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Towing with the Toyota Highlander



  • smitbradsmitbrad Posts: 8
    edited April 2010
    I just installed the Toyota hitch and wiring harness over the weekend. I think the Toyota hitch looks much better than the after market ones and is worth the extra money. Before I bought my 2010 I made sure the hitch was covered and looked like it was integrated with the bumper. I think the hitches that mount below the bumper and are exposed look like crap.

    I ordered my hitch and harness from Toyota Parts Delivered. The hitch, cover, wiring harness and shipping cost $509.
  • jjpetlovrjjpetlovr Posts: 3
    Has anyone been able to install a Brake controller on a 2010 Highlander? It has the Tow package and just got the Draw tite class III receiver and 4 prong wire harness installed today, but the installer said that he cannot find a way to install a brake controller. He states he can wire it from front to back, but is not sure it will work or if it will interfere with the traction control or other braking functions. I would really like to have a brake controller as my new Coleman Niagara weighs about 4000lbs when loaded. That is only 1000lbs under the max tow weight.

    I would appreciate any help or information anyone has. Thank you in advance...

  • hivemanhiveman Posts: 10
    I had a brake controller installed on my 2009 HL at the time the hitch was installed and it works fine. No electrical problems that I have noticed so I assume the same would be true of the 2010 model.
  • I tow a 6x10 trailer with my 2005 Highlander (Base, 6cyl, AWD). The trailer weights about 1200 pounds and the load brings it to 3500 pounds. The tires seem to wear out in the sidewalls more quickly and it was suggested that I increase the tire size AND lift the rear end which sags with the trailer alone or with the extra weight. Is there a "lift kit" for the Highlander or what about adding springs - Eibach is a brand that has been mentioned. Bottom line - the Highlander has a saggy rear and I need to figure out a way to lift it up to allow better performing tires to fit and not rub?
  • have a 2002 hl with the factory hitch and wiring. It was missing a fifth blue wire for the disc brake lockout. I wired into the brake light line and it has worked fine.

    I also have a 2003 Nissan murano and installed my own hitch and used the Nissan wiring kit. It didn't include a fifth blue wire for the lock out. I had to tap off the 12v. line to the converter and use a toggle switch to back up. very inconvenient.

    I am now considering a 2011 hl. do all v6 come with trailer tow cooling etc.? I don't mind installing my own hitch and I don't really care what it looks like. I also don't mind installing my own wiring kit, but once again, what about the fifth (blue) lock out line?

    any tips, suggestions or advice. thanks, rr70
  • gbesaw74gbesaw74 Posts: 1
    I'm planning to buy a 2011 Highlander (V6 version) and tow a Mini Cooper Clubman (3800 lbs) cross country 2900 miles on a front-wheel dolly. Is there a manufacturer-specified break in mileage for new vehicles prior to using it for towing?
  • mkunkle1mkunkle1 Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2011 HL V6 AWD with towing pkg. Owner's manual states that I should wait until I have 50) mile on the odometer before towing. Hope that helps.
  • mkunkle1mkunkle1 Posts: 2
    Sorry, 500 miles...
  • natgyanatgya Posts: 2
    Hi there,

    I'm just waiting for our new Highlander (3 weeks). In meantime, I have to make some decisions. Help??

    We also just bought a travel trailer (hence the need for the highlander).

    Toyota's dealer-installed tow package comes with a 4-pin.

    We are told that we will need a 7-pin/plug hock, a break controller and a weight distribution hitch.

    My question: Since Toyota can't install the 7-pin, is there anything in their towing package that I need?

    I'm afraid that I might be wasting my money if I get the dealer's tow package then have to take it somewhere else to have additional work done. Would I be better off finding a good hitch installer and have them do the whole job?

    Hoping that those with experience will chime in.

    Many thanks, in advance.

  • do some searches on this board. also, speak with several hitch installers. i have a 2002 hl and needed a 5 pin for back up lock out and ended up tapping off the brakes light line. i wouldn't want to do that with a new hl. the dealer installed wiring will be a waste of money. hopethat helps. rr70
  • jrfierojrfiero Posts: 123
    I don't know about the new HLs, but IIRC with my 2001 the towing package included things like a larger radiator and transmission cooler, so the wiring should be a secondary consideration.

  • I just bought a used 2002 highlander with a factory installed hitch. I am planning on getting a trailer and moving across the country. The hitch does not have the carrying capacity anywhere written on it. How do I find out the carrying capacity?
  • i have a 2002 w/ v6 and 2" receiver box and towed quite a lot with it. make sure you drain and refill the tranny before and after you tow. totyota tyupe IV tranny fluid is now available at most autoparts stores.

    if its a v6 HL, and has the reciever has a 2" receiver box, it is most likely rated for 3,500 lbs towing weight which is also the two limit for the HL

    I don't remember the tongue weight but since the tongue weight should be about 7 to 9% of the towed weight for best towing, it shouldn't be more than 350 lbs anyway. hope that helps. rr70
  • Hello Toyota owners!
    I have a 2012 V6 Highlander and I am planning to buy 4000lbs towable RV.
    I wonder if someone would like to share his experience towing with the Highlander with me? Performance, stability in the wind, and gas consumption.
    Thank you for your help!
  • I have towed a 3200 lb boat, motor and trailer with my 2002. You will have no problem. A few pointers:

    Drain and refill the transmission at least one a year. Its a little expensive, but wlll worth doing.

    you may need a back up lock out. this may be tricky to wire.

    make sure you have trailer brakes.

    hope that helps. rr70
  • Thanks RR70, I appreciate your help and advise!
  • We have a 2010 V6 Highlander with the tow package. 5000-lb. towing capacity, heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, 200-watt fan coupling and supplemental transmission oil cooler.
    We tow a 3900lb Coleman Niagara Tent Trailer. We had to add a break controller for the electric brakes on the trailer. We also added a WDH with sway control. It just didn't feel like a solid tow until we added the WDH. Now, it is great. Good control, very little sway with wind. (we are medium profile) Gas consumption takes a decent hit. We average 14. Less on steep pulls. Overall though, I think the Highlander does a great job.
  • Hello jjpetlovr ,

    I contacted Toyota dealer here in Houston and was informed I don't need heavy-duty radiator, engine oil cooler, 200-watt fan coupling or supplemental transmission oil cooler. They said the 2012 is already equipped to tow 5000lbs. Did you buy those after purchasing the vehicle? and how strongly do you recommend them.

    Thank you for your help!
  • Well... I tend to be overly cautious. On our 2010, the "tow package" was an option that we opted for because IMHO, you can never be too prepared. Can you tow without those options? Probably.... Do you have a little bit more piece of mind with those options??? I sure do. When I am pulling a steep grade, I love the fact that my temp gauge never goes up at all. I think that the Highlander does a fine job. But, towing does put a heavy load on all the components. I want it to be as easy on my tow vehicle as possible.
    Now, if the 2012 comes with those items Standard on the Highlander then that may be something to find out. If so, then you are set. :-)
    Not really sure I answered your question, but I know after reading a LOT of posts here, I think a lot of people agree.
    Good luck!!! :-)
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