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Toyota Sienna Towing/Trailer Hitch Questions



  • Hello. This information is probably already on here somewhere, but here I go anyway.

    I have a 98 Sienna and would like to know if it will handle towing a two horse trailer. I don't have a specific one in mind because I don't know if it will work.

    I also would like to know whether it will be a job my husband would be able to do himself. He's handy, but not a Toyota tech.

    Thanks for any information.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Usually folks who tow that much get airbags to support the rear suspension. How heavy is it?
  • I don't know how much it weighs. I haven't decided on a trailer yet. We won't be hauling horses though. We raise Alpine Dairy goats. There would only be 4 or 5 in it at a time. I guess it would be up to 650 lbs. of goat. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Doesn't sound like too big a load. Unless it's a big covered trailer or something.
  • I'm thinking of buying a 20' Lund fishing boat that has its own surge brakes on the trailer. Empty Boat & motor weigh 2180 lbs; add in 40 gallons of gas, trolling motor, 3 batteries, fishing equipment; it will probably be around 2500-2800 lbs. My hitch is rated for 3500 lbs with tongue weight of 350 lbs.

    It's a Toyota 2004 Sienna AWD with factory installed Towing package. Can I pull this boat/motor/trailer without long-term damage to the van (48,000 miles) described above? It pulls the boat okay but it sure seems to work hard up and down hills.

    Will additional items (air bags, etc.) help? Can they be added at home or what?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've heard air bags do help, but I haven't actually put on a hitch yet.

    You're not at the limit so you may do fine without them. Plus you know they exist if you do end up needing them.
  • I need to hang a wheelchair lift on the rear of my 2010 Sienna. It DOES NOT have a towing package. Total weigth of lift and chair will be in 300-325 lb range. The manual states max tongue weight of 120 lbs without the tow package. Any ideas?Load levelers? Weight distribution hitch? The dealer seems clueless, and can't say if any change (hitch, levelers, WDH) will effect warranty.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The tow package has oil coolers, I'm not sure if it'll matter if you're just adding 300 lbs to the tongue and not towing any trailer.

    Just do this - subtract 300 lbs from your max payload capacity. If you do not exceed that, it should do just fine.

    People who tow very heavy loads get air bags to keep the rear suspension level, but I'm not sure you'd even need those.
  • Looking to buy an ultra light travel trailer to pull with my 2002 V-6 Sienna. Am I being real? How heavy a trailer can I tow in safety?
  • I have a 2004 Sienna AWD with the towing package and just today I bought an 18' boat with a 150 hp Merc on it. I pulled it from near Des Moines to Mpls and everything went fine. The boat package would probably weigh in the neighborhood of 2300-2400 lbs. My towing specs are 3500 # tow weight and 350# tongue weight. Hope this helps.
  • hogan773hogan773 Posts: 255
    Hi all - anyone know if the 2011s will take the same hitches as the 2009/2010s (ie the current Sienna hitches being sold in aftermarket)? I thought I read that the platform for the "new" Sienna is exactly the same as the last model - same exact wheelbase, etc - just the upper sheetmetal and stuff is different?
  • I've been doing quite a bit of research re the Sienna van/towing'hitch, etc as I
    wanted to hang a wheel chair lift on my 2010. The short answer to your question
    is "Yes", in my opinion. It seem Toyota routinely equipped the vans with the
    capability to haul anything up to 350 lb TONGUE weight until about 2008 or so,
    at which time they degreed 120 lbs. was the max tongue weight without the towing package installed. Two Toyota dealers and a pro mechanic have advised me the only difference in the with/without is the radiator and oil cooling upgrade, and the suspension is the same either way. I'd think your two restrictions would be the 350 lb tongue weight and the hitch capability. I'd install a Class III
    hitch as they cost about the same as a Class II. The Weight towing rating for
    the Class III is a total of 3500 lbs.. Class III has a 2" receiver and the II
    is 1.75", I believe. U-Haul installed my III for about $200, without the
    lighting connections. You can buy a custom connection kit (plug in connectors
    wit no cutting and splicing) online for about $35-40 from E Trailer and do the
    lights yourself. I think they even have a video you can watch of a guy doing
    the installation. U Haul wanted about $70 more to installation for the lights.
    An ultra light trailer should give you no problem.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To add to that...

    The reason for the change in 2008 is that the Tow Prep Package was standard on the 2007s. That was a little cost cutting they did.

    Mine came ready to go, 350 lbs tongue weight straight from the factory.
  • i had a 2002 van, pulled a 16 ft double axle trailer (1500#) with about 500# load.
    300 miles,

    Van pulled the trailer fine, I believe the 2002 models came with the tow package even if they did not come with a factory hitch.

    the new model 08 etc: std models do not come with the tow package, it must be ordered when vehicle is ordered new.

    you should have no problem but do get the trans oil flushed, I did it at 60k then again at 110k just look at oil and if it starts looking dirty get it flushed.
  • johnnytoyodajohnnytoyoda Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
    i have a 2004 tow package

    i already have a reciever installed and not have the tow package IE:larger radiator, fans and HD alternator.

    these are all to tow 3500 lbs...i am only going to tow about 1200-1500 lbs loaded...the popup is about 900lbs

    do i need to install all this?

    has anybody towed with a sienna that was not tow equiped?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're out of warranty, so there's nothing to fear as far as voiding any powertrain warranty (unless you got an extended one?).

    I think you'll be fine. The normal payload of a Sienna is 1200 lbs, so that's just a normal full load, basically.

    The tow prep package was standard on my 2007 (happily).
  • I am shopping for a new 2013 Sienna to pull an open motorcycle trailer, GW about 1000 lbs.
    We are leaning toward XLE 8 passenger to get a power passenger seat for grandma, and occasionally haul the grandkids.

    Salesman says the LE model requires a "Towing Prep" option, but that the XLE has it standard. Can anyone confirm this?

    The Toyota website does not list the Towing Prep as standard on the XLE. It kind-of implys it by listing the Towing Prep as an option on the LE but not on the XLE.

    etrailer shows a wiring harness that requires removing panels, running a wire all the way to the front for a battery connection, and then hanging the plug out under the rear hatch door. Is all that necessary if you have the Factory "Towing Prep".

    My dealer does not have the Toyota receiver hitch in stock, and cannot supply good pictures of it installed. Anyone know how it looks hanging below the bumper cover?

    And lastly, why have a tow prep option that does not include the receiver hitch?

  • carlcs3carlcs3 Posts: 1
    How could I verify that our 2004 Sienna has the towing package?
  • raymeeraymee Posts: 1
    just signed on. 04 sienna, 18ft. rpod travel trailer, empty weight 2,300 lbs. towed in the mountains. As expected - lots of 3rd gear hills and a couple of second gears as well. Keep the revs to max 3800 or so and no problem. Sucked it out coming across the prairie and bucking a big wind. 3rd gear most of the way from Alberta to Manitoba - - 90k/hr, 3700 rpm Used no oil and tranny seems ok (has an after market cooler)
  • sbpceap1sbpceap1 Posts: 5
    I have watched videos on hooking up a tow hitch wiring harness to a 2012 Sienna. It is one of the most complicated and archaic setups I have seen. My 2003 Odyssey had a simple plug-in jack behind a body panel, and did not necessitate running a power wire under the vehicle from the tail lights all the way up to the battery. I notice that the 2013 Sienna has an electrical receptacle wrapped up at the bottom of the jack storage compartment. Did Toyota smarten up and finally add a simple receptacle for a tow harness?
    That would sure simplify things!!!
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