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Old 03-24-2014, 01:27 AM   #71
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The info on who rates what is informative, thanks. That does make sense, I wouldn't guess Resse tests their hitches to the point of failure of the chassis they go on. That said, I doubt they'd keep that rating if they were getting calls from people with bent chassis or broken suspension components.

"European hitch weight limits are not higher"

Have you found a credible source for the hitch/tongue weight ratings for Outbacks in Europe? Because I have not seen any number published for that and I was curious. I was wondering if it was higher, because 3600lbs or so and a 200lb tongue is well below the 8-12% I see recommended most places. I do see some info that indicates that lower ratios are legal in the some of Europe. Sounds scary to me given my experiences with low tongue weight and a heavy load.

I mentioned the European ratings simply to say a rating is somewhat subjective. Now in Canada it seems to have significant legal meaning as well. But have not seen tongue weight mentioned in the laws so far. Please point that out if you find anything on that.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:30 AM   #72
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leftee...I'm also a leftee...did you get rid of the Traverse for the 5.0? This seems like a good mileage, comfortable vehicle with good tow ratings for a 19' with some good ratings margin. Was the AWD option best for towing/mileage? What year was it and what were the best points and what didn't you like about the vehicle.

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After towing our 19 with a Chevy Traverse, I'm going to put in a plug for the 3 row SUV anyway. For a number of reasons, including a pending order for a new 5.0 TA, we now have a new Silverado 1500 that drives like a truck (but I am getting 22-24 mpg on the highway). Despite it's size, the Traverse drove like a car. The AWD version tows 5200 lbs and we didn't need the equalizer hitch...virtually no sag when the trailer was connected. More than enough power and reserve capacity. With the back seats down, we had abundant extra storage for all of the items that just didn't fit in the 19 or were used infrequently (golf clubs). It was extremely comfortable for the longer days. Highway mileage was 20-22 mpg without the trailer and 15-16 mpg with. We also have a Santa Fe Sport (the 5 seater). Even as light as the 19 is, it's too much trailer for the Santa Fe in my opinion. If we weren't looking at the 5.0 TA, I would go back to the Traverse in a heartbeat (same as GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave (minus $10K worth of chrome) ).
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:53 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
... I doubt they'd keep that rating if they were getting calls from people with bent chassis or broken suspension components.
I'm not so sure about that.

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Have you found a credible source for the hitch/tongue weight ratings for Outbacks in Europe? Because I have not seen any number published for that and I was curious.
Any towbar (hitch) manufacturer provides those ratings... but in Europe the towbar and vehicle are certified as a combination, so the ratings are more meaningful. I assume that the auto manufacturers do as well.

For an example, Witter makes towbars and lists a towbar for the current Outback with an 'S' value (noseweight, called hitch weight here - see Caravan Club notes) of 82 kg (176 lb).

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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
I was wondering if it was higher, because 3600lbs or so and a 200lb tongue is well below the 8-12% I see recommended most places. I do see some info that indicates that lower ratios are legal in the some of Europe. Sounds scary to me given my experiences with low tongue weight and a heavy load.
The 8-12% recommendation is for North American practices. I don't think it makes sense to get into a detailed discussion of the differences between North American and European practices here, but they include speeds, use of damping devices, and perhaps most importantly the distribution of mass in the trailer - Euro trailers have the mass more centrally concentrated, reducing rotational inertia about the vertical axis so the trailer is easier to control.

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I mentioned the European ratings simply to say a rating is somewhat subjective.
The rating may be somewhat more subjective, but I think it is more important that it is for specific conditions. I mentioned the tongue weight concern because I believe that it dangerous to take one item of information (the total trailer weight rating) out of context.

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Now in Canada it seems to have significant legal meaning as well. But have not seen tongue weight mentioned in the laws so far. Please point that out if you find anything on that.
I have not seen any indication that there is a general difference between laws in Canada and the U.S., although they do vary between provinces just as they vary between states. I have never seen a reference to tongue/hitch weight in any regulation... only the GVWR, GCWR, and GAWR. Even trailer weight shows up only as related to brake requirements or license classes - not in relation to any specific vehicle rating.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:39 AM   #74
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Hmm...this is a recurring topic, and in this thread am not seeing any reference to the benefit of a factory tow package. I previously posted our change from a 2011 Murano (great V6) FWD to a 2013 Highlander SE 4WD (SE models all have factory tow package). What a difference! Just got back from Tuscon, and we averaged 17 mpg. Strong. Toyota 4WD differs from AWD as it is constant 25% to each wheel.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:46 AM   #75
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HToyota 4WD differs from AWD as it is constant 25% to each wheel.
There are several Toyota AWD/4WD systems (and the two terms are used interchangeably... including by Toyota). None put a constant 25% of power to each wheel, but the ones with a centre differential (which includes older RAV4, Sienna, and Highlander, and perhaps current Highlander) apply equal torque to each wheel until the traction control system intervenes; as long as all wheels are turning at the same speed that is equal power to each wheel (so 25% each).

"AWD" simply means all wheels are driven. Usually it means that they can be driven at any time (not just on low-traction surfaces after engaging a 4WD mode), but different designs provide very different torque distribution behaviour.

The Highlander Hybrid AWD is completely different from the Highlander non-hybrid AWD, just to increase confusion.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:42 PM   #76
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Reminds me of the Bowfinger line "gotcha sucka!" Of course you're right Brian; I misspoke. What I meant to say is that it is full-time 4WD Also, from a little more research it seems that no matter what Toyota marketing labels this it is really AWD. From Edmunds: "utilizes a limited slip center differential and open front and rear differentials. It is a viscous coupling center differential. If one of the front wheels begins to spin faster than the rear, the heavy liquid in the center begins to firm up which routes more power to the rear. Once torque is equalized, the 50-50 power split is resumed. This system is always engaged and requires no driver input".

As for Hybrid; Edmunds again: "The Hybrid Highlanders use a rear electric motor which drives only the rear wheels and has no mechanical connection to the front wheel drive system".

My real point was to point out from my experience that vehicles that include OEM tow packages are superior as they are in fact designed to do more than to occasionally haul a load to the dump.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:24 PM   #77
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My real point was to point out from my experience that vehicles that include OEM tow packages are superior as they are in fact designed to do more than to occasionally haul a load to the dump.
That wasn't my experience in purchasing my RAV4.
1. the OEM hitch was only class II so you couldn't use a WDH with it.
2. the Hidden Hitch that was installed by an installer they brought into their shop is rated 400# tongue and 4,000# tow ( not that I would go over the Toyota 350# rating for the vehicle ).
3. Install included wiring ( including a #10 ground ) and the Prodigy brake controller.
4. Cost was $650 instead of more than $900 for the OEM ( which didn't include wiring ).

Have to note that in Canada for 2008, the RAV came equipped standard with transmission cooler, bigger alternator etc.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:38 PM   #78
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Let me understand this, the original OEM would not allow WDH so you had an aftermarket hitch installation to allow WDH set up? What does the manual for the vehicle specify?
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:43 PM   #79
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The manual says "a weight distribution hitch is not recommended".
It says that in ordinary black text.

The important warnings in the manual are on a yellow background or otherwise scream for attention.

The OEM hitch is class II, which doesn't accommodate a WDH.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:16 PM   #80
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Here's examples and info on WDH for 2008 RAV4 Sport.
Note caution advisory on excessive steering.
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