Toyota Highlander manuals

Toyota Highlander Owners Manual: Trailer towing tips

Your vehicle will handle differently when towing a trailer. Help to avoid an accident, death or serious injury, keep the following in mind when towing:

  1. Apply the brakes and keep them applied.
  2. Have someone place wheel blocks under both the vehicles and trailers wheels.
  3. When the wheel blocks are in place, release the brakes slowly until the blocks absorb the load.
  4. Apply the parking brake firmly.
  5. Shift into p and turn off the engine.
  1. With the transmission in p, start the engine. Be sure to keep the brake pedal depressed.
  2. Shift into a forward gear. If reversing, shift into r.
  3. Release the parking brake and brake pedal, and slowly pull or back away from the wheel blocks. Stop and apply the brakes.
  4. Have someone retrieve the blocks.

Matching trailer ball height to trailer coupler height

No matter which class of tow hitch applies, for a more safe trailer hookup, the trailer ball setup must be the proper height for the coupler on the trailer.

Toyota Highlander. Matching trailer ball height to trailer coupler height


  1. Coupler
  2. Trailer ball

Toyota Highlander. Matching trailer ball height to trailer coupler height


Before towing

Check that the following conditions are met:

Break-in schedule

If your vehicle is new or equipped with any new power train components (such as an engine, transmission, differential or wheel bearing), toyota recommends that you do not tow a trailer until the vehicle has been driven for over 500 miles (800 km).

After the vehicle has been driven for over 500 miles (800 km), you can start towing. However, for the next 500 miles (800 km), drive the vehicle at a speed of less than 50 mph (80 km/h) when towing a trailer, and avoid full throttle acceleration.

Maintenance

If trailer sway occurs

One or more factors (crosswinds, passing vehicles, rough roads, etc.) Can adversely affect handling of your vehicle and trailer, causing instability.

If you make no extreme correction with the steering or brakes, your vehicle and trailer should stabilize.

If you cannot find any problems, the speed at which trailer swaying occurred is beyond the limit of your particular vehicle-trailer combination. Drive at a lower speed to prevent instability. Remember that swaying of the towing vehicle- trailer increases as speed increases.

Warning


Trailer towing precautions

To tow a trailer safely, use extreme care and drive the vehicle in accordance with the trailer's characteristics and operating conditions. Failure to do so could cause an accident resulting in death or serious injury. Vehicle stability and braking performance are affected by trailer stability, brake setting and performance, and the hitch. Your vehicle will handle differently when towing a trailer.

To avoid accident or injury

  • Do not exceed the twr, unbraked twr, gcwr, gvwr or gawr.
  • If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb. (907 Kg), a sway control device with sufficient capacity is required.
  • If the gross trailer weight is over 5000 lb. (2268 Kg), a weight distributing hitch with sufficient capacity is required.
  • Adjust the tongue weight within the appropriate range. Place heavier loads as close to the trailer axle as possible.
  • Do not exceed 65 mph (104 km/h), the posted towing speed limit or the speed limit for your trailer as set forth in your trailer owner's manual, whichever is lowest. Slow down sufficiently before making a turn, in cross winds, on wet or slippery surface, etc. To help avoid an accident. If you experience a vehicle-trailer instability from reducing a certain speed, slow down and make sure you keep your vehicle speed under the speed of which you experience the instability.
  • Do not make jerky, abrupt or sharp turns.
  • Do not apply the brakes suddenly as you may skid, resulting in jackknifing and loss of vehicle control. This is especially true on wet or slippery surfaces.
  • Do not exceed the trailer hitch assembly weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle weight and trailer tongue weight capacities.
  • Do not use cruise control when towing.
  • Slow down and downshift before descending steep or long downhill grades. Do not make sudden downshifts while descending steep or long downhill grades.
  • Vehicle-trailer instability is more likely on steep long downhills. Before descending steep or long downhill grades, slow down and downshift. Do not make sudden downshifts when descending steep or long downhill grades. Avoid holding the brake pedal down too long or applying the brakes too frequently. This could cause the brakes to overheat and result in reduced braking efficiency.
  • Vehicles with a compact spare tire: do not tow a trailer when the compact spare tire is installed on your vehicle.

?Hitch

Trailer hitch assemblies have different weight capacities established by the hitch manufacturer. Even though the vehicle may be physically capable of towing a higher weight, the operator must determine the maximum weight rating of the particular hitch assembly and never exceed the maximum weight rating specified for the trailer-hitch. Exceeding the maximum weight rating set by the trailer-hitch manufacturer can cause an accident resulting in death or serious personal injuries.

When towing a trailer

Toyota recommends trailers with brakes that conform to any applicable federal and state/provincial regulations.

  • If the gross trailer weight exceeds unbraked twr, trailer brakes are required. Toyota recommends trailers with brakes that conform to all applicable federal and state/provincial regulations.
  • Never tap into your vehicle's hydraulic system, as this will lower the vehicle's braking effectiveness.
  • Never tow a trailer without using a safety chain securely attached to both the trailer and the vehicle. If damage occurs to the coupling unit or hitch ball, there is danger of the trailer wandering into another lane.

 

Notice


When installing a trailer hitch

Use only the position recommended by your toyota dealer. Do not install the trailer hitch on the bumper; this may cause body damage.

Do not directly splice trailer lights

Do not directly splice trailer lights. Directly splicing trailer lights may damage your vehicles electrical system and cause a malfunction.

Selecting trailer ball
Use the correct trailer ball for your application. Trailer ball load rating matches or exceeds the gross trailer weight rating of the trailer. Ball diameter matches the size of the trailer ...

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