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Discussion Starter #1
I received the following question via PM and decided to answer it publicly because I think it is a good one. In my experience, if one person asks a question, many others are thinking it.

Harold,
Q:
Where did you find the alternator on your RAV? And how did you tell if it was the upgraded one? Where there numbers? The engine compartment is so tight I can't tell if I'm looking at the alternator or something else.

A:
The alternator is at the left front corner of the engine. The front of the engine is on the passenger side so the alternator is right next to the radiator on the passenger side. Tight is an understatement and you are right that it is impossible to see any numbers on the alternator. To determine which alternator I had, I looked in the driver's side fuse box in the engine compartment. According to the fuse location diagram in the back of my owner's manual, if fuse #17 is 120A, you have the smaller alternator. If fuse #17 is 140 amp, you have the larger alternator that comes with the tow package. I have a 140A fuse.

Q:
Also, do you have cooling fan fuses in both slot 22 and 23 of your passenger side engine fuse box. One slot is listed as FAN1 and the other as FAN2. Our RAV only has a fuse in slot 23 or FAN1. I'm hoping both fans are operational.
A:
I have 50A fuses in slots 22 and 23. I also have two cooling fans so I assume that each fan has its own fuse. Is your fuse in slot 23 a 30A or a 50A?

Q:
Thanks for any help you can give. Our RAV was supposed to come with a Tow Prep Package, but the dealer messed up and sold us one without it. Now we are trying to get the dealer to install one and want to make sure they replace all the proper components when they do.

A:
It appears to me that a Rav with the towing package uses a different wiring harness than one without. The trailer wiring harness is installed differently in Tow Prep Package vehicles because there is an extra connector under the dash that provides power to the converter through the 30A fuse that goes in slot 15 in the passenger side fuse box. This is in addition to the upgraded radiator, larger alternator, upgraded fan coupling, and who knows what else that we don't know about. I think that you are right to be concerned that all of the proper components would be replaced. I personally would not want to own a vehicle that had all of this replaced by a dealer, especially the wiring harness. You will probably end up with squeaks and rattles that almost always result when the entire dash is removed. If the dealer made the mistake, I suggest that you try to exchange your Rav for one with the correct specifications. If you can't so this and the 3500# towing capacity is one of the reasons that you bought the Rav, I suggest that you trade it in on the vehicle that you need while it is still almost new.
 
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Thank you for the help. It is a 30A fuse in Slot 23. The obvious way to check to see if both fans are operational would be to pop the hood while the fans are running, but it has been too cold out and they haven't needed to kick in yet.

I do have some sort of white electrical connector under the driver side dash, just below the fuse panel. With this connector easily accessible, do you think the dealer would have to remove the dash to install the tow package wiring harness? At worse, I'm hoping they could run any extra wiring through the fire wall somewhere near where the steering column runs. Hmmmm. I'm dreading a battle with the dealer to swap the whole vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmmmm. A single 30A fuse instead of 2 at 50A seems strange to me. I can understand a pair of heavy duty fan clutches drawing 50A instead 30A but 100A instead of 30A seems a bit much. I'm not sure what to make of it.

If the connector that you found is a small white one, with a single white wire running to it, with nothing plugged into it, and it looks like exactly like the one in this picture:

Then that indicates to me that they may use the same harness in vehicles with and without the tow package, but just do not use all of the connectors. If this is true, then then wouldn't have to change the vehicle wiring harness.

I think that once the dealer adds up the cost of all of the components that he needs to install and the time to install them, it may be cheaper for him to give you a different vehicle. He may also have to warranty the parts himself for 3 years if the factory warranty does not apply to the parts he installs. I would still try for a new vehicle first, even if it cost me some money.
 
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The white connector under the driver side dash doesn't look like that. It is larger. Ok, I'm calling the dealer Monday. Thanks for the help.
 
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Not being much of an electrical person, I have more questions. What would be the difference between using the 15A sub-harness number 2 with a dealer installed tow package, versus using the 30A prewire that came with your factory installed tow package? Would I just have less current running to the trailer connection for trailer brakes, etc? It seems like they could just tap into a 30A fuse under the dash instead (if one is there).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There should be no difference at all if you are pulling a trailer without electric brakes. 15 amps is more current than any trailer lights should draw. I am hoping that the 30A fuse also feeds a connector that hooks up to the electric trailer brake controller to power the trailer brakes. Since the brakes usually have a dedicated 20A fuse or circuit breaker, 30A seems about right for lights and brakes combined. If the brake controller connector does not exist, and I have not found it yet, I will run a separate wire from the battery to a 20A circuit breaker and then to the brake controller. This is the normal way to wire trailer brakes on any vehicle that is not pre-wired and is how you would do it for a vehicle without the tow package. It may well be the way that I have to do it too if I can't find a trailer brake connector. Running the extra circuit is no big deal for me since I have to run trailer battery charging circuit in any case. This consists of a wire from the Rav battery, to a 30A circuit breaker, to a selenoid that is only activated when the engine is running, to the trailer plug. It would just be tidier if the brake circuit was already there.

My main concern with not having the tow package wire harness is the size of the wires going from the alternator to the regulator, from the battery to the fuse box, and from the fuse box to the fans. The actual trailer wiring part is easy to work around. I was only using the sub harness connector as an indicator to check if there are two completely vehicle different harnesses.
 
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ptwilliamson said:
The white connector under the driver side dash doesn't look like that. It is larger. Ok, I'm calling the dealer Monday. Thanks for the help.
I just did this installation yesterday. Actually there are at least 2 empty connectors under the dash on vehicles with the tow package. There is one tucked along the left side that does look like the one picture above. Its hard to see. The single harness wire plug goes in that. The large plug going into the electrical box gets disconnected and the other 2 plugs on the harness get pluggged in so that the harness is chained in. I don't know what the larger empty connector that you refer to is used for, but its not tow wiring.

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3730
 
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ssenneff,

Does your RAV have the tow prep package? If not, are you tapping into the 30 A fuse in the engine compartment or the 15 A fuse under the driver dash?
 
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Nevermind, I just read your post in a different thread. Thanks anyway.
 
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