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Tow bar set-up? Any particular brand?

With regard to the tow bar set-up: Is there any particular brand that you've liked?

For the '06 HiHy I see several brands out there, to include the Toyota one. I may just buy the $200 tow bar and install it myself.

Anyone comment on the feasibility of doing this?
 

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Tow Harness - is it DIY ??

New to this forum -- we just purchased a 2008 HiHy ... specifically because of the towing capacity that we needed.

We have a Tow Prep Pkg installed. What I have gleamed so far from this forum (thank you!) is that other than a Class II (3,500) tow Hitch, we are required to purchase/install a Tow Harness Kit. Part # PT21948871 ($120)

So my question is, is this a DIY install? has anyone done it and if so, is it very complicated? does it come with instructions??

Thanks so much ... I look forward to learning and sharing so much on this forum.
 

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I didi it on my 2007. It is DIY. Instalation is as simple as tightening (quite) a few bolts.

The instructions are more than adequate.

_Am
 

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Thanks for the response. we bouth the Part #, but the box has NO instructions. We're looking at the wire and connectors and have no cluse where to bolt and connect things. does anyone know of some place to download instruction sheets for servicing these things? or do we have to buy a Manual?
 

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Just wanted to Thank ChicagoAndy for your guidance on this. We were able to install the wiring harness on our HiHy. You were right about the number of bolts/screws needing to be dealt with. It took us around 2 hours to complete. The Convertor box that goes under the driver's side of the dash was quite a pain in the butt to install ... but we did it!

Thanks !!!!!
 

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What is the towing specs and qualifications

I am going to put a hitch on my highlander but i want to know what the towing specs are and if i have to add any cooling systems. I usually know all gas cars but this is my first hybrid and i am blank on how much and how i can tow stuff. DOes anyone know?? Do i have to put a cooling system for the transmission, i dont know. thanks
 

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I purchased an '08 HiHy 2 months ago specifically with an eye on installing a tow hitch just for mountling a bike rack. After purchasing, I was told by two dealers that Toyota does not make a hitch for this vehicle yet. Yes I am surprised since in the documentation it states that it can tow up to about 3000 lbs (vs. 5000 for the standard Highlander).

Cody21, where did you get the parts for your HiHy 08? Any part numbers you can share? Who did you get them from?
 

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The $tealers just flat out LIE ... or are clueless ... IMHO ..

I went to our local dealer (vs. the place we bought it) after having a 3rd party hitch installed, and the PARTS and SERVICE dept. were shocked that I was told they don't have the part. I don't know the actual part number, but you should call another Service Dept for the information. Another solution is just go to UHAUL ... they have them & install them on these HiHy's ... Do NOT got to CampQuest .... they ended up cutting the facad (sp?) to get it to fit - which is NOT necessary on the few that I've seen properly installed. So either the DEALER or UHAUL seems to be the way to go. Good luck.
 

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Boat Towing: ok - boat launching: use something else

I have a 2009 Highlander Hybrid. I need to tow my boat from storage to the lake. The Hybrid tows the boat on the road easily - handles nicely, even pretty decent mileage. Launching the boat was no problem either.

This weekend, I had to help a friend get his boat out of the water (same size as mine) and the HH could not pull it out of the water. The boat launch is well packed gravel but a very gentle incline - and the HH was not able to pull the load out. The front wheels would spin a little and then the traction control would just shut the power down. The rear electric motors (or maybe the traction control) prevented the rear wheels from even spinning - and it seemed like they were getting zero power/torque - so essentially it was 100% front wheel drive. My previous vehicle was an MDX, and it handled this launch SO easily, I just never considered that it would be a potential problem.

In the end, I put the tow hook in the front bumper and another SUV pulled the whole load out.

It's a disappointment, but not a huge problem for me since I usually only need to launch and pull out once or twice a year, and will be able to borrow something. But would not recommend this vehicle for anybody with a boat, even a light one. It's OK for towing, but boat launches are another matter entirely and the HH just isn't up to the task.
 

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I have a 2009 Highlander Hybrid. I need to tow my boat from storage to the lake. The Hybrid tows the boat on the road easily - handles nicely, even pretty decent mileage. Launching the boat was no problem either.

This weekend, I had to help a friend get his boat out of the water (same size as mine) and the HH could not pull it out of the water. The boat launch is well packed gravel but a very gentle incline - and the HH was not able to pull the load out. The front wheels would spin a little and then the traction control would just shut the power down. The rear electric motors (or maybe the traction control) prevented the rear wheels from even spinning - and it seemed like they were getting zero power/torque - so essentially it was 100% front wheel drive. My previous vehicle was an MDX, and it handled this launch SO easily, I just never considered that it would be a potential problem.

In the end, I put the tow hook in the front bumper and another SUV pulled the whole load out.

It's a disappointment, but not a huge problem for me since I usually only need to launch and pull out once or twice a year, and will be able to borrow something. But would not recommend this vehicle for anybody with a boat, even a light one. It's OK for towing, but boat launches are another matter entirely and the HH just isn't up to the task.
I don't have the links to the threads handy, but go over to the 08+ Highlander forum and do a search using "VSC" and "TRAC" which should pull up a couple of threads relevant to your issue. In short, what you'll find there is a recommendation for turning off your HiHy's VSC/TRAC system to improve it's traction in those conditions. I've had my Highlander in snow and ice, obviously very slippery conditions, and all forward motion was killed by the VSC/TRAC system dethrottling the engine. But by turning off the system, I'm able to immediately move across ice that was impassable with no problems. Check it out.

:thumbsup:
 

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I don't have the links to the threads handy, but go over to the 08+ Highlander forum and do a search using "VSC" and "TRAC" which should pull up a couple of threads relevant to your issue. In short, what you'll find there is a recommendation for turning off your HiHy's VSC/TRAC system to improve it's traction in those conditions. I've had my Highlander in snow and ice, obviously very slippery conditions, and all forward motion was killed by the VSC/TRAC system dethrottling the engine. But by turning off the system, I'm able to immediately move across ice that was impassable with no problems. Check it out.

:thumbsup:

Thanks. If there is a way to defeat the VSC/TRAC system, I would welcome the information. But as far as I know, this feature is not available in the Hybrid. The frustrating thing, is I have a feeling the rear traction motors generate enough torque that they would have been able to help - but the traction control system is too intrusive.
 

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Sedan Life
2003 Lexus ES300
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thats no good...
one of the reasons i stay clear of hybrid SUVs

my friend's HiHy did the exact same thing at the boat ramp when we were attempting to move my 23ft cobalt from one marina to another...i was shocked since its not a large boat...
 

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You're correct--in the Hybrids, there is no way to disconnect the VSC/Trac system. We don't have an override switch.
You know what, that's right I totally forgot about that. :headbang: I still don't understand why they don't have that kill feature in the hybrid? It's too bad, because in poor traction situations it's the difference between night and day.
 

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Traction

I've been using my Hybrid(08) to launch my boat(17ft) for the past year with no problems, until this spring. I was on a steep inclined ramp with loose gravel and ended spining the wheels and then the hybrid refused to move. I would guess because of traction control. Fought with it for awhile with no success. Meaning I would hold with brake, shift to drive and slowly push the gas pedal with no reaction from any of the wheels. Then while shifting gears I saw the EV control and decided to try that. Worked like a charm, pulling me up with all the torque I needed. When in EV your limited up to 5 mph so you aren't going to speed anywhere but at least you can move. I would think this would work in most situations where the traction control has locked out the wheels when it feels they are skidding.
Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks. If there is a way to defeat the VSC/TRAC system, I would welcome the information. But as far as I know, this feature is not available in the Hybrid. The frustrating thing, is I have a feeling the rear traction motors generate enough torque that they would have been able to help - but the traction control system is too intrusive.
And electric motors have LOTS of torque!
 

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I've been using my Hybrid(08) to launch my boat(17ft) for the past year with no problems, until this spring. I was on a steep inclined ramp with loose gravel and ended spining the wheels and then the hybrid refused to move. I would guess because of traction control. Fought with it for awhile with no success. Meaning I would hold with brake, shift to drive and slowly push the gas pedal with no reaction from any of the wheels. Then while shifting gears I saw the EV control and decided to try that. Worked like a charm, pulling me up with all the torque I needed. When in EV your limited up to 5 mph so you aren't going to speed anywhere but at least you can move. I would think this would work in most situations where the traction control has locked out the wheels when it feels they are skidding.
Hope this helps.
Good thinking! BTW, you are limited to ~25 MPH in EV mode BUT if you accelerate too hard it pops you out of EV mode so easy does it to use the torque of the two electric motors.
 

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I've been using my Hybrid(08) to launch my boat(17ft) for the past year with no problems, until this spring. I was on a steep inclined ramp with loose gravel and ended spining the wheels and then the hybrid refused to move. I would guess because of traction control. Fought with it for awhile with no success. Meaning I would hold with brake, shift to drive and slowly push the gas pedal with no reaction from any of the wheels. Then while shifting gears I saw the EV control and decided to try that. Worked like a charm, pulling me up with all the torque I needed. When in EV your limited up to 5 mph so you aren't going to speed anywhere but at least you can move. I would think this would work in most situations where the traction control has locked out the wheels when it feels they are skidding.
Hope this helps.
Thanks - I might try this out with just the trailer on a grassy hill to see if it makes a difference. But the bottom line for me is that I probably won't be using the Highlander to pull my boat OUT of the water anymore - the last thing I need is to get stuck pulling my boat out in the Fall on a cold empty boat ramp - I was lucky there was another truck to pull me out the last time. The boat ramp is close enough that I can drive a tractor over to pull the boat out - then hook it up to the Highlander to tow it to storage.

The Highlander has enough good qualities that I'm still satisfied with it - but the boat launch/traction control with no over-ride issue is a disappointment.
 
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