Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Escape 21'? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-09-2014, 09:57 PM   #1
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Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Escape 21'?

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Originally Posted by Duginda View Post
We tow a 3500# TrailManor 2720SD with our 2006 Highlander Hybrid and are considering an Escape 21'. The Hybrid's towing capacity is downgraded to 3500# from the standard 5000#. I wonder if that is too conservative. The chassis should handle it; it has the same engine. However the transmission changes to CVT.
That transmission change is significant. Conventional automatc transmissions are limited by cooling of their hydraulic fluid; that's not an issue for the Synergy Hybrid Drive, but it has cooling of the electric motor-generators and electronic power controllers to consider. A hybrid can be equipped to handle any desired load, but if Toyota says the one they use in the Highlander Hybrid is limited to towing 3500 pounds, then I would monitor temperatures carefully if I had one and if I were pushing that limit.

By the way, in the first-generation Highlander (including 2006) even the non-hybrid has the same 3500 pound tow rating. It increases to 5000 pounds with the second generation (2008 model year), but not for the hybrid, which remains at 3500 pounds even in the new 2014 model.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
That transmission change is significant. Conventional automatc transmissions are limited by cooling of their hydraulic fluid; that's not an issue for the Synergy Hybrid Drive, but it has cooling of the electric motor-generators and electronic power controllers to consider. A hybrid can be equipped to handle any desired load, but if Toyota says the one they use in the Highlander Hybrid is limited to towing 3500 pounds, then I would monitor temperatures carefully if I had one and if I were pushing that limit.

By the way, in the first-generation Highlander (including 2006) even the non-hybrid has the same 3500 pound tow rating. It increases to 5000 pounds with the second generation (2008 model year), but not for the hybrid, which remains at 3500 pounds even in the new 2014 model.
I had forgotten that the 1st generation 3500# limit applies to non-hybrids too. How could I monitor temps in the motor-generator and controller? You are making me lean toward a 2nd generation, not-hybrid Highlander if we get a ETI 21'.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:06 AM   #3
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Hybrids and towing are not a good mix.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:34 AM   #4
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So, do I go with "never in doubt" or "often wrong"?
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:41 AM   #5
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take your pick, both are correct.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:02 PM   #6
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Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Escape 21'?

This discussion topic has evolved within the "It's Friday!" topic, but I don't think it really belongs there, so I have spun it off here. A moderator could do a nicer job of this by moving posts rather than just quoting them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duginda View Post
I had forgotten that the 1st generation 3500# limit applies to non-hybrids too. How could I monitor temps in the motor-generator and controller? You are making me lean toward a 2nd generation, not-hybrid Highlander if we get a ETI 21'.
The current trend in monitoring vehicle parameters beyond those normally displayed on the instrument panel is to connect to the vehicle's On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) port, with either a dedicated device (such as a ScanGauge) or an adapter and an app running on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet); Torque is a commonly Android app. It seems reasonable to assume that the desired temperatures are monitored by the vehicle's own computers, and thus available on the computer network accessed by the OBD II port. This is the approach now commonly taken for transmission temperatures.

The Toyota hybrid system is excellent, and the Highlander Hybrid is a desirable vehicle, so I am reluctant to suggest staying away from them; however, I personally would probably not choose this vehicle for an Escape 21'... it just isn't intended for it.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Brian B-P;52238]This discussion topic has evolved within the "It's Friday!" topic, but I don't think it really belongs there, so I have spun it off here. A moderator could do a nicer job of this by moving posts rather than just quoting them.


Maybe you should be the moderator Brian.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
This discussion topic has evolved within the "It's Friday!" topic, but I don't think it really belongs there, so I have spun it off here. A moderator could do a nicer job of this by moving posts rather than just quoting them.
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Maybe you should be the moderator Brian.
No thanks - just constructively contributing.

I see that a moderator did move the posts - thanks!
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:27 PM   #9
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I see no compatibility problem between hybrid drivetrain design and any heavy-duty use, including towing; however, most currently available hybrid vehicles are not intended for heavy-duty use and so do not have high towing capacities. All of the same could be said for manual transmissions in non-commercial vehicles - it's not about the technology, it's about product choices for target markets.

GM has discontinued their Two-Mode Hybrid system in the Silverado full-sized pickup truck, but as of 2013 it had 6100 pound towing capacity (in 2WD) (2013 Silverado info from GM)

You can reliably tow many tons with a Freightliner or Hino truck (or other brands). Of course those are not travel trailer tugs - the point is just that hybrid design itself is not a problem for towing, just as a big V8 engine by itself does not making towing safe or reliable.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
No thanks - just constructively contributing.

I see that a moderator did move the posts - thanks!
All one needs to do is ask.
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