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Thank you for the advice folks. In all fairness to the dealer, it was a trailer dealer tech I asked, not a Toyota dealer, so him not knowing is understandable seeing that Sienna's have internal coolers.

First time experiencing "hunting". My 2000 lbs popup did not cause this to happen. Glad I know now what to do...

I don't plan on driving the trailer with any liquids in it, and the cargo will be minimal (cutlery, clothes). Certainly not anything heavy.

Glad to hear you had a good Trip in BC tcp. I actually drove my pop-up to Banff from Ottawa. Had a great time. That sure is some beutiful country in the Rockies.
 

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brian_bp said:
Jabba said:
I asked the dealer to look at the Sienna to see if it had the transmission cooler, and they said it did not. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that all Canadian Sienna's had the tow package, which included the trans. cooler. Could anyone confirm this and tell me what I should be looking for (or pics of your Sienna) to confirm?
This appears to be either yet another reason to distrust dealers and question their competence, or just a miscommunication. The second-generation Sienna does have a transmission oil cooler (with or without the towing package), but it is internal to the radiator. If staff at the dealership don't know that and can't see it in a quick visual examination, they are incompetent; if they mean that there is no separate or additional transmission oil cooler, this may just be a failure to clearly communicate...
Jabba said:
In all fairness to the dealer, it was a trailer dealer tech I asked, not a Toyota dealer, so him not knowing is understandable seeing that Sienna's have internal coolers.
I thought that we were talking about a Toyota dealer, but I think that even a hitch dealer (who sells transmission coolers) should be able to find the telltale fluid lines at a glance and know that the Sienna has a cooler in the radiator.
 

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I just found this forum.... I was a user of the previous Sienna forum and had posted regularly there.
Like Shineysideup I am towing somewhat over my limit - a Hydrodyne Triple Rig (3 -150 hp Evinrude outboards) actual measured weight is almost exactly 5,000 lbs.

I Posted a picture on the "what are you towing picture page"

Since I am involved in team towing, 4 days a week minimum - often 700 miles on a hot weekend- performing watershows all over the midwest
my comments seem to mimic Shineysideup...

Why did I pick the Sienna for this weight??? First I was pulling it with a Lumina APV 3.1 litre, it has survived for 300K miles with no problems. All of our team pickups and SUV's have eaten a couple of transmissions, so buying one of those did not look like sure fire protection against transmission failure.

With three motors behind the axles, this boat has TERRIBLE tale wag behind the Excursion and the Yukon and if you get near 70 mph on a downgrade you may loose control The lower C.G. - or something- on the APV made it a very stable tow vehicle, heck you can run a slalom course with it.

The 2008 Sienna CE with Tow Package has now completed two years of this service, no problems have surfaced and stability is excellent.

I concur: Tow ratings seem to have been picked with a Ouija board on some of the past vehicles I have owned. Some in the 70's were hilariously faulty, I could give examples that were particularly wrong!!

Make note that the boat that I am towing has very low frontal area, low C.G. and surge brakes of course!!
 

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fsskier said:
With three motors behind the axles, this boat has TERRIBLE tale wag behind the Excursion and the Yukon and if you get near 70 mph on a downgrade you may loose control The lower C.G. - or something- on the APV made it a very stable tow vehicle, heck you can run a slalom course with it.
I don't think that the motors behind the axles are inherently a problem. Having big masses far from the centre of mass is a bad thing, but if that centre of mass is far enough back then the motors are not far from it and the result should work out fine. Looking at the photo (in show us what you are towing) again (since first seeing it in the old SiennaClub), I'm surprised how far forward the axles are. What is the tongue weight of this setup? If it is really low, then perhaps the axles are too far forward and the configuration would be more stable with them moved back... it could get even better behind the Sienna!

fsskier said:
Make note that the boat that I am towing has very low frontal area, low C.G. and surge brakes of course!!
Small power boats are a very easy-to-tow configuration. The towing ratings for some vehicles even reflect this - for some time the Honda Odyssey was rated for a higher weight (4500 lb) if the trailer was a boat on a trailer than if it was a trailer in general (3500 lb), although Toyota does not follow this practice.

In addition to the factors already listed, the boat-and-trailer appears to have the mass concentrated in a smaller space than a typical 5000 lb travel trailer, as well as having much smaller side area (for crosswind sensitivity).
 

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brian_bp said:
What is the tongue weight of this setup? If it is really low, then perhaps the axles are too far forward and the configuration would be more stable with them moved back... it could get even better behind the Sienna!
After posting this I later realized that with a trailer gross weight of 5000 lb and a Sienna rated maximum hitch load (in weight-carrying mode) of 350 lb, the highest allowable tongue weight would be 7% of the trailer weight. That's low by general towing standards, but should be fine for a boat trailer like this. Moving the trailer axles further back might not be possible without violating this limit, but I would want to have the axles as far back as the hitch weight limit allows.
 

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Yes, tongue weight for me is about 350 lbs.... since it is a tandem trailer, and the pickups/suv's
have higher hitch ball heights... they lift up on the front wheels quite a bit and wind up with about 500 lbs of tongue weight. They are much less stable, not sure why, but the minivan stability is awesome and I would be reluctant to change.

Tongue weight: in one study published in trailer boats magazine, some combinations (tow vehicle-boat) like more tongue weight, some like much less.

In the most extreme example I tried.... sort of by accident.... My old minivan had been taken to another state to help someone move and I wound up towing to a tournament with an old Taurus MT5 (1986, 4 cyl, 5 speed manual) . Not sure of the strength of the hitch I removed some lead from the nose, and put it in the transom. Now, when you have slid like a snake up in the nose, you pull out lots of bags of lead, to be sure not to have to return. To my suprise I wound up with ZERO tongue weight. None, zilch, pick it up with one finger easily. Only having to go 100 miles for this show I took off and was surprised to have the most stable possible configuration. Now the Taurus was low and stable, but considering that the boat weighed 1500 lbs more than it did the results seemed phenomenal!!

I also liked the efficiency of that combination. $300 tow vehicle, $75,000 dollar boat. Remember, every dollar you waste on the tow vehicle is money you cannot spend on the boat!!

The worst tow combination I ever saw was a Nautique behind a pickup camper. Lots of camper weight, lots of tongue weight - tail wag was huge at more than 45 mph. Fortunately, the owner only had to go about 10 miles from his house to the campground/boat ramp each weekend!!!
 

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(2008 Sienna, 5,000 lb boat, again) Actually if I was going to change anything, I would install the weight distributing upgrade to my hitch - the increased weight on the front wheels should make it even better on the boat ramps and level the vehicle without adding airbags...which I have not done yet.

Comments, anybody, experiences with the weight distributing hitch - I have a Curt, 5,000 lb hitch.
 

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fsskier said:
... My old minivan had been taken to another state to help someone move and I wound up towing to a tournament with an old Taurus MT5 (1986, 4 cyl, 5 speed manual) . Not sure of the strength of the hitch I removed some lead from the nose, and put it in the transom. Now, when you have slid like a snake up in the nose, you pull out lots of bags of lead, to be sure not to have to return. To my suprise I wound up with ZERO tongue weight. None, zilch, pick it up with one finger easily. Only having to go 100 miles for this show I took off and was surprised to have the most stable possible configuration.
While zero tongue weight is normally bad, moving the ballast from the bow to the transom moved it much closer to the centre of mass, substantially reducing the polar moment of inertia, which would improve stability. The theory makes sense but this was an interesting practical demonstration!
 

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fsskier said:
(2008 Sienna, 5,000 lb boat, again) Actually if I was going to change anything, I would install the weight distributing upgrade to my hitch - the increased weight on the front wheels should make it even better on the boat ramps and level the vehicle without adding airbags...which I have not done yet.
I agree that a WD system would improve drive traction, but unlike shifting the axle back it does not fundamentally improve trailer stability - WD and the various devices called "sway controls" are all essentially bandages on the problem. If there's no problem, I don't see a need to add the bandage... but with my travel trailer (which is not beyond the Sienna's tow rating) there's no problem - I don't tow it up boat ramps!
 

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I have a 2007 Sienna LE with the towing package that I use to tow a 23ft Jayco 23B travel trailer. With all our stuff, the trailer weighs a little more that 4500 lbs. Although the engine has plenty of power, the transmission's gear ratios leave a little to be desired. In order to compensate for this, I decided to replace the original tire size (215/65-16) with smaller (215/55-16) tires. At 60mph, in fourth gear, i get an extra 200 rpms. I'm also going to use higher octane fuel. Apparently the 2GR-FE engine does benefit from the higher octane fuel.

I haven't towed yet with the new tire size but our first trip is coming up in may and I'll post my impressions.
 

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What is the load capacity of the 215/55R16 tires?

A P215/65R16 has just barely enough load capacity to meet the axle weight rating (GAWR), a Sienna loaded for towing can easily reach the GAWR (front and/or rear), and I expect that the 55-series tire will certainly have less load capacity than a 65-series tire of the section width and wheel diameter. The result could easily be overloaded tires.
 

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brian_bp said:
What is the load capacity of the 215/55R16 tires?

A P215/65R16 has just barely enough load capacity to meet the axle weight rating (GAWR), a Sienna loaded for towing can easily reach the GAWR (front and/or rear), and I expect that the 55-series tire will certainly have less load capacity than a 65-series tire of the section width and wheel diameter. The result could easily be overloaded tires.
The original tires that came with the sienna had a load index if 96 (1565lbs).
I chose Toyo Proxes 4 tires with a load index of 97 (1609lbs).
Most 215/55-16 tires have a load index of 93 but a lot of them have indexes of 97. Just look for a load index of 97 or an "XL" load range.

http://toyotires.com/tire/pattern/proxes-4
 

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Thanks for the details. I didn't know if capacity had been considered, so I had to ask.

Yes, extra load (XL) tires are one solution; LT and commercial tires are the others, but low profiles are generally not available in them.

If the tires are "P-metric" (TRA's passenger car standard, i.e. P215/55R16 rather than the Euro-metric 215/55R16) remember to divide the capacity by 1.1 (derate by a factor of 1.1) for van use.
 

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brian_bp said:
Thanks for the details. I didn't know if capacity had been considered, so I had to ask.

Yes, extra load (XL) tires are one solution; LT and commercial tires are the others, but low profiles are generally not available in them.

If the tires are "P-metric" (TRA's passenger car standard, i.e. P215/55R16 rather than the Euro-metric 215/55R16) remember to divide the capacity by 1.1 (derate by a factor of 1.1) for van use.
Thanks for the heads up.

So i'm trying to see if the Toyo Proxes 4 tires are are P-metric or Euro-metric. I can't find any mention of P215/55 anywhere on Toyo's web site. The tire markings on say 215/55-16 (not P215).
So I can only conclude that they are Euro-metric.
Therefore i don't have to divide by 1.1.
Right?

What tire pressure would you put on 215/55-16 tires with the sienna?

Max pressure on the new tires is 50psi.

I currently left them at 35psi but the front tires seem a little low. I usually inflate my tires to 40 when I'm loaded with my family and tow the trailer.

What do you think?

Thanks.
 

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I agree (without looking it up online myself) that the Proxes 4 appears to be Euro-metric. If the "P" isn't on the beginning of the designation as moulded in the tire sidewall, it's not P-metric. Some published specs are really not clear about this.

I'm not surprised that the Proxes follows the Euro standard. This is common for many tire companies not based in North America, and not at all surprising for Toyo. Although XL P-metric tires exist, most XL tires are Euro-metric.

The Europrean Tyre and Rim Organization does not describe the normal (euro-metric) standard as specifically for passenger cars (unlike the Tire and Rim Associations "P" type), and so that's right... no derating is required for van applications (or trailer use, by the way).

There's more detail in the Tires & Wheels section, but I personally believe that Toyota picked an operating pressure of 35 psi to match the limit of some of the OEM tires. Most P-metric tires now allow up to 42 psi (although with no corresponding capacity increase) and higher-capacity tires of the same size need higher pressure to support a greater load, so they have maximum pressures of 50 psi (typical for XL and Load Range C truck or commercial) or more. The winter tires we have used on our Sienna are both 50 psi XL models, and I follow roughly the recommendations others have posted in SiennaChat, which are around 40 psi.
 

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brian_bp said:
I agree (without looking it up online myself) that the Proxes 4 appears to be Euro-metric. If the "P" isn't on the beginning of the designation as moulded in the tire sidewall, it's not P-metric. Some published specs are really not clear about this.

I'm not surprised that the Proxes follows the Euro standard. This is common for many tire companies not based in North America, and not at all surprising for Toyo. Although XL P-metric tires exist, most XL tires are Euro-metric.

The Europrean Tyre and Rim Organization does not describe the normal (euro-metric) standard as specifically for passenger cars (unlike the Tire and Rim Associations "P" type), and so that's right... no derating is required for van applications (or trailer use, by the way).

There's more detail in the Tires & Wheels section, but I personally believe that Toyota picked an operating pressure of 35 psi to match the limit of some of the OEM tires. Most P-metric tires now allow up to 42 psi (although with no corresponding capacity increase) and higher-capacity tires of the same size need higher pressure to support a greater load, so they have maximum pressures of 50 psi (typical for XL and Load Range C truck or commercial) or more. The winter tires we have used on our Sienna are both 50 psi XL models, and I follow roughly the recommendations others have posted in SiennaChat, which are around 40 psi.

Thank you for your response.

So 40psi it is for everyday driving.

Should I increase the psi when heavily loaded? Say to 45?
 

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scary... :eek: ??? ::) ;D ;D ;D
 

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Hi Gang: I need some assistance setting up my 2006 Sienna to tow a 2003 Rockwood Roo 21 Hybrid (UVW is 2553 lbs). Some of you, including Brian_bp will recognize me from the lightweight camper forum (Hoptop over there). I'm waiting on delivery and have some time to get things setup properly. I'm currently towing a 2000 Coleman Cheyenne Pop-up using the Toyota Class II Hitch, with the 4-pin connector and Airlift 1000 airbags. My plan is to go forward with the following:

Curt 13256 Class III Hitch and 7-Pin Connector
WDH with Sway Control
Prodigy Brake Controller
Airlift 1000s

Any input-Especially thoughts on which WDH would be best for my needs would be greatly appreciated.

With passengers and Cargo I'll be right at my weight specs-Just want to be as prepared as possible.

Cheers,

Jay
 

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Hello,
Just a couple of quick thoughts. First, the UVW of the trailer shouldn't really be considered as a factual number. That weight does not include awnings, propane, battery(s), AC units, water or any other number of options or accessories. That isn't really a problem, as seen by the trailers being towed by others here, but you should be aware that the actual unloaded weight is probably substantially higher.

I use the same prodigy and airbags myself and recommend them. My hitch is the "valley industries" class 3 unit. I do like the curt better due to the extra brace across the top of the receiver. Less flex when using the WDH that way. I also use a Reese Trunion mount WDH system with 600lb spring bars. I know my hitch is overkill, but it's what I had available. I don't use sway control. Reese's Dual Cam Sway Control unit is well thought of as the Equal-i-zer products.



Oilman said:
Hi Gang: I need some assistance setting up my 2006 Sienna to tow a 2003 Rockwood Roo 21 Hybrid (UVW is 2553 lbs). Some of you, including Brian_bp will recognize me from the lightweight camper forum (Hoptop over there). I'm waiting on delivery and have some time to get things setup properly. I'm currently towing a 2000 Coleman Cheyenne Pop-up using the Toyota Class II Hitch, with the 4-pin connector and Airlift 1000 airbags. My plan is to go forward with the following:

Curt 13256 Class III Hitch and 7-Pin Connector
WDH with Sway Control
Prodigy Brake Controller
Airlift 1000s

Any input-Especially thoughts on which WDH would be best for my needs would be greatly appreciated.

With passengers and Cargo I'll be right at my weight specs-Just want to be as prepared as possible.

Cheers,

Jay
 
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