RAV4 as tow vehicle back 2018 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-12-2017, 05:53 PM   #1
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RAV4 as tow vehicle back 2018

For 2013 Toyota lowered tow capacity of RAV4 to 1,500 lbs.
Just received my copy of Club Toyota magazine and for 2018 Toyota will be selling RAV4 Trail in Canada ( may be Adventure nameplate in US ). It has 3,500 lb tow capacity and Trailer Sway Control. Tow prep package includes upgraded radiator and supplemental engine oil and transmission fluid coolers.
I've been happy with my 2008 RAV4 Sport, towing my 17B Escape.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:27 PM   #2
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aren't RAV4's primarily FWD, with rear wheel 'assist' if they are the AWD model? I wouldn't tow much more than 1000 lbs with anything FWD regardless of how its rated.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
aren't RAV4's primarily FWD, with rear wheel 'assist' if they are the AWD model? I wouldn't tow much more than 1000 lbs with anything FWD regardless of how its rated.
That's your call.
Not backed up by any technical or practical information.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
aren't RAV4's primarily FWD, with rear wheel 'assist' if they are the AWD model? I wouldn't tow much more than 1000 lbs with anything FWD regardless of how its rated.
For what it's worth, I towed an Escape 17B (3010 lbs & 345 lbs tongue weight) 85,000 miles with a 2010 RAV4 (V6 with tow package) with a Weight Distribution Hitch. Front wheel drive over 25MPH. While there were things I didn't like (small fuel tank & low ground clearance), it had plenty of power & was a very stable tow vehicle. Far more maneuverable backing into sites than with my Tacoma...
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
aren't RAV4's primarily FWD, with rear wheel 'assist' if they are the AWD model? I wouldn't tow much more than 1000 lbs with anything FWD regardless of how its rated.
Promaster Ram Van... FWD, 5100 pound tow rating with a V6.

Best Local Offer & Deals | Ram ProMaster Cargo Van

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Old 10-12-2017, 08:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
aren't RAV4's primarily FWD, with rear wheel 'assist' if they are the AWD model? I wouldn't tow much more than 1000 lbs with anything FWD regardless of how its rated.
I also am not a fan of towing with a FWD vehicle but the 2018 rav4 should be able to tow a Scamp 13 Std assuming you are in relatively flat terrain and not towing in the Rockies .
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:22 PM   #7
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Promaster Ram Van... FWD, 5100 pound tow rating with a V6.

Best Local Offer & Deals | Ram ProMaster Cargo Van

Yeah, that Promaster doesn't look very capable at all!! 5100 lbs tow rating... what were those engineers sniffing?
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:29 AM   #8
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Yeah, that Promaster doesn't look very capable at all!! 5100 lbs tow rating... what were those engineers sniffing?
Those are Italian engineers so.......


You could not pay me to have one of these,but I will of course listen to all offers.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:05 AM   #9
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For the most part FWD is fine for towing smaller molded trailers and, with light-duty WDH, for mid-sized molded trailers (subject to manufacturers' limits, of course).

I tow a 13' Scamp with a FWD-only Pilot, and the only time I notice is when I try to climb a steep grade on a loose surface. In those rare situations a little assist from AWD would be more than enough. Even without, by disabling stability control and allowing a little wheel spin, FWD does the job.

One point of owning a small, lightweight trailer is being able to use a modern passenger vehicle to tow it, and that usually means FWD or AWD. Of course, if you go deep into the backcountry, tow a large, tongue-heavy trailer, or carry a lot of extra gear, a truck or truck-based SUV with RWD/4WD makes sense. Many people don't.

BTW, not all AWD systems are created equal. Honda's system on the Pilot has a setting to lock in a 50-50 front/rear torque split in slippery conditions. Subaru's system can send up to 90% to the rear. My wife's CR-V is more of the "rear wheel assist" variety. I don't know about the RAV-4.

Personally, I'm glad Toyota is again recognizing a need for smaller vehicles that are tow-rated. Looks like they're going to soak you for a fancy trim upgrade to get it, though.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:28 AM   #10
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What Jon says! We have over 30k miles towing Scamp 16 with Toyota Highlander FWD; 97% boondocking, only a handful of times AWD would have been a help and we got out of all of them so it wasn't a necessity.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:40 AM   #11
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Towing with a Toyota Rav4 V6

Hello All,

This is a very timely topic for me.

The most recent tow vehicle I'm looking at tonight is:


2010 Toyota Rav4 V6 w/tow package, auto 5 speed auto/4WD and Manual 4WD which seems like the best of both worlds. Any thoughts on this vehicle???

My last tow vehicle was a 05 Chevy Silverado 5.3 4WD it towed fine But seemed like over kill. The truck was like 22' long, a pain to repair, and $$$, parking, etc. It was a great truck, but like a tractor trailer pulling a VW...

Thinking how often I would be going over mountains maybe 5% of the time traveling. I'm retired in no rush to get anywhere. I've always thought to size equipment and avoid "unused capacity". I prefer to maximize available capacity use and then do excellent maintenance.

I appreciate all of your thoughts regarding the 2010 Rav4 V6.

Thanks,
Ranger


PS: Things are starting to come together again! I just recovered from Lyme disease and a diagnosis of cancer...thank GOD I made it...
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:47 AM   #12
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RAV4 as tow vehicle back 2018

What are you planning to pull with it? One limitation is a soft rear suspension, from what I've read.

Glad to hear you've pulled through some life-threatening issues and are able to resume travel. Best wishes!
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:07 AM   #13
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I've been towing my Escape 17B ( 3,200 lbs. loaded ) with my 2008 RAV4 V6 Sport (tow prep package) and with weight distribution hitch for almost 10 years.
I love that I can stomp on the gas and get up to the speed of traffic on a short ramp. I don't love that gas mileage plummets when you do that. Has a small gas tank so I have to stop more often for fuel than I'd like.
My wife and daughter think the seats are uncomfortable ( doesn't bother me ). I don't have the optional leather, multi adjustable seats.
Rear door can only be opened six inches when I'm hooked up with WDH.
Size is fine for me, but I wish I had a back-up camera for parking as the full-size spare tire sticks out beyond the 'bumper' and I can't see it.
I have no plans to replace the vehicle any time soon.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:26 AM   #14
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What are you planning to pull with it? One limitation is a soft rear suspension, from what I've read.

Glad to hear you've pulled through some life-threatening issues and are able to resume travel. Best wishes!
Thinking about a Casita' 17' Spirit Deluxe. I would plan on adding additional rear suspension upgrades to the Rav4 V6.

Thanks!

Ranger
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:12 PM   #15
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Real world tongue weight on Casita 17D's averages around 420#, well beyond Toyota's 350# rating. With suspension mods and WDH you might make it work; I'm sure there's plenty of drivetrain capacity. But you'll be towing outside the manufacturer's ratings, which has ramifications for liability.

Personally, I wouldn't go any larger than 16', and for that this vehicle (2010 Toyota Rav4 V6 w/tow package, auto 5 speed auto/4WD) seems just about perfect to me.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:19 PM   #16
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I'm running 320 - 340 tongue weight on my 17B.
I would not want to go over the max. 350 for the RAV4.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ranger100 View Post
Thinking about a Casita' 17' Spirit Deluxe. I would plan on adding additional rear suspension upgrades to the Rav4 V6.

Thanks!

Ranger
I have to agree with Glenn - the Casita's tongue weight is going to be well over the limits of the RAV4. Suspension upgrades, what ever they are, will not cure the limits of the attachment bolts between the hitch & the body of the vehicle. I wouldn't go over the rated 350 lbs.

As I mentioned in a previous post, other than a too small fuel tank, and low ground clearance, I still feel the V6 version of the RAV4 (with tow package) is an adequate tow vehicle for a 3000 pound trailer. While the wheel base is short compared to larger SUVs & trucks, the very short distance between the hitch ball & rear wheels provides stability that feels almost like a 5th wheel.

While there is plenty of engine (and brakes), once you go over the 350 lb tongue weight limit, you are asking for structural problems.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Real world tongue weight on Casita 17D's averages around 420#, well beyond Toyota's 350# rating. With suspension mods and WDH you might make it work; I'm sure there's plenty of drivetrain capacity. But you'll be towing outside the manufacturer's ratings, which has ramifications for liability.

Personally, I wouldn't go any larger than 16', and for that this vehicle (2010 Toyota Rav4 V6 w/tow package, auto 5 speed auto/4WD) seems just about perfect to me.
Hello Jon,

Thank you for your input. I'm thinking that I can reduce weight all around. My previous towing a Casita Spirit Deluxe 17' I traveled with empty Black and grey water tanks. But I had the larger fresh water tank and that was always full on the road. Plus I had a ridiculous amount of food, clothes and "stuff". Older and wiser now and have learned by my first travels what I can really do without.

I don't think I ever came close to the 350lb on the tongue. I tried to balance my load front to rear and left to right. I did weight (2X's) the truck and Casita hitched only once did the "the combo" go over total weight by 50lbs. The truck was loaded with a ridiculous amount of stuff because I was planning on moving w no home base.

LOL -There is no way I would travel with so much stuff the next time.

I respect and appreciate you all thoughts and comments.

Ranger
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:35 PM   #19
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Ranger, just for reference, I carry very little in my SD 17, travel with a full fresh tank, B/G tanks empty. LP, one full and the other in use. My TW comes in at 365#.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:56 PM   #20
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Thank you Dave,

I'll have to do some thinking on that one.

But I have a question. Isn't possible to just re balance the weight to the rear of the trailer? I installed the HD shock kit on mine and as far as I know was balanced under 350. I never noticed any problems with tracking or swaying while towing.

After awhile I didn't even use the Casita installed sway bar and never noticed a difference towing. The problem I had with the sway bar was the noises low speed and getting out to check for problems. After doing that a couple of times I decide to try towing with out it.

Thanks again!

Ranger
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