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What Travel Trailers has anyone towed with a Rav4? I want to do some RV'ing, but I don't want to have to get another vehicle. Anyone have experience with tiny Travel Trailers small enough to tow behind a Rav4?
 

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I do not have experience with it but.... With the 1500 lb limit your choices are narrow....like a teardrop (egg shaped) style. It will need brakes also.
 

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Here's a previous discussion on towing a travel trailer with a Hybrid which has a little higher tow rating, A Scamp or Boler would work if it was rigged with brakes.

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/109-4-4-electric-rav4-hybrid-ev/249153-2017-rav4-hybrid-limited-towing-2.html#post2294073

Another... http://www.rav4world.com/forums/123-4-4-general/188722-can-i-tow-tent-trailer-2015-xle.html

Don't have any advice on trailers for MN, but I do have towing experience with my '16 RAV4 Hybrid Limited. I have an old Coleman popup camping trailer, base weight of 1325, max weight 1995 lbs. I'm sure I've been close to maximum load carrying 20gal of water, two 20lb propane tanks, and all the gear.

Going up a steep hill it can get noisy with the engine running at high revs continuously, but other than that the RAV4 rides fine. Even with hills or mountains on the way, I get an overall mileage of 24mpg while towing it. And, I can maintain 60 mph+ on all but the steepest hills in CA and NV.

IMHO, electric trailer brakes are a must. Braking on a level surface is sort of OK, but when I tried going down a long hill without using trailer brakes, my discs on the RAV got pretty squishy. Even on a flat surface, it clearly stops faster with the trailer brakes, and just feels safer.

I think the air helper spring kits are a must, too. Pain in the neck to get those air bladders inside the coil springs, but they keep my RAV4 level when its loaded down.

For reference, I have a Drawtite 75235 hitch, Tekonsha Prodigy P2 brake controller, Firestone 4174 Coil-Rite Air Helper Spring Kit, Reese 118578 T-One Connector. All are working well so far.

BTW, with the mostly LED lamps, Toyota changed the size of the wires and connectors starting in year 2016. T-connector trailer wiring kits for 2015 or older RAVs don't work.
 

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We tow a small pop up camper that is designed to be towed by motorcycles The camper opens to 15ft, fits a queen size air mattress, has a table, place for a couple of chairs and changing clothes. We also carry an AC for those lovely summer days. Google motorcycle campers. All sorts of brands and price points. Solace, Timeout, Bushtec, Aspen and so forth. PM me for pics.

Anyway, we own a Solace camper but all of the links are top notch quality built campers. These are just a few models of what is available.

Here is a link to the one we tow: https://theusatrailerstore.com/solace-motorcycle-camping-trailer/
Timeout: http://www.timeouttrailers.org/MotorcycleCamper-s/108.htm
Bunkhouse (made by Bushtec): http://www.bunkhousecamper.com/
Aspen: http://www.aspenqualitytrailers.com/
Roadman: https://www.roadmancampers.com/
 

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I have a jayco 18’ travel trailer- 2670 lb dry weight. I tow it with 2017 RAV4 LE. Added a trans cooler, the Firestone airbags, Reese Weight Distribution hutch with sway bars and the Prodigy wireless brake controller. I run about 40 psi in the airbags, and the car handles it well. You won’t win any drag races but it’s not bad. Run with the sport mode selected and in S4 so it stays out of overdrive- try to keep the rpms above 3k and the speed 60-65 max. If the adventure can tow 3500 so can the rest of us. Toyota showed their hand when they rolled that out. They have the same unibody and transmission we do - just an added cooler and heavier springs, and of course the black stripe and special wheels-lol. I would like to find a means of monitoring the trans fluid temperature tho
 

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I have a jayco 18’ travel trailer- 2670 lb dry weight. I tow it with 2017 RAV4 LE. Added a trans cooler, the Firestone airbags, Reese Weight Distribution hutch with sway bars and the Prodigy wireless brake controller. I run about 40 psi in the airbags, and the car handles it well. You won’t win any drag races but it’s not bad. Run with the sport mode selected and in S4 so it stays out of overdrive- try to keep the rpms above 3k and the speed 60-65 max. If the adventure can tow 3500 so can the rest of us. Toyota showed their hand when they rolled that out. They have the same unibody and transmission we do - just an added cooler and heavier springs, and of course the black stripe and special wheels-lol. I would like to find a means of monitoring the trans fluid temperature tho
Trans temp can be monitored by a ScanGaugeII. It connects to the OBD port. I use one in my 2003 Ford F-350 and it works great. They also monitor many other sources of data that can be accessed via OBD.

https://www.scangauge.com/
 

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We're fulltiming in an RV (motorhome) but drive the RAV4 separately. We don't have a tow hitch to pull RAV4 behind coach.
 

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I have a jayco 18’ travel trailer- 2670 lb dry weight. I tow it with 2017 RAV4 LE. Added a trans cooler, the Firestone airbags, Reese Weight Distribution hutch with sway bars and the Prodigy wireless brake controller. I run about 40 psi in the airbags, and the car handles it well. You won’t win any drag races but it’s not bad. Run with the sport mode selected and in S4 so it stays out of overdrive- try to keep the rpms above 3k and the speed 60-65 max. If the adventure can tow 3500 so can the rest of us. Toyota showed their hand when they rolled that out. They have the same unibody and transmission we do - just an added cooler and heavier springs, and of course the black stripe and special wheels-lol. I would like to find a means of monitoring the trans fluid temperature tho
I tow a double bike trailer which is 2000 lbs plus gear and an extra passenger. this stuff has to all be factored into your total weight. So that's probably another 500-800 lbs.
As you did Andrew19942001 I installed a trans cooler after the rad cooler with a 180 degree thermostat so its doesn't overcool as I live in Canada. Climbing the big hills on the interstate in Penn, WV, Virginia and NC the trans never went above 200 degrees. Road speed was about 40 mph and it was working hard. Coolant temp also never went over 210.
I monitor this with a Scangage like SoCalAngler does. It gives many options but my 4 outputs are Voltage, actual road speed, engine water temp and transmission temp. It plugs into the diagonistic port under the dash and reads off of the engines computer. I have the numbers for the PID inputs for the trans temp if anybody wants them.
I keep it in 4th or 5th also and it gets surprising good fuel economy.
 

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Good to know about the mountain towing- we are headed to the mountains for Memorial Day weekend- i think I’m going to have the transmission fluid replaced with the Valvoline max life before I go as it is full synthetic and should handle heat better than the oem stuff-I’ve also ordered a blm327 Bluetooth OBD scanner that interfaces with an iPhone app, I’m hoping to be able to read trans and coolant temperature with this- I’ll report back here whatever happens
 

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Got a veepeak obd ble scanner device from amazon- it works with an iPhone app called obdfusion- I am able to read coolant temp, trans fluid temp, and engine oil temp no problem- total investment $50
 

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I have a jayco 18’ travel trailer- 2670 lb dry weight. I tow it with 2017 RAV4 LE. Added a trans cooler, the Firestone airbags, Reese Weight Distribution hutch with sway bars and the Prodigy wireless brake controller. I run about 40 psi in the airbags, and the car handles it well. You won’t win any drag races but it’s not bad. Run with the sport mode selected and in S4 so it stays out of overdrive- try to keep the rpms above 3k and the speed 60-65 max. If the adventure can tow 3500 so can the rest of us. Toyota showed their hand when they rolled that out. They have the same unibody and transmission we do - just an added cooler and heavier springs, and of course the black stripe and special wheels-lol. I would like to find a means of monitoring the trans fluid temperature tho

Loaded you're towing 2x the listed towing capacity. Hope you never get in a wreck because the police and lawyers aren't going to care the capacity of a different model. Be careful.
 

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Azjeff is correct RE: liability incurred when exceeding vehicle towing load limits set by manufacturers. It's the first thing they check after an incident involving towed vehicles ("toads").
 

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This is largely a misnomer- at least here in the Deep South. Most people don’t even have working trailer lights- that will get you pulled- but beyond that, they aren’t keeping a running list of every vehicle make and model and listed towing capacity. I’m insured the rav4 is insured and the camper is insured - in fact the insurance company asked if I was going to be towing the camper with my Honda Insight or Toyota RAV4- they never batted an eye at any of this. Of course I always try to be extra careful when towing; slow down, leave plenty of room etc. I appreciate your concern and position and it may be more prevalent in different parts of the country, but here in the southeast; people tow whatever with whatever-
 

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OBD scanner - transmission fluid temp

Got a veepeak obd ble scanner device from amazon- it works with an iPhone app called obdfusion- I am able to read coolant temp, trans fluid temp, and engine oil temp no problem- total investment $50
Are you still happy with your Veepeak? I'm wanting to try it. I have a 2018 Adventure, towing a 2700 Jay Flight - pretty close to my max when loaded, so really want to keep an eye on the trans temp. Did you need to input extra pid codes? Did you pay the extra $10 for the Toyota add-on package?
 
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