Can my minivan tow this?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by NJgirl, May 8, 2008.

  1. NJgirl

    NJgirl New Member

    3
    0
    May 7, 2008
    Hi there! We have never been camping before but are considering a pop-up. With 5 kids, staying in hotels is out of the question! We are considering a 2000 Coleman Tacoma. My question is about the towing. I have a Dodge Grand Caravan minivan - the towing capacity is listed as 3800 lbs. The weight of the camper is listed as 1900 on the NADA website. Can I take that towing capacity literally? If I add the weight of the family (about 600 lbs. now) plus all of our stuff, I figure we will be close to 3000. Does anyone know how close to the limit it is safe to get? Thanks for any info you can give me!
     
  2. mostlyok

    mostlyok We're Mostly OK!

    1,082
    0
    Jun 5, 2005
    Sarasota, Florida
    A lot of us tow near the listed limits. There seems to be an idea floating around that the listed limits are set to protect the manufacturers, thus might be set to safer values.
    One thing you didn't mention was your hitch weight limit. The TV has a limit as to how much the ball can carry. The PU tongue weight should be looked at when figuring safety.
    We love our PU, and just got our 2nd NTU PU. Hope you get one that meets your needs. Vacations with the kids are a lot better when you are not stuck in some hotel at $250/night!

    Heidi & Paul http://community.webshots.com/user/mostlyok

    '04 Fleetwood Niagara <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Smile">
    '94 Starcraft Space Flyer (for sale) <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_sad.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Sad">
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_jeep.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Jeep"> '05 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    If its got zippers and Velcro it's got to be fun!
     
  3. sewserious

    sewserious New Member

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    0
    Jun 4, 2007
    Do you have a towing package on your van? If not, you cannot tow 3,800 lbs. IF you do, then the camper you are looking at will be fine.

    Me '60 DH '56 DD#1 '82 DD#2 '90
    DGD#1 '01 and DGD#2 '04
    '01 Oldsmobile Silhouette <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
    '93 Coleman Roanoke <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
     
  4. Yoti14

    Yoti14 Member

    111
    0
    Apr 6, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Towing package consist of, Trailer wiring a hitch, and a transmission cooler. Your Caravan, should be able to be set up for this type of towing if it has none of these. What you need to do if it is not, is to take it to a reliable hitching post, and have them give you an estimate to add the required pieces. They should also be able to tell you by industry partsbooks, what your capacity to tow is. Make sure you get the hitch that can handle the proper tounge weight. That is represented by what class the hitch and tounge weight differential is.

    Just because it says you can tow that much doesn't mean it will be easy. But first make sure you have all the required equipment, then look for a camper that your vehicle can handle. From what it sounds like though, you should be able to handle that camper once it's got the correct hitch and stuff.

    Hope ths helps.

    Jeff

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">1997 Chevrolet Blazer ZR-2
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">1994 Jayco Eagle 10
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_beer.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cold Beer">Pembroke Welsh Corgi Named Leinie Red
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_sun.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Sun">9 Month old son named J.A.B.
     
  5. sewserious

    sewserious New Member

    509
    0
    Jun 4, 2007
    The towing package may actually consist of MUCH more than just a tranny coooler and wiring. It does on my OLDS van. There is usually also a heavy-duty radiator (which may or may not contain a tranny cooler), maybe an engine-oil cooler, heavier suspension, larger brakes, and possibly a heavy-duty alternator.

    IF you don't have the factory towing package, you need to check with a reputable Dodge dealer who can get you the list of what the towing package included. After seeing that list, you can decide whether or not you want to add anything to the vehicle or stick with the lower tow ratings.

    These items are for safety and also for allowing the vehicle to last longer under more strenuous use. Also, don't know what year your van is, but towing above the capacities listed in the owner's manual without a towing package will probably void any warranty you may have, as that would be considered abusing the vehcile and not normal use.

    Me '60 DH '56 DD#1 '82 DD#2 '90
    DGD#1 '01 and DGD#2 '04
    '01 Oldsmobile Silhouette <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
    '93 Coleman Roanoke <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
     
  6. nfisherman

    nfisherman Member

    325
    0
    Apr 23, 2005
    Illinois
    The Grand Caravan towing capacity is 2,000# unless you have the factory towing package. In addition to the larger tranny cooler and wiring, it also has beefier suspension. I now own my second G. Caravan/Town & Country. My camper is a bit heavier than the one that you propose, but I know that I wasn't happy towing with the GC. I don't have the factory towing package. The suspension sagged to the point that it felt unsafe to me. You're going to be at, or somewhat over, your towing capacity with a loaded camper unless you really have the towing package.

    <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
    Hi there! We have never been camping before but are considering a pop-up. With 5 kids, staying in hotels is out of the question! We are considering a 2000 Coleman Tacoma. My question is about the towing. I have a Dodge Grand Caravan minivan - the towing capacity is listed as 3800 lbs. The weight of the camper is listed as 1900 on the NADA website. Can I take that towing capacity literally? If I add the weight of the family (about 600 lbs. now) plus all of our stuff, I figure we will be close to 3000. Does anyone know how close to the limit it is safe to get? Thanks for any info you can give me!


    <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

    nfisherman '61
    DW '67
    DS '02
    DDs (2) '05
    Ddog '92
    '05 Starcraft Centennial 3606
    '08 GMC Yukon XL
     
  7. PrairieBoy

    PrairieBoy New Member

    47
    0
    Jun 21, 2007
    What year is your GC. What motor does it have. I have towed with my 05 GC with a heavier trailer and more passengers with little problems. My van did not have the towing package but I added a tranny cooler that was installed by the dealership and a class III hitch. I use a equalization hitch to reduce rear end sag and it eliminates the bounce while travelling down the highway.

    Todd C

    Myself 66, DW 65, DD 89, DD 92, DD 99, DS 03
    99 15ft Trail-Lite Bantam (New to Us)
    05 Dodge Grand Caravan
    79 Bonair BA-1200 (Old)
    76 StarCraft (Old)
     
  8. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

    2,350
    0
    Apr 5, 2008
    Mt. Washington, NH
    i have an 03 kia sedona, added the class III hitch, the t-plug wiring kit myself, changed to a better grade brake pad, and have had no issues towing my PuP over 200 miles, through the mountains. i considered the tranny cooler, but after doing a ton of research it was not neccessary

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Working hard so I can play harder.
    n2u '87 Coleman Newport
    '03 SEDONA (TV)
    Popping the PuP cherry this summer!
     
  9. sd102

    sd102 New Member

    428
    0
    Nov 7, 2007
    I also have a Dodge Grand Caravan, that does not having a towing package, I just added the hitch. Our last camper was around the same weight as yours, plus I loaded it with all the stuff a family needs, plus 5 of us in the car. We may have been over the limit, this was before I discovered this site and learned about all the towing specifications. Anyway, we pulled that thing around on several trips last year, and you could barely tell it was back there. No problems at all. I would however, stay with a smaller pup, like the weight range of the one you are looking at. Now that I have a 3000 lb pup, there is no way I would attempt to pull it with the minivan.

    Sue
    2001 Coleman Utah
     
  10. NJgirl

    NJgirl New Member

    3
    0
    May 7, 2008
    Thanks so much to all of you. I had no idea about the towing package - very new to this! My Caravan is a 2002 and does not have the package. I will look further into it now! Thanks again.
     
  11. Dr.Hook

    Dr.Hook New Member

    216
    0
    Apr 11, 2008
    My neighbour behind me has a Grand Caravan with the towing package. He tows a Viking pup which is about the same size as my Palomino "2200lb +/-In the van he has himself, his wife, 2 kids, gear and a huge dog. The van is pretty much packed he told me. He said it tows like a dream with now power issues, and fuel consumption is only a bit higher.

    2008 Palomino Yearling 4124 "Real-Lite 1202 in Canada"
    2000 Pontiac Montana M2K
    1984 Kawasaki GPz750

    *Sheldon*
     

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