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deerfield
11-01-2009, 10:22 PM
Three months ago we bought a 2004 Toyota Highlander. It came equipped with the tow package but no hitch. Today I bought a Class 3 hitch from a local U-Haul store. Cost: $159 not including sales tax. Brought it home. Fifteen minutes later I had it installed. It's a bolt on application that fits perfectly. For now I need the hitch so I can use the Toyota with its short wheelbase to get the trailer into the garage for the winter. Wheelbase on the Suburban and overall length of Suburban and trailer combined is too long to make the turn and get the trailer into the garage. Come spring I'll get the wiring harness for the Toyota. Very nice to find something that for once was easy.

maxpower220
11-02-2009, 07:54 AM
Tow package with no hitch, Toyota really is doing something right. I find it unbelievable people are still buying their crap.

sailing217
11-02-2009, 10:48 AM
That is stupid. Usually it's a tow package with no oil cooler that gets me, but toyota takes the cake on this.

I have a Lexus and it's been in the shop just as much as any other car we've owned and prices are almost double at the stealership compared to a toyota stealership which is more than a ford. All cars/trucks seem to have bullitproof engines, it's just how many electrical flaws they have now. The lexus next to mine at the dealer had $17k in Options!

Oh well, didn't mean to hijack too much. We got our hitch at Uhaul as well, but we had them do the electrical and they welded the thing on. Not sure how safe I'd feel towing my baby around with nuts and bolts...

mmandley
11-02-2009, 10:53 AM
Nice nice Deerfield.

Just be careful and i would still keep my boat hitch in the down position. That hitch isnt quite rated at 5K. With out boats weighting in at 4500 on the trailer. Thats 10% on your hitch and thats 450lbs. Little over your hitch rating. I doubt anything will happen but id keep the trailer hitch wheel down just in case it breaks or something.

My truck hitch is 12,500 and my rear suspension is a 2K in the bed load rating. My ass end still dips a good 4 inches with the boat on it. I'm looking into getting the air system for the back. Someone people on here have it. Cant recall who but i know there was a thread about the set up.

The UHaul hitches are great i worked for them when i was 18 and installed a few and they are bolt on factory frame matched hitches. Best you can buy for ease of application.

With no wiring harness how are you backing the trailer up? You using the nickle trick on the brakes?

moombadaze
11-02-2009, 11:01 AM
[quote=mmandley;79234]I'm looking into getting the air system for the back. Someone people on here have it. Cant recall who but i know there was a thread about the set up.

quote]

mmandley, I have added the air bags and love them, for my truck (dodge) was super easy. brand I picked up was the firestone system-got the air pump also so I can adjust on the fly, doubled the price of the system but well worth it.


That is strange to have a tow package but no hitch.

Razzman
11-02-2009, 11:40 AM
I installed the Air Lift Systems bags and onboard compressor and it rocks! Automatically adjusts to keep minimum pressure and i can just hit the button inside to add/delete air. Highly worth it!

mmandley
11-02-2009, 11:44 AM
Moombadaze and Razz if you could let me know what systems, or where i can loot into them i am for sure getting one this winter for Big Blue. She has more then enough power to haul Fierah around but i hate to see the ass end lower then the front. I added 2 inches to the front when i bought her so the truck would be level front to back. Course so when i tow im unlevel again LOL.

I would expect this to cost around 400 for a DIY install? All bolt in i suspect? I do want an on board compressor as well.

zabooda
11-02-2009, 12:15 PM
I've just ordered another Class III hitch to replace the Reese Hidden Hitch. When I bought my Blazer in 2002 I had a Class III hitch added but I didn't realize that the hitch is rated for 3500 pounds and over the years the receiver is slowly bending downward. I have a 5000 pound hitch on order and that should correct the problem. I also use a lift rack for my 250 pound dirt bike with a 1.5 foot moment arm so the 500 pound tougue weight should work better. I think pulling the boat this summer caused the majority of the stress as I used the bike rack this weekend for the first time since last spring and a reference point on the bike was now below the rear window. I didn't have a good piece of mind traveling with it.

Deerfield, you have a 3500 pound rating and the same design so keep track of the space between the receiver and your bumper. Mine took a long time to start failing and I wouldn't expect it to just snap off rather a slow bend until it was unusable. It has the effect of a twisted pretzel with no visual defects but the receiver is pointing about 10 degrees downward at this point. Hitch failures would be rare but I got one.

deerfield
11-02-2009, 02:42 PM
Though we have had it for only three months, experience with this used V6 AWD Highlander has been excellent. It fits our budget and needs. Has head and leg room for our sons who are tall. Low maintenance, reliable, and pretty good gas mileage. Tow prep package includes upgraded radiator, fan, transmission cooler, and alternator. With a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, it is not a substitute for our Suburban when it comes to towing the Outback with its combined boat/trailer weight of 3,850 pounds (boat 2,750 dry and tandem axle trailer 1,100). But it is exactly what I need in order to maneuver the boat into/out of the garage and around our driveway. Our previous second car was a Volvo. Too much finally went wrong with it so we "upgraded" to a Toyota. Glad we did.


Update: Also will use the Highlander to pull a light duty utility trailer. Maybe 1,500 pounds max weight with load.

mmandley
11-02-2009, 03:44 PM
Nice Deerfield im glad its working out for you well. I was only concerned for the OB i didn't realize yours was that much lighter then the LSV. LSV is 3500 plus 1100 or so for the trailer.

Razzman
11-02-2009, 04:45 PM
Moombadaze and Razz if you could let me know what systems, or where i can loot into them i am for sure getting one this winter for Big Blue. She has more then enough power to haul Fierah around but i hate to see the ass end lower then the front. I added 2 inches to the front when i bought her so the truck would be level front to back. Course so when i tow im unlevel again LOL.

I would expect this to cost around 400 for a DIY install? All bolt in i suspect? I do want an on board compressor as well.

These are the bags, http://www.airliftcompany.com/ride_control.html and this is the controller/compressor for a single set of bags http://www.airliftcompany.com/load_controllerII.html. I looked up the numbers on their online catalog and ordered via Amazon.com for about $280 if i remember right.

Ian Brantford
11-02-2009, 05:29 PM
The current LSV is 3300 lbs dry according to the Moomba specs. Still, it's amazingly close to the 3600 lbs for the XLV. Just a few years ago, the LSV was at or under 3000 lbs, pretty much the same as the Outback. It's practically a different class of boat now.

Deerfield, one thing to watch out for with 3rd-party hitches is corrosion. The OEM ones will typically have same protection as the vehicle. The Reese ones appear to have little or no protection. Mine got so rusty in about 7 years that I felt I had to replace it just before buying my XLV (4800 lbs dry with trailer), and it was getting flakey again when I traded it in last year. If you get your Highlander oil sprayed yearly and grease the inside of the receiver sometime during the summer, it should be fine.

If in the future you want to have one Toyota that does double duty as a mid-sized SUV and can tow any of Moomba's boats, consider the 4Runner. It's a truck-based SUV that tows 5000 lbs very well, using standard equipment. There used to be a tow package that increased the capacity to 7000 lbs, but I do not see it listed at toyota.com for the current model. It's been hard to find on their Web site in the past. When it came time to upgrade, I went with a Honda Ridgeline because it's easier to load larger gear (we have a hydrofoil) using a pick-up, it's got a much better interior for 5 adults, and the 4Runner only offered full-time 4WD with the V8 (which is overkill for my needs).

maxpower, many manufacturers have an option called "towing package" that means something other than the hitch. It doesn't mean that the manufacturer is putting out crap. On my dad's Silverado, it means a lower ratio in the differential. In the Highlander's case, it's tonnes of things except the hitch. For the Ridgeline, it's just a wiring harness for the entry-level model, since the truck already has a hitch, coolers and such as standard equipment.

mmandley
11-02-2009, 06:27 PM
These are the bags, http://www.airliftcompany.com/ride_control.html and this is the controller/compressor for a single set of bags http://www.airliftcompany.com/load_controllerII.html. I looked up the numbers on their online catalog and ordered via Amazon.com for about $280 if i remember right.

Thanks Razz i found the on board compressor on Ebay but the actualy lift system keeps sending me to another site and it looks to be around

140 for the compressor and 180 for the kit.

brenpire
11-11-2009, 05:48 PM
Deerfield - My 2002 Highlander B pkg came from the factory with the hitch. weird that yours has the towing package with no hitch. Anyway, my 02 highlander awd v6 tows my 2006 LSV just fine. That's normally twice a year. The Toyota hasn't blown up yet. It does seem to use some oil when towing.