Towing with a 2018 Toyota Highlander - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-23-2019, 10:42 AM   #1
Member
 
EscapeBoulder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19'er + 2018 Highlander
Posts: 56
Towing with a 2018 Toyota Highlander

We have a 2018 Toyota Highlander Limited towing a 2018 Escape 19'er.

I notice the Highlander has a selectable "Power Mode" for its 8 speed automatic transmission. It also has selectable "shift ranges", limiting the transmission to shifting up only as far as the selected gear.

Highlander owners: What's your experience? Should I be using the Power Mode when towing? I assume it moves the shift points in the transmissions controlling computer effectively, I guess, giving more "power". And does it make sense to perhaps select a lower top gear than 8, to keep the transmission from downshifting as much?

Thank you, in advance for your thoughts.
__________________

__________________
... Greg
2018 Escape 19'er
Not all who wander are lost
EscapeBoulder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2019, 12:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 3,724
We are towing our 2013 21 Escape with no problems with our 2018 Highlander. We towed about 9,000 miles in 2018 with this combination. I tow at approximately 62 mph with an Anderson WDH. On the flat I run in 7 at about 2200 rpm. In hilly country I use 6 at about 2700. I use the shiftable transmission extensively in mountain descents to hold the downhill speed to the appropriate grades and road configuration. I am not afraid at all to buzz the V6 to up around 5,000 RPM in 3 and sometimes 2. This is not often necessary and most often I use 4 on descents.
I only rarely shift into Drive when towing except when I need to punch in cruise. I do this when the road is straight and flat so I can shift around in the seat once in a while as this old man gets a little stiff on the long days. I am only in cruise for about a quarter to a half a mile. Then it’s back to seven and driving off the foot feed. That’s how I do it with the 2018 and that’s how I did it with the 2012 Highlander except it was a six speed. I like the two additional gears and the 25 additional horsepower in the 2018. YMMV
Iowa “Don’t stop for a cup of coffee, I’ll be along directly” Dave
__________________

__________________
Strike while the iron is hot. Live every day as if it were your last and one day you will be right.
Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2019, 12:22 PM   #3
Member
 
EscapeBoulder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19'er + 2018 Highlander
Posts: 56
Thank you, Iowa Dave. I hadn't noticed that cruise control doesn't engage when in the selectable top gear mode. Hm... That'll be interesting in that I use cruise control the majority of the time. It keeps me from speeding and (while not towing) I understand it gives better gas milage.
__________________
... Greg
2018 Escape 19'er
Not all who wander are lost
EscapeBoulder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2019, 11:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Trailer: 2013 Li'l Hauley
Posts: 191
"Power mode"? What's that do? My 2008 didn't have one, so I'm curious. Have you tried driving with this mode engaged, to see how the HL acts?
Mike G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 01:45 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
"Power mode"?
There may be (depending on options) both "Snow" and "Power" modes in a 2018 Highlander. Either will change shifts logic, such as engine speed shift points and delay times, and possibly torque converter lock-up behaviour, just like the common "Tow/Haul" mode in other vehicles. The Highlander manual says
Quote:
Use power mode for powerful acceleration or driving in mountainous regions.
We all need to get used to mode selections - some cars have modes for the transmission, the suspension, the steering, and to control battery charging behaviour (in a hybrid).

This is separate from the S-mode selection, which allows the driver to select the highest gear to be used (as long as that doesn't over-speed the engine), just like the lower gear settings on a traditional automatic shifter.

As is traditional for automatic transmissions, there is no way for the driver force the transmission to use a higher gear than what it has chosen automatically. S-mode is not manual gear selection.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 01:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
I only rarely shift into Drive when towing except when I need to punch in cruise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeBoulder View Post
I hadn't noticed that cruise control doesn't engage when in the selectable top gear mode. Hm... That'll be interesting in that I use cruise control the majority of the time.
According to the manual,
Quote:
Dynamic radar cruise control can be set when
●The shift lever is in D or range 4 or higher of S has been selected.
●Vehicle speed is at or above approximately 30 mph (50 km/h).
So you can use dynamic radar cruise control even in S-mode as long as in 4 or higher... but the manual also says not to use it when towing.

The Highlander with dynamic radar cruise control also has a traditional constant speed cruise control; it looks like you can use that in any S-mode range.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 11:31 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 3,724
I only use cruise when towing as I described. I never tried it another way on this 2018. I like the radar feature when not towing and keep it on the max separation. I like the cushion. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Used to steer with my belly a few years ago but gave up on multitasking.
Iowa Dave
__________________
Strike while the iron is hot. Live every day as if it were your last and one day you will be right.
Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 01:19 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
LeonW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 -- The Skylark. Towed by a 2014 Highlander
Posts: 1,009
We use a 2014 Highlander with only 6 speeds, and 25 fewer hp than Iowa Dave. Like Dave, we often travel between 60 and 65 mph. I will often use cruise on the freeways, especially when it is flat and I have long sight distances. Also, like Dave, I am not afraid to shift down and let the engine rev to 5000 rpm, especially when climbing or descending steep grades. I generally let the car be in drive unless climbing or I want to use the engine for braking. if the automatic transmission is shifting often ("hunting"), I will just shift down to the lower gear.

We have almost 70,000 miles on the Highlander, probably about half of that towing. The only maintenance has been tires and just recently a new set of brakes. The brakes probably could have gone a bit longer, but we were getting ready to leave on a trip and I wanted the work done locally before we left. Aside from the limited ability to carry bicycles inside the car, I have been happy with it.
__________________
Camping: Where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person.
LeonW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 01:28 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 3,724
Hi Leon,
I rolled the 2012 Highlander 181,000 miles with a lot of towing . Only brakes and tires as expenses beside regular oil changes. Will we see you at the Mississippi or Pikes Peak this season?
Iowa Dave
__________________
Strike while the iron is hot. Live every day as if it were your last and one day you will be right.
Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 01:58 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Trailer: 2013 Li'l Hauley
Posts: 191
Thanks for the info, Brian.


Dave, steering with your belly? I'd have to drink a lot more beer to get there. I do occasionally steer with my wife, but never while towing.
__________________

Mike G is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.