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Old 07-29-2011, 03:30 PM   #1
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RAV4 6 cyl as TV

Hi there,

We have a RAV4 6 cyl with tow package rated for towing #3,500. We would like to buy the SLX 184Bh model which comes at about #2,700 UVW. I understand that this is getting pretty close to the max towing capacity which worries me a bit.

I did some research and the Toyota Highlander 4WD 4dr V6 SE is rated to tow #5,000. However, it has very similar if not the same engine as my RAV4:
----------------------------
Highlander:
Engine Type : Gas V6
Fuel System : EFI
SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM : 270 @ 6200
SAE Net Torque @ RPM : 248 @ 4700
Trans Order Code
Trans Type : 5
Trans Description Cont. : Automatic
Trans Description Cont. Again
First Gear Ratio (:1) : 4.24
Second Gear Ratio (:1) : 2.36
Third Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.52
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.05
Fifth Gear Ratio (:1) : 0.76
Sixth Gear Ratio (:1)
Reverse Ratio (:1) : 3.38
Clutch Size (in)
Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) : 3.48
Total Cooling System Capacity (qts) : 9.9
Suspension Type - Front : Independent
Suspension Type - Rear : Independent
Suspension Type - Front (Cont.)
Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.)
Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Front (in) : 1.02
Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Rear (in) : 0.55
-----------------------------------------------


---------------------------------------------
RAV4:
Engine Type : Gas V6
Displacement : 3.5L/211
Fuel System : SFI
SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM : 269 @ 6200
SAE Net Torque @ RPM : 246 @ 4700
Trans Order Code
Trans Type : 5
Trans Description Cont. : Automatic w/OD
Trans Description Cont. Again
First Gear Ratio (:1) : 4.24
Second Gear Ratio (:1) : 2.36
Third Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.52
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.05
Fifth Gear Ratio (:1) : 0.76
Sixth Gear Ratio (:1)
Reverse Ratio (:1) : 3.38
Clutch Size (in)
Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) : 3.08
Total Cooling System Capacity (qts) : 9.6
Suspension Type - Front : MacPherson strut
Suspension Type - Rear : Double-wishbone
Suspension Type - Front (Cont.) : Sport-tuned
Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.) : Sport-tuned
Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Front (in) : 1.00
Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Rear (in) : 0.87
------------------------------------

I know the Highlander is heavier than the RAV4 which should mean that its axle weight must be rated higher.

How come the Highlander can pull more with the same engine?

Any input is appreciated.

Thank you.

Rosen
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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The final drive ratio is a fair part of the reason.
Rav-4 is 3:08
Highlander is 3:48
The other part would be chassis construction. Rav-4 is a uni-body construction, and the Highlander has a separate frame, as I recall.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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We just looked at the highlander and it is also uni-body construction. The other problem with the highlander is that in the owners manual it says not to drive faster then 45 mph when towing. So I asked if I did would it void the warranty and they could not give me an answer. Check the owners manual.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
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The Toyota may also have bigger brakes. You will also find that Honda is VERY conservative. They are afraid of law suits. I believe the three wheelers made them that way.
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:32 PM   #5
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Note -- Rav-4 and Highlander are both Toyota.
Rav-4 is built near here at Woodstock Ontario.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosen_keh View Post
snip........We have a RAV4 6 cyl with tow package rated for towing #3,500. We would like to buy the SLX 184Bh model which comes at about #2,700 UVW. I understand that this is getting pretty close to the max towing capacity which worries me a bit......snip
Rosen,

IMO you will be over your TV limits, and you won't be at all happy with the tow. Your correct that the 184BH has a UVW of 2,700lbs, but the actual ship weight will be a little higher. If the RV dealer has one on his lot look for the ship weight sticker, but I would assume another 150lbs (2,850lb ship weight, maybe a little less). The GVWR of the 184BH is 3,500lbs which doesn't leave much for dealer options (hitch, battery, etc.), camping cargo, minimal fluids, and "stuff". IMO a loaded weight of 3,350lbs is very realistic.

Please note that Automotive Manufactures base their Tow Ratings on the "CURB WEIGHT" of the base model in question which only includes a 150lb driver and a full tank of fuel. The weight of the TV's options, passengers, and cargo must be "SUBTRACTED" from the specified tow rating.

The RAV4 6 cyl with tow package rated for towing 3,500lbs I think would be better suited for a small pop-up camper.

Just my 2 cents.

Bob
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:02 PM   #7
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David, you are correct. I was thinking about the Honda Pilot.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Eagle View Post
snip.....The RAV4 6 cyl with tow package rated for towing 3,500lbs I think would be better suited for a small pop-up camper.....snip
I agree.
The Rav-4 is classed as a small SUV, with a very short wheel base.
Myself, I would not tow more than 2,000 lbs with it.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:17 AM   #9
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I would not tow anything with a Rav4 its wheel base is just too short..
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:36 PM   #10
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There are lots of opinions from people, who are well intentioned, but have no experience towing with a smaller SUV. I am picking my 184BH up tomorrow morning and I have a Mitsubishi Outlander XLS (V6). It actually has less power than your Rav-4 so I am confident you will be ok.

I asked my service department about the tow rating and they assured me that the tow ratings are conservative, if anything, because they want to avoid replacing transmissions and engines.

There is a Canadian RV Magazine called RV Lifestyle that I subscribe to. It has a "Hitch Hints" section that is very informative. I wrote the magazine to make sure my TV/TT combination is ok. He did say I needed a good WD hitch and brake controller but said my Outlander is an excellent choice of tow vehicle.

After I pick mine up in Newport NH in the morning I am driving to the New Brunswick, Maine border for the night. That will give me 6 hours driving experience and I will be glad to let you know how it goes.
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