Trailer towing

Your vehicle is designed primarily as a passenger-and-load-carrying vehicle. Towing a trailer can have an adverse impact on handling, per- formance, braking, durability, and fuel consumption. For your safety and the safety of others, you must not overload your vehicle or trailer.

You must also ensure that you are using appropriate towing equip- ment, that the towing equipment has been installed correctly and used properly, and that you employ the requisite driving habits.

Vehicle-trailer stability and braking performance are affected by trailer stability, brake performance and setting, trailer brakes, the hitch and hitch systems (if equipped).

To tow a trailer safely, use extreme care and drive the vehicle in accor- dance with your trailer’s characteristics and operating conditions.

Lexus warranties do not apply to damage or malfunction caused by towing a trailer for commercial purposes.

Contact your Lexus dealer for further information about addi- tional requirements such as towing kits, etc.

Towing related terms

- GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating)

The maximum allowable gross

The maximum allowable gross combination weight. The gross combination weight is the sum of the total vehicle weight (including the occupants, cargo and any optional equipment installed on the vehicle) and the weight of the trailer being towed (including the cargo in the trailer).

- GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)

The maximum allowable gross

The maximum allowable gross vehicle weight. The gross vehi- cle weight is the total weight of the vehicle. When towing a trailer, it is the sum of the vehi- cle weight (including the occu- pants, cargo and any optional equipment installed on the vehicle) and the tongue weight.

- GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)

The maximum allowable gross

The maximum allowable gross axle weight. The gross axle weight is the load placed on each axle (front and rear).

- TWR (Trailer Weight Rating)

The maximum allowable gross

The maximum allowable gross trailer weight. The gross trailer weight is the sum of the trailer weight and the weight of the cargo in the trailer.

TWR is calculated assuming base vehicle with one driver, one front passenger, towing package (if available), hitch and hitch systems (if required).

Additional optional equipment, passengers and cargo in the vehicle will reduce the trailer weight rating so as not to exceed GCWR, GVWR and GAWR.

If the gross trailer weight exceeds 3000 lb. (1360 kg), it is recommended to use a trailer with 2 or more axles.

- Unbraked TWR (Unbraked Trailer Weight Rating)

The trailer weight rating for

The trailer weight rating for towing a trailer without a trailer service brake system.

- Tongue Weight

The load placed on the trailer

The load placed on the trailer hitch ball.

Weight limits

l The gross trailer weight must never exceed 7000 lb. (3175 kg).
l The gross combination weight must never exceed 13400 lb.

(6078 kg).

l The gross vehicle weight

l The gross vehicle weight must never exceed the GVWR indicated on the Cer- tification Label.
l The gross axle weight on each axle must never exceed the GAWR indicated on the Certification Label.
l If the gross trailer weight is over the unbraked TWR, trailer ser- vice brakes are required.
l If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb. (907 kg), a sway con- trol device with sufficient capacity is required.
l If the gross trailer weight is over 5000 lb. (2268 kg), a weight distributing hitch with sufficient capacity is required.

GCWR, TWR, Unbraked TWR, Fifth wheel and Gooseneck towing TWR

Confirm that the gross trailer weight, gross combination weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle weight and tongue weight are all within the limits.

- GCWR*
13400 lb. (6078 kg)

- TWR*
7000 lb. (3175 kg)

- Unbraked TWR*
1000 lb. (454 kg)

Trailer Tongue Weight

l A recommended tongue weight varies in accordance with the types of trailers or towing as described below.
l To ensure the recommended values shown below, the trailer must be loaded by referring to the following instructions.

• Tongue Weight
The gross trailer weight should be distributed so that the tongue weight is 9% to 11%. (Tongue weight/Gross trailer weight × 100 = 9% to 11%)

1 Gross trailer weight

1 Gross trailer weight
2 Tongue weight

If using a weight distributing hitch when towing, return the front axle to the same weight as before the trailer connection.

If front axle weight cannot be measured directly, measure the front fender height above the front axle before connection.

Adjust weight distributing hitch torque until front fender is returned to the same height as before connection.

The gross trailer weight, gross axle weight and tongue weight can be measured with platform scales found at a highway weighing station, building supply company, trucking com- pany, junk yard, etc.

Hitch

Trailer hitch assemblies have different weight capacities. Lexus recommends the use of Lexus hitch/bracket for your vehicle. For details, contact your Lexus dealer.

l If you wish to install a trailer hitch, contact your Lexus dealer.
l Use only a hitch that conforms to the gross trailer weight requirement of your vehicle.
l Follow the directions supplied by the hitch manufacturer.
l Lubricate the hitch ball with a light coating of grease.
l Remove the trailer hitch whenever you are not towing a trailer.

After removing the hitch, seal any mounting hole in the vehicle body to prevent entry of any substances into the vehicle.

Removing hitch cover

Remove the clip.

Remove the clip.

Grasp the lower edge of the

Grasp the lower edge of the hitch cover and raise the cover.

When reattaching the cover, reverse the steps listed.

Selecting trailer ball

Use the correct trailer ball for your application.

1 Trailer ball load rating

1 Trailer ball load rating
Matches or exceeds the gross trailer weight rating of the trailer.

2 Ball diameter
Matches the size of the trailer coupler. Most couplers are stamped with the required trailer ball size.

3 Shank length

3 Shank length
Protrudes beyond the bottom of the lock washer and nut by at least 2 threads.

4 Shank diameter
Matches the ball mount hole diameter size.

Positions for towing hitch receiver and hitch ball

1 Hitch receiver pin hole posi-

1 Hitch receiver pin hole posi- tion: 45.3 in. (1151 mm)

Connecting trailer lights

Use the wire harness stored in

Use the wire harness stored in the rear end under the vehicle body.

Connecting and disconnecting a trailer

Stop your vehicle and a trailer in line and perform the following:

l Connecting a trailer

(low) mode.Put the 4-Wheel AHC in the “LO” (low) mode.

switch or the 4-Turn off the “ENGINE START STOP” switch or the 4- Wheel AHC.

Turn on the “ENGINE START STOP”Connect a trailer

switch or the 4-Turn on the “ENGINE START STOP” switch or the 4- Wheel AHC.

the height select switch.Select the “N” (normal) mode with the height select switch.

When a vehicle loaded with four occupants tows a trailer of about 4000 lb. (1800 kg) with more than about 400 lb. (180 kg) tongue load, the normal mode may not be selected. However, there is no problem to continue normal driving. Drive with suffi- cient care because of large load.

l Disconnecting a trailer

(low) mode. (Make surePut the 4-Wheel AHC in the “LO” (low) mode. (Make sure the vehicle height is in the “LO” mode by pulling the switch to “∨” on the height select switch.)

switch or the 4-Turn off the “ENGINE START STOP” switch or the 4- Wheel AHC.

trailer on the ground and raiseSet the supporting leg of a trailer on the ground and raise the hitch by 4 in. (100 mm).

switch or the 4-Turn on the “ENGINE START STOP” switch or the 4- Wheel AHC.

the rear vehicle height isWait for about 20 seconds until the rear vehicle height is lowered by the automatic leveling function.

disconnected. If not, raise the hitchMake sure the hitch is disconnected. If not, raise the hitch higher and repeat steps 2 through 5.

“LO” mode where theMove the vehicle forward in the “LO” mode where the hitch does not touch anything in the “N” (normal) mode.

mode.Put the 4-Wheel AHC in the “N” mode.

Trailer towing tips

Your vehicle will handle differently when towing a trailer. In order to avoid an accident, death or serious injury, keep the following in mind when towing: l Speed limits for towing a trailer vary by state or province. Do not exceed the posted towing speed limit.

l Lexus recommends that the vehicle-trailer speed limit is 65 mph (104 km/h) on a flat, straight, dry road. Do not exceed this limit, the posted towing speed limit or the speed limit for your trailer as set forth in your trailer owner’s manual, whichever is lowest.

Instability of the towing vehicle-trailer combination (trailer sway) increases as speed increases. Exceeding speed limits may cause loss of control.

l Before starting out, check the trailer lights, tires and the vehicle- trailer connections. Recheck after driving a short distance.

l Practice turning, stopping and reversing with the trailer attached in an area away from traffic until you become accustomed to the feel of the vehicle-trailer combination.

l Reversing with a trailer attached is difficult and requires prac- tice. Grip the bottom of the steering wheel and move your hand to the left to move the trailer to the left. Move your hand to the right to move the trailer to the right. (This is generally opposite to reversing without a trailer attached.) Avoid sharp or pro- longed turning. Have someone guide you when reversing to reduce the risk of an accident.

l As stopping distance is increased when towing a trailer, vehicle- to-vehicle distance should be increased. For each 10 mph (16 km/h) of speed, allow at least one vehicle and trailer length.

l Avoid sudden braking as you may skid, resulting in the trailer jackknifing and loss of vehicle control. This is especially true on wet or slippery surfaces.

l Avoid jerky starts or sudden acceleration.

l Avoid jerky steering and sharp turns, and slow down before making a turn.

l Note that when making a turn, the trailer wheels will be closer than the vehicle wheels to the inside of the turn. Compensate by making a wider than normal turning radius.

l Slow down before making a turn, in crosswinds, on wet or slip- pery surfaces, etc.

Increasing vehicle speed can destabilize the trailer.

l Take care when passing other vehicles. Passing requires consid- erable distance. After passing a vehicle, do not forget the length of your trailer, and be sure you have plenty of room before changing lanes.

l To maintain engine braking efficiency and charging system per- formance when using engine braking, do not put the transmis- sion in “D”.

Transmission shift range position must be in “5” in the “S” mode.

l Instability happens more frequently when descending steep or long downhill grades. Before descending, slow down and down- shift. Do not make sudden downshifts while descending steep or long downhill grades.

l Avoid holding the brake pedal down too long or applying the brakes too frequently. This could cause the brakes to overheat and result in reduced braking efficiency.

l Due to the added load of the trailer, your vehicle’s engine may overheat on hot days (at temperatures over 85°F [30°C]) when driving up a long or steep grade. If the engine coolant tempera- ture gauge indicates overheating, immediately turn off the air conditioning (if in use), pull your vehicle off the road and stop in a safe spot.

l Always place wheel blocks under both the vehicle’s and the trailer’s wheels when parking. Apply the parking brake firmly, and put the transmission in “P”. Avoid parking on a slope, but if unavoidable, do so only after performing the following:

applied.Apply the brakes and keep them applied.

under both the vehicle’sHave someone place wheel blocks under both the vehicle’s and trailer’s wheels.

place, release the brakesWhen the wheel blocks are in place, release the brakes slowly until the blocks absorb the load.

Shift into “P” and turn off theApply the parking brake firmly.

engine.Shift into “P” and turn off the engine.

l When restarting after parking on a slope:

start the engine. Be sure toWith the transmission in “P”, start the engine. Be sure to keep the brake pedal pressed.

reversing). Shift into “D” or “R” (if reversing).

pedal, and slowly pullRelease the parking brake and brake pedal, and slowly pull or back away from the wheel blocks. Stop and apply the brakes.

- Matching trailer ball height to trailer coupler heightHave someone retrieve the blocks.

- Matching trailer ball height to trailer coupler height

No matter which class of tow hitch

No matter which class of tow hitch applies, for a more safe trailer hookup, the trailer ball setup must be the proper height for the coupler on the trailer.

1 Trailer ball

1 Trailer ball
2 Couple

- Before towing
Check that the following conditions are met: l Ensure that your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated.

l Trailer tires are inflated according to the trailer manufacturer’s recom- mendation.

l All trailer lights work as required by law.

l All lights work each time you connect them.

l The trailer ball is set at the proper height for the coupler on the trailer.

l The trailer is level when it is hitched.

Do not drive if the trailer is not level, and check for improper tongue weight, overloading, worn suspension, or other possible causes.

l The trailer cargo is securely loaded.

l The rear view mirrors conform to all applicable federal, state/provincial or local regulations. If they do not, install rear view mirrors appropriate for towing purposes.

- AVS (adaptive variable suspension system)
The suspension can be switched for improvement in driveability. (→P. 325) - Break-in schedule
If your vehicle is new or equipped with any new power train components (such as an engine, transmission, differential or wheel bearing), Lexus rec- ommends that you do not tow a trailer until the vehicle has been driven for over 500 miles (800 km).

After the vehicle has been driven for over 500 miles (800 km), you can start towing. However, for the next 500 miles (800 km), drive the vehicle at a speed of less than 50 mph (80 km/h) when towing a trailer, and avoid full throttle acceleration.

- Maintenance
l If you tow a trailer, your vehicle will require more frequent maintenance due to the additional load. (See “Owner’s Guide”, “Warranty and Ser- vices Guide”, “Owner’s Manual Supplement” or “Warranty Booklet”.) l Retighten the fixing bolts of the towing ball and bracket after approxi- mately 600 miles (1000 km) of trailer towing.

- If trailer sway occurs
One or more factors (crosswinds, passing vehicles, rough roads, etc.) can adversely affect handling of your vehicle and trailer, causing instability.

l If trailer swaying occurs: • Firmly grip the steering wheel. Steer straight ahead.

Do not try to control trailer swaying by turning the steering wheel.

• Begin releasing the accelerator pedal immediately but very gradually to reduce speed.

Do not increase speed. Do not apply vehicle brakes.

If you make no extreme correction with the steering or brakes, your vehicle and trailer should stabilize.

l After the trailer swaying has stopped: • Stop in a safe place. Get all occupants out of the vehicle.
• Check the tires of the vehicle and the trailer.
• Check the load in the trailer.

Make sure the load has not shifted.

Make sure the tongue weight is appropriate, if possible.

• Check the load in the vehicle.

Make sure the vehicle is not overloaded after occupants get in.

If you cannot find any problems, the speed at which trailer swaying occurred is beyond the limit of your particular vehicle-trailer combination.

Drive at a lower speed to prevent instability. Remember that swaying of the towing vehicle-trailer increases as speed increases.

CAUTION

- Trailer towing precautions
l To tow a trailer safely, use extreme care and drive the vehicle in accor- dance with the trailer’s characteristics and operating conditions. Failure to do so could cause an accident resulting in death or serious injury. Vehicle stability and braking performance are affected by trailer stability, brake setting and performance, and the hitch. Your vehicle will handle differ- ently when towing a trailer.
l Set the vehicle height to the “LO” mode and turn off the 4-Wheel AHC when you connect a trailer, otherwise the vehicle height may change due to the automatic leveling function, and you may catch part of your body in the vehicle, resulting in an accident.

CAUTION

- To avoid accident or injury
l Do not exceed the TWR, unbraked TWR, GCWR, GVWR or GAWR.
l If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb. (907 kg), a sway control device with sufficient capacity is required.
l If the gross trailer weight is over 5000 lb. (2268 kg), a weight distributing hitch with sufficient capacity is required.
l Adjust the tongue weight within the appropriate range. Place heavier loads as close to the trailer axle as possible.
l Do not exceed 65 mph (104 km/h), the posted towing speed limit or the speed limit for your trailer as set forth in your trailer owner’s manual, whichever is lowest. Slow down sufficiently before making a turn, in crosswinds, on wet or slippery surface, etc. to help avoid an accident. If you experience a vehicle-trailer instability from reducing a certain speed, slow down and make sure you keep your vehicle speed under the speed of which you experience the instability.
l Do not make jerky, abrupt or sharp turns.
l Do not apply the brakes suddenly as you may skid, resulting in jackknif- ing and loss of vehicle control. This is especially true on wet or slippery surfaces.
l Do not exceed the trailer hitch assembly weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle weight and trailer tongue weight capacities.
l Do not use cruise control when towing.
l Slow down and downshift before descending steep or long downhill grades. Do not make sudden downshifts while descending steep or long downhill grades.
l Vehicle-trailer instability is more likely on steep long down hills. Before descending steep or long downhill grades, slow down and downshift. Do not make sudden downshifts when descending steep or long downhill grades. Avoid holding the brake pedal down too long or applying the brakes too frequently. This could cause the brakes to overheat and result in reduced braking efficiency.

- Hitch
Trailer hitch assemblies have different weight capacities established by the hitch manufacturer. Even though the vehicle may be physically capable of towing a higher weight, the operator must determine the maximum weight rating of the particular hitch assembly and never exceed the maximum weight rating specified for the trailer-hitch. Exceeding the maximum weight rating set by the trailer-hitch manufacturer can cause an accident resulting in death or serious personal injuries.

- When towing a trailer
Lexus recommends trailers with brakes that conform to any applicable fed- eral and state/provincial regulations.

l If the gross trailer weight exceeds unbraked TWR, trailer brakes are required. Lexus recommends trailers with brakes that conform to all appli- cable federal and state/provincial regulations.
l Never tap into your vehicle’s hydraulic system, as this will lower the vehi- cle’s braking effectiveness.
l Never tow a trailer without using a safety chain securely attached to both the trailer and the vehicle. If damage occurs to the coupling unit or hitch ball, there is danger of the trailer wandering into another lane.

NOTICE

- When installing a trailer hitch
Use only the position recommended by your Lexus dealer. Do not install the trailer hitch on the bumper; this may cause body damage.

- Do not directly splice trailer lights
Do not directly splice trailer lights. Directly splicing trailer lights may dam- age your vehicle’s electrical system and cause a malfunction.

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