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Hitch and Weight Distribution Recommendations for 2013 Toyota Sienna Pulling Airstream Bambi


Hello! I'm looking to purchase an Airstream Bambi 16, which has a Maximum Trailer Capacity GVWR of 3500 lbs. and tow with a 2013 Toyota Sienna Limited AWD, with a maximum 3500 lbs tow capacity. Per the Sienna manual, I will need break in the trailer as it is over 1000lb and sway control as it is over 2000 lb. The Sienna has the convenience and premium packages, but otherwise it is stock. I'm rather new to towing. What is your recommendation on hitch and accessories to get? Weight distribution? active or passive sway control? Thanks!


Expert Reply:

There are a lot of great options for hitches and weight distribution systems for using your 2013 Toyota Sienna Limited AWD to tow your Airstream Bambi 16.

For your hitch, I recommend the Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver # C13105, which is a Class III hitch with 2" receiver. The gross trailer weight rating and tongue weight rating for this hitch are 3,500 lbs and 350 lbs, respectively. With a weight distribution system installed, the ratings are 5,000 lbs and 500 lbs, respectively.

A weight distribution system is always a good idea when towing heavier trailers to help your trailer weight distribute more evenly and to correct or prevent trailer sway. I recommend the Fastway e2 # FA92-00-0600, which has a maximum trailer weight rating of 6,000 lbs and a maximum tongue weight rating of 250 lbs - 600 lbs. This includes passive 2-point way control that provides friction to the trailer to correct trailer sway once it starts. Passive systems are adequate for mid-size trailers like the Airstream Bambi you are looking at. Active sway control systems, which work to prevent trailer sway before it ever starts, are recommended for heavier trailers that experience more aggressive sway.

Since the trailer you're looking at is over 1,000 lbs, per your vehicle's owner's manual, you need to have trailer brakes installed, and thus you will need brake controller and a 7-way connector for your vehicle. The easiest way to do this if you don't already have a 4-way connector installed is to use Curt T-Connector Vehicle Wiring Harness # C56106 to add a 4-way connector and our Universal Installation Kit # ETCB7 to convert the 4-way to a 7-way. Then, for a brake controller, I recommend the Tekonsha Primus IQ # TK90160. This is a proportional brake controller which will apply power to your trailer brakes in proportion to how much power is being supplied to your vehicle brakes, allowing for smoother braking ability.

Check out the videos linked below for more details on each of these products.

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