Towing a camper.


Old 06-18-17, 06:10 PM
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Towing a camper.

A friend of mine has a 2016 Toyota Highlander XLE. It's rated to tow 5,000 pounds. She wants to tow a her camper from Floriduh to NY. She wants to know if there would be any problems if she went over that limit by 100 pounds or so. It's mostly a flat ride except in parts of New Jersey. She has to take a truck route due to a double axle on the camper. I don't know if it matters but she also mentioned something about a weight distribution hitch. Does that help?
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Old 06-19-17, 03:56 AM
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It's marginal, but if only 100# over I think she would be OK. Tell her to be sure use the TOW/HAUL mode and to stay under the 55 MPH speed limit. Most campers would be fully loaded with stuff and people don't worry.
Old 06-19-17, 04:16 AM
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An equalizer hitch will allow maximum control of steering and braking.
It balances the excess forces on the rear wheels of the towing vehicle by raising the rear of the vehicle and applying pressure on the front wheels allowing proper braking and steering.

It is not really an option.....any evasive maneuver could cause a loss of control.
Old 06-19-17, 05:10 AM
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The first problem is the weight and does your friend actually know the weight? If they are looking at the specs for the trailer many people just consider the empty weight and forget the water in the tanks, the 100# air conditioner that was added and the dishes, linens and everything else.

Generally I don't worry about a vehicle's ability to get a trailer moving. It's the braking that concerns me. If the trailer has brakes I would be more inclined to say go for it.
Old 06-19-17, 05:14 AM
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Thanks, I'm going to give her all that info.
Old 06-19-17, 05:34 AM
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I agree with Dane in not worrying as much about getting a trailer in motion as I am about stopping it. The tow/haul feature that Norm mentioned helps on both ends, starting and stopping, so important to use it. This automatically returns to normal mode each time the engine is shut off, so will need to be reengaged each time it is started. Along with actual trailer weight goes tongue weight, which can be estimated pretty close with a lever and bathroom scale. She may find information on this in her owners manual, otherwise it should be easy enough to find on the 'net. Proper tire pressure, found on the sidewalls of the tires, is important, on both the trailer and tow vehicle. And she wants an insert of the right height to keep the trailer as level as possible when in tow.
Old 06-19-17, 10:53 AM
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I got this from toyota.

The real jump comes at the XLE trim level where the standard engine is also a V6 but it includes a towing package. The towing package consists of a heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, 200-watt fan coupling, a 150-amp alternator and supplemental transmission oil cooler. The combination of the V6 engine and towing package gives the 2016 Toyota Highlander a 5,000 lbs. towing capacity. That is a little over three times the towing capacity of the most basic level.

Horsepower 270 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 248 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

Transmission Type 6-speed ECT automatic
Gear Ratios
1st 3.300 3.300
2nd 1.900 1.900
3rd 1.420 1.420
4th 1.000 1.000
5th 0.713 0.713
6th 0.608 0.608
I have towed 5000 lbs with a V6 s10 pickup and I can tell you a few things. That is a lot of weight. It would be my advice at a minimum to

1.get a larger trans cooler installed. That is probably the weakest link. The factory ones are too small.
2. Air the tires to max cold psi on the side wall. This will keep tires cooler.
3I would advise towing in 4th gear only. Do not use overdrive at all. This will be direct drive and the TC will stay locked up. Otherwise IMO you will burn that tranny right up..
4. The Hitch that comes on that truck states 500 lbs tongue weight. It needs to be a WD hitch. If its not a new hitch will need to be added, as I can almost garuntee thet the hitch weight will be more then 500lbs. You already stated a WD is to be used.

I dont know what fluid that tranny takes but make sure synthetic is installed.

That engine is a high reving for torque. pulling hills it will rev to 5000 rpms im sure.

There is an ECT button for the trans. This revs the engine higher to get going. This may be similar to a tow haul mod. This should be activated IMO.

Thats all I can think of at the moment..

Its critical to get the WD hitch set up properly..
Old 06-19-17, 09:47 PM
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This is more of a question than advise.. I believe the 500# tongue weight is for the bumper, not a tow package.
I have a 2004 V8 Tundra with tow package and bumper is rated at 500#. Not sure of the hitch weight but I can tow about 10K. (wouldn't want to).
That said, you are going to feel this weight. 5K is pushing it.
Old 06-20-17, 03:34 AM
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Distribution of weight is of critical importance.

Check out this video.
Old 06-20-17, 04:04 AM
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How long has the Camper been sitting stationary in Florida without the wheel bearings being re-packed with grease ?

I'd reckon that it would be a lot easier to check them out before leaving than to worry about one freezing up along the side of the road and half way to New York.
Old 06-20-17, 05:54 AM
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More good points since I gave her the information yesterday. I think that she is having second thoughts. I should have warned everyone that she can be ditzy. LOL
Old 06-20-17, 07:13 AM
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I don't blame her. Towing a camper from FL to NY is not my idea of fun. Pulling my little enclosed trailer isn't bad up to about 55 but over that I can really feel the wind resistance and watch my fuel gauge drop.
Old 07-13-17, 03:07 PM
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If the tires are over 5 years old in the Fla sun I wold be concerned.

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