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Old 10-22-2017, 01:31 PM   #1
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Toyota Highlander Towing Jayco X17Z

I am close to the purchase of a 2018 Jayco X17Z. I would like to hear from Toyota Highlander owners who have had experience towing this trailer.

The tow vehicle would be a 2015 Toyota Highlander XLE, which has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight. This Highlander has a heavy-duty radiator and an engine oil cooler. They also have a 200W fan coupling (i.e., powerful cooling fans), a supplemental transmission cooler, and a 150A alternator.

We are long long time popup owners but have no experience towing anything else. We take trips that commonly are 2 or 3,000 mile and several weeks long a couple times a year. We live in the East and travel through the mountains in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina on intrastate highways.

My primary concerns are:
Will this lower the rear end of the vehicle due to the tongue weight?
How does the Highlander handle this trailer in the mountains?
Did you use a weight distribution hitch? ( I read that Toyota said not to use on a Highlander. )
Did you use a anti-sway hook up?
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaycoBud View Post
I am close to the purchase of a 2018 Jayco X17Z. I would like to hear from Toyota Highlander owners who have had experience towing this trailer.

The tow vehicle would be a 2015 Toyota Highlander XLE, which has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight. This Highlander has a heavy-duty radiator and an engine oil cooler. They also have a 200W fan coupling (i.e., powerful cooling fans), a supplemental transmission cooler, and a 150A alternator.

We are long long time popup owners but have no experience towing anything else. We take trips that commonly are 2 or 3,000 mile and several weeks long a couple times a year. We live in the East and travel through the mountains in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina on intrastate highways.

My primary concerns are:
Will this lower the rear end of the vehicle due to the tongue weight?
How does the Highlander handle this trailer in the mountains?
Did you use a weight distribution hitch? ( I read that Toyota said not to use on a Highlander. )
Did you use a anti-sway hook up?
I have a friend who tows a similar camper with his Highlander and I tow our x17z with a Nissan Pathfinder, which has the same tow rating. The short answer is that the Highlander will tow your x17z just fine. I've taken our x17z into the mountains. I had no trouble at all, and many people will tell you the Highlander tows better than the Pathfinder. I can't speak to rear end sag, but I would absolutely get a WDH, as most of them have anti-sway built in. You'll also need an electronic brake controller mounted in your vehicle.

One BIG thing to consider when towing the x17z with a crossover SUV like the Highlander and the Pathfinder is payload capacity. You'll bump into that limit way before you hit the towing capacity. The x17z's dry weight is usually around 3,000 lbs, but that doesn't include the battery or any fluids. In the end, you'll have 400 pounds of payload to play with at the most. The problem comes when you're towing with a crossover is that your vehicle doesn't have high payload capacities either. With four decent-sized people in the vehicle and a few bags of luggage, you're going to be right up against the cargo limit in the vehicle.

With the set-up you're going to have (and the one that I have) you *must* be a weight nazi. Don't take anything you don't need, and if there's a lower weight option for something you do need, go with that one. And, don't expect to haul water for any distance. At eight pounds per gallon, that will eat up all of your payload capacity really quickly.

With all of that said, we absolutely love our x17z, and hopefully you'll love yours!
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:54 AM   #3
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I have a Tacoma Double Cab V6 with a factory tow package and tow a Jayco Feather 7 18RBM which weighs about the same as what you're considering.

Trailer tows fine, in the mountains at times I drop into 3rd gear, automatic trans, but am able to maintain 55MPH, the truck has more to give but why push it?

Anderson hitch with sway control and I added some Timbren overload "bumpers" .... https://www.etrailer.com/faq-Timbren...hancement.aspx

I also installed a Scanguage to monitor transmission and water temperatures .... https://www.scangauge.com/

You may find more answers etc. here, while it's a Tacoma site I would think some of the information would be relevant ...... https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/...ng-bible.4031/


Best,
Steve
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaycoBud View Post
I am close to the purchase of a 2018 Jayco X17Z. I would like to hear from Toyota Highlander owners who have had experience towing this trailer.

The tow vehicle would be a 2015 Toyota Highlander XLE, which has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight. This Highlander has a heavy-duty radiator and an engine oil cooler. They also have a 200W fan coupling (i.e., powerful cooling fans), a supplemental transmission cooler, and a 150A alternator.

We are long long time popup owners but have no experience towing anything else. We take trips that commonly are 2 or 3,000 mile and several weeks long a couple times a year. We live in the East and travel through the mountains in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina on intrastate highways.

My primary concerns are:
Will this lower the rear end of the vehicle due to the tongue weight?
How does the Highlander handle this trailer in the mountains?
Did you use a weight distribution hitch? ( I read that Toyota said not to use on a Highlander. )
Did you use a anti-sway hook up?
I have almost the exact same trailer. I used to tow it behind a Hyundai Santa Fe (3500 tow limit, 300 lb tongue weight limit) and it didn't work out very well. Your TV is bigger and you should be all right.

You can expect a tongue weight of 400 to 500 pounds as long as the trailer is level. Single axle trailers shift a lot of weight onto the tongue as they rock forward and lower the rear end of the TV. Be sure your hitch is high enough to compensate for this. A WDH would solve this problem but you said that your TV manufacturer advises against this. It's probably because the unibody frame can't take the stress. Air bags will help with the sag if they're available for your TV. Load things toward the rear of the trailer and put heavy items as far forward as possible in your TV.

We love our hybrid--nice and cool at night, plenty of sleeping room for the two of us.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:48 AM   #5
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Thanks so much Steve. This helps a lot. I do plan on using a WDH, with anti-sway built in. I found in the Highlander Manual that they now do recommend using a WDH. Must be a change from what they used to say. I have a brake controller now.
The set up we have now was way over kill for the pop up we use but made it soooooooo easy to tow.
Yeah, I am expecting the CCC to be something to stay watch closely. Fortunately just the two of us so helps a little.

Thanks again
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:06 PM   #6
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GarlicDude, Thanks for your response, towing in the mountains and not smelling the trans heating up or dropping to 30 mph and leading a long parade up hills was one of my big concerns.

No I too am not in that big a hurry that I can't take it slower up hills.

One of the things I find perplexing about the X17 versus 18RBM is the difference in tongue weight. Jayco list the tongue on yours at 325 lbs and 415 lbs for the x17z. They are essentially the same trailer with very little differences. I guess part is that the x17z has to propane tanks and the spare on the tongue. Why the decided to put the spare on the front is a mystery to me, and I don't see the need for the second tank. They still would see to only account for 60 lbs not 90.

Thanks for the links I will definitely check them out.

Bud
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:16 PM   #7
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Isaccs, Thanks for responding. I do not know why but the Highlander manual now says to use the WDH. I plan to so. Hopefully that will prevent any sag. It's reassuring that you were able to tow one like this with a vehicle with lower towing ability. I was reading today that there seem to be a bunch of people out there doing this with mini vans with similar tow ratings to what you did. They say it's not ideal but do able. Makes me feel better with doing it with a Highlander.

Bud
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JaycoBud View Post
Isaccs, Thanks for responding. I do not know why but the Highlander manual now says to use the WDH. I plan to so. Hopefully that will prevent any sag. It's reassuring that you were able to tow one like this with a vehicle with lower towing ability. I was reading today that there seem to be a bunch of people out there doing this with mini vans with similar tow ratings to what you did. They say it's not ideal but do able. Makes me feel better with doing it with a Highlander.

Bud
I think you're going to be just fine, especially if you're a bit of a weight Nazi. My trailer came without a spare; I mounted one on the back. I have one 30 Lb propane tank that I used to remove and take in a second vehicle when I had to tow with the Santa Fe. I powered my fridge with a small 14 oz. disposable propane tank while under way.

One thing you will find different from the popup is wind resistance. These things may not be long but they're tall and wide. You'll be dropping down a gear or two if you have a headwind.

Just wondering...does your trailer have 13" wheels? Mine does, I plan on upgrading to 14" when this pair dies.

Check the "Mods" section and you can see things I've done to mine, some of which may apply to you. Feel free to ask questions.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:30 PM   #9
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I tow a X17 with a 2014 highlander for 3 years now. The tongue weight is pretty ridiculous. I'm using a Curt weight distribution hitch and still it points the nose in the air a decent amount. If you check the Toyota Nation forums you can see some discussion on rear air bags for the Highlander, and I will likely be installing those for next spring.

There is no sway at all, the thing is rock stable.
As for power, it's adequate, but I wouldn't tow anything larger.

For longer trips the issue you will have, which is very annoying is the Highlanders small gas tank. I used to tow this trailer with a minivan with a 75 litre tank. The Highlander has a 65 litre tank and with the added wind resistance on the highway you will be closely tracking gas stations.

http://markrules.ca/temp/highlander/...lander-001.jpg
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:28 PM   #10
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Isaacs. Not used to being that sensitive to weight, that will be an adjustment for sure. Interesting idea using powered a small 14 oz. disposable propane tank to power the fridge while under way. I am not sure of the tire size. I think it was 14 in. I too would prefer 14". Definitely will check out to see your mods. Thanks
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