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Towing with the Highlander Hybrid



  • nomorebenznomorebenz Posts: 109
    I've never heard of a dealer not wanting to make money on options that his service department can add on easily. Take a look at the e-brochure on the toyota website. They have a picture of the hitch. Frankly, if you have a need for a hitch I don't think aesthetics matter.
  • gone2fishgone2fish Posts: 3
    Did you ever get info on this? There should be an adapter that you could buy to convert 4 pin to 7 pin. I am considering purchasing a HH to replace my Durango to conserve gas, and aid in greener emissions but am concerned about towing performance with my 3400 pound tent trailer. How has your experience been? What weight trailer are you towing?
  • gone2fishgone2fish Posts: 3
    I am considering buying a HH, but am concerned about towing a 3400 lb trailer. Does anyone have experience with towing? Any recommendations on the tow package to obtain with the HH? What kind of mileage are you getting? How is the power?
  • gone2fishgone2fish Posts: 3
    I'm considering buying a HH and wondering about towing a 3400lb tent trailer with brake controller unit. Have you wired a break controller unit on yours? does your trailer battery charge while driving? How is all this working for you? For the 5 times per year I tow a trailer on vacation, I'd be happy to get 15mpg, if I could increase my gas mileage when not towing.
  • 8241582415 Posts: 38
    There was some experience towing with HH. Check out this link:
  • 8241582415 Posts: 38
    There was some experience towing with HH. Check out this link:
  • 8241582415 Posts: 38
    Also check out message # 1924 in this forum on towing and mpg..
  • luckyleeluckylee Posts: 5
    I just bought a highlander hybrid with a hitch package. it's flush with the bumper and looks great! The dealer, if he installs one, will find that he needs to install a trani cooler as well as the hitch, wiring, and a bit more. I think it costs the dealer about $600 or more, while the factory hitch is only $400 or so.
  • 8241582415 Posts: 38
    Congratulations. It would be nice if you could post some pictures. Thanks.
  • luckyleeluckylee Posts: 5
    Well...I went out to take some pix...but I can't figure out how to attach, insert, paste, or otherwise post them here. I'll share if you can tell me how to do so.

    I stand corrected: the hitch protrudes perhaps 2 inches.
  • 8241582415 Posts: 38
    You could look up under "Help" for "Post a photo.." but it seems that you would have to create a personal space on a server prior to uploading your pictures there and then use the html tag to insert into your post. It is a bit inconvenient, sorry, I had not realized. Please forget it if it is too much trouble.

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  • mroczkamroczka Posts: 11
    Jim I,m going to purchase a Highlander Hybrid, and I could,nt figure out how to install a hitch, I won,t be towing a traler, but i,m thinking of a bike rack, that hooks on to a traler hitch, if theres something out there for the bike rack on a highlander hybrid. The highlander hybrid i,m looking at shows no towing package, on the manufacture list thats on the window. Did you install the hitch yourself or had it installed professionally. Frank
  • jslatejslate Posts: 25
    Professionally done through the dealer. I think it looks quite nice. The exhaust is in the way, so it takes a custom hitch to fit. I think it was the same as the one for the regular Highlander.

  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Thank you for all the specific info, what a post!!!

    Do you have a 2-inch hitch?

    From your very detail report, it looks like towing on freeways is a breeze. That really adds to our confidence level.

  • jslatejslate Posts: 25
    Yes - it is a 2"er Class III. Nothing smaller will handle the weight I am towing. Brake controller is also a must, in my opinion (and many states agree.)

  • shilohladyshilohlady Posts: 24
    Did you have to request the brake controller? Mine came with the hitch installed but it's only a 4-flat electrical so I doubt it has the brake ocntroller. I'm not planning on towing much but would be nice to have "in case" - just wondering about the incremental cost if adding the brake controller functionality.
  • jslatejslate Posts: 25
    Yes, I had to request it. I don't remember the cost - it was all done as a package deal by the company that installed the hitch. I'm guessing that it was around $150 - $200 installed for a better quality unit. If the trailer you are going to tow doesn't have brakes, the brake controller won't have anything to control! Also, I believe you need the 7-pin wiring to include the braking capability.

  • jsymonsjsymons Posts: 1
    I just today bought a Highlander Hybrid AWD, bare bones. The dealer said that the towing hitch is not an option because the car i bought does not have the optional towing package (oil cooler, wiring, and he says larger radiator, etc). The literature seems to say that the hybrid has standard capacity to 3500 lbs. Which is right? what do I need to add to the standard hybrid to be able to tow 3500 lbs safely other than the hitch? Is it wired all the way to the rear bumper already?

  • shilohladyshilohlady Posts: 24
    Mine came installed by the dealer - I have the non-limited HiHy but I *do* have the option package. I believe that the hybrid comes with the "towing prep" as standard, however the wiring and hitch need to be installed. There have been threads at and regarding installing hitches as an aftermarket option.
  • pdx35pdx35 Posts: 3
    Ok... has anyone else towed with their HiHy? Any positive or negitive experieces???
  • I have a highlander hybrid and (am about to) have a 16' airstream trailer. I've started to look at hitches online and have a couple of questions...

    Does anyone know if the hitch available through Toyota has a tongue weight limit of 300 lbs or 350 lbs. I asked my local Toyota dealer and got no answer.

    Are you all having your toyota dealer do the hitch/wiring installation or is there some other good place to go?

    thanks in advance,
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Towing Prep Package — includes upgraded radiator, transmission oil cooler,
    130-amp alternator and trailer prewiring; 4-cylinder models add: 3000-lb. towing
    ,5 engine oil cooler, power-steering oil cooler and 120-watt fan coupling;
    V6 models add 3500-lb. towing capacity,5 and 160-watt fan coupling.

    According to Toyota, the tongue weight limit is relates to the capacity, therefore 3000# = 300# tongue weight, 3500# = 350#.

    Congratulations on the Airstream! We have very found memories of the one we had, and know you will have a blast with it. :)
  • There are a number of shared towing experiences within this thread (it does meander quite a bit). All, including my own, have been very positive. Toyota specs for '06 HH 4wdi: 1431 lbs max payload, 3500 lbs max trailer weight. Curb weight of this HH limited: 4245 lbs. With 268 hp net, you get 15.8 lb/hp. With my '93 GMC Suburban, it was 23.1 lb/hp making the HH 46% more powerful! The HH 2wd eliminates the rear wheel motor, increasing your payload, but reducing your net horsepower a bit.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "With 268 hp net, you get 15.8 lb/hp. With my '93 GMC Suburban, it was 23.1 lb/hp making the HH 46% more powerful!"

    Just a tad bit unfair, unless you also list the total towing capacity of the 1993 GMC? In terms of maximum towing capacity, I suspect the GMC was more powerful...
  • I'll add my two cents to this thread. I towed my glider trailer last weekend with a HH 4wd. Glider trailers are tricky to tow because of their length (28') and the fact that they have a lot of sail area. Weight is about 1800 lbs. The rig was rock solid in mountainous terrain with a 25 mph crosswind. Was at least as good as my previous vehicle, a Grand Cherokee. I am quite pleased with the performance. Overall, I am getting about 26-27 MPG.
  • ljmiiiljmiii Posts: 7
    6 months later and my questions became answers. I got a weight distribution capable hitch reciever on etrailer, had it and a prodigy brake controller installed by hecht, got an equal-i-zer W/D hitch, and have been happily towing my 16' Airsream ever since.

    As others have mentioned, the 2006 HiHy has extraordinary power for its 3500lb tow rating. The 2008 is another story - same engine, 500 extra pounds, and a 5000lb tow rating.
  • deserthhdeserthh Posts: 11
    Absolutely, with a 10,000 lb rating, this GMC was designed for heavy duty hauling. Unfortunately, its ICE was rated at 230 hp (3600 rpm). The vehicle curb weight was 5535 lbs. Patience was always needed when towing.
  • RE: As others have mentioned, the 2006 HiHy has extraordinary power for its 3500lb tow rating. The 2008 is another story - same engine, 500 extra pounds, and a 5000lb tow rating.

    Does the '08 really have a 5,000lb tow rating??? I can't verify that anywhere - Toyota's website,etc. I am anxious to find out -- It will make a difference in whether or not we purchase the HiHy.

  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    The 2008 Highlander Hybrid still tows only 3500-lbs.

    Please see the following link:

    If the link takes you to general specifications, click on the "CAPACITIES" tab and it will show the towing limits.

    So the car still does not have enough continuous torque to tow. This is the only time I wish they do not detune the V6 in the hybrid model. Make this a 350-hp monster with electronic speed limit at 112-MPH but let the V6 have the full gas-powered 270-hp torque to tow 5000-lbs.

    Ah well, I am dreaming.....
This discussion has been closed.