2010 Highlander as 19' tow vehicle - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-25-2015, 12:13 PM   #1
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2010 Highlander as 19' tow vehicle

Hi All & Happy Memorial Day!

Our 4Runner died so we just got a 2010 Highlander Limited with factory installed tow package. We currently have a 17B and are seriously considering getting a 19' Escape. We haven't towed the 17B yet with the Highlander, but we tried putting the Equal-i-zer hitch on it. Uh oh... the Equal-i-zer is so heavy, and the Highlander is lower and its suspension is softer than the 4Runner... so the bottom of the Equal-i-zer hitch is only a couple inches off the ground. Hooking it up to the Escape with the bars should lift the Highlander's rear end (right?), but I'm wondering if this is really the best and safest set-up. And, I imagine it's going to be pretty difficult to get the bars hooked up with the Highlander's rear end so low.

Questions:
- Do any of you tow a 19' Escape with a Highlander?
- Do you a WD/anti-sway hitch... and if so, which one & are you happy with its performance?
- Is there anything special we need to do with the Highlander's suspension... i.e. to "toughen" it up?
- Should we go with a Anderson hitch instead of the Equal-i-zer?
- Any other thoughts?

Thanks tons for your thoughts!

Best,

Steph
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:25 AM   #2
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We have a 19 and tow it with a 2013 Highlander with Anderson hitch. Very happy with the hitch as it seems to distribute the weight well and have good control when towing. We get a little sag in the suspension and would guess the bottom of the hitch is at least 8 inches off ground. I ensure our tires on the Highlander and trailer are near max pressure and have not done anything further with the vehicle other than install the brake controller - stock Toyota hitch and original tires. The Highlander seems to have a softer suspension than the 4 Runner.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
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We started towing our 17B with a Murano and would often drag the WDH bars going into gas stations. Didnt happen when we got the 2013 Highlander SE w/hitch installed within bumper. If it hangs below you might have the same problem; the Andersen might have some more clearance.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:25 AM   #4
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2010 Highlander as 19' tow vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
We started towing our 17B with a Murano and would often drag the WDH bars going into gas stations. Didnt happen when we got the 2013 Highlander SE w/hitch installed within bumper. If it hangs below you might have the same problem; the Andersen might have some more clearance.

The bars on a properly adjusted conventional WDH (like a Reese) don't hang lower than the chain assembly on an Andersen. Pretty much the same clearance. I would suspect that your Murano just had a lower clearance.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:46 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for all the feedback!
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
The bars on a properly adjusted conventional WDH (like a Reese) don't hang lower than the chain assembly on an Andersen. Pretty much the same clearance.
Generally that makes sense, but design details vary. Among conventional WDH's, the round bar designs tend to hang lower than the trunnion designs.

More importantly, WD hardware clearance has nothing to do with the tow vehicle or its hitch receiver height.
  1. The trailer's coupler height determines the ball height,
  2. the ball height determines the height of the hitch head (or ball mount platform without WD),
  3. the size of the hitch head then determines how low the bottom of all the WD hardware hangs.

Whether you tow with a monster truck and a two-foot drop from receiver to ball, or a Ferrari with a one-foot rise from (obviously custom) receiver to ball, the clearance of the WD bars or chains and other hardware doesn't change. Of course, if the ball mount or WD shank itself is lower than the WD head, there could be a problem.

Also, a vehicle with a long rear overhang places all this hardware further back from the tug's rear axle, so when going through dips in the road (driveway entrances are usually worst) the bits are more likely to drag if the overhang is long.
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