2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser for towing an Escape 19 - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-19-2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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Transmission cooler

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According to my local Toyota dealer, the FJ has a built-in transmission oil cooler. Is an additional transmission oil cooler advisable? And if so, should a bypass be considered for winter and/or non-towing situations?
Essentially every modern automatic transmission vehicle has a transmission fluid (oil) cooler as standard equipment, usually integrated into the radiator. Additional cooling capacity is provided by the larger coolers included in Toyota's "towing preparation package". I don't know if such a package is offered for the FJ (it is offered for only select models), but if it is, it will probably required by Toyota to reach the maximum rating towing capacity.

I would not add an extra external transmission cooler unless I had a confirmed high fluid temperature issue, because I don't want to mess with the transmission plumbing. Toyota's rating is based on tests under full trailer load which must not cause excessive fluid temperatures (especially if the FJ - like other Toyota models) is rated as per SAE's J2807 test standard (a stringent test that Ford, GM, and Chrysler are afraid to use).

If I did add a cooler, I would definitely put in a thermostatic bypass, unless I could confirm that the way it is plumbed in allows the transmission's own internal valving to control cooler flow appropriately. This is even for summer conditions - transmission fluid should come up to a good operating temperature as quickly as possible, and cold is not good (although really hot is even worse!)

All of this assumes an automatic transmission. If you have a manual transmission, I don't see any need for a cooler in this application (generally only racing vehicles use them for manuals).
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #12
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Back-up lights

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Are additional back-up lights advisable/useful? If so, what placement would be optimal?.
This is not specific to the FJ, and I have not yet done this myself (because we are not currently using our existing trailer), but I think the most useful trailer backing lights would be mounted on the side of the trailer, near the front, facing rearward... because that lights what you need to see, and not the area behind the trailer that you can't see in the mirrors anyway. This arrangement is called "docking lights" on motorhomes (some of which come with these from the factory).

I would just connect them to a manual switch on the trailer (powered from the trailer battery), because I'm not backing into anywhere (especially at night) without getting out and looking first... but of course they could be wired to the centre pin of the 7-pin connector if the tug is wired to match.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #13
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It is surprising that any Toyota OEM hitch on a vehicle with Class 3 towing capacity would only be a Class 2 hitch. Is this definite, or did you perhaps mean 2" hitch?
Brian,

I meant what I said . . . but I didn't know what I was talking about.

I went out and put a flashlight on the hitch and it is, indeed, a Class 3 hitch, rated for 5000/50. And it's a 2" square opening. Good catch. Thanks.

Glenn
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:43 PM   #14
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Maybe my idea is weird... but I think backup lights are not to help ME backup... but to tell other people... LOOK OUT, I'm backing out of a parking space, etc. I've yet to see backup lights on any towable that lights up the area to give much help. I agree with Brian... get out and LOOK. In fact, I work for a worldwide transportation company and we call it GOAL.. Get Out And Look.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:44 PM   #15
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They are relatively generic, but some have a four-pin or five-pin connector beside the 7-pin so common 4-pin trailers (such as a rental cargo trailer) can be used without an adapter - that seems like a good idea to me. If Toyota provides a hidden connector for a 7-pin connection, the kit that connects to that is obviously the desired choice.

Thanks. I'll check for a hidden connector.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #16
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In the past I added down lights to some of my trailers that illuminated the area around each stabilizer and the electric hook up as well as the sewer pipe area. At night backing up I was able to discern if there were any irregular areas under the trailer that needed avoidance, so that later on while hooking up, I did not have to move the trailer again due to some hole or object that was in my way. It is on my list to someday do the same to the Escape.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #17
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Brian,

Thanks for the additional, topic-specific advice on the 7-pin connector, the ball mount drop, the brake controller, the T-oil cooler, and the back-up lights. I really appreciate the effort to educate me.

Glenn
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Maybe my idea is weird... but I think backup lights are not to help ME backup... but to tell other people... LOOK OUT, I'm backing out of a parking space, etc. I've yet to see backup lights on any towable that lights up the area to give much help. I agree with Brian... get out and LOOK. In fact, I work for a worldwide transportation company and we call it GOAL.. Get Out And Look.
Thanks Donna. Hadn't heard about GOAL before but, now that I've heard the acronym, I'm a GOAL kinda guy. But I also like Brian's idea of lights on the trailer side. Belts and suspenders. Never know when a tree is going to jump out of the shadows.

Glenn.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:05 PM   #19
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In the past I added down lights to some of my trailers that illuminated the area around each stabilizer and the electric hook up as well as the sewer pipe area. At night backing up I was able to discern if there were any irregular areas under the trailer that needed avoidance, so that later on while hooking up, I did not have to move the trailer again due to some hole or object that was in my way. It is on my list to someday do the same to the Escape.
Interesting thought, Jim. Maybe I should get the 19 pre-wired for the down lights before the foam insulation gets sprayed on. Does that make sense to you?

Glenn
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:54 PM   #20
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yes, if Escape will do that, but if you battery is in your storage box outside it would be relatively easy to add lights and attach to the battery afterwards. In my scenario the battery is inside, oh well back to the drawing board.
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