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Old 04-29-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
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Newbie needs advice on towing with minivan

Hi- I am considering buying a Surveyor- and have been reading all about how Forest River's specs are inaccurate. I only have a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with max tow capacity of 3800 and I want to take it cross country. I was hoping to find a 234 or 210T- but both are cutting it really close if I've calculated right.... does anyone know how much either of those models weighs with the "luxury interior and exterior" furniture and appliances and fluids?
Pushing it too far? (I LOVE the 235RS but I think it's way too heavy.)

Someone trying to sell me a 255RS told me they tow with a regular minivan and the FR ads all say the Surveyors were DESIGNED for minivans... but it doesn't add up. I'm shopping... so I can't take it to a weigh station... I don't understand if the hitch and axel weights are included in GRVW. A new TV is not an option. Please help.

Can anyone who tows with a smaller car or minivan tell me what the largest model I can look at would be? (Or recommend another brand?) The 186/189 is just too tight. THANKS.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:45 AM   #2
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I had a mini-van like yours so this is my opinion from hauling just a vary small popup behind it..... and your comment about "I want to take it cross country" & "but both are cutting it really close" .... go with the motel/hotel idea. You will have a lot of hills if not mountains to go over and you are not going to be happy pulling anything that is over 1500#. JMHO.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:14 AM   #3
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I almost agree totally with Jax. I say almost because I might push it to 3000 lbs but definitely wouldn't go past that.

GVWR is the max the unit can weigh and it includes everything, tougue, axles and all.

If I were you I'd try to find something that the GVWR is about 80% of your max allowed. That'd put you in the 3000 lb GVWR range.

The Trail Manor 2619 is a good unit but it's very spendy. A PUP (pop-up) would be a good option if you could find one you like.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:52 AM   #4
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BAMA,

I have to stay with the original 1500# as....

Max. Gross Trailer Weight 2000 lbs. (900 kg) - std.
and 3800 lbs. (1724 kg) - with optional Trailer Tow Preparation Group

No matter which motor it has. Most of the Town&country vans did not come with the Towing group.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I'm lost on how to calculate GVWR though based on Forest River specs. Did you mean I have to buy a towing package that will weigh 900 lbs? Did that include the hitch?

What if I give up on the X country trip. Would I be able to safely tow a Surveyor with a "dry weight" of around 3500 lbs for much shorter distances without damaging the car?

Do you know if the dry weight includes the furniture and appliances? Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:40 PM   #6
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My answer remains the same. NO. If you do not have a hitch reciever on the Van at this time then you cannot have the Towing group. So then yes you would need to get to some dealer that can install a hitch, 7 pin, and most likely a transmition cooler. The hitch head and Sway controler that goes into the hitch on the van comes in about 75#. If you do have a Class 3 hitch already on the Van then you should have the towing group but to be sure take it to a dealership and have them check it. I would still, because of experiance not go over 1500# or a midsize popup (some popups are also too heavy). I don't know were you live but if you have any hills the transmition on those vans never were that good. The 900kg or 2000#s listed above is the weight of the thing you can tow...trailer, popup, or whatever.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:05 PM   #7
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Towing group does not include a hitch or receiver on any minivan, How do I know because I owned 6. At least on the Fords it includes tranny cooler and electric brake control harness as well as harness for rear plug. I have towed a 22' Chriscraft with V8 io and barely knew it was behind our old Windstar or Aerostar. The Town and Country should have no problem pulling up to 22-23'trailer. Check out Can Am rv in London Ont web site. I made mistake of trading minivan for 4x4 Pathfinder and what a difference. Give me the Mini anyday for a smaller trailer.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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more info...

You can have a look at siennachat.com There is a thread under towing that discusses all about towing a 23' trailer with a minivan. If you live in Ontario, Canada I suggest getting in touch with Can-am Rv BEFORE doing anything else.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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I know i'm a newb and i don't know much about towing... but we took one trip - and that was from the dealers to home - towing the Roo with a "dry weight" of 3000# with our minivan rated at 3500 and it was scary.

We then bought a F-150 and the first trip it was obvious with all our stuff, kids, dog, etc. that we quickly went well past what the Ody could have handled w/o killing it.

My $.02.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artie View Post
Hi- I am considering buying a Surveyor- and have been reading all about how Forest River's specs are inaccurate. I only have a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with max tow capacity of 3800 and I want to take it cross country. I was hoping to find a 234 or 210T- but both are cutting it really close if I've calculated right.... does anyone know how much either of those models weighs with the "luxury interior and exterior" furniture and appliances and fluids?
Pushing it too far? (I LOVE the 235RS but I think it's way too heavy.)

Someone trying to sell me a 255RS told me they tow with a regular minivan and the FR ads all say the Surveyors were DESIGNED for minivans... but it doesn't add up. I'm shopping... so I can't take it to a weigh station... I don't understand if the hitch and axel weights are included in GRVW. A new TV is not an option. Please help.

Can anyone who tows with a smaller car or minivan tell me what the largest model I can look at would be? (Or recommend another brand?) The 186/189 is just too tight. THANKS.
the 210 model's dry weight is 3121lbs. this is without options, water, cargo and propane. so add at least 400lbs. for the standard options, like awning, a/c, oven, spare tire and so on. that takes it to 3521lbs. subtract the weight of everything in the minivan, except the 150lbs. driver. this will put you at your max or over.

the 234's dry weight is 4011lbs. this is already over your van's max with only a 150lbs. driver! that's without options, cargo, propane and water.
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