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Old 09-14-2011, 09:55 PM   #1
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Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

My wife and I will be buying a 17b in the near future. We have a 2008 toyota Sienna with the towing package. I am sure we will need a weight distributing hitch, and a brake controller.

I am curious if there are other escapees who are using Siennas, and if so what kind of hitch they are using, and whether they are also using an anti-sway bar.

Also, how does the Sienna do pulling the trailer up hills? We live in St. Paul, MN, so the problem is more short, steep hills than long mountain grinds, but interested in both kinds of experience.

Thanks much for any info
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

Hi Leon,

Welcome to the forum!

With the towing package and I assume the V6, you should be fine with the Sienna. Do you know what it is rated at for max towing weight? As long as you are under that weight, I doubt you will have any problems. Brake controller is a must and I am pretty sure Toyota recommends WDH - I know they do for our Tacoma.

I recommend WDH's to everyone. Reace talked me out of the anti-sway bar as he said that the WDH seems to also limit sway. This has most definitely been the case for us. We had an anti-sway bar with our Scamp and the Escape with WDH seems far more stable.

Eric
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:25 AM   #3
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

Seems to me I remember someone in Sacramento who has a Sienna and a 17B; they bought their Escape in 2009. If the name comes to mind, I'll post it.

We tow a 17A with a 2009 Grand Caravan (4.0 liter engine, trailer pkg) with no difficulty, and it's a similar vehicle in general concept. This entails a WDH, a Prodigy controller, but no sway bar -- the WDH is more than adequate, including keeping us stable during the odd high-speed evasive maneuver on a freeway, and taming a 50 kmh quartering tail wind. We've also inadvertently skidded the whole rig by hitting an unexpected mud slick on the Alaska highway at 90 kmh -- and stayed straight as a die, without even a hint of loss of control.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:08 PM   #4
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

We towed our 17B with a Sienna, also with a towing package. We did use the WD hitch. Hardly knew the trailer was there. The sway bars really help if doing freeway driving with lots of big rigs going by you.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

We tow 17B with RAV4 and WDHitch.
Don't have sway bars.
Don't notice any effect from big rigs, or cross winds that the Fraser Valley is famous for.

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Old 09-26-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

Thanks to everyone for the info -- this has been very helpful. We have made arrangements to rent an old scamp trailer for the weekend just so we can see if we like spending time in a travel trailer. Assuming that all goes well, and we think we would use the escape trailer, we will order one. Thanks again for the info.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

I just wanted to follow up on this in case someone else has the same question.

We bought the 17b, picked it up with our '08 Sienna (with a towing package). Dave from Escape put the WD Hitch on and we drove about 3200 miles coming home. We went up to Crater Lake, through several passes in Central Oregon (Dixie Pass, Sumpter Pass), through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, before taking the freeway east across MT and North Dakota to get back to St. Paul. I don't know the exact weight of the trailer, but we pulled into a closed weigh station in Idaho for a lunch / walk the dog stop,and the scale there said that the weights were:

Front Axle: 2550 lbs
Rear Axle: 2400 lbs
Trailer Axle: 2900 lbs

This was fully loaded, including 2/3rds full fresh water tank. I thought about unhitching the trailer so we could get a total trailer weight, and some notion of tongue weight, but it was hot and I was stretching the patience of my wife and dog who were anxious to get to a campground. For some reason or another, having me drive makes Lindy tired, but I suspect that will get better as we get more experience with the trailer.

Any how, the whole setup worked just fine. The engine never overheated, and we were able to pull the trailer up any mountain pass as fast as I wished to go. On the highways we drove between 55 and 65, depending upon traffic and our schedule. We averaged about 15 MPG, less going up hill or into the wind, more coming down hill or with a tail wind. We had no problems with sway. There was a bit of bouncing/bumping as we went through Seattle in a HUGE rain storm. I have made some adjustments to the brake controller, and also re-wrapped the wiring harness on the TV with waterproof tape. It looked like some water could get in to the wiring splices, and the electrical tape the hitch place used was getting loose. That has seemed to fix the problem, but we didn't hit any heavy rain after that either.

In spite of encouragement from various folks on this forum, I was a bit nervous about pulling the trailer, and somewhat prepared to buy a bigger vehicle when we got back. But I am convinced that we can keep the Sienna (which we like because it hauls bicycles) for many years and still enjoy our Escape.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

On your trailer weight, could you give us an idea on if you have dual propane, Dual 6V batts, front storage box, Roof A/C, Dual pane windows? Thanks
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #9
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

While I tow with a RAV4 rather than a Sienna, I can give you some weights - Loaded for a long trip (69 days so far & another 60 planned) trailer weight is 3100 lbs. Axle weight as of a couple days ago - 2800 lbs.

This is with dual propane, electric tongue jack, dual 6V batteries (on back), AC, Front Storage Box (with about 50 lbs of stuff in it) Solar, 15" wheels, empty grey & black tanks & 1/3 full fresh water tank.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
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Re: Towing a 17b with a Toyota Sienna

Like Jon, we have dual propane (mostly full at the time), dual 6v batteries, air conditioning, Solar panels, TV ready package, 15 inch wheels, a storage box (although I am not sure how much the stuff in it weighs -- couple of camp chairs, the electrical cord, lug wrench, leveling blocks, but not much more than that). dual pane windows, extra insulation + the foam on the bottom. the black and grey water tanks were empty. About the only thing in the back of the Sienna was the little Weber grill, and a plastic bin with some grilling tools, aluminum foil etc. We stopped that night to get about $50.00 worth of groceries, but other than that the trailer had enough stuff to for us to be away several more weeks.
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