Originally Posted by thoer
Losangeles, Leon has towed their 21' with a 5000# rated Highlander for many thousands of miles and reports that it tows easily, steadily, and without a hint of sway. We plan to do the same. As this video shows, safe tongue weight is the key. Based on my conversations with 2 Toyota service managers, they both said that given Toyotas conservative nature, that if Toyota rates a vehicle at 5000#, it will safely tow 5000#.
I don't know what vehicle you plan to use, but all car companies have reams of lawyers who are going to make that same insistence about ratings in the litegenous days.
Eric speaks the truth. We just got back from 5 weeks on the road with our Highlander and the Skylark. We now have about 36000 miles on our 2014 Highlander, Probably 30,000 of that is with a trailer in tow. I don't remember how many passes we have climbed, but we have gone across North Dakota and Montana in a big head and side wind. I think the winds make more difference than the passes do. We have also climbed some steep back roads in the east that make most of the roads over the rockies seem easy. Apparently when some of the roads in the Allegheny mountains were made the accepted practice was to lay the asphalt on top of the earth as the Creator left it, and winding your way up a big hill or grading the terrain was for sissies.
So far we have been happy with our towing experience. I am not afraid to let the engine rev to where the horse power & torque max out -- 4000+ rpm. Lindy thinks the engine is screaming; I think it is singing. We use an Anderson WDH and that definitely has an anti-sway effect. It is rare for us to exceed 65 mph. My biggest single complaint about the highlander is that I wish it could carry more bikes easily. I was jealous of the way Paul could slip those bikes in his Sequoia.
All that said, I think the most important thing for you to consider is what sort of vehicle you want, and will make you happy. If you are going to worry that your vehicle isn't going to make it up the next hill, or that you won't be stable and safe, then by all means get the vehicle that will make you feel relaxed. There is towing capacity and then there is peace of mind capacity. I wouldn't short change my self on either.
I choose to get a highlander after talking to a couple of other folks who were towing 21s with a Highlander -- I think they have both moved on since I exchanged messages with them. But I do that that when evaluating tow vehicle discussions it is good to pay attention to those folks who have experience with the particular trailer and tow vehicle combination you are thinking of.