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hey All;
I am new on this forum and need some advice. I have a 2002 RAV4 and I love this vehicle, but life is changing and I want to upgrade to a 3rd generation RAV4:

1. My current RAV4's AWD works fine in snow going up to the ski hill and I do lots of similar outdoor stuff. While I do know that these RAV4's are not the typical 4x4s like the pickup trucks I used for off-roading before, I do understand that there are some more 4x4 features (locking, etc.) in the newer RAV4 models. Please tell me about these options and what years they came available so I can buy the right year RAV4.

2. I do tow a light trailer (with my atv on it) and it does fine. For the 3rd generation RAV4, I am looking to tow about 2000 pounds. Please tell me about your towing experiences.


Thanks for the help,
Dave
 

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I'd advise finding a V6 model so your towing options won't be limited. We get 3000 lbs as I recall with the tow-prep package. You'll need to verify that by the 140A main fuse.
The before-needed automatic 4WD system on the 4.3 models is as good or better than on yours.
 

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You'll definitely need to get a V6 RAV4 for that kind of towing capacity. Ideally you'll want to get one with the Tow Prep package, which increases the towing capacity to 3500 pounds (without it, you'd be at the limit for the V6 otherwise, which is 2000 pounds).

You can tell if it has the tow prep package by checking the alternator fuse. If it's 140A, it has the tow prep package. If it's 120A, it does not have the tow prep package.

Here's a GREAT post from JuneBug, with pictures:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-4-3-general/92062-finding-used-rav4-tow-package-how-can-i-identify-2.html#post934801

I'd try to get a 2009 or later if you can. The later the year, the more issues had been fixed. Starting with 2009 (I think) they made it easy to turn off traction control and vehicle stability control, which are helpful for getting unstuck.

This "Sticky" will tell you lots more about the 4x4 mode and other traction-related items:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-4-3-general/145578-4wd-lock-button-vsc-off-button-dac-button-how-they-work.html

Best of luck in your search!

.
 
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2000 lbs is beyond what the four cylinder RAV is rated for so V-6 it must be as others have said.
If you are looking for a four cylinder make it the 2009 or later, they don't have the oil burning issues of the 2.4l from '06-'08 models.
 
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