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I just got off the phone with the dealership and they told me that towing wasn't even recommended with this vehicle. I find this frustrating considering it has a tow rating of 3500lbs. Apparently that only applies to Sienna's that come from the factory with a tow package included, said the dealer rep. I'm feeling crushed. I've been shopping for campers in the 1800-2600lb range. I've been shopping prices for adding a Class 3 hitch, wiring and brake controls. The first estimate I got for all of those items was $870. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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If your 2015 XLE is FWD, then its got a standard factory installed tow prep package and is rated for towing a maximum of 3,500 pounds. The tow prep package was not available on the 2015 XLE AWD. The only 2015 AWD that has the tow prep package is the LE.

$870 for parts and labor for the hitch, wiring and brake controller is in the ballpark of being reasonable. If you are handy and have a decent socket wrench set and preferably also a torque wrench, you could install these components yourself. I haven't installed a brake controller on my 2014 Sienna but it was pretty easy to install a class III hitch and a 4-way electrical harness. You would need a 7-way electrical harness to handle a trailer with electric brakes. It helps to have a floor jack and jack stands but I might have been able to do it without mine..
 

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Geezer:
How do I verify that it has the prep package? The guy at the dealership has really scared me about towing. Can I visually inspect any of the components that are involved in the "prep package" ? It's not an AWD, so I should be good to go? Would love to get this valuable information verified. Thanks for your feedback.
 

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If you want to verify it, search this Towing and Hauling subforum for photos of the components in the tow prep package that were posted by forum moderator fibber2. But I'm absolutely positive that your 2015 Sienna XLE FWD has a standard tow prep package - same as the 2014 Sienna Limited FWD that I bought new and installed a hitch and trailer harness on.

Dealership employees often don't know squat about the vehicles they sell.

Here is a link to the 2015 Sienna brochure that says your XLE is rated to tow 3,500 pounds: http://www.auto-brochures.com/makes/Toyota/Sienna/Toyota_US Sienna_2015.pdf

Unfortunately, the 2015 Sienna brochure is flaky in that it does not make it clear that the AWD versions of the XLE and Limited do not have the tow prep package. This has caused confusion and frustration for owners of all wheel drive 2015 XLE and Limited who bought their vehicles intending to tow.
 

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You have a cooler on your Sienna. You are good to go. If you are going to install your own hitch make sure the threads are in good shape where they mount to the Sienna. Recommend running the bolt up in the threads before trying to mount the hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, on second look at my engine I can see that I do indeed have the cooler. Whew! My husband is handy, but I am a bit nervous about asking him because this would be his first hitch install. It seems like people install hitches themselves often and I hate to spend more money than needed so I'm considering this approach. As for purchasing equipment...it would be nice to purchase a product that comes with lots of detailed instructions for the DIY type. Any suggestions? I can run these products by my husband to see if he's comfortable with it. Thanks for weighing in guys!
 

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I read that a sway bar would be needed if trailer is over 2000lbs
Google a phrase such as "trailer sway control" to learn about the various types.

And what's this I hear about air bags?
Air bags inside the rear springs can help cope with the load of the trailer tongue weight but they aren't mandatory. Lots of people on this forum have installed them - search for threads in this subforum. The most popular ones are from Air LIft. I see the ones for the Sienna on Amazon for just under $82.

I've bought most of my towing stuff (hitches, harnesses, draw bars, etc.) from etrailer the past 20 years or so. They might make recommendations if you contact them. Here's the page of hitches for the Sienna: 2015 Toyota Sienna Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you I will look into air bags and sway control. I appreciate the links you provided and along with all of your feedback.
 

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Looks like you don't really need my input here as the team did a great job already! But....

Image 4F is a beautiful shot of the engine oil to engine coolant heat exchange module.

Several of us have been crazy enough to even install the more complicated frame-hugging hitches solo. If you are willing to help, it will go a whole lot easier! It's just too heavy and unwieldy to wrestle into place alone.


I found etrailer to be easy to deal with, the prices are very reasonable, and their instructional material is first rate. I did this with the 'bumper tab bending' procedure rather than by removing the rear bumper. If you are working together, consider taking off the bumper - a step that I don't recommend doing alone do to the increased risk of cosmetic damage. There is a special tool for removing the exhaust isolation hangers that's well worth the money:


There are posts here about bumper tab bending and underpanel trimming. Air bag threads too.
 

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There is a special tool for removing the exhaust isolation hangers that's well worth the money:

Wow! Wish I had known 13 years ago that tool existed! I hate dealing with exhaust hangers.

And here's another vote for eTrailer. The prices are very fair, instructions and pics are super helpful. I buy from them even if they end up a few $$ more than the big A. Worth it! (No affiliation, just a satisfied repeat customer)

-Mike


Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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I'd never suggest that you couldn't get the job done without that hanger tool, but there are some small investments that are just sooooo worth it in terms of reduced frustration and skinned knuckles that you ask yourself why you struggled. I've now done 6 garage hitch installs in the past 18 years, and had this tool for the last 3. Love it!

Same with Hose Clamp Pliers 2 pack for engine cooling system or fuel line work: OTC 4502 Hose clamp plier set, 2 pc | Tool Discounter Can you get by with a regular set of pliers? Maybe.... But why?
 

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I have a 2011 Limited AWD Sienna and currently towing near 3K boat package (boat+trailer). I've never installed any hitch or wiring in the past, but was able to do all the work on the Sienna myself. The hitch is easy to install from etrailer, but the brake wiring took a little more finesse. The videos from etrailer are very good, watch it a couple of time before and during the install. I also installed the air bags in the coils to prevent sag, there's videos on etrailer on this too for the Sienna. All in all, the project was rewarding knowing I did it myself. Let me know if you need any advice for the projects if planning to do it yourself.
 

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If your 2015 XLE is FWD, then its got a standard factory installed tow prep package and is rated for towing a maximum of 3,500 pounds. The tow prep package was not available on the 2015 XLE AWD. The only 2015 AWD that has the tow prep package is the LE.
I have a '05 XLE Pre w/tow package and it is time to replace it. I spent a lot of time researching this and thought the 2015 AWD had towing package. I need AWD & want XLE Pre or Limited so using the brochures I knew the '16 & '17 did NOT have it but the '15 & '18 does (unless it is a fleet car). Since I am looking to replace my '05 with a newer one this is critical info. How did you find this out so I can better shop?
 

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I know this is a few days old but wanted to give another shout out to all that replied. I can also see your oil cooler, so you’ll be good to go. You can’t go wrong with Etrailer. Their selection is good and first rate videos and help. We pull a forest river pup with out 2011 xle. Total weight for the pup is just under 3k loaded. (Without water). Please keep in mind from a safety issue, as you go up in weight, it’s important to have the correct set up. Personally, with my family onboard, the small extra set up cost was well worth it. And it also helps with wear and tear on our daily driver. Look for a trailer with brakes, you thx yourself someday. So get the 7 pin connector. Use a top notch brake control. Air bags are a must, imo. A WDH is also a good investment as you get over 2k lbs.( helps the squatting effect and spreads out the weight more evenly across all axles👍🏻) some may not agree. But again, I don’t take chances. All these items can be easily found on Etrailer. And it isn’t as hard as one thinks to install. Lots of video tutorials out there. One hint, go with a trunnion style WDH. You get a bit more clearance in the rear end. Buy all your goodies and tell your hubby to install it all. It’s time to go camping soon 😃. That’s what my wife told me. Good luck and have fun. Send some pics along the way.
 

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The trailer hitch really isn't very hard to install yourself. That said, I had a helper because it's hard to lift the hitch up into place and install the first couple of bolts.
 
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