Ideal tow vehicle

Would you purchase a mini-van if it had a 7500# tow capacity?

  • Yes -Mini-van is my vehicle of choice

    Votes: 8 22.2%
  • Yes -If I had no other choice

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • Maybe -I would consider it

    Votes: 2 5.6%
  • No -I am a truck person and no one can tell me otherwise

    Votes: 13 36.1%
  • No -Mini-vans are for families not towing.

    Votes: 8 22.2%

  • Total voters

Mr. Bill

PUP-2002 Flagstaff 725D TV- 2004 Dodge Ram 1500
Apr 27, 2009
Geneva, OH
I have been talking with a car manufacturer about my ideal tow vehicle. Below is a copy of a correspondence I sent them explaining what I would like. I am asking them to consider making a mini-van with the ability to pull up to 7500#. Not something that exists now.

Please feel free to add on to the list of items you would like but please be realistic as I plan on talking to them more and will pass on your ideas:

We need a vehicle that will carry 6-7 people comfortably but at the same time, DW doesn't like most SUV's that have a center console or having to fold a seat over to get to the back. Currently there are very few vehicles that can tow and at the same time carry a good number of passengers.
I believe that whatever company comes up with this product will gain a huge market share.

My idea for a new vehicle:

1. Has the ability to tow a minimum of 7500#. --this would entail a better transmission and suspension system for the rear.

2. Has the body of a minivan. --Many people have need of a minivan versus a truck for everyday use but have the need to tow occasionally.

3. Can seat 6 persons comfortably (3 rows with first and second row having the option of captain or bench seats). or more based on configuration. --Again, most families are at least 2 adults and 2 children. Seating 6 allows for friends or larger families to ride in the same car.

4. Has 12VDC outlets accessible to all passengers. --Even if it required a second battery it is becoming a necessity to have more outlets. Especially in back seat where children sit to be able to charge MP3, DS, use mobile DVD, etc.

5. Has Aux inputs for MP3 player in front and second row seating. --Allows for passengers to be able to control the music without having to distract driver. Control for which input could be on radio (aux1, aux2, aux3, etc).

6. Has at least 1 110VAC outlet in the front and 1 110VAC outlet in the back. --Many people now use their vehicle as an office as well. Would allow people to charge laptop while driving without having to purchase an Inverter and use a 12VDC port. Would also allow use of other 110 devices on long trips. This is an easy fix. Again, have a second battery and have an Inverter on it. Could easily charge 2 batteries off of car. Second battery could be marine battery so it could be charged only when needed.

7. Needs to have good gas mileage. --This is the hardest part but I believe it could be achieved by using variable-cylinder-management system that allows the engine to run on 3, 4, or 6 cylinders, depending on the power needed. Although still new technology, we are talking about something radical now that will make KIA the car to beat.

8. Must have the high safety standards now employed.

Most importantly, My wife and I would be willing to test this vehicle for you.

As someone who puts over 35000 on my primary vehicle and another 5000 on a secondary I believe I have unique insights into what the consumer wants. Also as someone who makes car payments I also have a good idea of what the average person would be willing to pay for.


Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
I voted for the "mini vans are for family, not towing" because that is what they are currently made for hauling people.

Today most if not all mini vans are built on a car unibody setup. At one time a few mini vans (Astro, Safari and Aerstar) were made on truck frames and could do almost the same stuff as their pickup cusins (s10,s15 and Ranger).


Active Member
Jun 29, 2010
I tell everyone that will listen that min-vans are THE MOST versatile vehicles on the road. Aside from being limited to "on road" activities, you can't beat the people/stuff hauling capabilities of a van. We built a deck for my friend last year and though he borrowed his brother's Silverado, we were more easily able to haul all of the lumber needed in my van!! Not to mention that 7 adults comfortably fit in my vehicle.

Towing capacity is obviously more limited in a van, but that what's great about popups being so light!! If people could get over the "image" aspect of vans, I think more people would be driving them instead of the gas guzzling SUVs you see everywhere.


May 7, 2010
Not sure what it could tow but my aunt just bought a ford flex. Looks like a nice car and hers holds 6 since she got all bucket seats. I think they have an option for bench seats also. So that would let you have at least 1 if not 2 more people. I think she also gets in the low 20's on gas. Oh and I like the looks of it much better then a mini van.


Super Active Member
Feb 11, 2010
I'd want a re-introduction of the Astro/Safari line complete with a diesel drivetrain.
I get puke in my mouth when I see the unibody CUVs POS useless cars.


Super Active Member
Nov 1, 2007
Brampton, Ontario
Despite the fact that I tow with a minivan, I chose the last choice. I think the structural changes required to make a front wheel drive unibody tow 7500lbs are too much. The Safari/Astro could only tow 5000/5500 and they were very trucklike in their driving charecteristics.

The Chevy Traverse/Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia are the closest. They are minivan like in their driving capabilities, they seat 7 or 8, and can tow 5000 lbs.

Sorry for the me the E350 is a work van that can be a passenger van, but not my idea of a daily driver.


Active Member
Nov 19, 2009
I think it would be easier for them to get better gas milage from one of the current SUV's than to modify/redesign the mini-van to tow that much.
What about something like a Dodge/Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van? It is diesel, it gets descent gas mileage , and it was able to carry 7500#'s.

Mr. Bill

PUP-2002 Flagstaff 725D TV- 2004 Dodge Ram 1500
Apr 27, 2009
Geneva, OH
pupateer said:
The answer that fits all of your criteria is a Ford E350. Except for the mpg, and maybe aux power outlet.
I agree but DW doesn't want a full sized van. She likes the mini-van style. I would like a F150 crew cab also, but I am asking for more than me.

Unless it is just a husband and wife, I often see 2 vehicles at a campground. 1 for the TV and the other for people. Since we drive everyday but only tow one or two weekends a month for 6-7 months it makes no sense to have a vehicle only for towing. That is why I am asking the question. If it existed in mini-van form would people want it?

Storm Trooper

Home is where you park it!
Feb 14, 2008
Where my camper is parked now.
With the new fuel standards that are mandatory by 2016. Manufacturers have to meet a corporate average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg across their fleet of vehicles 1/2 ton and under. It's estimated that 1/2 ton pickups will have to meet a minimum of 28 mpg for the manuf. to qualify overall for the 35.5 mpg cafe rules. I don't think the current technology will allow them to make it to 28 mpg for 1/2 ton pickups by then, at least not with any power.

The reason I'm bringing this up is that a mini van will have to get even more than 30 mpg to keep the manuf. cafe high enough to meet the standard. Not much pulling power in that chassis with a 30 mpg minimum. I think you may even see a downgrading of pulling power.

I'm expecting that all current 1/2 ton pickup and suvs will be greatly diminished and we'll be forced into 3/4 ton PUC and SUV's to be able to get any towing capacity which will be exempt from the Cafe standard.

Full Circle

Greely, Ontario, Canada
Apr 4, 2009
Greely, Ontario
I like my trucks, and DW likes her suv's so we never considered a mini-van. Have you had a look at the newer suburbans? They can come with most of the options you want, and if you stay away from the 4x4 it sits a lot lower.



Active Member
Jul 3, 2008
A minimum 7500 lb tow capacity is going to be the biggest hangup. That's pushing the envelope of several half ton trucks(depending on options), let alone a smaller vehicle. I would not pull 7500 lbs behind a mini van.