Last post on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM
You are in the Toyota Venza
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Toyota Venza, Towing, SUV
#10 of 11 wiring a trailer harness
Dec 13, 2012 (8:13 am)
Has anyone installed a trailer wiring harness to their venza. I need to do it, and I would like some advice. Thanks. RR70
#11 of 11 towing
Apr 22, 2013 (2:01 pm)
Regarding hunting between the top two gears while towing, one should not be towing in D (drive). You should be towing in manual mode where you can shift to gear 5 and leave it there. Note that when driving with the car in manual mode, it will still downshift and upshift automatically UP TO the gear you have indicated. Think of the manual gear indicator as a "maximum gear" indicator (although, if you run it up to redline, it's going to override that as well and shift). But back to towing...
I tow a lot and by shifting to manual and running in 5th, you avoid the constant shifting between 5th and 6th. That constant shifting is very hard on a transmission. 5th and 6th gears are fairly tall gears and so the engine doesn't have the power to lug a trailer in only 6th gear, so it will downshift to 5th quite easily while towing. By towing in a lower gear, that puts the engine higher in the powerband (more rpm and more hp).
Towing in a lower gear is a normal part of towing, but may be a new concept to those that have not done much towing. Next time you are out, give it a try and you'll be pleasantly surprised. And no, you are not going to "over rev" your car by towing in 5th. The rpms will be higher, but well within normal driving range (unless you are towing at 85+ mph which isn't advised anyway).
A note on the towing mpg. When not towing and driving 65 mph, I will normally get 25+ mpg with my 2009 V6 AWD. When towing about 1500 lbs (trailer weight plus the cargo it's carrying), I'll get about 16 mpg at 65 mph. Reduced gas mileage when towing is just part of towing. I'll take the 16mpg as my previous 2003 truck got less than 14mpg when towing this same load and then 18 mpg when not towing and driving 65mph (and only 15mpg at 75mph).
I tow almost every weekend; either a 600 lb aluminum trailer or a 1,000 lb steel trailer and cargo consisting of two or three dual sport motorcycles, or an ATV and motorcycle, or a couple snowmobiles. I just love the way it tows and we usually take my car over my girlfriends 2001 Toyota 4Runner because the Venzas V6 and 6 speed tranny easily outpulls her V6 and 4 speed!
Interestingly, my venza weighs 400lbs more than her 4runner, has way more interior room (head room, hip/shoulder room, and cargo room) and gets way better mileage doing it. We only take the 4runner if the terrain is going to be very rugged and we may need to be able to lock in 4x4 or need steep approach angles...although I've driven some very steep and rugged forest service roads in the Venza and, unless approach angle or traction becomes an issue, it is very capable. My only wish has been a way to lock the Venza into even 50/50 4x4 rather than the rear grabbing only AFTER the front looses traction and spins.