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Old 07-08-2019, 05:17 PM   #21
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,500
Some peoples criteria / standards for a tow vehicle are extremely low while others set the bar much higher . I value my life and the life of others so I choose not to push things right to their extreme limit.
As I said before “ If I can’t afford a proper / adequate tow vehicle then I don’t buy the trailer “
There seems to be a lot of the cart before horse on this and similar forums
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:30 PM   #22
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
I'm with Steve D except perhaps I'm a little rougher around the edges. (No adult supervision these days.) I wouldn't do it. Too close to the limits. ....
What limits are you referring to? The Sienna is rated to tow 3500 lbs.. the Scamp 16 comes in at about 2400-2800 - well under the "limit." All other weight ratings also are well over the actual weight (at least for me).

If you were to go back and read all of my posts you would find many in which I caution people about towing with their intended tug. But a tug towing at only 75% of its rating would not be one of them unless there was some other specific concern.

So again, I ask.. if you have a specific objection, then please be specific.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
.... I value my life and the life of others so I choose not to push things right to their extreme limit.
As I said before “ If I can’t afford a proper / adequate tow vehicle then I don’t buy the trailer “ ...
What "extreme limit" ????

What is it about a Sienna that you dont think is "proper / adequate" to tow a Scamp 16? The only real shortcoming as I see it is front wheel slippage, which has only been reported rarely, and only on steep gravel grades. Heck every vehicle has its limit but this is not one that is generally dangerous. The low hitch is a manageable issue as long as you are aware of it and drive according (including taking some driveways at an angle).

Its true that it is not the IDEAL tug.. but nothing I have heard is evidence that its not safe, proper, adequate, and quite reasonable. All i see is opinions without supporting facts. Give me the facts and I will be open to reconsidering.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:43 PM   #23
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,458
Not a Sienna, but we have towed all over east, Smokies and west Yellowstone and Glacier National park with out 2016 Town and Country rated 3500 lbs with no problems, averaging 16+ mpg.
Minivans do a great job and offer a lot of dry storage and utility.
My Scamp (FrankenScamp) is heavier than most as well.
The 2016 Town and Countrys have towing packages from the factory (self leveling rear shocks, Heavy duty cooling etc.
Add the cooling etc and you should be good to go.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:57 PM   #24
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
..
Add the cooling etc and you should be good to go.
This is where there might be some disagreement.. my take is that the OEM tranny cooler is included in the tow ratings, so you should not normally need more cooling. In other words, part of the "tow package" is standard equipment. Others think otherwise. Some think there is such as thing as too much tranny cooling since the fluid has an ideal temp range. And an aux tranny cooler does bring up the warranty voiding question. My suggestion is to use a temp gauge. I used the "Torque" app with a bluetooth OBD-II reader until I was satisfied that the tranny temp was not going too high. Now I dont even bother with it.

Same for the "etc." Tow within the ratings and you should not need anything other than hitch, wiring, brake controller, etc. If you do need to add things to obtain a tow rating, then the manufacturer would say so. But with "tow package" being such a poorly defined and confusing term, its harder to say.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:05 PM   #25
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,458
Some manufacturers have differing limits with different equipment and you will find an * in the ratings.
In the case of the Sienna From the manual:

The gross trailer weight must never exceed 3500 lb. (1588 kg).*
The gross combination weight must never exceed the GCWR described below.
2WD models: 8900 lb. (4037 kg)* AWD models: 8990 lb. (4078 kg)*

The gross vehicle weight must never exceed the GVWR indicated on the Certification Label.
The gross axle weight on each axle must never exceed the GAWR indicated on the Certification Label.
If the gross trailer weight is over the unbraked TWR, trailer service brakes are required.
If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lbs. (907 kg), a sway control device with sufficient capacity is required.
*: The towing package is required.

Toyota does not recommend towing with this vehicle without the towing package.

This (I think ) would mean that there i a towing package and Toyota's towing rating depends on it being installed.

Many manufacturer's have very different ratings depending on the installed equipment either factory provided or an added accessory like a weight distributing hitch.

In the case of the 2014 Sienna you need the towing package to tow 3500 lbs, just like the T&C. It may be installed as standard equipment on some versions or need to be added after the sale.
Get your dealer to check the VIN to see if it is installed on yout van.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:12 PM   #26
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
///
In the case of the 2014 Sienna you need the towing package to tow 3500 lbs, just like the T&C. It may be installed as standard equipment on some versions or need to be added after the sale.
Get your dealer to check the VIN to see if it is installed on yout (sic) van.
good advice.. and I think you will find that since the 2014 and my 2015 Sienna are the same generation, then like my 2015, the "towing package" that is required consists of a hitch receiver, trailer lights converter, and brake controller for trailers with brakes. It does not include additional transmission cooler, upgraded brakes, larger alternator, etc. The latter items are standard for the tow rating. The former are not available from Toyota. Go figure. If your case is different then get what is required. But also know that my experience has been that Toyota employees don't have the right answers very often and will even give flat out wrong information.

An "ideal" tow vehicle for a camping trailer would have everything needed as standard equipment or a manufactures option... including hitch receiver, trailer lights wiring, alternator, tyranny cooler, brake controller (or at least pre-wiring for one), etc. The Sienna is not the ideal tug, so you have to decide what it really needed or even possible to add to make it an appropriate tow vehicle. Once you do that, it seems to be fine for almost any Scamp 16.

PS.. you did hit on another thing I should comment on. Toyota does specify a sway control device for a trailer with the weight of a Scamp 16. I have traveled a good ways with one, and also without one. I never felt that it was critical that I have it, but since they say I should have one, I do. So plan on a $35 friction sway control bar (plus a little more for installation).
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:49 AM   #27
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,500
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
good advice.. and I think you will find that since the 2014 and my 2015 Sienna are the same generation, then like my 2015, the "towing package" that is required consists of a hitch receiver, trailer lights converter, and brake controller for trailers with brakes. It does not include additional transmission cooler, upgraded brakes, larger alternator, etc. The latter items are standard for the tow rating. The former are not available from Toyota. Go figure. If your case is different then get what is required. But also know that my experience has been that Toyota employees don't have the right answers very often and will even give flat out wrong information.

An "ideal" tow vehicle for a camping trailer would have everything needed as standard equipment or a manufactures option... including hitch receiver, trailer lights wiring, alternator, tyranny cooler, brake controller (or at least pre-wiring for one), etc. The Sienna is not the ideal tug, so you have to decide what it really needed or even possible to add to make it an appropriate tow vehicle. Once you do that, it seems to be fine for almost any Scamp 16.

PS.. you did hit on another thing I should comment on. Toyota does specify a sway control device for a trailer with the weight of a Scamp 16. I have traveled a good ways with one, and also without one. I never felt that it was critical that I have it, but since they say I should have one, I do. So plan on a $35 friction sway control bar (plus a little more for installation).
THANKS ; You just proved my point and far better than I could !
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:32 AM   #28
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Towing a 16' fiberglass trailer with a 2014 Toyota Sienna

Proves nothing. Read carefully. According to Gordonís post, all the drivetrain upgrades that used to be sold as an optional tow prep package are standard on the current generation. That is good news, not bad news.

Everything else- hitch and wiring for lights and brakes- needed to set up a Sienna to safely and reliably tow a 3500# trailer is readily available aftermarket. Properly installed aftermarket equipment used to tow within specifications will neither void your warranty nor harm your vehicle.

Of course there are other tow vehicle options that come more completely set up for towing by the manufacturer (integrated trailer pre-wiring is nice), just as there are options that overcome the limitations of a low clearance FWD tow vehicle.

Necessary now? No. Something to consider when itís time to purchase your next tow vehicle? Of course.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:50 AM   #29
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Name: J
Isle of Wight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
.......... tyranny cooler.............
Now we are getting somewhere
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:30 AM   #30
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Name: Justus
Trailer: Currently Shopping
California
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Scott, before I launch into a rant, check out this external thread: https://www.siennachat.com/threads/t...have-it.19406/. Post #2 has a picture you can use to determine whether or not you have the tow prep--which evidently came standard on 2014 Siennas with the V6 engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
good advice.. and I think you will find that since the 2014 and my 2015 Sienna are the same generation, then like my 2015, the "towing package" that is required consists of a hitch receiver, trailer lights converter, and brake controller for trailers with brakes. It does not include additional transmission cooler, upgraded brakes, larger alternator, etc. The latter items are standard for the tow rating. The former are not available from Toyota.
Fortunately hitches and 7-way plugs/harnesses are not that difficult to install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
THANKS ; You just proved my point and far better than I could !
I've read through all of this twice and the only "point" of yours I can find is that you aren't comfortable towing at 75% of a vehicle's rated capacity based on your "experience" which you still haven't shared. If Toyota's lawyers, mechanical engineers, and math guys are comfortable with it, it's probably OK.

Which 16' did you tow? What did you tow it with? Did you ever tow it with a Sienna or Odyssey to see if you could even tell the difference?

How exactly does Gordon's post prove your "point?" Is it that the manufacturer doesn't provide everything needed for towing? If I owned an early 2000s F-150, would that be an unsuitable TV because it didn't have an integrated brake controller? Are all crossover SUVs unsuitable because they don't come standard with a 7-pin? Is an Audi Q7, a crossover with a 7700 lbs tow rating--more than a Tacoma--unsuitable for towing if I don't select the $125 optional 7-pin connector?

Maybe they just slap those tow ratings on as a marketing gig?

I'll agree that crossovers and minivans aren't ideal TVs. Even in their manuals they state that the vehicle is "primarily a passenger vehicle." In no way does that make them somehow unsafe or unsuitable for towing within their advertised limits.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:29 AM   #31
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Name: scott
Trailer: shopping
California
Posts: 10
Thanks for all the input people. This online community is full of people willing to help out of their own passion for camping.

I have a few questions about the tow package. Since my 2014 Sienna didn't come with it, I'd like to start gathering information on the modifications. I've read about different mods and I'm not sure which ones are needed.

From the current Toyota website the tow package includes:

1. Engine oil cooler
2. Heavy duty radiator and fan

I've read that some people have:

1. Transmission cooler
2. Brake upgrade
3. 150 Amp Alternator (What is this for?)
4. Power steering oil cooler

Also I've read I need a brake controller. I've only towed a teardrop in the past so this is all new to me. This is a little overwhelming so any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Scott
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:32 PM   #32
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott_lobe View Post
.....
I've read that some people have:

1. Transmission cooler
2. Brake upgrade
3. 150 Amp Alternator (What is this for?)
4. Power steering oil cooler
I have made no alterations or additions to your numbers 1-4. The 2015 Sienna LE comes with the brakes, transmission, alternator, etc to tow at the given ratings. I did look into adding a transmission cooler but as I recall it was not practical and was even strongly discouraged by Toyota. If you do find that you need any or all of your 1-4 then perhaps you should look for a different vehicle.

You will need to add hitch receiver, trailer lights converter brake controller and 7 pin with wiring. All should be available at etrailer. Also do this search for more info from them:
https://www.google.com/search?q=2014+sienna+etrailer

Check with Toyota to find what they say you need. but dont trust them to really know.

Go by U-Haul and any good trailer shop in your area and ask the same. Remain skeptical. Get estimates for the parts and install. I saved a bunch by doing it all myself (and likely did a better job in some respects than someone for whom time is money). But also know there is no pre-wiring for the brake controller, so among other things, you have to find and tap onto the brake pedal switch wire. That can be a little scary - digging into the OEM wiring, but its done all the time.

Here is a video for the brake controller install in a 2016 Sienna... I'l bet its no different than the 2014:

https://www.etrailer.com/tv-install-...a-tk90160.aspx

Here is a video of the trailer light converter install for a 2014 Sienna (same as what I did). Again, if this looks scary... get some estimates from trailer shops:
https://www.etrailer.com/tv-install-...na-c56106.aspx

After reviewing the above, you will see why I said it can tow a Scamp 16 fine, but it is not the ideal tow vehicle. Doing all this setup myself took two days. My next tow vehicle will have all this wiring done from the factory. If in the future they market a Sienna with the hitch, trailer wiring, etc.. then I might buy it to replace this one when the time comes.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:26 PM   #33
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,458
By the way you can buy a Chrysler Town and Country set up towing (well maybe a Pacifica or a Dodge Caravan, really) but I don't think that they provide brake controller with their wiring kit.
They do suggest, buried down in their hitch literature, a WDH over 1800 lbs.
If you don't think it's a real truck then be aware that every FCA truck uses the same Pentastar in each and every six cylinder truck.
I particularly like the factory hitch which replaces the bumper bad behind the rear bumper cover and is tied solidly into the unibody and is rated for that weight distributing hitch. It also gives better ground clearance compared to the available aftermarket hitches
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