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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles County, CA
    Posts
    165

    Default How much would it cost to equip an '04 Lexus RX 330 for hauling a trailer?

    I've been dying to get a trailer for months now, but don't want the added expenses of buying and maintaining a truck. According to both Lexus and Consumer Reports, the RX can tow 3500 pounds. I have a pony that's about 800 pounds, and I'm very sure the loaded weight on a 2-horse (aluminum, especially) would fall under that limit.

    So, does anyone know what it would cost to outfit my SUV for towing? (And not at the dealer, if possible-- they REALLY price-gouge you) Do you just need the hitch and wiring stuff put on (can you tell I really don't know anything about this?), or is it rteally necessary to get the transmission cooling thing and all that?


    Please tell me it's not in the $1,000-plus range!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2003
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    6,637

    Default

    Sorry, but this sounds like a suicide mission. You might be able to haul a boat trailer or a Uhaul with it, but a live load???? Your wheelbase would be way too short for safety. You'd never stop the rig. The trailer would be waving the car all over the road. Just don't see how this could be safe no matter how much money you put into it.
    Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
    Now apparently completely invisible!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    4,888

    Default

    There is no amount of money you could pay me to put my horse behind that thing. Please don't go there. No, you don't have to have a ginormous truck, but your little Lexus is not a safe tow vehicle and is not heavy or long enough to counterbalance a horse trailer.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    14,521

    Default

    Tiki is right. You really don't want to belly up close to the manufacturer's claimed tow rating with life weight. And you will, even with a modest two-horse and pony. Or rather, you'll get much closer to it than do most of us choosing tow vehicles for moving horses.

    Manufacturers can also get a little optimistic about what their vehicles can move. But stopping is another matter, and so is holding a trailer straight when, say, a semi blows by you.

    In addition to an engine powerful enough, you also need the right brakes, wheelbase and suspension. You also need a better tranny than comes in an SUV not really expected to haul lots or haul often. I say this because when you trash yours, you are looking at a repair that can run $3-4K. If this is your daily driver, you are asking to be forced to spend this money. Odds are that will happen at a really inconvenient moment.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,752

    Default

    You've got to be KIDDING ME.

    FWIW, the Liberty Trailers website puts the average weight of a two horse at 2,600 lbs with no dressing room.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,365

    Default

    Yeah, sorry Sparkling, but I'm in the "Never in a Million Years" club too.

    The ability of a vehicle to Tow a load is not the issue.... it's the ability of the vehicle to Stabilize the load (especially live load) and to Stop the load should the trailer brakes fail.

    Towing with that vehicle is a recipe for disaster.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2007
    Posts
    218

    Default

    Do NOT do it. And I own one of those vehicles; it's a slight as any sedan on the market.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,543

    Default

    There are plenty of safe SUV + trailer set-ups, but I wouldn't attempt it with anything rated that low. I pull a Brenderup with a Jeep Grand Cherokee rated to 7200 lbs. (and yes, you really do need a transmission cooler)



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2008
    Posts
    34

    Default don't do it!

    You should hitch a ride with friends until you are ready to get a truck. I used to have a gmc 1500, and I traded it in for a 2500 because you need a truck with the power to accelerate and brake in traffic. My 1500 would sound like it was going to blow up when I tried to accelerate while pulling a 2 horse aluminum bumper pull. You also need to think about how far you will be driving, and if you will be comfortable on the interstate and in heavy traffic in a vehicle that cannot accelerate/brake very well. You can push the limits with your car or a light duty truck, but imho you are taking a chance with the transmission and other things. People tried to tell me this when I was getting started, and I found out on my own that their advice was right!!!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,234

    Default

    Last edited by Equibrit; Sep. 20, 2010 at 06:00 PM.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,148

    Default

    My friend did it. She has a 1 horse Brenderup. Don't do it.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2008
    Location
    Sonoma County, California
    Posts
    2,491

    Default

    Suicide. Don't do it.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    Little Rock and Boxley, Arkansas
    Posts
    281

    Default

    You may have noticed that Europeans haul horse trailers all the time with vehicles of similar towing capacity. They use trailers that have a different engineering than what we consider to be the norm in the U.S.

    Before you make up your mind, google Brenderup and get one of their DVDs. They make european style trailers in the US. They use inertia brakes and have wonderful suspensions for your horse' legs.

    I tow my Friesian easily with my Subaru Outback using a Brenderup trailer. People that have never tried them make up scary stories about them but they are very safe. People who own them seem to love them. Having said all this, I have no idea what Lexus you have.

    There is also a review of them on Mr. Trailer - and he says they are the best trailer he has ever towed.

    I had assumed that my Subaru outback with its towing capacity of 2700 would not be suitable as a towing vehicle. Further research and actual experience proved that wrong.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Posts
    308

    Default

    About $30,000 - 40,000, which is what it will cost for a new F250, Sierra 2500 or Ram 2500. You could go cheaper by buying a used model referenced above but there is no way I would tow with a Lexus RX 330 or any of the SUV's with very few exceptions, those being possibly an Excursion or full size Suburban and then only very rarely on very straight level roads.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,097

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkling_Sunset View Post
    I've been dying to get a trailer for months now, but don't want the added expenses of buying and maintaining a truck. According to both Lexus and Consumer Reports, the RX can tow 3500 pounds. I have a pony that's about 800 pounds, and I'm very sure the loaded weight on a 2-horse (aluminum, especially) would fall under that limit.

    So, does anyone know what it would cost to outfit my SUV for towing? (And not at the dealer, if possible-- they REALLY price-gouge you) Do you just need the hitch and wiring stuff put on (can you tell I really don't know anything about this?), or is it rteally necessary to get the transmission cooling thing and all that?


    Please tell me it's not in the $1,000-plus range!
    If you're worried about $1k, this is not the path for you. The hitch alone will be over $500, and the only trailer that would be even remotely suitable would be a Brenderup.

    Unless you're hauling every week, it's always cheaper (not necessarily more convenient) to hire someone to haul you.

    And if you really want your own trailer, you'd be better off financially finding an old beater truck.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles County, CA
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Sheesh. You don't have to be so nasty to get a point across. It's not YOUR vehicle.

    If this is the kind of replies this thread is going to bring, I'd rather not have anymore. I've got enough on my plate with the crazy stupid BO where I'm at right now. (And will thankfully be leaving from soon)

    And for for the record, there is an older guy at the place I'm at that owns an old Chevy Nova form the 60's or 70's that he tows an old STEEL 2-horse with. That's not exactly a truck, nor is his trailer a Brenderup, Featherlite, Sundowner, or other aluminum make on the market.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,276

    Default

    I would not do it because this particular model of vehicle has had less than favorable reviews for steering and breaking and has been rated fairly high for rollover accidents. Adding a trailer to that equation would not be a good thing in my opinion.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,752

    Default

    Sheesh. You don't have to be so nasty to get a point across. It's not YOUR vehicle.
    No one is being nasty. They're trying to prevent you from doing something stupid and getting killed, or killing your horse.

    That being said, NO, it's not our vehicle, but if you wipe out, you might hurt one of us, so yeah, it is our problem.

    And, um, you asked. And you're being told in no uncertain terms why you shouldn't do it. You state in your original post that you know NOTHING about hauling. This much is obvious. But please, get the chip off your shoulder and read what people are telling you - hauling a 2 horse with this would be a very bad idea, even if your pony itself doesn't weigh a lot.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,707

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkling_Sunset View Post
    Sheesh. You don't have to be so nasty to get a point across. It's not YOUR vehicle.

    If this is the kind of replies this thread is going to bring, I'd rather not have anymore. I've got enough on my plate with the crazy stupid BO where I'm at right now. (And will thankfully be leaving from soon)

    And for for the record, there is an older guy at the place I'm at that owns an old Chevy Nova form the 60's or 70's that he tows an old STEEL 2-horse with. That's not exactly a truck, nor is his trailer a Brenderup, Featherlite, Sundowner, or other aluminum make on the market.
    Oh sweetie, comparing your Lexus engine to the giant 350 block sitting in that Chevy makes me !! That Chevy engine has more than enough power to move a trailer, in addition to weighing about twice (or more!) what your tiny Lexus does. It also has significantly more horsepower and torque than your Lexus. That's WHY people could tow big trailers....cause the cars were BIG and HEAVY with GIANT engines!

    Apples and oranges!
    Well isn't this dandy?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2005
    Posts
    2,625

    Default

    The hitch for material costs only will be several hundred dollars depending on what type of hitch you purchase.
    Add labor costs.

    Then the wiring- a basic kit for the standard trailer is around $50.

    A brake controller starts at around $80.

    Of course add labor in for wiring and brake controller installation.

    You will certainly need anti sway bars to handle the load shift. Again several hundred dollars.

    You'll want to upgrade you brakes and rear suspension to handle the hitch weight.

    Knowing the LA area- if you are hauling anywhere out of the city/valley- you'll encounter considerable grades. Enter in here the hauling power and transmission needs which will strain your vehicle. So you'll need to talk to your mechanic about addressing that subject with possible upgrades.

    I'm thinking by rough estimate- starting at about a grand and going up quickly- very quickly. You'd probably hit $3-5K before you know it- when you get in all the estimates.

    Take a drive out to the inland empire- oodles of used trucks out here. You can pick up a decent condition truck already set-up for towing for maybe $5000. Insurance would be cheap on said vehicle since you don't have to insure it like a leased or liened vehicle. It'll save money in the long run as you won't max out and possible damage your everyday car.



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