We are considering purchasing a trailer. Our Toyota Sienna is rated for 3500 lbs max trailer towing and I forget what the tongue weight limit is. But we’ve heard that max towing weight shouldn’t be pulled. We were wondering if there was some percentage guideline to be used like 90% or 85% of the max limit. We were thinking about buying a boat so total towing would probably be abou t 150 miles from where we purchase the boat to a local boat club where it will stay until we sell it.
If it is a one time operation or very rarely if the vehicle can tow the weight as is don’t think much about it.
Personally I would pay the delivery fee if you have to make any alterations to your Sienna to make it work.
Other people will disagree…but I don’t like towing with ANY FWD vehicle. A RWD vehicle has much better control of the back-end (right were the trail attaches to the vehicle).
Do you already have a hitch and wiring for a trailer installed on the van? If not get prices. It might be best to pay a delivery fee or pay someone else to tow it for you.
Towing with the Sienna is tough on the transmission and drive train. Front wheel drive cars have to pack a lot of parts in to the transaxle. That limits the size and heft of the parts so they are not “heavy duty”.
A hitch hung on the back of your van permanently is not the prettiest sight either.
With a FWD vehicle like a Sienna, if you get anywhere close to the towing capacity, you must install additional safety equipment, mainly a weight distribution trailer hitch and a sway control bar. Unfortunately, these devices add more weight. Even more unfortunate is that these devices are not normally used with boat trailers.
With all of this in mind, the combined GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of the boat and the trailer should not exceed 2,750 lbs.
Keep in mind that if you plan to use the Sienna to put the boat into the water and take it out of the water on a boat ramp, FWD with the weight of the trailer on the back is a recipe for disaster. Your Sienna might end up under water.