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Author Topic: Toyota Highlander  (Read 408 times)


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Toyota Highlander
« on: June 22, 2017, 07:45:53 AM »
We are the owners of a 2011 Toyota Highlander FWD V6, 106,000 miles, with the towing package (rated at 5000#) and we are new to the towing world.  We found a new trailer we were wanting and wanted to pull it with out Highlander, so I started doing tons of research on how a Highlander performed while towing.  What I found were a lot of comments from non-Highlander owners saying not to tow with it, but not one comment from a Highlander owner agreed with the non-owners.  The trailer we purchased has a dry weight of 2900#, we purchased the WD/anti-sway hitch.  I am not sure what our trailer weighs loaded, but the Highlander tows it like a dream.  It never even grunts!  I am posting this for others who may be Highlander owners and are wondering how they perform.  One owner commented that he had a Highlander with 185,000 miles and at least 140,000 of those miles were pulling an RV with a dry weight of 4000#.  The GVW of our trailer is 3500# with a 386# tongue weight.  I am very pleased with our purchase!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Toyota Highlander
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2017, 08:32:29 AM »
Hi & welcome.

Indeed, one would hope and expect that a vehicle rated for towing 5000 lbs would easily handle a 3500 trailer. On the other hand, it is all too easy to overload a Highlander with a trailer that will exceed the 5000 lb max when loaded and passengers in the SUV.  It's all in the numbers  (and you should learn the loaded weight of yours as soon as possible).
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Toyota Highlander
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 05:54:11 PM »

Some numbers you may need to be aware of:  That max tow includes ONLY a full fuel tank and a 150# driver.  The weight of all passengers and cargo in the SUV must be subtracted from this weight.  Also, the TT dry wt is useless!  Nobody goes camping with an empty camper!  We suggest using the TT  GVWR as a better estimate of how much weight you will be towing.

As with other topics I have seen, the worst critics are those who never tried it can refuse to admit it might work!

Starting with a 2100# margin (5000# max tow - 2900# TT dry wt), you should be fine!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
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Re: Toyota Highlander
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 09:02:42 PM »
For curiosity sake, I pulled up the Highlander Owners Manual and it is nebulous in its towing/cargo carrying capacity matrix.  While it indicates a 5,000 lb max trailer tow rating (500 lb max tongue weight including recommended use of weight dist hitch when tongue weight is over 200 lbs) with the 6 cyl motor and factory towing package, it does not breakdown or further provide net ratings based on the cargo passenger weight. What is inferred to me is that if one is towing a 5,000 lb trailer with a 500 lb tongue weight, the cargo carrying capacity of 1,200 lbs is reduced to 700 lbs, which is further subtracted by the weight of the equalizing hitch hardware (for our sake, lets say 75 lbs), leaving a total available cargo carrying weight at approx. 625 lbs which is further reduced by the weight of vehicle options, such as roof racks, trailer hitch, larger tires, etc.  The recommendations also include a speed limit of 45 mph (yeah right) and a recommended tire pressure of 30psi front and 36psi rear for trailer towing.  Nowhere in the manual could I find a GCWR or axle rating.  In comparison to Honda's OM, this manual does not provide much useful information at all which disappoints me.