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Recommended Complete Towing Setup for 2017 Toyota Highlander SLE AWD for 3,850 lb Trailer

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Hi guys This will be my first experience with travel trailers and can use all the help I can to get it right. I have a 2017 AWD XLE Higlander factory equipped with a standard towing package although I am not sure what that really means.... I am looking at buying a trailer with a GVWR of 3,850lb and hitch weight around 400lbs. What is your recommendation for a reliable hitch, wiring harness, brake controller, weight distribution system is it needed? , and whatever else you guys believe would make sense to have a pleasant experience on the road .... I am a DIY person and can probably install all that stuff if I receive proper instructions. Also, do you have feedback from other folks using Highlanders for towing? My typical weekend trips will be around 200miles riding on mostly flat terrain. I have ready mixed reviews online. Thanks a bunch

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Helpful Expert Reply:

I'm happy to help you get what you need for towing. I did a little research to find your 2017 Toyota Highlander SLE AWD towing capacity to be 5,000 lbs. Based on that, you will not have an issue with a 3,850 lb travel trailer with 400 lb tongue weight, but you will want the proper equipment to do so.

I recommend starting with the Draw-Tite Max-E-Loader Trailer Hitch Receiver # 75896 rated for up to 900 lbs tongue weight and towing up to 6,000 lbs. I also recommend using the Tow Ready J-Pin Stabilization Pin and Barrel Lockset for 2" Trailer Hitches # 63201 that is designed to secure your ball mount or weight distribution shank as well as provide an integrated anti-rattle feature.

The factory tow package on your particular vehicle means you have converter installed under your dash so you can simply add the wiring harness # HM11141825 to the factory wiring harness located in the rear cargo area near the spare tire compartment. Then you will need to install the Universal Brake Controller wiring kit # ETBC7 to add the 7-way connector, wiring, circuit breakers and brake controller. This kit gives you everything you need to upgrade a 4-way to a 7-way with the exception of the brake controller unit. I've attached a video to assist.

For your brake controller, I recommend the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 # 90195 for an easy to use system that has an LCD screen to give you diagnostics and functions. It also comes with preset brake boost options to make it very easy to use.

I do recommend a weight distribution system for your trailer simply because it is the best option to control trailer sway which will make those 200 mile journeys much more comfortable. For your 400 lb dry tongue weight, I recommend the Fastway e2 Weight Distribution w/ 2-Point Sway Control - Trunnion - 8,000 lbs GTW, 800 lbs TW # FA92-00-0800. This system is rated for tongue weight between 400 and 800 lbs which includes the loaded trailer tongue weight with all your supplies and equipment as well as any cargo weight behind the rear axle of your Highlander. This system will work very well for you to help control sway and is easy to install. You will also need a hitch ball like # EQ91-00-6080 for a 2 inch diameter ball or # 63840 for a 2-5/16 inch diameter ball to match your trailer coupler size. You may also want the socket # ALL643216 to help with installation of the hitch ball.

I know this is a lot of information so let me know if you have further questions. I've also attached some videos and articles to assist.

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