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Hi,

I've never owned a RAV4 but I've known them ever since the early models. I'm far from knowledgeable on the details tho except for a few points.

I'm been driving my Pontiac Vibe 2007 (Toyota Matrix) for a while and she's trying to tell me that our love affair is a strain and she's looking at younger lads (i.e. students looking for a well maintained used car. ;)

So I'm looking for a 2009-2012 V6 4WD. The V6 choice is for the 3500lbs towing rating as I tow a small pop-up trailer (Starcraft 8 - 1400lbs dry) a few times a year and the 1500lbs rating of newer and I-4 models does not allow enough capacity for luggage and passengers (got three kids actively growing!)

Consequently, a hitch is a must. Some manufacturers will sell their hitch with a towing package that often includes an OEM transmission oil cooler, possibly a different suspension kit and a brake controller with or without the 7-pin pigtail. Back before the V6 was discontinued, I remember being on Toyota's website and 'building' my RAV4. IIRC, a towing package existed. I might be confused. :)

While all those can be installed aftermarket (which I've done and I can do myself,) I've seen a number of classified that mention a hitch. However, most will be aftermarkets, when lucky it's a (not-so-well) Hidden Hitch. I'm concerned that those who installed such a hitch might have towed something heavy (as I frequently see) without consideration for the transmission. At least if the OEM hitch includes an OEM cooler, the transmission stands a better chance.

Anyway, my questions are: how can easily spot an OEM hitch in classified and/or in person? Even if there's an OEM hitch, does that automatically include the full or partial towing package? If that mythical package exists, what does it typically and universally include?

If it's difficult to spot and there's nothing special about the towing package but a cooler, I might stop looking for models with a hitch and concentrate on those without to be sure the transmission has not been taxed.

Cheers! And looking forward to joining the RAV4 community in a few weeks! :)
Martin
 

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The RAV4 V6 Towing Package was a factory installed option which increased the vehicle towing capacity to 3500 lbs. in the U.S. Consists of a larger radiator/cooing system, higher capacity alternator, and under dash fuse and wiring for trailer lights. It was not available as a dealer installed option. It was standard OEM on Canadian-sold V6 RAVs. The OEM hitch is not factory installed and is only a hitch, supplied by Toyota. Photo (hopefully) below:





Aftermarket hitches are available from Curt and others. They have four mounting points which bolt-mount to four reinforced threaded holes in the rear "frame", ahead of the bumper. Wiring for trailer lights is not included in the factory hitch package and must be purchased and installed by the vehicle owner.


Much more info can be found by using the Search box at the upper right hand side of this thread page, simply enter Towing Package or something similar.
 

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Notice that the Toyota hitch has 6 mounting holes while the aftermarket hitches only have 4. That's the quickest way to tell the difference.

Also, don't feel obligated to get the 4WD if you want to tow. The 2WD RAV4 V6 also came with the same tow prep package and 3500 lb. towing capacity. There is less maintenance with the 2WD since there is no transfer case, rear differential, electromagnetic clutch, and rear axle seals to worry about.
 

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If you are doing many miles of towing you should put an additional aftermarket tranny cooler to help cool the transmission oil better. It helps to have an additional one after the factory tranny cooler. The cost is cheap if you can diy. The front grille needs to be removed and that is not that hard.

As for identifying which one has the towing package the best way to check is if it has a 140 AMP fuse under the engine hood next to the battery. See this thread and look at post #11. Only the tow package includes the higher 150A alternator as oppose to the regular 100A one.
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-...ed-rav4-tow-package-how-can-i-identify-2.html
 

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Is there any information about how much weight can a 4-cyl tow? (mine is a 2 liters, 153hp gasoline rav '08)...

I know is best not to tow at all (at least not 3500kg campers), but what about smaller things like a small/medium size trailer (uHaul)?
 

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Here's what the OEM hitch looks like on mine (ignore the red circles). Note the hanging down "black triangles" on either side, one of which can be clearly seen blocking the view to the muffler. That may be an easy way to identify the OEM hitch by appearance.

The receiver tube cap also has a Toyota emblem on it (seen in the photo) but that might be missing.



Another way to tell is that the OEM hitch actually uses the black "dog biscuit" brackets that were part of the Tow Prep package. You'll have to look up from below to see them. Those brackets can be seen at the top of each of these photos.

Driver's side:



Passenger's side:




NOTE: I believe this check is only valid if the RAV4 came with the Tow Prep package. There was a different (very similar) OEM hitch available for RAV4s that did not have the Tow Prep package. Because the Tow Prep package came with the "dog biscuit" brackets, the OEM hitch for non-Tow Prep package RAV4s would not have connections to those brackets.

So the "dog biscuit" test only works if the RAV4 came with the Tow Prep package and the OEM hitch installed was the one for the Tow Prep package. I would think if it has the OEM hitch, it probably came with the Tow Prep package, but check the alternator fuse (or existence of dog biscuit brackets) to verify.

This post is a reproduction of a detailed online article about the installation of the OEM hitch. It has many pictures and much information about the hitch.

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/97-4-3-exterior/70172-toyota-rav4-oem-hitch-guide-2006-2008-a-7.html#post2284778


.
 
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DVS used the correct wording which is "Tow Prep Package". This just means, in Toyota's language, that it has the capability to tow 3500lbs. It does not include hitch, wiring, or brake controller (if needed).

When buying a new truck from the big three if it says "Tow Package" then you can figure it comes with everything needed except the trailer you are going to tow.

Just pointing this out to avoid any confusion with the wording. I know it confused me when I first looked into it some years back.
 

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Is there any information about how much weight can a 4-cyl tow? (mine is a 2 liters, 153hp gasoline rav '08)...

I know is best not to tow at all (at least not 3500kg campers), but what about smaller things like a small/medium size trailer (uHaul)?
You will have to check with a dealer in your country. In North America there is no such thing as a 2008 model with a 2.0l engine.....they were 2.4l or 3.5l, all automatic transmissions. The 2.4l was rated @ 1500 lbs towing weight.
 

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You will have to check with a dealer in your country. In North America there is no such thing as a 2008 model with a 2.0l engine.....they were 2.4l or 3.5l, all automatic transmissions. The 2.4l was rated @ 1500 lbs towing weight.
Yep, mine is quite rare... it was hard to find information because even the VIN number isn't recognised at the TOYOTA website (got to put it in "toyodiy dot com" to get information about it), and yeah, it's manual.

This is what I got:

Market
Europe,

General
Year
02/2008

Make
TOYOTA

Model
RAV4

Frame
ACA30

Vehicle characteristics
VEHICLE MODEL: ATYPE: A TYPE
GRADE: G: G TYPE
DESTINATION: EUR: EUROPE
DRIVER'S POSITION: LHD: LEFT-HAND DRIVE
ENGINE: 1AZFE: 2000CC 16-VALVE DOHC EFI
FUEL SYSTEM: HTWC: HIGH EFFICIENCY TWIN CAM
TRANSMISSION: MTM: MANUAL TRANSMISSION
GEAR SHIFT TYPE: 5F: MTM, 5-SPEED FLOOR SHIFT
COLOR CODE: 4R4 TRIM CODE: FA13
So it's strange, but i couldn´t find the towing rate/allowance... If you see, my engine is not even the "oil burner" 2AZFE, is like previous (some latter rav 4.2 mount a similar engine)
 

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I found this on this site from a member in Switzerland. I cannot confirm if it is correct or not. European and Australian tow ratings far exceed those allowed in the USA.


I just checked on auto site, for the RAV in Europe, WITHOUT brakes on the trailer you can pull 1650 pounds, with brakes on the trailer maximum 4600.
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2008 RAV4 2.0 VVT-I 4WD
 

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I found this on this site from a member in Switzerland. I cannot confirm if it is correct or not. European and Australian tow ratings far exceed those allowed in the USA.


I just checked on auto site, for the RAV in Europe, WITHOUT brakes on the trailer you can pull 1650 pounds, with brakes on the trailer maximum 4600.
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2008 RAV4 2.0 VVT-I 4WD
Well, that makes about 750Kg and 2 tons respectively. thanks very much

:wink
 

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Notice that the Toyota hitch has 6 mounting holes while the aftermarket hitches only have 4. That's the quickest way to tell the difference.
I installed a Draw-Tite hitch on my 2007 recently. It comes with 5 mounting bolts. It also has an integrated bracket for a 7-pole connector.
 

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A few weeks ago I picked up a Reese Towpower 97234 Class III Custom-Fit Hitch with 2" Square Receiver opening hitch from Amazon. Installed in my driveway with an impact gun, no jacking was required. Was as simple as bolting it on - I have a Canadian Rav4 Sport w/ V6. I've attached a PDF of the install instructions. I was able to get the hitch mount up past the exhaust without un-mounting anything. It wasn't easy to install it by myself, another person would help a lot but alone is very doable.

I towed a 21ft inboard boat from Halifax to PEI and back no problem ~2800lbs. Only thing that sucks is the small gas tank the Rav has and needing to stop frequently to fill-up.
 

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Notice that the Toyota hitch has 6 mounting holes while the aftermarket hitches only have 4. That's the quickest way to tell the difference.

Also, don't feel obligated to get the 4WD if you want to tow. The 2WD RAV4 V6 also came with the same tow prep package and 3500 lb. towing capacity. There is less maintenance with the 2WD since there is no transfer case, rear differential, electromagnetic clutch, and rear axle seals to worry about.
Hi, I’m looking at buying a 2007 Toyota RAV4. It has V6 but not 4wd. I do want to keep my options open as far as towing a tiny trailer (1000-2000lbs), so I’m hesitant about the 2wd. Are you saying 4wd isn’t necessary with this towing package?
thank you!
 

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Old thread... but whatever.

If it has the towing prep package (option TO when you check the VIN) then is all good. 4WD is not required on US models, just a nice to have if you plan to tow on not paved roads or on snow.
 

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Hi, I’m looking at buying a 2007 Toyota RAV4. It has V6 but not 4wd. I do want to keep my options open as far as towing a tiny trailer (1000-2000lbs), so I’m hesitant about the 2wd. Are you saying 4wd isn’t necessary with this towing package?
thank you!
Not all V6 Toyota RAV4s sold in the U.S.have the towing prep. package which was available only as a factory installed option (except that some owners in the South report that their RAV4 V6s came with it automatically) and without it the towing capacity is 2000 lbs. With the factory towing package the towing limit is 3500 lbs. (see JuneBug's post #3 above). Regardless, Toyota says that towing more than 600 lbs. gross (total weight) requires that a brake controller be installed.
 
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Hi, I’m looking at buying a 2007 Toyota RAV4. It has V6 but not 4wd. I do want to keep my options open as far as towing a tiny trailer (1000-2000lbs), so I’m hesitant about the 2wd. Are you saying 4wd isn’t necessary with this towing package?
thank you!
The 4wd does not come into play on dry paved roads. Towing on the highway does not require 4WD. It helps in certain situation like gravel, snow, wet or muddy roads. If you are towing a 2000 lb trailer in a wet loose dirt road going uphill in a camp site then 4WD will help. The 4WD will be able to handle any road conditions so keep that in mind trying to decide.

If you decide to get a V6 without the tow package I highly recommend you add an aftermarket transmission cooler. A good transmission cooler is only $60 and if you or anyone can install one then you are good to go.
 

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Old thread... but whatever.

If it has the towing prep package (option TO when you check the VIN) then is all good. 4WD is not required on US models, just a nice to have if you plan to tow on not paved roads or on snow.
Also extremely desirable on a wet boat ramp if not a must have.
 

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Also extremely desirable on a wet boat ramp if not a must have.
Reminds me of when, many years ago, I launched a Jet Sky pulled by a Toyota Van (mine was the cheaper RWD one, not the 4WD) and I barely retrieved it from the ramp, with some "emotions". Bald, wet tires and light rear end were fighting hard that trailer... that was having a mind to get the van into the water. My buddies helped by pushing me uphill.

 
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