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Old 09-07-2015, 06:05 AM   #1
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Smile Towing a 2000 Lexus (almost popped the tires!)

Hi folks. Didn't sleep too well last night not knowing my next steps to take so need some opinions. I bought a 2008 38F Fleetwood Expedition pusher a couple of weeks ago. So far I've already driven it about 2k miles but the last 1k with a 2000 Lexus RX300 AWD towing with a Roadmaster / Blackhawk2. Was told to turn the key to the first position and put in neutral, stop every 200 miles, start the engine to help recharge the battery. This worked the first couple of times we stopped. Two nights ago we stayed in Atlanta only to find out the battery went dead. Was at Walmart and was able to jump it. Told the situation to the mechanic there and he suggested that I pop the cover off off a button right next to the shift and simply put it in neutral without having to run down the battery! It worked perfectly for over 500 miles. That's the first question. Do you all agree that's ok to do? Fast forward to last night. Arrived in FL and had to make a very sharp turn into a station. Fueled up and made another quick turn. Luckily I noticed from the cameras that the wheels didn't look right! The steering column was locked up and the wheels were askew! Luckily I was able to start the vehicle but it looked really bad. Wife was able to drive it following me to our destination. So there's my second question. Is this a result of the key not being turned or also just the fact that I cut it too hard and the Roadmaster was able to basically pull the SUV too tight? Would love some thoughts! Thanks!!

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Old 09-07-2015, 08:11 AM   #2
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Can't answer you questions relative to how to set up the Lexus for towing, but as for the steering locking to one side or the other.

This is probably related to your unusually tight turns. It would happen to us occasionally when we towed our GEO Tracker years ago, although usually only on gravel surfaces. As you noticed it right away its unlikely to have done any permanent damage, just ground a little extra rubber off the tires.

This illustrates that you'll have to be vigilant anytime you have to make those tight maneuvers. This is why many will put something brightly colored around the top center of the toad steering wheel that can be seen in the rear view monitor.

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Old 09-07-2015, 08:12 AM   #3
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sounds like your steering wheel was locked and wouldn't let front wheels turn when going around corners. probably need 2 new tires. Dave
Tiffin 32CA 2012
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:13 AM   #4
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You are aware this vehicle is not 4 down towable as is from the manufacturer? I hope you have a Remco lube pump installed or your problems will only get a lot worse.

As per Remco Towing :

2000 Lexus RX 300 Base AWD V6 3.0L cyl 4-Speed Automatic U140


  • Please call Remco with Transmission Model Number of vehicle. Remco may have a Lube Pump Kit available for this vehicle, but we must make sure your vehicle has an approved Lube Pump Transmission. You can locate the Model Number of the Transmission in your vehicle by finding one of the stickers on the inside of Driver's side door marked "A/TM". Call Remco with the numbers listed after the "A/TM" and we will research the Transmission to determine if we have a kit available for your vehicle.
  • Vehicle can be flat towed with Lube Pump Kit. Vehicle cannot be flat towed from Manufacturer as is.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:18 AM   #5
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Have a Lexus TSIB dated March 17,2000 stating that years 1999 and 2000 AWD could be towed at 55 mph / 200 miles with vehicle in neutral. Thx.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:21 AM   #6
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Thanks. Interestingly enough though we towed it from Atlanta for 10 hours and stopped along the way with no problems. It wasn't until I think I made the very sharp turn in the station that may have drug the tires across and it couldn't make the turn itself. I do need new tires though and thinking that I have too much height difference between the receiver and the Roadmaster because the tires look warn (cambered). Would the height difference cause this?
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:08 AM   #7
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Your car manual should tell you the procedure to set the Lexus up for flat towing, if you can flat tow it. Follow that procedure and yo should be OK. Sounds like you never looked in your manual. I don't see why a tight turn should lock the wheels.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:19 AM   #8
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Since others have addressed the tires problems, I'm going to address the dead battery problem.
On your 2008 38F Fleetwood Expedition trailer plug you should have a contact in it that is a fused 12 volts supply. It will only be activated when the engine is running. I used that connector to run a wire to the toad that keeps the battery charged.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:42 AM   #9
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An update. For all you would be folks even thinking of towing your AWD 1999 and 2000 RX300's forget it. Yes, the technical info from Toyota themselves say you can do it. It will work but for how long you don't know. In our case it lasted a mere 1,300 miles before the tranny started slipping and that was after following the technical info to the tee. As others pointed out to me the best place to look is Motorhomes and purchase the information but still do your research folks! Word to the wise.

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