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Old 03-17-2014, 03:26 PM   #1
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Towing Pop Ups

Hi Folks,

I'm brand new today to the forum and am looking to purchase a Rockwood pop up trailer in the next two weeks. Before doing so I would greatly appreciate some knowledgable towing advice from you.

We have a 2011 Toyota Highlander with the tow package rated at 5,000 lbs. and are looking at touring the National Parks (read some mountain driving ). We really like the HW276's amenities but I am wondering what it is really like to tow one of these puppies with my Highlander! We could also get one of the Freedom or Premier models (non-high wall) for their lower trailer weights if this is what you all advise.

Attached is my spreadsheet info. The numbers seem to work for the HW276 but I have spent many, many hours researching towing and know that numbers (if I even did them correctly...I'm low on cargo I bet, for example) don't tell the whole story (wheel base and HP of a Highlander vs. larger capacity tow rigs, wind and passing trucks, etc.).

Again, thank you in advance for helping me and my family.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Trailering Weight Info.pdf (51.6 KB, 62 views)
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #2
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I had a HW 277 which is similar in weight to your 276 and I was pulling it with a 2011 Pilot so once again similar. We too planned on most of out camping in the mountains @ 9000 ft.

I ran my Pilot at the absoulte LIMIT to climb hills. We are talking 4-5000k RPMs in second gear @ 40 mph. Altitude kills power- Honda states that for every 1000 ft, deduct 200lbs of tow capacity. While in the campground, I would not stop moving because it took everything it had to start moving again. Did great on flat trips or small hills getting maybe 13 mpg. I would get 6 going to the mountain site.

So, if you will be doing mostly mountains camping, your vehicle can probably do it, but it will be a white knuckle ride wondering if something will go boom.

We traded and got a tundra now. Then we got bigger trailer.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:57 PM   #3
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the HW276's GVWR of 3741lbs./"dry" hitch weight of 279lbs. and your Highlander's 5000lbs. tow capacity, i think you'll be fine.

you'll need a brake controller, since i'm sure this popup has brakes.

you may want to check the owner's manual as to needing a WDH or not. if you do, Reese makes one that's specific for popup owners and smaller trailers.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:15 PM   #4
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9000 feet and a 12% grade for miles changes everything. But, if you can be patient and take your time, you will make it. Whether you will LIKE it may be another story. As previously posted, you will see slow, high-rpm climbs.

Pop-ups tow rather easily compared to a taller RV. Maybe consider something just a bit lighter?
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:41 PM   #5
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I agree with bikendan and acadianbob's comments. Don't go Mario Andretti and don't haul a full tank of water in your tank up the mountain and you will be fine.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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Hey, Everyone,
Thanks for your quick replies! Given HondaMan's experience (the closest "real world tow vehicle" that I've been able to compare with) and given the fact that our Toyota Highlander has somewhere around 187 HP vs the Honda Pilot's 250 or so HP we'll go for a lighter trailer. I SO appreciate your help. Thank you!
Happy trails.
Chris
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:53 PM   #7
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Whoops...Make that 270 HP with the V6 for the Toyota Highlander. That makes a lot more sense!
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMeeker View Post
Whoops...Make that 270 HP with the V6 for the Toyota Highlander. That makes a lot more sense!
figured as much but figured you and everyone knew. mountain pass's will show you real fast how much power you really need lol that's where it will really struggle but on flat ground I would say with a wd hitch with sway control you'll be fine.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:37 PM   #9
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Go as light as you can. I have a 2008 Highlander Hybrid, so I know them well. You're essentially going to be towing with a Camry. Mine's a GREAT car at what it was designed for.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMeeker View Post
Whoops...Make that 270 HP with the V6 for the Toyota Highlander. That makes a lot more sense!

Yea...I didn't think the 4cyl had a 5000 lb capacity.
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