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Old 02-07-2015, 04:50 PM   #11
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2008 Highlander Towing

The Escape Forum is Great! Thanks to all who have responded. I feel way better about going forward on getting the Escape 19. Apparently my Highlander has all the right stuff - getting over some Colorado grades will be a test, but I have confidence.

Also I have to have the equalizer hitch option, because of front wheel drive. Don't know why or what this does, but will do it.

Thanks again everybody.

Allan & Doris
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by aechaney View Post
The Escape Forum is Great! Thanks to all who have responded. I feel way better about going forward on getting the Escape 19. Apparently my Highlander has all the right stuff - getting over some Colorado grades will be a test, but I have confidence.

Also I have to have the equalizer hitch option, because of front wheel drive. Don't know why or what this does, but will do it.

Thanks again everybody.

Allan & Doris
Put simply, the Weight Distribution Hitch (Equal-i-zer is just one brand of it, although I think ETI uses a Reese) redistributes weight from the back to the front axle of your tow vehicle. Since the only wheels that provide power on your vehicle are the front ones, there needs to be enough weight over that axle to provide traction and control. WDH's accomplish that. Some WDH's also help control sway as well, but their primary purpose is weight distribution, thus the name.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:00 PM   #13
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Put simply, the Weight Distribution Hitch (Equal-i-zer is just one brand of it, although I think ETI uses a Reese) redistributes weight from the back to the front axle of your tow vehicle. Since the only wheels that provide power on your vehicle are the front ones, there needs to be enough weight over that axle to provide traction and control. WDH's accomplish that.
That's how they work, and while a WDH may often be desirable for this reason, it is generally not necessary. A WDH used with a trailer roughly the size of an Escape typically forces about 150 pounds onto the tug's front axle; compared to the 2500 pounds that a typical tug has on the front axle, that 6% difference is not a huge effect. It makes a difference, but it's not as if you don't have traction without a WDH.

The shorter the tug's wheelbase, the greater the amount of load shifted off the tug's front axle by the trailer pushing down on the hitch, and the more you might want a WDH to counteract that. While not as long in wheelbase as my minivan (a Toyota Sienna) or a typical pickup truck, the Highlander is not small.

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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
... I think ETI uses a Reese...
Almost... ETI is offering a Pro Series. Pro Series and Reese are both brand names of Cequent Towing Products, and WD hitches under those two brands may be identical.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:18 PM   #14
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Interesting, but I would be cautious about trusting that information - I'm more familiar with the Sienna, but generally I don't think Toyota includes a tow package at a particular trim level.
Brian, Starting in 2014, Toyota changed things with the Highlander. If you want a tow package (5000 lbs Towing capacity), you must get either the "XLE" or "Limited" trim level, and then the towing package is included with the trim level. Note that the towing package doesn't include a factory installed hitch, which I like on our Highlander. It raises the ball by several inches, and directly attached to the body by 6 what appear to be very stout bolts.

Regarding WDHs, my 2014 Highlander manual says they aren't required for trailers weighing less than 5000 lbs (which is the same as the towing capacity). But we have a FWD Highlander, and I wanted to make sure that there was adequate weight on the front wheels. So I am using an Andersen hitch. With the Andersen, all is level. I don't know if it would be the same without the Andersen Hitch, but we had a such a pleasant towing experience when we came home with our 21 that U I am reluctant to change things.

Strongly agree with the suggestion to get your dealer to run the VIN. They can tell you if you have a factory installed tow package or not.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:57 PM   #15
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Thanks. Now I know and makes sense.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:58 PM   #16
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Rated at 5000. Thanks for advice
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:59 PM   #17
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2012. 5000 pounds. Thx
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