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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hoping someone with a 2006 Owner's Manual could help answer some towing questions for me.

I am specifically interested in the data for the AWD V-6 with tow package and third row seat (the information should be in everyone's owner's manual, however).

Is there any mention of Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR), or the total amount that car, trailer and all cargo can weigh? Sometimes, this is also shown as a chart for maximum towing/tongue weight based on number of passengers in the car, but I'm more interested in the actual numbers.

Is there any mention of a weight distributing hitch (WDH) being required for trailers over a certain weight (or over a certain tongue weight) or not allowed at all?

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
karrock said:
All the exact ratings numbers will vary depending on what hitch receiver is installed.

Hopefully your other towing questions can also be answered by U-Haul! :)
OK, I know I'm new here, but this is just bad information and not helpful at all. Even leaving out the fact that U-Hell doesn't know their a**** from a hole in the ground.

First off, the hitch does NOT determine your tow rating. You can get a hitch rated at 4000 pounds and 400 pounds tongue weight for the RAV4, but Toyota limits you to 1500/150 with the 4-cylinder. Your towing ability is the LESSER rating of the vehicle manufacturer and hitch.

My question is asking what the GCVWR is for the RAV4 and whether Toyota recommends or doesn't recommend a weight distributing hitch system for the RAV4. I don't care what receiver are available (well, I do, but I've already established that quality receivers exist that will handle what the RAV is rated for). Toyota has not been very responsive in answering my questions.

The GCVWR will determine what the car can REALLY tow, not just what the advertising people want us to THINK it can tow. All tow ratings are NOT the same. Just becase two vehicles are rated to tow 3500 pounds does not mean they have comparable ratings. For an accurate tow rating, you must subtract the weight of the loaded (all passengers, full fuel tank, typical cargo load) car from the GCVWR. Then, you know how much you can tow. Very often (especially with American labeled manufacturers), the tow rating only applies if you are traveling with an empty, base model vehicle with only a driver. For example, the Honda Odyssey is rated to tow 3500 pounds (with tow package), but you are only allowed 300 pounds in the van (over an empty base model vehicle) to achieve that rating. The 2004+ Sienna is also rated to tow 3500 pounds, but the Toyota can do it while carrying 800-900 pounds in the van. Now, are those 3500 ratings the same? I don't think so.

That's why I want to know what the GCVWR is.

The WDH question is merely curiosity, because I intend to use one whether Toyota recommends it or not.

986 Posts
Often GCVWR is not listed in the manual, but is listed on the sticker inside the driver's door jam.

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got my hands on an owner's manual today (test drove an L4 Limited AWD 7-passenger).

Here are the GCVWR numbers for all models:

L4 2WD 5-pass: 5930
L4 2WD 7-pass: 6230
L4 4WD 5-pass: 6035
L4 4WD 7-pass: 6365

V6 2WD 5-pass no tow pak: 6720
V6 2WD 7-pass no tow pak: 7015
V6 4WD 5-pass no tow pak: 6600
V6 4WD 7-pass no tow pak: 6895

V6 2WD 5-pass tow pak: 8220
V6 2WD 7-pass tow pak: 8515
V6 4WD 5-pass tow pak: 8100
V6 4WD 7-pass tow pak: 8395

Basically, what this is saying is that any model can tow its full tow rating even when fully loaded (making sure to account for the tongue weight of the trailer). Very nice.

Toyota does say NOT to use a weight distributing hitch.

Trailer brakes are required for any trailer over 600 pounds.
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