Towing with a 6 cyl

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by NegrilJerry, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. NegrilJerry

    NegrilJerry Newbies in GA, we LOVE this site!

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    2010 Toyota Highlander six cylinder 3.5 L, rated at 5000 pounds towing capacity but that's with the towing package, which I don't have yet. Mechanic friend and I plan on installing the hitch, tranny cooler and electrical hookups, possibly also beef up the rear suspension.
    Looking at two pups this weekend - 2007 Fleetwood Sun Valley & 2009 Coleman Yuma. Same price ($5K). The Fleetwood has more features but weighs significantly more, 2185 dry weight as opposed to 1645. Will not be upgrading the vehicle to something larger at any time, whatever I get has to work with the Highlander. Your thoughts?

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  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest the trailers have brakes.
     
  3. G. Will Ickers

    G. Will Ickers New Member

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    It'll pull it.
    You did the necessary upgrades, but that motor might not have enough grunt to get you up big hills or do any highway passing.
    Just take into consideration.
    I would absolutely beef up the rear suspension and add more air to your tires when pulling the camper.

    My 3.0L Ford Ranger pulled my camper decently, but I didn't have the low end in the motor to break any records. I found myself shifting into 3rd gear going up mountains and trying my best to maintain 45mph on steep inclines.
     
  4. pjnlorrie

    pjnlorrie Member

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    We towed a 1600# Aliner with our 3.5L Rav4 (3500# rated) for years. It was a great combo. You will notice towing in steep hills. We now have a FJ Cruiser which is closer to your Highlander spec wise and it had no problem pulling the Aliner. We have now upgraded(?) to a 3000# TT. Still no problems, but we are more careful regarding uphill grades.
     
  5. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    No worries on the heavier weight. It'll pull fine. Pick which one you want.
     
  6. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    As you said, there is a significant difference in dry weight. You could probably add 500 pounds to either to get closer to what you would be actually be towing. Your TV will manage either, but a lighter load is really nice.

    You don't say what the features are, but you have to decide which are important to you, and which are just extra weight. You will have to look at your personal camping style and types of trips and terrain to make the decision that's right for you.

    If it were me, I'd go with the newer, lighter trailer.
     
  7. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    THIS!^

    Your tow vehicle will handle either pup, it's just a question of what's more important to you in the long run.
     
  8. vinmaker

    vinmaker Member

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    I too think you are fine. A HTT would be a tough one but those pop up's will be just fine.

    Vin.
     
  9. Keith Hawkins

    Keith Hawkins Active Member

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    You will have no problem with either PUP. I have an 07 RAV4 3.5l V6 towing my 1952lb Palomino and have not had any issues with power what so ever. I have not driven in a mountainous area but we have a lot of steep hills and no worries with the RAV4.

    Good Luck with whichever PUP you go with!
     
  10. bldmtnrider

    bldmtnrider Member

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    You'll be fine with either trailer. They are both light enough that you don't really need to mess with trailer brakes unless you really want them (provided you use plenty of engine braking on the steeper hills).

    The tranny cooler is probably optional unless you are headed into the North Georgia Mtns on a regular basis in which case I would recommend it.

    I'd get your hitch installed, figure out which trailer you want (personally I like "features") and then determine if you need to bag it. Depending on how many adults, kids, dogs and gear you carry you might be OK without bags.
     
  11. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    Sorry , but I totally disagree as I'm sure plenty of other people will also
     
  12. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    We towed a similar weight Fleetwood Westlake pop up with a 6cyl Escape, for 7 years. Brakes and sway control were my best friend. Even towed a hybrid weighing a couple hundred more pounds, briefly, before buying our current truck and travel trailer. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    I also disagree about the brakes. If you are worried about not enough power going up steep hills think about when you come down.
     
  14. Keith Hawkins

    Keith Hawkins Active Member

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    Yeah, I call BS on not needing the brakes. I worked in the service department of a local GM dealership (I know this is not Toyota) but the brakes on the standard vehicle are designed to stop that vehicle and that is it. They do not have the surface area or the cooling required for stopping an extra couple thousand pounds on a regular basis. That and most trailers of a certain size come with brakes already on it...at least in Canada.
     
  15. Ryanincc

    Ryanincc Truth is poetry. Most Americans do not like poetry

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    First thing. Are you sure that "the hitch, tranny cooler and electrical hookups, possibly also beef up the rear suspension." are all you need to do to increase the towing capacity to 5000 lbs? Many times the towing package includes different engines, gears, alternators etc. that are sometimes not even possible, or feasible, to do aftermarket. Some of the Highlander V6s are rated at 2000 lbs towing max too.

    I just read this in the brochure for your vehicle - "V6 Towing Prep Package - includes 5000-lb. towing capacity, heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, 240- watt fan coupling, transmission oil cooler with water cooler, 150-amp alternator and prewired harness"

    Page 4 at the bottom -

    http://www.toyotacertified.com/ebrochures/10_highlander.pdf

    I found it through this link

    http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/122-2nd-generation-2008-2013/1091513-2010-highlander-base-3-5l-towing.html

    That "heavy duty radiator and engine oil cooler" I do not think would be cheap, or maybe not possible out of the factory.

    2nd. You most DEFINITELY need brakes on those pups and a brake controller in the vehicle to make them work.

    3rd. I have a V6 Toyota 4Runner rated for 5Klbs towing, and a 2011 Coleman Sun Valley GVWR 3500 lbs, same as the one you are looking at, I believe, and I wouldnt tow a pound more. FORGET the "Dry Weights". They are not real. I have not scaled my Sun Valley but Id guess it is 3000-3200lbs loaded up. Also, every passenger and pound of gear in or on the vehicle subtracts pound for pound from the towing max. An excellent fun read to learn how to figure out what you can tow is here. Part 1 of 3

    http://popupbackpacker.com/how-much-trailer-can-you-tow-part-1/

    [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]However about the two pups. I am not alone on this opinion as Ive read several, what I call, "pup experts'" comments here and on several other websites, that the Sun Valley is THE BEST overall floorplan ever put in a pup. I was not aware of this when I decided to buy mine, I just liked the king beds, no built in potty and the roof down access to the fridge, but Ill be happy to discuss with you more about it and the towing if you'd like. Just let me know. :) Lots of pics of my Sun Valley in my signature link or if you are still on your phone on Tapatalk when reading this: https://goo.gl/4WWuLZ[/font]
     
  16. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    I typically stay out of this topic but also feel that brakes on a trailer this size are not needed. The majority on this forum do not agree with this but the majority of people that I meet in person do not have sway, brakes, WDH on a pup unless they are pulling with a car or minivan.

    This is one topic though that you aren't going to convince the other side that they are wrong about. I bet I think it's as silly having it on such a small trailer as those on the other side think I'm crazy for not.

    Most state laws I think make brakes required when trailer is over 3000lbs. Neither of the trailers inquired about will fit that criteria even loaded. If you are more comfortable with them on it then by all means use them. To state they are an absolute must is incorrect.
     
  17. Keith Hawkins

    Keith Hawkins Active Member

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    Yes, in Canada all RAV4 V6's come standard with the tow package. On the RAV4 this consists of a heavy duty Radiator with a larger transmission cooler in it, Larger Alternator to deal with any extra load of the trailer when towing (charging battery, running 3 way fridge ect), dual circuit breakers for the fans (one for each fan), an extra slot in the fuse panel dedicated for electric brake controller, it does not however do anything with a tow hitch or extra wiring.
     
  18. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that both of the trailers you are looking at come with brakes from the factory. If you have them, you might as well use them. Wire your hitch with a controller in mind.

    I'd say you can tow either with no problem uphill. The motor in your Toyota is a great motor. It should not have any problems.

    I would get the Sun Valley for the Sing Level Galley alone. I hated the flip galley [:(!]
     
  19. NegrilJerry

    NegrilJerry Newbies in GA, we LOVE this site!

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    Thanks for the replies. My mechanic is certain that the Highlander can pull the Sunvalley after we've modified it, and he has told pretty much everything under the sun with a large Friday of vehicles. Both units have electric brakes and I'm going to install a brake controller with seven pin wiring. More opinions are always welcome.... My wife really wants the larger one, The Sun Valley

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  20. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    I drove my trailblazer with a Viking, 1600 pounds, thousands of miles without trailer brakes and never felt like I needed them until I started spending more money on brake jobs for my TV. Then I discovered that in New York state, where I do a fair amount of camping, requires brakes on any trailer over 1000 pounds.
    Are they an absolute must for the units in question? No, but I like them now that I have them.
     

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