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I had a terrible time researching the selection and installation of the 06+ RAV 4 tow wiring (t-connector) kit--until I found this site. But even then, there were a lot of different threads on the subject. I found the mod link and downloaded the instructions, plus got Toyota's instructions. The instructions that come with the kit itself are worthless.

HERE'S SOME INFO I NEVER FOUND, BUT COULD HAVE USED. Hope you like it.

So what is the towing PREP package on the 06-08 RAV 4?? As far as wiring is concerned, hardly nothing! All they did was run a wire from the under hood passenger side fuse box to the wiring block above the hood release lever. It has a dedicated 30amp fuse (take the spare and plug it into the slot.) WITHOUT the towing package you draw power off a 15amp fuse off under the dash by connecting multiple plugs.

Here's the connector I used: http://www.etrailer.com/pc-VWH~118412.htm?vehicleid=20087093

I used this tutorial: http://www.brandhollow.com/rav harness/rav_wiring_harness.htm . Both the tutorial and Toyota's instructions were a bit overkill. You definitely DO NOT need to remove all those panels--too easy to damage them. Here's Toyota's instructions: https://www.rav4world.com/d1/attachments/pdf/2006/06_trailer_wire_harness.pdf

There were some other good instructions on pulling power off the rear 12V (cig) power plug http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10773, but I wanted it to go to the special plug I paid for.

Here's a picture and link about Toyota OEM harness: http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3730

*****I have a US 06-08 RAV 4 Limited (NO 3rd row seat) (WITH the towing prep package) utilizing the aftermarket t-connector from eTrailer.com 118412. I'm not sure how other ones will be setup*****

1- First off, check the t-connector for proper operation and check there are no internal breaks in any of the wires. If all appears to be good, continue......

2- Remove the negative battery terminal

3- Open the rear hatch, remove the rear cargo mat, covers, mini-covers on sides.

4- Remove the rearmost right & left tie down loops with a 10mm socket.

5- Pull the rear weather stripping back from the lower horizontal lip and up the sides to just above the lights.

6- Insert some sort of hard, flat object just above the lip of where the weather strip was to pop the lower-rear plastic panel that covers the rear half of the lower cargo compartment. There are about 6-8 of the male plugs. Once you have all of them popped, reach under the bottom half and you'll find two clips you'll need to push in on to break loose. Lift out.

7- Through the weather strip lip, pop the two male plugs on each side panel adjacent to the tail lights with a long flat-head screwdriver.

8- Remove both right and left clip-on vented access panels on both vertical walls (the ones with the jack & tools inside.)

9- Remove the jack and tool kit, set aside.

10- Take the whole t-connector bundle and set it in the LEFT rear access panel.

11- Run the red-green wire/plugs around the back side of the drivers side tail lights and out the back lip where the weather stripping was. Then run wires down the back lower wall where the rear-lower cargo panel cover was. Run them through the lip on the pass side tail lights, around the back and up where the jack was stored.

12- Ensure these wires are where you want them (on which sides of the panel plugs, etc.)

13- Remove the pass side tail lamp plug by reaching through the access panel that covers the jack. Place the t-connector in the middle and plug back in.

14- Do the same with the yellow/black plug for the drivers side tail light plug through the left rear access panel.

15- Staying inside the left rear vented access panel, on the forward facing side of it, you'll find a polished steel mounting bracket. Use a 10mm wrench to bust the lower nut loose. (THIS nut is where the controller box for the OEM wiring harness would mount). Instead, I used it as a ground.

16- Connect the eyelet on the white wire (pigtailed off the yellow&black wires), to this mount bracket and tighten it back up.

****NOW FOR THE POWER. Some use the power off the accessory plug since it's right there, read on if you want connect it to the battery.

17- Open the left doors and remove the door sill covers by lifting up on the inner sides. They should pop right off. Pull the weather strip back from the rear left passenger sill and half way up the rear side to the wheel well.

18- Back in the rear cargo area, insert a fish tape, fish stick, or some other kind of rod through the left rear access panel, over the wheel well, and it should come out down by the rear left pax sill plate......did for me on the first try luckily.

19- Use a tag line to pull the black wire from the left rear access panel to the sill (leave yourself an extra ~12 inches in back just in case).

20- Run the fish tape under the drivers seat belt bracket and pull the black wire up to the drivers sill plate.

21- After getting the rest of the wire up to the driver's floor board, clip it into slip plate wire clamps.

21- Remove the lower left driver's kick panel (on thumb screw by the foot rest)

22- Remove the driver's knee bolster (under steering wheel panel) by removing the two screws down by the pedals.

23- Run black wire up left side (under where the foot rest is.)

24- Lay on you back with you head by the pedals. Find a small single pigtailed white wire with a white connector on it. It's folded over and taped to another harness, but fairly simple to find. ****You won't have this if you don't have the towing package.****

25- Snip the connector off as close to the connector end as you can. Strip the insulation off end and crimp the supplied yellow splice on it.

26- Snip off the excess black wire, then strip the insulation off the new end. Crimp it to the other side of the yellow splice. Tie wrap it to something if you wish.

27- Back to the left rear access panel. Strip the insulation off the other end of the black wire and crimp it to the yellow butt splice off (red wire off the connector box).

28- Pop the hood and remove the cover of the passenger side fuse box cover next to the coolant tank. Remove the red 30 amp spare fuse and place it in the empty socket marked TOW. (I think it was number 15)

****If you DO NOT have the towing prep package, skip steps 24, 25, 26, & 28. You will have to find a 12V power source that is hot with the key off. I wouldn't use anything under the dash--too many airbag and wires going to other expensive items. I would find a hole in the firewall and run the black wire into the engine compartment. Use the supplied fuse holder to connect it straight to the battery or find a spare plug on the fuse box to wire your own fuse. You could have also skipped steps 17-26 & 28 and pulled power off the accessory plug, if you don't care about not having trailer lights with the key off. Or you can run the wire outside and tie wrapped it to the frame down the side to the engine compartment. The method I did, only took an extra 45 minutes to keep it inside.*****

WIRING DONE!! Before you put all the panels back on........

29- Reconnect the negative terminal.

30- With a helper and voltmeter, check the trailer plug for right and left turn signals, hazards, rear parking lights, brakes, brake + turn signals, etc. and make sure the ones on the car still work too!

31- Reinstall the front left kick panel, knee bolster, drivers sill plate, & rear left pass sill plate and weather strip.

32- Pop the rear right and left panels back in adjacent to the tail lights.

32- Reinstall the tie down anchors with a 10mm socket.

33- Reinstall the lower-rear cargo hole panel by lowering the 2 clips into their sockets, then press down on the rear sill for the 6-8 plugs.

34- Reinstall the rear weather stripping.

35- Place the jack back in the rear right vented access panel (I put the tool kit in this side too) and place the cover back on.

FINAL TOUCHES..........

36- Inside the rear left access panel, tie wrap the various wire out of the way. Use the provided sticky tape to fix the controller to the outer wall. (Just to the left of the rubber grommet worked for me)

37- Find the rubber grommet--this is where you'll feed the wiring harness out of the vehicle to the trailer.

37- Depending on how often you are going to tow a trailer will determine the rest. For me, hardly ever. So I left my harness inside of the rear left compartment. When I need it, I'll pop that plug out, feed the harness out, and loop it over the top of the hitch. Shouldn't take more than 2 minutes, and will keep the plug free from corrosion forever.

37a- If you're going to use it a lot, remove the grommet, punch a small hole in the middle of it, feed the harness and plug through it, then reinstall it. This will keep water and moisture out of the access panel, plus keep the harness from rubbing on the sides of the hole leading to a short. Then tie wrap the harness out of the way and find a place to mount or hang the plug where it will be free from brush or collecting water, yet still easy to reach. Toyota actually provides a small bracket to mount it directly above the receiver. Just remember that different trailer companies give you different lengths of wire to work with on the trailer end. Leave yourself plenty of slack on the vehicle end in case you need to tow a cheap trailer.

Hope this helped. This may look like a lot, but it took me less than 2 hrs to install. You'll have a few parts left over: the fuse holder & fuse, the eyelet butt splice, self-tapping grounding screw, about 3 ft of black wire, and that white connector from under the dash.

Anything I forgot, need to change, etc.?

-Jonathan
 

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Thanks for the detailed write-up, I'm going to need it soon. 8)
 
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This is exactly what i am looking for. I just bought an '06 V6 and really want to put a hitch on it.

Does anyone know if there are any differences between the US and Canadian models, regarding wiring? I assume they should be very similar.
 

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Thanks that is the best write up, with only one addition. "Find a small single pigtailed white wire with a white connector on it. It's folded over and taped to another harness, but fairly simple to find." Simple was totally not true to me. It took me an hour to find it.
It was hidden above foot rest on the left side of the foot well behind very thick bundles. And it is extremely hard to get to. But otherwise - perfect write up. Thanks!
 

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Excellent instructions--many thanks for sharing. Does anyone know if the process is basically the same for the 2010s? Or if the aftermarkets work with the LED taillights I'm told that some Ravs now have?
 

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Did the same wiring for my '11 Rav4 Base. Wired power into a cigarette lighter plug for use with the aux power in the cargo area, and ran the wires down under the cargo area through a grommet. Looks professional and no wires rubbed anywhere. Ready to haul toys!
 

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oh, and i drilled a tiny hole from the left side compartment right above the plug so that I don't have to open the compartment everytime i want to tow - the cigarette lighter plug part is already out and sitting in the rear cup holder ready to go;)
 

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Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for.

Found this video helpful
Trailer Wiring Harness Installation - 2007 Toyota RAV4 - YouTube

Any disadvantages of connecting to cargo cigarette lighter since it's right there?
The only problem with that is the cargo power outlet is switched. It only works with the key on. Unless you bypass the relay like I did:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/98-4-3-interior/76791-mod-how-make-your-12-volt-outlets-hot-all-times.html#post792679
 

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Thanks that is the best write up, with only one addition. "Find a small single pigtailed white wire with a white connector on it. It's folded over and taped to another harness, but fairly simple to find." Simple was totally not true to me. It took me an hour to find it.
It was hidden above foot rest on the left side of the foot well behind very thick bundles. And it is extremely hard to get to. But otherwise - perfect write up. Thanks!
I've been looking for an hour now and can't find it anywhere :(
 

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Wow! I can't believe I got a response on such an old thread. This site is great. Yes, and in fact I did finally find it. It was a major pain in the butt to strip that wire back. There was no room to work with at all - in part because I also have an aftermarket remote start wired under there that I had to work around, but I ended up getting everything wired and put back together. It looks super clean and works great!
 
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