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I have a 2011 Rav 4, No rear tire sport appearance package. 4 cyl. does anyone here have a trailer like a camper?
 

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Mine is a base 8’ pop up, rated trailer GVWR of 1495 lbs. no fridge furnace stove etc but space for 6. My RAV is a 2012 base 2.5 FWD, and has no problem getting going with the trailer. Towing fuel consumption is (by dashboard) about 10.8 L/100km, at freeway speeds. I am not happy with the braking performance and the trailer doesn’t have brakes, so I will upgrade to the front brakes of the 3rd row seat models. Will also add the rear springs from the same model, along with an external transmission cooler.

In town I’ll haul a yard of gravel/soil if needed but I try to do half at a time.

You want to see towing, check IkeCarlson, that guy’s nuts!

 

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Yes your RAV4 can tow it but as Foryota says, can it stop it?
I agree, Ike is nuts - and proud of it!
 

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I have a 2011 Rav 4, No rear tire sport appearance package. 4 cyl.
Look in your manual for the maximum tow rating. I think that, for all the 4 cyl ones, it is 1500 lbs.
The V6 models have the base towing at 2000lbs and, with towing package option, 3500lbs.
Personally I would add a small transmission cooler if I ever decide to tow with my RAV4 (summers here can be very hot).
 

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I have a 2011 Rav 4, No rear tire sport appearance package. 4 cyl. does anyone here have a trailer like a camper?
By the way Magic, please fill in the rest of your profile. Advice for Ontario, CA is different than for Ontario, CAN

The towing weights listed above are what I go by, and I don’t know if a 4-cyl Sport Appearance pack vehicle would have the larger front brakes, but you likely don’t have the third row, which would definitely get the larger brakes.

Best bet, stick with a lightweight trailer and pack accordingly. And add an external transmission cooler.
 

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I have a teardrop camper that was built on a 5x8 foot trailer as the base. It probably weighs close to what Foryota's weighs. I have the V6, and it's easy to pull. I added trailer brakes, and the improvement in stopping was well worth it, even with the larger front brakes and rotors.

Foryota, I also put the beefier 3rd row springs on, and now there's no perceptible sagging in the rear (of the car).

A transmission cooler is highly recommended. Keeps temps 25-30 degrees F cooler on mine.

I like Ike. He may be a little nuts, but in a good way. Who else can plow snow with their Rav4?? And he helped me with doing those rear coil springs, not in person but by consultation here. Thanks again, Ike.
 

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I have a teardrop camper that was built on a 5x8 foot trailer as the base. It probably weighs close to what Foryota's weighs. I have the V6, and it's easy to pull. I added trailer brakes, and the improvement in stopping was well worth it, even with the larger front brakes and rotors.

Foryota, I also put the beefier 3rd row springs on, and now there's no perceptible sagging in the rear (of the car).

A transmission cooler is highly recommended. Keeps temps 25-30 degrees F cooler on mine.

I like Ike. He may be a little nuts, but in a good way. Who else can plow snow with their Rav4?? And he helped me with doing those rear coil springs, not in person but by consultation here. Thanks again, Ike.
That’s my goal, no sagging in the back. I’m only FWD, so reducing sag is even more important for me. That said I load my trailers about 45% rear to 55% front (about the trailer axle) to balance the load. I don’t like the North American tongue bias forced by the axle being so far rearward, but don’t want to go full-euro, loosey-goosey either. Gotta keep some tongue weight for stability!

And my comment about Ike is that I admire his level of “nuts.” Definitely in a good way.
 

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I also put the beefier 3rd row springs on
That is beefier only when compared to the standard 4 cyl.
The V6 with TO package has stiffer springs anyway, because it has springs for a tongue weight of 350lbs (instead of 150 lbs of the 4 cyl). When towing the tongue weight has to be 1/10 (9-11%) of the total trailer weight, for stability reasons.
Now, from what I understand, all the Canadian V6 models are TO rated. So changing the springs is not needed IMO.

For keeping the rear level, while towing, a weight distribution hitch is the best option.
Some say it's the only valid option, it allows loading the front wheels back to the normal weight, improving braking and steering (compared with towing without weight distribution). While a weight distribution system can't increase the total amount of weight a tow vehicle can haul beyond its maximum capacity, it can improve handling by distributing some of the weight off the tongue and onto the other axles -- thereby safely getting you closer to that maximum mark.
Don't forget the tow vehicle's axles each have a gross axle weight rating -- adjusting the weight distribution system can help distribute the weight appropriately. Adding stiffer springs or airbags doesn't raise the rated rear axle capacity.
Braking with a trailer that doesn't have it's own brakes/brake controller means that the tongue load will increase proportional with the braking force. That means the rear brakes will be loaded more and the front brakes get "unloaded", diminishing the braking capacity and the steering control.

My V6 with TO is marked, on the door pillar, with a rear axle GAWR of 1145 kg (2535 lbs). Same for the front axle.

 

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That is beefier only when compared to the standard 4 cyl.
The V6 with TO package has stiffer springs anyway, because it has springs for a tongue weight of 350lbs (instead of 150 lbs of the 4 cyl).
The 3rd row model has a thicker coil spring. Someone in the forum has measured the thickness and it is thicker than the Sport model.
 

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The rav will tow a lot more than they give it credit for. Tongue weight is your biggest issue. It has to be light enough to not squat the rear end, but heavy enough to keep things stable. 100-150 lbs is a good ballpark.

The trailer itself matters as far as alignment and suspension. I have pulled some trailers that were so beat up, worn out, out of alignment, or just built wrong, that it scared me just to hook up to them. Keep it in good shape and keep an eye on your alignment. You want zero toe or just a hair of toe in. Toe out will make it wander.

If you will be towing on a regular basis or on a long trip, get the third row springs. They make a world of difference.

Yes, get a big transmission cooler. Stock transmission temps are 210 or more without a trailer. Ours have dropped to ~140 with the cooler.

Don't make the rav work too hard to maintain speed uphill. Get some speed before the hill and let it bleed off on the way up. A lot of people put the pedal to the floor when towing and think it is fine, but very few vehicles can handle that kind of abuse. Even semi trucks can't do that without serious damage.

As has been mentioned, we tow a lot with our rav and we plow snow. We have towed 6,000 lbs and have plowed 4 ft of hard drifted snow.
 

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Sport comes in 4 cyl version too. With same low towing as any 4 cyl.
Somebody said that the 3rd row 4 cyl is the same as in the V6: Different coil springs in Rav4 w/3rd row?

What was the measurement? I am curious, so I took a pic of my V6 (TO package). Laying on back on asphalt, phone in one hand, caliper in the other...

View attachment 153136
I don't remember the measurements, but I know for a fact that the 3rd row springs I put on my car, which has the V6 and tow package, were thicker and heavier than the ones I took off.


I agree with you, Ike, about how to pull a trailer up a hill. The only time I use cruise control when towing is when it's nice and flat like parts of west Texas.
 

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So I gather that you don't have a caliper to measure them now?
Oh ye of little faith! Yes, I have calipers. I have lots of good hobbies. ;) And for you I will get under the car and show you the difference in the diameters of the original spring and the 3rd row spring.
caliper2.jpg
The original spring
caliperA.jpg
Close-up of measurement
caliperb.jpg
Third row spring now on the car.

I took several measurements of each, knowing that thousandths of an inch can vary by how you hold your mouth. The photos are representative of the narrow ranges I got.

Who woulda thought there would be a Red Dot and a Blue Dot spring? :p

I hope this helps all who have wondered about this.


I
 

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In my experience, old springs will always be "softer" and old shocks will allow the car to "squat".
My car doesn't "squat" when accelerating, but, at 72k miles, I already bought new shocks for rear. Waiting to install them maybe in the same time with springs if I decide to go that route.

I took several measurements of each, knowing that thousandths of an inch can vary by how you hold your mouth.
Thank you! Now I have to convert the measurement, because took mine in mm :)
It looks like you have 14.5mm for red and 15.5 for blue there. Almost the same with my 15.5mm. In my case I posted the lowest measurement (I had more than 16 at some), after zeroing the electronic caliper.

LE: Mine has a yellow dot. Don't know what it means.

153160
 

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It's the same spring part number for the 4WD 4 cyl with 3rd seat and for the 4WD V6 Limited without 3rd row seat?


"4 wheel drive, limited, with 3rd row seat. RAV4.
4wd. 2wd. 2.4l. 2.5l. With third row seat.
4 wheel drive, base, with 3rd row seat, all.
4 wheel drive, base, without 3rd row seat, 3.5l.

Replaces 48231-42220, 48231-42221"

Or this one for 2WD (confusing):
"2 wheel drive, limited, with 3rd row seat, all. RAV4. 2wd. 4wd. 3.5l. 2.4l. 2.5l. With third row seat. 2 wheel drive, base, with 3rd row seat, all.
Replaces: 8231-42210, 48231-42211"

LE: I have searched for the 2WD V6 Sport and, with the Base 2WD, indeed it seems that it has softer springs than my 4WD Limited with TO package:
"2 wheel drive, limited, without 3rd row seat, 3.5l. RAV4. All. 2wd. 4wd. Without third row seat. 2 wheel drive, sport, 3.5l. 2 wheel drive, base, without 3rd row seat, 3.5l. 2 wheel drive, base, without 3rd row seat, 2.5l.
Replaces 48231-42170, 48231-42171"
 

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In my experience, old springs will always be "softer" and old shocks will allow the car to "squat".
My car doesn't "squat" when accelerating, but, at 72k miles, I already bought new shocks for rear. Waiting to install them maybe in the same time with springs if I decide to go that route.
I won't try to tell you which way to go on that. But I'll share my experience. I put Bilsteins on the rear and still had sag with the trailer attached. After changing to the 3rd row springs, I don't notice the sag anymore.
 
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