Alternative Tow Hitches - Page 55 - Toyota RAV4 Forums
4.3 Exterior Tires, Wheels, Lights, Spoilers, Flares, Bars, Tow Hitches, etc.

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#541 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickl View Post
When I mentioned vehicles that had red directional signals, I was trying to describe vehicles that had dual filament bulbs like the "1157" bulbs. The brake and turn signal are combined into the "bright" filament and the taillight would be connected to the "dim" filament of the bulb.
Yes, that's the standard setup for trailers and "American" tow vehicles.

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Trailer lights can be connected directly to these type of vehicles without a converter, but the extra lights on the trailer can almost double the original current. For vehicles with LED rear lighting, trailer lights could increase current load by four times normal. At the very least this often causes the turn flasher to operate at a higher than normal rate.
Yes I've seen the high flash rate even with filament bulbs on the tow vehicle. The solution was a Heavy Duty flasher.

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Another risk is that a bulb shorting out on the trailer will kill all the lights on the vehicle. This could happen for example when backing a boat trailer into the water.
Yep, or with many other short-out scenarios such as pinched wires.

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I was thinking it would be a great idea to design a transistor switching module, which would use the signals from the vehicle to turn on the power to the trailer lights. The power for the trailer lights would come from a totally separate 12V supply, which would protect the vehicles lighting circuit. I believe that this is what is already occurring in the amber turn signal converters. I was just wondering if this thing was already commercially available.
Don't know that it is but I used to make my own with a couple of relays. Gave me complete isolation.

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If I understand correctly, your harness is connected directly to your taillights, with a fuse in each individual light circuit. In that case your F-250 might have a 20 AMP fuse for the brake lights, and your brake lights draw 15 amps normally and an additional 10 amps with the trailer connected. Placing a 15 amp fuse in the trailer harness would not keep the 20 AMP fuse from blowing. Or maybe you are saying that the F-250 is wired at the factory with a completely redundant lighting circuit for trailer lights.
Well, almost. The outputs from the left & right Stop/Turn switches are fused thru two additional 7.5A fuses to the trailer connector. For the parking/clearance lights battery power gets to the trailer connector via a separate 20A fuse and the NO contacts of a relay whose coil is energized by the headlight switch.
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#542 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Dyno View Post
... in the (RAV4) manual, Toyota wanted brakes on any trailer over 600 lbs. I think that's ridiculous for a 3000+ lb RAV4, and is probably a general statement the legal dept thru in. I wonder if it's in the Tundra and Sequoia manuals too.
Just as an aside, while I was at the dealer having warning stickers put on some rods under the back of our RAV4, I looked thru the 2013 Tundra and 2013 Land Cruiser (bigger than the Sequoia) Owner's Manuals for the trailer weight they want trailer brakes on. It's called the Unbraked TWR (Trailer Weight Rating). Both manuals defined the term it but only the Land Cruiser gave a number, 1,000 lbs. For an almost 3 ton (5,730 lb) monster that's a pretty low number.
Both trucks wanted sway control over 2,000 lbs. IM not-so HO, any sway control in an invitation to improperly load a trailer and is just asking for trouble.
Their 5,000 lb rating for a weight transfer hitch probably does make sense.
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#543 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Dyno View Post
Agreed, but it's nice and warm in the auto parts stores so spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the hardware and wiring harnesses.

Not many around here, but I'll check out what I can!

Aaahaa, the next logical question, trailer brakes. (There is actually one more, weight transfer hitches, but I doubt you'll need to know about them for anything your RAV4 would tow.)
First, last I knew in the manual, Toyota wanted brakes on any trailer over 600 lbs. I think that's ridiculous for a 3000+ lb RAV4, and is probably a general statement the legal dept thru in. I wonder if it's in the Tundra and Sequoia manuals too.

I haven't looked up the legal requirements for trailer brakes in most US states or CA provinces but its probably around 3000 lbs. In a way that's pretty antiquated because it should depend on the weight of the tow vehicle and the regulations were probably set back when every tow vehicle was 2 tons.

I'm most familiar with utility, car, travel (caravan), and enclosed cargo trailers, all of which use electric brakes if they need them. I understand boat trailers have hydraulic surge brakes built into the trailer tongue so no control or actuation is needed from the tow vehicle.

The aftermarket harnesses power trailer lights only, have converter for the separate the brake & signal lights on the RAV4 (and most foreign cars) to the combo brake/signal lights on the trailer, and a 4-flat connector. I know there's post on it but my understanding is that the OEM harness also has a power wire that runs to the dash, but doesn't have the extra wire needed for the electric brake controller. If it doesn't you'd need to run that wire from the hitch to the dash - and you would too with an aftermarket harness. In either case you need to supply an aftermarket brake controller since Toyota doesn't and upgrade the 4-flat connector to the larger 7-round one the trailer will have. And with 2 more wires left after the 5th one is used for the brakes you have to decide whether you want live power and backup lights connected.

So, lots more options & decisions. Enjoy!
Enjoy? Not the term I personally would use, but thanks for the info. it's almost-but-not-quite to the TMI stage there, but I actually understood you.

Thanks again! Auto Parts Plus here I come...
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#544 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 10:56 PM
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I checked out an auto parts store tonight. They don't have access to a wiring harness for 2012; the closest they have is for a 2010 Rav. Not gonna risk it, but will check other stores as can. The hitch is $179 from Auto Parts Plus here in Darkest Saskatchewan.

The search continues...
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#545 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 07:52 PM
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Easy tow hitch install

Hello,
First let me say this forum is awesome! I just purchased a 2012 V6 4WD RAV4 after hearing the V6 was eliminated from the 2013. Not wanting to pay the dealer price for "dealer installed" options I found this forum and a wealth of knowledge. But, back to this post.

I need to carry my bikes and did not want to take off the spare cover so decided on a tow hitch mount. I have no plans to tow anything so a lot of this thread doesn't apply but I wanted to share my purchase at Amazon. I chose it as the reviews were good and were specifically for late model RAV4's. It is a Reese Tow Power 51157 Pro Series Class III Round Tube 2" receiver. It cost me $136.84 out the door, had it in two days, it took 20 minutes to install by myself and it looks great and is rock solid. My old bike rack has a new home. A couple install tips. Use the box it comes in to hold the receiver off the floor and with a little elbow grease the install will go smooth. Coat the mounting bolts with a little WD40 for easy threading.

Reese Towpower 51157 Pro Series Class III Hitch with 2" Round Tube Receiver : Amazon.com : Automotive

Thanks again everyove! Now I'm off to install my OEM body moldings with all the great tips from the forum.
Tom B.
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#546 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ohv698 View Post
Hello,
First let me say this forum is awesome! I just purchased a 2012 V6 4WD RAV4 after hearing the V6 was eliminated from the 2013. Not wanting to pay the dealer price for "dealer installed" options I found this forum and a wealth of knowledge. But, back to this post.

I need to carry my bikes and did not want to take off the spare cover so decided on a tow hitch mount. I have no plans to tow anything so a lot of this thread doesn't apply but I wanted to share my purchase at Amazon. I chose it as the reviews were good and were specifically for late model RAV4's. It is a Reese Tow Power 51157 Pro Series Class III Round Tube 2" receiver. It cost me $136.84 out the door, had it in two days, it took 20 minutes to install by myself and it looks great and is rock solid. My old bike rack has a new home. A couple install tips. Use the box it comes in to hold the receiver off the floor and with a little elbow grease the install will go smooth. Coat the mounting bolts with a little WD40 for easy threading.

Reese Towpower 51157 Pro Series Class III Hitch with 2" Round Tube Receiver : Amazon.com : Automotive

Thanks again everyove! Now I'm off to install my OEM body moldings with all the great tips from the forum.
Tom B.
any pictures? I'm also looking for a hitch mount. I will never actual tow anything.

Main reason is to keep people from hitting my bumper during parking and a possible bike rack in the future.
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#547 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 08:53 PM
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Bike rack makes sense, rear bumper protection with the hitch does not to me...
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#548 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:03 PM
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Bike rack makes sense, rear bumper protection with the hitch does not to me...
There are a lot of crap drivers around here, I have no doubt that they would bump my bumper while parallel parking. Just thought if they see the exposed metal part of the hitch, they might be more careful.

that's all.
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#549 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:41 PM
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There are a lot of crap drivers around here, I have no doubt that they would bump my bumper while parallel parking. Just thought if they see the exposed metal part of the hitch, they might be more careful.

that's all.
I hear ya, but that exposed metal is so minimal it really won't do much to save the bumper. I got rear ended from a slight angle and my hitch/receiver didn't help... Not trying to rain on your idea, just want to be realistic about perceived benefits.
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#550 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Truck57 View Post
I hear ya, but that exposed metal is so minimal it really won't do much to save the bumper. I got rear ended from a slight angle and my hitch/receiver didn't help... Not trying to rain on your idea, just want to be realistic about perceived benefits.
thanks for the comment. it's more of a deterrent for other drivers has they do not want to scratch up their bumper on the hitch. But either way, I will need a way to mount a bike rack. I'm thinking about getting back into mountain biking. the bikes I'm willing to pay for are a lot heavier than my 16lb road bike. Not looking to get a roof rack again, too much work.
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