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Trailering With A 400h


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My wife and I live in Louisiana and just bought a second home in FL. I have a Harley that I'd like to take with us and haul it in a trailer towed by our Lexus. But, in reading the owners manual it recommends not towing with the hybrid.

My bike weighs about 800 lbs and the trailer weighs about 1,000. I've read a couple of threads here that it's safe and the limit on the hitch is about 3,000 lbs. But, is it safe or foolish to even consider pulling the trailer? I sure don't won't to damage our car.

Your help and advice will be appreciated.

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The stated towing capacity is 3500 lbs with the optional towing package. I regularly pull my boat (estimated 2500 lbs) and my utility trailer and ATV (estimated 1500 lbs) with absolutely no problem. In fact, my last vehicle was a Chevy Blazer with a 5000 lb towing capacity and the Rx400h is a better towing vehicle. I recently went on a fishing trip to Canada with my boat and got about 20 mpg towing the boat with mostly freeway driving (65 mph). Even on the hills, I barely noticed that I was towing anything (power to spare).

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I also haul a trailer quite often with my 400h. I hauled 2900 pounds yesterday with it. I live on a mountain and had absolutely no problem with the load. The 3500 towing capacity is part of why I bought the Lexus rather than an escape or other small SUV. I am curious though, why the hitch is only rated at 2000# when the vehicle is rated at 3500????? Does any one have any insight into why this is so??

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  • 10 months later...
I also haul a trailer quite often with my 400h. I hauled 2900 pounds yesterday with it. I live on a mountain and had absolutely no problem with the load. The 3500 towing capacity is part of why I bought the Lexus rather than an escape or other small SUV. I am curious though, why the hitch is only rated at 2000# when the vehicle is rated at 3500????? Does any one have any insight into why this is so??

For some reason even with the factory tow package, Lexus dealers are only allowed to install the lesser rated hitch although the 400h is rated for 3500. They also can only install the 4 wire flat connector for running lights. For this reason I used an aftermarket hitch installer to get a 3500 hitch and 7-pin connector with charge wire to my trailer battery. The battery is in a small RV teardrop trailer. For me the aftermarket option was much better and less expensive than what the dealer was allowed to provide. The hitch is by Drawtite and looks nice. It also fits the RX 330. There is a U-shaped work-around for the exhaust outlet. My trailer weighs about 1400 and tows very well. :)

Bill

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Regarding trailering with the 400h, has anyone with the factory tow package added a trailer brake controller? My trailer weighs 1400 lbs and is below the legal limit requiring trailer brakes, but I am thinking the brakes might improve safety. We had to make an emergency stop on a recent camping trip and I could feel the trailer trying to push us, but we did get stopped okay. My Lexus is a 2008 400h and the ABS worked fine.

The Tekonsha P3 brake controller has a Toyota connector option that plugs in under the dash and I am wondering if this will also fit the Lexus. Wish I knew more about this. Even if I get under the dash and find a receptacle I would not know if it is the right one. Probably I just need to take it to a trailer dealer, but if anyone has used trailer brakes with the 400h I would greatly appreciate hearing about your experience.

Bill

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  • 2 months later...
I also haul a trailer quite often with my 400h. I hauled 2900 pounds yesterday with it. I live on a mountain and had absolutely no problem with the load. The 3500 towing capacity is part of why I bought the Lexus rather than an escape or other small SUV. I am curious though, why the hitch is only rated at 2000# when the vehicle is rated at 3500????? Does any one have any insight into why this is so??

For some reason even with the factory tow package, Lexus dealers are only allowed to install the lesser rated hitch although the 400h is rated for 3500. They also can only install the 4 wire flat connector for running lights. For this reason I used an aftermarket hitch installer to get a 3500 hitch and 7-pin connector with charge wire to my trailer battery. The battery is in a small RV teardrop trailer. For me the aftermarket option was much better and less expensive than what the dealer was allowed to provide. The hitch is by Drawtite and looks nice. It also fits the RX 330. There is a U-shaped work-around for the exhaust outlet. My trailer weighs about 1400 and tows very well. :)

Bill

I just purchased a 2010 RX-350 and had the dealer install the hitch; and as you state they also installed a 4 wire flat connector. I also have a Teardrop that we plan on hauling but require a 7 pin connector to charge the battery and actuate the brakes as I would like to install a brake controller too. Can you provide any insight into how your aftermarket installer wired the system on your vehicle? The folks at Lexus seem totally ignorant about the use of the standard 7 blade RV type wiring system for battery charging and trailer brakes.

Thanks,

Don

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I also haul a trailer quite often with my 400h. I hauled 2900 pounds yesterday with it. I live on a mountain and had absolutely no problem with the load. The 3500 towing capacity is part of why I bought the Lexus rather than an escape or other small SUV. I am curious though, why the hitch is only rated at 2000# when the vehicle is rated at 3500????? Does any one have any insight into why this is so??

For some reason even with the factory tow package, Lexus dealers are only allowed to install the lesser rated hitch although the 400h is rated for 3500. They also can only install the 4 wire flat connector for running lights. For this reason I used an aftermarket hitch installer to get a 3500 hitch and 7-pin connector with charge wire to my trailer battery. The battery is in a small RV teardrop trailer. For me the aftermarket option was much better and less expensive than what the dealer was allowed to provide. The hitch is by Drawtite and looks nice. It also fits the RX 330. There is a U-shaped work-around for the exhaust outlet. My trailer weighs about 1400 and tows very well. :)

Bill

I just purchased a 2010 RX-350 and had the dealer install the hitch; and as you state they also installed a 4 wire flat connector. I also have a Teardrop that we plan on hauling but require a 7 pin connector to charge the battery and actuate the brakes as I would like to install a brake controller too. Can you provide any insight into how your aftermarket installer wired the system on your vehicle? The folks at Lexus seem totally ignorant about the use of the standard 7 blade RV type wiring system for battery charging and trailer brakes.

Thanks,

Don

The reason that the RXh does not use a 7pin is that the HSD system does not support much of any AUX load on the system. The only safe load would be under the rating on the rear DC adapter, which if memory serves is rated to only 120W. That's not nearly enough to power your trailer or its brakes.

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