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Old 10-11-2020, 12:00 AM   #1
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Toyota Sequoia broke down 1st day towing!

Hey travel lovers,
I just bought 2021 Vibe 17DB, 3700 lb. dry weight. We asked around a lot about our Sequoia being up to the job and everyone said it was! It was not! It did fine in the valleys but at a slight elevation, climbing a mountain the Sequoia just fizzled and the rest of the day was a nightmare. Are we going to have to go w/ a much larger truck? I was hoping the Sequoia and the Chevy Colorado, which have tow capacities of 6500 would do the job, otherwise I would not have purchased this trailer but waited until something lighter came available. Could the dealers have been so unwise? Maybe the Sequoia just has a bad transmission...we shall know next week.So sad.
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Old 10-11-2020, 02:06 AM   #2
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Welcome, I see its your first post!

Well lots of missing details still.

1. What year model and packages are on the Toyota? 4x4 or 4x2? Tow package? Some can only pull 5600 (close to what you are pulling) and others up to 7000 amd you seem to fall in the middle you say with 6500
2. Did you install a transmission cooler or does one come with a tow package?
3. What issues did you have exactly?

Even fully loaded you should be able to tow a 5k lb trailer with something stated to handle 6500k. You could have a payload issue at those weights.

Your trailer will never weigh the dry weight so give up looking at that fictitious number and consider using gross vehicle weight of the trailer (dry+ccc) as a worst case...better yet weigh it and know. Also tow numbers are also not your limiting factor. Payload is usually.

That said if you put a lot of people stuff or options in the SUV you could be close or over payload. If you are loading up a family then all bets are off. Payload would average about 1300ish lbs depending on options. Your trailer will use 700ish of that in tongue weight. The rest (600lbs) is options you have added and gear you add including passengers.

Use your manual to determine tow weights and the payload sticker to figure out what your actual payload is. If you cannot find the sticker on the door the title will have a gross vehicle weight rating. Weigh the truck and see how far away from that you are when camping.

Wind will be your biggest problem so knowing some of the above will be telling but still may not be a solid answer. Altitude will impact things quite a bit as well. Does not mean you cannot do it just that you have to do it slower than you may want and still pull over to cool. Mountain driving can be a challenge and how you drive will significantly impact your ability to do it well when stressing your vehicle to max numbers. You cannot always do the posted speed limit without causing issues especially on an older tow vehicle.

Hope that helps. Let us know the TV year and trim as well as payload and we can provide better information on if the Sequoia is enough. Depending on the year and payload I would think it should be but the numbers should show that.
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Old 10-11-2020, 02:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamila View Post
Hey travel lovers,
I just bought 2021 Vibe 17DB, 3700 lb. dry weight. We asked around a lot about our Sequoia being up to the job and everyone said it was! It was not! It did fine in the valleys but at a slight elevation, climbing a mountain the Sequoia just fizzled and the rest of the day was a nightmare. Are we going to have to go w/ a much larger truck? I was hoping the Sequoia and the Chevy Colorado, which have tow capacities of 6500 would do the job, otherwise I would not have purchased this trailer but waited until something lighter came available. Could the dealers have been so unwise? Maybe the Sequoia just has a bad transmission...we shall know next week.So sad.
As was said, you need to post more info and specs about the Sequoia. On paper, the Sequoia should be able to tow a TT with a GVWR under 5000lbs.
But a lot depends on the Sequoia's year, mileage, engine, rear end ratio, tow package or not.
Where wer you driving when you started having problems?
By the way, I grew up in Sonoma Valley and Cloverdale.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:36 AM   #4
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That Vibe probably grosses around 5000 pounds so it could be close to your tow rating. Especially if you are towing at elevations >3000'. Normally aspirated engines begin to wheeze above 5000 compared to sea level.
Your SUV may, depending on options, be suitable for towing a trailer of that weight. Even if it is, elevations really kill power. Long uphill pulls will sap power as well. As an example, my drivetrain is rated to pull 16,000 (as configured, the truck is rated for 14,000). Only towing 12-13k at 2000' I will kick down to 3rd or 4th gear and 40 mph on a mile long grade.
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Old 10-11-2020, 01:27 PM   #5
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I pull my 3,800 lb DW Rockwood Mini Lite with a 6 cylinder Toyota 4Runner without problems. I go slower in the mountains and large hills but so do the 18 wheelers
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Old 10-11-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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What do you mean by 'fizzled'?

The total weight of the people and 'stuff' you are carrying makes a difference in what you can tow.
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:58 PM   #7
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Other concerns

A vehicle “set up to tow” is more than a hitch and springs. Transmission, rear end and radiator are all important upgrades. A run-of-the-Mill SUV, especially the smaller ones are really not a sturdy truck.
As has been pointed out, you will NEVER tow “dry weight”. Weigh the trailer AND the towing vehicle when full including people and the dog.
And as I always say: “You can never have too much truck.”
In closing, after 45 years of RV’ing, I never, ever trust the salesman on the lot. They aren’t interested in putting you in an appropriate vehicle, they are only interested is “closing th sale”.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:29 AM   #8
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Looks like the Vibe 17DB "sleeps 7". Were you hauling 7 people in the Sequoia?
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:28 AM   #9
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I dont think its a case of being majorily overloaded, etc.. shoot lots of people tow overloaded (IF thats the case) and have no issues. I think it was simplya hiccup in the system. How many miles and whether maintenance had been up to date come to mind.. Any kind of transmission or engine services that were skipped or not known about. I seriously doubt with that weight you were terribly abusing the vehicle, Im guessing something just was not quite in spec and the towing accelerated an already there issue. That can happen to even new vehicles when not towing! I still think your truck is fine towing that weight. Curious to find out what the issue was.
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:00 AM   #10
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Not mentioned above was does the Sequoia have a tow/haul mode? If not it most likely doesn't have the tow package. A second question is if it has a tow/haul mode were you using it?
You might be surprised by how many people don't know about tow packages, tow/haul mode, or say they don't need it. Most people don't need it until they do, which unfortunately, sometimes the damage is already started.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:31 PM   #11
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We have a 2003 4WD Sequoia we bought new. We currently tow a Surveyor 264RKLE. We are approaching GCWR with the trailer and we are careful about how much stuff we load. We have not felt deprived of stuff, though.
We have towed a collection of other trailers over the years. There is no tow/haul in that era, only OD off. OD off is the transmission lifesaver of that era for the Sequoia. There is a trans temp light in the dash and it has never lit up for us.
Gas mileage decreases during OD off, but, low fuel is easier to fix than cooked transmission. If the trans does fail, it will be “strengthened” at that time.
Uses no oil, comfortable, and less “electronic gadgets” that I think add complexity (read more likely to fail).
Our Sequoia is low mileage at 145,000 miles
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Old 10-14-2020, 04:28 PM   #12
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My brother in laws Sequoia broke while driving around town not towing. The transmission failed, and slipped so bad, then dropped into gear and blew up the rear end too. It was a 2wd and never towed anything. Nothing is bulletproof or going to last forever. Thankfully an extended warranty covered it although it took 2 different shops over a month to fix it.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:24 PM   #13
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My sequoia does fine towing a trailer heavier than yours

I have a 2014 sequoia 8 cylinder with a factory installed tow package. My husband has the same engine in his Tundra, but I know my vehicle weighs more. I use the "tow mode" when pulling my 2018 Rockwood mini lite 2109S, which is rated heavier than your trailer. This is my first travel trailer so I read lots of forum threads, and try to follow best practices. I have never had any problems at all, but I don't do lots of mountains, more like hills. I did have a brake controller installed, but that was the only change. I do slow down going up hills because I do see the RPMS going up. I am very conscious of the weight in my vehicle and how much I pack in the trailer but I have never actually weighed them. According to others, we should never take the weight to the max.
This is definitely the place to get answers. I'm amazed with how much there is to learn and with how easy it is to glean from the quick response of others.
Trust, but verify! Check your owners manual and double check everything for yourself. One little variance can make a big difference. And some people do make honest mistakes.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:44 PM   #14
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I have a 2014 sequoia 8 cylinder with a factory installed tow package. My husband has the same engine in his Tundra, but I know my vehicle weighs more. I use the "tow mode" when pulling my 2018 Rockwood mini lite 2109S, which is rated heavier than your trailer. This is my first travel trailer so I read lots of forum threads, and try to follow best practices. I have never had any problems at all, but I don't do lots of mountains, more like hills. I did have a brake controller installed, but that was the only change. I do slow down going up hills because I do see the RPMS going up. I am very conscious of the weight in my vehicle and how much I pack in the trailer but I have never actually weighed them. According to others, we should never take the weight to the max.
This is definitely the place to get answers. I'm amazed with how much there is to learn and with how easy it is to glean from the quick response of others.
Trust, but verify! Check your owners manual and double check everything for yourself. One little variance can make a big difference. And some people do make honest mistakes.
Exactly the same for us. Our 2014 Sequoia is about to hit 140,000 miles, and we just did a 7200 mile trip from New Hampshire to Kansas to Florida and back, towing our MicroLite 21DS with no problems at all. The Appalachians aren't as high as high as the Rockies, but there were plenty of steep grades along the way. All we've ever done is routine maintenance (well, and we needed a new windshield after a rock hit last year).

Without knowing what was meant by 'fizzled', perhaps the OP got some bad fuel, clogged air filter or something.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:10 PM   #15
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Well, it's been over 2 weeks since the OP posted and she never has posted again. May be a one and done member.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:09 AM   #16
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Well, it's been over 2 weeks since the OP posted and she never has posted again. May be a one and done member.
Hit and run?
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:54 AM   #17
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Hit and run?
Yeah, he didn't like the information he was getting so he used the Ostrich Method and stuck his head in the sand..............outside our sandbox.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:20 AM   #18
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Yeah, he didn't like the information he was getting so he used the Ostrich Method and stuck his head in the sand..............outside our sandbox.
He is a She.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:39 AM   #19
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He is a She.
does that really matter as it regards to not returning?
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:46 AM   #20
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I’m guessing it’s an issue with something not working properly with the Sequoia. We have a 2004 Sequoia 4WD with 136,000 miles. 4.7 L V8. We tow a 2013 Forest River Patriot Edition 26BH with no problems in the mountains. We take it up in the mountains in Colorado. Dry weight for the camper is around 4,600 lbs and our Sequoia is rated at 6,200. We do this with 5 passengers. You shouldn’t be having issues.
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