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Thread: towing

  1. #21
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    Re: towing

    The tow rating of a vehicle was determined by the original manufacture, the "rating" on a hitch does nothing to change that.

    And it's not about getting going, its about being able to stop.
    Not being able to stop usually ends very badly.

    Does that 2000-2500# tractor weight estimate include the weight of the trailer?

  2. #22
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    Re: towing

    Here's the page from the owner's manual that talks about towing. In a nutshell, they say not to exceed 2,000 lbs.

    Van Towing.pdf

  3. #23
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    Re: towing

    I fabricated a class III hitch for my 87 2wd cargo van today. This van has leaf springs. It's very strong, clears everything, and the spare tire rack still functions normally. Check it out:












  4. #24
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    Re: towing

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    Here's the page from the owner's manual that talks about towing. In a nutshell, they say not to exceed 2,000 lbs.

    Van Towing.pdf
    Thanks for the document @timsrv - very helpful. Nice work on the new hitch: impressive.

    @Burntboot: agreed. And yes I think it includes the trailer but I'll double check. Either way, sounds like I might be pushing it given that page from the manual.

    I've also been looking at payload and towing capacity calculations described on this page: https://www.readingtruck.com/calcula...wing-capacity/

    I've decided to strip out all my camper additions, bring it back to an empty van, weigh it, and put it through all the calcs before pushing the payload & tow limits. I'll report back with the calculations I came up with once complete.

  5. #25
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    Re: towing

    FYI, although there are variables, a heavier tow vehicle will typically be more stable than a light one (you don't want the tail wagging the dog). Of course loading down a light vehicle will cause other issues like deficits with power & braking. There is also the issue of properly balancing the load and staying within safe limits. For the most stability, tongue weight of the trailer should be between 10 - 12% of the trailer weight (if trailer weighs 1,000 lbs, then you should have 100 - 120 lbs on the tongue). Also the van should not sag in the back. Overload devices can be very helpful too (notice the rear axle air bags in my hitch pics above). Of course overload devices will defeat the LSPV & BV, so mods to that will need to be made there too or braking will be negatively affected. For more info on that CLICK HERE

    The other issue with towing with the van is finding a hitch. The only one made specifically for the van was a class I (for coil spring vans) and those have been NLA for a long time. The only real option is to fabricate one yourself or pay a small fortune for a weld shop to do it. FYI I tow ~ 2,000 lbs on a fairly regular basis. I need the air bags because my van is already overloaded (GVWR of my cargo van is 4,850 and I tip the scales @ ~ 6k lbs). But with the mods I've made my van tows very nice and stable. Since I rigged up trailer brakes, my stopping power is actually better while towing.

    With the heavy fixed load in my van, I need to take extra precautions when going down hills to prevent my brakes from overheating (especially without the trailer). I learned early on that my brakes will fade if I don't assist them by down shifting and maintaining slower speeds. In the beginning there were a couple of times that I was barely able to stop and smoke was pouring out of my brakes when I finally did . Since I learned to adjust my habits it hasn't been an issue. Tim

  6. #26
    Van Enthusiast 89van's Avatar
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    Re: towing

    Nice hitch! I can't help but ask about how part of it mounts to the recovery hooks on the back, is that hmm hard to describe, alright in a way? Or is the recovery hook mounts just there to hold it? Maybe you know more than me on that, but something in the manual said just to use it for recovery towing IIRC...

    Also, another question I got about towing while I'm here just out of curiosity; my van came with the sunvisors that give a warning for trailer towing (not to go over 45mph in english and french-canadian) and the previous owner, keyword said, had the rear springs upgraded who knows when for cargo hauling, but not for towing to the best of my memory. Does this matter in any case or is it just a thing Toyota threw in the vans as a caution? There were also sunvisors without the warning on them for the vans so I'm just curious...

    Thanks in advance!

  7. #27
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    Re: towing

    Quote Originally Posted by 89van View Post
    Nice hitch! I can't help but ask about how part of it mounts to the recovery hooks on the back, is that hmm hard to describe, alright in a way? Or is the recovery hook mounts just there to hold it? Maybe you know more than me on that, but something in the manual said just to use it for recovery towing IIRC...
    The van is a uni-body (no separate frame) so to make the hitch strong I took advantage of everything available. The hooks to which you're referring were used to tie the vans down when they were shipped. I'm not crazy about losing the use of those, but the plus side is I'm gaining a hitch that is stronger than these were. If a tow truck were to ever pull my van out of a ditch or something, pulling from the hitch receiver/ball mount would be stronger and better than using a single tie down loop.

    Quote Originally Posted by 89van View Post
    Also, another question I got about towing while I'm here just out of curiosity; my van came with the sunvisors that give a warning for trailer towing (not to go over 45mph in english and french-canadian) and the previous owner, keyword said, had the rear springs upgraded who knows when for cargo hauling, but not for towing to the best of my memory. Does this matter in any case or is it just a thing Toyota threw in the vans as a caution? There were also sunvisors without the warning on them for the vans so I'm just curious...

    Thanks in advance!
    I've always viewed those "towing recommendations" as a way for Toyota to protect themselves from stupid people doing stupid things. Ultimately the responsibility and/or blame falls on the driver of the vehicle or maybe the shop/person who made an unsafe modification. If one observes proper loading, safe driving habits, and adequate equipment, then there's nothing to worry about. Being in a semi-remote area, the highways around me are 70 mph. Let's just say nobody needs to slow down for me even when I'm towing . Tim

  8. #28
    Van Enthusiast 89van's Avatar
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    Re: towing

    I see, well that's good to know. Thanks for clearing up some confusion tim!! I was really sold that the hooks on the back at least were for recovery, what about the front ones though? (The eyehole ones)

  9. #29
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    Re: towing

    All 4 loops were originally intended as tie-down tabs & like the back they are attached to strong points of the van. They can be used for multiple things and are also good for "recovery" attach points.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #30
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    Re: towing

    When I got my 88 4wd manual LE van the hitch was already on it, and there are no identifying marks that I can see. It's welded to the frame forward of the bumper and hangs below the bumper. Here are a few not-great photos in case anyone is interested or has a comment.Name:  20230409_190736.jpg
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  11. #31
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    Re: towing

    That is a fabricated hitch. They did good job and it was made very solid. It appears to be more solid than mine, but it's hard to imagine towing anything with the van that needs that much strength. Part of the reason I used a smaller cross-bar was to keep the receiver as high as possible. Of course mine is a 2wd and sits a little lower than yours. With yours being a 4wd your ground clearance is better, so having that hang down a bit lower is probably no big deal. I thought about welding mine too (easier), but I wanted the ability to easily remove and move to another van if/when something happens to this one. Tim

    PS: Also, yours having rear coil springs made their job a bit easier. Leaf springs were in the way on mine .

  12. #32
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    Re: towing

    Hi all,

    My wife and I are looking to get a hitch receiver for our LE 2WD to carry our bicycles around.

    Of course, I bought a rack assuming a hitch receiver wouldn't be a big deal to get

    I googled the Draw-Tite #28056 hitch, but unfortunately I didn't seem to get any results that match that #.

    Like others, Uhaul only lists one that is class I.

    Currently I have the Van Manual opened to the body dimensions section and will also take measurements between frame rails when I get home from work today. I don't know that I want to trust a bumper mounted hitch, so it seems custom might be the best route for us at this rate.


    Thanks to everyone for this thread and all of the responses, it has been immensely helpful!



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