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Old 09-20-2014, 10:54 PM   #21
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gbaglo, go treat yourself to a pickup if you really want one. Nobody ever gets any younger. Loren
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:39 AM   #22
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nobody has to get their knickers in a knot
Ah yes, someone beside me who uses that lingo - - luv it
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickM View Post
I have a 2008 Highlander with the factory tow package. It has pulled a 17' Casita and a 19' Escape. It now tows a 21' Escape with no difficulty.

I did a quick comparison of the 2008 Highlander to the Toyota's 2014 CJ Cruiser and 4Runner. I looked at wheel base, engine size, GVWR and towing capacity. All are in the same ballpark. Note that for 2014, the CJ and 4Runner have a lower towing capacity (4,700 lbs) than the Highlander's 5,000 lbs.

Other 21 owners have towed with the Highlander and CJ Cruiser. Even the Honda Ridgeline, with very similar specs, is towing the 21.

I haven't yet been able to weight the 21. The Casita weight was 3,360 lbs and the 19 Escape was 3,800 lbs, both fully loaded but no fresh water in the tank. The mpg towing is 13-15 and 19-23 daily driving.

If you are going to be full timing and drive a lot around Denver, then a different tow vehicle would be recommended. If you need a comfortable TV that can pull the 21, the Highlander is a good choice.
The 4runner is truck-based. The Highlander is unit body construction, a relative of the Camry I think. 4Runners are body-on-frame meant to be good for towing and off-road. The 4Runner towing capacity is generally given as 5000 although it might sometimes be given as 4700, apparently a certain trim level although I don't know why that would matter. Our 2011 has 5000 capacity and I see the same for 2012 and 2013. The Highlander used to be about 2500 unless a tow package was added. I take it changed in the last two or three years.

The 5000 capacity that used to be seen on FJs was misleading because weight in the vehicle was very limited. So if you put much, you had to subtract from total towing capacity. Do not know if that is still the case. Don't know about the Highlander on that. Towing capacity alone may not be what it looks like until all of the numbers are looked at, GVWR and especially GCWR. That is where the actual capacity can be seen and that is most often misleading in passenger cars not expected to be used for towing travel trailers.

I saw 9930 lbs. for the 2013 Highlander GCWR whereas the 2011 (the year I know) for the 4Runner is 11,300 lbs. for the GCWR.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:22 AM   #24
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The new SAE standard to determine towing capacity, J2807, has only been implemented by Toyota in 2013. This accounts for the decrease in towing for the 2014 4Runner and FJ. The big three has yet to use the new J2807 standard as noted in this link:
Standardized Tow Ratings: Why Automakers Aren't Using Them -- Edmunds.com
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:42 AM   #25
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Do what works for you; you don't need to defend your choice. Just don't expect others to believe that you "need" whatever you choose.

We don't actually need any of the comfort and convenience features of a typical modern vehicle, but anyone is certainly welcome to buy them. I've heard people claim that a minivan needs a backup camera - how do they think we drove vans for a century without them?

I've had a pickup, and I may have one again at some point. I live surrounded by people who drive full-size pickups and pour huge quantities of fuel into them, but they never seem to have anything in the box. Their choice, which is fine with me... but when any of them say "I need a pickup truck because I live in the country", it fits in the same category as "I need a 4WD because I live in the country"... and no, I've never had 4WD and never missed a day of work (it really doesn't snow here that much, I just hangs around for half the year, so I drive my 2WD compact car with snow tires and have no problems).

By the way, you can own a utility trailer for less than the difference in price between trim levels of a vehicle. Or you can buy a truck. Still your choice.
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:02 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickM View Post
The new SAE standard to determine towing capacity, J2807, has only been implemented by Toyota in 2013. This accounts for the decrease in towing for the 2014 4Runner and FJ. The big three has yet to use the new J2807 standard as noted in this link:
Standardized Tow Ratings: Why Automakers Aren't Using Them -- Edmunds.com
Actually, the 4Runner was said to have been the first vehicle to use the SAE and that was back in 2011. At least, that is what was said then. Perhaps they have a different story now. But as I mentioned, total weight is an important number, the GCWR.

Using the 4Runner for a 21' loaded to 4300 lbs. with the TV loaded to about 5000 lbs., for instance, there would be about a couple of thousand pounds leeway in meeting the GCWR of 11,300. That is just over the 80% towing number that is often recommended. Those numbers need to be looked at to compare tow capability.

Quite a few people may exceed the GCWR and do not know it because they have never been aware of those limits, so of course, they have never gone to a scale to see where they are on that. It's good if people can figure out those numbers in advance of buying a tow vehicle, assuming they know which trailer they want. Then if they go to a scale with the new trailer, the numbers are just what they expect.
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:03 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
The Highlander is unit body construction, a relative of the Camry I think.
I doubt there is a structural or suspension part shared between the Highlander and Camry, although there are some details reused, just as a Chevy one-ton pickup might share a switch or something with a Cruze. The rear suspensions of the Camry and Highlander, for instance, are completely different; the structures don't bear any resemblance... although they are are both unibodies.

The Camry and Highlander (and Sienna) do share use of the 2GR-FE engine; the V6 versions of the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, and Tundra use the related 1GR-FE (which is 4.0 L instead of 3.5L).

The Camry and Highlander use the same transmission in some years. As long as the transmission is suited to the GCWR, that makes sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
The 4Runner towing capacity is generally given as 5000 although it might sometimes be given as 4700, apparently a certain trim level although I don't know why that would matter.
The trim level determines the curb weight; extra features cut into the capacity available for towing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
The Highlander used to be about 2500 unless a tow package was added.
That was the 4-cylinder. V6's were 3500 lb, then later I think 5000 lb, with the tow package of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
The 5000 capacity that used to be seen on FJs was misleading because weight in the vehicle was very limited. So if you put much, you had to subtract from total towing capacity. Do not know if that is still the case. Don't know about the Highlander on that. Towing capacity alone may not be what it looks like until all of the numbers are looked at, GVWR and especially GCWR. That is where the actual capacity can be seen and that is most often misleading in passenger cars not expected to be used for towing travel trailers.
That's normal. Trucks are typically even worse than cars for this, because the towing capacity of a truck is usually calculated based only having only the driver in the vehicle, while some other vehicles have lower trailer ratings which allow for more than the driver. My Sienna, for instance, has about 4500 lb difference between curb weight and GCWR - that would lead to a 4500 lb trailer rating if it were a truck, but it is rated at only 3500 lb, so I can put half a ton of people and stuff in the van and still tow the full 3500 lb weight of trailer.

I agree that knowing the GCWR and actual weight of the loaded vehicle is critical to understanding towing capacity.
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:23 AM   #28
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I own a truck but I'm planning on towing my 17b with a highlander. I like driving the highlander it's comfortable. I like the F150 the new ones are most likely very nice my ford is big it's a 250 so it's tough to fit in small places. I just like driving an SUV for everyday driving. I agree everyone is different if I wasn't towing anything I'd drive a sports car!
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:32 AM   #29
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I meant to correct that 2500 on Highlander but edit time ran out. Yes, there was 2500 and 3500 and I see that they apparently do still add a tow package in some situations. I thought maybe the Highlander had been brought up to 5000 from the get-go like the 4Runner, (or the 4700 for 2014-- I see it across the board for all trim levels when I do see it now) but not the case.

Yes, some trucks do the one-person deal too on tow capacity but I have seen it much more in passenger cars with regard to the popular ones used to tow fiberglass trailers. It is a fact that many vehicles have misleading numbers.

It is worth pointing out that GVWR and GCWR need to be looked at by newbies when considering tow vehicles. Newbies tend to look only at the one towing capacity number which may be very misleading, as you know.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:01 AM   #30
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As Baglo says to each our own. We have a new '14 Corolla that gets 40mpg for all our "normal" driving and the Tacoma for hauling all the stuff we "need" for working on our 27 acres. Personally, I love the long enclosed space made by the shell on the truck for all the stuff we bring camping, or when heading out on a canoe trip. Since we are both retired, the Tacoma only averages about 7,000 miles a year and most of that is from camping trips.
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