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Take a look at this http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/122-2nd-generation-2008/410879-how-long-can-we-tow.html#post3845085 I'm sure that was close to 3500lb considering those trailers weigh 2000lb empty. Sounds like you will be fine, as long as you don't go around flooring it while towing
Thanks for the link. I have 4 small trips planned this Summer. If things go well we plan on a cross country trip next Summer. My mileage was better than the U-haul post. I averaged 18 mpg with pulling a 2,500 lb. trailer 270 miles
 

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2006 Toyota Highlander Towing: What's the real deal?

Hi Everyone,

New here. I searched around this forum and the rest of the web and have some lingering questions and would love to get some advice.

My questions at a glance (for a 2006 HH 4WD):

-What does the tow package actually involve? Is it just the wiring harness or is it also additional components to protect the steering, tranny etc from overheating? (I had an MDX before this and the tow kit actually involved additional cooling machnery for the steering)

-How do I know if I have the tow package?

-How will this thing do with a 20' boat (2400 lbs) and its trailer (800 lbs)? (under 3500 lb limit) Short distance, long distance?


Now the long story (read as much or as little as you like)

I have an 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with about 70K. Bought the car used and haven't had any issues with it. All in all it's great. Also have a 2007 Prius which we use most of the time; the highlander is mainly used when I either have to move a lot of people or when I need to move something big, heavy, or tie something to the roof. Still sees quite a bit of use, and makes occasional trips into NYC and also gets used for hauling a lot of stuff on longer road trips (think small moves, college, motor scooter from city to city, craigslist acquisitions, etc).

The boat is at a lake house. It usually only goes in and out of the water once per year. The boat needs to visit a mechanic in the fall for annual maintenance and winterization. It's on a somewhat small lake and the immediate local service shops are mostly part time mechanics. They have proven consistently unreliable. I don't have time or adequate facilities to do the winterization in the fall and un-winterization in the spring. I do have a fair amount of land and room to park it in the winter.

The current arrangement is very expensive and ultimately silly. I'm paying the original dealer/marina at a lake about 50 miles away to come, pick up the boat, do the maintenance, store the boat for the winter, and then return the boat in the spring. The storage ends up being cheaper than paying them to drop it off and pick it up again. But again I have the space to store it, so it's the cheaper option in the short term but it's again paying for something that I already have and would like to do myself. Once they drop the boat off I'm reliant on a neighbor with a nissan titan that he uses more regularly to drop it in the water at the launch about half a mile away.

There is a good, established boat mechanic not as far away (about 20 miles) that my neighbor has been using for a few years now with good results, but he is not interested in the pickup, dropoff, or the storage business.

So I have three goals, but they dont necessarily all need to be met, any are better than none.

1. Be able to move the boat from my lot to the launch (1/2 mile).
2. Be able to move my boat from my lot to this more local mechanic(20 miles, country roads, think 40 mph max if I need to keep it slow).
3. Be able to move my boat from my lot to the original dealer (50 miles, heavy duty roads/highway).

I'd be perfectly happy if only 1 & 2 were possible. Don't really need to do 3.

Also note that the trailer does not have its own brakes. The toyota manual claims that I need trailer brakes if over 2K lbs.

Even more ranting:

-I dont really want to blow any of the motors or the tranny doing this. It is not worth it. I am out of warranty and if I break something while trying to do this then any net savings is lost.

-I already thought "screw it, I need a real truck" and tried buying an older truck to use for this purpose. This proved to be too much maintenance and stuff was going wrong all the time from age and lack of use. Registration and Insurance made it not worthwhile, and I got tired of spending my weekends fixing things under the truck. I can wrench but it's not my idea of fun.

-Just a note because I had this happen on another forum, I'm 23 and have used "I" and "my" and "mine" throughout this post. Many of the various things I have mentioned belong to my family members, but this isn't really relevant to the post and didn't feel like spending the time or effort to indicate ownership of each thing mentioned. I wouldn't even feel the need to say this but someone got really bent out of shape over it on the last forum I joined.

Thank You!!

Mike
 

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My take.

Yes, you should have little trouble on short runs towing the boat... but pulling a boat out of the water on a slick ramp in a FWD unibody car might be tricky AND you most certainly need trailer brakes..

I'd have no issue towing a small popup or light trailer, but 3000 pounds plus up a ramp...

I'd have to really think that one over.

Edit. ACK! Just noticed yours is a 4WD. That should solve the slippery ramp issue... but a 20 foot boat is a lot of boat for a smallish vehicle. Make SURE you get some brakes on that trailer.
 

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Thanks for the reply...a few updates:

The trailer actually does have brakes. Whether or not they actually still work at this point is another story. I need to replace the tires anyway, so I'll evaluate and repair the brakes if necessary.

The ramp is pretty rough concrete, and it's actually not a solid concrete ramp but concrete "planks" if you will. Not sure if they were precast or poured in place but it's like a 8" deep concrete tread about a food wide that runs the length of the ramp...they're on some kind of steel rail that runs up and down the length of the ramp (probably ties into the rebar in the plank if I had to guess). There's about 2" of space between each tread and the sand and gravel that's supposed to be there is usually blown out from idiots powerloading so this actually works real well for traction. The guy who helps us out with his Titan has RWD and all season tires and gets around fine on the ramp.

I definitely don't plan on driving this thing 70 mph down the interstate with the boat behind it, but with electric brakes on the trailer in working order it sounds like I might be OK for local, at slow speeds, twice a year.
 

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Sounds like you are approaching this in the right way. Get those brakes working and be happy. I don't think you are going to hurt the car.
 

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Upgrade towing wiring

I have a 2012 Highlander Hybrid with the Toyota-installed tow package. I am looking to have the wiring upgraded to a 7-prong Bargmans plug with wired brake control. Local dealership will not do it, so I called UHaul. They will do it, but want to power the brake control from the 12V battery in the trunk. Is there anything I need to know about the hybrid electrical system before I have this done?
 

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Highlander hybrid towing feedback

Hi All
i have a 2009 Hybrid limited and have logged 65,000 KM and allot of these were towing my boat and pop up trailer. I did a trip from Toronto to PEI/Cape Breton a couple of summers ago and was averaging around 11-13 liters per 100km with my 12ft Coleman pop up trailer. I have done trips to Southern USA with about the same results. With my daily driving i usually average 8-10 liters per 100km and i'm not necessarily a heavy foot or a ginger foot maybe just average or heavy average.

Just wondering what kind of results others are getting with Highlanders and towing, i came from a 2002 Nissan Pathefinder LE and that was a heavy gas user so i'm very pleased with the gas numbers my Toyota is getting both daily and towing.
 

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Keep me posted as i too have the factory tow package and considering going to a 7 prong plug for the pop up. will the 4 prong plug still be usable? its actually inside the hitch and i cant see the 7 prong replacing this unless they cut it?
 

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'08 Highlander Limtd
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It depends on what 7 plug you get. Some are only the 7 pin, some are the 7pin + 4 pin.

The one I use has both and they can be used independently of each other.

http://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Hopkins/37185.html

There is a thread in the modification sticky on installing a 7 pin setup in the 2nd gen HL area. You might want to read through that.
 

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I had a 2006 highlander hybrid 2wd and towed a 20 ft hurricane from Miami to SC with no problems. I was able to pull the heavy boat out of steep ramps with focused attention on my accel pressure.. Otherwise it would spin if the ramp was wet.. But I was always able to get it out without too much trouble.
 

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Hi All,

I thought I'd post in this thread since it is essentially the same topic.

I've scoured the internet trying to find the same information for the 2006 hybrid towing specs. I've read some conflicting information on the subject of standard towing capacity for the hybrid. On several occasions, I've seen a Toyota press release from 2006 stating that the new Highlander Hybrid would come from the factory equipped with the towing prep package as standard equipment. I called Toyota customer service, however, and was told that my 2006 Hybrid did not have the towing prep package. I'm not necessarily confident that I received an educated answer, however.

So, my question is, can anyone verify the question about the standard towing prep package on the first generation hybrids? Also, is there an easy way to identify the characteristics of the towing prep package on a given vehicle (radiator, trans cooler, oil cooler, etc.)? There is a great thread about identifying the towing prep package on the newer models, but I can't seem to find one for the first generation. Does anyone have a hybrid with the confirmed towing prep package? If so could you post pictures of the towing prep features?

Thanks in advance.
 

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'08 Highlander Limtd
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I can't be certain as I just don't know much about the first gens, let alone the first gen hybrids, but you can look for a transmission cooler. It would be a sure tell way of finding out if you have any kind of OEM towing equipment. It should be somewhere behind the bumper cover, likely on the lower driver side. It will look something like this (without the plastic air-redirect mounted on front):

It will be a radiator about 2-3" by 7-8"
 

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Well, I have a bit more information. My 2006 does have the transmission cooler, which seems to indicate that it has a towing prep package. It's interesting that the package is not reflected in the VIN or in any of the original vehicle documentation. I'll find out later this week if I need a trailer wiring converter box or not. I ordered the Toyota hitch that comes with appropriate wiring for a vehicle with a towing prep package.
 

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I installed the Toyota hitch this evening. It was one of the easiest car-related projects I've ever done. The Toyota hitch Part #PT228-69045 is very heavy duty and looks much better than the aftermarket hitches. It installed very easily and fits great.

The wiring included with the hitch is very nice, and includes a grommet to come up through the floor. I did end up needing a converter box, I bought the Tow Ready 118248 wire harness with ModuLite module. I plan to splice the 4-way connector from the Tow-Ready unit directly into the harness that came with the Toyota hitch. This is an added step, but I saved $50 by not buying the Toyota converter box.

I plan to run a 10 gauge wire from my battery, and connect the 4-way plug into a 4-7 way converter setup so I can use the Bargman style plug on my trailer.

The only odd thing about the hitch setup is that it came with a Lexus plug to go in the receiver hitch. I've read that these hitches are the same as those for the Lexus hybrids, so there must have been a mixup.
 

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Should I be removing a fuse when towing our 06 HH on a dolly?

We recently towed our 06 HH on a dolly and when we got to our destination and removed the HH from the tow dolly, the ABS, VSC, etc lights were all on. They went away after a minute or two of driving but I was wondering if there's a fuse I should be pulling when towing it on a dolly in order to avoid the lights coming on to begin with.

Let us know. Thanks,
Mike
 
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