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Old 05-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
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Question Towing a 19' AS with Toyota Highlander??

We recently purchased a 2012 Toyota Highlander 4WD with tow package, V6. We have corresponded via email with an Airstream dealer who has a nice used 19' 2008 International Bambi for sale for $37,995 (not sure if that's a good price since we have never purchased a trailer before and have never towed a thing!) The empty weight of this trailer is 3763#, gross weight, fully loaded, is 4500#. This dealer assures us that our new Highlander is well within safe limits to tow this trailer. Since we know very little about towing, we found a site online called changingears.com where there is a calculator with various inputs that eventually determines (within a 20% safety margin) if a tow vehicle is adequate for a given trailer. We've run this calculator twice now and it says we can only tow 3333 lbs. When I shared this information with the AS dealer, he insists something is wrong in the calculations and that our Highlander can easily (and safely) tow this particular trailer. Now we are VERY confused and would really appreciate any input that forum members could give us. I searched this forum with the search words (Toyota Highlander) to see if this subject had been talked about previously, and came up empty-handed. THANKS in advance.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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2012 Toyota Highlander Base 4dr SUV 2.7L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic Features and Specs=

From Edmonds review page on the 2012 Highlander:
"Maximum towing capacity: 3500 lbs.**"
"** When adequately equipped, which may require engine and/or other drivetrain upgrades."


From the Toyota site:Toyota Highlander - 2012 Performance and Specifications
3500-lb. towing capacity, heavy-duty radiator, 160-watt fan coupling, supplemental transmission oil cooler and 150-amp alternator

and

"5000-lb. towing capacity , heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, 200-watt fan coupling, supplemental transmission oil cooler and 150-amp alternator
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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Probably not in stock form. Modifications may be needed such as heavier hitch receiver, hitch reinforced so it cannot vertically twist, stiffer tires, brake controller, Hensley or Propride style hitch would be good.

Also need to drive in safe manner, 55-60 mph level and shift down up and down on hills, no overdrive, you will feel headwinds and without the Hensley, passing trucks and crosswinds.

Consult an Airstream towing expert (in the business, not forum opinions) for best advice. Good idea not to trust dealer trying to sell an RV.

doug k
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Shop around, I bought a new (two year old stock) 2007 Airstream 20' in 2009 for $37,000 with full 2 year factory warranty, 25% off list.

Being your buying without trade-in, shop new old stock, lots around and without trade-in you can really deal.

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Old 05-22-2012, 09:19 PM   #5
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Could you tell me where we would find an Airstream towing expert (a professional person), as you mention in your response?
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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Andy Thompson at Can Am RV - Can-Am RV Centre | New and Used Travel Trailers, Motorhomes and Fifth Wheels | Towing & Hitch Specialists | Top Airstream Dealer

He's the best in the business and will help you out whether or not you use his services.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
2012 Toyota Highlander Base 4dr SUV 2.7L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic Features and Specs=

From Edmonds review page on the 2012 Highlander:
"Maximum towing capacity: 3500 lbs.**"
"** When adequately equipped, which may require engine and/or other drivetrain upgrades."


From the Toyota site:Toyota Highlander - 2012 Performance and Specifications
3500-lb. towing capacity, heavy-duty radiator, 160-watt fan coupling, supplemental transmission oil cooler and 150-amp alternator

and

"5000-lb. towing capacity , heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, 200-watt fan coupling, supplemental transmission oil cooler and 150-amp alternator
They said they have a V6, which the website states has a 5000lb capacity when equipped as they have it equipped.

You will be fine.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:52 AM   #8
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Here are a few links to posts that discuss the Toyota Highlander. Sorry, if you find any duplicates; I was just cutting and pasting.

Widen your search by just entering "Highlander" and you'll find more threads.

==========

Note: You may have to use "Find" to locate where "Highlander" is mentioned, as some of these links don't go to the exact post, just the thread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...rid-46538.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post713111

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...rid-28016.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...mbi-30715.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...der-52769.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ccd-39302.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-v6-44239.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...der-40278.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...der-26610.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...cle-17122.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ml#post1087553

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f67/...tml#post990806

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post989590
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:12 PM   #9
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THANKS so much for all your help. I appreciate your time.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #10
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Please give us an update on your progress. We are interested. thnxs.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:47 PM   #11
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Hi! We tow our 19 foot globetrotter with a 2003 highlander. Tows great!
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:19 AM   #12
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Hi Autumn,
Thanks for the very helpful info, I appreciate you writing. Do you use your rig to travel long distance (up over mountains, etc.) or just level easy driving? If you go long distance, does the Highlander really bog down on the hills? Do you ever tow in overdrive on a flat area without headwinds? What type of hitch do you have on the Highlander? Do you think the Globetrotter weighs about the same as the Bambi International I mentioned? Questions, questions, questions...hope I'm not overwhelming your generosity here! Thanks in advance, Pam
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:53 AM   #13
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A '63 Airstream and a '08 Airstream are quite different in weight and overall size, the length being the only similarity.

doug k
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #14
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I would suggest there aren't many 5 or 6 speed transmissions that belong in top gear (overdrive if that is how it is labelled) when towing any kind of RV... You'll find the engines tend to lug and may even get worse mileage than dropping a gear.
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