo right now from Canada.
We haul a bunch a stuff, probably weigh over 15oo \lbs, get about 20 mpg Imp gal at 55 mph. according to the computer.
Very nice combo, our trailer doesn't have brakes an the Sienna does a great job, but trailer brakes would be better.
our Sienna is an 04 but they were basically unchanged 04-06,, 07 they came out with the 3.5L motor and in 2010 changed the body style and added the 6 speed trans
Fred
Fred, this is so good to hear! Thanks so much for sharing this info!
Tonie
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:46 AM   #14
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Wayne, how did you know when you needed a new rad (radiator?) ?
Thanks,
Tonie
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