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Old 10-22-2013, 11:27 AM   #11
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This was taken in northern Utah exactly one week ago. On our way from Vernal to Heber. We went through snow flurries and there was two inches of snow on the ground at Daniels summit. It feels really nice to be back in Florida.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
When you get on to super steep grades like this, any vehicle is going to slow down while towing. It becomes more a matter of gearing down low enough to pull up the hill and not worrying to much about how fast you get there.
Don't know about FJ Cruiser, but the RAV4 manual ( under the section on transmission ) warns in yellow highlighted type, not to tow in 3 or 2 for a prolonged time. No definition of what is prolonged, but I did manage to turn on the transmission warning light once, towing up the Coquihalla in 3 and at speed.
RAV manual says to tow up the hill in 4.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ray N View Post
This was taken in northern Utah exactly one week ago. On our way from Vernal to Heber. We went through snow flurries and there was two inches of snow on the ground at Daniels summit. It feels really nice to be back in Florida.
Great picture! It does not even look real.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:39 PM   #14
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Great picture! It does not even look real.
x2, I tried to download as a screen saver but it did not focus, excellent picture though.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Don't know about FJ Cruiser, but the RAV4 manual ( under the section on transmission ) warns in yellow highlighted type, not to tow in 3 or 2 for a prolonged time. No definition of what is prolonged, but I did manage to turn on the transmission warning light once, towing up the Coquihalla in 3 and at speed.
RAV manual says to tow up the hill in 4.
The grades Jon was talking about were 18% for a couple of miles. That is unusually steep and I would expect that under those circumstances, any vehicle would have to gear down to make the climb. Once up and towing on flatter terrain, you could likely tow in the gears recommended in your owner's manual.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:26 PM   #16
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I've done it both ways, and the problem with leaving the RAV4 in 4th is it keeps switching between gears. I do have a transmission temperature gauge, and it doesn't overheat on a short hill, but on a long one I'd follow gbaglo's advice, at least for the RAV.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:28 PM   #17
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I realize that. What I read in the manual is that Toyota wants you to tow in 4 and let the vehicle downshift as necessary, not to hold it in 3 or 2 for prolonged periods on a grade.

I quote: Do not continue hill climbing or hard towing for a long period of time in the "3", "2" or "L" position. This may cause severe automatic transmission damage from overheating. To prevent such damage, the "4" position should be used in hill climbing or hard towing."

Of course, the manual also says, " Do not exceed 72 km/h ( 45 mph ) or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower. Because instability ( swaying ) of a tow vehicle-trailer combination usually increases as speed increases, exceeding 72 km/h ( 45 mph ) may cause loss of control".
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:10 PM   #18
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x2, I tried to download as a screen saver but it did not focus, excellent picture though.
The lighting was amazing. It was an overcast day but the sun suddenly broke through to illuminate just the valley like a spot-light. I sent private messages if you want a high definition copy.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the info, techfan.

I doubt that 20 mpg (US) in urban use was ever a realistic expectation for any typical current SUV of that size, especially with a relatively large gas engine, although my van gets close to that. I can understand it being disappointing, but I think any other brand would be disappointing as well. I was shocked when I saw how rapidly even a rented Ford Edge sucked down gas (about 15 mpg city, 20 mpgUS highway) compared to my larger van, but you pay for the big tires and the AWD hardware, in both rolling drag and weight.

I understand wanting to keep the engine speed down, but at 4500 rpm it would still be about 2000 rpm short of its speed for maximum power, and well short of redline... it might even be below the speed for peak torque. At 3500 rpm, it would be below the speed for peak torque, and is effectively less than a 165 hp engine even at sea level (and of course significantly less at 6000 feet ASL).

I see that the 2013 Santa Fe long-wheelbase version (not the Sport) - which would be better for towing if only for the wheelbase - comes with a more powerful 3.3L direct-injection engine and a 5000 pound towing rating; the 3.5L engine of the previous generation is no longer offered. That's not relevant to the 2012 model, but provides some perspective for current alternatives.

At 2800 pounds loaded, this 15' trailer is only 10% lighter than my wide-body (compared to an Escape 17) 17-boot Boler loaded the way we have pulled it; 15-foot sounds small but isn't necessarily seem so small when towing. A lean 17' wouldn't be much different, but the heaviest Escape 17's would be even slower to pull up this extreme grade at a low engine speed.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:07 PM   #20
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Not too shabby in August either!
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