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Old 03-21-2013, 08:52 PM   #1
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after market tow package

We're considering a used Highlander that doesn't have a tow package. Does anyone tell us if there any limitations on after market tow packages installed by U-haul, etc?
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
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The factory tow package on the Highlander includes larger alternator, fan and transmission cooler. U-Haul won't be installing those, and at the dealer, the cost would be substantial.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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I would not want people working at a hitch shop doing those kinds of repairs to my vehicle . It's very unlikely they are qualified to doing those sorts of things
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:29 PM   #4
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It is also very possible that without the tow package that particular year Highlander has a lower towing capacity. It may be as low as 2,000 pounds which would virtually eliminate any Escape you might be looking at. You will need to do a search on the specific year and towing capacity without the tow package installed.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:39 PM   #5
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Another consideration. I don't see from your profile where you are located.
In Canada, my RAV4 V6 Sport has the transmission cooler and HD alternator as standard equipment. In the U.S. that equipment is optional.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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I have seen several examples if where people buy a vehicle and then try and retrofit it with aftermarket parts to simulate towing packages and it rarely ends well. I have seen transmission cooler lines come off and wreck transmissions , just my opinion but buy the vehicle with the proper tow package .
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
The factory tow package on the Highlander includes larger alternator, fan and transmission cooler. U-Haul won't be installing those, and at the dealer, the cost would be substantial.
Yes, although details of Toyota's towing preparation package vary by model and year.

Ruthe, is this Highlander missing the towing preparation package, or just missing the hitch and wiring (which are not in the prep package but are readily available aftermarket)?

Also, what year is the Highlander? When they had the "M" series engine the prep package presumably had a larger transmission cooler, but if it is like the Sienna more recent Highlanders which have the "GR" series engine likely have an engine oil cooler in the package. The engine oil cooler is much more expensive and difficult to retrofit than the transmission cooler.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:07 PM   #8
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It is a 2005. Tonight we sat down and went through all the comments people made when I asked a few weeks ago about the best tow vehicles for a 19. There was a thread a couple days later which was also useful. So we went through every single response, took notes and then started looking at used vehicles on auto trader. We came across the 2005 Highlander which has a good price and only 39 thousand miles, but they didn't mention a tow package in the ad and Terry (my husband) said we should check to see if after market tow packages would work. I have to admit I didn't realize how much was involved. I have learned a lot tonight. Thank you all.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:45 AM   #9
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Ruthe, the 2005 Highlander is tow rated for 3,500 lbs. The Escape 15 and 17 models would do just fine, but not for the 19. You would need to go to a 2008 or newer Highlander with the tow package which has a 5,000 towing capacity.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:55 AM   #10
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Rick - what is the source of your information? The reason I ask is because of the differences in vehicles between Canada and the U.S. and Europe and the tow ratings given for each.
I'm not disputing the information. Just wondering how one can confirm the info for a particular vehicle, like the one under consideration.
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