Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

41 - 60 of 78 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
After viewing all of the videos on the Toyota e-CVT, I can’t see anything that would suggest that it is likely to develop thermal problems in the sort of towing I contemplate.
So, unless the dealers just knock my socks off with a trade deal for a 2018 Adventure AWD model (as if!) I’ll probably go with what I have with the addition of the brake controller. I sort of like the Hybrid driving style, this being my third, with a 2011 Tacoma in the middle.
I will change the CVT fluid at the 30 K mile intervals (I’m a hopeless over-maintenance junkie!) and that should keep things happy in that neck of the woods.
Once I get into the towing thing, I’ll drop back by here every so often and let you all know how it’s going.
Thanks again for all the useful advice and leads!
Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
The legal towing capacity is calculated using very different methodologies in different countries which reflect different governing parameters or limiting conventions. This is why the same vehicles end up with different ratings in different countries, as you noticed with your Rav4 in the US versus the EU countries.
Same vehicle ? Are you absolutely shure aboat this ?
Why are the Euro version much more expensive than the US versions ? (without taxes)
Are the gearoil cooler the same ? Are the radiator the same ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I wonder how they get 600 more pounds of towing capacity just by powering the rear wheels off the same engine that powers the front ones?
It's not a hybrid.
It is a completely different drive train.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Same vehicle ? Are you absolutely shure aboat this ?
Why are the Euro version much more expensive than the US versions ? (without taxes)
Are the gearoil cooler the same ? Are the radiator the same ?
Hi Jolo, yes -- even the exact same vehicles in the US will typically have a lower legal capacity than in the EU or AU. The difference is primarily, or in most case entirely, due to the selection of a different methodology used by the specific governmental authority.

As I mentioned, stability is the governing parameter in the US. I can only speculate that this is perhaps because we don't have the same trailer speed limits as in the EU (in most of the US, there are no special speed limits for vehicle towing loads, though some places, like California, do have special limits), though it could just be some other completely arbitrary "reason." I have read that most EU nations limit trailers of any mass over 750kg to top speeds of between 80 - 90 km/h (50 - 56 mph). This is not typical in the US, and California is probably the largest jurisdiction that does anything like this. In CA, vehicles towing loads are limited to 55 mph (88 km/h), though this is largely disregarded and not particularly too fanatically enforced.

As for why EU versions are priced differently, I don't know. There are regional price differences in the US, as well, though perhaps not as extreme as the price differences between other countries. One reason for this in the US is, for example, the US State of California has stricter emissions standards than other States, and so CA-emissions cars were often more expensive because they required different componets. Beyond taxes, there could be other causes of price difference, such as trade-related fees.

I think the best summary for this debate on "what 'real' towing capacity means" was demonstrated by Toyota in 2012, when a stock, unmodified V8 Tundra with the normal tow package towed the Endeavor Space Shuttle over the Manchester Bridge in Los Angeles. That summary would be -- "well, it depends on the conditions and what you mean by 'real'". (The video is linked below.)

The load pulled by that Tundra was almost 293,000 lbs (132,900 kg). The V8 Tundra was able to complete this task by towing a very well-balanced load at a very, very slow speed. But it did it! The "legal" towing capacity of that Tundra is 10,000 lbs -- yet you can with your own eyes see it pull 283,000 lbs more than that "capacity." Its remarkable to see, but the Toyota engineers knew it was possible because they understood the ability of the Tundra and the particulars of the load.

Should Toyota then claim that the "real" towing capacity of the Tundra is 293,000 lbs? Any government will say "no", because those parameters aren't practical. But clearly a Tundra can tow well in excess of 10,000 lbs in the right conditions.


How a 2012 Toyota Tundra Towed an Icon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #45
New application of He term “Phantom power”

It's not a hybrid.
It is a completely different drive train.
I agree. The drive trains are different. The Adventure has only a gas engine of 172 hp and no electric motors to help out.
So, given that electric motors have the low rpm torque advantage over the gas engine (ICE), my question remains:
How do you decrease torque production, drop 22 hp and end up with a higher towing capacity?
Sure, if you gear the gas only vehicle lower, it will gain some ground at the expense of higher rpms, more heat generated (thus the requirement for all the extra cooling devices) and lower fuel economy.
AND, if pulling ability alone is what determined towing capacity (ignoring tongue weight handling and stopping ability) then that would be another matter altogether. Since the footprint of both vehicles is the same, it seems safe to assume that the on-road stability will be virtually identical for either one.
So I’m even MORE convinced that my Hybrid AWD with air helper springs, a proper hitch and trailer brakes will probably work nearly as well with a 2100 pound camper as it does with my 2300 pound boat/motor/trailer.
Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
I'm not an expert, but I tow more than the average guy...

I tow a boat and a travel trailer that are about the same weight, the boat is a lot easier to tow since it's not as high, and a lot more aerodynamic. when towing the travel trailer my transmission temps get a lot hotter (even with the external trans oil cooler) I would start by getting something (scangauge or app) to check the temps when pulling the boat, and determine if you need more cooling for a camper...
Keep in mind that the original question was about the HYBRID model. There is no conventional transmission, no torque converter and no clutches or bands on the hybrid. The gear train is in constant mesh and does not significantly heat as load is applied like a 'normal' automatic transmission.

The manufacturer's towing capacity in the US/Canada is rated at 1750 pounds. However, the exact same vehicle in most of Europe is rated at over 3600 pounds. How can this be? In Europe they tow slower usually (45-50 MPH) and don't have extremely long hot hill-climbs like we do out west in the USA. Also, the SAE towing test doesn't say anything about requiring the manufacturers to test to the absolute limits. They only test to the capacity the WANT to test to and leave it at that. That's how they up-sell you into something bigger/heavier.

In my OPINION you can safely go well over 2000 pounds and possibly up to 3600 pounds but you'd better trust your abilities and stay slow. The power of the Rav4 hybrid is still topped out by the 2.5L engine's output. And with the variable valve timing it's not the same as the non-hybrid one nor even close to the V6 models of old. I would feel safe going 55 MPH with a 2300 pound [email protected] trailer loaded with my stuff but if I got into an accident I'd be worried that the insurance company would use the "overloaded vehicle" as an excuse to avoid paying. That doesn't mean they'd necessarily win the argument - but it certainly gives them reason to try to deny a claim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I am a licensed mechanic and I just bought a 2017 hybird limited and plan on towing just 1 snowmobile
I know from researching , the adventure has a larger rad and trans cooler and a higher ride height as well as some bling
I know this fact is irrelevant for the hybirds but just FYI
The hybirds use a plantar you drive system coupled with both the electric motor and the gas engine and share the torque load between them to achieve max efficiency
A planetary gear set is very strong but there are a lot parts that are weight reduced to help with fuel efficiency they may fail prematurely from heave loads for extended periods
Even with the mods you have done , a trailer of that weight should have a weight distributing hitch which the car Body isn't designed for
Although I am by no means an expert this is my professional opinion and wouldn't recomend exceeding the manufactures tow limits
In an emergency situation you may be underpowered to recover and the physical ( mechanical) brakes on the car are purposely undersized due to the regenerative braking on the hybird
Would be interested to know how you make out with your prob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #49
To stop, RV not to to stop

I am a licensed mechanic and I just bought a 2017 hybird limited and plan on towing just 1 snowmobile
I know from researching , the adventure has a larger rad and trans cooler and a higher ride height as well as some bling
I know this fact is irrelevant for the hybirds but just FYI
The hybirds use a plantar you drive system coupled with both the electric motor and the gas engine and share the torque load between them to achieve max efficiency
A planetary gear set is very strong but there are a lot parts that are weight reduced to help with fuel efficiency they may fail prematurely from heave loads for extended periods
Even with the mods you have done , a trailer of that weight should have a weight distributing hitch which the car Body isn't designed for
Although I am by no means an expert this is my professional opinion and wouldn't recomend exceeding the manufactures tow limits
In an emergency situation you may be underpowered to recover and the physical ( mechanical) brakes on the car are purposely undersized due to the regenerative braking on the hybird
Would be interested to know how you make out with your prob
Yes, Toyota told me about the smaller brake pads on the hybrids. That’s why I have been saying that I will install the electric brake controller so that the brakes on he car don’t also have to stop the trailer.
And I previously posted that I will be changing the fluid in the forward drive system at each 30K interval, which far exceeds what the company calls for. Hopefully that will keep that part of the car happy.
That, and I don’t try to set any land speed records on the road, nor do I tailgate or make sudden lane changes. In fact, for our semi-annual shuttle from Florida to Michigan we plan to take secondary roads as much as possible since we have no need to hurry, so our cruise speed should be something the R4 can live with.
Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Why would you buy any vehicle then want to exceed it rated towing capacity? You have a trailer so you use a vehicle rated to tow it, simple as that. How are you going to reliably stop a load that weighs almost as much as the vehicle towing it? Even with trailer brakes you are asking for trouble. Then as others have mentioned Liability! You see all of the billboards across this country that Lawyers have put up asking if you have been injured in an accident? Is it worth it?

My 07 Tacoma with the tow package is rated to tow slightly over 6000 pounds. Using a weight distributing trailer hitch and 4 wheel electric trailer brakes even towing 5000 pounds is very risky in my opinion. (I tow and have towed many large trailers in my 40+ years of driving) This truck is just not heavy enough and in an emergency situation the trailer is in charge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #51
Why would you buy any vehicle then want to exceed it rated towing capacity? You have a trailer so you use a vehicle rated to tow it, simple as that. How are you going to reliably stop a load that weighs almost as much as the vehicle towing it? Even with trailer brakes you are asking for trouble. Then as others have mentioned Liability! You see all of the billboards across this country that Lawyers have put up asking if you have been injured in an accident? Is it worth it?

My 07 Tacoma with the tow package is rated to tow slightly over 6000 pounds. Using a weight distributing trailer hitch and 4 wheel electric trailer brakes even towing 5000 pounds is very risky in my opinion. (I tow and have towed many large trailers in my 40+ years of driving) This truck is just not heavy enough and in an emergency situation the trailer is in charge.
Well, sir, a few points here.
1. As for driving history, I have a CDL myself and going on 54 years of driving experience in vehicles from an Allstate moped to the NASA Convoy Commahder 36’ van with a bunch of ZERO tolerance passengers (27 years), and my own 38’ diesel pusher RV.
Trailers ran from a double snowmobile flatbed to a 24’ race team car hauler.
That said, I still don’t consider myself by ANY stretch of the imagination an “expert”, nor one to give anything other than my own opinion on the topic, freely, and worth every cent!
2.The trailer I’m looking at is NO where near the weight of my R4H. That, and my conservative driving style should work for all but the worst possible scenario. I’ve already towed my boat/motor/trailer which weighs MORE than this trailer over 120 miles at highway speed without a problem. Yep. I “Got away with it” once.
3. I understand your concern about being sued, but if I let fear of the “ambulance chasers” rule my life, I’d probably not get out of bed in the morning. I guess it’s just part of the mentality of my generation. I’m not “entitled” to anything I didn’t work for, I don’t “hate” ANYONE, and I don’t attend think tank groups looking for new reasons to be offended.
Not to worry, though. Folks like me are getting long in the tooth and you won’t have to put up with our “unbearable” attitudes and behavior that much longer.
So, I haven’t bought the trailer yet, but if/when I do, I will certainly report back to this forum my on the road experiences, good or bad. I have no intention or depriving the many naysayers of their opportunity to say “I told you so!”.
Bob
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,929 Posts
2... That, and my conservative driving style should work for all but the worst possible scenario. I’ve already towed my boat/motor/trailer which weighs MORE than this trailer over 120 miles at highway speed without a problem. Yep. I “Got away with it” once.

3... I guess it’s just part of the mentality of my generation. I’m not “entitled” to anything I didn’t work for, I don’t “hate” ANYONE, and I don’t attend think tank groups looking for new reasons to be offended.
Not to worry, though. Folks like me are getting long in the tooth and you won’t have to put up with our “unbearable” attitudes and behavior that much longer.
Wow, THANKS that's EXACTLY my thinking! Except that "I've gotten away with it" several times. The one time I didn't I got cocky and ended up taking both lanes on the interstate as the trailer I was towing nearly wrecked my F-250 and the car on the trailer almost slid off sideways.

On #3 I've definitely noticed a change in my later years (I'll be 75 on November 23. They have some big National Holiday in celebration :)). Things that used to offend me and get me POed when I was younger just don't bother me anymore. I must have missed those "victim" training meetings too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Well, sir, a few points here.
1. As for driving history, I have a CDL myself and going on 54 years of driving experience in vehicles from an Allstate moped to the NASA Convoy Commahder 36’ van with a bunch of ZERO tolerance passengers (27 years), and my own 38’ diesel pusher RV.
Trailers ran from a double snowmobile flatbed to a 24’ race team car hauler.
That said, I still don’t consider myself by ANY stretch of the imagination an “expert”, nor one to give anything other than my own opinion on the topic, freely, and worth every cent!
2.The trailer I’m looking at is NO where near the weight of my R4H. That, and my conservative driving style should work for all but the worst possible scenario. I’ve already towed my boat/motor/trailer which weighs MORE than this trailer over 120 miles at highway speed without a problem. Yep. I “Got away with it” once.
3. I understand your concern about being sued, but if I let fear of the “ambulance chasers” rule my life, I’d probably not get out of bed in the morning. I guess it’s just part of the mentality of my generation. I’m not “entitled” to anything I didn’t work for, I don’t “hate” ANYONE, and I don’t attend think tank groups looking for new reasons to be offended.
Not to worry, though. Folks like me are getting long in the tooth and you won’t have to put up with our “unbearable” attitudes and behavior that much longer.
So, I haven’t bought the trailer yet, but if/when I do, I will certainly report back to this forum my on the road experiences, good or bad. I have no intention or depriving the many naysayers of their opportunity to say “I told you so!”.
Bob
Fair Enough, I completely respect your opinion and experience. You are right about living in fear from of being sued, it is not worth the stress, but it does not change the fact it is still there.

We just returned from a 4 month, 10,000 mile RV trip (36' Class A towing a Chevy Tracker). I see you are living in Florida, we were there for 3 weeks, a beautiful state with nice flat highways. Our home is in the Sierra Foothills (near Lake Tahoe), there are few flat roads, we deal with steep grades, snow, and ice. So one might argue that the roads and conditions you tow in are a major factor and that might enter into the mfg. tow ratings, I don't know. So, what you can safely get away with in Florida and what I can in the mountains are very different.

I hope that whatever and wherever you drive and tow that everything works great and all stay safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #54
Yup, Florida is pretty flat, by the standards you are accustomed to. The middle part of the state (the “Florida Ridge”) has some hills, but nothing too challenging.
Our biggest hill situation comes on our semi annual commute to and from our Michigan home. Up in north Georgia and around Chattanooga, TN we will do a bit of climbing.
More climbs, but less steep occur as we head up towards the U.P. In Michigan, but those are the ones I’ve already towed the boat over, so no worries there.
I tend to “over maintain”my vehicles. Costs me a bit of money and work, but I AM the guy you want to buy a used car from! I’ve even talked myself into changing the tranny fluid every 25K instead of 30K miles. I can’t imagine it’s too much of a job once the car is up on the ramps.
While working for NASA, I sold two cars to coworkers who are still happy with them.
And I do mean to take it easy, even with air bags and trailer brakes. I’ll keep an eye on the “energy” bar graph and the coolant temp to see how hard the R4 is working, and will adjust my speed downward as the hills get steeper.
Thanks again to all who contributed something useful to this discussion!
Bob
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,385 Posts
(I'll be 75 on November 23. They have some big National Holiday in celebration ).
I knew there was a good reason for that holiday, now I know why.

Things that used to offend me and get me POed when I was younger just don't bother me anymore.
At 68 (a mere youngster) I feel the same. Oddly things that never bothered me then really piss me off today :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
At 68 (a mere youngster) I feel the same. Oddly things that never bothered me then really piss me off today :)
LOL... Same.
I no longer get (as) upset when things don't go "my way", but I am far less tolerant of stupidity, ignorance... and apathy really sets me off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Just completed a 2000+ mile trip towing my [email protected] teardrop trailer. It's a bit over the 1750 pound towing capacity we're saddled with in the US but the Rav4 hybrid towed it without a problem. Handling was excellent. Acceleration and stopping power were great. Mileage sucked of course...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Thanks for your insight Bmwbob, this thread has been so helpful since I am in a similar situation. Would you think the Rav4 Hybrid limited would be sufficient to tow an airstream 16RB trailer? I love the gas mileage on the RAV4 and would hate to have to trade it in for an Adventure package Rav4 since it means I would lose what attracted me to the Rav4 to begin with. It seems like it is mostly a legality issue and not a mechanical or electrical issue having the towing capacity rate at 1750 and not 3600 lbs like the European standards. I am looking forward to see how the improved hybrid system with more power affect the towing capabilities of the new 2019 version in hybrid models.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
Thanks for your insight Bmwbob, this thread has been so helpful since I am in a similar situation. Would you think the Rav4 Hybrid limited would be sufficient to tow an airstream 16RB trailer? I love the gas mileage on the RAV4 and would hate to have to trade it in for an Adventure package Rav4 since it means I would lose what attracted me to the Rav4 to begin with. It seems like it is mostly a legality issue and not a mechanical or electrical issue having the towing capacity rate at 1750 and not 3600 lbs like the European standards. I am looking forward to see how the improved hybrid system with more power affect the towing capabilities of the new 2019 version in hybrid models.
Airstream 16RB is 2800# dry, so about 3100 fully loaded, and 8 foot tall. nothing comparable to a tab trailer that is almost half the weight and a lot more aerodynamic.

I tow a 3000# trailer with the V6 and it's borderline some times, I would not consider towing more with the hybrid! EURO ratings are higher because tongue weight is lower over there and speed while towing are also lower.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dr. Dyno
41 - 60 of 78 Posts
Top