Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: How do you know how much you can TRULY pull?
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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > How do you know how much you can TRULY pull?

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TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 06/15/20 04:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tow ratings are best case scenarios, i.e. very little frontal area, near perfect balance and tongue weight. I use 50% of tow ratings, but I like having a little excess capacity. Even that 50% may be invalid if things like tongue weight are way off.

Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 06/15/20 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The problem with small SUV's are that they are small. The data from Toyota or whoever manufactured the vehicle is not always based on your vehicle, so look at the door sticker. The issue is payload, how heavy of tongue weight can I put on the rear end of the vehicle. You don't want to be at the max or over it. The other issue is there enough torque to get the trailer moving and keep it moving up a hill, not to mention stop it going down a hill. Finally, the issue is stress on your vehicle. If you have to pull something life or death, or do you want your vehicle to last a few years. You can pull the space shuttle once, but do you want to have the repair bill when the transmission, suspension and other items start braking? Finally, what is the actual trailer weight. The one thing you learn on this site is that everyone thinks they know their trailer weight until they weigh it and find out it is much heavier than they thought. Not saying the Highlander can't pull a 4000 lb trailer, but do all your homework - and don't trust any salesman, they just want you to buy it then it's your problem.

Taxman2436

Holden, MA

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Posted: 06/15/20 07:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whatever you decide, hook it up and take it for a ride before you commit. “Over hill and Dale” and see how it handles. It might pull the weight but you might prefer something with more power. Just my humble opinion.


Taxman2436
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TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 06/15/20 08:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Taxman2436 wrote:

Whatever you decide, hook it up and take it for a ride before you commit. “Over hill and Dale” and see how it handles. It might pull the weight but you might prefer something with more power. Just my humble opinion.


Good suggestion. One thing NOT to do is test towing with a more competent tow vehicle than you purchase. You will regret every mile.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/15/20 09:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kage65 wrote:


One said chance of the tail wagging the dog. Another said no way of controlling the rear end if the trailer starts rocking. Also
"2wd highlander is not geared for this payload. It could destroy your transmission"
"I wouldn’t. It will not be a fun experience with it floating all over the road"
"If it doesn’t have a separate transmission cooler(no tow package), might be issues with transmission."

Get a good sway control weight distribution hitch and drive in a reasonable manor.

Do keep the rpm up more than commuting around town. Climbing hills the rpm may go way up close to red and is mostly OK as long as you are not pushing to the max. Plenty re-gear larger trucks if it always seems to be half way between the wrong gear. You could do the same or decide to trade vehicles once you get a feel for it.

Again avoid lugging the motor and avoid hunting (excessive shifting) of the transmission. Sometimes it is best to pull the shift lever and hold your rpm and speed steady as you encounter hills with a bit of a roller coaster slope.

Drive reasonable and be OK to go a bit slower at times and you should be fine.


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cavie

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Posted: 06/15/20 09:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwFLOBrADBs


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Blazing Zippers

North Idaho

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Posted: 06/15/20 10:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I remember when a Toyota pulled the space shuttle. No, really! Quite an advertising feat.

campigloo

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Posted: 06/16/20 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m not sure how accurate it is but Wikipedia wrote its built on a camry frame. It sounds like a lot of stress for such light bones to me.

Freeway Flyer 05

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Posted: 06/16/20 09:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trailer Life tow ratings, pretty good place to start.

1320Fastback

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Posted: 06/16/20 11:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Toyota says it can pull 5,000 pounds because it can. It might not be 5,000 pounds of 22' travel trailer though. Does your owners manual give a rating for the frontal area of a trailer?


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