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Old 04-17-2015, 03:06 PM   #1
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RAV4 towing a 16 Sport

We are very close to buying the 16. I'm afraid the mirrors on out little SUV won't be sufficient enough. How can you see back and around the trailer. How does is all work out. Has anyone towed the 16 with a Rav? We have a V6 engine and tow package.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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On paper the V6 Rav4 can pull 3500 lbs. with the tow package. In reality you won't be happy with the results especially at speed on the highway, and going up and down hills/mountains. Running your tow vehicle at the edge (or over) it's limits is dangerous and likely to take your RAV4 to an early grave. Run all of the numbers - you'll see that you will be left with virtually zero available payload to carry all of your stuff.

Either pass on the Bambi, or get a bigger tow vehicle.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:33 PM   #3
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Assuming that towing a 16' Sport is comfortably within the RAV4 tow ratings your absolute best bet for mirrors are McKesh mirrors purchased through Hensley Arrow:

McKesh Mirrors - Hensley Mfg., Inc.

We have used ours for well over 10 years now - same mirrors still going strong - easy on - easy off - trip after trip - year after year ...... a little pricey - but no regrets ......

Welcome to the club.


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Old 04-17-2015, 06:58 PM   #4
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I have no issue with your RAV4 being adequate for your Sport since I tow a 30' with a Jeep. I have used the McKesh mirrors and am currently using Milenco mirrors. Both are excellent. The best thing though, is my RVRearview camera. It has simply eliminated all the viewing guess work associated with wide Airstreams and narrow SUVs. Jim


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Old 04-18-2015, 03:45 PM   #5
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I completely disagree with 2Fast4U's comment as i've run that package for over a year and a half with no harm, plenty of pull even through the mountains, and near 100 degree temps through the California Central Valley. Numbers are one thing, experience another. Prudent driving is always recommended of course.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:27 PM   #6
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In terms of adequacy of your proposed tow vehicle, all of the data are here:
Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine

In regard to rear-view mirrors, Walmart and other vendors carry many types of add-on mirrors. There are numerous past discussions of the various types on Air Forums.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
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In terms of adequacy of your proposed tow vehicle, all of the data are here:
Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine

Except that it doesn't list the RAV4....


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Old 04-18-2015, 10:09 PM   #8
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I once towed a 2008 Airstream sport 15' with a 2013 Subaru Outback. All the numbers worked out. I was within all the limits. The first trip home after the purchase. The trailer passed up the Subaru and barrel rolled both. It almost kill me, the wife and the two dogs. My wife went the long way over and we were upside down. I self rescued and got my wife out and then the boxer dogs. We had to exit the rear passenger door.

Sorry but, I would not tow with a Rav. Unless you have a death wish.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:35 PM   #9
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I suspect that a RAV4 isn't listed because it is not considered appropriate to be a tow vehicle for the kinds of trailers that the guides are dealing with.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:19 AM   #10
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Bingo!!
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:19 AM   #11
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I once towed a 2008 Airstream sport 15' with a 2013 Subaru Outback. All the numbers worked out. I was within all the limits.
Interesting BV. Can you tell us more about how it was connected please. WDH? sway control?

thnxs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Fast4U View Post
On paper the V6 Rav4 can pull 3500 lbs. with the tow package. In reality you won't be happy with the results especially at speed on the highway, and going up and down hills/mountains. Running your tow vehicle at the edge (or over) it's limits is dangerous and likely to take your RAV4 to an early grave. Run all of the numbers - you'll see that you will be left with virtually zero available payload to carry all of your stuff.

Either pass on the Bambi, or get a bigger tow vehicle.
I think most of us have learned that "the numbers" can or don't have much to do with handling, performance , or reliablity. One really needs to evaluate the vehicles capabilities and go from there.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:46 AM   #12
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Edmunds should be able to give you the specs for your Rav4. Follow the guidelines and stay within your limits.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:33 AM   #13
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I believe the max capacity of the RAV4 w/6cyl is 3500# and the max GVW of the Bambi16 is 3500. It's shipped around 2900 leaving only 600# for fluids and camping "stuff" which gets chewed up pretty fast - meaning, you will likely ALWAYS be at the max of the RAV4. There's always controversy around this because many people believe the lawyers define the tow ratings though the engineers know there's much more capacity than what's advertised. Personally, I'm not in that camp.

AS will also tell you the tongue weight is 350# but in reality, their published tongue weights are notoriously low. Maybe it's closer to 500? Someone with a Bambi could tell you the real world numbers - not sure what hitch rating you have on the RAV4 but that's worth looking in to.

Last, just because in theory you CAN pull it doesn't mean you can STOP it - or - avoid the Bernoulli effect of an 18-wheeler blowing by you.

Everyone has their own opinion. Mine is that mirrors would be the least of my concerns with this setup. The advice you got on rear cameras is excellent. But I personally wouldn't tow a Bambi with a RAV4. I don't believe you need a one ton dually either :-)

If you want to tow with an SUV, something like the TDI Touareg would have much more "headroom" for that Bambi. Whatever you choose, you'll need an excellent WD and sway control hitch and if you're new to towing altogether, I would recommend a weekend RV Safe Driver course at your nearest CDL center.

Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:59 AM   #14
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Russian roulette

If you need to brake on a curve,on a wet or gravelly road, the trailer could push the Rav into a jack knife.

Chance of transmission damage.

Poor braking

Chance of warping your brake rotors.

I wouldn't want to take a chance with life and limb not to mention $60 K worth of vehicles. OR OTHER PEOPLE ON THE ROAD.

This goes double for inexperienced towers!
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