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Old 05-11-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
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RAV4 question

Well, back again re this crazy search for a TV. I had mentioned getting my son's Tahoe but never felt entirely comfortable with it because it's just so BIG. I really want a smaller vehicle to be able to unhitch and tool around in . . . so made the decision last week not to go with the Tahoe.

So back to the RAV4 6 CYL. So my questions now are:
(1) Would the 6 cyl's already have the tow package? (thinking not but had to ask)
(2) If I find one without a tow package, would it be easy to have installed?

Thank you!
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post

So back to the RAV4 6 CYL. So my questions now are:
(1) Would the 6 cyl's already have the tow package? (thinking not but had to ask)
(2) If I find one without a tow package, would it be easy to have installed?

Thank you!
ellen

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Good questions. I don't believe the RAV4 6 CYL comes with a tow package but a good shop would be able to set you up. The obvious is you'd need a Class III hitch and a break controller installed and the not so obvious is a transmission cooler. Price? My cost guesstimate for this would be in the neighborhood of $1,000 or more. I had these installed on a Subaru and it cost me $1,200 with the sales tax.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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What is included in the tow package and what is standard on the RAV4 V6 varies between Canada and the US so you'll have to research the specific vehicle you are considering. My understanding is that you can supply the VIN to Toyota and they can tell you what the vehicle has as built.

Even with the "tow package" you will have to install a class III hitch receiver and wiring for brake controller. The Toyota hitch receiver is only class II and a class III is required for weight distribution hitch.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:58 PM   #4
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Yikes! Thanks, Pat.
I guess I could justify this by thinking that if there was no tow package, the RAV4 probably wasn't used for towing and would have less wear and tear. Then again, it could have towed without a tow package.
So . . . people on the forum have mentioned "Andersen hitch" and "equalizer hitch with sway control." Are these things that would be *in addition* to a Class III hitch and break controller?
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
Well, back again re this crazy search for a TV. I had mentioned getting my son's Tahoe but never felt entirely comfortable with it because it's just so BIG. I really want a smaller vehicle to be able to unhitch and tool around in . . . so made the decision last week not to go with the Tahoe.

So back to the RAV4 6 CYL. So my questions now are:
(1) Would the 6 cyl's already have the tow package? (thinking not but had to ask)
(2) If I find one without a tow package, would it be easy to have installed?

Thank you!
ellen

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It's unfortunate that Toyota ditched the very nice V6 engine in the RAV4 a couple of years ago. If you can find one, I'd say you can probably tow a 17. The newer 4 cylinder models? No way. The towing capacity is only 1500 lbs.

I would definitely look for one with a tow package. They typically include more than just the hitch and receiver, such as transmission cooling and suspension upgrades.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:02 PM   #6
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So . . . people on the forum have mentioned "Andersen hitch" and "equalizer hitch with sway control." Are these things that would be *in addition* to a Class III hitch and break controller?
Yes. You've only just begun to spend money!!
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:03 PM   #7
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I think if you call a dealer and give them the VIN of the vehicle they can tell you if it has a tow package. If it doesn't, and you a) already have the vehicle or b) really want to buy this particular car, you will definitely need to get one installed.

The Toyota Towing package doesn't include a brake controller, which you will definitely need. It has to be done aftermarket. Try to get it installed somewhere where it will not interfere with your knees. One of the little irritations about our 2014 Highlander is that the Brake controller is right above the accelerator pedal, and I often hit with my knee. If I could get it moved I would, but I think it would require a new wiring harness for the controller
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:03 PM   #8
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Thanks, gbaglo, good info re contacting Toyota.

So this kind of answers my above questions to Pat. I would need a class III hitch RECEIVER and then get the choice of hitches, right? Would I get the actual hitch through ETI?

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What is included in the tow package and what is standard on the RAV4 V6 varies between Canada and the US so you'll have to research the specific vehicle you are considering. My understanding is that you can supply the VIN to Toyota and they can tell you what the vehicle has as built.

Even with the "tow package" you will have to install a class III hitch receiver and wiring for brake controller. The Toyota hitch receiver is only class II and a class III is required for weight distribution hitch.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:05 PM   #9
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You will need a class III hitch receiver and a weight distribution hitch, which could be the Andersen or Equalizer ( which are brand names ) or could be Pro Series ( which is the WDH I got from ETI ).
You will need brake ( not break ) controller and it needs to be wired.
My buddy has had two hitch receivers and brake controllers installed by U-Haul and found them cheaper and satisfactory.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:06 PM   #10
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Yup - little did I know when I initially decided to buy my Escape! But it's going to be worth it, right?

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Yes. You've only just begun to spend money!!
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:07 PM   #11
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Thanks, gbaglo, good info re contacting Toyota.

So this kind of answers my above questions to Pat. I would need a class III hitch RECEIVER and then get the choice of hitches, right? Would I get the actual hitch through ETI?
If you're talking about just the the hitch ball, ETI can sell you one. If you're getting an Andersen WDH, it comes with a specialized ball so you wouldn't need one.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:12 PM   #12
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You should be able to see a trans. cooler if you pop the hood. It looks like a mini rad. The Class III Hitch is also obvious. If both of those are visible, likely you've got a tow package installed. The break controller will set you back about $300.00 +-.
The Andersen Hitch or the Equalizer Hitch seem to be evenly matched by the sounds of the forum members. I use the Equalizer Hitch on my 17b.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:13 PM   #13
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Don't think we're talking about balls yet.
Anyway ETI sells Andersen WDH and maybe Equalizer ( the brand name ) or another WDH. The "Equalizer" hitch shown on their site looks like my Pro Series hitch. I'm perfectly happy with my Pro Series WDH at $275 cheaper than Andersen.
  • Equalizer Hitch
  • $350.00
  • Andersen Hitch
  • $625.00
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:16 PM   #14
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So . . . wanna sell your RAV4? Anyone want to sell your ready-to-go RAV4? Actually, I'm serious. Or half-serious. Guess I can't get out of this that easy!!!



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You will need a class III hitch receiver and a weight distribution hitch, which could be the Andersen or Equalizer ( which are brand names ) or could be Pro Series ( which is the WDH I got from ETI ).
You will need brake ( not break ) controller and it needs to be wired.
My buddy has had two hitch receivers and brake controllers installed by U-Haul and found them cheaper and satisfactory.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:17 PM   #15
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My RAV4 also has a larger alternator which I believe was standard in Canada and optional in U.S.
Not sure how you would instantly recognize a 2" class II hitch from a 2" class III hitch. J MAC ??
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:19 PM   #16
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https://www.etrailer.com/faq-hitch-size.aspx

I didn't know there was a 2" class II hitch gbaglo
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:21 PM   #17
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"mini rad" - could that be mini radiator? Gotta keep in mind here, I am totally clueless about engine stuff, in case you hadn't noticed! When I bought my first car when I was a teenager, my brother told me I had to regularly take it to the gas station and ask them to replace the air in the tires. And I did it! They probably still talk about that! I've come a long way since then . . . well, maybe not a LONG way. Anyway, thank you for the input -- I really appreciate the help from everyone!!!




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You should be able to see a trans. cooler if you pop the hood. It looks like a mini rad. The Class III Hitch is also obvious. If both of those are visible, likely you've got a tow package installed. The break controller will set you back about $300.00 +-.
The Andersen Hitch or the Equalizer Hitch seem to be evenly matched by the sounds of the forum members. I use the Equalizer Hitch on my 17b.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:23 PM   #18
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You would have to check the VIN number with Toyota to determine if a V6 RAV4 has the tow package - in the US, it was available with or without the package.

My 2010 RAV4 Sport has the tow package. With it, it is rated at 3500/350 lbs. The same vehicle without the tow package is rated at 2000/350 lbs. The thing I find strange is they do not list an added or enlarged transmission cooler as part of the tow package. I don't have the paperwork here, but from what I remember, the tow package included an oversized alternator, a larger fan coupler, and one other item I can't remember, but it wasn't a transmission cooler.

I've towed a 3010 lb 17B for over 56,000 miles without the transmission overheat light coming on so I don't know it needs to have one added. My ScanGauge shows the transmission temperature in the 215ーF - 230ーF towing on a hot day, so I change my transmission fluid every 40,000 miles, well short of Toyota's recommendation. Of course, if Toyota did increase the transmission cooling without noting that in the paperwork, adding one to a non tow package vehicle would be necessary. I know they don't mention that the non tow versions do not have the connector under the dash for the trailer wiring harness, so who knows what the actual additions are for the tow package. Another point - in the US, the tow package does not include the wiring for even a 4 pin trailer connector, let alone a 7 pin, which is necessary to include a brake & charge connection. I added the Toyota 4 pin harness, a brake controller, a charge line, 7 pin connector & a cable for a rear view camera - it was a full day job.

In any case, as OneOleMan notes, if you are going to use a weight distribution hitch (which I strongly suggest) you will need a hitch with a 2" receiver. Toyota's hitch has a 1 1/2" receiver so you will have to either add a hitch or find a vehicle with a non Toyota brand hitch. Since Toyota no longer makes the V6 version of the RAV4, you will need to look for a pre 2013 model.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:24 PM   #19
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https://www.google.ca/search?q=trans...vICADg#imgrc=_

they look like this. Similar to a radiater.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:25 PM   #20
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https://www.etrailer.com/faq-hitch-size.aspx

I didn't know there was a 2" class II hitch gbaglo
Buddy just bought a 2015 Highlander with a 2" hitch receiver and couldn't find out what class it was. Dealership didn't seem to know or be able to find out. Didn't know if it was adequate for WDH, but the manual apparently advises a WDH if towing more than 3,500 lbs.

Anyway, he went to U-haul and got a much better deal on a genuine class III hitch receiver for WDH.
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