2020 Highlander Hybrid 4 cylinder--towing 13 Scamp? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-30-2020, 11:27 AM   #1
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2020 Highlander Hybrid 4 cylinder--towing 13 Scamp?

Hi all--we just bought a 13' Scamp and were waiting for the 2020 Hybrid Toyota Highlander to come out because the gas mileage is a lot better than on the 2019. However, we just read a review, and this Highlander has been changed from 6 to a 4 cylinder. The reviewer was concerned about how well it would do towing since the one he tested had nothing in it, but still had some trouble accelerating, etc.
For those who are experienced towing, any ideas, opinions, or thoughts, or information about this new Highlander? Wondering if we should buy the 2019, instead. Thanks!!
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:11 PM   #2
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Tow ratings

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Originally Posted by donnalef View Post
Hi all--we just bought a 13' Scamp and were waiting for the 2020 Hybrid Toyota Highlander to come out because the gas mileage is a lot better than on the 2019. However, we just read a review, and this Highlander has been changed from 6 to a 4 cylinder.
Highlander has a WIDE range in towing capacity. You need to read the book for your vehicle and weigh YOUR Scamp. Ist it a hybrid? The 4 cyl may be OK if so.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:33 PM   #3
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First, I would confirm the tow rating on the new 4 cylinder hybrid compared to the old 6 cylinder hybrid. Toyota is generally pretty conservative in their ratings, so if it has a rating of at least 2500# or so, I'd consider that adequate for a 13' Scamp with two people and typical cargo on board. If you tow with more than two people, a 3500# rating might be more appropriate.

Second, I'd consider the terrain in which you plan to do most of your towing. If you will tow frequently in mountains and higher elevations, you might wish for the extra power of the V6.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:23 PM   #4
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A quick Google search found this unconfirmed statement:
All gasoline models have a tow capacity of 5,000 pounds. This tow rating is adjusted to 3,500 pounds for all 2020 Highlander Hybrid trim levels.

If that is right I would consider it for towing my 16 Scamp... But do verify the tow ratings as suggested.

PS, you can update your profile from "looking."
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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I am reading that the 2020 hybrid has a CVT, not a traditional transmission. That could partially account for the sluggish acceleration, unless that issue is specific to Nissan. One thing I would recommend if towing close to the limit is a Bluetooth ODB reader and a smartphone app to monitor transmission temperature. I imagine Toyota over engineered their design if anything, but Nissan apparently tends to skimp, causing transmissions to overheat and destroy themselves.

The new Hybrid loses 60-some peak HP over the old design. Only way to know for sure if that affects tow rating is to get official rating from Toyota. Not a dealer or secondhand site.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:33 AM   #6
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When one limits their choice of vehicles to only one manufacturer you often end up having to live with second best
There are numerous vehicles on the market , both foreign and domestic that are capable of towing a FG trailer safely and reliably.
I understand brand loyalty but if the brand I prefer doesn’t make what I want / need then I look elsewhere .
When I look for a tow vehicle my first criteria is can it tow my trailer safely without having to reinvent the wheel . I’ve spent enough of my time and money modifying my trailer , I don’t want to buy a new vehicle and modifying it so
it hopefully comes up to meet the standard .
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:17 PM   #7
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From what I have read the hybrid highlander has a drive similar to the prius, but larger. If this is so then, like my prius, it has two motors/generators with inverters and an ICE feeding a planetary gear box and the front wheels. If similar to the prius all wheel drive version it has an added motor, inverter and gear box for the rear wheels.



Here is some interesting reading on wikipedia


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Synergy_Drive
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:23 PM   #8
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For what it’s worth, we’ve been towing a Escape 15a with a 06’ Lexus RX400h awd . It’s a hybrid with the OEM tow package and uses a CTV transmission. It’s rated for 3500# and tows smoothly and no problem. In fact, at speeds under 30mph, in goes electric, so we creep through campground quietly.
I would have no hesitation buying another Toyota hybrid/cvt product, as long as it’s rated to tow the weight. In fact, I’d recommend buying a low mileage RX400h or the newer RX450h as a to vehicle, and use a EV as your around home green vehicle. We bought our RX for $7500 with 95k miles. It has been rock solid and comfortable on long trips. Beat paying the original $65k sticker price. When towing, the cvt fluid gets changed every 100k. No big deal.
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