Originally Posted by lovinglife15
Thank you for asking. My van is a 2005 Chevy Uplander extended cab 7 seater passenger van GVWR 5622 lbs. V6 engine. Towing capacity of 3500 lbs. GAWR RR 2756 lbs and GAWR FF 2866 lbs.
I have tried twice to respond, but had the responses eaten by the computer. :-)
We very comfortably tow with a 2008 Hyundai/Kia minivan with 130K miles on it. Specs: 3.5L V-6, 250 HP, 5 speed auto xmsn, 3500 lbs tow capacity. Nothing else available from Hyundai/Kia besides the door sticker - except that the European version has a significantly higher tow rating (which gives me confidence in the frame/unibody).
Trailer is 2014 Rockwood A122. GVWR 3261 lbs, sticker wt 2306 lbs. Only dealer additions were propane, and 2nd battery. Based on weighing, normal camping weight is 2720 lbs, add 170 lbs if we fill water heater and water tank. Food, clothing, EZ-up, 2 folding chairs, and outside entry carpet are carried in the minivan (plus dog and 2 of us). Frontal area of A122 is 35 sq ft (5ft high by 7ft wide).
In actual 35 MPH winds on I-76/I-80 through eastern Colorado and Nebraska, we often saw the transmission kick down to 4th and even 3rd on an uphill. Gas mileage went to a miserable 14 mpg while towing at 67 mph. Handling, thanks to the Equalizer E2 600/6000, remained great with no porpoising and no sway. Ride was good enough that wifey was quite comfortable driving while I slept.
On trips with less wind in and through the Rockies and at altitudes of 4K to 11K, we have seen 16-19 mpg, but of course speeds are lower when not on the interstate (and higher altitudes normally give better mileage).
Used to own a 1993 Ford Explorer and 2000 Coleman Westlake (12ft box PUP). That rig (no WDH or anti-sway) was a white knuckle nightmare that would start swaying at 62 MPH on I-80 through the Sierras. Climbing the grade to Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 in Colorado was at 25MPH in 1st gear with the pedal nearly on the floor. Minivan will do 65MPH all the way to the tunnel (11K ft, in 3rd gear near the top).
All that said, I would not want to do 300-500 mile days towing anything bigger than a smaller A-frame or PUP behind my Hyundai. It's pretty comfortable where it's at; much more weight or windage and I believe the comfort level will go down significantly. Which is one of the reasons we decided to go with the smallest Rockwood A-frame. The other big reason was to fit in our 19ft garage stall.
I give you our experience as a point of reference for making your own judgement. Remember that unless turbocharged, engines have 20-25%more power (and worse gas mileage) down near sea level.
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time