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Old 02-07-2015, 12:00 PM   #1
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Thinking of ordering Escape 19. Does anyone have experiences towing 19 with Toyota Highlander, 4wd, 6 cyl?
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:15 PM   #2
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Check your manual for the tow rating. Should be good, I tow a 21 with the same engine; if you have a tow package the rest of the drive train will be upgraded (cooler, transmission, etc.) Taco rating is 6400 lbs, dunno about the Highlander.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by aechaney View Post
Thinking of ordering Escape 19. Does anyone have experiences towing 19 with Toyota Highlander, 4wd, 6 cyl?
What year is your Highlander? Also, I think the factory tow package takes the Highlander towing capacity to 5000 lbs instead of the standard 3500. Makes a difference.
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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2012 Highlander. Guess I'd better check the manual. Have been towing a 1600 pound T@B, which like towing nothing.
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:10 PM   #5
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Might also get your dealer to run the VIN to determine how the vehicle is equipped ( tow package or not ).
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:39 PM   #6
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The Highlander towing capacity - with towing package, V6, and not-hybrid - went up from 3500 pounds to 5000 pounds at some point, perhaps 2008, but certainly before 2012... it's in the manual.

I assume that this is not the hybrid - the Highlander Hybrid is a 6 cylinder, but has a towing limit of 3500 pounds even in years that have a limit of 5000 pounds for the non-hybrid version.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:52 PM   #7
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Gen2 Highlander includes model years 2008-13. In 2010 they introduced the SE. My understanding(and on Edmunds this model shows trailer wiring stnd.)is that all SE models have tow package. Checking VIN w/dealer will verify, however if I were looking for a used one I would be homing in on this model as it is just below the Limited in trim package and likely does in fact come standard with tow package even if no receiver hitch is present.

I had one and really liked it, however the gas mileage for the AWD model is hardly any different from my 2WD(rear) Yukon not towing: 17/21 vs. 15/21. Didn't get to tow 21 with Highlander but am at 13 w/Yukon. Got 16-17 with Highlander towing 17B.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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Gen2 Highlander includes model years 2008-13. In 2010 they introduced the SE. My understanding(and on Edmunds this model shows trailer wiring stnd.)is that all SE models have tow package.
Interesting, but I would be cautious about trusting that information - I'm more familiar with the Sienna, but generally I don't think Toyota includes a tow package at a particular trim level.

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... if I were looking for a used one I would be homing in on this model as it is just below the Limited in trim package and likely does in fact come standard with tow package even if no receiver hitch is present.
This raises a good point: the typical towing preparation package is factory equipment and does not include the hitch, while the hitch for some models can be installed at the dealer or "port", and may even be installed on a vehicle without the towing preparation package (although that would be a stupid thing to do at the port level).

The term "port" in this case refers to the port of entry where Toyota vehicles arrived in North America from Japan. It isn't quite the same thing now, with much Toyota production in the U.S. and Canada (the current version is built in Indiana), but this stage of distribution still exists and means that some equipment may be added after the factory but before the dealer, so it can be hard to tell what was really original.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:14 PM   #9
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Wouldn't take it on blind faith; would run a VIN, however am pretty certain these SE Highlanders all have tow package standard. Did a lot of research before buying one and that is what I recall.

Of course with the GEN3 out since 2014 its a whole new ballgame again.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:19 PM   #10
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Wouldn't take it on blind faith; would run a VIN, however am pretty certain these SE Highlanders all have tow package standard. Did a lot of research before buying one and that is what I recall.

Of course with the GEN3 out since 2014 its a whole new ballgame again.
Yep. Run the VIN.
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:50 PM   #11
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2008 Highlander Towing

The Escape Forum is Great! Thanks to all who have responded. I feel way better about going forward on getting the Escape 19. Apparently my Highlander has all the right stuff - getting over some Colorado grades will be a test, but I have confidence.

Also I have to have the equalizer hitch option, because of front wheel drive. Don't know why or what this does, but will do it.

Thanks again everybody.

Allan & Doris
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:01 PM   #12
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The Escape Forum is Great! Thanks to all who have responded. I feel way better about going forward on getting the Escape 19. Apparently my Highlander has all the right stuff - getting over some Colorado grades will be a test, but I have confidence.

Also I have to have the equalizer hitch option, because of front wheel drive. Don't know why or what this does, but will do it.

Thanks again everybody.

Allan & Doris
Put simply, the Weight Distribution Hitch (Equal-i-zer is just one brand of it, although I think ETI uses a Reese) redistributes weight from the back to the front axle of your tow vehicle. Since the only wheels that provide power on your vehicle are the front ones, there needs to be enough weight over that axle to provide traction and control. WDH's accomplish that. Some WDH's also help control sway as well, but their primary purpose is weight distribution, thus the name.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:00 PM   #13
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Put simply, the Weight Distribution Hitch (Equal-i-zer is just one brand of it, although I think ETI uses a Reese) redistributes weight from the back to the front axle of your tow vehicle. Since the only wheels that provide power on your vehicle are the front ones, there needs to be enough weight over that axle to provide traction and control. WDH's accomplish that.
That's how they work, and while a WDH may often be desirable for this reason, it is generally not necessary. A WDH used with a trailer roughly the size of an Escape typically forces about 150 pounds onto the tug's front axle; compared to the 2500 pounds that a typical tug has on the front axle, that 6% difference is not a huge effect. It makes a difference, but it's not as if you don't have traction without a WDH.

The shorter the tug's wheelbase, the greater the amount of load shifted off the tug's front axle by the trailer pushing down on the hitch, and the more you might want a WDH to counteract that. While not as long in wheelbase as my minivan (a Toyota Sienna) or a typical pickup truck, the Highlander is not small.

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... I think ETI uses a Reese...
Almost... ETI is offering a Pro Series. Pro Series and Reese are both brand names of Cequent Towing Products, and WD hitches under those two brands may be identical.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:18 PM   #14
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Interesting, but I would be cautious about trusting that information - I'm more familiar with the Sienna, but generally I don't think Toyota includes a tow package at a particular trim level.
Brian, Starting in 2014, Toyota changed things with the Highlander. If you want a tow package (5000 lbs Towing capacity), you must get either the "XLE" or "Limited" trim level, and then the towing package is included with the trim level. Note that the towing package doesn't include a factory installed hitch, which I like on our Highlander. It raises the ball by several inches, and directly attached to the body by 6 what appear to be very stout bolts.

Regarding WDHs, my 2014 Highlander manual says they aren't required for trailers weighing less than 5000 lbs (which is the same as the towing capacity). But we have a FWD Highlander, and I wanted to make sure that there was adequate weight on the front wheels. So I am using an Andersen hitch. With the Andersen, all is level. I don't know if it would be the same without the Andersen Hitch, but we had a such a pleasant towing experience when we came home with our 21 that U I am reluctant to change things.

Strongly agree with the suggestion to get your dealer to run the VIN. They can tell you if you have a factory installed tow package or not.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:57 PM   #15
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Thanks. Now I know and makes sense.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:58 PM   #16
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Rated at 5000. Thanks for advice
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:59 PM   #17
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2012. 5000 pounds. Thx
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