What FRV to tow with 2022 Highlander Hybrid 4cyl 3500 tow capacity - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-14-2024, 10:45 PM   #21
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Mike Magee's Avatar
Name: Mike
Trailer: 93 Burro 17 ft
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I just did some looking at the 2022 Hi-Hy specs. Earlier ones had the V6 plus the hybrid system, but the 2022 appears to have the 2.5L 4 cyl. Whereas my non-hybrid 2008 had 270 HP and 240 lb-ft torque, your 2022 is 243 HP and 175 torque. This means the engine (a very good one btw) will be slower to accelerate and will rev higher (meaning more noise) to maintain speed than my old V6. And when towing up a steep grade, particularly at high elevations where there's a bit of power loss from the thin air, you might be reduced to 35 or 40 mph on occasion. (Of course, in such mountainous terrain it's not uncommon to have too many curves to go fast anyway.) Depending on your expectations, you might not like this setup in the Rocky Mountains.

So you're near Syracuse, hmm, that's not too far from the Adirondacks. I bet you could find some highways with grades in the 5% to 7% range not too far from you. My suggestion is to rent or borrow a trailer of somewhat similar weight and frontal area, and tow it up and down some of those mountains near you. That will tell you what you can expect with one of these travel trailers.

Honestly, it's a matter of whether you will be okay with the sound of the engine (which is made to rev, it won't hurt anything but your ears) and the loss of speed at times. In relatively flat areas it will be easy going. On the climbs you will either find it acceptable or you won't. Downshifting on the climbs will help. Be aware that on the downhill side of those steep ones you always need to be downshifted and slowed the same as on the uphill side; let the engine do much of the braking and only hit the brake pedal periodically as needed; never ride the brakes continuously, they can overheat and fade out.

And while you've got the trailer hooked up, find a large, empty parking lot area and get some backing-up practice, too!
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Old 02-15-2024, 04:53 PM   #22
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Name: Karlie
Trailer: Currently Shopping for Scamp, I think ...
New York
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Super helpful, Mike. Thanks very much. I'm trying to find something to rent and try out around here to see what might work. Great idea!
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Old 02-16-2024, 03:10 PM   #23
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Name: Philip
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 42
Mike makes some excellent points. Another thing you might consider is that the 243 hp rating is the combined equivalent output of the electric motors with the gasoline engine. I see where Toyota rates the horsepower of the gasoline engine at 186 hp @ 6000 rpm’s. This means that on a sustained climb you not only will experience the reduced performance associated with higher elevation, but possibly a horsepower reduction due to the depletion of the batteries. It’s very possible that just the additional wind resistance and weight of towing the trailer will have you running on just the gasoline engine.

I used to tow a 16 ft Casita with a 4-cylinder Tacoma, which had similar performance specifications to your Highlander’s gasoline engine. In the relatively flat southeast, it was an adequate combination. FWIW, I now tow with a V6 Tacoma.

I agree with Mike’s recommendation to test tow a trailer of comparable frontal area and weight to what you are considering, then decide whether you will be comfortable with its performance. You may also want to load the Highlander with a payload similar to what you plan to carry while camping.

I can also envision that when towing solely with the gasoline engine that fuel economy will take a big hit. Since the Highlander only has a 17 gallon tank, this may mean a short range and frequent stops, which could be an issue in remote areas with less gas stations.

2023 Casita 17’ Spirit Deluxe towed by 2022 Tacoma 3.5l V6
Formerly 2018 Casita 16’ Liberty Deluxe towed by 2016 Tacoma 2.7l 4-cyl
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Old 02-17-2024, 10:03 AM   #24
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 11,997
Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
Thanks 1300# payload rating. Tongue weight on my Snoozy is under 300#. Mirrors not an issue as the Snoozy is not as wide as a Casita in that the body sits inside the wheels. At least it has never been an issue towing with my 2001 Cherokee. The Frontier mirrors sit wider on the Frontier than on the Cherokee.
Now, to just find a long bed.
Snoozy cabin is actually a bit wider than a Casita. The transverse Casita bed is 76" sidewall-to-sidewall, while the transverse Snoozy bed is 80". The difference is the wheel track. Snoozy's outboard wheels have a wider track than the Casita's inboard wheels. Of course that does not interfere with the mirrors.

Both will likely be a bit much for the OP's Highlander 2.5L hybrid.
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