Toyota RAV4 manuals

Toyota RAV4 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 vehicle’s and trailer’s 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 pressed.
  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.

  1. Coupler
  2. Trailer ball

Toyota RAV4. 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 45 mph (72 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 trailer swaying occurs:

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

After the trailer swaying has stopped:

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.

Caution

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

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.

Caution

When towing a trailer

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

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 vehicle’s electrical system and cause a malfunction.

Hitch
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