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Hello Everyone,

I live in the D.C. area and have been leaning toward buying a used Rav4. I have never owned an SUV before. Current car is a 2002 Acura RSX, which is a very mechanically sound car.

The reasons I'm looking at RAV4s with a V6 engine:

I plan to spend a lot of time on the road this summer and fall, and this may involve a. a move and b. hauling a trailer, and eventually a camping trailer like a Casita. The company that makes Casitas recommends going with a vehicle with a towing capacity of no less than 3500 lbs. RAV4 V6 is one of the smallest SUVs with that capacity.

Does anyone know much about the factory-installed tow prep package? I saw a vehicle today with a trailer hitch, but it may have been installed later. It was CURT brand (and it had some rust). The vehicle was 2012 Ltd with as astounding (to me) 86,000 miles. I only have 80K on my 2002 Acura!

But it's a Toyota, right?

For less than about 21K, what model years, mileage, and other specs would you target?

Thanks.
 

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Welcome! The 2006-2008 V6 RAVs have a higher coolant pump failure problem than ordinarily would be expected. Suggest running checks on any vehicle which you might be considering to make certain that it has been maintained - register with www.toyotaowners.com and entering the VIN to check for services and recall work done at Toyota dealers. Also check this site for recalls by Toyota: Lookup Safety Recalls & Service Campaigns by VIN The Casita 3500# minimum vehicle towing capacity is the maximum for the RAV4 V6 equipped with the factory-installed towing prep package, not available as a later add-on. With that the combined weight of the trailer (including loaded material) could not exceed that limit. Non-towing prep package V6 RAVs have a lower towing capacity. Trailer brakes will be needed in addition to a trailer towing hitch along with wiring for the brakes (if electric) and for the trailer lights. The Toyota OEM hitch is rather pricey but has more mounting points than does a Curt or other non-Toyota hitch. Prices for RAVs vary regionally so it would be worthwhile to check local adverts, but also Kelley Blue Book to get a general idea of what to expect.

If your towed weight including trailer and what is loaded into it is near 3500# or exceeds that it would be safer and better to consider a pickup or an SUV with a higher towing weight capacity. Other forum members may also have input.
 
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