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Old 07-23-2014, 09:47 PM   #41
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Gen 2 Highlander (2008-13) OEM class 3 hitch is bolted on. After reading about Steve's Pilot I pulled out the manual with magnifying glass. No reference to WDH. Searched Web and found this on Toyota Nation:
Well, it appears that Toyota does NOT recommend AGAINST using a WDH. At least that's the reply I've rec'v after emailing Toyota. It took a series of emails to get a complete answer. Below is the succession of emails. One thing that still confuses me is he (Toyota) said a WDH will not be required given HL's 5000 lb tow rating. But most hitch shops I've spoken to seem to recommend WDH's for tongue weights above 300-400 lbs.

MY ORIGINAL EMAIL (Nov. 7):

Hi: I bought a 2009 Highlander Base FWD V6 with towing pkg.

1) Can a weight distributing hitch be added for towing, or are they not recommended?
2) Is there a recommended maximum trailer length for the Highlander's wheelbase?

TOYOTA'S FIRST REPLY (Nov. 10):

Thank you for contacting Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

I apologize for any concern you may have been caused regarding towing with your 2009 Highlander, as it is not our intention.

Your 2009 Highlander Owner's Manual does not recommend against a weight distributing hitch.

There is no recommended maximum trailer length.

Sincerely,
James Fewel
Toyota Customer Experience
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

MY FOLLOW-UP QUESTION (Nov. 10):

Thank you for your reply. I need to clarify/confirm the following statement that you wrote below: "Your 2009 Highlander Owner's Manual does not recommend against a weight distributing hitch". Since you said "does not recommend against", I interpret this to mean that a weight distributing hitch CAN be used. Is this correct? If so, then what is Toyota referring to on Page 251 in the 2009 Highlander Owners Manual when it states the following: "Do not use axle-mounted hitches, as they can cause damage to the axle housing, wheel bearings, wheels or tires"? Thank you very much for clarifying this, Best regards Gary Black

TOYOTA'S FOLLOW-UP REPLY (Nov. 11):

You're welcome, Mr. Black, and thanks for asking; a weight-distributing mounts to the frame, not the axle.

Sincerely,
James Fewel

Toyota Customer Experience
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

MY FOLLOW-UP CONFIRMATION (Nov. 11):

Thank you, James, So I take that to mean that it is OK (according to Toyota) for me to use a weight distributing hitch. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

Best regards
Gary Black

TOYOTA'S FOLLOW-UP REPLY (Nov. 11):

Thanks for asking, and it is ok to use a load-equalizing hitch, Mr. Black, but with your vehicle's 5,000-lb tow capacity, not necessary.

Sincerely,

James Fewel
Toyota Customer Experience
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

MY FINAL EMAIL (Nov. 11):

James, Thanks again. Hitch shops told me that any travel trailer with a tongue weight over 300-400 lbs will probably need an equalizing hitch. Since several trailers I'm looking at have tongue weights of 350-450 lbs (within Toyota's 500 lb max limit), I wanted to make sure it would not harm the vehicle or compromise safety. There are internet discussions claiming Toyota doesn't recommend that type of hitch (due to unibody construction). So I wanted to check to make sure myself.
Thank you again, and have a great evening! Gary Black

TOYOTA'S FINAL EMAIL (Nov. 11):

You're absolutely welcome, Mr. Black.

Sincerely,
James Fewel
Toyota Customer Experience
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.




AND ANOTHER ONE FROM TOYOTA CANADA:
Amazing.

Just for the record, here is details of my correspondance with Toyota Canada. I'm wondering if someone else would be willing to contact Toyota to try and break the tie, since the above does not recommend against WDH, but the guy I was corresponding with said that a WDH cannot be used.

My Original Email (Nov 4th):

Can the OEM Trailer Hitch support a weight distribution hitch? My vehicle is a 2009 Toyota Highlander Limited, Canadian Edition, with the towing package, V6 engine, no navigation system. I have the OEM wiring and Class III hitch installed.

Thanks.

Dan


Reply from Toyota Canada (Nov 5th):

Dear Mr. Boudreau:

Thank you for your most recent correspondence.

We would like to take this opportunity to advise you that the OEM wiring and class III hitch for the 2009 Highlander can not support a weight distribution hitch.

We hope this information is helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

Stewart McMillan
Customer Interaction Centre
Toyota Canada Inc.

My Follow-up Email (Nov 5th):

Can you please explain why? The wiring I can understand since you need a 7 pin and not a 4 pin, but for a hitch rated at 5000 lbs? So the hitch can tow 5000 lbs but the hitch cannot distribute the weight to the rest of the frame by means of a weight distribution hitch? I would like to see some documentation supporting this. So is Toyota recommending me to tow 5000 lbs without a weight distribution hitch? That contradicts most recommendations regarding towing. One of the main reasons I bought the Highlander was because of its towing capacity. Please provide this documentation to support your answer.

Dan

Reply from Toyota Canada (Nov 6th):

Dear Mr. Boudreau:

Thank you for your most recent correspondence.

We would like to take this opportunity to mention that most hitch manufacturers only recommend weight distribution when towing over 5000 pounds; the 2009 Highlander has a maximum towing capacity of 5000 pounds. Weight distribution hitches put a great deal of strain on the frame of the vehicle to achieve the distribution of the weight. Unibody vehicles are not built for this type of strain; the Highlander is a unibody vehicle that does not have a full frame, it is not recommended for use with a weight distribution hitch.

Please be advised that weight distribution hitches are common on trucks that have full frames. Toyota vehicles that have full frames are the Tundra, Tacoma and the 4Runner.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We hope this information is helpful and thank you again for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

Stewart McMillan
Customer Interaction Centre
Toyota Canada Inc.


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Old 07-23-2014, 09:53 PM   #42
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Wow. It'd sure be alot easier if manufacturers would just give owners ALL the pertinent info they need, and a straight answer when asked.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:06 PM   #43
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Looks like Toyota Customer Service people get paid by the word
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:11 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Looks like Toyota Customer Service people get paid by the word
Yes Two Words " VICARIOUS LIABILITY"

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:15 PM   #45
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It was not my intention to offend anyone with unibody tow vehicles, I was merly trying to say that there seems to be a lot of speculation and miss information about what is ok and what's not , by using a full frame vehicle with plenty of extra tow capacity gives me
Peace of mind that's all .
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:34 PM   #46
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Yup. Same people I was dealing with: Customer Interaction Centre.
But, mine claimed they couldn't deal with technical issues. You have to read from the bottom up if you want to follow chronologically.

Dear Mr. Baglo:

Thank you for your recent email.

We would like to take this opportunity to advise you that as you are aware, Toyota Canada Inc. does not recommend using a weight distribution (load equalizing) hitch.

With this in mind, our Customer Interaction Centre is not equipped to provide the technical information that you require. We suggest that you discuss your inquiry directly with the Service Department at your Toyota dealership. They would be in the best position to advise you in this regard. If they have already contacted Toyota Canada Inc. and are awaiting a response, we kindly suggest keeping in contact with them to receive updates on your inquiry.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

Steven Gagnon
Customer Interaction Centre
Toyota Canada Inc.

on 2014-07-11-16.41.33.000000, gbaglo@shaw.ca (GLENN BAGLO) wrote:





I sent the following June 30 tocustomercare@jptoyota-northshore.com
Prior to that I have sent email to Toyota Canada without a response:


Back on May 29, while in for service, I asked agent ( I believe Adam Lang,
but for some reason Chris comes to mind ) for information about weight
distribution hitch and my RAV4 Sport V6.
The manual says WDH is not recommended and I asked if I could get some
expansion of just what not recommended means. I had a WDH ( installed in
your shop before I took possession of the vehicle ) since 2008 and have
experienced no issues.

He said he had emailed Toyota Canada and was awaiting a response. Ive not
heard anything since, which is not surprising, since I couldnt get Toyota
Canada to respond to me when I asked directly. I would suggest that Toyota
Canada be more responsive if they want to retain customers.

Glenn Baglo
(Deleted phone # )
There are no steelhead.



On Jul 11, 2014, at 10:34 AM, toyota_feedback@toyota.ca wrote:

Dear Mr. Baglo:

Thank you for your recent email.

We would be pleased to comment with regard to your inquiry; however, we
kindly ask that you reply to this email with more details regarding the
nature of your concerns.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

Steven Gagnon
Customer Interaction Centre
Toyota Canada Inc.

I wrote:
You are full of crap.
You do not respond when I make a query by email.
Im unlikely to buy another Toyota.

Glenn Baglo
There are no steelhead.



On Jul 10, 2014, at 3:38 PM, Toyota Canada Inc. <surveys@toyota.ca> wrote:



You could win a $1,000 ESSO Gas Gift Card, just for telling us what
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Please take a few minutes to complete our survey, and as our thanks
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Thank you for sharing your feedback with us and good luck with the
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Time Sensitive please respond promptly


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Old 07-23-2014, 10:37 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Yup, the Flex reminds me of a shoe box with wheels drawn on the sides of the box ( I was a deprived kid ).
I heard or read an artile about the designer of the Ford Flex. Apparently he had a fascination with the old Electrolux vacuum cleaner and deisgned the body to resemble the vaccum. I can definitely see the vacuum cleaner lines after hearing that description. Regardless of design history, I have also heard great things about the Flex.

I think he with his vacuum and Baglo with his shoe boxes would get along just great at a designers workshop! One played with vacuum cleaners and the other with shoe boxes. Got to have a creative mind if you are a deprived kid.

As to BRietkerk's reference to a hearse - the vehicle that really reminds me of a hearse is the newer Honda Odyseey. We had a 2000 Odyssey and it was a really great vehicle, hated to have to finally part with it.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:39 PM   #48
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No offense here, just confusion. Lot of real world experience on Toyota Nation though for Gen2 Highlander over the last 5 years that offers some measure of assurance that a WDH is used a lot and haven't heard of any problems....yet.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:45 PM   #49
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Several on the forums using WDH with RAV4 too and only speculation on what Toyota means by "not recommended". Would benefit Toyota to explain rather than endure such speculation and customer frustration.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:01 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Gen 2 Highlander (2008-13) OEM class 3 hitch is bolted on. After reading about Steve's Pilot I pulled out the manual with magnifying glass. No reference to WDH. Searched Web and found this on Toyota Nation:
Well, it appears that Toyota does NOT recommend AGAINST using a WDH.
CONFUSED? ME TOO!
Hey Rossue, you better get out some Windex and clean that old magnifying glass!!!...My 2010 Honda Pilot owner's manual, on page 441 states, "Weight Distributing Hitch" A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for us with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance. How much more of your full page dissertation is also just plain wrong or misquoted??
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