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Old 01-21-2017, 08:39 PM   #1
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Considering downsizing to a 178, couple questions

Hello everyone. My wife and I are considering downsizing from our Prime Time Avenger 26BH to a 178. We are a family of 4 currently have a 2 year old boy and a 4 month girl.

We are seriously considering downsizing because we want to be able to tow with our 2014 Dodge Caravan and retire my 200,000 mile 2005 Silverado from being the main TV. We also want more options for camping locations, currently the state parks fill up quickly for the larger sized sites where with a shorter trailer we can go at the drop of a hat because there are almost always available spots.

We went to the dealer today and they are offering us a 2017 which seems to have all the options along with the awning for $16,998. They are about the only R-Pod dealer in the area without driving 60+ miles. They are tossing a couple of extra gimmicks in like $200 in store credit and 10% off in the store for life.

Does this sound like a reasonable price? The next closest one to us that I can find is $15998 but I don't think it has an AC unit included.

Also our Caravan doesn't have a tow package on it but I have been looking adding the Hitch, Brake Controller, and Transmission cooler on myself, is there anything else I am missing?

Thanks for any info or pointers!
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:29 PM   #2
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The GVWR of the 178 is a bit over 3600 lbs. The tow capacity of the Caravan is 3600 lbs "with the tow package." You are right on the ragged edge. Most "experts" recommend a 20% margin. You'll have zero. You don't say where you'll be towing (relatively flat midwest or mountainous Colorado).

That being said, lots of other folks pull beyond their tow capacities all the time. It's your life and your decision.
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:40 PM   #3
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Yep, your Caravan only has the 3600lbs tow capacity IF it has the factory tow package AND it only has a 150lb driver in it.
Any passengers and cargo in the van, lowers that 3600 amount.



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Old 01-21-2017, 10:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
The GVWR of the 178 is a bit over 3600 lbs. The tow capacity of the Caravan is 3600 lbs "with the tow package." You are right on the ragged edge. Most "experts" recommend a 20% margin. You'll have zero. You don't say where you'll be towing (relatively flat midwest or mountainous Colorado).

That being said, lots of other folks pull beyond their tow capacities all the time. It's your life and your decision.
Yes it is my life and my decision but I am trying to be smart about it hence I am asking here before purchasing. I also still have my Silverado and don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon so I still have that at a towing option. Our issue is that we have two kids and a dog all the time and then once in a while my mother comes as well so we almost always need seating for 5+. I would be find once the kids are out of their car seats but they take up a lot of room.

I am in Wisconsin and really don't travel far from home most of the time and then once a year we take a 325 mile drive.

I realize the GVWR is 3700lbs but I don't really plan on putting more than a couple hundred lbs of weight in the trailer, we don't carry a lot of extras currently, just your camping basics.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:35 AM   #5
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As far as price goes, Look on E-Bay ( R-Pods) and you can get some pricing. I bought a 2017 RP 180 Rpod from Cheyenne Camper Sales in Walcot, Iowa for $14,899 , out the door. I came from Arizona to get it, but I saved about $ 5000.00 , by doing it. 4 nights in Motels, did not cost me that much in savings. And I love my Rpod, BUT, there are only two of us. Just some info to check out for yourself. Good Luck.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:04 AM   #6
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I am not going to "Sugar Coat" my answer, "3 adults,2kids,1dog" in a Caravan Trying to Tow a 3600#+ R-Pod! NO!! Youroo!!
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Old 01-22-2017, 11:59 AM   #7
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I've towed a heavy pop-up with a Caravan. Even that was a stretch outside of flat Florida. A travel trailer of any kind? Never.
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Old 01-22-2017, 01:47 PM   #8
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With your situation and the advice given, you may want to consider a good condition used pop up. Those young kids will grow fast and the rPod will get small pretty quick. I think the prices of new tent campers are very high but there are plenty of good used ones out there. It is great you are getting out with your young family and camping. Be safe and enjoy!
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Old 01-22-2017, 04:03 PM   #9
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Do NOT tow with the Caravan!
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:39 PM   #10
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Something to consider, after getting all of that weight rolling, you have to stop. Since your Caravan was not built with a tow package, your brakes were also not built to stop all of that extra weight.
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