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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This came as a HUGE surprise and really has me ticked off. I was reading through my manual and they have literally peeled and stuck a new page that says they do not RECOMMEND towing with the SE edition. All literature I read and 2 different sales people told me that 1500 lbs was towing capacity. I have a utility trailer I use just a couple times per year for light use that would be well within that, and planned to have Tork Lift install this (they are on my way to work, and I've had a couple hitches done by them).
Anyway, I don't understand why they would say this. There is just slight modification to suspension from the limited as far as I can tell.
Are they seriously telling me that a SE (Sports Edition) cannot carry a hitch mounted bike rack, or a small jet ski trailer ect, but all other editions can? That is completely idiotic, and defies logic.
Anyone know why?

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And now it gets even better. I called the dealer and questioned the towing capacity and what I was told that it could tow 1500 lbs. They looked it up (2 times to confirm--yes SE), and they say that all their information says yes it can tow 1500 lbs!!.

I read the entire "stick on page" to them and they suggest I call Toyota of America to ask why the discrepancy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This sounds interesting. I would love to hear their BS explanation...if you can get one.
Calling Toyota Corporate was not much better. First they told me, yes, 1500 lb towing capacity. Then I asked them to read page 181 of manual, and they changed their tune to No the SE cannot tow, anything else I can help you with? I said YES!!!, a new car since the dealer sold me a car that cannot work for me and based on false information!!. I was given a case number and am waiting for a call back, hopefully today.
 

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The sport suspension on the SE is different than the other Rav4's. While it is not recommended, I know people that do haul bike racks and tow with it. The driveline can handle it, but the suspension may sag a bit more with the springs that are geared towards performance. The result of this would be the headlights pointing upward and potentially blinding oncoming traffic. Also the angle of the advanced safety equipment may also make it less safe. All but the springs are based on theory.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The sport suspension on the SE is different than the other Rav4's. While it is not recommended, I know people that do haul bike racks and tow with it. The driveline can handle it, but the suspension may sag a bit more with the springs that are geared towards performance. The result of this would be the headlights pointing upward and potentially blinding oncoming traffic. Also the angle of the advanced safety equipment may also make it less safe. All but the springs are based on theory.
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Thank you, and yes I figured either differences in suspension or possibly tranny shift pattern differences would be "their reason". Chances are, the lawyers had them add that, and they'll say it's OK but not recommended to avoid replacing car. I have a light tongue weight utility trailer (about 60 lbs IIRC) and the bike rack with 2 bikes is prob. also around that weight. That much weight is not much difference than the difference between a full and empty tank, so I don't see a sag issue. Also, usually sports suspensions will sag less than standard, unless possibly they are a progressive spring type? You would get more sag throwing a few bags of concrete mix in the back, and I don't see an insert not to carry over say 100 lbs in the rear hatch area which would be a more common occurrence IMO.
 

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Thank you, and yes I figured either differences in suspension or possibly tranny shift pattern differences would be "their reason". Chances are, the lawyers had them add that, and they'll say it's OK but not recommended to avoid replacing car. I have a light tongue weight utility trailer (about 60 lbs IIRC) and the bike rack with 2 bikes is prob. also around that weight. That much weight is not much difference than the difference between a full and empty tank, so I don't see a sag issue. Also, usually sports suspensions will sag less than standard, unless possibly they are a progressive spring type? You would get more sag throwing a few bags of concrete mix in the back, and I don't see an insert not to carry over say 100 lbs in the rear hatch area which would be a more common occurrence IMO.


I don't see a problem with that, and yes it's likely another McDonald s the coffee is hot sorta thing.


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I have a light tongue weight utility trailer (about 60 lbs IIRC) and the bike rack with 2 bikes is prob. also around that weight. That much weight is not much difference than the difference between a full and empty tank, so I don't see a sag issue.

The difference between tongue weight and the full to empty fuel tank is the tank is between the axles, the load is shared between the front and rear suspension components, any weight on the tongue is carried solely by the rear axle and the further back the weight is compounds the weight, that's why when using a hitch extender the tongue weight is reduced by roughly half the rating. I have a Pro Series hitch carrier rated at 500lbs when mounted on a 5000lb rated hitch, or 300lbs on a 3500lbs rated hitch. I used it on my V6 Rav4.3, to use it on my Hybrid the rated capacity is even lower, I suspect 125lbs is about max since the rear most dimension is about 36" behind the where the ball would be.
 

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I read all the posts and would have ZERO concerns with towing 1500 lbs with your SE. And you're well under that anyway so no worries.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The difference between tongue weight and the full to empty fuel tank is the tank is between the axles, the load is shared between the front and rear suspension components, any weight on the tongue is carried solely by the rear axle and the further back the weight is compounds the weight, that's why when using a hitch extender the tongue weight is reduced by roughly half the rating. I have a Pro Series hitch carrier rated at 500lbs when mounted on a 5000lb rated hitch, or 300lbs on a 3500lbs rated hitch. I used it on my V6 Rav4.3, to use it on my Hybrid the rated capacity is even lower, I suspect 125lbs is about max since the rear most dimension is about 36" behind the where the ball would be.
Yes with fuel I can understand that. But like I said, 2-3 bags of concrete mix loaded near the back will have similar if not worse effects since it's within 1 foot of the hitch to begin with.

Update:
Just got off the phone with Toyota of America (for the 2nd time), and they are escalating the case back to dealer upper management and now say NO TOWING WITH SE, period. Reason they are going back to dealer is sounding more like they plan to give me a new vehicle. Good god...I put new Michelin Premier tires and $1300 in sound deadening into this car, and now this crap?? :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I read all the posts and would have ZERO concerns with towing 1500 lbs with your SE. And you're well under that anyway so no worries.
And I agree, but have a potential issue with warranty if I have to use it and they see the hitch and use that to deny warranty work if ever needed. That is about my only concern other than attempting to get to the bottom of exactly why they are standing on the extreme on this issue.

This is a giant FUBAR by Toyota IMO. All sorts of info confirms 1500 lbs, and the dealer will likely put me into stalemate mode with this latest decision from corporate.

This is just one of MANY places that list this "incorrectly"

Click the lower specifications tab and see 1500 lbs towing.
https://www.edmunds.com/toyota/rav4/2016/st-401598590/features-specs/

Here is car and Driver....lists the same thing...
http://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/rav4/specs/2016/toyota-rav4/380639
 

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This is a giant FUBAR by Toyota IMO. All sorts of info confirms 1500 lbs, and the dealer will likely put me into stalemate mode with this latest decision from corporate.

This is just one of MANY places that list this "incorrectly"

Click the lower specifications tab and see 1500 lbs towing.

Here is car and Driver....lists the same thing...
None of this matters, it's what Toyota says that matters and they are pretty clear. I think your quarrel is with the dealer and without something in writing you are relying on some sort of goodwill settlement IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
None of this matters, it's what Toyota says that matters and they are pretty clear. I think your quarrel is with the dealer and without something in writing you are relying on some sort of goodwill settlement IMO.
Yes, what Toyota says matters, but what they say is NOT clear. The dealers who sell the cars (2 different dealers told me the same thing), and their brochures all match the info I posted above, 1500 lbs. First call to corporate says yes 1500 UNTIL I point out what the affixed page says, then they change their mind. Fact is, all I have is their last interpretation from a single source that says no because of the "changed information" in manual. So IMO, they have no clue and no reason given why the SE does not tow. Also, sneaky wording like "Not Recommended" does not IMO mean it will void warranty necessarily, but I'd hate to find out the hard way they are going to pull that card if they feel like it.
What all this shows to me, is they changed the tow rating somewhere along the line, did not get all dealer info changed over, amended the manual with a peel and stick new page, and have a mess of a paper trail floating around that contradicts itself over and over.
 

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Yes, what Toyota says matters, but what they say is NOT clear. The dealers who sell the cars (2 different dealers told me the same thing), and their brochures all match the info I posted above, 1500 lbs. First call to corporate says yes 1500 UNTIL I point out what the affixed page says, then they change their mind. Fact is, all I have is their last interpretation from a single source that says no because of the "changed information" in manual. So IMO, they have no clue and no reason given why the SE does not tow. Also, sneaky wording like "Not Recommended" does not IMO mean it will void warranty necessarily, but I'd hate to find out the hard way they are going to pull that card if they feel like it.
What all this shows to me, is they changed the tow rating somewhere along the line, did not get all dealer info changed over, amended the manual with a peel and stick new page, and have a mess of a paper trail floating around that contradicts itself over and over.
Page 23 of the the 2016 RAV4 brochure at h t t p://w w w.toyota.com/content/ebrochure/2016/rav4_ebrochure.pdf shows no towing capacity for the SE. Dealers are independently owned they are not Toyota itself and if they told you something that is incorrect then your quarrel is with them. Didn't you read the brochure to satisfy yourself that the vehicle was fit for your purpose? Not trying to pick a fight here, but your beef is not with Toyota (though that doesn't mean that they won't help you).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Page 23 of the the 2016 RAV4 brochure at h t t p://w w w.toyota.com/content/ebrochure/2016/rav4_ebrochure.pdf shows no towing capacity for the SE. Dealers are independently owned they are not Toyota itself and if they told you something that is incorrect then your quarrel is with them. Didn't you read the brochure to satisfy yourself that the vehicle was fit for your purpose? Not trying to pick a fight here, but your beef is not with Toyota (though that doesn't mean that they won't help you).
Are you understanding the fact that this tow information was CHANGED? The E brochure for 2016 was obviously updated at some point. That does NOT mean that every hard copy at every dealer was also updated, and absolutely was not. Why else would 2 different dealers, 30 miles a part, and Toyota corporate themselves all say it can tow?
Funny how the compare models on the Toyota site say 2016 Tow capacity N/A then for 2017 they say 0. Zero is a definitive value, N/A means keep looking.
I get what you are saying, it's my fault because I didn't read the UPDATED brochure that wasn't available. Great, So run along now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Are you in possession of a pre-change copy, either physical or electronic?
No, the 2017's were out and the dealer had just the desk copy of 2016 left.

And Yes, peel off the stuck on insert page in manual, and I guarantee that info is on the page under it.
 

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I agree with Dr. Dyno. There does not appear to be any reason listed in these posts as to why the SE is not recommended for towing. Toward the bottom of the inserted Owner's Manual page there is a sentence with the beginning notation, "To tow a trailer safely," etc. which would indicate that your RAV indeed can tow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I agree with Dr. Dyno. There does not appear to be any reason listed in these posts as to why the SE is not recommended for towing. Toward the bottom of the inserted Owner's Manual page there is a sentence with the beginning notation, "To tow a trailer safely," etc. which would indicate that your RAV indeed can tow.
Well, to add to the confusion the corporate case worker started reading me more info on the other Ravs, and said they are all passenger vehicles that they do not recommend towing with as well. I about lost it there, and said why a tow capacity then, he said only with precaution blah blah blah....I'm telling you, the lawyers put a loophole in this manual for some reason, and I'd like to know why. I wonder if it's twitchier steering ratio now that I think about it??
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I found the ammunition I may need if push comes to shove. This is a screen shot of press release from Toyota corporate that show SE having different weight, but same tow capacity. Proof positive Toyota themselves put out false information on the SE.

Also, I think I found their reason. At the bottom on Page 8, it lists trailer sway control as standard feature on all but SE models!

https://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2016+toyota+rav4+product+specs.download

 

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Trailer anti-sway controls as I know them normally are features of trailer hitch systems, rather than being factors which are built into the towing vehicles themselves. The Toyota spec. sheet notation about supposedly included anti-sway functions in their vehicles apart from the SE seems strange.
 
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