2016 Toyota Sienna XLE Premium - Setting up as my new Tow Vehicle.

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by dandcp, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. dandcp

    dandcp Member

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    We have had this van for 2 years and finally getting around to getting it tow ready especially since we have a new to us PUP to tow! We have a 2010 Coleman Sun Valley. this is the trailer weight info:
    • Dry Weight: 2,175lbs., Payload Capacity 1,325lbs. GVWR 3,500lbs. Hitch Weight 195lbs.
    I was thinking of one of these hitches from etrailer:
    1. https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Toyota/Sienna/2016/76112.html?VehicleID=201650718
    2. https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Toyota/Sienna/2016/e98853.html?VehicleID=201669719
    Which one have you used? Pros and cons?

    and next need wiring: https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit...a/Sienna/2016/118648.html?VehicleID=201630385
    I already have the universal kit for 7 way (this https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/etrailer/ETBC7.html) that I saved from my old van. But I would love to hear from others with Sienna's on how they installed it. For example, how they ran the large grey wire to the front of the vehicle and also how they entered through the firewall and where did you install the brake controller in your Sienna. Was it difficult?

    What else have you done on your Sienna? I have heard that Air Bags are important and I think I am leaning to get those too. Does anyone have experience with these ones? https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Suspension/Toyota/Sienna/2016/AL60732.html?VehicleID=20161113073

    then lastly do I need towing mirrors? I did have them on my old TV and it helped. maybe these? https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Tow...enna/2016/CM11952-2.html?VehicleID=2016100118
    Has anyone tried these? How are they for vibration as I heard a review that they are useless then. Maybe we need to get the more expensive ones.

    What else am I missing? I am looking forward to hearing from you!

    Thank you in advance!
    We are looking forward to camping out there again soon!
     
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  2. Rey-Pop-UP

    Rey-Pop-UP Member

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    I purchased my entire towing setup from E-Trailer and installed everything myself pretty easy. I like all of the instructional videos they have on products and their Customer service is great! Besides the wiring kit you will also need a brake controller. I went with the Tekonsha Voyager and it works great. I also thought about putting air bags on our van but we honestly don't have much sag from the rear suspension. We pack most of our things in our Trailer and just a few things in our Van. We are a family of 5 and have never had any problems down the road. I have the same Tow mirrors you posted and I love them. They are sturdy and very easy to take off and on. Good luck and Happy Camping!
     
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  3. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Transmission cooler
     
  4. dandcp

    dandcp Member

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    Thanks! Yes, I forgot to mention that I do have a brake controller from my other TV set up. It is the Tekonsha Prodigy. I have had that for about 10 years and was fine.
    May I ask where did you mount yours? I am hesitant to screw anything permanent into the dash.
     
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  5. Rey-Pop-UP

    Rey-Pop-UP Member

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    I mounted it underneath my steering wheel. Its out of the way and very accessible to make any adjustments or use in case i need the extra brake power. I was also hesitant to drill into the plastic but the screw holes are tiny. I tried heavy duty double sided tape at first but it kept falling off.
    ECA9C859-905A-4CE7-8C09-98B7655CCF90.jpeg E7B6B177-FED9-4B44-BAEA-8B5C2CC505A3.jpeg
     
  6. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I have an almost identical van, only ours is just the XLE, not premium. I’ll pull some of my past posts talking about it later. I’ll actually be at the dealer with the van for an oil change after work so I’ll have plenty of free time.

    Of the 2 hitches you posted, I’d go with the Draw-tite to future-proof your setup. The 2nd one isn’t rated for a WDH, so if you ever wanted to go with a larger camper your options would be limited. Neither of those were available from etrailer when we got our van back in 2016 so I went with a Curt with the round bar under the van.

    I ran the wiring to the front along anything I could find. I believe I followed a brake line most of the way. Trying to remember 3.5 years ago, I think there was a rubber plug that I drilled through on the firewall. It took me forever to decide where to install the brake controller but eventually settled on the cubby under the stereo. If you have a DVD player, you might not have that cubby. I was too scared to screw anything under the dash because of the knee airbag. It’s just attached with some industrial strength Velcro.

    0B624F5A-A0ED-4C41-B890-0138225A6965.jpeg

    I went with Airlift airbags and love them. Super simple to install and improve sag and handling immensely. I ran the valve to the light bracket rather than into the van like a lot of the videos showed.
    Airbag thread: https://www.popupportal.com/threads...xle-weights-finally-solved-for-my-rig.124540/

    5082FEAC-122A-4BDB-AB20-B5EE40D0183D.jpeg

    I use a pair of cheap towing mirrors but had to modify them a bit to fit the mirrors on the Sienna. I can see over the top of the pup with the rear view mirror, but still use the towing mirrors for that little bit extra visibility. I think they are actually the same as the ones you linked. I didn’t care for the way one of the tabs pushed on the glass so I shaved it down with a knife. I get a little vibration but not enough to make it unusable.

    I have mounted a transmission cooler but haven’t plumbed it in yet. I was on the fence about it since it’s rated for the full 3,500 lbs with the stock cooler. But then my wife tried ripping off the bumper backing out of a parking spot so I figured I may as well throw a cooler on while I had the bumper and grille off to fix it.

    I’ll work on digging up pictures and links in the next few hours.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  7. dandcp

    dandcp Member

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    Thanks Rusty. Yes, the Premium version of our Sienna doesn't have that nice cubby hole, there is a DVD/BluRay player in there. And we don't even really use it much at all anymore :(
    Yes, I will go with the airbags I am sure.

    I also didn't mention the Curt hitch #13343 option, but maybe that one doesn't have WDH either. I don't know much about that. Not sure if I would ever need that or not. Amazon has them.

    Doesn't the Sienna with tow package have coolers already? Like you said. So far, we haven't any plans to go in the mountains but something to think about I guess.
     
  8. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    The tow prep package all 2016 (and a lot of other years) Siennas came with does include all of the needed coolers. I personally just felt like adding a belt along with my suspenders to be extra safe. I plan to go dark with a small TT at some point so that played heavily into my decision. I monitor the tranny temp via an OBD dongle and it hit a max right at 200 degrees going over Jelico mountain on I-75 in TN on a summer day, so still comfortably in the safe range (~225), but a TT could push me over with the stock cooler on a really hot day. I figured the $50 was worth it for peace of mind.
     
  9. dandcp

    dandcp Member

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    Thanks for all the good info! They are only $50? OK something to think about then. I think I have one of those OBD dongles too, will test it next time.
     
  10. dandcp

    dandcp Member

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  11. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Just read through this, did you get the airbags? Couldn't help but notice the advertised hitch weight, in reality it will be ~400 + lbs.
     
  12. dandcp

    dandcp Member

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    no not yet, but ordering this week hopefully! Yes, I know hitch is heavy! That might be tongue weight. ? I just copied and pasted Thanks
     
  13. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    You can usually use a cheap OBD2 scan tool with an app on your phone to monitor trans temps. Whether you have no coolers or a cooler the size of the radiator, there are certain conditions and habits that will heat up the trans. Having that temp info is key to long life.
     
  14. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    This is the same kit I used and it was perfect. As for mounting, that’s a tough one. You may need to use a bracket on the hitch and line up the bolts through the plastic underbody shield.
     
  15. dandcp

    dandcp Member

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    Update on my hitch. It just arrived today!

    I ended up buying a Draw-Tite Item #76112 as was told it has the Weight Distribution option. The least expensive place I found online to purchase it was new to me. https://www.streetsideauto.com/ Total with tax and shipping was only $135.97! Amazing! I figured at that price that I would give this new place a try. I have ordered from etrailer.com and Amazon in the past. I figured the hitch will be the same wherever I buy it from.

    Well, I ordered on the 26th and it arrived today! I was shocked by how quickly it came. Now when it arrived I was also shocked how it was packaged. [​IMG] Who ships a huge chunk of heavy metal in bubble wrap? Not even any cardboard? what? So yes, part of it was sticking out and there are a few scratches and some chipped paint. [​IMG] Not sure if I should complain or just spray some touch up paint over the chips so it doesn't rust. I know I won't see any of this as it will be hidden underneath. But still can't believe how they shipped this. What do you think I should do? Does it really matter?

    For the wiring, I ordered this Tekonsha T-One Item # 118648. The best price online was from towuniverse.com Total was $48.34 with shipping and tax. I just ordered this today.

    Then lastly, Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs #60732. Got it for $81.34 total with shipping and tax. These should arrive tomorrow. I got it on Amazon from this company. Team Allied Distribution. It was the best price I could find.

    I will try to remember to give an update after the installation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020 at 1:31 AM

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