Toyota Highlander towing Escape 17B, 19 or 21? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-02-2019, 11:12 PM   #1
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Toyota Highlander towing Escape 17B, 19 or 21?

I have a 2016 Toyota Highlander XLE (V6, towing package) and based on the towing capacity of 5000lbs, I thought I would be pushing it to purchase and tow anything more than the 17B. Although the 19 seemed like a possibility, I didnít think it would be a good idea to tow something like that, loaded, close to the towing capacity. But now Iíve seen on this Forum, several people who are towing the 19 and even the 21, with their Highlander. Is this really practical and safe? Iím new this this - Iíve never towed a travel trailer before. Any advice and guidance will be appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:31 PM   #2
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We towed our 2016 19 with a 2010 Highlander Limited, V6 with the tow package. We go on the road for months at a time and we are not light travelers... we felt the Highlander didn't have quite enough oomph for our needs. We like to have excess power for going up hills and for getting out of trouble, when needed. We moved to a Tundra.

That said, there are many folks on this forum who tow 19s (and I believe a few 21s) with a Highlander and appear to be pleased with the results.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:42 PM   #3
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Loved our 2013 SE with our 17B, which loaded was just under 3,000 lbs. Having towed in/out of Death Valley through the Panamints I knew that was all I wanted to tow with it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:57 PM   #4
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The 2018 and newer Highlanders have 25 more Horsepower than the 2012 model we had. It’s a 295 HP engine now and you can feel the difference. In addition, the transmission is an 8 speed now. Mileage is as good or better than the earlier 270 Hp, 6 speed units from my experience. That said I made three trips in the Rockies with the 2012 pulling the gen one 21 foot Escape without a problem. Running 62 mph on Interstates gets the job done for us and when going through radar operations by state highway patrols, I’ve never been pulled over for unsafe towing. Seems like if they didn’t like the looks of our rig, they would stop us.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger3146 View Post
Is this really practical and safe?
In my opinion the short answers to your questions is yes it is practical and yes it is safe.

If it wasn't then the vehicle manufacturer would have lower limits on the tow vehicles they market. I have a similar specification Honda Ridgeline (5000 GVWR/600 tongue) and I have no reservations on pulling a 21.

Full disclosure, I have only towed 3800-4000 pounds so far and I have had no issues whatsoever.
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:51 PM   #6
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yes several on this forum tow a 21 with a highlander and seem to have no complaints. i miss my highlander but i don't think it would be a good match for my 5.0 so i had to let it go.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:41 PM   #7
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I put about 15,000 miles on a Highlander towing a 19' and it worked fairly well. A bit down on power at higher altitudes - above around 8000 feet I had to stay in the right lane with the trucks - but good enough with a little patience. Definitely adequate (but not overkill) on power closer to sea level. Heading back down the mountain it does quite well if you use the "sport" mode to keep it in a lower gear for engine braking. I barely had to touch the brakes on a 6% grade.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:49 PM   #8
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My buddy tows his 19' with a Highlander. I tow my 17B with a RAV4 V6.
We both arrive at the campsite about the same time.
I don't need to go up the steepest hill in the fast lane. There aren't that many hills or any real need to pass others on the way up.
I figure 85 - 90 kph ( 52 - 55 mph ) on an 8 per cent grade is sufficient. It's not like the entire trip is uphill.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:01 AM   #9
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Here is my experience with the 4Runner.

If you plan to travel west of Denver, you need a little more than a Highlander. Elevation plays a huge role.

2017 Toyota 4Runner 4.0V6, towing, my experience

I just bought a Tundra 4.6L with plans to return to Colorado Utah.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:08 PM   #10
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Trust your instincts; glad I did mine. The Expedition drives like my Highlander did compared to the Yukon, primarily as it has independent rear suspension.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Trust your instincts; glad I did mine. The Expedition drives like my Highlander did compared to the Yukon, primarily as it has independent rear suspension.
If you can wait for another option, the 2020 (model year) GM big SUVs (Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban, GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade) will also have independent rear suspension. In the meantime, they have a rear beam axle with control arms and coil springs (like a Ram pickup), rather than the leaf springs still found under most pickups.

2020 Chevrolet Suburban Will Feature Independent Rear Suspension
2020 Tahoe: Our Best Look Yet At Its IRS | GM Authority

Among current large SUVs, independent rear suspension is found in the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, Infiniti QX80, Ford Expedition... and possibly also the Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, etc, depending on your definition of "large" and if you accept the newfangled idea of unibody construction.

By the way, despite the tendency for people to use the term "solid axle", the correct technical term for a non-independent suspension (as is used at the rear of most pickup trucks) is "beam axle".
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