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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the Rav4, we have two options for your hitch and wiring install...

First, OEM direct components with tax and labor totals $1014.40.

Second, to save money, we can utilize an aftermarket hitch and
OEM wiring with tax and labor totals $629.32.
I will visit them this week to clarify 1) what lesser hitch is and 2) whether the wiring will run inside the body, then out.

What else have I ignored? Electric brake module? I had that on my monster GMC. Dunno if it is necessary here because with the 454 GMC I would haul a car carrier. I'm not going to do that with the RAV4.


Thank you in advance, my friends.
Pico
 

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The big question: what are the loads for which will you be using the trailer hitch?

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a hitch and wiring can be found online for $150-200 from well respected hitch makers...and the kicker is...they all are rated to the same 3500 lbs...dont throw your money away...
 

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I did a lot of research, months ago (including threads here) - looks like the best aftermarket hitch is a REESE...under $200.

The Canadian v6 Limited 4.3 model, came standard equipped with tow package / trans cooler, bigger alternator & radiator, etc.
^^ And identified by 140 Amp fuse...tow capacity = 3,500 lbs.

On Limited models sold in the USA, the tow package was an option...if missing tow capacity = 1,500 lbs. max (including trailer)

Either way, many small single axle trailers are towed without electric axle brake & under dash control module (~$200).
 

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On Limited models sold in the USA, the tow package was an option...if missing tow capacity = 1,500 lbs. max (including trailer)
That's actually not true of the V6. In North America if the V6 does not have the Tow Prep package the towing capacity is 2,000 lbs. max.

It's 1500 lbs max for the North American 4.3 with the I4 engine, which never had any kind of Tow Prep package option.

Towing capacity includes the weight of the trailer and of the cargo.

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The same ratings apply across all models, Base, Limited or Sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The big question: what are the loads for which will you be using the trailer hitch?
Max 3500 for short distances (< 50 miles) for a big honkin boat. Other use for smaller trailer to hold extra camping gear long distances.
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Max 3500 for short distances (< 50 miles) for a big honkin boat. Other use for smaller trailer to hold extra camping gear long distances.
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While others will disagree, in my opinion if you'll be towing anywhere near 3500 lbs I would definitely get the OEM Toyota hitch (and absolutely have trailer brakes, of course).

The OEM hitch has many more attachment points and was specifically designed by Toyota for the vehicle, for all supported configurations (e.g. max rating).

If you were only ever going to tow in the 1500 lb max range, then I'd suggest any hitch would be fine.

Note that for a "big honkin boat" one thing to consider is drag and wind. Lots of drag may effectively add to the load, but perhaps more importantly significant crosswinds may wind up wagging the light-weight RAV4 all over the road.

You'll have to judge for yourself, but the RAV itself only weighs about 3500 lbs...

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Here's the Toyota hitch:



Lesser ones are one piece and four bolts. If I were going to tow about the same weight my car is I'd cough up for the Toyota version.
 

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Most ravs weigh about 3700 or so pounds and the Max load to tow is 3500 so the rav will always weigh more than what is being towed provided you stay within the recommended limits...to give you some perspective a class 8 truck generally weighs about 15k lbs and the legal limit for the highway use is 80k lbs...this means the trailer weighs 65k lbs more than the tow vehicle...the important thing to remember when towing is not to make any abrupt maneuvers and to anticipate surrounding traffic...while the Toyota hitch is nice it is total overkill...the hitch itself will should only support 350 lbs...the extra attachments are not necessary...many people have towed the limit with aftermarket hitches...your money so it's your call...
 

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If you want to go "all Toyota" and by the book the manual states the receiver hitch should be removed after towing and any bolt holes resealed.
 

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to give you some perspective a class 8 truck generally weighs about 15k lbs and the legal limit for the highway use is 80k lbs...this means the trailer weighs 65k lbs more than the tow vehicle..
While that may be true, there's a HECKUVA lot more rubber meeting the road and braking system force for a tractor-trailer than a RAV4.

The tractor trailer is specifically designed to tow that much more than it's own weight, given the trailer systems in use.

Comparing a RAV4 to a tractor trailer doesn't make much sense to me.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you want to go "all Toyota" and by the book the manual states the receiver hitch should be removed after towing and any bolt holes resealed.
Yeah, I read that in the manual. And laughed. I'm tempted to zinc paint the parts of the underside that the hitch will be bolted to. Worth it?

JuneBug reminded us long ago that the manual also says we should not use the interior handles above the door, and no coat hangars on the, ah, coat hooks. :)

Just had a guy knock on my door asking about the '56 Bug in my drive. I might just have some money for toys soon!
 

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While that may be true, there's a HECKUVA lot more rubber meeting the road and braking system force for a tractor-trailer than a RAV4.

The tractor trailer is specifically designed to tow that much more than it's own weight, given the trailer systems in use.

Comparing a RAV4 to a tractor trailer doesn't make much sense to me.

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Agreed. A Piper Cub and a Jumbo Jet are both airplanes but...........
 

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my point was that he should have no issues towing a 3500 pound trailer with a 4000 pound rav(with people inside)...since the rav is heavier than the trailer the rav will always win the tug of war between the 2...i was not comparing a rav to a truck...i just made the reference to show that a vehicle that is much lighter than its trailer can still safely tow...
 

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...i just made the reference to show that a vehicle that is much lighter than its trailer can still safely tow...
The most important factor as to how much trailer weight a truck or car can safely control is the hitch point. Tractor trailers, 5th wheel and gooseneck trailers tow from the hitch point centered over the truck's rear axle. From that point trailer sway has no influence on the directional stability of the truck.

A car or SUV is by necessity a "bumper pull" vehicle where trailer sway has to be controlled by the tow vehicle. The rule of thumb of the tow vehicle weight needing to exceed the trailer weight derives from sway control.
 
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