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Old 05-29-2012, 04:07 AM   #11
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Location: Champlin, MN
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Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
This is what I think of every time I see someone towing anything with a front wheel drive vehicle, be it minivan, sedan, or whatever. CAN you put a hitch on your (insert inappropriate towing vehicle here) and make it work? Yes. SHOULD you do this? No, not IMHO. You'll be at your mechanic a year down the road wondering why your transmission (or other expensive to repair driveline component) failed. Buy a truck. 1/2 tons for what you need to do are a dime a dozen. Go shopping, its a good weekend to do it! Good luck.
While I generally would agree with your statement, let me just toss this one out there. My grandpa hauled a 5'x8' enclosed trailer with an old harley 3-wheel golf cart (old school heavy sucker) and much of their belongings stacked on top of it from MN to south TX and back every year for the first 6-7 years of their retirement. Same Caravan every time, and they sold it for a new Caravan 3 years after they stopped towing to TX, with 250k miles on it. He replaced basic items like water pump and such, but nothing major. Just shows that if you take care of it, don't overload it, and generally be smart about what you are doing, you can make anything work for what you want it to (w'in it's limits that is). Not everyone has the ability to just "go buy a truck". That "dime a dozen" (or 15k+ for a good newer one with <100k miles) 1/2 ton might not fit the family, or needs of daily use.

Just because some people think the only way to tow is with a diesel 1-ton truck, doesn't mean there isn't another way to skin that proverbial cat. It's a PUP, not a 28' TT. They are sort of designed for smaller TV's...

In the end, take all the safety precautions, follow your mfr limits, and take care of the TV and you should be fine.

TV: '06 Ram 1500 SLT QCSB Hemi 4x4
TT: '12 Grey Wolf 27BHKS
Tow Acc: Tekonsha P3 BC, Curt round bar WDH w/sway control, CIPA custom fit tow mirrors
'12: 27
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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Posts: 75
Ok I will weigh in here we did what u want to do I had an 08 Chrysler town and country and a 09 flagstaff hw27 s/c. I installed the hitch controller wiring and cooler also went for the 8k wd hitch ( thought of future). Did it tow. Yes fast. No. Uphill slow better yet slow all around. The T/C felt way overloaded. We used it I went slow for safety. I have a million miles driving so I can honestly say do not do it. Look at upgrading T.V. And possibly camper also. I bought the truck in my avatar cheap it is only used for the camper an gets 8mpg but it was bout for that so acceptable to me. The camper is a 21ss in the avatar and traded the hw 27 in on it
Guess the moral is not a good idea to tow with a minivan. Buy a rot rod that is mechanically sound. U live in newyork there is a lot of rot here I live near buffalo hope this helps sorry for long winded post

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Old 07-01-2016, 10:39 AM   #13
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Location: Davenport
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Originally Posted by missybb View Post
Well, it's looking like we are getting:

- a weight distribution hitch
- new, heavy duty shocks
- a brake controller
- a transmission cooler
- and some other hitch thing that I can't remember what it is called

Mechanic seems to think it can be done with the above modifications. I am not a car person and got it all third hand from my husband but I think the stuff above is what he said.
I have same Pop up with a Dodge Caravan but I live in Florida, how did pull with the WDH?
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:14 AM   #14
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Eastern GTA, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,937
Originally Posted by missybb View Post
Well, it's looking like we are getting:

- a weight distribution hitch
- new, heavy duty shocks
- a brake controller
- a transmission cooler
- and some other hitch thing that I can't remember what it is called

Mechanic seems to think it can be done with the above modifications. I am not a car person and got it all third hand from my husband but I think the stuff above is what he said.
As long as the popup has electric brakes, you may be fine with these mods plus the wiring harness that Bikedan mentioned. I towed a 10' box Coleman Santa Fe popup (2500# loaded) with an early-90s Plymouth Voyager. I added air bags rather than heavy duty shocks and it worked fine. The Plymouth had terrible brakes so it really needed the electric brakes on the popup.

One caution though, I don't know anything about the transmission in your 2004 Caravan but the tranny in my Voyager (paired with the 3.0L V6 Mitsubishi engine) gave up a year after I sold it to a co-worker and I felt awful about it.

If it were me, based on my experience, I wouldn't tow anything heavier than 2500# with a minivan. If you can afford it, shop around for either a mid-sized pickup like a 4dr. Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline or Chevy Colorado or a larger SUV. You don't need a full sized truck or SUV unless you plan to go bigger in the near future.

Whatever you do, enjoy your new Rockwood. Compared to the competition, they are better built.
2011 Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8293SS, 12K Equal-i-zer
2016 Ford F-250 XLT SuperCrew, 6.2L, 4x4, 6'9" bed, 3.73
Fondly remembered:
2010 Rockwood Roo 23SS (2012 - 2014)
2009 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew, 5.4L, 4x4, 5'6" bed (2012 - 2016)

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Old 07-01-2016, 11:20 AM   #15
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Location: Adams County, PA
Posts: 1,046
You don't need truck. When we first was going to get RV we had ford windstsar. Fords version of caravan at time. I traded up to full size SUV with towing package keep grand Cherokee with a 7000 lb tow capacity. Still have passenger room of van same gas milage bigger engine. Worked well for eight years. Now have pickup. Wife misses SUV and VAN , but I wanted truck for other things besides towing. They still make full frame SUV capable of pulling the pup.
2016 Grey Wolf 26rr
2005 Honda VTX 1300
2002 F150 5.4L extended cab 6.5 bed
Ron & Shirley (Empty Nesters)
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Old 07-01-2016, 02:21 PM   #16
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Posts: 646
I tow a similar weight A-frame (A122, 5ft tall, 12ft box) with our Hyundai Entourage minivan (now up to 160K miles). Our A122 weighs 2700-2850 lbs in camping trim - actual weight depends on whether we have to tow a full water tank.

The ride was terrible in the dealer's parking lot - lots of porpoising of both camper and minivan. Dealer suggested an E2 Equalizer 600/6000, which he installed for just over $300. Tows like a dream with the WDH/anti-sway.
I've taken it up to 75MPH to test for sway - there is none, even in Colorado crosswinds. Wife was comfortable driving the rig on the interstate across Eastern Colorado and Western Nebraska in 35 MPH crosswinds. My old 2000 Coleman Westlake PUP used to sway at 62MPH when towed without a WDH by a 1993 Ford Explorer, and was a white knuckle experience.

The 3.5L 250HP V6 (5 spd auto xmsn) on the Entourage does fine in the Rockies. Power and torque are sufficient even at 11,000 ft. I can hold speed limits on all roads while towing. I manually downshift (usually to 3rd, sometimes to 2nd) on the downgrades to help prevent runaway and overheated brakes (I encountered serious brake fade with the old Explorer while towing in California coastal mountains. Not an experience I want to repeat.). Transmission has held up fine while towing for the past 3 years, but the Entourage came standard with a huge xsmn oil cooler - bigger than any of the aftermarket secondary coolers.

I also air the Entourage tires to about 40PSI while towing. My Michelins are 45PSI max, and seem to like a little over placard pressure (35 PSI) when loaded.

Based on my experiences, you will be fine with the Caravan, properly equipped, and keeping your weights reasonable. The WDH and aux xmsn cooler are essential pieces of gear in your case.

The PUPs and A-frames were made to be towed by decent 6 cylinder vehicles. They have the reduced frontal area and gross weights to fit into the 3500lb tow rating.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan (re-badged Kia minivan)
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
next trips: 1) Rocky Mountain National Park, 2) Mt Rushmore, 3) Utah 5

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