To buy or not to buy a 2009 sienna to tow my tent trailer

by Guest9355  |  12 years, 9 month(s) ago

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I am lookin for people who own a sienna and tow with it.  We want to tow our tent trailer (dry weight 1555lbs) and want to know if the sienna will do that with out over taxing the transmission. The towing capacity is 3500lbs on the sienna and I do not know if we also have to worry about the weight of the van and people + stuff.  Of course the sales people say yeah, no problem but... what is the real story.  We live in Canada.  (There seems to be quite a difference between american and canadian siennas and what they come standard with and what you can add after market.) Recommendations?

 Tags: 2009, buy, sienna, tent, tow, trailer



  1. Guest4032
    I can tell you exactly.   The  trailer you have is not a problem, but  why not  spend just  a bit  and be  extra sure?  Put on electric brakes if the trailer has  them (or  if it seems necessary (I am glad I have  them but my tent trailer  is  2600 dry).  Also add a transmission cooler,  not expensive ($300ish)  and make  sure your  lights work and  be reasonable  in your speed. Works for me!

  2. Guest5423
    I tow a 22.5 ft Travel Trailer (Trail Cruiser). It weighs about 3500 lbs...maybe a little bit more with six bikes tied to it and we carry six passengers. I have towed it all over the place with fantastic success and loads of fun. Here is what I did.

    1) I had the dealer install a 2" heavy duty hitch receiver. It is welded to the frame of the car and sits very high off the ground. It actually  pushes the bumper up a little bit.
    2) I use a Reese heavy duty "weight distribution hitch". This is a must in my estimation. Two important things are accomplished. 1) The ball height is adjustable so that the trailer can be absolutely level. 2) When the spring bars are installed it takes some of the tongue weight off of the back of the car and puts some of it on the front wheels. This is a must because of the front wheel drive and the low rear end. If you do not do this the back of the car may drag and you will have marginal drive traction.
    3) I use a "Proportional Control" (Prodigy) brake controller. I also feel that this is a must. At first, I used a standard controller and could not stand it. Standard controllers are all or nothing whereas the Proportional senses the deceleration and applies the trailer brakes accordingly. This is much safer, more convenient (no constant adjustments) and much less irritating.
    4) I had a transmission cooler installed by a professional at a transmission shop. I have had no problems. I have had the transmission checked several times by the tranny shop with a clean bill of health.

    Even with this heavy load, I can still maintain 45 to 50 MPH even on the steepest mountain roads (second gear turning 4500 RPM). Only on the hottest days up the longest steepest grades has it even started to heat up. The Sienna is smart and automatically turns of the AC when the temperature starts to climb.

    All in all, it has been a great experience. The Sienna is a great van and will easily handle your tent trailer.

    Happy Towing!
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