Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I towed my fishing boat last weekend over 400 miles with my RAV. It's a 16 ft fiberglass bass boat. Not sure exactly what the weight is loaded, but I would estimate at approx 1500 pounds.

For the most part it was beautiful. I hardly noticed that it was there. The acceleration was excellent. The breaking was surprisingly good. I was also pleased by the lack of sag in the rear (there's approx 150-200 pounds of tounge weight). Gas mileage (although I didn't measure) seemed to be pretty bad. But, nothing that I didn't expect, especially since I was going around 73 mph in 4th gear. I put the RAV in overdrive for a little bit on the highway while I had the cruise on, but I found that the RAV was constantly down shifting. So, I turned it off.

The only problem that I had was with my safety chains. Ok, so in order to clear the spare tire, I had to get a pretty long ball mount. Because of the rather long distance between the trailer chains and the trailer hitch under the bumper, it was difficult to get enough chain to reach properly and not drag on the ground. Not really sure if there's anything I can do about this. The best I could do was get it off the ground to the point where it would just tap the ground going over bumps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,786 Posts
Bontro said:
The only problem that I had was with my safety chains. Ok, so in order to clear the spare tire, I had to get a pretty long ball mount. Because of the rather long distance between the trailer chains and the trailer hitch under the bumper, it was difficult to get enough chain to reach properly and not drag on the ground. Not really sure if there's anything I can do about this. The best I could do was get it off the ground to the point where it would just tap the ground going over bumps.
Make sure the chains are long enough to not bind in tight turns. Then loop a bungee cord of the correct length over the ball mount and hook the (slightly crimped) ends to the chains to keep them off the pavement. You can even cinch the chains tight against the ball mount if there is enough play in tight turns. If the bungee is very near the ball, the chains will simply pivot in the same relationship as the hitch and ball.

I do this all the time with my off-road utility trailer. I hate a bunch of slack in the chains. The bungee cord will stretch if needed to allow some chain movement. It also keeps the chain from making noise and wearing excessively.

If, heaven forbid, your hitch comes uncoupled from the ball the bungee will break or the hooks will open and not restrict the normal operation of the chains as an emergency device. Be sure to cross the chains under the ball!

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,669 Posts
Excellent idea about the chains!
I will be towing my boat this weekend and keep you posted. I don't expect to see much as my subaru with 4-banger did excellent job.
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Bontro said:
I put the RAV in overdrive for a little bit on the highway while I had the cruise on, but I found that the RAV was constantly down shifting. So, I turned it off.
I am not following on this. :?:

Do you have the 5speed auto trans? When you say you turned it off, do you mean you shifted to the 4 position on the gear selector?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I am not following on this. Question

Do you have the 5speed auto trans? When you say you turned it off, do you mean you shifted to the 4 position on the gear selector?
Yes, you're correct. I have a 5 speed and I shifted it into "4"
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,669 Posts
My boating trip was bust as it rained a lot this weekend.
Nevertheless, the towing was beatiful. The boat+trailer combo is at least 2400 lbs (18 ft Bayliner). I had 3 passengers (my whole family). The car handled like there was no trailer! Well, almost. Of course I have trailer brakes.
The best improvement over subaru was mild rear sag. Subaru would sag a lot with the same load.
One thing that suprised me was the traction of stock tires in the rain. I'm used to bad OEM tires, but Yoko seem OK. I'm sure they have a limitation, but I havn't discover one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Bonto,

Which trailer hitch did you use: Toyota or aftermarket?

I had a pretty bad trailing experience with my V6 Rav and a 400 lb. aluminum trailer and 600 lbs. of motorcycles. I have to take it back to the trailer dealer, for I think it may have to do with the trailer and not the Rav. We'll see.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,669 Posts
Any car can tow 1000 lbs with no problems, even corolla.
So, you can't blame your RAV4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,786 Posts
antirich said:
I had a pretty bad trailing experience with my V6 RAV and a 400 lb. aluminum trailer and 600 lbs. of motorcycles. I have to take it back to the trailer dealer, for I think it may have to do with the trailer and not the RAV. We'll see.
If you would care to elaborate maybe you could get some constructive advice....

Most trailer handling issues are tongue weight/ balance related, unless you have a out-of-true frame or bent spindle or other manufacturing booboo. None of those problems are exactly rare.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
The trailer is a brand new 5' x 8' Thule open aluminum utility trailer. Weighs about 400 lbs with a lovered ramp gate. i mention the gate for I'm wondering if it's causing some unusual drag in the rear.

The cargo was a 230 lb. Supermotard and a 300lb. road race bike. Also had a 60 lb. tool box on the traler, tied to the front left corner.

Back of the rav had a small generator, easy-up and various boxes. Total rear cargo weight was about 150 lbs. One driver, no passengers.

In addition to getting unbelieveably bad gas millage, the trailer had a very bad habit of pushing the Rav when slowing down. Felt like the trailer mad more mass than the Rav. Made the overall driving experience pretty un-nerving. I've never had this experience with my 4-runner, but again, that's a solid frame vehicle.

Highway driving at 65-70 mph caused the tranny to slip out of overdrive quite a bit. I think this was the main cause of the crappy milleage.

This was the first trip with this trailer, so I can't really compare it apples to apples with the 4-runner. I did tow my old trailer with the Rav (smaller with only one bike) and that was OK. Felt some unneeded sway, but nothing bothersome.

One thing about this new trailer I've noticed is that the tires have very soft sidewalls and 85 series 14" tires. The trailer seems to flex side to side very easily, much more than my old trailer (which had 12" tires) They are trailer rated tires, but I wonder if they're just cheap and not as stable as a good tire.

I plan to bring it back to the trailer dealer, but any thought or opinions are welcomed. I also have a thory that the 4-bolt aftermarket hitches are not as stable as the factory units. Again, jsut a theory.
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
My Reese hitch - bought from dealer is 4 bolts, I think your problem is trailer related. Did you check the air pressure?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,669 Posts
antirich said:
The trailer is a brand new 5' x 8' Thule open aluminum utility trailer. Weighs about 400 lbs with a lovered ramp gate. i mention the gate for I'm wondering if it's causing some unusual drag in the rear.

The cargo was a 230 lb. Supermotard and a 300lb. road race bike. Also had a 60 lb. tool box on the traler, tied to the front left corner.

Back of the RAV had a small generator, easy-up and various boxes. Total rear cargo weight was about 150 lbs. One driver, no passengers.

In addition to getting unbelieveably bad gas millage, the trailer had a very bad habit of pushing the RAV when slowing down. Felt like the trailer mad more mass than the RAV. Made the overall driving experience pretty un-nerving. I've never had this experience with my 4-runner, but again, that's a solid frame vehicle.

Highway driving at 65-70 mph caused the tranny to slip out of overdrive quite a bit. I think this was the main cause of the crappy milleage.

This was the first trip with this trailer, so I can't really compare it apples to apples with the 4-runner. I did tow my old trailer with the RAV (smaller with only one bike) and that was OK. Felt some unneeded sway, but nothing bothersome.

One thing about this new trailer I've noticed is that the tires have very soft sidewalls and 85 series 14" tires. The trailer seems to flex side to side very easily, much more than my old trailer (which had 12" tires) They are trailer rated tires, but I wonder if they're just cheap and not as stable as a good tire.

I plan to bring it back to the trailer dealer, but any thought or opinions are welcomed. I also have a thory that the 4-bolt aftermarket hitches are not as stable as the factory units. Again, jsut a theory.
There are at least couple of issues here:
If you read your manual you would know that one is not supposed to tow with overdrive on. This explains the tranny action.
Second, you gave the weights but didn't state what the tongue weight was. Did you measure one? If too low would explain some sway. Another issue could be uneven loading of the trailer side to side.
Third, you didn't state the tire pressure. Typically should be 50 PSI. BTW, if the tires are made by Carlisle (?sp.) they are junk and dangerous.
The pushing feeling is a pure mistery to me as I tow my 2400+lbs boat and feel no excessive pushing.
The 4 bolt story is bogus as even one bolt would hold your light duty 1000 lbs load. My 4 bolts in DrawTite (hidenhitch clone) are holding fine my near 3000 load. Now, I did torque the bolts to the recommended 65 lbs/ft.

As for MPG. I would not expect more than 14-16 MPG while towing, but it depends on the speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
>>If you read your manual you would know that one is not supposed to tow with overdrive on. This explains the tranny action.

Even for a 1,100 lb. trailer load???? Very strange, for I've never had an issue with my 4-runner being in 5th gear, or anyone elses vehicle that I've towed with. I would think that such a small load shouldn't make a difference. Plus, would leaving it in 4th gear (no OD) all the time give it WORSE millage?

My 4-runner towing a 900lb. trailer/bike load gave the same millage. Never felt a trailer was there.

>>Second, you gave the weights but didn't state what the tongue weight was. Did you measure one? If too low would explain some sway.

No, and I know it's something I should do. Again, never been an issue with the 4-runner, so I never gave it any thought. But again, too low would make a difference. I seriously doubt it, for both bikes were pushed up front and the tool box was in the front as well.

I know the two vehicles are like apples and oranges, but the 4-runner was only 183 HP and it towed flawlessly. Just didn't have any power to pass or accelerate.

>>>>Another issue could be uneven loading of the trailer side to side.
Third, you didn't state the tire pressure. Typically should be 50 PSI. BTW, if the tires are made by Carlisle (?sp.) they are junk and dangerous.

The first trip I had was with one 240lb. bike centered and nothing else. Felt pretty un easy then as well, although not as bad as with two bikes.

Tire pressure was at 45-50 lbs.

Need to double check on the tire brand, but I don't think it was Carlise.

>>>The pushing feeling is a pure mistery to me as I tow my 2400+lbs boat and feel no excessive pushing.

Yea, I really think there's something up with the trailer. It just doesn't seem right for something so light weight. Beyond the pushing effect, it seems like the trailer wants to dictate what the Rav is doing, not the other way around. Turns, stopping, accelerating, it all feels very unsettling.

>>>The 4 bolt story is bogus as even one bolt would hold your light duty 1000 lbs load. My 4 bolts in DrawTite (hidenhitch clone) are holding fine my near 3000 load. Now, I did torque the bolts to the recommended 65 lbs/ft.

That's good to hear, for I didn't want to spend the $400 for the factory hitch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
WHo has best hitch deal?

Like others looking to install hitch on 2006 RAV4, does not have to be Toyota package but assume I should at least get their wiring harness, any details on that, as I see nothing evident rear of vehicle. SO of all the hitches out there any comments on price, detail, construction? I assume from what I see online that they all seem pretty close in terms of design and price but was hoping to cull a few ideas from thos who have already done this. I did get tow prep option. Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
tow hitch and wiring

Rossa, look up many past posts by Karrock and others. Lots of info on Toyota harness install which is a bit of work and $. There are other Modulite harnress things available but do know know anyone who actually installed it. I have looked for hitches. They all seem to be similar. Look online at etrailer or ebay. Toyota OEM hitch is neater but expensive $400+ just to buy hitch.
Tons of pics and info here...search hitches in 2006 RAV4 here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
antirich said:
Bonto,

Which trailer hitch did you use: Toyota or aftermarket?

I had a pretty bad trailing experience with my V6 Rav and a 400 lb. aluminum trailer and 600 lbs. of motorcycles. I have to take it back to the trailer dealer, for I think it may have to do with the trailer and not the Rav. We'll see.
I installed a Hidden Hitch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
antirich said:
>>
I know the two vehicles are like apples and oranges, but the 4-runner was only 183 HP and it towed flawlessly. Just didn't have any power to pass or accelerate.
FWD vs. RWD? Just a theory. I've never towed anything in my life (plan on it though).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
antirich said:
The trailer is a brand new 5' x 8' Thule open aluminum utility trailer. Weighs about 400 lbs with a lovered ramp gate. i mention the gate for I'm wondering if it's causing some unusual drag in the rear.

The cargo was a 230 lb. Supermotard and a 300lb. road race bike. Also had a 60 lb. tool box on the traler, tied to the front left corner.

Back of the rav had a small generator, easy-up and various boxes. Total rear cargo weight was about 150 lbs. One driver, no passengers.

In addition to getting unbelieveably bad gas millage, the trailer had a very bad habit of pushing the Rav when slowing down. Felt like the trailer mad more mass than the Rav. Made the overall driving experience pretty un-nerving. I've never had this experience with my 4-runner, but again, that's a solid frame vehicle.

Highway driving at 65-70 mph caused the tranny to slip out of overdrive quite a bit. I think this was the main cause of the crappy milleage.

This was the first trip with this trailer, so I can't really compare it apples to apples with the 4-runner. I did tow my old trailer with the Rav (smaller with only one bike) and that was OK. Felt some unneeded sway, but nothing bothersome.

One thing about this new trailer I've noticed is that the tires have very soft sidewalls and 85 series 14" tires. The trailer seems to flex side to side very easily, much more than my old trailer (which had 12" tires) They are trailer rated tires, but I wonder if they're just cheap and not as stable as a good tire.

I plan to bring it back to the trailer dealer, but any thought or opinions are welcomed. I also have a thory that the 4-bolt aftermarket hitches are not as stable as the factory units. Again, jsut a theory.
You should ALWAYS turn off your OD when towing a trailer. Not that 600 plus pounds is any kind of weight. My boat and trailer come in around 4500lbs. I run my Tundra at 55-65mph. Yes, your RPM will go up and your MPH down but your tranny will like it much better. You want to keep that fluid flowing thru, thats the reason for keeping it out of 5th. I would think the RAV should not have ANY problems towing a load of 650lbs. One thing that nobody has brought up is BEARINGS. Please make sure your bearings are greased and running cool to warm. Tow for a few miles at highway speed, check your wheel hub, it should be WARM not HOT. Its also not a bad idea to go on the web and get a trailer safty check list. During my 24 years of towing I have seen 16 accidents due to some type of trailer failure. And for you guys towing heavier loads, look into trailer brakes, laws differ by state. And don't get those crappy drum things, get SS disc brakes.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top