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Hi,
I'm just back from a 1500 km trip over a week. To put things in perpective, we tow a 2500 lbs large tent-less pop-up trailer (well, Aliner in fact). We used to tow it with a 2009 Venza 2.7l AWD.

Before towing, we used ECO mode and got 6.6l /100km since we got the Highlander.

First thing I figured out: don't tow in ECO mode. It was slowing down too fast when going uphill on the highway.
Switching to Normal brings it back to what I'm used to (ECO without a trailer). You'll say it is a no-brainer, but I'm not used to have those ECO-NORMAL-SPORT settings...

For the first 350 km, we got 9.3l / 100 km, which is quite impressive compared to the 13l /100km we used to get from Venza. But that was mostly flat terrain. Then we got to the mountains of Charlevoix and consumption increased to 9.9l /100km. Still better than the Venza. In that region, we get serious inclines, as much as 18%. Of course, I didn't try to floor it to keep with the posted speed limit, I just got in the right lane when going uphill, slowing down from posted 90 km/h to about 65 km/h in 10% inclines.

Of course the battery recharges when going downhill to help on the next uphill. I left the radar cruise control ON when going downhill (at the longest distance, of course) and observed that the car will use regenerative braking to keep the right distance. I favored that over braking myself, because when I brake, it is the trailer brakes that work, and those aren't regenerative... which may explain why the fuel consumption is worse when going up-and-down all the time. When the battery is full and/or when going down 17%/18% sloped, the cruise-control would automatically use engine compression to brake the vehicule. That's magic to me.

jf
 

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I think my subject says it all. I want an AWD hybrid with a factory tow hitch. I don't need the foot sensor rear hatch opening. Do any trim levels let me tow with the hybrid?
Thanks,
Jason
 

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Highlander Hybrid 2020
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I want an AWD hybrid with a factory tow hitch. I don't need the foot sensor rear hatch opening. Do any trim levels let me tow with the hybrid?
If you don't want the kicksensor issue, check between the LE and XLE. So far, I've had a trailer about half of the distance traveled with the XLE (due to vacation and the fact that I work from home...). Look for my report just above your question (4 message up).
jf
 

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Just finished installing the Curt #13453 on my 2020 Highlander Hybrid Limited yesterday, and I had no problems with this hitch fitting - frankly I like the look of the hitch below the bumper, not cut through it. If you are planning to install this hitch, don't use the cut diagram that Curt furnishes with the instructions - I think it is for last years Highlander. The the driver's rear panel, that gets removed for the hitch installation does not need to be butchered like the Curt cutting diagram recomments. Only one cut is necessary near the back left corner (see photos).
rough cut for Curt 13453.jpg
final install of driver's side rear panel.jpg
And the kick-sensor does NOT work, but we didn't use it, so I turned it off in the settings.
 

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I think my subject says it all. I want an AWD hybrid with a factory tow hitch. I don't need the foot sensor rear hatch opening. Do any trim levels let me tow with the hybrid?
All trim levels can accommodate available towing equipment. I have a Hybrid Platinum and mounted the Toyota Hitch, though have not yet actually had reason to tow my cargo trailer with it. Remember that the Hybrid is rated for 3500 lb towing, vs 5000 lb for non-Hybrid...

If you don't want the kicksensor issue, check between the LE and XLE... Look for my report just above your question (4 message up).
jf
No reason for @Jrusoff to limit to LE or XLE. He already indicated no need for foot sensor, but Limited / Platinum have many other features that may be of interest, and still provide the possibility of foot sensor function not possible with LE / XLE.
 

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Just finished installing the Curt #13453 on my 2020 Highlander Hybrid Limited yesterday, and I had no problems with this hitch fitting - frankly I like the look of the hitch below the bumper, not cut through it. If you are planning to install this hitch, don't use the cut diagram that Curt furnishes with the instructions - I think it is for last years Highlander. The the driver's rear panel, that gets removed for the hitch installation does not need to be butchered like the Curt cutting diagram recomments. Only one cut is necessary near the back left corner (see photos).
View attachment 310648
View attachment 310647
And the kick-sensor does NOT work, but we didn't use it, so I turned it off in the settings.
Do you happen to have any pictures of this installed? I have a 2020 V6 Highlander and looking to put a hitch on myself. The only one I am seeing that will fit is a Curt C99FR vs the 13453?. I read in a post that these are the same but don't look the same in pictures.
 

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Hello everyone. I scanned through prior posts but still had questions. I have a 2020 Hybrid XLE and want to see if others have experience in towing similar trailer size. My parents looking to give me their 2014 R172 at 2100 dry weight and 18 foot long trailer. What are thoughts? I’ve read some posts stating that trailer needs electric brakes. Anyone have experience?
 

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1995 T100 2WD & 1993 MR2
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Can you even get a hitch for your HL?
I've been looking at the Rpod line for sum time now and like what I see but I have 5,000 and 500 lbs tongue wt. capacities. I've decided after borrowing many friends trailers my T100 is good for a combined weight of 4,100- 4,200 with the controller. It just doesn't have the ponies.
Regardless I would want a brake controller and use the electric brakes on the Rpod.
I'm sure it could do the job fine especially if you pack and plan accordingly.
Thing about towing, don't let the tail wag the dog and it's easier to start than it is to stop!
Just my .02 cents .:cool:
 

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Can you even get a hitch for your HL?
I've been looking at the Rpod line for sum time now and like what I see but I have 5,000 and 500 lbs tongue wt. capacities. I've decided after borrowing many friends trailers my T100 is good for a combined weight of 4,100- 4,200 with the controller. It just doesn't have the ponies.
Regardless I would want a brake controller and use the electric brakes on the Rpod.
I'm sure it could do the job fine especially if you pack and plan accordingly.
Thing about towing, don't let the tail wag the dog and it's easier to start than it is to stop!
Just my .02 cents .:cool:
Thanks for advice! Yes Uhaul can install a Curt Trailer rated at 8,000 lbs toeing capacity and 750 lb tongue support. 4 pin connector. Looking at the dimensions of RPod 172 Dry weight 2100 ..... electronic brakes.
 

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I believe your rated at 3,500 and 350.
Plus will the hitch cause issues with the automated lif gate if yours has the foot actuated sensor? Need 7 pin for electric brakes.
 

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I tow a 2500 loaded Aliner with ease with the Hybrid XLE. Tongue weight should NOT be a problem since the Toyota hitch is rated 500lb/5000lb for the gas version.

This being said we could tow that same Aliner correctly with a Venza 2.7l/182hp but could not tow a tall trailer with the same Venza. It is a question of wind resistance and how fast you want to drive. Also, at what temperature you want to drive and on what inclines.

Trying to uphill 10% at 75 MPH at 105 F with a trailer is NOT a good idea. If that's what you want to do, go for a F350. If you are like me and you are on vacation when towing are you are not in a hurry and you accept reducing speed down to 75 km/h when going long uphill, then Highlander can do the job.

Yes trailer above 1000 lb needs braking and tow vehicule need brake controller (except full size pick-up which can tow 2000 lbs without brake). You need 7-pin connector.

jf
 

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👍
I tow a 2500 loaded Aliner with ease with the Hybrid XLE. Tongue weight should NOT be a problem since the Toyota hitch is rated 500lb/5000lb for the gas version.

This being said we could tow that same Aliner correctly with a Venza 2.7l/182hp but could not tow a tall trailer with the same Venza. It is a question of wind resistance and how fast you want to drive. Also, at what temperature you want to drive and on what inclines.

Trying to uphill 10% at 75 MPH at 105 F with a trailer is NOT a good idea. If that's what you want to do, go for a F350. If you are like me and you are on vacation when towing are you are not in a hurry and you accept reducing speed down to 75 km/h when going long uphill, then Highlander can do the job.

Yes trailer above 1000 lb needs braking and tow vehicule need brake controller (except full size pick-up which can tow 2000 lbs without brake). You need 7-pin connector.

jf
👍 thanks for reply. Just called Uhaul for 7 pin connector. Didn’t think about that. With your XLE Hybrid is that a 2020 or what engine? I ask because 2020 only 3500 capacity. Curious as to your experience towing and SUV with 4 passengers ? We have 2 kids.
 

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Yes it is the 2020 Hybrid with 2.5L Atkinson engine. Yes it is rated 3500 lbs. Our trailer is 2500 lbs, so there's plenty of power (coming from the Venza 2.7l rated at 2500lbs). Hey, I'm reapeating myself. Highlander Hybrid is an upgrade for us, both in regards of space (cargo) and fuel economy. The only thing I discovered with towing with the HiHy is that you have to put it in normal mode when towing, otherwise you'll feel it underpowered. Also, when you want to pass a slow truck, uphill, with the trailer... just switch to sport mode and there's plenty of power.

We have 2 kids as well. For historical reason, we have a weight distribution hitch: e2 Fastway with square bars. That takes weight from the trailer tongue normally going on the rear axle and pushed it on the front axle. I'm sure web sites or youtube can give you better explanations that I can write it. That acts as an anti-sway as well. With that, towing becomes extremely stable.

The only thing that CAN kill you is the wind resistance (aerodynamics) because a RPOD is taller than a Aliner. I hope somebody can confirm RPOD + HiHy performance for you...

jf
ps: for reference, this is a Aliner closed:
311888

This is open:
311889

And for other people who don't know what a rpod 172 looks like:
311890
 

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We have a model year 2020, 16.6 ft. Jayco Baja model travel trailer. Fully loaded with contents, water, etc. is 3,100 lbs. Our 2020 Highlander Hybrid AWD model LE tows it with no issues. It does take more power to tow as this is also a rather high trailer with more air resistance than most. Trailer does have electric brakes which are required by law.

MPG while towing at highway speeds varies from 15-18 mpg. I have noticed while towing at lower speeds 30-45 MPH MPG is usually over 20 MPG, perhaps due to less air resistance.

Not towing our MPG is averaging over 40 MPG.

I
 

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One post I read here, in the past, mentioned that the towing capacity of the hybrids may be a function of the ability of the electric motors to push a trailer in reverse up a gradient since there is no reverse gear therefore the ICE is not used.
 

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I'm really annoyed at Toyota with this hitch issue. I specifically bought my 2020 Hybrid Platinum with the intentions of adding a hitch only to find out that I can't. IMO it's false advertising because they say the vehicle can tow but in all reality it can't. How can they tow rate a vehicle if you can't install a hitch - how are you supposed to tow? Now I'm forced to go with a SeaSucker mount for my bikes and tow with one of my other vehicles.
 

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We have a model year 2020, 16.6 ft. Jayco Baja model travel trailer. Fully loaded with contents, water, etc. is 3,100 lbs. Our 2020 Highlander Hybrid AWD model LE tows it with no issues. It does take more power to tow as this is also a rather high trailer with more air resistance than most. Trailer does have electric brakes which are required by law.

MPG while towing at highway speeds varies from 15-18 mpg. I have noticed while towing at lower speeds 30-45 MPH MPG is usually over 20 MPG, perhaps due to less air resistance.

Not towing our MPG is averaging over 40 MPG.
Alster.... thanks for info. How does it do going up on hills and is there lots of sway?
 
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