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We purchased the only mini-van that is AWD which is sold in America, the Toyota Sienna. The Sienna is made in Princeton, Indiana. The Sienna has a total domestic content (TDC) of 78.5% much higher than many so-called American brand mini-vans which have an American name but are made in Mexico. The Sienna minivan is the only one that comes with AWD anyway.

Last year was a pretty moderate winter. The winter of 2016 – 2017 had much heavier snowfall. Thus my wife who is not very experienced in driving in the snow ends up getting stuck twice. Pulling trucks out of the snow is often not a sensitive process. Sometimes you have to “jerk” the car/truck out. It can be heavy pulling. Thank the Lord for my V8 truck.

The first time I pulled her out I just ended up strapping on to whatever I could. After that, I tried to figure out how you properly pull a Sienna mini-van out of the snow. I could find no “towing eyes” behind the bumper. It did not have that little plastic panel on the bumper where the “loading eye bolt” or towing eye hook or towing hook or even a “screw-in tow fitting” is located. I found out that these bumper hooks on other trucks are, for the most part, not OSHA rated for “lifting or recovery” anyway. I could not find an eyelet under the either bumper. No frame mounted tow points. Nothing.

Owner’s manual time. In the manual, there are no instructions for towing the truck out of the snow or mud. The Toyota manual says things about putting rocks under the tire, but nothing about where I should attach tow straps.

Thus I go down to the Toyota dealership and ask them where I attach the tow strap. They don’t know! They only know what the manual says. One of the more helpful guys picks up the phone and calls a towing company they know. They tell him. There is no “approved” way to tow a modern Toyota Sienna mini-van. However, they have attached to the “subframe” of the mini-van several times successfully. I am unsure if that subframe is steel anymore. but I can say it worked.

Thus the next time I attach, that is what I do. I would strongly recommend you use a strap not chain. It is hard in the snow because normally you are on your back moving snow out of the way to get to the “subframe.” However, I was able to pull, tug and jerk on this subframe with my towing strap and it was successful.