want to tow - no tow package



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Thread: want to tow - no tow package

  1. #1
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    want to tow - no tow package

    I have a 2006 Town and Country Minivan withOUT a tow package. Can I add what is necessary to tow a pop-up camper? If so, what do I need? The Chrysler website says that tow packages include:
    1. Full size spare tire
    2. Load leveling rear suspension (Nivomat Shocks)
    3. Heavy duty radiator
    4. Auxiliary engine oil cooler
    5. Heavy duty transmission cooler
    6. trailer tow wiring harness
    7. 600 amp maintenance free battery

    thanks for your help. We are tired of our tent.

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  3. #2
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    Zero experience with towing but, at the very least I would invest in an aux transmission cooler especially if you'll be traveling in a hilly region. As we all know the transmissions are the weak link in these vans.
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    Hey there, welcome to the forum!

    Your van is limited to an 1800-pound trailer, at the most. There are things you can do (such as adding some of the things you listed) that will make your van capable of towing more, but there is nothing you can add that will raise the legal limit that you can tow. There's a GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) printed on the tire placard on your driver side door. The weight of your van and trailer, with all cargo, cannot exceed that. Period.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanna be camper View Post
    I have a 2006 Town and Country Minivan withOUT a tow package. Can I add what is necessary to tow a pop-up camper? If so, what do I need? The Chrysler website says that tow packages include:
    1. Full size spare tire
    2. Load leveling rear suspension (Nivomat Shocks)
    3. Heavy duty radiator
    4. Auxiliary engine oil cooler
    5. Heavy duty transmission cooler
    6. trailer tow wiring harness
    7. 600 amp maintenance free battery

    thanks for your help. We are tired of our tent.
    I tow a Viking 1906 popup with my van. It is an 8' box and weighs in at right about 1,800# with all our gear in it. I do not have the tow package and have added nothing to the van.

    We did a trip from MI to Washington DC in 92 degree weather without issue. I also pull my 3,500# boat around town including launching. It does fine.

    That said, I do not think that these vans are capable of more than 2,000# with our without the tow package for a long distance safely. They simply are not set up for it. The suspension is too compliant, the brakes are too borderline even with trailer brakes, the frame in the rear where the hitch mounts IMO is not real strong, and the GCVWR is not high enough to pull much after you put some people in the van.

    My opinion. If you buy a large pop up, consider buying a new van too.....
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    I tow 1000 around town regurlaly with mine and did without my other vans. If you are carefull you can get away with it. Trans cooler is a must, anything over 1000 lbs probably need brakes. I towed my Dodge Shadow on a U-haul dolly behind my '93 for a 300km trip. I wouldnt recomend it but I was carefull and didnt damage anything.
    Hank
    07 Dodge Caravan SXT 3.3L Gold 105,000 kms
    05 Dodge Caravan SE 3.3L Silver 165,000 kms

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    Pay STRICT attention to the GCWR on the door sticker. You MUST NOT exceed that for legal reasons. I don't know what it is on your van (don't have it committed to memory and don't have one working on presently). About 1500 # is ALL you can and should do however load the van up with gear and you may bring that down to only 500#.
    These vans are really NOT heavy duty tow vehicles and just because you get some kind of anecdotal tales here (oh I towed this or that and didn't hurt anything) does NOT mean you should or that it's safe.
    Some people jump over Niagara falls and live. Does that mean you should too?!

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    The GCWR on a standard van is 5,700 pounds if I recall correctly. If the van weighs 3,800 pounds empty, and you have 400 pounds of people and cargo, you're at 4,200 pounds for the van. That leaves only 5,700 - 4,200 = 1,500 pounds for the trailer (TOTAL, including trailer, bikes, camping gear, etc). Underhood is right on with the weights. Too many people take trailering lightly (no pun intended). I thank the original poster for considering this before going out and buying stuff.
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    thanks for info on towing

    thank you all for your quick replies. The GCWR is NOT something anyone told us about - including Chrysler people and camper sales people. You would not believe all the different info we have gotten - yours makes the most sense. Am having the van looked at tomorrow. Will let you know what we hear and end up doing. I will check the sticker for the GCWR right away. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wanna be camper View Post
    thank you all for your quick replies. The GCWR is NOT something anyone told us about - including Chrysler people and camper sales people. You would not believe all the different info we have gotten - yours makes the most sense. Am having the van looked at tomorrow. Will let you know what we hear and end up doing. I will check the sticker for the GCWR right away. Thanks again.
    When you say "Chrysler People" I am assuming you may mean sales people. Well they don't know squat. Camper people? They just want to sell it to you. THey don't give a s%^t what happens to you after they sell the thing.

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    Hi everyone,
    Just want to clarify a few things. 5700 lbs is the GVWR of most of these vans.
    That is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, this is the maximum weight of the vehicle. The GCVWR (Gross COMBINED Vehicle Weight Rating) is 8600 lbs.
    So with a vehicle weight of 4200 lbs (8600 - 4200 = 4400lbs) leaves 4400lbs of
    possible combined vehicle weight. I have a trailer which has a GVWR of 3500lbs.
    It is not at that limit, but is close to 3000 lbs. I have been towing it for 4 years with my 2005 GC SXT 3.8 and I love it. Previous I had been using a '96 Astro
    rwd with 3.73 rear giving it a tow rating of 5500lbs, and this GC is much nicer to tow with. Before that I was using a '93 Aerostar awd with a tow rating of 4400lbs. My GC tows better than it as well. I am easier on the throttle from a standstill because of the transaxle issues, but ride wise and stability, this van has the rear wheel drives I have had beat. It has a longer wheelbase and less rear overhang. My GC does NOT have the factory trailer tow package. I have added the mandatory tranny cooler, engine oil cooler, and Timbren rubber springs in the rear. My trailer has electric brakes.
    I am NOT saying that I recommend this to anyone, but after many years experience towing(not just this, long haul as well) I have no fears with my combination and have met many others who have similar experience.
    Not trying to start a flame war, but I am a member of many towing sites and this debate comes up quite often.
    I have asked law enforcement and my insurance company, and they say as long as you are under your GCVWR, legally, you are OK.
    I hope I have added some info and not insult.

    Rick

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