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OK, so here’s a rando question...

The RAV4 hybrid has awesome economy (and a soon-to-come Prime version with plug-in EV that looks awesome). But tow capacity is limited to 1750lbs as near as I can tell and there’s no option for raised roof rails- at least from what I can see.

Meanwhile the RAV4 Adventure (maybe TRD?) has the option for 3500lbs towing with a tow package and nice raised roof rails... but no option for the hybrid engine.

Does anyone more in the know have any idea if these two things could meet? For those of us who commute Mon-Fri and love the fuel economy but maybe want to tow a boat/camper on the weekend, and/or carry kayaks/etc on the roof and would like a solid platform for a solid rack?

Call me greedy but a RAV4 Adventure Prime Hybird would be pretty much my perfect car...
 

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Thule makes a fit kit for the standard roof racks, on which you can attach any of their kayak options. Mine is a Japan build, so I purchased an extra tow hook so I have two anchor points in front for Kayaks, but I haven't actually used them yet.

As for towing, I don't think there is work around. If you want the tow package its only available with the Adventure
 

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These cars can tow more than the official rating. Part of the rating is how much you can tow without a significant performance loss. If you can understand and accept that the more you tow, the slower you go, then you can tow 3500 lbs. with the Hybrid. Just keep it at 55 mph or less and don't expect very good MPG. Expect to use double the gas (half the range) per tank vs. what you are used to. It is still an SUV. It is built very well in my opinion. I asked an engineer who worked on a previous generation hybrid why they derated the hybrid towing capacity so much since there is more power and torque than a gas only. It had nothing to do with the battery or transmission. It was mostly because they didn't want people to complain "hey, this thing sucks (gas) when towing 3500 lbs. like you wouldn't believe."

Think I'm kidding? Just read one of the "fuel tank" threads. 😉
 

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These cars can tow more than the official rating. Part of the rating is how much you can tow without a significant performance loss. If you can understand and accept that the more you tow, the slower you go, then you can tow 3500 lbs. with the Hybrid. Just keep it at 55 mph or less and don't expect very good MPG. Expect to use double the gas (half the range) per tank vs. what you are used to. It is still an SUV. It is built very well in my opinion. I asked an engineer who worked on a previous generation hybrid why they derated the hybrid towing capacity so much since there is more power and torque than a gas only. It had nothing to do with the battery or transmission. It was mostly because they didn't want people to complain "hey, this thing sucks (gas) when towing 3500 lbs. like you wouldn't believe."

Think I'm kidding? Just read one of the "fuel tank" threads. 😉
While this is true - you could tow 1700 lbs with a moped if you geared it low enough - the issue as I have been told is that if you get in an accident - even if it isn't your fault - with a vehicle greatly overloaded to manufacturers spec, your insurance may not cover it. At least that is what I have read on the boat forums.
 

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You take a risk every time you drive. It is all about burden of proof. Experts would have to prove the specifics of each individual case. They are not allowed to just simply not pay because they don't want to.
 

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It's possible the RAV4 Prime could tow more, considering it's rated at over 300 hp. We'll have to wait for more information.

My understanding, though, is the limiting factor is often the brakes. As was said before, gear the car low enough and you can pull just about anything. But if you don't have the brakes to match, stopping isn't going to be much fun. The regenerative braking on a hybrid makes this even more complex, as that might increase the overall braking ability, but only if the battery isn't full.
 

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Euro tow rating is much higher than NA spec, but rules governing tow ratings are different.

2019 Toyota Rav4 EU Tow Capacity.jpg


 

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Thanks for that! In Euro the Hybrid can tow 3,306 lbs. (1500 kg). Bet ya a box of donuts the USA version can too!
 

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Thanks for that! In Euro the Hybrid can tow 3,306 lbs. (1500 kg). Bet ya a box of donuts the USA version can too!
I think (though I could be wrong) that the reported US rating is unbraked, in which case it's actually pretty close to the euro number (1653 vs 1750 lbs). The USA version should be able to tow 3300 lbs no problem ... if the trailer has its own brakes.
 

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I think (though I could be wrong) that the reported US rating is unbraked, in which case it's actually pretty close to the euro number (1653 vs 1750 lbs). The USA version should be able to tow 3300 lbs no problem ... if the trailer has its own brakes.
Euro weights are in Kilograms, not pounds. Read page 204 in the US HV manual, max unbraked trailer weight is 1500lbs braked and 1000lb unbraked.

 

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But you all see it is semantics and not really part of the vehicle's capability. Be safe with it, but don't be afraid to tow once in a while. If you tow often, you'll probably get a different vehicle for that.
 

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Looks like I was wrong, then!
There's a conflict of tow rating between the HV manual and ebrochure, ebrochure says 1750lbs for the HV, HV manual says 1500lbs. :confused: HV tow rating has been 1750lbs braked since the 4th gen, I think the HV manuals are incorrect.
 

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