hybrid suv to tow a 320

yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
Interested in real life experiences.  Wondering if a Toyota Highlander Hybrid is adequate.
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Comments

  • DbremmerDbremmer Member Posts: 11
    We Have a 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with the 3.6L V6 engine.  We previously towed a 2008 Thor Dutchman TAB completely across the country Southern CA to N.Y. and Montreal Canada with this TV.  It worked beautifully.  We never suffered lack of power even while traversing mountain ranges.   We upgraded to a 2022 [email protected] CS-S in August 2021 and drove it home to CA from the dealer in Arizona.  We added a Curt Echo wireless electric brake controller for the maiden voyage.  The Toyota Highlander again did a great job.  Fuel economy declines from around 27 MPG to something like 18 MPG while towing.  We hope to find in the future an all electric replacement for this TV with a nominal range of say 500 miles.  We might expect a 300 mile range while towing.  Presently no such option exists.
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 412
    edited October 2021
    Dbremmer said:
    We Have a 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with the 3.6L V6 engine.  We previously towed a 2008 Thor Dutchman TAB completely across the country Southern CA to N.Y. and Montreal Canada with this TV.  It worked beautifully.  We never suffered lack of power even while traversing mountain ranges.   We upgraded to a 2022 [email protected] CS-S in August 2021 and drove it home to CA from the dealer in Arizona.  We added a Curt Echo wireless electric brake controller for the maiden voyage.  The Toyota Highlander again did a great job.  Fuel economy declines from around 27 MPG to something like 18 MPG while towing.  We hope to find in the future an all electric replacement for this TV with a nominal range of say 500 miles.  We might expect a 300 mile range while towing.  Presently no such option exists.
    I hope to be able to transition to a BEV for towing our 320 BD in the not-too-distant future. As you correctly point out, range is a key element since towing will adversely impact that. At present, the only BEV with a range of over 500 miles is the Lucid Air, but that of course cannot tow. In the very near future, early 2022 however, the Rivian R1T Max pickup will start delivering and that vehicle will have a nominal range of 415 miles.
    Rivian has only released limited data on the R1T's performance while towing, and that indicates a reduction in range of 50%. The was however at the R1T's max towing capacity of 11,000 pounds while hauling a twin-axle box trailer.
    The R1T in the Long Range (314 mi) version just started being delivered to customers this month, and more data related to towing should be available in the near future. We can speculate in the meantime that a light, more aerodynamic load like a [email protected] 320 will have less impact. Obviously, the difficulty is in coming up with a more accurate figure. For planning purposes, I've been using a 30% reduction, simply because that's the mileage impact I see on my ICE vehicle.
    As I'm sure you're aware, you only occasionally charge a BEV to 100%, and except in an emergency, do not discharge fully. For most trips, you will be observing 80/20 SOC parameters. Using the 30% decrement for the R1T Max (est at 415 mi - Rivian hasn't yet completed EPA testing on this model), this makes effective range on the order of 250 miles (332 miles @80% SOC less 82 miles reserve). This is roughly similar to the range of ICE vehicle when towing. It's probably not enough for an EV at this point however, for a few reasons.
    One is that 250 miles is calculated and will likely be less in hot, cold or windy conditions. The other is that at present, the charging network is not built out enough and there are more than a few places in North America where the distance to next fast charger is greater than the range you have. While only greater battery capacity will fix the first issue, the charging network is being rapidly built up and will skyrocket if the US passes an infrastructure bill. Of course, if travel time is not an issue, the charging network is less important, as you could check into a hotel and plug in to 110VAC overnight there (assuming the hotel's OK with that).
    In the interest of full disclosure, let me state that I have a pre-order in for a Rivian. At present, the order is configured for an R1T Max but there is a chance I will change to the R1S, the SUV version (Rivian allows you do this without penalty however). The downside to the SUV is that it has less towing capacity (7,500 lbs) and the Max may have less range (Rivan hasn't yet announced range or availability.)
    In either case, even though my order was made 18 months ago, the vehicle won't be delivered until at least 2023 (likely 2024 for the R1S Max). The advantage to the delay however is that it will allow the charging network to be built out. When you think about it, that is really more of a limiting factor than range. We don't really worry about range with our ICE vehicles because there's nearly always a fuel stop you can get to. Range will be much less of an issue for BEV's when that's the case.

    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2022 Telluride - Phillies/Eagles/Flyers Country
  • yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
    Dbremmer said:
    We Have a 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with the 3.6L V6 engine. 

     Thanks for your response but I am confused. The 3.6 L v6 engine isn't a hybrid is it?


  • yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
    Charlie, interested to follow your experience with this.

  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 443
    yardsale said:
    Dbremmer said:
    We Have a 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with the 3.6L V6 engine. 

     Thanks for your response but I am confused. The 3.6 L v6 engine isn't a hybrid is it?


    Correct.  The V6 is not the Hybrid.  I would wait for the real world experience you asked for.  It could be marginal depending on the terrain you're traveling and your range and power expectations.
    Rich
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander 3.5L V6
    Bellingham WA
  • yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
    I fear you may be right.
  • RMoRMo Member Posts: 127
    edited October 2021
    We had a 2008 Highlander Hybrid that was a 3.3L V6.  I think they were all V6s through 2019.  We towed our 400 with the hybrid for a few trips in the mountains/hills of PA and NC and it did okay, with some strain on the steeper hills.  From what @Dbremmer says you could be fine with a 320 if your hybrid is a 6cyl.  
    2019 [email protected] 400; 2017 Highlander

  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 412
    edited October 2021
    yardsale said:
    Charlie, interested to follow your experience with this.

    Edited to fix hyperlink
    I will be delighted to post about my experience with a Rivian but alas, that is pretty far down the road (excuse the pun.) I won't bore you with the reasons, but let's just say Rivian is unlikely to go from their current production of about 2 cars per day to a rate that will rapidly clear out the 30,000 or so pre-orders that are ahead of mine in the queue anytime soon.
    The reviews of the R1T pickup - all early production variants, but hopefully representative - are uniformly glowing. We should see real-world reviews of the R1S SUV in the next couple of months since first deliveries are supposed to be in January. The Max battery pack (180 Kwh vs the current 135 Kwh) is due out on the pickup beginning in January as well. If you want to see what MotorTrend had to say about the R1T, you can check it out via this hyperlink. 
    It's unlikely that I will see a new a Rivian in my driveway until late 2023 (more likely 2024), but I'm willing to wait. More importantly, I'm fortunate enough to have an almost new ICE vehicle that will let me ride things out (yet another pun) comfortably.

    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2022 Telluride - Phillies/Eagles/Flyers Country
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 5,304
    I have an order in with our local dealer for the Jeep Gladiator 4XE (a hybrid jeep truck).  Going to,the 4XE will decrease my local fuel usage to nill.  On trips, the hybird will get better fuel economy over the current ICE Jeep Gladiator.  I may loose a bit on max towing capacity, but that is still twice what I need for the TaB400 and my tractor.  Going to a full EV would be nice, but is not practical where I live, in a very rural area, with few to no public charging stations available in a 300 mile circle.   Down the road, a EV would be grand, but I am going to start with baby steps and transition to a hybrid first.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • DbremmerDbremmer Member Posts: 11
    Sorry, I was going by memory.  I just double checked with my documentation.    Our Toyota is definitely a Hybrid. It is labeled a "Hybrid 4WD (E-CVT/4WD)"   It is NOT a "plug-in hybrid"  The engine is:  V6-3.5L (2GR-FXE).  Production date: 3/21/2012. The gasoline engine is rated at 245 bhp.     I was 1-liter off on the displacement.  
    In this context, I do believe that my experience is relevant to the real world experience that you are interested in.   I hope that this is helpful.

    I threw in a tangent to the discussion by mentioning aspirations to go full EV.  However, I suspect that you are also interested in full EV eventually when such an option becomes available (and hopefully affordable).  
  • yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
    Doesn't look like Toyota offers the V6 hybrid any longer at this point. Too bad as that would be the ticket.  I am torn between upgrading from our current Escape 17/2012 Chevy Colorado  to a 320/? or wait as the e- vehicle industry is evolving at breakneck speed.  Dream vehicle would be a AWD hybrid or all E Sprinter type van.  Doesn't exist--yet.  Watching Charlie's experience with the Rivan.
  • DbremmerDbremmer Member Posts: 11
    I am also watching development of the Ford 150E Lightening truck.  One strong reason is that Ford is betting their name and business on it.  They had better do a quality job.  I also prefer a SUV type vehicle to a pickup truck.  Long ago I built a utility trailer to take care of messy hauling.  The Ford Flex is an interesting SUV-like vehicle.   I can imagine incorporating the 150E drive train into that,  calling it the Ford Flux.  I am no marketing expert!
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 5,304
    edited October 2022
    You can get a four door Jeep Wrangler 4XE, or the new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4XE, plug in hybrid SUV thst has a 3,500 lbs tow capacity (Cherokee is 4500+  lbs).  The Wrangler was released this year, and the Grand Cherokee is coming out in Spring 2022.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • Grumpy_GGrumpy_G Member Posts: 266
    A little known secret of EVs is that their range is achieved by making the vehicle highly optimized for efficiency. A gallon of gasoline contains about 33 kWh of energy, so a high end Tesla carries about 3 gallons of gas worth of energy in a much larger and heavier battery. Obviously ICE are not anywhere close to 100% efficient, so let's say the battery is about 9 gallons worth of real driving. Still, that means that any truck or SUV carries about 2-3 times the energy in 120-180 lbs. Expect any EV to drop proportionally much more in range when towing. Years ago the TFL guys tried towing a small trailer similar to a [email protected] with a Model X over 100s of miles and IIRC it was 1 hr of charging for every 1.5 hrs of driving. 

    Coming back to the original question, hybrids are much more usable for towing. Worst case the mileage drops down to non-hybrid levels. From what I understand the F-150 hybrid can use the hybrid battery with a built-in inverter to power a trailer to recharge batteries or run the microwave. 
  • yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
  • RCBRCB Member Posts: 178
    In the longer term the trend to electric vehicles may cause RV manufacturers to rethink their construction with respect to overall weight. However from the pic below, there are already some pushing the envelope.
    400 - 2019
    St Catharines, ON
  • GeoGeo Member Posts: 152
    @yardsale,  Internal Combustion Engine 
    Geo & Liz
    [email protected]
    '04  #100
  • Pretzel14Pretzel14 Member Posts: 10
    I have a 2021 Highlander Hybrid and in September picked up my new 2022 [email protected] 320s Boondock.  I've driven  with the Boondock 1500+ miles on three trips so far, one flatland OH and two to the hills/mountains of western MD and N. PA .  Off the lot the hybrid was rated at 36/36 mpg, and without the Boondock with relaxed driving the Highlander tells me I regularly get 38-41mpg with just myself in the car.  With the Boondock attached and driving 55-65mph on 4-lanes that is cut to 21-24 mpg, but with the Hybrid's combination of gas and electric motors  I never so far have lacked the power I've needed to get the job done. 

    The second trip was driving through a nasty little weather front, with up to 35 mph cross winds, and while there was some swaying the Highlander handled it very well.  I just took the foot off the accelerator and any swaying stopped.  The owners manual says it has some form of sway compensation built in.

    So far I love both the Boondock and the Hybrid.  Now to get to my travel bucket list.  Wherever I travel this Forum will be with me.  I check it almost daily.




    2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid -  2022 320s [email protected] Boondock "[email protected]"
    Keep your nose in the wind and your eye along the skyline.
  • yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
    Pretzel. Bingo, exactly the expertise I was looking for. Thank-you.  Any experience camping with mosquitoes? I recently discovered some issues, perhaps with older units, in the integrity of the mosquitoes netting in the windows and doors.
  • Pretzel14Pretzel14 Member Posts: 10
    Last week I was in N. PA, arrived mid week the day after a significant rain.  I had a couple of good days then Friday rain, rain and more rain so I packed it up.  I was camped yards away from a stream and even with high water there was a hatch of midges (not mosquitoes) that after dark a dozen or two made it into the Boondock.  I lowered the lights and didn't seem to get any more.  Don't know if they made it in through the door when opened or somehow in a window.  I did have a window open about an inch with the overhead fan so I figured that was the source.  I don't have enough experience to comment further, since my travels started mid September when I believe most bug hatches start to wane.
    2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid -  2022 320s [email protected] Boondock "[email protected]"
    Keep your nose in the wind and your eye along the skyline.
  • yardsaleyardsale Member Posts: 15
    I think someone else correctly observed that the screening material in RV's (and houses for that matter) is not the fine mesh screen you get in tents and will not prevent no-see-ums. Midges are probably no larger.  Too bad.
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 9,005
    @Pretzel14 and @yardsale - check out this no-see-em hair net idea for the screens here:  https://tab-rv.vanillacommunity.com/discussion/3569/no-see-um-window-screen-tutorial/p1
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • Good2goGood2go Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2021 hybrid highlander and tow a 2022 320 Boondock.  After one season of towing, I think the highlander has been more than adequate. Without a TT attached, the hybrid frequently delivers 35-43 MPG.  The average while towing is around 18 MPG.  Between all three motors it has 240HP available and handles very well.  I have driven over some of the mountain passes in Vermont - not very high but quite steep - and it does well.
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 5,304
    Coming back from the NorCal TaB rally, I saw several Teslas towing a TaB320, as well as a few hybird  SUV type TVs.  All had no issues towing the 320.
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • DbremmerDbremmer Member Posts: 11
    I would like to hear first-hand experience of Tesla or other EV owners towing a [email protected] 320.  In addition to our Highlander we have 2 EVs, a Tesla Model 3 (ext range), and a Fiat500e(for around town).  We have developed somewhat of an aversion to driving the Highlander petrol car for any normal use.  Once experiencing EVs they seem so much better suited to the task, and fun to drive.  However, towing is a very different thing and the range reduction seems like a huge issue. 
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 5,304
    edited October 2022
    Yes, range on an EV goes down whilst towing a trailer like a TaB320.  If you keep your speed down to 50-55mph, you will have less range loss, than if you went faster, as wind resistance, an EVs worst enemy) goes up, reducing range even more.  One Tesla owner here reported getting around 150 miles whilst towing their 320.  This also is about the same range Andrew Ditton got towing with a EV across Scotland/England to Germany (via ferry ship).  

    You just need to plan your trip stops to align with charging requirements and not be in a rush.  Enjoy the journey on your way to your destination.
     Cheers 
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • Maine_320sMaine_320s Member Posts: 2
    Denny, you're right about the effect of wind resistance, although it should be pointed out that the effect applies to any vehicle, be it ICE or EV. Regarding Andrew Ditton's pioneering effort to demonstrate that caravan towing with an EV is not only feasible but also doable, Andrew happens to drive a Kia EV6. This EV is one of only several others currently in production by other manufacturers that feature 400/800 volt charging architecture which allows them to charge very quickly at the fastest chargers now available, typically 350 kW. The Kia, along with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, can charge from 20 to 80 percent in favorable conditions in 18-20 minutes, just long enough for a standard "pit stop." Andrew's latest video can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2F62ejnvqk.
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 5,304
    Thanks, I did watch that one.  We have been following Andrew for several years.  And yes, wind resistance applies to all vehicles, but ICEs have a greater range to start, and most EVs have a low wind profile to help with their normal range.  Put a caravan on the back, and you lose this advantage to a greater extent than an ICE, which many are bricks going down the road, especially SUVs, compared to an EV.  
    Cheers 
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • DarrylagreenDarrylagreen Member Posts: 2
    We have a Highlander Hybrid V4 2022. We are looking to buy a 320. New? Used? How much difference is there in pulling a Boondock? This will be our first camper experience. We are in N. California. Welcome any advice.
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