Towing Trillium 5500 with a MiniVan - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-14-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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Trailer: Trillium 5500 1981
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My 2006 town and country mini van is rated for 3500lbs towing capacity with a class 2 tow package that was supplied with the vehicle.

My new (to me) 1981 18ft Trillium 5500 has a class 3 hitch and a gross weight of 3000lbs.

I thought it would be within my Mini Vans towing capacity, however when I went to trailer world today to get hitched up, they were very sketpical as to whether I should be towing the trailer with my van at all.

They agreed that they could install a class 3 hitch on my mini van but cautioned me that I could end with a trailer in the ditch if not careful.

One of those sure we'll do it but we don't recommend it situations.....

Advice?

Should I install the class 3 hitch and tow away or bite the bullet and get a bigger vehicle?
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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The only reason to end up in the ditch is if you cannot stop it, not if you have don't have enough power. Did you get electric brakes and a controller installed?
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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The only reason to end up in the ditch is if you cannot stop it, not if you have don't have enough power. Did you get electric brakes and a controller installed?
I have yet to get anything installed, the guy kind of put me off. The trailer does have electric brakes and I would get it hooked up.

He said he would install the class 3 and the hook up for the brakes but did not recommend it?
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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Close to the max rating of your van. Be careful not to overload the trailer and don't drive to fast. Short trips would be OK, but if you are planning a cross country trip, I way say NO .
(Just my opinion)
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:04 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1988 Perris Pacer 13 ft / 2005 Honda Element
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Joanne,
Why are they saying you need a class III hitch? You stated you have a class II already. Isn't it rated for 3500 pounds trailer weight?

You stated the trailer's gross weight is 3000 and your van's towing capacity is 3500. The trailer is within your rating- it will work fine.

Some people might say "don't drive too fast" or "don't drive long distances" but as long as you are safety conscious and within your vehicle specs- no problem. You can tow an RV. Don't let anyone scare you off. Everyone here wants you to be safe for your sake and theirs, but you don't have to be paranoid when on a trip. After all, isn't it supposed to be a vacation? If you make sure you have your rig setup correctly (trailer brakes, tongue weight, not overloaded, etc) you should have many happy miles on the road.

One thing you will want to keep an eye on is the transmission fluid. Chrysler minivan transmissions (especially older 3.3L V-6 equipped 4-spd autos) were notorious for dying even when not towing. A transmission cooler added (if not already equipped) and regular servicing will help prolong the life of any auto, even Chryslers.

I hope this helps.

Eric

PS- A 5500 would be sweet! I'm jealous.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:56 AM   #6
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Hi: Joanne T... As with any problem I would "Get a SECOND Opinion"!!! Did you buy the trailer from "Trailer World" ??? What about a weight distributing hitch??? I would get the rig to a hitch specialist as there is a solution to this dilemma!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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I currently have a 2001 Town and Country and am currently looking for a new vehicle to replace it to tow our new 16 Scamp. Unless you have the factory-installed towing package installed, your van is only rated to tow 1800-2000 pounds. The factory-installed tow package bumps that number up to 3500 pounds. The tow package includes the wiring, self-leveling suspension, tranny cooler, oil cooler but it does not include the actual hitch. From looking around for another vehicle, it is very common for people to misrepresent the tow ratings. I see it all the time. Many people list that their van has the tow package but what they really mean is that they just added a hitch and it doesn't have any of that other stuff that the tow package includes.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:28 AM   #8
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I would get the trailer weighed empty to get its true weight and then determine if you can remain within the 3,500# rating after you load it up with gear.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:37 PM   #9
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Trailer: Trillium 5500 and 1300
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I tow our 5500 with a Astro. It has no problem on our trip to Alabama from Alberta.
our 5500 weight is 2600 Kg. I just ran over the scales Tuesday. Do not exceed the max capacity of our tow unit. Weight distribution and hitch weight is critical. I always run an equalizer hitch and anti sway bar. Make sure you have good trailer brakes and do not overload the unit. On our trip south we ran at 3600 lb trillium weight.
Brian
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:07 PM   #10
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Trailer: Trillium 5500 and 1300
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Sorry but I made an error. Our Trillium 5500 is 1320 Kg not 2600

Brian
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