Anyone tow with a Sienna van? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-18-2015, 10:48 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Anyone tow with a Sienna van?

Hi, all, from northern Alabama. I have found so much wonderful information on this site! I’ve read and read and read, as I want a little fiberglass trailer.

I want a little trailer basically to get me and my dog to dog events. I would also love to take it to great places sightseeing and relaxing, as well, but don’t foresee going “off-road” really....

My question is: does anyone here pull your trailer with an ‘06 Sienna (Toyota) van? I don’t want to buy a new vehicle, as I love this van. I’ve read so much here about “true” pulling weights, that I wonder about the max weight I should really view as OK. I think the "official" weight is 3500 lbs., but I have learned from reading all the great info here that the weight needs to be distributed, and that some "official" weights may include hidden challenges.

Thanks for all the help!
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 12:19 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,476
We tow with a similar vehicle, a Honda Odyssey. Your Sienne should be able to tow most of the trailers you see on this site. We tow a Scamp 16, weight 2600 pounds with ease. The only modification we had was the addition of a transmission cooler, normal for vehicles with an automatic transmission.

Weight distribution systems are needed when the ball weight exceeds the vehicles design limit, for our Odyssey that amounts to 350 pounds. A weight distribution system transfer ball weight to the tow vehicles front axle.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 12:31 PM   #3
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Airstream Sold, Nest Fan
Ontario
Posts: 2,000
Good day Toinette... We towed with a Nissan Quest for many years and learned from that experience how good a tow vehicle Mini Vans can be.

We have a pal that has a Sienna like yours and he has been towing a dual axle trailer for a number of years. Not that you are looking for a trailer as large as his but it does confirm the ruggedness of the Sienna's to take on the task of towing.

Depending on the size and weight of the trailer you find you may want to consider a WDH. Getting the connection right is very important. Also look for a trailer with electric brakes.

Good luck with your search.

PS.... We own a 2004 Sienna. Really like the vehicle in every way.
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 12:47 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Thanks! Nothing beats the voice of experience!
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 04:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Tom Trostel's Avatar
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
Texas
Posts: 1,339
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Tom Trostel Send a message via MSN to Tom Trostel
We tow our 1980 Bigfoot with a 2006 Sienna. We use a single arm WDH and Prodigy brake controller. Trailer weighs 2600 lbs. ready to camp with a hitch weight of 340 lbs. The only down side is the boxy, 8 ft wide Bigfoot drops the gas mileage to 12-13 mpg at 60 mph.

Lake Bardwell, TX Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket
__________________
1980 Bigfoot 17' & former owner of 1973 Compact Jr
Tom Trostel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 05:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,892
Go for it! The Sienna will be fine with just about any 13' or 16' fiberglass 'egg'. A 17' Casita with front bath would be too heavy on the tongue for your van's rear springs and hitch receiver, but anything smaller should be good.

I've towed for well over 100,000 miles with my Highlander. It does have the somewhat more powerful 3.5L V6; I think you have the 3.3L, am I right? Still you have a good, durable tow vehicle in the Sienna.
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 05:55 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
We tow our 1980 Bigfoot with a 2006 Sienna. We use a single arm WDH and Prodigy brake controller. Trailer weighs 2600 lbs. ready to camp with a hitch weight of 340 lbs. The only down side is the boxy, 8 ft wide Bigfoot drops the gas mileage to 12-13 mpg at 60 mph.

Lake Bardwell, TX Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket
What a gorgeous photo, Tom! I love the bluebonnets. I would love to get a Bigfoot. . . I am so thankful for all the details.

Thanks for sharing the good info and the photo.

Tonie
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 06:00 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Go for it! The Sienna will be fine with just about any 13' or 16' fiberglass 'egg'. A 17' Casita with front bath would be too heavy on the tongue for your van's rear springs and hitch receiver, but anything smaller should be good.

I've towed for well over 100,000 miles with my Highlander. It does have the somewhat more powerful 3.5L V6; I think you have the 3.3L, am I right? Still you have a good, durable tow vehicle in the Sienna.
Mike, my van is V6… I'll have to check to see if it is also a 3.5L… Thanks for the info about the front bath, 17' Casita. I'd like to have a bath in the "egg" but realize it will add a lot of weight…. I'm quite a way away from getting one, so plenty of time to research.

Thanks, Mike, for the info!

Tonie
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 06:14 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Tom Trostel's Avatar
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
Texas
Posts: 1,339
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Tom Trostel Send a message via MSN to Tom Trostel
2006 Sienna has a 3.3 liter V6.
__________________
1980 Bigfoot 17' & former owner of 1973 Compact Jr
Tom Trostel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 07:46 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
2006 Sienna has a 3.3 liter V6.
Thanks, Tom.

Tonie
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 12:07 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
FRED SMAILES's Avatar
 
Name: Fred
Trailer: 13 ft Boler
Kootenay's of BC
Posts: 936
Registry
We are in California with this combo right now from Canada.
We haul a bunch a stuff, probably weigh over 15oo \lbs, get about 20 mpg Imp gal at 55 mph. according to the computer.
Very nice combo, our trailer doesn't have brakes an the Sienna does a great job, but trailer brakes would be better.
our Sienna is an 04 but they were basically unchanged 04-06,, 07 they came out with the 3.5L motor and in 2010 changed the body style and added the 6 speed trans
Fred
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_00001287.jpg  
FRED SMAILES is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 06:01 AM   #12
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Airstream Sold, Nest Fan
Ontario
Posts: 2,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post

I've towed for well over 100,000 miles with my Highlander. It does have the somewhat more powerful 3.5L V6; I think you have the 3.3L, am I right? Still you have a good, durable tow vehicle in the Sienna.
Mike, that is good to know about the kind of long term towing miles the Highlander is capable of.

We too have a 3.5 in the G35 and a 3.3 in an 04 Sienna. The 3.3 is very strong by comparison even in the van which weighs a half ton more than the car. There are many, many Sienna's towing TT's here in our area. They perform.

PS/ Sienna trivia... Our 11 year old Sienna is getting a new rad. Did a lot of research on Sienna'a as they relate to ones with the tow pkg and ones without.

Apparently the only difference between the two is the tow pkg equipped model has a slightly larger rad and tranny cooler (internal to the rad). There are no other differences. No larger alternator, no heavier shocks or springs. The difference in cost of the upgraded rad was $45. Total cost of the replacement HD rad was under $300.
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 06:43 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by FRED SMAILES View Post
We are in California with this combo right now from Canada.
We haul a bunch a stuff, probably weigh over 15oo \lbs, get about 20 mpg Imp gal at 55 mph. according to the computer.
Very nice combo, our trailer doesn't have brakes an the Sienna does a great job, but trailer brakes would be better.
our Sienna is an 04 but they were basically unchanged 04-06,, 07 they came out with the 3.5L motor and in 2010 changed the body style and added the 6 speed trans
Fred
Fred, this is so good to hear! Thanks so much for sharing this info!
Tonie
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 06:46 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Wayne, how did you know when you needed a new rad (radiator?) ?
Thanks,
Tonie
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 07:13 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,476
I don't know anything about the Sienna but our Odyssey is similar sized in engine and weight. For towing the addition of a transmission cooler is required so we ordered ours with a transmission cooler.

Surprisingly to us the separate transmission cooler is as large as the radiator and located in front of the radiator. Keeping the transmission fluid at the correct temperature is critical to transmission life.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 07:44 AM   #16
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Airstream Sold, Nest Fan
Ontario
Posts: 2,000
Tonie.... Ours wasn't this bad but it gives you an idea what to look for. I could see a scaly, damp looking red crud at the edge of the rad at one spot. If the engine gets hot you may see some steam coming from around the hood and there will be a sweet smell of the hot antifreeze in the air.

These days most rads are built to last. Our last two Nissan Quests were 17 years old and still had the original rads.

MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 09:28 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Carl V's Avatar
 
Name: Carl
Trailer: 1981 Trillium 5500
Quebec
Posts: 643
Odysseys have very large Aux rads because they had transmission issues in the past.

I own a '06 Highlander. Same engine/transmission of the same vintage Sienna (3.3l).
It has the tow package from the factory. It has the ATF line in the rad just like about any other vehicle, and the tow package adds a smaller AUX transmission cooler. I don't think the main radiator is any different. Same alternator, suspension, etc. The tow package also includes a full size spare tire.
Having said this, not sure how much of this applies to the Sienna, but since it shares a lot of mechanical components with the Highlander it is certainly worth checking accurately. An AUX cooler (factory or aftermarket) is a must in my opinion, just the ATF line in the rad is not enough.

I'm in the market for a FG trailer in the 17-18ft size, and I'm confident my Highlander will pull it just fine.

One thing you may want to check with the Sienna is the very low clearance below the hitch. On other forums many had occasional scraping issues going over bumps. A weight distributing hitch will certainly help, since the rear suspension is rather soft. My camping trailer has a 250-275lbs tongue weight and I use a Reese Mini 350 WD hitch with my Highlander, I wouldn't tow without it.
Carl V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 10:10 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
Posts: 1,124
Towing with a Sienna

We used to pull our Scamp 16 ft deluxe with a Honda Oddesy. In fact three different ones.
The trailer weight is about 2800 lb and hitch wt about 250 lb
Because the hitch on the van is too low, you need a high rise drawbar.
In order to keep the total weight as low as possible, we had a class II hitch, with the 1.5 inch square receiver. Made sure to have the hitch ball as close as possible to the rear bumper. We did add a sway bar but no WDH.
Make sure there is little to no play in the hook up.
Wayne Collins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 11:01 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Borden's Avatar
 
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: Boler 1978 17' 4" Earlton Ont Model
Ontario
Posts: 1,059
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWelch View Post
Hi, all, from northern Alabama. I have found so much wonderful information on this site! I’ve read and read and read, as I want a little fiberglass trailer.

I want a little trailer basically to get me and my dog to dog events. I would also love to take it to great places sightseeing and relaxing, as well, but don’t foresee going “off-road” really....

My question is: does anyone here pull your trailer with an ‘06 Sienna (Toyota) van? I don’t want to buy a new vehicle, as I love this van. I’ve read so much here about “true” pulling weights, that I wonder about the max weight I should really view as OK. I think the "official" weight is 3500 lbs., but I have learned from reading all the great info here that the weight needs to be distributed, and that some "official" weights may include hidden challenges.

Thanks for all the help!
We tow with a Corolla it works well 2010 larger style

Purchased car with full tow package
- Hitch installed
-Trailer brakes 7 pin wiring
- HD cooling system
- Extra safety systems
we added:
- Progressive Transaxle cooler Mr. Transmission dealer recommended this done and so we did.

upgraded:
- Custom frame Hitch from Can Am RV in London class 3
- WD system and sway bar
- Wiring module Toyota unit over heated added better unit with dedicated power wire (heavy duty) better for batter charging. Still have the factory replacement but will not use it.
- May add bigger alternator
__________________
1978 Ontario made Boler
Borden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 12:44 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
TWelch's Avatar
 
Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2019 Nissan PathFinder
Alabama
Posts: 155
Registry
Norm and Ginny, Wayne (MC1), Carl, Wayne Collins, and Borden,
Thank you all so very much for the great information! I will be reading it all and digesting it, and checking my van out… I appreciate the photo, too - great visual of what to look for.
I can't tell you (and those who replied yesterday) how appreciative I am!
Tonie
TWelch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CA | SOLD: 1978 Van Mate fiberglass pop up Travel trailer , 1978 Van Mate , Beyond RARE Bob Guilliams Classified Archives 12 03-15-2012 07:44 PM
Can a Sienna tow a 13'er Donna Adams Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 12 12-14-2009 10:07 AM
Toyota Sienna Tow Vehicle DanMurphy Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 03-06-2008 07:32 PM
Better tow vehicle. Highlander vs. Sienna van Gary Little Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 6 08-31-2006 11:49 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.