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Thanks Devhiglander. If I can't pull a simple sailboat out, this vehicle loses a lot of its charm. I'm thinking about going back to a 4Runner. It won't ride as nice as this thing, nor will I ever see 23 mpg commuting, but the '96 4Runner I owned 12 years was the Swiss Army knife of the vehicles. It was only the third deer hit that finally pried it out of my hands. The college kid I sold it to is still regularly making 6 hour runs out to Pittsburgh and back.

Part of my dissatisfaction is linked to the compromises (tiny 12V battery) made for the Hybrid, and part of it is linked to the Smart Key. On a bright note, the battery hasn't gone dead for two weeks in a row now! And installing the PriorityStart has alleviated worries about getting stuck somewhere, something I never worried about for 12 years with my 4Runner.
 

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I'm wondering if the battery draining problem is due to something not powering down correctly and not actually the fault of the smart-key system. I've owned two different Prii (Priuses?) with smart-key and I never had a problem where the battery suddenly died. I've left both cars sitting for 2 weeks at a time and they both powered up fine. Smart-key system has always been left on in those two cars. You haven't mentioned what year your Highlander is, nor the trim level. You haven't mentioned what year your highlander is, nor the trim level. If you have a model with the JBL amp in it, that could be your problem. The JBL amp is notorious for not powering off correctly and causing batteries to be drained. This problem affects multiple different cars across the Toyota line. We luckily never encountered it in our 2004 Sienna XLE nor my 2005 Prius (the 2012 Base Plug-in does not have the JBL radio/amp in it).

We just bought a 2016 Highlander Hybrid Platinum so now I'm curious as to what sort of paristic drain the car puts on the battery when it's off. I'll have to pull out the multimeter and check things out.
 

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I've got a 2012 and I can tow my 21' Boston Whaler with trailer (approx 5000lb) up and down the boat ramp with no problems. Its mostly flat and my dry parking area is within 1 mile. So not much towing but I can get it in and out of the water no problem.
 

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We mhave been moving DIY style for the last about 1.5 months. I rented Uhaul for furniture, but because it's only 7.8 miles between the old and new properties, I used my utility trailer quite a bit. It's not that big of a trailer, 7 ft deep bed, but it's solid metal sheet bottom and RV axle, plus thick plywood box, so thing is quite heavy by itself. Plus, I had it loaded with all kinds of stuff and the new place has acres of rather very muddy grass.
Not a problem. Forward, in reverse , hills - not a burp.
 

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07 Hybrid Factory Tow Package

I read on another post that the Hybrid does NOT come with a factory tow package:

"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"
(http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/122-2nd-generation-2008-2013/411109-tow-prep-package-identification-information.html)


Now I am trying to purchase the electrical wires for the 2007 Highlander Hybrid, I found parts 119179KIT and 46255 on etrailer that say they work wihtout the factory tow package. But there is also 118248 but it says it needs the factory tow package. I was curious if part 118248 would work on the 07 hybrid even though it technically doesn't have the Factory Tow Package (which I'm still not 100% sure on)
 

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All of that is the 2nd gen, and to clarify for those who see this w/ a 2nd gen, it doesn't come with a tow package, it basically comes factory with the stuff that makes up the normal tow package on gas models.

In terms of the electrics, it'll probably be very similar to the gas model (for the trailer light connector). Can't say on powertrain.
 

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Tow with 2012 Highlander Hybrid Limited

Hello,

I would like to tow a camping trailer that is about 2600lbs loaded, with a 2012 Hybrid Limited. I went to a Toyota dealership in Atlanta area today to see what was needed to be done to prepare the car, but the dealership advisor told me...quoted in his own words...that I am asking for troubles and the Hybrid could not tow 2500 lbs. I even brought up the fact that the manual says it could tow 3500lb but the advisor just didn't recommend. :crying:

Anyone on the forum has towed with a 2012 Highlander Hybrid? I love to hear your experiences.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Technically since December last year through April this year I used my HiHY 2012 as a truck. I hauled and towed all kinds of things with my utility trailer, which that trailer itself is about a 1000 lb. never had a hiccup. Best I can tell. Towing with HiHy was thouroughly discussed here. You should be good for 2500 lb.
 

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If Toyota itself is saying up to 3500 pounds, why would an advisor warn against that? I think he's a bone head. I'm sure Toyota (and other manufacturers) build in a cushion of safety, and so these vehicles don't come back in with warranty claims. I find the limiting factor really to be the brakes on any vehicle. Once you get into weight in excess of say 2000 pounds, the brakes (in mountainous regions) start to fade with heavy usage. My boat has surge brakes, which takes a lot of the anxiety out of towing this 2800 pound boat/trailer. Electric brakes would work too. If you plan your stops well in advance, and just generally be conscious of not over heating your brakes, you could probably haul twice the recommended limit. And don't forget about tongue weight, which should be fine if the trailer is properly balanced.
 

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Brakes will be fine around that weight. I pulled 3.5-4k without trailer brakes (damaged trailer), without issue. Just know going in the stopping distance will be longer. I wouldn't go above that, I had electric brakes when I was pulling around 5.5k. Gas and hybrids share brakes.

Just know the rear suspension will squat a LOT on the HL, the springs are too soft. If you get a weight distribution hitch, don't use it with the OEM hitch, they have a history of bending upward if not setup right. And they aren't rated for WDH's. Though at 3500lb, you shouldn't really need it...
 

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2008 Highlander Hybrid: Towing Reality Check

Hi Folks!

I've been using my 2008 HiHy for several years to tow some smaller boats -- boat and trailer combinations weighing 500 to 2,000 pounds -- with no trouble at all other than the expected loss of gas mileage.

But now I'm considering going up a step to a boat and trailer combination weighing approximately 3,100 pounds. The trailer is an aluminum tandem axle trailer with surge brakes.

If you have actual experience towing similar loads with a Gen2 HiHy, what has your experience been?

Thanks!
Dave
 

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I tow a 3,500 lb. Tent trailer with my 09 Highlander hybrid. No problem towing this weight, but I needed to use a weight distribution hitch to keep my Highlander level when towing. I have about a 10mpg penalty while towing.
 

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Highlander Hybrid towing

Considering purchase of new Highlander Hybrid and saw a short article on CarsDirect that stated problems reported with hybrid not performing well even at less than 3000lbs. Article said reports of issues like electric motor cutting off in pulling boat uphill. Said vehicle would not move. Sounded odd that would keep gas engine from take over.
I have under 3k boat and trailer to pull out of boat launch situations.
Any experiences or issues with hybrid towing under challenges? Thanks
 

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I have under 3k boat and trailer

Is it under 3K boat PLUS trailer weight
OR
grand total for BOTH is under 3K?
It can be interpreted both ways and makes difference.
We had this discussed here several times. I recall ONE member that complained he could not pull his boat up the ramp but overall, consensus from other users was - it is good for 3500Lb.
They will pitch in, no doubt.
 

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Thanks! Yes, that's <3000# total - boat and trailer.

Hybrid world foreign to me but appears to have the same gas engine as regular Highlanders; thought would provide ample power needed. But something different due to 1500# less tow capacity
 

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HiHY, Highlander Hybrid, was rated to 3500lbs and I think the new one is even higher.
Reason for caution is simple. You do not have conventional traction between engine -transmission-transfer case-differential-front and rear wheels.
Rear wheel is propelled by its own electric motor, a small version of PSD - power split device that is transmission in our vehicles. Hence, it is limited to whatever electric cohesion forces electric motor can provide.
ICE - internal combustion engine - MAY or may NOT turn on for your purpose, as it depends on power requirement as it is understood by ECU and Skid Control Unit. But, even then, you have electrical motor, or MG, motor generator propelling front wheels. Again, it is whatever electric cohesion force supplied to the wheels.
I can only state that I extensively used my HiHy as truck for about 8 months this year, towing easy 2500lbs several times in very uneven terrain. She never even sneezed. We moved and that was our "truck" for the time.
My only concern will be to have rear end immersed in water for extended period of time on a ramp. After all, it is electrical device back there. Btw, this is why you do NOT have driveshaft, transfer case and differentials on this car.
 
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