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Old 07-13-2015, 10:12 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by nathanj04011 View Post
It is so upsetting (not really) that the FJ has a the same engine as the Tacoma (239hp) has a 3.73 axle ratio, the wheelbase is only 15" shorter than the Tacoma, has a frame, and torque of 278 lbs and yet can tow 1400 lbs less. I smell something fishy in the state of Denmark! I think it could tow just as well with a couple of airbags in the rear, but somewhere at the 43 floor of a building in a Mega City, some lawyer and bean counter thought that because SUV's are for soccer moms and trucks are for burly fisherman, they'd just assign a lower weight and no one would care. Oh yes, and in case you are wondering, I believe in little green men!
I was always curious as to why the Highlander has a 5000 lb tow capacity vs. the 3500 lb tow capacity of the sienna, inspite of the fact that they have the same engine, same transmission, same rear end. It could be because the sienna has a softer suspension, or maybe the highlander has larger brakes. But I tend towards your theory of soccer moms and he-men not wanting to be caught dead in a mini-van. The existence of a 3rd row seat in the midsize SUVs also makes me think they are marketed as a "minivan that isn't a minivan"...
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:23 AM   #42
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Ok, I just talked to my local Toyota Dealer, which has a pretty good reputation in the area for being honest and doing right by the customer (I say this because so many places I've read hold them in about the same esteem as a congressperson) and the gent said that as long as the trailer was "close" to 5000lbs it would be fine, as Toyota puts a certain fudge factor in there. He said even 400-500lbs over would be acceptable, although at high speeds or climbing mountains it might have to work harder.

I was pretty clear that the weight of the trailer and the stuff inside would be pretty darn close to the 5000lb and asked if there would be any safety concerns or additional wear on the engine. "no, because that's the tolerance Toyota builds into the vehicle. Anything more, and it could put a strain on the engine".

So now, following my rollercoaster of emotions, my thinking is that if I add air bags to stiffen up the back end, and have the Anderson hitch, and prudently drive (I'm not a lead foot anyway, but don't see the need of limiting the speed to below the speed limit) I just might be able to get it back to Maine from BC and will also be able to assess the tow ability of the trailer with the FJ. Plus, after that epic road trip, we will be broke for a while and might just driveway camp!
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:26 AM   #43
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:49 PM   #44
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Thanks for this post.
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Old 07-13-2015, 04:57 PM   #45
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Has anyone ever towed an Escape 19 with a Toyota Sienna with a 3500lb towing capacity? If so, how'd it work out?
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:08 PM   #46
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Of course if you really want to be sure your tow vehicle will work, you might consider this
Hey Leon, this might amuse you:
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:39 PM   #47
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Hey Leon, this might amuse you:
Hi: dbailey... Years ago my brother used to build those!!! I wonder if it will fit under the 5.0TA?
I'm green with tow envy. Alf
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:59 PM   #48
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Alf, I'm sure it would fit under the 5.0TA. Not sure the 5.0's wheels would be on the ground, though...
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:10 PM   #49
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Has anyone ever towed an Escape 19 with a Toyota Sienna with a 3500lb towing capacity? If so, how'd it work out?
I'm not aware of anyone and if they did they did not want to talk about it....the 19 is too big for a 3500# rated vehicle.
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:17 PM   #50
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Hey Leon, this might amuse you:
I am highly amused -- and interesting that Alf's brother used to build them. Small world, eh?
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:29 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by nathanj04011 View Post
Ok, I just talked to my local Toyota Dealer, which has a pretty good reputation in the area for being honest and doing right by the customer (I say this because so many places I've read hold them in about the same esteem as a congressperson) and the gent said that as long as the trailer was "close" to 5000lbs it would be fine, as Toyota puts a certain fudge factor in there. He said even 400-500lbs over would be acceptable, although at high speeds or climbing mountains it might have to work harder.

I was pretty clear that the weight of the trailer and the stuff inside would be pretty darn close to the 5000lb and asked if there would be any safety concerns or additional wear on the engine. "no, because that's the tolerance Toyota builds into the vehicle. Anything more, and it could put a strain on the engine".

So now, following my rollercoaster of emotions, my thinking is that if I add air bags to stiffen up the back end, and have the Anderson hitch, and prudently drive (I'm not a lead foot anyway, but don't see the need of limiting the speed to below the speed limit) I just might be able to get it back to Maine from BC and will also be able to assess the tow ability of the trailer with the FJ. Plus, after that epic road trip, we will be broke for a while and might just driveway camp!
Welcome, Nathanj,

You give no indication that the dealer was speaking about anything but a 5000 towing capacity. You will not nearly have a 5000 towing capacity for an FJ, given the other numbers, your information on your family, and the general situation for anyone towing a travel trailer.

The numbers you have of 5750 GVWR and 5000 do not add up to 9500 (or the 9200 Paul found.). You lost 1250 lbs. there, or more. If you load the TV to the 5750, you have towing capacity of more like 3750, or less. (A 21' has about 3600 lbs before you put anything in it, which is commonly a few hundred pounds more.). If you load with 500 less than the 5750 in the TV, then you have more like 4250 for towing capacity.

Your dealer very likely does not know your GCWR and has never looked at those numbers. Not a matter of being honest but having a knowledge of the towing numbers. You do not have a 5000 towing capacity given the other numbers. That is a common situation on the numbers as regards passenger cars.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:13 PM   #52
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Has anyone ever towed an Escape 19 with a Toyota Sienna with a 3500lb towing capacity? If so, how'd it work out?

Don't know of anyone, but I wouldn't do it Lorrie. You need something with a higher rating, like 4500-5000 lb, to tow a 19 properly.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:22 PM   #53
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Thanks rbyran4 and cpaharley2008. The comment made by Leon noting the similarities of the sienna with the 5000 rated Highlander got me thinking. We tow a 17B with our Sienna very easily but I've wanted to upsize to the 19 (queen size bed-ahhhh), but never thought it possible with the Sienna. Guess we'll be cuddling close til we buy a bigger tow vehicle one day
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:28 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by lorrie View Post
Thanks rbyran4 and cpaharley2008. The comment made by Leon noting the similarities of the sienna with the 5000 rated Highlander got me thinking. We tow a 17B with our Sienna very easily but I've wanted to upsize to the 19 (queen size bed-ahhhh), but never thought it possible with the Sienna. Guess we'll be cuddling close til we buy a bigger tow vehicle one day
A good approach. You could probably tow a 19 with your current vehicle. The thing is, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Over on FGRV there are dozens of folks who either endorse or recommend a tow vehicle for certain trailers that is WAY over its published capacity. They usually justify it with anecdotes, and not with numbers. I've said it too many times already, but its always a BAD idea to exceed the manufacturer published capacities - all of them. Make the numbers work and you'll be fine.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:22 PM   #55
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Ok, I just talked to my local Toyota Dealer, which has a pretty good reputation in the area for being honest and doing right by the customer (I say this because so many places I've read hold them in about the same esteem as a congressperson) and the gent said that as long as the trailer was "close" to 5000lbs it would be fine, as Toyota puts a certain fudge factor in there. He said even 400-500lbs over would be acceptable, although at high speeds or climbing mountains it might have to work harder.

I was pretty clear that the weight of the trailer and the stuff inside would be pretty darn close to the 5000lb and asked if there would be any safety concerns or additional wear on the engine. "no, because that's the tolerance Toyota builds into the vehicle. Anything more, and it could put a strain on the engine".

So now, following my rollercoaster of emotions, my thinking is that if I add air bags to stiffen up the back end, and have the Anderson hitch, and prudently drive (I'm not a lead foot anyway, but don't see the need of limiting the speed to below the speed limit) I just might be able to get it back to Maine from BC and will also be able to assess the tow ability of the trailer with the FJ. Plus, after that epic road trip, we will be broke for a while and might just driveway camp!
Ok- been watching this thread unfold. My impression is that your dealer perhaps told you what you wanted to hear based on your history?

I know at least 2 4Runner owners and one Tacoma owner who do not like towing a loaded 21...so they've either switched already or are going to.

The wheelbase and curb weight are short/low for an FJ towing a 21. A good idea for anyone out there is to go talk to your local Highway Patrol. They're the ones cleaning up the messes. There are 60,000 trailer accidents per year in the USA according to the RV Consumer Group. They sell a great guide: How to Tow Safely for about $12.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:59 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by lorrie View Post
Thanks rbyran4 and cpaharley2008. The comment made by Leon noting the similarities of the sienna with the 5000 rated Highlander got me thinking. We tow a 17B with our Sienna very easily but I've wanted to upsize to the 19 (queen size bed-ahhhh), but never thought it possible with the Sienna. Guess we'll be cuddling close til we buy a bigger tow vehicle one day
The Highlander used to have a towing capacity of 3500 as I recall. If adding a tow package, it went to 5000. I think they are making them all now at 5000 -- after adding a number of features for towing so that they essentially have that towing package as standard. At least, that is what I have heard. I looked briefly at Highlanders way back.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:08 PM   #57
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Gen 1 Highlanders do 3500 lbs. with tow package. Gen 2 (2008-13) do 5000 with tow package. Just did a trans service and the guy there with 30 years experience was telling me how Gen 1 owners were disappointed when needing a trans rebuild at 120-140K miles. Most of us owning Toyotas were spoiled with 200K+ with no trans issues. He commented that some critical components internally were undersized and they corrected that in 2008.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:21 PM   #58
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I know at least 2 4Runner owners and one Tacoma owner who do not like towing a loaded 21...so they've either switched already or are going to.

There are also a number who are perfectly happy with them. A consideration is how you travel. There are people who tow at the speed they would drive when not towing and expect to pass others all of the time. Many spend most of their long distance towing on the Interstates, and they are on a fixed schedule. Others are in no hurry and prefer country roads. There are those who spend long driving days going cross-country and others who stay in their general area. Then there are those who will often be in mountainous terrain and even live in such an area.

How you travel is a consideration as far as the tow vehicle that is often overlooked. What someone says for their tow vehicle may or may not have anything to do with someone else. Expectations regarding towing are also a part of it, not to mention whether you really wanted something else for a tow vehicle in the first place. One cannot necessarily tell anything from what others say unless they know their situation. You pretty much have to see for yourself, assuming that a tow vehicle meets the numbers.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:33 PM   #59
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I mentioned the above up graders to compare their former TV's to an FJ. Does anyone really think an FJ is a good choice to tow a 4200 lb. 21' Escape after reading "How To Tow Safely"?
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:49 PM   #60
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Well Rossue, here's the thing, I don't know the guy at the Toyota dealer from Adam, and I was clear that I was inquiring due to not wanting to be unsafe or ruin my FJ. He volunteered the information regarding the weight. Dunno, he may be clueless.

After spending an evening deep in philosophical thought (ok, I was watching American Ninja Warrior, but you don't need to know that...oops. guess you already do) this is the epiphany I had, my Eureka! moment:

If the 19' or 21' are marginal for SUV's or trucks rated from 5,000-6,400 towing pounds, (never mind the GVWR or CGVWR) which would negate most Toyota Tacoma's, 4Runners, Nissan Frontiers, Chevy Colorado's, some Dodge Dakota's and even some F150's, not to mention my precious FJ, then someone ought to tell ETI they should change their wording on the 19' and 21' web page where they say "Escape 21 has been designed specifically for mid-sized vehicles such as SUVs and mid-sized trucks with a V6 engine or a minimum towing capacity of 5000lbs."

Now let me rush to say, less I be misunderstood, I'm not being cantankerous or such, because, well, that would be highly uncivilized of me.

I do care about my fellow man, ("care" is such a binding word, no? ), not to mention my own family, so I want to do the right and safe thing, buttttttt.....does that mean I need a full sized pickup with a tow capacity of 8000 lbs plus to do the right thing and be safe? Again, while that sounds trite, I really do wonder. With the Casita, I pretty much know I can't overload the weight limits (please don't go prove me wrong!) so as long as I have the 5000 lb limit, I'm good. Escape 19' and 21' are apparently not so....

I do gotta say "thank you" to all you kind strangers, whom I will most likely never meet, in helping me out with this. You really are very kind!
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