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2007 and 2019 Sienna LE AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, first and foremost, I am keeping the 07 so it needs to be "functional". So anything I take off the 07 would need to extraneous to the functioning of the vehicle.

I've read a few threads on this forum and see that I can cannibalize my LE AWD 07's rear window vent motors and put them in the LE AWD 19 ( see 2020 toyota Sienna LE Rear Vent Window Motor and quarter window retrofit from manual to power (se and le) among other threads).

In these threads I've also read about fog light wiring which exists in my 07 but does not in my 19.

I will do the vent motors but not sure about the fog lights. I've never had fog lights so I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle.

Besides these two items are there any other items which could be taken off a LE AWD 07 and put on a LE AWD 19?

The cross bars look like they'd fit but haven't tried that yet.

And I know my hitch can be pulled off and put on the 19 but I'll probably just get a new hitch just because why not.

Which now takes me to towing. The 07 towed our pop-up great but over time the rear wheel did lose camber which I think was the result of excessive tongue weight. I know there are shims for this but I fear this was the result of towing a camper which pushed the Sienna's limits. Anybody use the air bags in the springs or any other suspension mods which would help avoid ruining our newer Sienna? I know the key to reduce tongue weight which I am process of doing with a trailer mod. But I'd like to know of things I can do to protect the newer sienna.

Anything else which can be taken off a late 2nd gen LE AWD and put on a late 3rd gen LE AWD? Thanks.
 

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First, congratulations on the most creative question in a while. The gen 2 hitch hangs much lower than a gen 3 specific hitch. The gen 2 hitch also requires you discard the rear splash shield rather than trimming it.

The gen 3 cross bars are clamp on, so gen 2 bars don't fit.

Air bags work well!
 

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2014 Sienna LE
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In these threads I've also read about fog light wiring which exists in my 07 but does not in my 19.

I will do the vent motors but not sure about the fog lights. I've never had fog lights so I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle.
I personally find them of minimal use, except in poor weather (which is what they are designed for. I like to use them when it’s snowing, when there’s a lot of snow on the ground (the low angle casts shadows in the snow and helps show things), at night in the rain to help show lane markings that may otherwise be hit by reflections, and of course when it’s foggy. Never in weather at night. I see people running with fog lights in good weather and I don’t understand it. In good weather all that happens is you throw a lot more light directly in front of your vehicle. I think people confuse “more light” for “seeing better.” It doesn’t change how far you can see. In fact, in good weather it probably reduces how far you can see, as the extra light so close to your vehicle reduces your night vision at the far reaches of your headlights.

I want to install fog lights for those limited situations I mentioned though. And this time proper amber ones to help cut though fog more than white. And the ability to run only fog lights without headlights (but still with marker lights obviously), as my previous vehicles didn’t allow running fog lights without headlights. But in extremely heavy,
20 MPH fog, running only fog lights without headlights is what you want.

Check state laws on this, a number of states do not allow you to run just fog lights but require fog lights to always be run in conjunction with headlights.

For example, my own state, Wisconsin, requires headlights be run at all times in periods of limited visibility or at night, but states the following exception for the use of fog lights by themselves (called adverse weather lights in the law):
Adverse weather lamps shall not be used in lieu of headlamps unless absolutely necessary in case of rain, snow, dust or fog and then only when a vehicle is equipped with 2 adverse weather lamps mounted on opposite sides of the front of the vehicle and when both such adverse weather lamps are lighted. Whenever any vehicle is equipped with only one adverse weather lamp, both headlamps of such vehicle shall be lighted at all times when such adverse weather lamp is lighted.
In other words, when it makes sense to use only fog lights without headlights, you can, but you better not do that any other time.

Anybody use the air bags in the springs or any other suspension mods which would help avoid ruining our newer Sienna? I know the key to reduce tongue weight which I am process of doing with a trailer mod. But I'd like to know of things I can do to protect the newer sienna.
A weight distributing hitch physically transfers weight from the rear axles of the tow vehicle to the front ones. Air bags do not transfer weight, they only keep your rear suspension from sagging as much.

I ran a weight distributing hitch on a 2013 Honda Pilot (which oddly said not to use a weight distributing hitch, but I would not have wanted to not use a weight distributing weight when towing with close to the max rated tongue weight on that), and on a 2020 Silverado 1500, which required a weight distributing hitch once you reached like 75% of the max rated tongue weight (which I did).

They work great when properly set up, but add an extra set of steps when hooking up and unhooking. They can cause issues if you don’t set up properly and transfer too much weight to the front axles, because it’s entirely possible to configure them so there’s more weight on the front axel with the trailer connected than before you connected it, and that is certainly an issue.

There’s actually a ad from like the 50’s demonstrating weight distribution hitches by having a sedan with the rear tires removed towing a trailer. That would be the most extreme possible weight over-transfer but clearly demonstrates that weight distribution hitches actually remove weight from the rear axle of the towing vehicle, as much as that may not seem possible to do with something mounted on the trailer at first glance.

If you get a WD hitch, be sure your receiver hitch on your van is rated for a WD hitch. Not all of them are, and the trailer ratings for WD setups may be lower than for non-WD trailer setups.

You’re also not supposed to use a WD hitch setup to tow a trailer with a hitch weight that exceeds the rated hitch weight of the tow vehicle, even if it’s actually reducing the weight in the rear axle. WD hitches additional and different stresses to the tow vehicle due to how they transfer the weight from the rear to front axles.
 

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2007 and 2019 Sienna LE AWD
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@DC_Dave -
First, congratulations on the most creative question in a while. The gen 2 hitch hangs much lower than a gen 3 specific hitch. The gen 2 hitch also requires you discard the rear splash shield rather than trimming it.

The gen 3 cross bars are clamp on, so gen 2 bars don't fit.

Air bags work well!
Thanks for the hitch tips. I did laugh at the cross bars comment since I did "think" about this but did not mention it in my OP. I didn't use them on my Gen2 so I probably will not on my Gen3 (famous last words). I'll look into the air bags.
 

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2007 and 2019 Sienna LE AWD
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I personally find them of minimal use, except in poor weather (which is what they are designed for. I like to use them when it’s snowing, when there’s a lot of snow on the ground (the low angle casts shadows in the snow and helps show things), at night in the rain to help show lane markings that may otherwise be hit by reflections, and of course when it’s foggy. Never in weather at night. I see people running with fog lights in good weather and I don’t understand it. In good weather all that happens is you throw a lot more light directly in front of your vehicle. I think people confuse “more light” for “seeing better.” It doesn’t change how far you can see. In fact, in good weather it probably reduces how far you can see, as the extra light so close to your vehicle reduces your night vision at the far reaches of your headlights.

I want to install fog lights for those limited situations I mentioned though. And this time proper amber ones to help cut though fog more than white. And the ability to run only fog lights without headlights (but still with marker lights obviously), as my previous vehicles didn’t allow running fog lights without headlights. But in extremely heavy,
20 MPH fog, running only fog lights without headlights is what you want.

Check state laws on this, a number of states do not allow you to run just fog lights but require fog lights to always be run in conjunction with headlights.

For example, my own state, Wisconsin, requires headlights be run at all times in periods of limited visibility or at night, but states the following exception for the use of fog lights by themselves (called adverse weather lights in the law):


In other words, when it makes sense to use only fog lights without headlights, you can, but you better not do that any other time.


A weight distributing hitch physically transfers weight from the rear axles of the tow vehicle to the front ones. Air bags do not transfer weight, they only keep your rear suspension from sagging as much.

I ran a weight distributing hitch on a 2013 Honda Pilot (which oddly said not to use a weight distributing hitch, but I would not have wanted to not use a weight distributing weight when towing with close to the max rated tongue weight on that), and on a 2020 Silverado 1500, which required a weight distributing hitch once you reached like 75% of the max rated tongue weight (which I did).

They work great when properly set up, but add an extra set of steps when hooking up and unhooking. They can cause issues if you don’t set up properly and transfer too much weight to the front axles, because it’s entirely possible to configure them so there’s more weight on the front axel with the trailer connected than before you connected it, and that is certainly an issue.

There’s actually a ad from like the 50’s demonstrating weight distribution hitches by having a sedan with the rear tires removed towing a trailer. That would be the most extreme possible weight over-transfer but clearly demonstrates that weight distribution hitches actually remove weight from the rear axle of the towing vehicle, as much as that may not seem possible to do with something mounted on the trailer at first glance.

If you get a WD hitch, be sure your receiver hitch on your van is rated for a WD hitch. Not all of them are, and the trailer ratings for WD setups may be lower than for non-WD trailer setups.

You’re also not supposed to use a WD hitch setup to tow a trailer with a hitch weight that exceeds the rated hitch weight of the tow vehicle, even if it’s actually reducing the weight in the rear axle. WD hitches additional and different stresses to the tow vehicle due to how they transfer the weight from the rear to front axles.
Thanks for the detailed response. I am still on the fence with fog lights but I live in MA so we do get snow as well.

Regarding the hitch comments and the WD hitches and tying it into what DC_Dave stated as well.

I'll have to review the Sienna manual and read the door labels for the various weight limits but I do see the following two Curt hitched for the 2019 Sienna:

Class 3 Trailer Hitch, 2" Receiver, Select Toyota Sienna (Concealed Main Body) #13343
Rated to 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 525 lbs. tongue weight
Pro: sits higher than hitch below
Con: doesn't mention WD hitch compatibility so assuming 500lb tongue weight means 500lbs on rear axle only

Class 3 Trailer Hitch, 2" Receiver, Select Toyota Sienna (Exposed Main Body) #13105
Rated to 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 350 lbs. tongue weight
Compatible with weight distribution hitch (5,000 lbs. WD / 500 lbs. WDTW)
Hitch sits 9.5" above ground when installed
Pro: Is WD hitch compatible so assuming 500lb tongue weight means less than 500lbs on rear axle (not sure of the math and how much weight will be transferred to the front axle)
Con: Sits lower (however if WD hitch "lifs" up then I wonder which hitch will actually sit lower after everything is said and done)

Any thoughts or additional commentary on the above?

I know the 2007 Sienna had a 325lb max tongue weight and 3500 lb towing. Assuming the 2019 has the same specs then my concern is not the weight (pop-up camper weights about 3000lbs loaded) but the tongue weight. If I were to guess I'd say I am around 450lbs tongue weight (crappy weight distribution on camper).

The following thread has some good points:

I have the same sort of details in my camper (2 - 20# propane tanks, plus battery plus 4 bikes which mount over the front of the camper and hitch).

In order to reduce tongue weight (and use the first hitch which conceals more) I am thinking of somehow mounting a hitch (with bike rack) to the back of the camper to better balance the camper and reduce tongue weight. My concern is if I over do it or introduce sway - right now the camper tows very nicely with the 2007 except that I think I cranked my rear axle somehow and bent it so now my camber is whacked.
 
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