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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've looked all around for information on this and can't find anything. There's plenty of info now about towing WITH the RAV4 Hybrid, but what about towing it with another vehicle? Specifically I'm wondering, since the AWD-i means there's only an electric motor attached to the rear axle, is it possible to tow it with a dolly that keeps just the front wheels off the ground like you can with a normal FWD vehicle? I'd like to eventually get a motorhome and the RAV4 would be the perfect dinghy vehicle if it can be towed in this way.
 

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I don't know if you could get an "official" answer but I agree the rear wheels should be okay on the road. When they aren't powered by the i-AWD they are doing the same thing - coasting.
 

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Read the manual, it clearly states the Hybrid AWD can't be towed with ANY wheels on the ground, page 187 in the 2016 .pdf manual.

Your vehicle is not designed to be dinghy towed (with 4 wheels
on the ground) behind a motor home.
NOTICE
■To avoid serious damage to your vehicle
■To prevent causing serious damage to the hybrid transmission and
AWD system
Do not tow your vehicle with 4 wheels on
the ground.
Never tow this vehicle with any of the
wheels on the ground. This may cause
serious damage to the hybrid transmission
and AWD system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, that's annoying. Thanks guys. I looked for it in the manual, but I clearly wasn't looking in the right place. That's too bad, it'd be perfect otherwise. I guess I'll have to get a cheap dinghy vehicle when I decide to get an RV.
 

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Looking at a new '21 Rav4 hybrid (Limited) - there's no visible front (or rear) towing eye - how the heck do you have it pulled out of a snowbank?
 

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2020 RAV4 hybrid XLE, Magnetic Grey metallic, cold weather package.
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Check underneath of rear bumper. My 2020 hybrid xle had a massive plate with a hole in it. That said, my Japan vin hybrid has the towing hook threads and hook eye provided.
But only front. My 2010 Forester had tow hook threads on both front and back.
 

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Only Japan made Rav 4 have tow hooks now. Look for one with a J Vin. Though in CA I don't think you have that option. Also Go to the 4.5 forum for ideas of how people attached D rings under their vehicle

Looking at a new '21 Rav4 hybrid (Limited) - there's no visible front (or rear) towing eye - how the heck do you have it pulled out of a snowbank?
 

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2020 RAV4 hybrid XLE, Magnetic Grey metallic, cold weather package.
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Not sure if it exists but check under the bumper on the passenger side. My J vin hybrid had a massive plate with an eye there, definitely looks like a recovery point or tow hook point. This way at least you have something in the back to hook too.
But that is not towing point. It is recovery only.
 

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Read the manual, it clearly states the Hybrid AWD can't be towed with ANY wheels on the ground, page 187 in the 2016 .pdf manual.

Your vehicle is not designed to be dinghy towed (with 4 wheels
on the ground) behind a motor home.
NOTICE
■To avoid serious damage to your vehicle
■To prevent causing serious damage to the hybrid transmission and
AWD system
Do not tow your vehicle with 4 wheels on
the ground.
Never tow this vehicle with any of the
wheels on the ground. This may cause
serious damage to the hybrid transmission
and AWD system.
Ok, my partner currently drives a 2020 RAV4 hybrid, it's the 4th Toyota hybrid she's owned. Knowing that the rear diff is driven by its own electric motor I fail to see how it can damage the transmission. There's no connection other that electrical. I believe the rear wheels lock do to the fact that they are energized even when the vehicle is turned off. (I don't believe it really ever is unless the main energy source is decoupled). You can see this effect when working on CNC equipment. Some vehicles, older Subaru's with automatics come to mind, can be towed by bypassing the viscous coupling that controls the front/rear torque bias. But what I wonder is is there a way to electrically freewheel the rear differential/wheels in RAV4 hybrid without damaging the electronics.

Manuals state what they do to protect folks with little specific or technical knowledge by just saying no to something they don't offer as a feature. It doesn't mean it can't be done.
 

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Manuals state what they do to protect folks with little specific or technical knowledge by just saying no to something they don't offer as a feature. It doesn't mean it can't be done.
You can certainly go ahead and ignore the manual's clear instructions. Might as well do the same about other requirements such as doing oil changes and don't with them, using the same logic.
 

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I guess if the car is in neutral then it can be towed (winched) on to a flatbed, without damaging the transmission or rear wheel motor. I suppose short winching is the key, otherwise you could never even get it on a flatbed.
 
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