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Old 11-22-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
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Towing w/Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I have a new(er) Highlander Hybrid w/ tow rating of 3500 and am thinking of buying a 16' Bambi GVWR at 3500.

My question: The hybrid above has a fairly stout 6 cyl. engine along w/ the battery assist system. But, am I asking for trouble not having a more powerful tow vehicle??? Any help or advice from A/S you tow experts would be much appreciated.

Tom Murphy
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:43 PM   #2
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I think that you might be pushing the envelope with that TV/TT combo. By the time you add cargo and passengers, you'd be somewhat beyond the Highlander's capabilities.

Brian
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:55 PM   #3
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Older units weigh less if that helps you, in this market buy an inexpensive truck if you can. Stressing the vehicle is not a great idea. Good Luck!
Also your Bamibi with some water and over the limit!
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:30 PM   #4
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I have a 22" Safari and I tow it with a 2003 4Runner with a 4.7litre V8. I had a very hard time finding anyone at Toyota that would tell me what the true towing capacity of the vehicle was. I got answers from 5000lbs to 7500lbs. I have taken it over the coastal passes up to about 1600 ft but still don't know how it will do in truly steep climbs. I may find out next spring and summer as I plan to get into the Rockies. I live in Oregon so the passes are mainly less than 3500 feet.
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rustyrivet View Post
I have a 22" Safari and I tow it with a 2003 4Runner with a 4.7litre V8. I had a very hard time finding anyone at Toyota that would tell me what the true towing capacity of the vehicle was. I got answers from 5000lbs to 7500lbs. I have taken it over the coastal passes up to about 1600 ft but still don't know how it will do in truly steep climbs. I may find out next spring and summer as I plan to get into the Rockies. I live in Oregon so the passes are mainly less than 3500 feet.
Hi, rustyrivet. I just did a search on your vehicle and came up with a 5,000 lbs tow capacity. This should be in your owner's manual.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:33 AM   #6
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There is a member here that tows his 16ft CCD with his older model HiHy... search "HiHy" for his threads. He also updated the trailer's brakes to disks.
Marc
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:01 AM   #7
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I think that you might be pushing the envelope with that TV/TT combo. By the time you add cargo and passengers, you'd be somewhat beyond the Highlander's capabilities.

Brian
The all-wheel-drive Highlander Hybrids get a third motor that provides power to the rear wheels when extra acceleration or traction is needed. Cumulative output for this hybrid drive train is 268 horsepower.

Acceleration is swift for an SUV in this price range at 7.2 seconds for the 0-60-mph run.

Fuel economy ratings for the Toyota Highlander Hybrid are 33 mpg city/28 mpg highway on front-drive (2WD) models and 31/27 on AWD models.

The important consideration would be to go for quality connection system with appropriate hardware and adjustments that provide optimal control and stability.

Power to weight ratio with the 3500lb Airstream would be quite high (260HP/9,500lbs). The fuel economy is a huge bonus.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:59 AM   #8
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You would push the limits of the suggested weight limits, But it's been done before and will be again.... I would think you would have enough power to tow the Bambi, Just make sure you get a really good equalizer hitch and sway control to help get the weight of the back of your Highlander... Hensley Arrow is one a lot of people use.. they can cost $1000 or more but cheaper than a new tow vehicle.

Just drive safely, There are people who will not agree with you towing with this vehicle and there opinions are worth looking at..
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:28 PM   #9
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Bob, thanks for the suggestion. We checked the manual and on line when we decided to purchase our trailer. Unfortunately the manual gave the same rating for the 2003 4runner with a six cylinder 4 speed and a 4.7liter v8 with a five speed. When we questioned Toyota about it they said Toyota gave the same capacity in the manual but that there would be a correction when the 2004 came out. Sure enough, the 2004 version with the same engine (4.7 liter) ,5 speed transmission and tow package shows a 7500 lb towing capacity. Toyota told us there were no changes in the drive train or suspension between 2003 and 2004 v8s. We looked on line to double check. We have decided to stay between the two numbers, just to be safe. Very confusing. Thanks again. Jim
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:14 PM   #10
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What incentive does an automobile manufacturer have to give a vehicle a high tow weight rating?

Answer: none. The percentage of owners towing doesn't outweigh (or even come close to) making up for the potential losses he leaves himself open to by giving a high rating.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:51 PM   #11
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Hi, rustyrivet. I just did a search on your vehicle and came up with a 5,000 lbs tow capacity. This should be in your owner's manual.
Hi, rustyrivet. I checked the specs on the 2004 4Runner and it does have new numbers: Still 5,000 lbs for the V-6, 7,000 lbs for the V-8 4X4, and 7,300 lbs for the V-8 2WD. Ironically the V-6 has 10 more horse power than the V-8, but 37 lbs torque less than the V-8. This makes the V-8 more suitable for towing.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyrivet View Post
I have a 22" Safari and I tow it with a 2003 4Runner with a 4.7litre V8. I had a very hard time finding anyone at Toyota that would tell me what the true towing capacity of the vehicle was. I got answers from 5000lbs to 7500lbs. I have taken it over the coastal passes up to about 1600 ft but still don't know how it will do in truly steep climbs. I may find out next spring and summer as I plan to get into the Rockies. I live in Oregon so the passes are mainly less than 3500 feet.
I experienced the coastal passes and Highway 101 a couple of months ago. On balance, it was the hardest towing I've done.

The climbs on the coast are relatively short, but there are lots of them, and 7% grades are not uncommon. In the Rockies, you might have a 6% grade that goes on for 10 miles, but then it's over and most of the hills are only 3 or 4%. I wouldn't worry about power with your combination.
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:19 PM   #13
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Bob, you are correct. It was 7000 and not 7500. My memory gets weaker as I get older. Sorry for the error. Our 22Ft Safari is well below either figure, even when loaded. The torque must have made the difference. jc
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