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#1 Old 04-25-2012, 06:39 PM
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Tow Prep Package Identification/Information

Ok this question comes up a lot so I'm gonna post this info and throw it into the common questions/problem sticky

Tow Prep Package Info/How to Identify It

What the tow prep package/includes

4-Cylinder Tow Prep Package
-3500lb Towing Capacity
-Heavy Duty Radiator
-160-watt Fan Coupling
-Supplemental Transmission Oil Cooler
-150-amp Alternator
-Prewired for 4-flat Trailer Light Plug***

V6 Tow Prep Package
-5000lb Towing Capacity
-Heavy Duty Radiator with Engine Oil Cooler
-200-watt Fan Coupling
-Supplemental Transmission Oil Cooler
-150-amp Alternator
-Prewired for 4-flat Trailer Light Plug***

Hybrid Models
They do not have a tow prep package, but come standard with:
-3500lb Towing Capacity
-240-watt Fan Coupling
-Heavy Duty Radiator
-Supplemental Transmission Oil Cooler
-Prewired for 4-flat Trailer Light Plug***

*Non tow prep package towing capacity: I4 = 1500lb & V6 = 2000lb*

***What Prewired for Trailer Lights Means***
Basically it only includes wires going from the front to the rear of the car, and a socket under the dash. A trailer light converter and plug is still needed. More info on that here http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/12...ml#post3745843
OEM harness P/N: PT219-48111-WH
Aftermarket OE harness: etrailer

How to find out if your Highlander has the Tow Prep package

For 2008-2010 models:
The quickest way is to look for 2 openings at the front of the car. They are on the driver side lower splash guard, and on the inside of the driver side fog light (if there is no tow package, that opening will be filled like the inside of the passenger side fog light). They are in red boxes below:

The transmission radiator is behind those air intake openings.

For 2011+ models:
To my knowledge there is no quick/instant way to tell as there are no openings that the non-tow prep vs tow prep don't share. You will have to look into this opening (red box) and look for the transmission radiator.


Transmission Fluid Cooler:
This is what your looking for, obviously there is no bumper cover shown here, but this is what the oil cooler looks like:



Highalnder Weight Capacities


Here are the GVWR & GCWR for the highalnder in its various configurations.
-GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating includes the curb weight of the vehicle + everything inside (passengers, cargo, equipment, etc) + trailer tongue weight when towing.
-GCWR - Gross Combined Weight Rating includes the GVWR + its tow rating. The tow rating is the dead weight of the trailer. It does not include tongue weight as that is part of the GVWR.
-The Base and SE models have identical curb weights while the Limited models are usually 100-200 lbs more than those, so the weights in parenthesis are for Limited trims of the configurations on the far left.


(I realized after I made the above chart, it seems the '13 models underwent SAE J2807 Towing tests and as a result had its GCWR lowed to ~9,800lb depending on trim. Max towing and GVWR remained the same as before, its only the GCWR that lowered. Plus its only for the '13 models)

Click Here for the Full List of Mods Done to My Highlander ---->>> 2008 FWD Highlander Limited

Last edited by sweeneyp; 02-28-2014 at 07:57 PM. Reason: information update
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#2 Old 04-30-2012, 08:37 AM
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If that's the tranny oil cooler on the driver's side front... where is the aux. engine oil cooler? I'd like to check it to make sure it's not clogged with dirt like the tranny cooler was.

Also... what is a "fan coupling" and how does it make the vehicle tow better?

Thanks!
Bryan
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#3 Old 04-30-2012, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by cassb View Post
If that's the tranny oil cooler on the driver's side front... where is the aux. engine oil cooler? I'd like to check it to make sure it's not clogged with dirt like the tranny cooler was.

Also... what is a "fan coupling" and how does it make the vehicle tow better?

Thanks!
Bryan
Sorry for the non clear descriptions, I basically copied the text from the Toyota Website

I had always known of the tranny cooler, but I had never heard of it having the oil cooler until I made this post. I have no idea where it is, I'll look through my toyota docs and see if I can locate it. If I do I'll edit this post with the info. I know the tranny radiator is behind the driver fog light, the washer fluid is behind the passenger fog light so it can't be there, so it must be somewhere near the radiator/AC condenser.

I believe the fan coupling is essentially the electric fan motors. The tow prep package adds higher power fans to help cool the engine/radiator better. Cooler radiator = better engine performance/durability especially during towing. For example if your climing a steep grade with a heavy trailer, the transmission is going to downshift to 3rd probably (at highway speeds) and the engine is going to be up in the 3500-4000+ rpm range for the duration of that climb. That is generating lots of heat, the fans will help prevent overheating and keep the engine running safely longer.
This is from my Toyota docs on the fans (confirming the coupling is the motor): The non tow prep package fan pulls between 6.8-9.8A (~110 watts at 13.5V) and the tow prep package fan pull 14.6A-18.7A (~225 watts at 13.5V). This is for EACH fan. So your looking at ~450 watts of fans up front with the tow prep package vs ~220 watts.


EDIT: Found the oil cooler. Its a cylindrical shaped object on the side of the engine. It is on the "front" of the engine, so that when the air passes through the radiator/fans it will blow directly on the cooler. Also engine coolant is routed through the cooler as well so that also helps it keep cool. I was thinking its a radiator this whole time, its not .

Click Here for the Full List of Mods Done to My Highlander ---->>> 2008 FWD Highlander Limited

Last edited by sweeneyp; 04-30-2012 at 09:38 AM. Reason: adding oil cooler info
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#4 Old 04-30-2012, 09:04 AM
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Etrailer connection

I used that etrailer harness and followed their directions and video to hook up to my pre-wired connections on my toyota without a tow package. I used etrailers method of leaving the trailer connection wires inside the trunk and closing the lid on the wires when I use a trailer. I seldom use a trailer. It worked out fine. Thanks for explaining it all clearly.

Last edited by jwall29; 04-30-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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#5 Old 04-30-2012, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jwall29 View Post
I used that etrailer harness and followed their directions to hook up to my pre-wired connections on my toyota without a tow package. It worked out fine. Thanks for explaining it all clearly.
Yea the whole "prewired" should be taken with a grain of salt. I had always figured all highlanders are "prewired" but only the tow prep package ones actually list it in the specs (you just confirmed this). Its just one of things they include in the wire harnesses for the vehicle. It would probably be more expensive to have 2 separate main vehicle harnesses (one with and one without the prewire) than just 1 they use in all highlanders.

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#6 Old 04-30-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeneyp View Post
Ok this question comes up a lot so I'm gonna post this info and throw it into the common questions/problem sticky
Thanks, man, another very worthy informational thread that will answer a lot of questions.

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#7 Old 04-30-2012, 02:30 PM
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Just in case someone wants to see what that oil cooler looks like (rather than a drawing), you can see it under the oil filter in the left of this picture (pic is from a Tacoma):


'05 4x4 DC LB SR5 (LSD & Tow Pkg), Timbrens, AAL, 5100s, 12/3/04
Mods: Fog, Map/Dome Light, Illuminated 4wd Selector Switch,
DIY Washable Cabin Air Filter (Moose Filter Mod) | & 2010 Highlander 4WD

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#8 Old 08-05-2012, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailDust View Post
Thanks, man, another very worthy informational thread that will answer a lot of questions.
So True! When I was shopping for my 2011 HL that I bought last monday - 95% of the dealers where CLUELESS as to if the HL had the Tow Prep package or not.. But thanks to SweeneyP - I found that all 8 HL's I looked at (2009's to 2011's) had the Tow prep package.

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-----------
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2003 Avalon XLS - 150K (4/2014)

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#9 Old 08-09-2012, 08:57 AM
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I have the 2012 Limited 2wd highlander. I looked through the slits this morning underneath the fog lights and I saw a small radiator, so I'm assuming that's the oil cooler. If there was no tow prep pkg then that area would be empty right?

Reason why I checked this morning is because when I went to toyota website to build your own highlander. I picked what my car had and under options I picked the Voice controlled DVD/Nav and when I clicked on info it showed the the tow prep pkg was included in this option.

2012 Highlander Limited
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#10 Old 08-09-2012, 09:43 AM
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Yes if you saw the radiator, you have the tow prep package, that space would be empty without it. Most Highlanders come with the package, so its rare to find one without it.

Click Here for the Full List of Mods Done to My Highlander ---->>> 2008 FWD Highlander Limited
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#11 Old 10-04-2012, 05:25 AM
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Toyota HL 2012 Limited 4 x 4

Is the 2012 HL with factory tow package installed have a wire plug connection under the dash to plug in a trailer brake controller? I had the dealer install the hitch and wiring at the rear, but it contains a 4 pin connection. I realized I will have to install a 7 pin and trailer brake controller, but cannot locate the plug under the dash for the controller. The 2012 HL manual states that unbraked trailers are limited to 1000 lbs. in order to be able to pull 5K one needs a trailer with brakes.

Last edited by sweeneyp; 10-04-2012 at 12:36 PM. Reason: ***removing long quote to keep the thread clean***
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#12 Old 10-04-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gdmercad View Post
Is the 2012 HL with factory tow package installed have a wire plug connection under the dash to plug in a trailer brake controller? I had the dealer install the hitch and wiring at the rear, but it contains a 4 pin connection. I realized I will have to install a 7 pin and trailer brake controller, but cannot locate the plug under the dash for the controller. The 2012 HL manual states that unbraked trailers are limited to 1000 lbs. in order to be able to pull 5K one needs a trailer with brakes.
to TN!

The OEM trailer wiring is for a 4 flat only, it has no 7 pin capability. You will have to add that yourself. Its not hard though, since the 4 flat converter is under the dash, you can just tap into the brake signal there. Plus you will have to run the various power wires from the bat -> 7 pin, bat -> controller, and controller -> 7 pin. Here is a thread on a 7 pin install: Wiring for 7 Wire Trailer Setup I've installed one as well, if you have any Q's or run into a problem, don't hesitate to ask

As for what the manual says...well that's Toyota covering their legal behind. I've towed a ~2700-3000lb trailer without brakes before, and the HL brakes are competent enough to handle that kind of load, though I wouldn't go any higher. I did leave a LONG distance between me and the car in front.

Click Here for the Full List of Mods Done to My Highlander ---->>> 2008 FWD Highlander Limited
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#13 Old 10-14-2012, 04:09 AM
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it seems those of us with the I4 do not usually come with a tow package, and looking at the '13 options tonight the tow option was not even available for the four banger anymore. I wasnt worried about towing when we got our 09 hl, but now we have been looking at small travel trailers and without the tow package theres not much to choose from. Trying to figure out if I can add the tow equipment myself
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#14 Old 10-15-2012, 05:32 PM
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Towing with a 4cyl HL...your brave (HL already weights a lot for the 4cyl, its going to be "fun" driving at interstate speeds )


The towing package doesn't change the structure or brakes of the HL, only cooling. So there really isn't a whole lot needed to safely tow 3500lb. Anyway, given your in Texas, heat is probably more of an issue (especially considering that little 4 banger is probably going to be pushed pretty hard towing). Normally I would say throw on a tranny fluid radiator and see how it goes from there. You can try towing like that, but keep an eye on the coolant temp. The tow package tends to keep the coolant right at ~182F (thats when the thermostat opens) almost all the time, at that temp, the temp gauge is just below half. If you find the temp starts to rise, I would look into possibly upgrading the electric fans (not exactly sure how you would go about that though (you might have to replace the fan ECU too)).

Click Here for the Full List of Mods Done to My Highlander ---->>> 2008 FWD Highlander Limited

Last edited by sweeneyp; 10-15-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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#15 Old 01-26-2013, 10:32 PM
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I know that you guys mention that the plug connection is under the dash but on which side? I found the oil cooler and the transmission cooler so I think that I have the towing package but for some reason I can't find that plug.

..update..

Never mind, I found a video on google which shows the plug and explains how to install the wire harness.

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I see a 2014 4Runner Limited in my future

Last edited by Mr. Grumpy; 01-26-2013 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Update
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