Factory installed Transmission Cooler vs. aftermarket - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-01-2016, 10:45 AM   #15
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Name: Randy J.
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I'm watching this discussion with some interest as we are considering getting something a little more robust to pull our 76 Trillium as we contemplate longer, more challenging trips. The 75% rule seems to be pretty sound advice for this. The stated dry weight of out Tril is 1500 lbs so if I understand the advice, we should be looking at something in the 2000 lbs towing capacity range?

In the mean time, our current vehicle seems to be doing an okay job. We are careful of what we carry, emptying the fresh water tank for example when we move and balancing for tongue weight. I have an after-market tx cooler installed and in any case plan to add retro-fit electric brakes to our trailer in the spring for an added margin of safety.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:02 AM   #16
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I tow an Escape 17B (3100/345 lbs loaded for a trip) with a 2010 RAV4 Sport (V6 & Tow Package) rated at 3500/350 lbs. The description of what is in the tow package does not include any additional transmission cooling. In fact, in the US, Toyota's tow package does not include any trailer wiring or hitch. It does include a larger alternator, stronger fan coupler, and a connector under the dash for the 4 pin trailer harness you can purchase from them.

That said, I didn't add and additional transmission cooling, but did purchase a ScanGuage II which can be programed to show transmission temperature. Without the trailer is generally runs around 195F - 200F on hot days. With the trailer it runs around 200F to 225F during normal driving & a peak of 266F while hauling the trailer to the top of Cedar Breaks National Monument (something I don't recommend). The transmission overheat light has never come on since I've had the vehicle. I do change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles - have towed the trailer over 75,000 miles so far...
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Randy J. View Post
I'm watching this discussion with some interest as we are considering getting something a little more robust to pull our 76 Trillium as we contemplate longer, more challenging trips. The 75% rule seems to be pretty sound advice for this. The stated dry weight of out Tril is 1500 lbs so if I understand the advice, we should be looking at something in the 2000 lbs towing capacity range?

In the mean time, our current vehicle seems to be doing an okay job. We are careful of what we carry, emptying the fresh water tank for example when we move and balancing for tongue weight. I have an after-market tx cooler installed and in any case plan to add retro-fit electric brakes to our trailer in the spring for an added margin of safety.
Hmmmmm.... A 1500 lb. dry weight will usually translate to about 1900 lbs going down the road. I'd suggest that you do a sample loading and get an actual weight before using the 1500 lb figure
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:23 AM   #18
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Name: Patrick
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You might take note of the fact that a Toyota Highlander with a factory tow package has all the right stuff. Just adding a transmission cooler to a Honda does not include the right stuff.
The right equipment (stuff) for towing includes a beefed up alternator, the extra cooling equipment (see list of equipment that a Toyota Tow Package includes)...
it is a long list.
I owned a Highlander and they are fine high quality vehicles. The newer Highlanders are bigger than the one I owned.
I currently own a Toyota FJ Landcruiser built in 2007 with a 4.0Ltr V6 engine and
5 speed automatic. It is a 4X4. Rated for 5,000 lbs towing. That combination in a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck is currently rated at over 6,000 lbs towing.
Both the FJ Cruiser and the Tacoma are built on truck frames
along with the Sequoia and Tundra. I doubt that the Honda or the Highlander are built on truck frames...just a thought.

Because my wife and I have always owned Toyota products I would recommend a Toyota over any maker hands down. They define the word dependable.

Just remember that adding a transmission cooler does not equal a real tow package on whatever you buy.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:35 AM   #19
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Name: Doug
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We had our top rate mechanic install a transmission cooler, best move we made for our 2012 6 cyl Ford Escape, pulling our 16 ft Scamp.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:43 AM   #20
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You are correct, Patrick, that towing places additional demands on many vehicle systems other than just the transmission. I don't think it follows that those other systems are less robust in the Pilot just because they don't require an upgrade for towing.

Honda's approach to vehicle packaging has typically centered on complete trim-level packages with dealer-added accessories. There were no " factory options" when I bought mine. If the trim level is rated for towing a certain weight, then all those factory-installed components support that rating.

No arguments about Toyota reliability. I've owned three and they were all trouble-free. I've also owned three Hondas, and they have been reliable as well. I did cross-shop the Highlander when I bought my Pilot. For me the Pilot won on price, third seat utility, and ease of towing set-up. YMMV, as they say. Both have been completely redesigned since I made my choice.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:56 AM   #21
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Honda Pilot

We had a 06 Honda pilot 4wheel drive The trailer package came with power steering cooler ,oil cooler and tranny cooler plus hitch and wiring 4500lb tow rating It probably had a bigger alternator The 2 wheel drive had a 3500 lb rating . We got the 07 Sequoia because the Pilot would squat down to much with out 5000lb boat in tow to much tongue weight. The Sequoia has a tranny cooler standard with the 07 SR -5 .

The highlander is not on a truck frame either is Pilot .
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:59 AM   #22
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Jon ...on that point you are right...I have noticed that Toyota is putting their full tow package on most of their "truck framed" vehicles....at least that is what I have been seeing on dealer's lots...none however include the 7 pin connectors...only the standard 4 pin connectors...no break controllers either.

Way back in 1983,1984,1985 the then AMC Jeep people included the 7 pin connector on the Jeep Cherokee/Wagoneer models with 4.0 Ltr straight six cylinder engines and automatic 4X4 transmissions. They made great tow vehicles until Chrysler bought them and screwed thing up. Prior to that takeover the AMC Jeeps had a great tow package with all the whistles and bells! Everything was super heavy duty right off the lot.
The 4.0 Ltr straight 6 engine is just a memory...could never meet EPA emissions
standards...but it could out tow most V8s !
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:30 PM   #23
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Name: Mike
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Alberta
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The difference between Factory and after market is .after market you are just putting on a cooler. Factory is transmission cooler oil cooler power staring larger radiator .tow package all wiring ,some come with brake controllers .transmission can be heavy duty .lots to consider . I would take a factory package first . You don't want to be the kitten carrying the cat
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:40 PM   #24
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Jon ...on that point you are right...I have noticed that Toyota is putting their full tow package on most of their "truck framed" vehicles....at least that is what I have been seeing on dealer's lots...none however include the 7 pin connectors...only the standard 4 pin connectors...no break controllers either.

Way back in 1983,1984,1985 the then AMC Jeep people included the 7 pin connector on the Jeep Cherokee/Wagoneer models with 4.0 Ltr straight six cylinder engines and automatic 4X4 transmissions. They made great tow vehicles until Chrysler bought them and screwed thing up. Prior to that takeover the AMC Jeeps had a great tow package with all the whistles and bells! Everything was super heavy duty right off the lot.
The 4.0 Ltr straight 6 engine is just a memory...could never meet EPA emissions
standards...but it could out tow most V8s !

2011 4Runners came with 7-pin.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #25
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Name: Martina
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Again, thank you all so very much for your input - sooooo helpful for us to be making our choices and asking questions when we are at the dealers. I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2016.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:43 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post

Also, you will need to know the loaded weight of your trailer. Manufacturers stated weights are usually for the least equipped and empty version of the trailer.
The good news is that current laws require the actual weight of the trailer as it was equipped when it left the factory to be what appears on its stickers - which is what Escape does.

Todays practises are unlike the good old days when trailer manufactures simple put the dry weight on the stickers of the trailers that more often than not did not include any optional equipment such as a fridge, hot water tank etc or propane tanks, battery etc.

A good rule of thumb is to add about 600lbs to a the weight stated on a 19' or smaller newer trailer to come up with a more realistic loaded weight.

Checking the Real World Weight thread is also a good idea to see if your weight assumptions are within realm of reality.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:07 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
The good news is that current laws require the actual weight of the trailer as it was equipped when it left the factory to be what appears on its stickers - which is what Escape does.

Todays practises are unlike the good old days when trailer manufactures simple put the dry weight on the stickers of the trailers that more often than not did not include any optional equipment such as a fridge, hot water tank etc or propane tanks, battery etc.

A good rule of thumb is to add about 600lbs to a the weight stated on a 19' or smaller newer trailer to come up with a more realistic loaded weight.

Checking the Real World Weight thread is also a good idea to see if your weight assumptions are within realm of reality.
An even better rule is to actually weigh your trailer. Some states leave their roadside scales on when the weigh station is closed, many dumps & scrap yards will weigh your trailer for nothing, and there are always CAT scales at many truck stops. If you can't do multiple weighings to calculate tongue weight, Walmart sells "people" scales that go to 450 lbs; it is easy to put together an adapter to use one to weigh your tongue. If it is over that, use method "B" in this eTrailer link.

Without weighing your trailer as packed for a trip, you have no way of telling the actual weights.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:09 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
An even better rule is to actually weigh your trailer. .
Yup Nothing bets actually weighing it!!! I know more than a few folks who have been a bit blown away to learn what their trailers actually weigh.

I know of one party who was very very sure the manufacture had misstated the weight of their new trailer on leaving the factory..... that was until they took everything they had put into the trailer out and then weighed the trailer.... more often than not our added stuff weighs far more than we think.
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