Highlander for Casita?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-30-2021, 12:10 PM   #1
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Name: Don
Trailer: Currently shopping
Washington
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Highlander for Casita??

We have a 2016 Toyota Highlander with the V6. We have been towing an U-haul 13 with absolutely no issues but are now looking at a Casita 16 with bathroom. I think about 1800 pounds dry and likely about 2300 ready to camp. We have heard of others doing this but it seems the majority are from parts of the country with less mountains than we deal with here in the northwest. We had a prior tow vehicle with a 3500 pound rating but it was very inadequate for the U-haul. The Highlander is supposedly rated for 5000, so the rating is technically adequate for the new trailer. Our concern is that our previous vehicle was also technically adequate but was very slow climbing hills and plain scary in passing and high trans temps were common. Can some of you with a similar setup who have dealt with our situation relate your experiences?
Thank you

BTW, we are looking at the Casita Saturday.
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Old 09-30-2021, 12:55 PM   #2
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Hi, Don. It'll probably be okay for a 16, but tongue weight is also an important consideration.
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Old 09-30-2021, 01:27 PM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita
NC
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We tow our 2021 17' Casita with our 2018 Highlander AWD and it does awesome. We only get about 15 mpg or so but we haven't had any issues or concerns with speed or making it up a hill.
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Old 09-30-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
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Name: Don
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The hitch is rated for 350 pounds so should be adequate but I will check more to be sure, so thank you for mentioning that. For the reply from the couple with the 17 footer that helps also. Your Highlander appears to be rated comparably to ours and you are doing well with your heavier trailer so we should have even more margin.

Once again, thanks to both of you.
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Old 09-30-2021, 07:38 PM   #5
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No problem, glad to help. For what it’s worth, my Highlander’s hitch max tongue weight is 500 lbs.
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Old 10-01-2021, 06:31 AM   #6
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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We towed our Uhaul CT13 with a Honda CRV. Right at the vehicles limit, but it worked OK. Uhaul has since been sold, replaced by a Casita 17 and towed with a full size truck. The Casita 16 has a lighter tongue weight than the 17 because the axle is farther forward. Find the thread here, Trailer Weights in The Real World, for a chart on tongue and total trailer weights. I recall seeing some Casita 17's with tongue weights near 500 lb, don't remember weights on the 16's.
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Old 10-01-2021, 10:03 AM   #7
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: '16 Parkliner
Iowa
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Mountiains? No Prob's. Just get handy with downshifting on the up grades AND down grades. Use the truck lanes. Don't try to keep up with the speeders. Take your time and arrive alive.
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:01 PM   #8
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Trailer: Escape 17B:former Scamp 13
California
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We had a Subaru Forester with our 13'Scamp and found it sluggish in the mountains. Now, we tow our 17' Escape with a 2016 Highlander rated at 5000 lbs. It's great! You need to be prepared to downshift for downhill. We find we can pass others going uphill.
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:44 AM   #9
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trillium 5500
Oregon
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Towing with a Highlander

Hi -- we tow our Trillium 5500 with a Highlander (and we're in the PNW). The 5500 weighs approx 2400# w/out her tanks filled and the Highlander does great. One thing we have found is that a weight distribution system makes a big difference in not "dragging" the Highlander lower. Plus, it's soooo much more stable than it was without. We have this one:

Fastway e2 Weight Distribution w/ 2-Point Sway Control - Trunnion
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Old 10-06-2021, 04:17 PM   #10
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Name: Babs
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
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Highlander

Quote:
Originally Posted by Choosethisday View Post
We have a 2016 Toyota Highlander with the V6. We have been towing an U-haul 13 with absolutely no issues but are now looking at a Casita 16 with bathroom. I think about 1800 pounds dry and likely about 2300 ready to camp. We have heard of others doing this but it seems the majority are from parts of the country with less mountains than we deal with here in the northwest. We had a prior tow vehicle with a 3500 pound rating but it was very inadequate for the U-haul. The Highlander is supposedly rated for 5000, so the rating is technically adequate for the new trailer. Our concern is that our previous vehicle was also technically adequate but was very slow climbing hills and plain scary in passing and high trans temps were common. Can some of you with a similar setup who have dealt with our situation relate your experiences?
Thank you

BTW, we are looking at the Casita Saturday.
We bought our 2013 Highlander specifically to tow out 2013 Casita Spirit 17’ Deluxe, and have since logged over 80,000 miles over the US and Canada. We have the towing package that includes tranny cooler, oil cooler, and heavy duty alternator, and a WDH. We have been very pleased and will eventually replace our Highlander with a new AWD version. That being said, in our travels, there have been times where we could have used more power. We have never gotten over 4,000 rpms and we’re never in danger of red lining. In those climbing situations, we have kept up with the Class A diesels and the F-350 duallies pulling 11,000 pound 5th wheels. The rest of the time (99.9%) we hum along at 1800 to 2200 rpms and enjoy the 26 mpgs we get unhitched sightseeing. We are very cognizant of GVWR and tongue weight so we have never ever felt unsafe in 8 years of towing.
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:12 PM   #11
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I have over 10K mi. towing my C17 with my 2017 Highlander with a WDH and factory towing transmission cooler. It has plenty of power to run with traffic and gets 14 MPG running interstate speeds. I recently started using a Scanguage to monitor transmission temps. the fluid stays under 200deg. F. flatland towing with outside temps. in the 90's. In the mountains I had a 5 mile long uphill grade going over a mountain and the transmission temp reached 209F near the top of the grade but cooled down fairly quickly. Some people on the Highlander forum have added an additional trans. cooler directly behind one of the bumper air slots. Some have suggested making a duct for the existing cooler to provide better air flow to the factory cooler. I have not had time to address the issue but may try one or the other recommendations. We are well satisfied with the Highlander. We just made a 840 mi. run taking 15 hours in one day with no issues.
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:30 PM   #12
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Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
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trans temp

You might want to do some research but I don't think 209 is anything to worry about with modern fluids. I prefer more capable tow vehicles but if temps like that only showed up in extreme situations I wouldn't be concerned.
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Old 10-17-2021, 06:47 PM   #13
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Name: Elliott
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Everywhere
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I towed an Escape 19 all over with a 2015 Highlander. The only problem I had was being a bit short on power for high-altitude climbs, like above 8,000' or so. Even then, it was just a matter of staying in the right lane at 40-50mph for a few miles. No overheating, and "sport" mode gave enough engine braking on the way down. At lower altitude, like the Cascades or the Grapevine, it had no problems at all climbing at the speed limit. At 2300lbs instead of ~4500, you'd probably be fine even at altitude.
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