Towing with grand caravan

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Ermgwg, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Ermgwg

    Ermgwg New Member

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    Newb here!!:smiley: Just looking for some insight on towing a 2009 Coleman Fleetwood sun valley with dry weight of 2175lbs with a 2011 dodge caravan. According to the numbers it should be no problem but I’m finding some conflicting information.

    Please share your thoughts! Going this week to pick up if everything is in order!!

    Also, any other advice or help would be awesome!
     
  2. Tumbleweed53

    Tumbleweed53 Member

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    Lately, the minivan towing seems to be a hotly contested topic. I have a 2014 Grand Caravan that I was going to equip for towing but held off since I also have a Grand Cherokee that is more suitable. My research showed that it is possible by the numbers. You may want some air bags or Timbren spacers to help with the sagging of the rear end. A weight distributing hitch might help but my opinion is that they weigh too much for the help they give a minivan. Heavier trucks and trailers I am a fan of the weight distributing hitches. Get an electric brake controller installed. RV dealer quoted me about $850 to install the hitch, wiring, and brake controller with the parts. Mostly labor.
     
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  3. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Deleted, sorry
     
  4. p

    p Active Member

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    My numbers are about the same as what you have. 2012 Caravan with a 2100 lb trailer. Pulled it a couple times over the rockies with two kids and a wife. No problems.

    Getting air bags or Timbren spacers is a good idea. We didn't but you should.

    Obviously, you will need breaks ... dont bother with the WDH ... you can't even use it on some tent trailers.

    Change you tranny fluid every second year.

    It will work fine.
     
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  5. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

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    We pulled the 84 starcraft for years with our ManiVan. I added a trans cooler, used a good hitch and kept balanced weight. Always pulled nice, just stay away from the overdrive. While dodge transmissions are known for troubles, ours has 190k and I would tow my 2 four-wheelers with it today if required. Done scrap runs, pups, swingsets...all kinds of pulling with the van.
     
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  6. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I would go to this link, then scroll down and download your vehicle's owner's manual
    https://www.mopar.com/dodge/en-us/my-garage/select-vehicle.html

    I would use ctrl-F and search 'trailer'. At each occurrence I would read that paragraph/warning or more in regard to trailer.
    read about vehicle loading page 418-421, Trailer towing 421-435.

    You should be able to load your trailer for camping well under 3000lbs like 2800lbs. Lots of passengers and vehicle cargo limits towing capacity as shown on chart of page 427.

    Visit your local CAT scales! https://catscale.com/how-to-weigh/
     
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  7. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    You should be fine at that weight. I have a Pacifica and tow a 2500 dry weight trailer. I weighed the whole combo on a certified scale and was still 500 lbs under max trailer & car weight. That was with two adults, 3 kids, and gear.

    I think I am going to look into air bags as there is some sag, but can not find them yet for the pacifica.
     
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  8. Caper

    Caper Member

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    We pull a palomino Real Lite 1002 approx 1953 lbs dry weight with our 2016 Grand caravan.
    The Grand caravan specs say 3600 lbs ( weight drops with passengers and cargo)

    we just added a hitch, 7 pin wiring harness and a brake controller.
    I can feel that its there but i don't push the van hard. It runs fine with no problems and this is our second year pulling our pup.
     
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  9. fullboat1010

    fullboat1010 New Member

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    You should not have a problem! I am towing with a 2016 Town and Country, and with the whole family and all the cargo I have no issues. Like others said above, make sure to do all the math in regards to cargo to be sure. Another tip, do not go too fast! The tires on the PUP make many more revolutions than your Van's. I keep around 60.
     
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  10. chadster

    chadster Member

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    I tow with a 2017 add the airbags. Don't go in overdrive. Check what your loaded weight is. As long as everything lines up you should be fine.
     
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  11. Mo8414

    Mo8414 New Member

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    For about $80 u could get aome Gabriel air shocks which are super easy to install. That would help with any sag u might get when attaching the trailer.
     
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  12. arge

    arge Active Member

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    2014 gc, rockwood around 1750 lbs
    I had the first and the only one trip, kananaskis country, this is in the Rockies. 3 adults, 3 kids. No issues.
    I want to flip over the hitch. In this way i will gaind aroun 3-4 inches. Just enough as it was a bit low on the trailer side.
     
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  13. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    First let me start off by saying .. I'm the guy who is going to burst your bubble..
    1) Can a mini van tow ?? yes it can but you have to be realistic about what it can tow and YOU have to learn what your van can tow (do this by having a Dodge dealer run the vans VIN and tell you what your van can tow) . They can tell you if you have a factory, dealer installed or zero tow package (you want a factory tow package) .
    2) STOP using the dry weight.. it is a fictional number used by manufactures.. Dry weight is taken from the base trim level and doesnt include things like the battery, propane tank(s), fridge, awning, spare tire, air conditioner or any options that may have been added.. Look at the trailers GVWR if that number falls into the info you got from the dealer above, and you can still fit all the people and animals in the van... then your van can tow said trailer... if not.. you need a lighter trailer or a different vehicle..
    3) if the above is good and you can tow said trailer, hitch up, load up and see how the vehicle an trailer sit (load up= all passengers, animals and gear) BEFORE you buy anything extra.. Only I would add prior might be an aux. transmission cooler..
     
  14. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    I will not repeat what Snow said... he said it all... [sf]
     
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  15. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    stinkin' thinkin' IMO, not all PUs are the same.

    both the 09 Fleetwood Saratoga and Sun Valley have 3500 lb GVWR but only one would suit the OP (who has left the building) much better than the other. The same GVWR mesa, bayside or utah are also poor choices.

    AFIK, the sun valley comparative lighter unloaded weight lends itself to be loaded for camping well under 3000 lbs. It may also allow for vehicle cargo to be move to the trailer which can be beneficial.

    2200lb UVW is the NOT same as a 2850 lb UVW.
     
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  16. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Yes, you can. You may need some mods like transmission cooler and rear suspension help, such as air bags or springs. Both easy DIY projects.
     
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  17. sceri

    sceri Active Member

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    Here we go again.... [::)]

    [:P]
     
  18. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I have the tow Nazis on "ignore." :tongue:[LOL] You know, the ones who know more than the DOT? The ones that say tow ratings are not real and that you need a semi to tow a bike rack. :police:
     
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  19. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Well-Known Member

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    Towing rebel here... 2012 Grand Caravan towing a 2002 Jayco quest (1400ish DRY weight, a few extra options adding weight, a bunch of our crap), and 2 adults, 3 kids, 1 dog, and more crap in the van. We added airbags in the springs. Tows great around flat Illinois!
     
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  20. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I'm even more of a rebel. My dry weight (those are trigger words for some here [LOL]) is 2130.

    We have two family businesses, and one of them is moving homes, I only take the advice of the guys in our family who deal with towing and weight. And, of course, the tow ratings assigned to vehicles, which although I feel are conservative, I don't go over.
     
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