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Old 11-23-2015, 10:07 PM   #1
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Toyota rav 4 v6 as tow vehicle

For those who have actually used a RAV 4 V6 to tow, what was your conclusion? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Your mpg under tow? Sufficient power? What did you tow?

I read dozens of posts on tow vehicles on this site, and appreciate the wisdom and opinions of the authors. But I'm still inclined to get the RAV 4, I like the quality, and the mpg.

But I'd like to hear from those who have first hand experience. This would be for my 17B I pick up in 3 months. Thank you.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:24 PM   #2
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I don't have personal RAV4 experience to share, just a suggestion: pay attention to what year of RAV4 (and of course which engine). There have been four generations, with substantial differences between them, and the latest is not the most capable for towing. The Wikipedia page for the Toyota RAV4 is a good overview, although without specific towing information.

If you're only interested in a new one, I suggest specifying that.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:30 PM   #3
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2012 is the last year that a RAV4 was offered with V6 and 3,500 lb / 350 lb tongue tow rating. Finding one equipped to tow may be difficult.
Use Google search in the Search box to find RAV4 towing threads.
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Old 11-24-2015, 07:31 AM   #4
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I had one 2012/V6 - I would get a longer wheel base - pilot/highlander type.
Mileage towing was OK but not great, can get about the same with a lot of other vehicles - had lots of power. Some of it depends on your comfort level.
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:22 AM   #5
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I have the Rav4 2012 V6 tow Pkg. For my 16` Scamp. It works out good, I do not use a WD or sway bar. I drive 55-60-MPH and it tracks fine, When I get up to 62 MPH while changing lanes, it may sway a little, I then take my foot off gas and the sway stops. So i will get at least a sway bar this year. That only happens when on interstates when you have to go faster to position yourself. On secondary highways it performs very good,up and over and down curves, stops, starts out with power to spare. I test drove the Highlander and i did not see that you get much more for the way higher price. I could use more room inside the Rav when we camp, but that is b/c we have the spoiled brat (G-Retriever) that takes up the whole back seat. Hard to beat as a daily driver, there are tons of them out there, but not in V6 . Good Luck. Carl
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:48 AM   #6
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Rav 4 V-6

We have towed our 17 b from central Alberta to San Francisco and into or through the mountains many times.
We have a 2012 V-6 rated to pull 3500 pounds and an equalizer hitch and a brake controller.
If you are looking at new you probably want a Highlander or 4 Runner as the Rav is no longer available with a 6 cylinder
The only issue i have with the Rav is it has a small gas tank
That being said if i ever get a larger trailer the new Colorado\Canyon Diesels look intriguing

Other than that two thumbs up for the Rav
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:40 AM   #7
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I've towed a 17B weighing 3100 lbs & 340 lbs hitch weight 75,000 miles over the last 4 1/4 years with a 2010 RAV4 Sport (V6 & Tow Package). I do have the same complaint that Alan has - the small gas tank is a pain. The vehicle has plenty of power, adequate brakes, and with a weight distribution hitch, a very stable combination. Great unhooked mileage, and 14-15 while towing seems to be about average for most tow vehicles.

I am going to have to think about replacing it since I have over 125,000 miles on the vehicle, and I will probably go with a small truck. I miss not having a place to put things like a generator, extra fuel, etc that a truck bed would supply, and my home built utility trailer is getting pretty tired - the truck would give me a way to haul "stuff" when not pulling the trailer.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I've towed a 17B weighing 3100 lbs & 340 lbs hitch weight 75,000 miles over the last 4 1/4 years with a 2010 RAV4 Sport (V6 & Tow Package). I do have the same complaint that Alan has - the small gas tank is a pain. The vehicle has plenty of power, adequate brakes, and with a weight distribution hitch, a very stable combination. Great unhooked mileage, and 14-15 while towing seems to be about average for most tow vehicles.

I am going to have to think about replacing it since I have over 125,000 miles on the vehicle, and I will probably go with a small truck. I miss not having a place to put things like a generator, extra fuel, etc that a truck bed would supply, and my home built utility trailer is getting pretty tired - the truck would give me a way to haul "stuff" when not pulling the trailer.
Vermilye, do you think you could get a truck that could give you similar mpg (14-15 mpg when towing) that you get with your RAV4? Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
Vermilye, do you think you could get a truck that could give you similar mpg (14-15 mpg when towing) that you get with your RAV4? Thanks.
Steve - our Tacoma averages 15-16 on flat roads, and with no headwind. Headwinds seem to be able to make a very large difference - dropping us down to 13 often.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
Vermilye, do you think you could get a truck that could give you similar mpg (14-15 mpg when towing) that you get with your RAV4? Thanks.
Just return from 3,600 mile trip to Colorado and back. Averaged 15.526 with the Frontier pulling the 15, which weighs in around 2,800 pounds. We also carry a bunch of stuff in the truck AND there are two of us. Colorado is a good test also, as there were a lot of elevation changes traveling around the state and visiting the parks there. I think that Jon would have no trouble finding a midsize truck, e.g. Frontier, that could give him the 14-15 mpg he is used to. That being said, he won't get the unhitched mileage he is used to.

We also have the crew cab and a canopy on the back which adds significantly to the weight
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