We’ve a 2000 Toyota Solara in excellent condition. We want to pull a 1,400 or less pound pop-up trailer across the country. The trailer dealer tells us it’ll pull 2,000 pounds. If we take it easy, can she do it without damage?
What does your Owner’s Manual state, regarding the car’s towing capacity?
The trailer dealer wants to sell a trailer, and he/she did not design or build the car.
The “official” statement by the car’s manufacturer should always be taken much more seriously than the words of a local trailer salesman.
Also–if this car has an automatic transmission–Have you changed the fluid every 3 yrs/30k miles?
If not, the strain of towing anything could very likely cause the transmission to die in a very inconvenient location, at a very inconvenient time.
Yes, you’ll be fine doing that. Your transmission has a drain plug, so drain and fill it before the trip, with the proper type of fluid. Not sure if that is Toyota T-IV or Dexron, but use the correct type. I’ve towed a similar load with an 01 Camry across country with no harm done.
When I think Toyota Solara, “tow vehicle” is not the first thing that comes to mind.
Don’t base your decision on what the trailer dealer says. The owner’s manual will have information about your Solara’s towing capacity, or lack thereof. Please consult the manual, and forget the salesperson’s advice, which is BOGUS.
There’s no way you can “take it easy” pulling a trailer across the country. That’s sales BS. Pulling a trailer is hard on any vehicle, and pulling a trailer across the country is going to take a huge toll on your car. I’d be especially worried about the transmission, as VDCdriver suggests.
Pulling the weight is only part of the problem. Your vehicle also has to be able to STOP the load, and an additional 1400 pounds may be enough to overwhelm your Solara’s brakes. This will happen at the worst possible time.
I think you need to do a lot more research before you try to use a Solara as a tow vehicle.
The MAX towing capacity is 2000lbs, but it’s usually a good idea to stay within 75~80% of that for margin of error. Have the trailer taken to a weigh station and see how much it weighs.
Also, keep in mind your vehicle is FWD, so the extra weight in the rear will significantly reduce your traction on those wheels, making it hard to steer when you encounter rain/snow storms