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Need to tow a trailer or a small caravan? The Toyota Rav4 can tow a maximum of anywhere between 1,500lbs up to 3,500lbs which is extraordinarily decent for a smaller compact SUV. So, if you’re ready to move house, or take your dirt bike to the track, or go on a wild adventure, don’t forget you’re going to need a tow hitch!
The Toyota Rav4 models and trims, excluding the Rav4 Adventure, do not come standard with a tow hitch, but they can be bought as a separate accessory. Toyota Rav4 trims that have been upgraded to a more advanced technology package cannot have the tow hitch installed without disabling other features first.
Although it is a compact crossover SUV, your Toyota Rav4 can probably take you to many places that Toyota’s competitors cannot. The Rav4 has light off-road driving abilities and with its all-wheel drive (AWD) system, it can handle various road conditions as well as tow heavier loads than other small SUVs.
Find out below if you can install a tow hitch on your Rav4 and if it comes included.
Does the Toyota Rav4 Come with a Tow Hitch?
Aside from the Rav4 Adventure, there are no Toyota Rav4 trims that come with a pre-installed tow hitch from the factory. When purchasing a Rav4, you can request to purchase a tow hitch package which can be installed for you at the dealership before delivery or pickup.
With that in mind, if you own a Rav4 and are wondering if you can tow a trailer or a small caravan etc., the most important thing you need to know is that every Toyota Rav4 trim is set up to receive a tow hitch.
This means that every Toyota Rav4 has a pre-installed tow prep package so that the Rav4 can handle towing up to the trims maximum allowance.
Here is what the tow hitch receiver does for the Rav4:
- Assists to accommodate maximum towing capacity
- Maintains vehicle departure angle through optimized placement
- Comes with the necessary ball mount included
Tow-prep packages are not the same for each Rav4 trim. All-wheel drive (AWD) and front-wheel drive (FWD) and Hybrid Rav4 tow packages will differ.
Here is what might come included in your tow-prep package, depending on which trim level you purchase and so long as you keep the optional advanced technology features in mind, so if you choose to purchase a tow hitch as an accessory, your Rav4 will be prepared for maximum towing:
- Transmission fluid cooler
- 100-amp alternator
- Engine oil cooler
- Hybrid system cooler
Toyota has multiple accessories available for each of its vehicle models and trims which you can purchase directly through a Toyota dealership or via their online parts and accessories website here.
Which Toyota Rav4 Trims Come with a Tow Hitch?
To accommodate the Toyota Rav4s maximum towing capacity of up to 3500lbs Toyota has made a Tow Hitch receiver one of the various accessories available for the Rav4 but not every trim or model can have access to this accessory as briefly mentioned above.
The Toyota Rav4 trims that cannot use a tow hitch are the:
- Rav4 Limited trims with Advanced Technology packages and
- The Rav4 Prime SXE with the Premium package
So, what does this mean for you? You’ve probably conveniently upgraded your vehicle with the hands-free kick-motion detector-powered liftgate system. Also know as Toyota’s foot-activated power liftgate.
Owners of the Rav4 with Limited trims that also upgraded their vehicle for an Advanced Technology package as well as owners of the Rav4 Prime with the Premium package can still have a tow hitch receiver installed but it’s a more timely and fickle installation process.
Unfortunately, if you do want to install a tow hitch in one of these abovementioned Rav4 trims, you will have to de-activate your foot-activated power liftgate system or remove it completely. However, this is only while you have a tow hitch installed and you can always re-install your hands-free liftgate when you’ve finished with your tow hitch.
Here is a table that outlines when and how your Rav4 can have a tow-hitch installed and its maximum towing capacity for each drivetrain:
|Toyota Rav4 Trim||Tow-hitch Available||Towing Capacity with FWD||Towing Capacity with AWD|
|Toyota Rav4 LE||Available with accessories package||1500lbs||1500lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 LE Hybrid||Available with accessories package||1750lbs||1750lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 XLE||Not available with XLE Grade Convenience Package||1500lbs||1400lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 XLE Hybrid||Not available with XLE Grade Convenience Package||1750lbs||1750lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium||Available with accessories package||1500lbs||1500lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 Premium Hybrid||Available with accessories package||1750lbs||1750lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 Adventure AWD||Standard tow-prep package included||3500lbs|
|Toyota TRD Off-Road AWD||Available with standard tow-prep package||3500lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 XSE Hybrid AWD||Available with standard tow-prep package||1750lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 Limited||Not available with Limited Grade Advanced Technology Package||1500lbs||1500lbs|
|Toyota Rav4 Limited Hybrid AWD||Not available with Limited Grade Advanced Technology Package||1750lbs|
For each model that states the tow hitch is not available because of an upgrade, your vehicle is already set up to receive a tow hitch, you just can’t have it while the other advanced feature, such as the foot-activated liftgate, is installed.
If you haven’t selected this upgraded technology feature when purchasing your Rav4, you can install a tow-hitch easily enough.
When you purchase a tow-hitch through a Toyota dealership or the Toyota website your package will come with a manual and instructions on how to accurately fit your hitch. Each tow-hitch package comes with a ball mount included but these can also be purchased from the Toyota store separately if needed.
As a quick guide, if you’ve bought any of these Rav4 models, your car is already ready for a tow-hitch to be installed:
- Toyota Rav4 LE
- Toyota Rav4 LE Hybrid
- Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium
- Toyota Rav4 XLE Hybrid
- Toyota Rav4 TRD Off-Road
- Toyota Rav4 XSE Hybrid
What Can the Toyota Rav4 Tow?
The Toyota Rav4 is one of the best compact SUVs for towing with an epic towing capacity of up to 3500lbs depending on your chosen trim.
Here are some of the things you can tow with a maximum towing capacity of 1500lbs:
- A small teardrop camper like the Papa Bear by Rustic Trail
- A deluxe 13’ Standard Scamp trailer
- A dirt bike trailer and a dirt bike
Here are some of the things you can tow with a maximum towing capacity of 1750lbs:
- A small fiberglass boat like the 2018 Nitro Z18
- A larger dirt bike trailer and two dirt bikes
Here are some of the things you can tow with a maximum towing capacity of 3500lbs:
- A Toyota Rav4! Seriously, the Rav4 LE weighs less than 3500lbs so if you know someone that needs a tow, you might be able to help.
- A small horse trailer and a horse depending on his or her weight
- Two full-size road motorcycles
Get ready for a fully kitted-out family adventure with the Rav4. You can take it off-road through some usually undesirable terrains and you can easily tow a trailer with plenty of camping and outdoor gear in tow.
Although small and compact, the Toyota Rav4 boasts a large towing capacity and there’s no point letting it go to waste!
The Rav4 doesn’t come with a tow-hitch, but it does come equipped with a tow-prep package and is conveniently ready for a tow hitch to be mounted and used when needed.
Always check your Rav4 vehicle manual, hopefully, it’s still in your glove compartment otherwise you can ring the dealership with your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to double-check you can install your tow-hitch without any worries.