Considering the new RAV4 for my next TV - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2021, 08:23 AM   #1
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Considering the new RAV4 for my next TV

Hi all,
I am looking for my next TV (tow vehicle), and currently use a Toyota 4WD Hybrid Highlander. The new RAV4 Hybrid AWD Has a 3500lb tow capacity. I love the sleek design and the great gas mileage. The new Highlanders resemble the old 4-runners and I just donít need a truck like vehicle since itís just DH and myself. Kids have moved away and the dog is moving on in years. We love camping in the mtns of CO and all around Utah. We hope to do a X-Country trip once DH retires. Any thoughts about a next TV?
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:44 AM   #2
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I see 1,750# towing for the 2021 RAV4 hybrid in the USA. Maybe you are in Europe where (somehow) they tow twice as much?
https://www.carindigo.com/toyota/rav...owing-capacity
https://www.cars.com/research/toyota-rav4_hybrid/specs/

We're getting a 2021 Volvo XC-40 to replace our 2004 Volvo V70 wagon.
You might like that style also.

3500# 350# tongue and we're paying for the factory towbar/computer bits.
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:48 AM   #3
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Thanks Alan, we will look at that as well, it sounds like we both may have some brand loyalty, lol. Volvoís are great cars though from what I read.
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:55 AM   #4
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I looked at a lot of vehicles and even made a spreadsheet to help us choose our vehicle.
NerdAlert.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:01 AM   #5
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We were just at the dealership last weekend and this is what they told us. The RAV4 plant is currently closed but they are coming out with a 2021 Hybrid model with Prius technology, 41mpg, with a 3500lb TC with factory hitch. I even placed a f/u call at a different dealership to price this out, with same confirmation.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:09 AM   #6
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It looks like the RAV4 TRD Off-road can tow 3,500#
https://www.carindigo.com/toyota/rav...owing-capacity
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:09 AM   #7
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It looks like the RAV4 TRD Off-road can tow 3,500#
https://www.carindigo.com/toyota/rav...owing-capacity

I've also been looking at either the Rav4 Hybrid or Sienna Hybrid as a tow vehicle.

Apparently you can't get the 2021 RAV4 in a hybrid that tows 3500#. The Rav4 TRD Off-road, unfortunately is not a hybrid. However, the Sienna is a hybrid that tows 3500#.


I plan to stay with the Toyota brand, due to is longstanding quality and reliability.
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:43 PM   #8
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tug

Well here goes , this will probably open a can of worms! First let me say that for a time we owned a 2012 Rav4 with the v6 engine it was our tow vehicle and did a magnificent job for us no problems . Unfortunately Toyota has decided to put the cvt transmission in the newer Ravs ( the unfortunatley is my opinion ) . Toyota's cvt seems to be a cut above most cvt's but most manufacturers cvt's seem to have enough trouble just moving the vehicle much less towing a trailer without significant transmission problems . Let me be clear I have never owned a vehicle with a cvt but I am very automobile oriented and everything I see about most autos with cvt's is negative with many low mileage complete failures documented with class action lawsuits against Nissan and Subaru . As stated earlier Toyota's cvt seems to be a cut above others but I personally would be leary of a cvt just in an automobile and double leary of towing with one . I hope this starts a discussion and provides some real life experience with cvt's , who knows could make me comfortable with this current technology . Lee
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:46 PM   #9
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Drat, it looks like I was given erroneous information by the sales person at the dealership. Ric is correct, the RAV4 Hybrid only has a TC of @1700lbs. Well, back to the drawing board
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:05 PM   #10
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Unless I missed it you make no mention of what type of trailer you have or if you own a trailer at all.

The big takeaways I git from your post is you are only concerned about looks, gas mileage and towing capacity. What type of trailer you currently own OR the trailer you intend to buy is an important consideration when choosing a TV not just looks, towing capacity or gas mileage.

The RAV4 is a short SUV. Short SUV's can have a problem safely towing a longer length trailer. What length is your trailer? What weight is your trailer? What type of hitch do you currently have OR intend to purchase? Do you currently own a trailer OR are you putting the horse before the cart by looking to buy a new to you TV before you have a trailer to pull?

MO information from YOU would be a great help for folks here to help you pick the proper tow vehicle for the trailer you currently own or will buy for your own personal safety driving/trailering and all of us riding next to you driving down the highway!
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
Unless I missed it ...
Look to the left, It says:

- Trailer: 2013 16ft Scamp
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:23 PM   #12
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Guess I did "Miss It"!

Still not sure I would want to pull that trailer with a short wheelbase TV.

Post from site about real world Scamp 16 weights.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...amp-83852.html
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:43 PM   #13
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Still not sure I would want to pull that trailer with a short wheelbase TV.

I pulled my 17' Escape with a 2008 RAV4 V6 Sport for 12 years. Replaced it with a 2020 Highlander. I used a weight distribution hitch and I had no towing issues.

Still, I'd not purchase a hybrid for towing, and a little extra tow capacity wouldn't hurt. Reduces the element of stress on you and the vehicle.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lee Senn View Post
...Unfortunately Toyota has decided to put the cvt transmission in the newer Ravs ( the unfortunatley is my opinion ) . Toyota's cvt seems to be a cut above most cvt's but most manufacturers cvt's seem to have enough trouble just moving the vehicle much less towing a trailer without significant transmission problems ....

my brother has a 2020 Rav4 "Adventure" (similar to the TRD OR), it has a conventional automatic, not a CVT. Not sure what its tow rating is, his doesn't even have a hitch.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lee Senn View Post
Well here goes , this will probably open a can of worms! First let me say that for a time we owned a 2012 Rav4 with the v6 engine it was our tow vehicle and did a magnificent job for us no problems . Unfortunately Toyota has decided to put the cvt transmission in the newer Ravs ( the unfortunatley is my opinion ) . Toyota's cvt seems to be a cut above most cvt's but most manufacturers cvt's seem to have enough trouble just moving the vehicle much less towing a trailer without significant transmission problems . Let me be clear I have never owned a vehicle with a cvt but I am very automobile oriented and everything I see about most autos with cvt's is negative with many low mileage complete failures documented with class action lawsuits against Nissan and Subaru . As stated earlier Toyota's cvt seems to be a cut above others but I personally would be leary of a cvt just in an automobile and double leary of towing with one . I hope this starts a discussion and provides some real life experience with cvt's , who knows could make me comfortable with this current technology . Lee

Thanks for your input. I always enjoy hearing other viewpoints on this kind of thing, especially when I'm planning on making a very large investment into a new vehicle.

As far as Nissan and Subaru CVT's are concerned, they were manufactured by Jatco which is notoriously bad. Besides Nissan and Subaru, Jatco's CVT's were used in Mitsubishi and VW vehicles.

My initial research into Toyota hybrid transmissions shows that Toyota came up with their own technology, for what they call "Hybrid Synergy Drive", which is similar to a standard CVT, but a bit different. Hybrid Synergy Drive was first used in 1997 in the Prius, and has been refined many times over the years in multiple hybrid vehicles in the Toyota line including the RAV4 and Sienna, as well as the Lexus brand.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:52 PM   #16
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yeah, while the prius style hybrid drive does not have 'gears', it also does not have the double cone belt drive that regular CVTs use. The Prius style drive is more like several differentials, with 2 electric motor/generators and a gas motor, and instead of gears, it uses different combinations of the three to achieve different effective gearing.

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Old 05-11-2021, 06:28 PM   #17
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I've towed 2 campers now with my Highlander Hybrid (2007) and never had a problem. Most likely I will just replace it with a new Highlander, the longer wheel base makes a lot of sense and I want to be safe. I just don't want a big truckllike SUV. I will spec out the volvo's and subaru's as well. I will never go bigger than a small camper, so only need 3500lb TC.
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:38 PM   #18
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just watch your payload with a small vehicle. if you have 400 lb tongue weight on a vehicle that only has 1000 lbs total payload, 2 overweight adults and a bit of baggage can eat that up pretty fast. adding airbags to the rear suspension of a vehicle like that can at least make it ride better when its near its max load.
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Campingbliss View Post
I will never go bigger than a small camper, so only need 3500lb TC.
Before I bought my Nissan Armada, I was seriously considering a Kia Telluride....certain ones have a tow package and decent tow rating.
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:31 AM   #20
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What’s the age, mileage, and condition of the Highlander? I really don’t think you can do much better as a tow vehicle for a small molded trailer. A smaller vehicle will not get much better fuel mileage when towing, but it will sacrifice comfort, performance, and safety. I do agree with your assessment of the latest generation Highlander hybrid- not only is it bigger, uglier, and more expensive, but the 2.5L 4 cylinder gas engine is a significant downgrade from the smooth V6 you have now.

If the Highlander is mechanically sound, I vote to keep it. The high cost of new vehicles right now will obliterate and fuel savings you gain.

If not, how about a low mileage used Highlander hybrid? 2019 was the last year for the old style.
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