Took my first real towing trip in the 570. No complaints at all

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We are new relatively new owners of our 2014 Lexus LX 570. I came on asking a lot of questions about trailers, and wanted to give a quick note on our first trip.

We went on a 400+ mile round trip this past weekend with our travel trailer. It handled like a dream. I have read so many other places where people comment with this crazy notion "You can't even tell the trailer is back there" I won't go that far, but it was pretty close.

Our previous trips were in a 2014 Tahoe with the Towing package. I LOVE that the Tahoe has their camera directly in the middle so hooking up a trailer is super easy. It takes me a lot longer in my Lexus to get it lined up perfectly.

Travel trailer is 4300 pounds loaded. 25 feet long. It is a pop up which makes things easier.

Based on the suggestions from this page, I put my 570 in manual mode in 4th gear, installed my own trailer brakes, and put it in sport mode. I more or less had my own Towing package. I don't know if is more HP or more insulation, but it certainly seemed like the LX towed the trailer much easier than the Tahoe. It was definitely quieter And my wife was a lot more comfortable in the passenger's seat. I even threw on some trailer mirrors which made a huge difference when I wanted to pass a slow truck on a hill.

It took about 1 to 2 minutes to get the LX in High mode when hooking up the weight distribution hitch. It took about as long to go into low when disconnecting. I probably need to change out the fluid in that. I also need to change out the transmission fluid this winter.

I could not have been happier with how it performed.

EBB8DD80-1EA4-45D3-A678-BF49014DA23E.jpg
 

Sandroad

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Good to hear it went well. The Trailmanor is quite the “pop up”. Those are nice units! It’s also good to see you reporting loaded weight rather than the usual dry weight. Nice job all around.
 

TeCKis300

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We are new relatively new owners of our 2014 Lexus LX 570. I came on asking a lot of questions about trailers, and wanted to give a quick note on our first trip.

We went on a 400+ mile round trip this past weekend with our travel trailer. It handled like a dream. I have read so many other places where people comment with this crazy notion "You can't even tell the trailer is back there" I won't go that far, but it was pretty close.

Our previous trips were in a 2014 Tahoe with the Towing package. I LOVE that the Tahoe has their camera directly in the middle so hooking up a trailer is super easy. It takes me a lot longer in my Lexus to get it lined up perfectly.

Travel trailer is 4300 pounds loaded. 25 feet long. It is a pop up which makes things easier.

Based on the suggestions from this page, I put my 570 in manual mode in 4th gear, installed my own trailer brakes, and put it in sport mode. I more or less had my own Towing package. I don't know if is more HP or more insulation, but it certainly seemed like the LX towed the trailer much easier than the Tahoe. It was definitely quieter And my wife was a lot more comfortable in the passenger's seat. I even threw on some trailer mirrors which made a huge difference when I wanted to pass a slow truck on a hill.

It took about 1 to 2 minutes to get the LX in High mode when hooking up the weight distribution hitch. It took about as long to go into low when disconnecting. I probably need to change out the fluid in that. I also need to change out the transmission fluid this winter.

I could not have been happier with how it performed.

View attachment 2791855

Probably can't beat the towing efficiency you get with that setup, while still having a full featured travel trailer. Have you tried towing with 5th gear? With the aero advantage of the pop-up and stock sized tires?, you might be able to pull her in 5th. Nothing magical about 4th, other than its what many of us need with full size frontal area trailers.

AHC does seem to take a bit long but not surprising. It's like due to tongue weights. The system needs more hydraulic pressure directly from the pump, instead doing a quick lift with pressure from the 5th accumulator. If you haven't flushed the system and it's due, probably not a bad idea, but I don't think it'll do much to change lift time. I can't tell from the picture, but wonder how much cantilevered distance you have with the tow ball? Or have you done a sensor lift, and/or the rear springs could use a bit more support with trim packers.
 
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Probably can't beat the towing efficiency you get with that setup, while still having a full featured travel trailer. Have you tried towing with 5th gear? With the aero advantage of the pop-up and stock sized tires?, you might be able to pull her in 5th. Nothing magical about 4th, other than its what many of us need with full size frontal area trailers.

AHC does seem to take a bit long but not surprising. It's like due to tongue weights. The system needs more hydraulic pressure directly from the pump, instead doing a quick lift with pressure from the 5th accumulator. If you haven't flushed the system and it's due, probably not a bad idea, but I don't think it'll do much to change lift time. I can't tell from the picture, but wonder how much cantilevered distance you have with the tow ball? Or have you done a sensor lift, and/or the rear springs could use a bit more support with trim packers.
There is about 5 feet from the hookup to where the main part of the trailer is. We have not done anything with the lift or springs.

I did not try 5th gear. We got 12.2 mph when towing this time. I would love to get a little better but don't want to hurt the transmission. I might try that out on flatter roads next time.
 
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Probably can't beat the towing efficiency you get with that setup, while still having a full featured travel trailer. Have you tried towing with 5th gear? With the aero advantage of the pop-up and stock sized tires?, you might be able to pull her in 5th. Nothing magical about 4th, other than its what many of us need with full size frontal area trailers.

Last "heavy" thing I towed was a car on a uhaul trailer, so about 5700lbs. Lots of mountains and hills on my route, which was SLC to LA and back. I was able to use 5th quite a bit and sometimes 6th on longer downhills, even slight ones.

I did not try 5th gear. We got 12.2 mph when towing this time. I would love to get a little better but don't want to hurt the transmission. I might try that out on flatter roads next time.

I got about 13mpg through my trip. You might be able to do just a little better if you manually shift a bunch, but I totally get the value in throwing it in 4th and not thinking about it again.
 

MrX

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I've heard not to tow in overdrive to protect the transmission. At least on my old GMC people have told me to tow in "3". It makes sense why but I'm not a mechanic. I feel like if you're in a higher RPM range that's less load on the transmission "drag" and more on the engine since it's more in its powerband, which is ideal. I wouldn't be worried towing with LX in 6th, I do believe we have a transmission cooler. (What other coolers also?).

Great post about that silver '14 with the trailer! I will find out soon how mine tows as I just ordered a new boat that weighs almost 3k lbs. LX should make mincemeat out of it, at least that's what they tell me on the Lexus forums. The engine has s*** tons of torque from actual displacement (HELL yes) so I'm sure it will be good.

re: AHC, I don't mean anyone personally but I laugh when people act like it's some fragile system, some CL people do. Theoretically AHC is made to be "the suspension" while towing 7k lbs all day long. Just change the fluid every 60-80k. It is fully ready and able to handle major work and so many people act like it's this fragile thing that will break if you use it hard when failures are rare.
 
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re: AHC, I don't mean anyone personally but I laugh when people act like it's some fragile system, some CL people do. Theoretically AHC is made to be "the suspension" while towing 7k lbs all day long. Just change the fluid every 60-80k. It is fully ready and able to handle major work and so many people act like it's this fragile thing that will break if you use it hard when failures are rare.
I think most of the negative sentiment isn't about the suspension being fragile, but rather the system being complicated, and having virtually no one in the mechanics/dealership sphere that understands it.

I love the AHC for what it does, but I don't have any illusions about the possibility of globes or other rubber~ized components being punctured, drying out and leaking of old age, or other AHC-related difficulties. Traditional suspension similarly has its own faults, but those tend to be limited to the component that failed, rather than a larger system that the component is part of.
 

MrX

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I think most of the negative sentiment isn't about the suspension being fragile, but rather the system being complicated, and having virtually no one in the mechanics/dealership sphere that understands it.

I love the AHC for what it does, but I don't have any illusions about the possibility of globes or other rubber~ized components being punctured, drying out and leaking of old age, or other AHC-related difficulties. Traditional suspension similarly has its own faults, but those tend to be limited to the component that failed, rather than a larger system that the component is part of.
Was not aware of that. The PO had mine changed out at a Toyota dealer, it can't be that difficult.

I fully with confidence expect 300k+ out of the AHC with just (religious) fluid changes. If you're talking about puncturing something, etc. that's different to me. My truck undercarriage has been caked in mud for weeks and it won't rain to get it out of the suspension. I'm sure mud is caked in "AHC places". Not worried about it at all.
 
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The PO had mine changed out at a Toyota dealer, it can't be that difficult.
:rofl::rofl::rofl:

I fully agree with your premise, but real-world experience has been slightly different. If you're bored and want some reading, there are about 10 pages of replies in my build thread outlining the experience of changing the AHC fluid using my Lexus dealer's master mechanic.
 

MrX

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:rofl::rofl::rofl:

I fully agree with your premise, but real-world experience has been slightly different. If you're bored and want some reading, there are about 10 pages of replies in my build thread outlining the experience of changing the AHC fluid using my Lexus dealer's master mechanic.
Fluid was changed at Toyota at 80k with all diffs and transfer case too. Bought it with 107k.

A year or two later with 27k miles on the fresh change, AHC works positively wonderfully in my truck. It even senses when you're in certain off roading situations and raises. There is an extra high mode that you can not manually access for when you get stuck. It senses that, too.

Sure I'd love to read that, do you have a link?

I'm not saying the suspension isn't extremely sophisticated. I read some MT article where they said Lexus claimed it's the most sophisticated on Earth, I believe it. That said, it can't be that difficult to service. Toyota keeps it simple and LX is just a Toyota truck underneath everything. Proper trucks are easy to work on, or they sure as hell should be.
 

AnyMal

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I've heard not to tow in overdrive to protect the transmission. At least on my old GMC people have told me to tow in "3". It makes sense why but I'm not a mechanic. I feel like if you're in a higher RPM range that's less load on the transmission "drag" and more on the engine since it's more in its powerband, which is ideal. I wouldn't be worried towing with LX in 6th, I do believe we have a transmission cooler. (What other coolers also?).

Great post about that silver '14 with the trailer! I will find out soon how mine tows as I just ordered a new boat that weighs almost 3k lbs. LX should make mincemeat out of it, at least that's what they tell me on the Lexus forums. The engine has s*** tons of torque from actual displacement (HELL yes) so I'm sure it will be good.

re: AHC, I don't mean anyone personally but I laugh when people act like it's some fragile system, some CL people do. Theoretically AHC is made to be "the suspension" while towing 7k lbs all day long. Just change the fluid every 60-80k. It is fully ready and able to handle major work and so many people act like it's this fragile thing that will break if you use it hard when failures are rare.

I think most of the negative sentiment isn't about the suspension being fragile, but rather the system being complicated, and having virtually no one in the mechanics/dealership sphere that understands it.

I love the AHC for what it does, but I don't have any illusions about the possibility of globes or other rubber~ized components being punctured, drying out and leaking of old age, or other AHC-related difficulties. Traditional suspension similarly has its own faults, but those tend to be limited to the component that failed, rather than a larger system that the component is part of.


I love my AHC and you are both right. It is a fantastic system but NO-ONE wants to work on it or knows what they are doing.
The MUD community knows more about AHC than anyone else, and we are barely scratching the surface.

That being said it needs service like everything else, and it is neglected 90% of the time. That alone shows you how reliable it is when all of the LXs out there have never even been given fresh fluid and they are driving around all over the place without issue. Sure the ride will stop being good when globes are blown, but you are still not stranded.

Change fluid every 36-60K depending on your OCD, globes every 80k wouldn't hurt, and shocks anywhere from 60-120 depending on how its driven. Thats pretty minimal every 5-10 years service schedule.
The pumps on the 100s are all still going and i don't expect the 200 to be much different although more complex.
Most of the time when AHC is torn out on 100s it is due to ignorance not actual system failure. And almost every time it was never serviced and bought pre owned.
 

AnyMal

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Fluid was changed at Toyota at 80k with all diffs and transfer case too. Bought it with 107k.

A year or two later with 27k miles on the fresh change, AHC works positively wonderfully in my truck. It even senses when you're in certain off roading situations and raises. There is an extra high mode that you can not manually access for when you get stuck. It senses that, too.

Sure I'd love to read that, do you have a link?

I'm not saying the suspension isn't extremely sophisticated. I read some MT article where they said Lexus claimed it's the most sophisticated on Earth, I believe it. That said, it can't be that difficult to service. Toyota keeps it simple and LX is just a Toyota truck underneath everything. Proper trucks are easy to work on, or they sure as hell should be.

If you find that article id love to see it.
 

MrX

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If you find that article id love to see it.

The whole article touches on the robust tanks that our vehicles are: I think the globes are protected, lol. This is a GREAT review.

"When I was 15 years old, my parents enrolled me in a screenwriters workshop at UCLA. One day the whole class was on a bus going to movie studio when one kid yelled, "THERE'S ROBIN WILLIAMS!!" I turned to look, and sure enough, there was Mr. Williams (R.I.P. ). The entire bus suddenly slumped over to the left, as for many of the kids, this was the first celebrity they'd ever seen in the wild/on Hollywood Boulevard. Naturally, almost everyone was pointing and screaming at poor Robin, who was staring straight ahead, just trying to get where he was going. Unlike the majority of my classmates, I was from Los Angeles and used to close celebrity proximity — when I was about 5 my mother told me to follow Leonard Nimoy into the men's room at Nate 'n Al's to "see if only his ears are pointy." Yet again, R.I.P. Anyhow, I wasn't all that nonplussed to see Robin Williams. But I was stunned to observe that he was driving a red Toyota Land Cruiser (a just-introduced J80 for you nerds). My 15-year-old mind was deeply shaken. Why on Earth would a star of Robin's caliber — and with the money that goes along with such fame — be in anything less than a Countach? Perhaps an Aston Martin Lagonda? Or at the very least, a Porsche 935 slant nose? Hey, I was 15. It's taken me 25 years to work out why a major celeb would drive such a beast of burden. But after two weeks in the Lexus LX 570, it makes total sense.

2015 Lexus LX 570 front three quarter in motion
2015 Lexus LX 570 front three quarter in motion

SEE ALL 52 PHOTOS
Not that you're going to, but if you needed to drive eight people across Helmand Province, you could in the LX 570. Stouter vehicles might exist — and that's arguable — but none of them can carry as many passengers. In pretty decent comfort, too. I'd argue that the hand-built MercedesG-Wagen is cut from the same hunk of granite. Same goes for Jeep's Wrangler and Ram's Powerwagon. In other words, the solidity that comes from solid axles. Only thing is, those vehicles only carry five people max, not eight. True, for the rest of the world there's the Land Rover Defender 110 that seats seven souls, and the quite rare, impossibly cool, nine-passenger Defender 130. But the Defender's basically out of production. I should point out that the LX 570 and its near twin, the aforementioned Land Cruiser, sell in such low volume that Lexus claims, "They're practically hand-built." That's pretty cool, and might even be true. Case in point, most three-row SUVs suffer from some form of mild squeaks and groans. Not the LX 570. Again, granite. Moreover, in the Middle East, the LX 570's largest market — Lexus even sells a 450-horsepower, mildly supercharged version over there — reliability counts. So too does exclusivity.
2015-Lexus-LX-570-front-end
2015-Lexus-LX-570-front-end

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To get a better picture of what the LX 570 means on practically the other side of the world, I contacted my friend and the managing editor of "Motoring Middle East," Imthishan Giado. Here's what he has to say about Lexus' priciest truck: "Long before the third-generation Range Rover showed up and took over the streets of the Dubai, the Lexus LX 570 was our original sin. For a time the most expensive SUV money could buy, it's still the choice of real royalty and the connected, a truck that you'll let by on the highway — if you know what's good for you! And unlike the nouveau riche Range Rover, the Lexus does double duty on farms and dunes on the weekend. Needless to say, they don't need to be advertised." When pressed, Imthishan admits that "the LX is in a weird space, though, over here. It's way cheaper than a Range Rover. Too cheap, in fact, for the rich." When talking in general about the importance of severe off-road capability in the region, he states, "The Land Cruiser is a bread-and-butter car over here, like a Camry for Arab families."

As you might imagine, I often get asked what I'm driving. And as you may have inferred, I enjoy telling people about what I currently am and have been driving. For the past half month I've been telling my friends and family I've been driving the LX 570 and loving it, and then spending then next 10 minutes explaining to a bunch of confused faces why I like it so much. Let me try my spiel on you. I've rarely encountered such an overbuilt production car. For example, the LX 570's tire pressure monitoring system tells you the pressures of all four tires plus the spare (though curiously it doesn't tell you which is which). Lexus claims the self-leveling hydraulic suspension is the most sophisticated on Earth. I don't know about the "on Earth" part, but the LX 570's ride is quite plush, and the 6,109-pound monster is more than happy to attack a corner. Climb underneath and you can see two green hydraulic spheres (just like a Citroën!) protected by what looks like two anti-roll bars with the end links cut off. The hydraulic dampers — assisted by steel springs — are the major point of departure between the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Lexus. The Land Cruiser has steel springs and fixed dampers up front, mixed with air suspension in the rear. Similar, if not basically identical, to how Mercedes-Benz sets up the E63 AMG. Should you choose Lexus over Toyota, you also get better leather, nicer wood, and a (slightly) better Nav unit.

2015-Lexus-LX-570-center-stack
2015-Lexus-LX-570-center-stack

As long as you're down on the ground looking up, check out that rear axle. It's massive. It looks as thick and sturdy as a Dana 66, if not a tick beefier. And get a load of those trailing arms. They have to be an inch in diameter, if not thicker. In fact, these look similar to the parts Jonathan Ward outfits his $150,000 Icon FJs with. If you have any doubts about the true purpose of the LX 570, climb underneath and gawk. Hardcore doesn't begin to describe it. Then there's all the associated off-road doohickeys. You get five modes of Multi-Terrain Select: Rock, Rock & Dirt, Mogul, Loose Rock, plus Mud & Sand. When you're in four-low (of course it has a two-speed transfer case!) you get a crawl mode with five forward speeds. Think of it as super slow, rock-crawling cruise control. There's a locking center differential, as well as a button that changes the steering ratio to give you extra maneuverability when you're using low gears. The LX 570 is so capable that you'll need to get familiar with the RSCA Off button. That's the one that tells the side curtain airbags not to go off because you haven't actually rolled over. You're just at one hell of an angle. No, really. Also: The LX 570 still has a real handbrake. The LX570 is also one of three select Toyota products that goes through a third round of backbreaking reliability development tests, the other two being the Land Cruiser and the LX 470. Believe me: It's a tank.

2015 Lexus LX 570 side in motion
2015 Lexus LX 570 side in motion

Anything so purpose-built can't be ideal for all situations, obviously. I'll point out three shortcomings. One is looks. Lexus, seriously, get it together. The spindle grille is polarizing at best. Let it go. Not that the J200 Land Cruiser is the world's greatest aesthetic starting point, but come on. Hire an Italian or something. The next weak point is fuel economy. It's, well, terrible. EPA numbers are 12/17/14 mpg city/highway/combined. Our Real MPG tests tell a different story: 13.3/17.5/14.9 mpg, somewhat better than what the EPA claims. Regardless, the LX 570 not only gets poor mileage compared to most cars and trucks on the road, but its tank only holds 24.6 gallons of premium gas. Meaning that by the time the needle is pointing at E, you've covered about 250 miles. You'll find yourself at the gas pump often. A minor annoyance in the city, a real problem out on the trail. Though I suppose that's what jerrycans are for. The third big problem is space for hauling stuff. The LX 570's seats flip and fold up (the rear ones do so electronically), but they're still in the cargo area. As a result, the functional capacity is greatly compromised. Case in point: A piece of furniture that I couldn't fit into the back of this Lexus fit inside a Saturn VUE Hybrid. Awkward.

But good looks, fuel economy, luggage capacity — none of those are the point of the biggest, baddest Lexus. Brutal, off-to-the-ends-of-the-earth capability, with bulletproof reliability and durability and a touch of luxury combined with weapons-grade anonymity is the point of these bruisers. About 4,000 customers a year here in the States see the value in such a rig. Who buys these things? Wealthy eccentrics mostly, according to a source at Lexus. Plastic surgeons with multiple practices, for instance. Largely dudes that earn north of $350K per annum and think Range Rovers are weak sauce. Here's another check in the LX 570's "for" column: They hold their value really well. How do I know this? Because as a wannabe wealthy eccentric, I've been checking out used ones. Even with 10,000 miles on the clock, late model LX 570s are going for north of $75,000. That's impressive. Moreover, and pardon my Rumsfeldian lingo, only those in the know will know what you're driving. Most people will view the LX as some sort of blinged-up Toyota Sequoia. So be it. Only a select few, including the Emirati royal family, are in on the secret."
 

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