Grand caravan SXT towing question [Archive] - The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums

: Grand caravan SXT towing question

05-28-2006, 11:09 AM
hello all,

new to the forum. I am thinking of buying a travel trailer for the summer and have a question about the towing.

I have a Grand caravan SXT but at the time of purchase last year , did not purchase the Option tow package at the dealer. I understand with the tow package, I would have been able to tow 3800lbs.

Without the tow package, what will I be able to tow??? Could I purchase an after market tow package? I am also new to towing and the trailers as well.

05-28-2006, 11:19 AM
I have an 01 GC sport and tow a 2000 lb popup. I added air lift, electric brakes, and a class 3 receiver. Pulls well and importantly stops very well. Have had no problems.

05-28-2006, 02:04 PM
One of the big things the tow package gives you is an additional auto tranny cooler. That and I think the Nivomat suspension.

05-29-2006, 07:12 AM
Look in the owners manual and use half what they tell you. I haveh 2 vans with tow group a 99 & 03 and I would NEVER tow what the book says is the limit. Even my little 14' fishing yacht total weight in 1200 lbs range puts quite a strain on them. My buddy had a 2000 GC sport with 3.3 and no tow group and yanked a 17' Bayliner all over the place loaded with gear, family etc. He said it was great but I rode in it a few times and I'll tell you that van GROANED and strained it's guts out. IMO it was a dangerous thing. But than he's from Europe and they tow horse trailers with tiny little vehicles. WAY scary to see.

05-29-2006, 11:23 AM
Legally, without the tow package, you're only allowed to tow 1800 lbs. Check your owner's manual to be sure. Use caution -- that weight limit assumes two people in the van I think. Add more people and cargo to your van and your tow limit will decrease. It's all about the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). IN TOTAL, your van and your trailer can only weigh so many pounds.

The towing package includes a larger transmission cooler, Nivomat self-leveling suspension, rear stabilizer bar (if you don't already have one), etc. Don't add that equipment and think you're good to go. Get in an accident and any slick lawyer for the injured will make you weigh your rig, and if you're over the limit, you're really up the creek.

AMD Rules
05-29-2006, 05:07 PM
I'll reserve comment........

05-29-2006, 10:41 PM
Add a tranny cooler and you'll be fine, depending on the size of your trailer. I tow a 4x8 utility trailer all the time, mainly hauling bicycles or a lawn tractor, so weight is not all that big a concern for me. I would not hesitate to pull a boat like the one above.

I pulled a6x10 Uhaul utility trailer from CA to IL with 0 problems to date. Last year, I pulled our utility trailer with all of our bikes, camping gear, and beach stuff 1200 miles along with the cargo box on top full of luggage. The old girl was loaded down but drove fine.

Just take the time to change the tranny filter more often than you would otherwise.

Wireman, I am interested in the air system. Are you speaking of air shocks or an airbag system?

05-30-2006, 02:13 PM
It is called ride control by airlift.

05-30-2006, 05:33 PM
"I have an 01 GC sport and tow a 2000 lb popup. I added air lift, electric brakes, and a class 3 receiver. Pulls well and importantly stops very well. Have had no problems."


AMD Rules
05-30-2006, 09:42 PM
Wireman, curious to know how long have you owned your van and how long have you towed with it?

05-31-2006, 09:07 AM
Have owned it for 2 years and have towed for the two years. It has 46k on it.

05-31-2006, 12:11 PM
Actually.. I am looking at towing a 3000lb trailer.

05-31-2006, 04:45 PM
[QUOTE=bulldogz]Actually.. I am looking at towing a 3000lb trailer.[/QUOTE

You need a truck or an Astro van. That's a bit much for our vans in my opinion.

05-31-2006, 10:16 PM
you are nuts and a menace especially after doing mods that pretty much take out your back brakes!

06-01-2006, 08:44 AM
[QUOTE=bulldogz]Actually.. I am looking at towing a 3000lb trailer.[/QUOTE

You need a truck or an Astro van. That's a bit much for our vans in my opinion.

I agree. I'm kind of old fashioned but even with the improvements over the years, I still don't think FWD vehicles are cut out for towing. I can see 1000 lbs. or maybe even 1500, but 3000 is just asking too much in my opinion. Sure, the tow package is rated at 3800-lbs. but with a front drive vehicle already weighing 4300+ lbs., adding another two tons to the tally seems almost nuts.

But this is just one old guy's opinion.

06-03-2006, 12:59 AM
Based on US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Scoring System for 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan the SXT delivers Best-in-Class towing capacity.

When equipped with the Trailer-Tow Prep. Group, the Grand Caravan SXT can tow a load of up to 1678 kilograms (3700 pounds). See Chrysler's Website (

Ratings found for different options . . .
Towing capacity Caravan 816 kg (1800 lbs)
Towing capacity Caravan 1678 kg (3700 lbs)(w/package)
Towing capacity Grand Caravan 900 kg (2000 lbs)
Towing capacity Grand Caravan 1678 kg (3700 lbs)(w/package)

My optional trailer-tow prep package includes load leveling and height control, a heavy-duty radiator, a trailer-tow wiring harness, and an upgraded 600-ampere battery.

In the end, after weighing (bad pun) all the evdidence, numbers, and differing opinions, it's your call. Just remember safety first to you and those around you. Good luck.

06-03-2006, 01:24 AM
Update to our towing package. It includes . . .
- 600-Amp Maintenance-Free Battery
- Engine Oil Cooler
- GVW/Payload Rating
- Heavy-Duty Engine Cooling
- Heavy-Duty Radiator
- Heavy-Duty Transmission Oil Cooler
- Load Levelling and Height Control
- Trailer-Tow Wiring Harness

Even for those that do not plan to tow, but are looking at buying a new van, I'd still get this option. It truly provides extra performance protection which is great to have down the road.

06-04-2006, 12:24 AM
We have a 2006 Grand Caravan SXT with the tow package. We tow our 26' sailboat which weighs ~2300-2500lbs except ~3500-3600 when we pull it up the ramp.

So far, the Grand Caravan has done a great job towing it. Feels pretty safe, stable etc. We had a fullsize Chevy longbed pickup before. The Caravan doesn't tow any worse.
Trailer brakes are a must.
Engine does have to work some going up highway hills, but I'm comforted by all the extra cooling it has.

03-19-2015, 12:39 AM
Still got the same van. Had almost zero km's at the time of my post above. Now have 230,000kms and still going strong. Towing a tent trailer has been a nonissue for maintenance. Great van!