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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Rav4 owners,

Has anybody towed 2 motorcycles with a 4th Gen Rav4? Please share your experience and if any modification has been done to your vehicle. I am contemplating taking two motorcycles (~400lb each) to Buttonwillow on a Kendon (381 lbs). Not sure what the tongue weight is, but I'm pretty sure I won't be exceeding the GVWR.

At first it was going to be Sonoma for a day, but that might not happen.

Currently I don't have an aftermarket transmission cooler or trailer brakes. Specs for this generation Rav say a max towing capacity of 1500 lbs, but if appropriately equipped. I'm not aware of a tow kit being available for this gen Rav4.

Thanks in advance!
Danny
 

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In this case "appropriately equipped" means trailer brakes over 600 lbs. towed weight (per Toyota). There is no tow kit for a 4 cylinder RAV, just trailer hitch and wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In this case "appropriately equipped" means trailer brakes over 600 lbs. towed weight. There is no tow kit for a 4 cylinder RAV, just trailer hitch and wiring.

yes, you're right. I forgot to add that important part!
 

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Trailer brakes will be important especially since if you tow via the most direct routes from Fremont to Buttonwillow you will be crossing mountain ranges. You could possibly be able to tow to Sonoma without trailer brakes since it's a mostly level route, but with the I-880 traffic semi-madhouse and possibly having to make some quick stops trailer brakes would be an important safety factor, and if there unfortunately were a crash the CHP could issue a citation if the trailer had no brakes. Trailer brakes require a trailer brake controller in the towing vehicle.
 

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The problem with "trailer brakes over 600lbs" is that no trailer manufacturer I know of puts brakes on trailers unless state laws require it. Depends what website you look at but only 5 or 6 require trailer brakes at 1500#, California being one of them on every site I checked. So on a lighter trailer so you'd have to add them yourself at considerable expense or buy a trailer that itself weighs 1000# and end up with only 500# capacity with a 4-cyl RAV4.
I'd get a light trailer, put the two bikes on it, leave extra stopping room and let the brakes on your 3500# RAV4 stop it.

On the safety chains that led to the young woman's tragic death in Mikey's link: They need to be attached such that they can't bounce off like mine did when the hitch came off the ball sending the trailer across I-84 in NY a few years ago. Fortunately only the trailer and my wife's nerves were damaged. To solve the problem in the future (besides replacing the hitch on the trailer and adjusting it properly) I bent the S hooks on the chains closed so it takes force to hook them to the receiver loops.
 

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California vehicle law has two dimensions - what is legal and what is safe. If there is a crash and if the investigation determines that towing a trailer contributed to the accident even thought there was no strictly legal violation, but that despite that the accident could have been prevented had the trailer had brakes as the towing vehicle manufacturer specifies, the operator could be cited and held partially or possibly entirely responsible. If having trailer brakes is not practical even though Toyota specifies it then the operator can either tow very carefully and hope that nothing bad happens, or not tow at all with that vehicle. The basic law's priority is safety over strict legality.
 

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I expect what Blogson says is true in all states, even Massachusetts whose trailer limit is, "Every trailer having an unladed weight of more than 10,000 lbs shall be equipped with air or electric brakes." Holy Cow, that's the weight of the trailer itself, almost three RAV4s, not it's load capacity!
But how would Blogson know about CA, being from the UK and all. :wink
 

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1200lbs would not be a problem if you drive in the correct way, towing a trailer is a lot more aerodynamic than towing a travel trailer for example. my transmission oil get a lot hotter when towing my TT than my 4*8 trailer. and for braking give yourself more room to brake, drive more defensively, and don't worry too much about the lawyer talk in the owners manual
 

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But how would Blogson know about CA, being from the UK and all. :wink

LOL! At least I know where I could go to have my bike dyno-tuned, even if going from western OR to CT would be quite a ride - and according to Toyota I couldn't trailer it even with my V6 RAV without having trailer brakes! :D
 

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LOL! At least I know where I could go to have my bike dyno-tuned, even if going from western OR to CT would be quite a ride - and according to Toyota I couldn't trailer it even with my V6 RAV without having trailer brakes! :D
Two simple solutions: :thumbs_up: Only come to Sturgis SD and :thumbs_up: use a hitch mounted front wheel carrier so only the back wheel is on the road. That should get the towed weight down to 599#. :D Just remember not to back up! :egad:
 

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Two simple solutions: :thumbs_up: Only come to Sturgis SD and :thumbs_up: use a hitch mounted front wheel carrier so only the back wheel is on the road. That should get the towed weight down to 599#. :D Just remember not to back up! :egad:

So that's why you go to Sturgis - portable dyno tuning operation? Must make a financial killing with all of those Harleys, etc. and owners willing to part with cash! :wink
I had a friend who towed his dirt bike with a front wheel carrier, forgot that he had the bike in tow and backed up . . .:surprise
 

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So that's why you go to Sturgis - portable dyno tuning operation? Must make a financial killing with all of those Harleys, etc. and owners willing to part with cash! :wink
Yep, In fact this year, the 75th anniversary, was my best event in my 20 years of dynotuning. The secret of my success is I refuse to take anyone's tuning money if it won't put a million dollar smile on his/her face. I'm competing with guys who use their dynos primarily as props to collect as much money as they can.

Okay, now what was the topic of this thread?
 

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Getting back on this thread I stopped at my local Tractor Supply here in CT and looked at their trailers. None had brakes. The biggest one was rated 3500 lbs GVW. And w/o brakes it's illegal in 3000# CT. All of the trailers would be illegal in CA, a 1500# state. The only out they could possibly have is if it's the actual load being carried and not the GVW that counts.
Most interesting is the "This trailer meets Canadian specifications." sticker on all their tongues.
 
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