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Old 12-13-2017, 11:32 AM   #1
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Highlander and Escape

I am planning on replacing my Lil Snoozy with an Escape (have not decided on size yet).
I also plan to buy a Toyota Highlander as the TV.
Will I need a weight distribution hitch or sway bars?
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:43 AM   #2
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We have a 2013 Escape 19 and tow it with a 2011 Highlander and use an antisway/weight distribution hitch. I have towed a boat of similar weight without a WDH with the Highlander and it tows better with one (greater sense of control, less rear sag on vehicle, less cross wind effect). I would get one for an Escape 17 or larger when towing with this vehicle.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:55 AM   #3
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Are you planning on v6?
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:01 PM   #4
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A properly equipped Highlander is rated to tow 5000 lbs.
I see no reason why a Highlander would not be a suitable tow vehicle for an Escape 15 or an Escape 17B.
I believe several members of this forum tow with a Highlander
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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Would strongly recommend a V6!
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gharper View Post
We have a 2013 Escape 19 and tow it with a 2011 Highlander and use an antisway/weight distribution hitch. I have towed a boat of similar weight without a WDH with the Highlander and it tows better with one (greater sense of control, less rear sag on vehicle, less cross wind effect). I would get one for an Escape 17 or larger when towing with this vehicle.
Have 2017 Escape 19 and 2012 Highlander with tow prep package to give us 5,000# capacity. We use a Fastway E2 Trunnion WDH and our experience was that it towed great - a definite sense of control and solid feel.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:12 PM   #7
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Yes, I plan to get the V6, AWD - tow rating of 5000 lbs
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:13 PM   #8
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If you are not buying new check on tow capacity. Earlier years it was 3500 now 5000.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:14 PM   #9
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Yes, I plan to get the V6, AWD - tow rating of 5000 lbs
You will be all set for everything Escape but the 5.0 TA.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:22 PM   #10
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We tow our 2017 Escape 21 with a 2017 Highlander XLE and are very happy with the combination. The Highlander is the most comfortable long distance driving vehicle I have ever owned and even in the mountains of BC, towing performance was excellently for us.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:15 PM   #11
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We are like Eric and Mary -- Happily towing our 21 with a 2014 Highlander XLE. In the current generation Highlander, you need to get the XLE or Limited trim level to get the towing capacity. Also (Eric please correct me if I am wrong here), the 2018 Highlanders and above have an extra 25 HP and a few more feet of torque. So if you are considering used, take that into mind. I haven't ever felt the need for more torque or HP, but I know Eric is a bit happier with them. My last piece of advice is to get the AWD model rather than just front wheel drive. Usually it isn't a big deal, but we often take the trailer out in February when the ground is a bit slippery in the storage yard where we keep our trailer. We have always made it out with only a bit of work, but if I had to do it over again, I would definitely get the AWD model. It hasn't been a problem elsewhere.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:01 PM   #12
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Eric and Leon, Thank-You for the frank and honest assessment of your towing experiences using a Highlander and Escape 21 combination.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:23 PM   #13
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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.....
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:33 PM   #14
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Toyota Highlander is a great vehicle. You might also want to look at 4 Runner
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:36 PM   #15
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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...)
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:40 PM   #16
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I didn't go with Toyota hitch receiver so my Toyota dealer brought in an after-market installer to do hitch receiver and wire 7-pin and brake controller, so I suppose it would depend who they brought in.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:54 PM   #17
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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?
My dealer did the install of the wiring, 7 pin and brake controller. I negotiated the price as part of my trade in deal. I did the same with our 2016. This time they also did the factory hitch install for the same price as getting it done from the factory as none of the ones they could find had it installed already. The service dept wasn't overly happy with the prices I negotiated, but they did a great job.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:16 PM   #18
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My 2006 4 Runner came standard from the factory with a 7 pin adapter and a converter for a standard 4 pin adapter. Brake controller was optional. Works well when towing small utility trailers.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:22 PM   #19
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I don't know what the current situation is with Toyota and Highlander, but when I got my RAV4, Toyota only offered a Class 2 hitch receiver.
I would ask if the factory hitch receiver is a Class 3 for Weight Distribution and if not, specify that.
Also note, the factory hitch was a $900 option. I paid $650 for a better hitch, with 7-pin and brake controller wiring included ( and I specified #10 wire ).
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:41 PM   #20
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We use a 2015 Highlander V6 AWD XLE with a WDH and sway bar to tow a newer 19' and it works very well so far (~1K miles).
Going with the V6 and the XLE trim or higher is important to get the towing prep package, which raises capacity from 3500Lbs to 5000Lbs. I don't think this can really be added after-market easily.
The AWD supposedly has stiffer suspension in the rear, which probably helps slightly with stability but not a big difference
The WDH and sway bar are helpful overkill, but not necessarily required
I went with the Toyota hitch. It's a bit more expensive, but because of the way it sort of goes through part of the bumper rather than under it sacrifices a bit less ground clearance. Turned out to be a good thing, since with the WDH the clearance can be a problem.
The Highlander is pre-wired for a 4-pin connector, so you just need a little harness for the last few feet. You'll still need to have someone add wiring for a brake controller and charging plus the 7-pin socket.
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