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Old 11-27-2019, 02:55 PM   #1
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Confirming towing capability

I have a 2015 Highlander XLE with 5000 lb tow capacity. The trailer I am looking to buy has a dry weight of 3700 Lbs and a GVWR OF 7000.

It would appear I can tow this trailer however does anyone have any differing thoughts/concerns doing this?
thanks.
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus55 View Post
I have a 2015 Highlander XLE with 5000 lb tow capacity. The trailer I am looking to buy has a dry weight of 3700 Lbs and a GVWR OF 7000.

It would appear I can tow this trailer however does anyone have any differing thoughts/concerns doing this?
thanks.
I'm your huckleberry! That highlander might have a 5000lb max towing capacity but it also has a maximum 500lb tongue weight. "Box on wheels" travel trailers need a minimum of 12-15% of the weight to be carried on the tongue of the trailer or they start wanting to sway*. We'll be generous and use the 12% number, (500 is 12% of what?) which gives you a maximum weight of 4166lbs for a travel trailer. If your absolute maximum weight is 4166lbs and the dry weight is 3700lbs, then maybe you'll be ok? No. The "dry weight" is no propane, no batteries, no options. And most manufacturers have mandatory option packages which include things like the awning, the air conditioner, and in the most egregious cases, the mattress and spare tire. The battery alone is going to add 65+lbs, the propane another 35lbs. And all that is before you add so much as a plastic spoon or ultralight backpacking sleeping bag. Let alone beer and fry pans.



*Boats and flat bed trailers, open utility trailers all have different shapes and can get away with the lower tongue weight.
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus55 View Post
I have a 2015 Highlander XLE with 5000 lb tow capacity. The trailer I am looking to buy has a dry weight of 3700 Lbs and a GVWR OF 7000.

It would appear I can tow this trailer however does anyone have any differing thoughts/concerns doing this?
thanks.
A couple questions before i just say no, i want to be able to explain why the answer will be no. What is the payload of the highlander and the rawr? Im guessing you dont know what the actual weights of the highlander are (id like to know total weight and whats carried on each axle. Id also like to know what class hitch is on the suv and its ratings. On top of all the vehicles ratings, we need to know the make and model trailer at the minimum, and if you can the tongue weight and trailer length, although we can probably figure it out with the make and model.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:02 PM   #4
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I also have a highlander. but what you need to be concerned about is the gvwr of the Highlander and the loaded tongue weight of the T/T. I think your going to be surprised that it may be to heavy. like if the CCWR of the Toyota is say 1300# mine is the all wheel dr. model and its cargo limit is 1340. so you'll need to add up all the cargo in the car and the tongue weight of the T/T loaded. if its under the cargo limit of your Highlander you'll probably be ok. I sure wouldn't want to go to long as the highlander is fairly short on wheel base.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:23 PM   #5
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I suspect (without checking) that 5K is the max with one 150 Lbs. passenger and no other cargo in the Highlander. I also suspect that even with the trailer completely empty it is going to be closer to 5k than 3700 lbs. I further suspect that even if you manage to stay under the limits with these caveats you won't like the towing experience if you have to travel very far, on a freeway, or over any mountain passes.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:28 PM   #6
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1. 5000 lb tow capacity.
2. trailer dry weight of 3700 Lbs
3. trailer GVWR OF 7000lbs
4. Tongue weight of trailer on hitch

Take out number 3 add number 4 and you will have your answer
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:43 PM   #7
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Short answer is you need more truck or a lot less trailer. You need a truck capable of towing you GVWR of the trailer plus capable of the 10 to 12% tongue weight when loaded with passengers and cargo. passengers and cargo reduce tow capacity and payload capacity.

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Old 11-27-2019, 07:44 PM   #8
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Anybody calculating what they can tow based on the trailer's dry weight (I'll just be a little over that - ) is looking for trouble. Use the trailer's GVWR and you'll have some safety margin if you don't exceed it and in fact are below it.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:14 PM   #9
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LOL...thought the " have a 2015 Highlander XLE" was some type of RV
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:20 PM   #10
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At the beginning of this Towing forum, there are towing calculators. I suggest you download a few and try them out. Learn the lingo and all the acronyms. I used to pull our 2,000-lb popup with a minivan with 3,500-lb towing capacity. Worked well but definitely at the limit. A number of years later now and have a Ford Explorer with 5,400-lb towing capacity and 1,282-lb payload capacity. I went through all the towing calculations and determined the most TT that I should shop for is about 3,300 to 3,500-lb “dry” or “unloaded”. Depending on how much STUFF you and your family are going to haul along with your TT, I would suggest you are limited to around 3,000 to 3,200-lb max “dry” weight for any CUV with a 5,000-lb “towing capacity”. Sorry for the bad news.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:11 PM   #11
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At the beginning of this Towing forum, there are towing calculators. I suggest you download a few and try them out. Learn the lingo and all the acronyms. I used to pull our 2,000-lb popup with a minivan with 3,500-lb towing capacity. Worked well but definitely at the limit. A number of years later now and have a Ford Explorer with 5,400-lb towing capacity and 1,282-lb payload capacity. I went through all the towing calculations and determined the most TT that I should shop for is about 3,300 to 3,500-lb “dry” or “unloaded”. Depending on how much STUFF you and your family are going to haul along with your TT, I would suggest you are limited to around 3,000 to 3,200-lb max “dry” weight for any CUV with a 5,000-lb “towing capacity”. Sorry for the bad news.
GOOD POST ^^^^ heres a little more info when we first got ready to travel with our T/T when we started loading I calculated all the T/T necessity's water, propane, batteries, and the spare tire. I wrote all this down on a note pad and put it on the counter just inside the door. I then put the bathroom scales on the ground just outside the door. when ever I took a box of goods into the T/T I calculated the weight. I weighed everything food, utensils clothing, guns, bullets, alcohol everything. I did the same for anything that went into the storage compartments. in the end I came up with 1600#i will say this I thought was a heavy load we were going for a month and took a lot of things we could have done without. anyway you can use this figure as a guesstimate of what your T/T ready to camp weight might be. I think the 3700# dry weight of the T/T your looking at is just going to be to much 3700 + the 1600 = 5300# that's to much. tongue weight going to be border line also, i'll use 11% so 11% of 5300 = 583. I believe they do make a heavier duty hitch rated at around 900# you'll need to check and see how Toyota figures there cargo carrying compacity.
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Old 11-28-2019, 05:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus55 View Post
I have a 2015 Highlander XLE with 5000 lb tow capacity.
I had a 2017 Highlander XLE until a lady ran over me and totaled it. The wonderful drivetrain can PULL a 5,000 pound travel trailer (TT), but the unibody chassis when loaded with a small family and their stuff cannot handle the 650 pounds tongue weight of a properly-loaded 5000 pound TT without exceeding the payload capacity of the Highlander.

My small TT (Nomad Joey 196S) grosses less than 5,000 pounds when loaded for the highway. But it overloaded my 2012 F-150 that had 7,200 pounds GVWR. I would not even consider tying to tow that TT on the highway with a 2015 Highlander XLE.
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Old 11-28-2019, 05:30 AM   #13
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Can I tow it comfortably.
No. Not with a normally-loaded tow vehicle and trailer without exceeding the payload capacity of the tow vehicle. Your Highlander is a "crossover" SUV, which means it is based on a front-wheel drive car chassis instead of a rear-wheel drive truck chassis. The Highlander is a Camry with a heavier "SUV" unibody instead of a body-on-frame pickup chassis or the sedan's lighter-weight unibody.

Plus, a crossover SUV is NOT a good tow vehicle, especially if overloaded with too-heavy a trailer, although you can get by with towing a light-weight trailer such as a row boat or jet ski
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:04 AM   #14
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A highlander is a CAR, not a truck. You can call it a glorified station wagon. It isn't designed for hauling. I am not even sure if a weight distributing hitch can be safely used on it.

A travel trailer has a huge frontal area and you'll be pushing a lot of air around. I am quite sure the frontal area of any TT will exceed Toyota specs. A popup trailer would be OK, a small boat too.

Payload, as almost everyone mentioned, is just too much for a unibody car like that. I have seen a fellow mechanic try the same with a similar size trailer on a RAV4 V6. He was so proud right until the tail started wagging the dog and it was buried in a ditch.
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