Towable with my minivan? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2014, 07:37 AM   #15
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Wayne, What are some of the basics for seting up a mini-van for towing?

From a new minivan tower.....
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:01 AM   #16
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IMHO....

We see lots of M-vans towing various types of trailers Norm. They seem to require the same details to set up as any other vehicle but one thing that stands out is the rear sag issue. Many are sitting too low in the rear especially if they are not using a WDH.

In the pic below note the blue Chevy Astro towing the pop up. Rear end sag is noticeable and can affect handling and stability.

Getting a pro or someone who knows what they are doing is a good way to get any vehicle set up correctly for towing.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:46 AM   #17
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I tested the Odyssey for rear end sag (I suppose spring rate) by setting on the rear bumper. I am nearly egual to our tongue weight and it sagged almost an inch. When we actually hitch up, probably later today I'll take a true measurement.

I don't imagine any secondary measures will be required with our relatively light weight trailer.

Do you inflate your tires beyond the standard recommended pressure? I used to significantly increase the CRV's tire pressure.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
IMHO....

We see lots of M-vans towing various types of trailers Norm. They seem to require the same details to set up as any other vehicle but one thing that stands out is the rear sag issue. Many are sitting too low in the rear especially if they are not using a WDH.

In the pic below note the Chevy Astro towing the pop up. Rear end sag is noticeable and can affect handling and stability.

Getting a pro or someone who knows what they are doing is a good way to get any vehicle set up correctly for towing.
That is the strangest looking Chevy Astro/pop-up combo I have every seen. I guess that they make different models in the northern venues.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:53 AM   #19
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My Highlander call for 30 psi. I routinely keep the tires between 35 and 38 psi for towing. The tire's max is 44, IIRC.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:58 AM   #20
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Thanks Mike.

I used to keep the CRV's at 36 front and 39 rear, the manual called for 26.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:16 AM   #21
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My dealer informed me today that they only thing I need to do in order to be considered having a towing package on my 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is a hitch and the wiring. This will get me up to the 3600 gtw. When I told him I was thinking about adding a brake controller he discouraged me to so, because I will have to hardwire it in. I do not want to void the warranty since the powertrain has 100,000 or 5 years. He also strongly advised me not to tow a 2000 pound trailer. He said "I wouldn't do it!". Thoughts?
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:32 AM   #22
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The dealer you are talking to doesn't know what he's talking about.

I assume you have a Scamp with electric brakes. If you do have brakes on your trailer. you should definitely wire in a brake controller. If you don't have brakes on your trailer you don't need a brake controller. Trailer brakes make towing easier and safer. As well they reduce the load on the tow vehicle's brakes.

You should determine if you have a transmission cooler. If not you should have one added. Did he tell you if you have a transmission cooler rated to tow 3600 lbs?

Why would he tell you not to tow a 2000 lb trailer when he just told you it was rated for 3600 lb. You need to find someone who knows more than your dealer who is local to you. There are plenty of qualified people who could wire a brake controller into your
trailer.

I suggest you look for a fellow fiberglass owner in your area that could give you some local advice.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:44 AM   #23
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He said that I do not need to add a tranny cooler to obtain 3600 pounds. He didn't flat out tell me not to tow a 2000 pound trailer he just said that if it was him he wouldn't do it.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:11 AM   #24
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When I tow I increase the tire pressure on all four to 40 psi


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Old 07-31-2014, 11:13 AM   #25
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honda03842. Please let us know what your mpg is on the highway once you set off on your maiden voyage. I get 26-27 with my caravan and I was hoping to get at least 15 with the scamp. Does anyone think that will be possible?
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:44 AM   #26
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My dealer informed me today that they only thing I need to do in order to be considered having a towing package on my 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is a hitch and the wiring. This will get me up to the 3600 gtw. When I told him I was thinking about adding a brake controller he discouraged me to so, because I will have to hardwire it in. I do not want to void the warranty since the powertrain has 100,000 or 5 years. He also strongly advised me not to tow a 2000 pound trailer. He said "I wouldn't do it!". Thoughts?
A perfect example why Dealer Service Reps aren't always the best source for towing advice.

1. In most states trailer brakes are mandatory for trailers over about 1500 lbs and absolutely a most with anything near the vehicles 3500 lb limit. Wiring in a brake controller is no more complicated or threatening to the warranty than adding an extra utility light.

2. Service Managers #1 job sometimes seems to be to reduce warranty claims and they can do this by, basically, encouraging you to limit use of the vehicle. My somewhat earlier Dodge Caravan went through two transmissions and a anti-lock controller in it's warranty period and the dealer came up with all sorts of ways to try to blame me. Fortunately it was a company car and I didn't have to fuss with him.

3. Contact the Chrysler regional office and talk to a technical rep about what you need to add for the full towing capacity, and don't take "see your dealer" for an answer. Your dealer Service person is a flake and you can tell then I told you so!!! LOLOLOL
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:08 PM   #27
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I do the same as Tom and Mike. I go from 32lbs on the fronts to 35lb, and on the rears 32 to 38lbs. With the WDH it adds 100lbs per tire on the front of the car, and about 1350lbs per tire on the rear. The extra pressure accounts for the extra weight and reduces side to side play in the tires.

Luke.... Our 93 Nissan Van got about 23MPH on the city/highway solo.
Towing our 23' brought it down to "average 16MPG city/highway. Note IMP gals.

Agree with Norm. Your dealer is not up to speed on the fine art of towing. Also note, having an added tranny cooler will cause no harm, but may do some good. It is a low cost investment that has the potential to save you $1,000's of repair expenses. It can come into play if you do some hill climbing.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:14 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I tested the Odyssey for rear end sag (I suppose spring rate) by setting on the rear bumper. I am nearly egual to our tongue weight and it sagged almost an inch. When we actually hitch up, probably later today I'll take a true measurement.

I don't imagine any secondary measures will be required with our relatively light weight trailer.
In your case Norm I believe you will be fine. Many folks get in trouble with sag because of....
A. A heavier trailer tongue weight.
B. Loading up the van with people or stuff.
C. Not using a WDH or other options to prevent sag when required.
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