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Old 07-10-2017, 08:51 AM   #1
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Pull 17' Hybrid with a 2013 Grand Caravan?

We're looking to get a small Ultra Lite Hybrid and I've been told by dealers that they are made to be pulled by minivans. That's said, I'm looking for some reassurance from you fine experts! Specifically, I'm currently looking at a 2011 Palomino Stampede S-17. We don't wander too far from home and the landscape were we are is pretty flat...any thoughts or opinions on this would be very much appreciated. Just to clarify, I do understand that a bigger vehicle (SUV/Truck) would be more ideal, but that additional cost is simply not an option for us.

Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:03 AM   #2
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The worst part of your question is, "I've been told by dealers that they are made to be pulled by minivans" Don't take the word of a dealer! Check the owner's manual of your vehicle and look at the sticker on the driver's door jam. It will list tire pressures, towing capacity, etc. Your manual will also tell if it's capable of towing the trailer. You do have a front wheel drive vehicle, so that also might be a factor to consider. Also, check the loaded capacity of the trailer you're thinking of buying. Ignore the 'dry weight' number on the trailer, that number goes up when you fill the LP and water tanks, put dishes and clothing inside, etc.

Do you have a receiver on the van yet? What class is it? It's capacities? Again, all these things need to be considered.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:37 AM   #3
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Yes those are all great points and I've since learned another important piece of information...my van didn't have a hitch so I personally installed a hitch on it and my understanding is that since it does have the official tow package on it, my hitch wouldn't be rated as high as the 3,500 lbs that are possible.

In any case, looks like we're going to go the route of purchasing an SUV with the appropriate towing capacity...4,500 lbs at least.


Thanks again for the prompt reply....so much to learn! Our tent trailer is a much simpler item to manage!
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:25 PM   #4
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You might check what a 'tow package' on the Grand Caravan means. If it's just a transmission cooler, that's not hard to add. If it means larger radiator, different transmission or differential ratios (all built into the transmission case) then I'd agree, selling is probably wiser.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:42 PM   #5
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A minivan with a tow package and 3,500 lb towing capacity can easily pull a 2,000 to 2,500 lb tent trailer. Have done it myself for many years. Now, with a 2,700 lb (absolute minimum and more likely several hundred lbs higher) dry weight hybrid with heavier hitch weight and surface area subject to drag at 60 mph is a very much different kind of animal. Tread very carefully if you stick with this setup.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:33 PM   #6
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Even if you upgrade to a SUV do not trust what s dealer tells you that vehicle can tow. Depending on the SUV could be anywhere from 2500 to 7500lbs tow capacity. I'm talking only about mid sized SUV's. My last tow SUV was a 05' 4Runner with 7200 towing. New 4Runners are now only 5000lbs.

Mini vans are in general just not good tow vehicles. For pop ups yes, but not full sized RV's.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caddie99 View Post
We're looking to get a small Ultra Lite Hybrid and I've been told by dealers that they are made to be pulled by minivans. That's said, I'm looking for some reassurance from you fine experts! Specifically, I'm currently looking at a 2011 Palomino Stampede S-17. We don't wander too far from home and the landscape were we are is pretty flat...any thoughts or opinions on this would be very much appreciated. Just to clarify, I do understand that a bigger vehicle (SUV/Truck) would be more ideal, but that additional cost is simply not an option for us.!
FYI, I tried towing a 17' travel trailer, GVWR about 3500 pounds, with a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan. Our dealer installed the hitch and brake controller; I had a local transmission shop install a transmission cooler.

My advice, based on that experience? DON'T! Or keep it to short distances only. That Caravan probably has a theoretical towing capacity of about 3300 pounds, but that's with the factory tow package. It also doesn't like the wind resistance of a full-height travel trailer. Check your owner manual.

Lesson learned. We upgraded to an F150 after a couple of months. Which also left us in a position to upgrade the trailer. Couldn't be happier. Lovin' it.

Roger
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:36 PM   #8
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A Caravan has a hard time going down the road or up a hill with a full load of passengers. What makes you think it is capable of towing? It isn't. Get a proper tow vehicle so you, your family and others are safe.
Don't believe what the RV dealer tells you. He may want to sell you a big 5th wheel and mount a hitch on your roof. Don't laugh!
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