New Tow Vehicle question

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by JimBy, Oct 15, 2021.

Tags:
  1. JimBy

    JimBy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2021
    Location:
    Georgia
    Since we inherited a well used 2001 Coleman Destiny Cedar we have worked to get it ready. We decided that since we purchased a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan we would set it up for our TV my question is has anybody had success with using this vehicle for towing a fairly light weight Pop-up? The tow weight and tongue weight are all well within We are flat landers (Georgia) and not had any runs in the North Carolina Mountains towing with this vehicle. We had a bad experience several years back using our 09 Dodge Journey in the mountains finding the brakes were to small and overheated quickly. Which come to find out was a major issue on 09 Journeys. Just don't want to have the same bad experience with new TV.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,645
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    How much does the camper weigh and whats the tow capacity of the van? I looked up your year camper, and it seems it wasnt made that year. If it has brakes make sure you install a controller.
     
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,645
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Remember that you also have a limit on capacity inside the tv also, many max that out before tow capacity. You need to add up passangers and equipment in the van also and add the tounge weight. Then check that with the number inside the door frame.
     
  4. JimBy

    JimBy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2021
    Location:
    Georgia
    Sorry the year is 1994 not 2001 and weight is 990lbs The Tongue weight and load weight are all well within limits I'm more worried about braking in mountains This trailer has no brakes and after my bad experience with a vehicle with insuffient stopping ability I was just trying to find out if anybody else tows with a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan and their experience with it.
     
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,645
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    That would depend on how much weight you have in the van. Six adults in the van , vs 2 will make a huge diffrence. Its is a lighter camper so you should be fine. But you should just check to see the max payload of the van. Your camper will probably be 1500 lbs loaded or so , depending on options. Dry weight is just that, dry from the factory, propane, battery, awning , fridge, etc all add extra weight. If you have any of those options. Another idea is to add brakes if your camper has the correct axel, its not hard to do. E trailor sells kits that are basicly swap outs. But you would need an axel with a mounting plate.
     
    Mark CASTELLANI likes this.
  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,645
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Looks like the caravan has a decent payload rating also. You should be fine. Does the caravan have a tow package installed? That usally has some mecanical upgrades, cooling , transmission and such. Otherwise it looks perfectly fine for your pop up.
     
  7. JimBy

    JimBy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2021
    Location:
    Georgia
    Again the weight limit is not what I am asking about I have towed for over 40 years I get it! What I am trying to find out is if anybody has experienced towing with a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan. You can go by all the numbers you want and be below the limits of the TV and some vehicle still can't handle the loads listed. I am looking for real experience towing with THIS vehicle!
     
  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,645
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Ok have fun.
     
  9. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    6,978
    Likes Received:
    4,026
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    My two cents is add electric breaks to your camper if you plan to tow in the mountains. Even if it's doable your car breaks will thank you for it. It takes a lot of power to stop your vehicle and camper in the mountains. That camper pushes you when your going downhill so it takes far more force to slow the whole set up than what it would on flat ground. Also get comfortable to downshift when in the mountains so you can use your transmission to help slow.
     
    Mark CASTELLANI likes this.
  10. Phil O'Regan

    Phil O'Regan New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2020
    Location:
    ATL
    I tow a 2001 Coleman Taos that has no brakes, and a dry weight of 995 lbs. Its loaded weight is 1,495 according to the CAT scale. I don't tow with a '19 Grand Caravan, but a Honda Cr-V. Instead of upgrading the camper's axle to add brakes, I upgraded the Cr-V's brakes. I've had no trouble towing in the North Georgia mountains and in the Smokies on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I do downshift the transmission appropriately.

    While that is not the answer you're looking for, I suggest you search for forums on the Grand Caravan.
     
    Brian Clancy likes this.
  11. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    489
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Location:
    MN
    The van will tow the camper fine. In regards to brakes, learn to downshift going down hills. I rarely use my brakes when going down hill. I tow a 2800 lb camper with my Honda Odyssey.

    Lots of folks don't downshift, I don't understand why as engine braking works well.
     
    Mark CASTELLANI and Brian Clancy like this.
  12. jeepster04

    jeepster04 Active Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Always downshift when going down hills that require braking. Maybe vehicles that are not really setup to tow much are different, but I never need to use the brakes to maintain a slow speed if I just downshift. Even if you had trailer brakes, you would overheat them if you rode the brakes down long inclines.
     
    Mark CASTELLANI and Brian Clancy like this.
  13. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2019
    Location:
    New York State, Erie County
    @JimBy ... YUP!!!...well, NOT a 2019 but a 2015 Grand Caravan... towed a 2016 Starcraft "Starflyer' for years with it up and down the mountains of the North East with narry a problem.[until last year when the frame of the Starflyer got bent]...


    the quick Specs on our 2015 Grand Caravan are as such:
    • 3.6L V6 24V VVT Engine
    • Heavy Duty Transmission Oil Cooler
    • Heavy Duty Radiator
    • 6-Speed Automatic 62TE Transmission
    don't know the Specs of your PUP but, the Starflyer was rated as such:
    • Dry Weight: 1,590 lbs.
    • Payload Capacity: 735 lbs.
    • GVWR: 2,325 lbs.
    • Hitch Weight: 225 lbs.
    • Rear Brake Type: Electric Drum
    anything heavier we wouldn't have gone for

    married it with a Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ Electronic Brake Controler

    The owners manual recomends putting the trany into Electronic Range Select (ERS) mode when towing... I "Slap-Shift" going up and down the hills... I think I'm so smart [ha ha] but, I'll down-shift before the ERS does [maybe due to the fact that I drove manual trannies, in hilly terrain, for most of my life]... the ERS seems to lag a bit... haven't broken anything yet [LOL]

    Happy Trails!
     
  14. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2019
    Location:
    New York State, Erie County
    @JimBy ... one more thing...
    our new "Camper" is described in my signature and shown in my "avatar"... talk about being "faily light"... it's only 450 lbs with a tongue weight of 40... how's that for "light"? [LOL]... we swapped out our two teenager boys for it... they both have the same, combined, weight.

    I can't tell it's back there and the Clipper doesn't give me any "back-talk" so, it's a win for me [LOL]

    Happy Trails!
    [PS... yes, I DO love my boys!]
     
  15. DanLee

    DanLee Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    57
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia
    We bought our 1991 Coleman Columbia new and towed it with a 1988 Plymouth Voyager for three years. The Voyager only had a four-cylinder engine and front wheel drive, but did the job. We took it to Colorado and to Yellowstone and back. Since then, the TVs have been a Ford Explorer and a 2011 Subaru Forester. The Explorer had a tow package but nothing else did. They all worked.
     
  16. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,856
    Likes Received:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I took the family 87 Plymouth Voyager to college - Mom got to get a newer car and I got the minivan. Mine had the wire wheel hubcaps, fake woody trim and red interior. Added dual CB trucker antennas to the roof rack, 12" MTX dual subwoofer box to the back and a nifty EQ stuffed into the cubby under the stereo. Air horns behind the grill, and a PA wired to the CB too. Even had those cool double wiper blade mounts instead of the singles, and a bug deflector on the hood. Had to own that minivan in college!
     
    Mark CASTELLANI likes this.
  17. Trevor Wade

    Trevor Wade New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    May 26, 2021
    Ours: 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan (should be mechanically identical to a 2019) and 2008 Fleetwood Cheyenne (~2000 lbs empty). We're a family of 6, so we're definitely pushing the weight more. In my experience so far it has done well. Ours doesn't have auxiliary trans cooling that I can spot. It struggles to hold highway speeds in 6th gear on anything other than perfectly flat. I've started monitoring the transmission temps using an OBDII reader and smartphone app, and when left in full auto the transmission temp was creeping over 100 C which gets into the "reduced lifetime" range. I've since started holding it in 5th gear at highway speeds to avoid the searching, which seems to have reduced the temperature significantly and not affected mileage noticeably, but I haven't done a long run on a hot day to really test this theory. As for brake life, use engine braking. Before we started towing, we were replacing brakes on our caravans like clockwork every 3 years, which our mechanic said was typical for caravans. Now that we've started towing, by some twist of fate the current brakes are approaching their 5th year. Other than that, the trailer has brakes, and tows well. You feel the weight accelerating and slowing down, but otherwise feels very stable. Our trailer came with a weight levelling hitch, and I've tried towing with and without it. It doesn't seem to make much difference to the handling other than not scraping when getting out of the driveway, so I'm leaning towards going back to towing without the levelling for simplicity.
     
    Mark CASTELLANI likes this.
  18. Richard L Pollard

    Richard L Pollard New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2021
    I tow a 1995 Coleman Cedar with a 2008 Pontiac Torrent. Of course, you can tell you have something in tow, but accelerating and braking in mountains is no problem whatsoever. I would think you will be fine.
     
  19. Canvas Cur

    Canvas Cur Member

    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    55
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Location:
    South West Florida
    We just returned from a 300 mile RT to the amazing Kissimmee State Park. It's about our 25th camp out with our 93 like yours. We are in mostly flat Florida but our Prius does a fine job pulling our mini-pup and still gives us 35mpg. I keep it to 60 and watch the traffic ahead for brake lights and nutty drivers. It has no trailer brakes, but IF we ever went to the mountains we would be extra careful on downhill slopes. I would think a van like you are describing would be more than adequate for pulling that little trailer, but most on here have way more experience with towing than I do. Enjoy the pup and have fun! BTW..I do get the occasional "you pull that camper with that?" comment when they see it folded out to it's grand 16 foot length and the awning out ready to camp LOL.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,545
    Likes Received:
    4,001
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    So what your really asking is.... Has anybody towed your exact camper with a 2019 Grand Caravan equiped exactly the same as yours?
     

Share This Page