Anybody tow with a hybrid (Rav4 in my case) - Fiberglass RV
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:15 PM   #1
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Anybody tow with a hybrid (Rav4 in my case)

Hi All. I have access to a family trailer, a mid '70s Trillium 1300 in halfway decent original condition. It's currently stored in a barn and hasn't been used in 5 or more years. I'm told it might need tires.
My grandparents used to tow this with a little Toyota Corolla wagon.
I now have a 2017 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid. I am getting a tow hitch installed and I'm aware that these can tow 1750lbs and it should be able to handle this, but I am a little worried about it. Anybody on here tow one of these little vintage trailers with a hybrid, and is there anything I should research about this? Suggestions for which tow hitch I should get installed at Uhaul? (They seem the most reasonable place around here to do that) Thank you, I am happy to have found this forum today! Photo attached
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Old 11-20-2020, 12:56 AM   #2
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Best hitch to tow Trillium 1300 with a Hybrid Rav4?

I have a 2017 Toyota Rav4 and I'm getting ready to have a tow hitch installed, probably at Uhaul since they seem most reasonable around here and do them all the time. Anything to keep in mind? I'm going to go for the one that fits and has the largest capacity. The Hybrid Rav4 is rated to tow 1750lbs and I am hoping to be able to tow this 1970s Trillium 1300 which is currently stored in a barn and hasn't been used in over 5 years. My grandparents used to tow it cross country with a little Toyota Corolla so I figure the Rav4 should be able to handle it, right?
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:29 AM   #3
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Towing with a Hybrid Rav4

I drive a 2017 Hybrid Rav4, the towing capacity is 1750 which is a little higher than the gas-only model. I'm getting a tow hitch installed (any recommendations? Will probably get it done at uhaul). Once I get that done, I have access to a family trailer that is a day's drive away - it's a mid-70s Trillium 1300 that my grandparents used to tow cross country with a little Toyota Corrolla wagon, so I figure the Rav4 should be able to handle it, right? The trailer is currently in a barn and hasn't moved in 5 or more years. I have a few concerns about towing with such a small engine but I hoped that some of you could share some insights or things to look out for if I attempt to take possession of the trailer and get it home!
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:21 AM   #4
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: Happier Camper
Colorado
Posts: 22
Towing with a Highlander hybrid

I have been towing my Happier Camper with a 2006 Highlander Hybrid. It is rated for 3000 pounds which is a bit more than your Rav4 however there were a few times when my kids loaded that trailer with way more weight than was advisable. I have had absolutely no issues at all. I live in high in the Colorado Rockies which means my poor aging Highlander with 250,000 miles has hauled up some pretty steep inclines more than once and never with any problems.



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Old 11-21-2020, 11:27 AM   #5
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Is it just you, or will other people be along? It will be marginal, since loaded-for-camping Trillium 1300's typically weigh 1600-1800#, but for a solo traveler packing lightly, it should be doable. Toyota is generally pretty conservative with their ratings.

Can you get the trailer on a scale, preferably with your planned stuff on board? You can find them at truck stops, sand & gravel yards, feed lots, recycling/waste centers. There will probably be a modest fee to weigh the trailer.

Yes, you will likely need new tires. They should have a date code stamped in the sidewall (but it could be on the back side). It reads as WWYY, week and year of manufacture. Opinions vary, but anything over around 5 years is iffy and over 8 years is trash, regardless of tread. In addition to age, one unknown with a new-to-you trailer is tire history- whether it's ever hit a curb, a pothole, or run low on air. Any of those events can leave a tire with hidden damage. A blowout can cause significant and expensive collateral damage to the fiberglass, so it's not worth taking a chance.
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:43 AM   #6
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
Posts: 1,142
Yes, it seems your hybrid would do just fine.
If you can, for a higher price, get a genuine Toyota hitch, as it will fit better, and look better than a will-fit.
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:41 PM   #7
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Name: George
Trailer: In the Market
NJ
Posts: 5
Towing with a Rav 4

I bought the Adventure version of the Rav in 2018,, explicitly for the 3500 # towing capacity,, I have not purchased an egg yet, but it handled my 1800 # boat just fine,, I'd be careful pushing the limit on towing capacity...
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:51 PM   #8
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 Layout B
Washington
Posts: 26
Hybrid Tow Vehicle

I towed our Scamp 13 for years with a Ford Escape Hybrid with 0 problems. However I learned you can put too much strain on the CVT (continuously variable transmission). You may want to have your tranny checked and maybe add an oil cooler if you intend to tow in the mountains during summer.
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:44 PM   #9
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Name: Carl
Trailer: LiL Hauley
Syracuse, NY
Posts: 442
Here is a video of a rav4 towing test.

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Old 11-21-2020, 07:03 PM   #10
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Perris Pacer
California
Posts: 3
Hybrid towing

Hi, i tow with a 2018 Hybrid Rav4 Limited. Works great, no issues. My trailer is a 13' fiberglass Perris Pacer... never weighed it.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:11 PM   #11
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Perris Pacer
California
Posts: 3
hybrid towing

Oh, and the hitch I got was a curt, just because my hitch shop sells those and they do a great job. It looks great, basically invisible except for receiver portion. My foot operated door opener doesn't work, but I suspect it didn't before either (I bought the car used and it had had some repairs to back), though there's a chance hitch interferes, ask about that if your car has that feature. It doesn't matter to me as I just use key fob to open tailgate anyway.


Before I towed same trailer with 2012 Honda Cr-v which was rated for 1500 lbs, and I towed it all over mountains, coast, long trips. Never issues.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:11 PM   #12
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Thank you all so much for these helpful replies and big apologies for my multiple attempts at my first post here all kept disappearing (I thought) and they are all lined up here... not sure if I can delete them either! Anyway Thank you for all of this. Lots to consider. I will not be getting the toyota hitch because the quote they gave me was many times the amount that others will. I think we will probably try to keep anything really heavy like a cooler chest to the car rather than packing the trailer with heavy stuff, as I know we won't be able to really load it up. But we are a family of three. Again thanks everyone for the answers here!
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:24 PM   #13
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
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Moving stuff from the trailer to the car doesn't make it disappear.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:58 AM   #14
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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It can actually make it worse because gear in the vehicle combines with tongue weight and passengers to potentially overload the rear axle, which also has a weight limit. It can also become a dangerous projectile in an accident.

Best place for a large ice chest (and other heavy stuff) is on the floor of the trailer over the axle.

With three people this is looking even more marginal. Tow ratings are based on two “average” (150#) front seat occupants and no other people or cargo in the vehicle. Consult the towing section of your owner’s manual for more information.

You will want to pack like a backpacker. Leave your cast iron Dutch oven at home. Lightweight cookware. Dry food rather than canned. Pre-frozen drinks/foods and less ice.. Minimal water- fill when you get to camp. Buy groceries as you go. Beware camp furniture, like tables, awnings, and chairs- weight can add up fast.

And I’d highly recommend taking the whole loaded rig to a CAT (certified auto and truck) scale before or during your first trip. Get axle-by-axle weighings of the whole loaded rig. If possible, also weigh either the car or the trailer separately so you can determine the tongue weight.
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:55 AM   #15
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Re the hitch...

If you go aftermarket, some fit better than others and don’t hang down below the bumper fascia as far. The website eTrailer.com will show you what’s available for your vehicle, and you can usually find photos of how it looks after installation. Get the highest weight rating available for your vehicle (at least Class 2), preferably with a 2” receiver tube.

Another option is to order the Toyota hitch from an online supplier- you can sometimes get a better price for parts that way- and have your installer put it on. When I had a Sienna, I ordered several parts from a dealer in KS that ran a discount online parts website. Shipping might be the deal-killer for a hitch.
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:58 AM   #16
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Yes, good points that the weight in the car counts too. I will certainly need to figure out how to get a weight on the trailer unloaded and then loaded. I'm sure that at least initially we'd try a couple short nearby trips (and we live in a flat area) so we don't need a ton of stuff and can figure out if this is feasible with our regular vehicle. Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:06 PM   #17
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Name: John
Trailer: I started with a 2010 Casita Spirit Deluxe.I now have a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RV Super-C diesel puller
Box Elder, SD (formerly of Long Island, NY)
Posts: 101
In the Casita Solos group, there was a woman who towed a 13" Casita with a Hybrid vehicle. I don't remember her name (possibly CAgal) but, you might find her on one of the Casita sites.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:35 PM   #18
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Name: El Viejo
Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Florida
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E-trailer.com is a good source for hitches and wiring kits,etc.
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