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Discussion Starter #1
Before my Rav4 I owned a 1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5. It was a 3.4L 4 speed automatic. Some google searching says it was rated to tow 3500-5000lbs. My Rav4 seems to only be rated for 3000lbs. I don't really understand why. It has way more hp and torque, its AWD, it has a 5 speed auto vs the 4runner's 4 speed auto, their wheel bases are only a couple inches different, it has 4 wheel disk breaks while the 4runner had tiny front disks and rear drums that didn't do much....is it solely because the 4Runner was a Solid rear axle vs the Rav4 having IRS?

I'm curious cause I have a 2000 SeaRay 185BR boat. Fully loaded up for the lake I'm guessing its around 4000lbs. The 4Runner towed it no problem, only struggled on steep hills since it only made like 180hp. I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything that is very dangerous. I am a very experienced driver with lots of towing miles. I've just never attempted towing with the Rav4. I'd simply go try it but I don't have a hitch receiver yet. I ordered one from my local NAPA and it's a class 3 rated for 6000lbs, so the computer said. I also ordered a fluid cooler that I'm going to put somewhere when I find space behind the grill lol.
 

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The 4Runner has a truck frame and the RAV4 does not. A stronger frame helps increase towing capacity along with engine performance and other towing enhancements (bigger radiator, bigger fans , larger alternator, etc.)

Even the Highlander with the same engine as the RAV4 can tow more (5000 lbs) since it has a stronger frame and possibly a better cooling system.

As for your 4000 lb boat the RAV4 would be able to tow it but safety wise you should not.
Your car insurance can deny any accident claims if they find out it contributed to the accident. Your RAV4 maybe unstable on windy days. Handling around sharp bends may cause problems etc. It is just not worth the risk.
 

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Hmm...i really need to find a scale to see what the weight of my boat and trailer is exactly....or trade the rav4 in for a tacoma! Lol
 

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Hmm...i really need to find a scale to see what the weight of my boat and trailer is exactly....or trade the rav4 in for a tacoma! Lol
For serious towing a pickup truck is the only way to go. The Tacoma would work well. If you have the V6 and tow under 3500lbs you can tow it.
 

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Well, I got around to trying it. The tongue weight of my boat is too much for the Rav4. The receiver was only about 2 inches off the ground and I think the rav would have bottomed out if I hit any decent bump at speed. Well dang it, I'll probably have to work my way back into a 4runner or Tacoma.
 

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The RAV4 Sport V6 is rated for 3500 lbs. towing capacity IF it came with the towing prep package. Not all V6's came with it. Without the tow prep package, the towing capacity is only 2000 lbs. as I recall. To verify if you have the tow prep package, look for the 140A alternator fuse in the fuse box under the hood. If it has the 120A fuse, no tow prep.
 

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Spudferno, I Googled your Sea Ray 185 BR boat and it should weigh 2800lbs. There should be no reason why your receiver is 2 inch off the ground unless as MrPulldown mention you have the wrong receiver or is not in the correct position. If it is in the correct position then perhaps your shocks and springs are worn down.
 

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Well, I got around to trying it. The tongue weight of my boat is too much for the Rav4. The receiver was only about 2 inches off the ground and I think the rav would have bottomed out if I hit any decent bump at speed. Well dang it, I'll probably have to work my way back into a 4runner or Tacoma.
I'm not familiar with boat trailers but if there was a way to add a weight transfer hitch to the trailer it could be very effective at lifting the receiver.
 
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