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Big Sienna Hybrid Factory Tow Hitch problem

3357 Views 31 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Mikeyee
Anyone had this problem with their 4th gen Sienna?
In 2021 I ordered a Sienna XLE AWD with factory tow package from Concord Toyota in California. We waited 5 months and finally received it in May 2021.
In all of the Sienna specifications the tow rating of this vehicle is stated to be 3,500 lbs when equipped with a factory tow hitch.
Now that we are looking to tow a camper, the trailer dealer tells us that our hitch is only rated for up to 1,500 lbs. The factory hitch is a 1 1/4" receiver and cannot handle more than 1,500lbs.
When we ordered the Sienna and optioned for the tow package, there was no information stating that the tow package would only allow for up to 1,500 lbs.
The dealer sales man also did not say anything about a reduced tow rating.
All marketing materials detailed 3,500 lb tow rating with the factory hitch.
I have now mentioned this to our Toyota dealer, the service department and also called Toyota customer service. Everyone has said 'Sorry, but we cannot help you with this issue.'

Has anyone else had this issue? I can't imagine that I'm the only new Sienna owner out there with this experience.
I also can't imagine that Toyota would sell a van and hitch combination like this with no warning to the customer, while promoting that this combination will actually work to tow 3,500lbs.

I feel like Toyota is dismissing this issue and deciding to take zero responsibility. This is actually a large mistake and there really is no easy solution as the hitch will need to be cut off of the frame.

Hoping someone has some advice for us - or at least get the word out about the new Sienna's issue with towing.

I have to say - the van itself is fantastic. 5 star vehicle. This towing issue is a big bummer though.
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Oem hitch sucks. I could imagine there was some liability concern that came up when they shipped out the oem hitches since they’re all class 2, which is a bit small (compared to all others which are class 3 with a 2” receiver).

the curt tow hitch even states 5,000 lbs limit for the 4th gen Sienna. Wayy over the Toyota recommended 3500lbs.

There hasn’t been much on what others have towed but I’ve been fine flat-towing my little 2200lbs racecar around. No problems getting up to speed or braking. Also gets ~20mpg.

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That's incorrect. The owner's manual states that the maximum unbraked trailer weight is 1000 lbs, while the maximum trailer weight is 3500 lbs (with towing package). There is a very wide range where trailer brakes are required, yet are well within the manufacture's specifications for trailer weights.

Get trailer brakes. Use trailer brakes. Be a safer driver.
I agree with this dude. I flat-tow my 2200lbs racecar just fine, stops okay too. But… legally speaking for CA (where I’m at) trailer brakes are required for weights above 1500lbs. I’ve thought about adding a “manual towing” brake to my racecar, but that’s too much work and am looking at renting a dolly with brakes for my next trip.
I feel like for what im towing (2200lbs car) needs brakes because I’m just asking for a ticket towing on CA roads with out them. Do I absolutely need it? No. Atleast for the conditions I’ve seen myself.

Do I need a brake controller? Idno, the dolly Im looking at renting has them tied into the hitch. If I bought a dolly that has braking system where a controller is needed, then sure, I’d get it for peace of mind when a cop checks out my towing setup on the road.
I would see that $1000 as a “tax” or a “michael-yee-add-on” for trailer use.
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The torklift hitch uses the same 6 underbody bolts as the factory hitch PLUS all the additional bumper bolts that it replaces. It mounts solidly enough to lift the rear of the van off the ground...
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This is so hard
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