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  #1  
Old 08-16-2005, 10:41 AM
InALaska
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Default Potential buyer of TM with 2002 Highlander w/V6 and towing package

We are considering purchasing a 2619 TM and have a 2002 Highlander V6 w/a towing package. Have read several posts and am concerned about using this vehicle for towing. If anyone has experience, good or bad, with towing the 2619 with a Highlander V6, I would appreciate your input.
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2005, 12:09 PM
InALaska
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Leon,

Thanks, I have done that already. Just wondering if there was any new information out there for me to read. I don't really want to buy a new vehicle AND a new TM, so we are trying to work with what we have. We like the hard side of the TM vs a tent trailer for many reasons. We are avid sea kayakers and have packed a double kayak for 18 days with our food and gear AND our 75.b black labrador and her food and gear without capsizing or sinking. Packing LIGHT isn't an issue in kayaking, it's packing SMART. Our purpose for a TT is to be traveling while my Husband does his photography, and I think his camera gear would put us over the weight limit alone. We have been tent campers for many years and that's just not appealing on an extended trip. Well, we will continue to try and figure this out. In the meantime, any help beyond what's on the forum already would be a bonus.

Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2005, 10:51 PM
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Denny_A Denny_A is offline
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Lightbulb Some thoughts about.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by InALaska
We are considering purchasing a 2619 TM and have a 2002 Highlander V6 w/a towing package. Have read several posts and am concerned about using this vehicle for towing. If anyone has experience, good or bad, with towing the 2619 with a Highlander V6, I would appreciate your input.
.....the 2002 V6 Highlander; the following copied from an auto site:

Performance Base Number of Cylinders: 6 Base Engine Size: 3 liters Base Engine Type: V6 Horsepower: 220 hp Max Horsepower: 5800 rpm Torque: 222 ft-lbs. Max Torque: 4400 rpm Maximum Payload: 1325 lbs. Maximum Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs.

Numbers are about the same as a Honda Odyssey of the same vintage. I towed for 1 1/2 yrs with an Odyssey (torque 225 max @ 4600 rpm). Unsat. Max torque at low RPM is better than at higher RPM. Highlander achieves 222 Lb-ft at 4400 RPM. Sreviceable, but not a good thing West of the Mississippi.

The 3500 lb tow limit is probably (possibly?) a function of trailer aerodynamic drag. At least that's the case for the Honda Pilot and Acura MDX. If the Highlander's limitation is similar, then the Trailmanor MAY not be nearly as limiting as a normal, full height, high drag trailer. I.e., maybe 3800 or 4000 lbs is a reasonable limit for the low profle TM. Its drag is nearly 70% lower than that of a full size (high drag profile) trailer.

The only folx who can answer that question is Toyota. If you ask the right people you COULD get a rational answer. But I don't think so. The question would likely be referred all the way to Toyota USA. I tried sometime ago to get similar info from Honda, when I had my Odyssey (same 3500 lb limit), and never received a decipherable, logically clear response. Toyota may be just as vague - or unresponsive.

Bottom line opinion; I think you can tow safely with the Highlander as long as you pay attention to a) TM weight and b) Highlander Max Combined Gross Weigth Limit. That is, max gross of both Highlander and trailer combined. My Odyssey was so limited that I removed the center row seats when trailering, just to save an extra 110 lbs of weight.

Your owner's manual should list the MCGW somewhere. It could be an eye opener. Do the math. It'll help assist in making a decision based on more complete information.

Denny_A
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2005, 11:19 AM
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Denny_A Denny_A is offline
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Thumbs up That was specifically......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Camper
Somebody help me with this:
IIRC, some vehicles have one tow capacity for trailers, and a higher rating for boats...Perhaps because of the low profile...
Tow capacities (ratings) are arrived at, I think, for large hard side trailers with the frontal area like a big slab... Lots of wind resistance there..
Or am I not remembering correctly?????
.....for Honda/Acura Pilot/MDX. Here's the link. Check the final paragraph, re. towing:

http://www.hondanews.com/CatID3028?...153457&mime=asc

This excerpt from the towing discussion:

Quote:
Customer feedback helped set the towing limit at 4500 pounds for boats and 3500 pounds for other types of trailers. A heavier load is acceptable with boats because their pointed bow shapes impose less aerodynamic drag on the towing vehicle than a slab-faced, square-cornered trailer.


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  #5  
Old 08-17-2005, 08:33 PM
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rickst29 rickst29 is offline
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Default Highlander is based on the Camry, not a truck platform

You can probably handle the torque requirements of going up/down steep hills by simply being patient. (Low gear, with a tranny fluid cooler if it gets warm where you are. Alaska, maybe you won't need it.)

But, the unibody construction of the Highlander (frameless) could suffer bending/alignment problems if you load the vehicle heavily *and* drag the TM at the same time. The damage would be progressive: The more often you do this, the more bent-out-of-shape the car-based SUV will get.

You might take note, the new Hybrid Highlander has oodles of torque, available right from ZERO RPMs... but they DIDN'T raise the rated towing capacity. The limiting factor is the body, not the ft-lbs.

I think you should trade it for something truck-based: an "equally beat up" 4-Runner, or Pathfinder, etc. would be more suitable, much less worrisome, much less likely to get damaged by the trips.

Just my opinion, this is really just guessing.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2005, 11:11 PM
fcatwo fcatwo is offline
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Not being an engineer I have no technical expertise to offer on the "frameless-vehicle" issue but I was down at our local health club a couple of weeks ago and saw weight lifters throwing around 300-400lbs of iron with no apparent damage to their frames. I'm thinking it would take more than the tongue weights we are dealing with to damage the frame of any vehicle with a 3500lb tow rating. Suspension components possibly if the weight is not properly distributed but not the frame. Just my $0.02.

People do overload however. I was hand loading a few buckets of walkway gravel at a sand and gravel place a few years back when a guy pulled in under the gravel hopper with his pickup and signaled for the operator to start loading. The truck sat down on the stops early on but the owner kept signaling for the tower operator to add more. Both rear tires finally gave up with a tremendous explosion and the owner must have set a new Olympic back-jump record before just standing with both hands on his head.

The tower operator calmly climbed down and pulled the truck back out of the way with a piece of heavy equipment. I didn't hang around to see how it turned out. The guy may have driven it out like that for all I know.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2005, 09:11 AM
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Denny_A Denny_A is offline
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Default It seems to me that........

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickst29
..........snip.........
But, the unibody construction of the Highlander (frameless) could suffer bending/alignment problems if you load the vehicle heavily *and* drag the TM at the same time. The damage would be progressive: The more often you do this, the more bent-out-of-shape the car-based SUV will get.
...if the owner pays attention to published limits, your point is moot. I.e., do not exceed TV max weight limit, nor towing limit, nor combined gross weight limit. The question then becomes - Is the 3500 lb towing limit based on an assumption which does not apply to a LOW PROFILE, low drag trailer?

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  #8  
Old 08-18-2005, 09:14 AM
InALaska
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Denny,

Well, the GCW of the Highlander with the tow package (which includes a converter and larger radiator) is 7985 lb. Max tongue weight is 350 lb. Toyota will never give anyone a straight answer, so I'm not even going to try to ask them. My Husband and I drove our '97 Subaru across the country and back overloaded, but we weren't towing anything. I only have 30,000 miles on this vehicle so I'm hoping to keep it for a while. We may be looking at one of the Chalet's or Aliners. We don't plan on keeping this for more than a few years and will most likely move up to a B+motorhome or Class C motorhome then. Thanks for all of your help. We have lots of choices and still may get a different vehicle because we really like the TM. We'll see.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2005, 05:09 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcatwo
Not being an engineer I have no technical expertise to offer on the "frameless-vehicle" issue but I was down at our local health club a couple of weeks ago and saw weight lifters throwing around 300-400lbs of iron with no apparent damage to their frames. I'm thinking it would take more than the tongue weights we are dealing with to damage the frame of any vehicle with a 3500lb tow rating.
Frank -

I am an engineer, and I still have no expertise to offer on the frameless-vehicle issue. However, as was discussed in the thread on the Acura mrfxzpi a couple weeks ago, the bending force applied to the "non-frame" by the weight-distributing hitch could be a problem. The non-frame simply doesn't have as much strength in the bending direction as a steel-rail frame.

When I was in high school, my Dad had one of the early uni-body Dodge cars. Forget the name at the moment, but I remember the day he was driving down the highway not far from our home, and the uni-body simply gave up. As he reported it, it slowly and smoothly began to fold along a crosswise line just aft of the front seat. It sank lower and lower until something noisy happened - either the driveshaft hit the underbody, or the underbody hit the ground, I'm not sure which at this point. He got out, removed the license plates, and hitched a ride home.

Point is, this mid-body bending is just exactly the direction that a WDH stresses a vehicle. Will this particular vehicle bend? Who knows - I certainly don't - but I feel a lot more confident when the WDH is trying to bend a pair of long steel rails.

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  #10  
Old 08-18-2005, 09:59 PM
fcatwo fcatwo is offline
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Bill

I can see how that episode would raise questions in your mind. Having read in other posts that your Dad liked good equipment I'm guessing he was less than pleased with the experience.
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