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Old 12-13-2017, 07:13 PM   #21
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Agree with Elliot - the factory hitch is the way to go. The XLE trim level (and maybe now even the one step lower trim level) all come with 5000# rating to tow. There really is no optional towing package anymore - just the hitch and wiring options.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:56 PM   #22
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Only change I would make to Leon's is that the new engine with extra HP started in 2017. Two other big changes to the 2017 were the new 8 speed transmission and raising the GCWR to 11,000#. That's how they sucked my into trading in my 2016 on a 2017.....
I guess that I would like to know if the transmission change is the reason for the new GCWR of 11,000 lbs.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:59 PM   #23
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I guess I'd like to know how much of that increased GVWR is used up by the third row seats.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:15 AM   #24
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The toyota.ca site shows wiring for a 4-pin trailer harness as an option, but doesn't talk about a 7-pin harness at all. Has anybody gotten a 7-pin harness and brake-controller wiring installed by a Toyota dealer?

(I haven't been impressed by the work our local after-market trailer shop has done for me, so if I end up with a new tow vehicle I'm looking to have the dealer install the towing gear...)
For a vehicle - such as the Sienna, RAV4, and Highlander - for which Toyota does not offer standard or optional 7-pin wiring, the dealer is probably not a great choice. Dealers routinely subcontract out installation of aftermarket hitches and wiring to hitch shops, which have much more experience with these jobs. I'm sure many people think they had a Toyota dealer install these things, not realizing that the dealership didn't do the work themselves.

I suppose the key is to find a good hitch shop. I just did it myself.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:22 AM   #25
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In my case, I made a Class 3 hitch receiver for weight distribution a condition of the sale. The dealer hired the installer to do what was required. When I called the dealer recently because I wanted the same installer to trouble shoot a wiring issue, they directed me to Burnaby Hitch.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:41 AM   #26
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Good point on contracting it out to a hitch shop. A dealership isn't really going to know what to do for the 7-pin hitch and custom wiring. If you want to charge your battery from the tow vehicle, definitely go for 10awg or even 8awg wire rather than the 14awg that some shops will use.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:49 AM   #27
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I paid $25 extra for the 10 gauge wire. Installer had to buy it special because they normally use 12 gauge.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:42 AM   #28
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Has the Highlander markedly improved its' ride , seating comfort and engine performance since model year 2012 ?
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:16 AM   #29
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F. I'm sure many people think they had a Toyota dealer install these things, not realizing that the dealership didn't do the work themselves.
If I had a dealer who did that without informing me, I would be finding another dealer. With both my Highlanders the service manager and I discussed exactly what I wanted done, wire gauge to be used, exactly where to position the brake controller, etc. By having the dealer do it as part of my purchase price it is all covered by my Toyota warranty. A dealer subcontracting that without informing them, would be far from the type of place I would deal with. Glenn's dealer clearly informed him of their process.

In my discussions with the service manager he also specifically pointed out that all their wiring would be run internally, only emerging at the 7 pin, and there it is all heat shrink wrapped to help seal out the elements. The trade in guy told me one of the things he specifically looks at if a vehicle has tow wiring is how it is run. He said he has seen lots tow wiring run externally and very shoddily done. Trailer brake wiring isn't where I would look to save a few $$.
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:57 AM   #30
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I guess I'd like to know how much of that increased GVWR is used up by the third row seats.
They’ve always been there (uselessly for us) Mary once tried to sit back there when were we hauling several people. Surely not designed for anyone over the age of about 5.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:33 AM   #31
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Wiring a Highlander isn't hard to do, as an example,
Wiring for 7 Wire Trailer Setup - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:23 AM   #32
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After reading here and driving my daughter's '17 Highlander, I am impressed with the additional safety features. In addition, there's the increased HP and GCWR. So I'm selling my '13 Highlander and shopping for an '18.

I had my '13 wired here and was less than impressed with the shop when they almost mounted the Prodigy 2 over the knee airbag.

I called Trademasters in Chilliwack yesterday and got quotes. The '18 comes with the wiring harness and 4 pin. Trademasters says it will need to be "hardwired" and gave me quotes for the wiring and Primus IQ ($446CA), Prodigy 3 (+$120 CA) and Prodigy rf (+$416CA). I had thought the rf might save me some of the installation costs but the 7 pin needs to be there anyway so that's moot. I could take the P2 (11 years old) out of my current vehicle and take it with me and save a bit.

Any advice/recommendations re which controller? And should I request a specific gauge wire for the job? Any other cautions/concerns?

As always, thanks. I so appreciate all the shared expertise, and I cannot imagine going through build sheet decisions, accessories, practical advice, etc. without this forum.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:31 AM   #33
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If your existing P2 works well, that's probably fine to use. Not sure if they've made any significant improvements in the last 11 years or not.

10AWG directly from the battery (or through a relay) for the power line is definitely a good idea. It'll be much more effective than 14awg at charging the trailer while moving.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:03 PM   #34
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Barbara, I was able to get my Toyota dealer to include the 7 pin wiring and mounting my Prodigy as part of my negotiated purchase price of both our Highlanders. I stipulated wire sizes and they did an excellent job for me. It might be worth checking out.

I really enjoy the extra HP, better MPG, new transmission and all those standard safety features on our 2017 XLE.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:48 PM   #35
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Thanks, Eric. I'm purchasing in the Sacramento or the San Francisco area. I'm concerned--maybe unnecessarily-- that the dealership service people may not be familiar with what's needed to do the job right vs the folks at Trademaster in Chilliwack. Your thoughts?

I'm also surprised that you got them to cover with the warranty. Is that standard with dealer installed items?
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:56 PM   #36
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towing

We sold our Lil Snoozy and moved on to the escape21
what we did to make our Sequoia road ready
Added a 10 AWG wire from battery to back where a 7 pin Bartman was with a 30 amp fuse ? and switch at battery Our 07 Sequoia did not have the blue line brake function
installed it had the 7 wire plug but 2 wires did not work the power supply and brake line so

Went with the RF model prodogy(does not need the brake line wire )now we can tow with any vehicle that has tow package

Installed timbren rubber stops so it keeps the rear end level and improves ride substancially

The Sequoia is a v-8 powered rear wheel drive vehicle that weighs 5000lb

I would not hesitate to trailer a escape 19-21 with a Pilot,Highlander,4 runner or almost any of the newer 5000lb rated vehicles . Jim
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:43 PM   #37
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Thanks, Eric. I'm purchasing in the Sacramento or the San Francisco area. I'm concerned--maybe unnecessarily-- that the dealership service people may not be familiar with what's needed to do the job right vs the folks at Trademaster in Chilliwack. Your thoughts?

I'm also surprised that you got them to cover with the warranty. Is that standard with dealer installed items?
I've used the same dealer for decades and know the service manager very well, so I was very comfortable with them doing it. Since I knew and trusted this dealership it was pretty much a no brainer for me to deal with them on this, but whether or not another dealer will be as reliable.... I just don't know
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:45 PM   #38
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Only change I would make to Leon's is that the new engine with extra HP started in 2017. Two other big changes to the 2017 were the new 8 speed transmission and raising the GCWR to 11,000#. That's how they sucked my into trading in my 2016 on a 2017.....
Thoer, I bought a 2016 Highlander, used, before I realized they changed the tranny in 2017. I promptly traded for a 2018 AWD V6 and even saved money on monthly payments due to 0% financing on a new 2018.
I am looking hard at a 21' Escape. Currently with a 17' Casita SD.

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Old 06-30-2018, 12:55 PM   #39
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I just got back from picking up my Escape 19 and pulled it to SC behind my 2017 Highlander. It tows beautifully. I have a WDH and view it as essential. FYI a 400 lb tongue weight which is the dry weight on the 19 will lower the rear about 1 to 1.5 inches without one. Also the handling is much better especially over bad roads. On the flat lands I got 16 mpg at 65 mph. On the 8+ degree grades I had to go into second gear sometimes but no problem. The car has enough power and feels good at half way to redline on such hills.
I got the factory hitch and factory 4 pin wiring. As stated the bozos at Toyota do not offer a 7 pin and my dealer was a lost cause on this. Toyota know that it is not legal to tow at their rated capacity without trailer brakes and still refuse to do a 7 pin which is necessary. After talking to the best hitch guy around here and not feeling particularly good about how he was going to install a 7 pin, I elected to do it myself. I bought a wireless brake controller mostly because there is no good place to mount a regular one on the dash and the wiring is slightly easier. Note that you should install a battery cutoff solenoid and breakers. There is a good video one Etrailer but they take shortcuts and leave out the cutoff,
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:49 PM   #40
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Not original

Used to taking the easy way, I consulted with one of the top campers and beer brewers that I know , my mentor Eric Thompson, known as Thoer, and did exactly what he did when I bought the 2018 Highlander a couple months ago. P3 controller, #10 wire back from the battery. Circuit breakers, four flat hookup for my boat and utility trailers, all part of the deal Rita cut with the dealer. I do not act well at car dealerships so am only there for technical approval. I appreciate the additional 25 hp and like the shift points on the tranny. The 2012 pulled the 19 and the 21 anyplace I wanted to go so I’m sure the 2018 will too. I’m running Michelin Latitude Tires. My salesman was ok, but
Clueless, I educated the parts guy and showed him what I needed in his book, the service manager was good and the technician outstanding. I’m pretty picky and pretty tight so when I was impressed enough to tip the technician you know that I was happy.
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