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Old 04-04-2007, 05:48 AM   #1
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Just bought a 1998 Coleman Santa Fe with electric brakes. I plan on towing it with a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.8L V6 and does not have the factory equiped tow package.

What mods to the tow vehicle should I make?
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:09 AM   #2
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Well, first make sure you are withing your tow limits on your van. It is probably around 3800lb. The Sante Fe should have a GVWR of around 3000lb. If you are fine with the weight, then you need to have the tow bar and electric brake controller installed. You should also have a transmission cooler installed. Now, I am new at this, so there may be more that you should do. I am sure someone with more experience and expertice to let you know if that would be enough.
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Old 04-05-2007, 03:26 PM   #3
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Hello,
Having owned a 99' Coleman Cheyenne pop-up I have the 99' catalog in front of me. It shows the Santa Fe has a base weight of 1650 pounds. And a cargo capacity of 850. So that puts ya at 2500 max. I know of another IRV2 member that has had many Dodge Caravan's as tow vehicles over the years. I'll tell him about this thread to give ya some pointers.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
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Green Machine,

I pulled a 2000# pup with my 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual Plymouth Voyager, so I think that your Dodge Grand Caravan with the 3.8L should do sufficiently to pull the Santa Fe. Though, allow me to make these recommendations:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>do not tow in OD under any circumstances<LI>flush the transmission and replace the fluid every year, or 20,000 miles<LI>install a large auxilliary transmission fluid cooler[/list]

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Old 04-05-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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First of all, I would like to welcome you to iRV2 .com

You have gotten a lot of good ideas to prepare your van. A couple things you should check are the exact weight of your trailer. You can do that by looking at the information sticker under the sink. We owned a 99 Bayside it was 3400 lbs loaded the Santa Fe is bigger I believe. so check it. The other thing I always see is a camper going down the street not level. The easiest way to do that is to check the height of the hitch on the trailer when its level measure from the ground to the top of the hitch, and then when you put the trailer on your van check that height again to be sure your still close. if you are way down you may want to consider a weight distribution hitch. we used on on our Bayside and upgraded it for our old Toy hauler. It helps a lot we never had to worry about it. when a big truck passed us it never swayed.

Just a couple more thing to think about. One thing I was told a long time ago is you can never be to safe.

Have fun.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kablewizard:
First of all, I would like to welcome you to iRV2 .com
Whew! I looked right at the number and noted that it was his first post. Then I missed it...

Welcome to iRV2!

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Old 04-06-2007, 07:23 PM   #7
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In my 99' Coleman catalog it lists the Bayside with a base vehicle weight of 2600 lbs. which had a 12' box plus that extra front storage trunk. The Santa Fe has only 10' box with out the extra front storage truck. So it's base weight is listed at 1650 lbs. The Hitch weight for the Santa Fe is listed at 175 lbs. Your going to have to watch how much weight you load in the front part of your Coleman. I pulled my 99' Coleman Cheyenne (The Cheyenne has a layout close to the santa Fe's except it had the front storage truck plus it had a couch instead of the hutch like your does) with a Toyota SUV.
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