Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: Newbie with general tow questions
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3HappyCamperz

Kerr Lake

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Posted: 07/20/19 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, everyone! I'm sure you get lots of these posts, but I cannot get a straight answer. I'm really in need of some help.

I have a 2011 Highlander V6 4WD and I want to buy a pop up camper. My user manual says my tow capacity is 2000 lbs without tow package and 5000 with. Tongue weight 200 lbs without package and 500 with. My GVWR is 6000 lbs.

The dealership says my vehicle is "tow ready," whatever that means, and that I just need to add a tow hitch and wiring. They are unable to tell me what the tow capacity for my specific vehicle is. To complicate things more, they say I will have a "tow package" once the hitch and wiring are installed.

My father tells me that there's more to a tow package than a hitch and wiring (something about a fan? and other things) He says I shouldn't tow anything over 1,500lbs.

Can anyone tell me how much can I safely tow?

wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 07/20/19 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe this will be of some help to you,,,
2011 Highlander

rdhetrick

Texas

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Posted: 07/20/19 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know your vehicle specifics, but generally, a tow package is more than a hitch and wiring. They often include a transmission cooler, and sometimes a heavy duty alternator. Might also include heavier rear springs.

You also need to consider whether or not your vehicle can "carry" the extra tongue weight, in addition to just pulling it. A general rule of thumb for tongue weight is 15% of the trailers gross weight, plus the weight of the hitch itself.

In short, I think the dealer is mis-informed, and your father is probably right.


Rob
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3HappyCamperz

Kerr Lake

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Posted: 07/20/19 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

Maybe this will be of some help to you,,,
***Link Removed***


Thanks for this. Yes, I did run into this thread when I was doing my research, but I'm still confused!

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 07/20/19 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clearly the dealer is wrong. If your vehicle didn't come with a hitch then there's no way it has the tow package. If simply adding the hitch and wiring made it have the tow package then what would be the difference between one rated at 2,000 and one rated at 5,000. If putting the hitch on automatically rates it at 5,000 then how would you ever be able to tow anything with a vehicle rated at 2,000 since it wouldn't have a hitch?
I would do some research on what the tow package included for your vehicle and then investigate to see if your's has those things. I suspect it doesn't. Tow package can include a larger radiator, different axle gears, larger transmission cooler, etc.

3HappyCamperz

Kerr Lake

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Posted: 07/20/19 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I called a different Toyota dealership and the parts guy told me I DO have the tow package according to my VIN. It's called "tow ready" if you don't pay extra for the hitch, which I did not. He says I have enhanced features on the radiator and alternator and I have a fan and an oil cooler.

With the max at 5,000 lbs with the tow package, can I reasonably buy a 3,000 lb pup up, or should I stay in the 2,000 weight range?

4x4ord

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Posted: 07/20/19 09:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You don't have the tow package so you can install wiring, and a hitch and tow a 2000 lb trailer. Because the trailer you are planning to get is a pop up and will have very little wind resistance I would think you could cheat a little and pull a 2500 lb fully loaded pop up.


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Turtle n Peeps

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Posted: 07/20/19 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Find a new dealer.


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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 07/20/19 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3HappyCamperz wrote:

I called a different Toyota dealership and the parts guy told me I DO have the tow package according to my VIN. It's called "tow ready" if you don't pay extra for the hitch, which I did not. He says I have enhanced features on the radiator and alternator and I have a fan and an oil cooler.

With the max at 5,000 lbs with the tow package, can I reasonably buy a 3,000 lb pup up, or should I stay in the 2,000 weight range?


If you do have the larger radiator, alternator, and oil cooler, then all you'd need would be hitch and wiring to tow 5,000 lbs. 3,000 lbs is a heavy pop-up trailer, but you do need to allow for camping gear, which, BTW, is probably best put in the trailer rather than in the TV. The reason for this is that for most SUVs and half-ton pickups, the TV payload will be the limiting factor. If you add up the weight of a tank of fuel, driver & passengers, hitch and tongue weight, you will likely find yourself with nothing left for camping gear, let alone food and clothing.

Here's how this goes. My SUV has a payload of 1295 lbs. With a 22 gallon fuel tank (7.2 lbs x 22 = 158 lbs), weight of myself and my wife (400 lbs, we're big people), tongue weight (600 lbs max, according to TV mfg.), we're at 1158 lbs. The remaining 137 lbs goes to our dog, at 80 lbs, a few maps, bag of snacks and drinks for the road, the emergency flares, tire inflator, tow rope, etc. always in the car, and you see where this ends. You are likely in the same boat.





wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 07/20/19 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3HappyCamperz wrote:

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

Maybe this will be of some help to you,,,
***Link Removed***


Thanks for this. Yes, I did run into this thread when I was doing my research, but I'm still confused!


Look at the part about the transmission cooler located in that drivers side opening. That cooler is a great indicator of whether or not your unit is capable of the heavier weights.
Also your GCWR should give you an indication. 5000 tow cap will require the GCWR to be near 11000 pounds.

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