Trailer towing

Your vehicle is designed primarily as a passenger-carrying vehicle, thus towing a trailer will have an adverse effect on handling, performance, braking, durability, and fuel consumption. For your safety and the safety of others, do not overload the vehicle or trailer.

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

Weight limits

Confirm the total trailer weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle weight and trailer tongue load are all within the limits.

Gross vehicle weight

The gross vehicle weight must not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) indicated on the Certification Label. The gross vehicle weight is the sum weight of the unloaded vehicle, driver, passengers, luggage, hitch and trailer tongue load. Also included is the weight of any special equipment installed on your vehicle.

Gross axle weight

The load on either the front or rear axle resulting from distribution of the gross vehicle weight on both axles must not exceed the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) listed on the Certification Label.

Certification label

Certification label

Trailer tongue load

The trailer cargo load should be distributed so that the tongue load is 9 to 11% of the total trailer weight, not exceeding the maximum 100 lb. (45 kg). (Tongue load / Total trailer weight x 100 = 9 to 11%) The total trailer weight and tongue load can be measured with platform scales found at a highway weighing stations, building supply company, trucking company, junk yards, etc.

1. Total trailer weight.

1. Total trailer weight.

2. Tongue load.

Towing a trailer

Consult your Lexus dealer for further information on additional requirements such as a towing kit, etc.

Before towing

Ensure that your vehicles tires are properly inflated. - Trailer tires should be inflated according to the trailer manufacturer's recommendation.

- All trailer lights work to be legal.

- Confirm all lights work each time you connect them.

- Check that your vehicle remains level when a loaded or unloaded trailer is hitched. Do not drive if the vehicle is not level, and check for improper tongue load, overloading, worn suspension, or other possible causes.

- Make sure the trailer cargo is securely loaded.

- Check that your rear view mirrors conform to any federal, state/provincial or local regulations. If they do not, install rear view mirrors appropriate for towing

Break-in schedule

Lexus recommends that you do not use a new vehicle or a vehicle with any new power train components (engine, transmission, differential, wheel bearings, etc.) to
tow a trailer for the first 500 miles (800 km) of driving.


If you tow a trailer, your vehicle will require more frequent maintenance due to
the additional load. (See Warranty and Services Guide/Owner's Manual Supplement/
Scheduled Maintenance.) - Retighten the fixing bolts of the towing ball and bracket after approximately 600 miles (1000 km) of trailer towing.

To avoid accident or injury - The total trailer weight (trailer weight plus the weight of cargo) must not exceed
1000 lb. (450 kg).

- Do not exceed the trailer hitch assembly weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle
weight and trailer tongue load capacities.

- Never load more weight in the back than in the front of the trailer. About 60% of
the load should be in the front half of the trailer, and the remaining 40% in the

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 never exceed the maximum weight rating specified
for the trailer hitch.

- If you wish to install a trailer hitch, your Lexus dealer should be consulted.

- Use only a hitch that conforms to the total trailer weight requirement.

- Follow the directions supplied by the hitch manufacturer.

- Lubricate the hitch ball with a light coat of grease.

- Remove the trailer hitch whenever you are not towing a trailer. After removing the hitch, seal any mounting holes in the vehicle body to prevent entry of any substances
into the vehicle.

When towing a trailer
- Never tap into your vehicle's hydraulic system, as this will lower the vehicle's
braking effectiveness.

- 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.

- Do not use cruise control/dynamic radar cruise control.

Doing so may result in inappropriate control of speed and could cause serious or fatal accident.

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 use axle-mounted hitches, as they can cause damage to the axle housing, wheel bearings, wheels or tires.

Lexus recommends trailers with brakes that conform to any applicable federal and state/provincial regulations.

Safety chain
A safety chain must always be used between the towing vehicle and the trailer.

Leave sufficient slack in the chain for turns. The chain should cross under the trailer
tongue to prevent the tongue from dropping to the ground in the case that it becomes damaged or separated. For the correct safety chain installation procedure,
ask your Lexus dealer.

Do not directly splice trailer lights Directly splicing may damage your vehicle's electrical system and cause a malfunction.

Trailer towing tips

Your vehicle will handle differently when towing a trailer. The three main causes of vehicle-trailer accidents are driver error, excessive speed and improper trailer loading. Keep these in mind when towing.

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

- 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.

- Reversing with a trailer attached is difficult and requires practice. 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 prolonged turning. Have someone guide you when reversing to reduce the risk of an accident.

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

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

- Avoid jerky starts or sudden acceleration.

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

- 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 larger than normal turning radius.

- Crosswinds and rough roads will adversely affect handling of your vehicle and trailer, causing sway. Periodically check the rear to prepare for being passed by large trucks or buses, which may cause your vehicle and trailer to sway. If swaying occurs, firmly grip the steering wheel, reduce speed immediately but gradually, and steer straight ahead.

Never increase speed. If you make no extreme correction with the steering or brakes, your vehicle and trailer will stabilize.

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

- In order to maintain efficient engine braking and electrical charging performance, do not use overdrive. Transmission shift range position must be in 4, in the S mode.

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

l Always place wheel blocks under both the vehicle and the trailer 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: 1. Apply the brakes and keep them applied.

2. Have someone place wheel blocks under both the vehicle and trailer wheels.

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

4. Apply the parking brake firmly.

5. Shift into P and turn off the engine.

- When restarting after parking on a slope: 1. With the transmission in the P position, start the engine. Be sure to keep the brake pedal pressed.

2. Shift into 3, 2, 1, or the R position (if reversing).

3. Release the parking brake and brake pedal, and slowly pull or back away from the wheel blocks.

Stop and apply the brakes.

4. Have someone retrieve the blocks.

To avoid an accident
- Do not exceed 45 mph (72 km/h) or posted towing speed limit, whichever is lower. As instability (swaying) of the towing vehicle-trailer combination increases
as speed increases, exceeding 45 mph (72 km/h) may cause loss of control.

- Slow down and downshift before descending steep or long downhill grades. Do not make sudden downshifts.

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

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