Newer Highlanders and donut spare--safe for twoing? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-27-2018, 04:03 PM   #1
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Newer Highlanders and donut spare--safe for twoing?

Hi all,
We have a 17B on order and are planning to replace our hybrid Highlander (2009) with a non-hybrid Highlander. We just learned that since 2014 Toyota has been using 'temporary spares' for the spare tire; eg a donut. The service manager where we take our hybrid says that donut tires are not safe for towing.

In the last 6 years we have had 2 flats, one while towing and one without. Both occurred about 100 miles from a replacement and both required a new tire due to the cause of flat. Neither occurred while going over bad roads, just 2 cases of lousy luck. We are a one-car household and hate to give up a comfortable vehicle for a more truck like one, not to mention the mileage issue. I notice that there are a number of people using newer Highlanders for towing. Any advice?

Many thanks, Catherine
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
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1. Keep your cell phone charged up and call for road assistance. 2. Pay close
Attention to your tire pressures and investigate thoroughly if you are loosing air via a slow leak. 3. The full sized spare will not fit under the vehicle with the hitch in place. 4. One alternative is to buy a proper sized wheel whether it’s pretty or not doesn’t matter and put a good tire on it and carry it in the Highlander, on a roof rack, in the Escape, install a second spare tire carrier on the Escape back bumper, or get bolt on the front of the grill rig like they do on safari vehicles. None of these are especially attractive but in my world form follows function. My last Highlander went 180,000 miles without a flat and my Dakota before that went 160k with one flat which happened in a place where I could change it. I do not worry about this. And I do not travel with many spare parts. You are not alone.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:54 PM   #3
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Dave has covered the situation well, so I'll just add two points:
  • If you have a flat, you can unhitch the trailer, put on the temporary spare, and go get the regular tire fixed. It's not ideal to leave the trailer parked somewhere, but the odds of needing to do this are very small.
  • If you have a good roadside assistance plan, and have phone service where you get the flat, they may come and tow the trailer for you. You can also just pay a towing company to do this.

It is difficult to find any vehicle with a spare which is identical to the regular tires now... even pickup trucks routinely have temporary-use spares.

Did you know that commercial trucks and even larger RVs routinely don't carry a spare at all? It isn't practical to change their wheels and tires without equipment that is unreasonable to carry, so if they get a flat and can't limp to a shop, they just call for service.
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:05 PM   #4
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glad both my 2008 tacoma 4x4 and my 2002 f250 diesel have real spares, although I do wish they were on alloy rims rather than a steel wheel, so i could rotate them without it looking lame.
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:48 PM   #5
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Donut spare on Highlander

Thanks Dave and Brian for the comments, good food for thought.We obviously have not had a new car in a while as had no idea that so many makers are moving away from full-size spares. From what I can see only Kia and Hyundai are the comparable size SUVs that still have regular spares but we like the Toyota and dont really want a truck for a tow vehicle.
Best,
Catherine
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by outwiththedogs View Post
We obviously have not had a new car in a while as had no idea that so many makers are moving away from full-size spares. From what I can see only Kia and Hyundai are the comparable size SUVs that still have regular spares...
It's nice that some still do... but which Hyundai/Kia? (They're two brands of the same company) I had a look at the 2018 Kia Sorento owners manual, and it lists a narrow temporary spare. I can't find the Hyundai Santa Fe manual online, but the Hyundai Canada spec pages say that the Santa Fe and Santa Fe XL have the temporary spare as well.

It's only a guess, but among SUVs I would only expect those with the spare mounted outside on the rear door, and full-size models sharing a platform with a pickup truck, to have the space for a full-sized spare (although even they may not come with one).
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:47 AM   #7
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Even some pick up trucks are using a space saver spare....mine is, so I went out and bought a matching wheel for a full sized spare.
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:54 AM   #8
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No worries here mine Z71 came with a true full size spare
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:48 AM   #9
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A few comments: Our 2002 Highlander (now 16 years old, my how time flies) came with not only a full-sized spare, but it was mounted on a matching alloy rim. We didn't realize how luck we were. That said, in those 16 years, we've only had one flat (sidewall "kaboom" blowout). I've heard that some new cars come with no spare at all, just an aerosol can of "fix-a-flat", to save weight to optimize fuel economy. We've checked, and sadly, the storage berth for "donut" spares commonly will not accommodate a full-sized spare. So even if you purchase a full-sized rim and spare tire, you'll have to find somewhere else to carry it. To that end, I know travelers who have purchased a full-sized rim and spare tire but only carry it with them when they perceive limited options otherwise (late night travel, remote locations, etc.).
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
1. Keep your cell phone charged up and call for road assistance. 2. Pay close
Attention to your tire pressures and investigate thoroughly if you are loosing air via a slow leak. 3. The full sized spare will not fit under the vehicle with the hitch in place. 4. One alternative is to buy a proper sized wheel whether itís pretty or not doesnít matter and put a good tire on it and carry it in the Highlander, on a roof rack, in the Escape, install a second spare tire carrier on the Escape back bumper, or get bolt on the front of the grill rig like they do on safari vehicles. None of these are especially attractive but in my world form follows function. My last Highlander went 180,000 miles without a flat and my Dakota before that went 160k with one flat which happened in a place where I could change it. I do not worry about this. And I do not travel with many spare parts. You are not alone.
Iowa Dave
This is what I did for my RAV4 Sport, which came with run flat tires and no spare (or place to put one). The run flat tires wouldn't get me to a Toyota dealer, let alone a tire store that carried replacements in the 100 mile limit for many places I traveled, the tires were terrible in snow, only lasted 15K miles, harsh ride, and expensive. By the way, Toyota stated ALL 4 TIRES must be replaced when replacing a tire if there is any wear (Around $2000.00). I bought 5 Goodyear Endurance tires & built a tire mount to go on the roof rack.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Toyota stated ALL 4 TIRES must be replaced when replacing a tire if there is any wear (Around $2000.00). I bought 5 Goodyear Endurance tires & built a tire mount to go on the roof rack.
My niece got sucked by that. I'd put new tires on her Corolla. They only had a few thousand miles on them. She was upcountry and got a rock cut. They told her she had to replace all the tires. She did. I was furious.

Ron
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