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Old 01-03-2018, 11:28 AM   #1
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Hi!

Happy New Year to everyone.
I am from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Me and my wife don't have any rv and only did camping a couple times when our kids are really young. Last few months we decided it may be time to start looking around and try to visit different places in Canada/US since our kids start working. We are not sure if rving is the way to go, we are still working so mostly going on long weekend or somewhere close to home.
We only have a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan with 4.0L engine. We were told a few different ways on how to start but not 100% sure. We come across this website and found a lot of answers and suggestions. Thank you.

Ted.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to FRF!

Using a minivan to tow, severely limits your choices.
Are you thinking of a motorhome?
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:32 PM   #3
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Welcome from just the other side of Toronto.

If you intend to tow a trailer with the Caravan, look for a popup trailer (aka tent trailer) that weighs well under 3500 pounds. You'll also need to add air bags to the rear suspension of a Caravan. If it doesn't have a trailer brake controller you'll need to install that as well. Other options would be a motorized RV like a Class B, Class C or Class A motorhome. This is a good place to see what the different types look like. There will be an RV show in Toronto the weekend of Jan 18-21, 2018 to see all kinds of options.

You can also rent cabins at KOAs or Yurts at provincial parks that'll give you a feeling for camping without any significant upfront investment.

If you're thinking trailer or motorhome, to start out, you may be able to rent something locally before deciding to buy. That'll help you decide if camping is for you before you invest much money into it.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:50 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum> I would also recommend maybe renting a camper to see if this is what you really want to do. Do your home work and read up or attend an RV show. Later RJD
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:46 PM   #5
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Welcome from SW Ohio , good luck !
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:19 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum.
I'll agree with Itat, a tent trailer is probably the way to go.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:28 PM   #7
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Again as others said, a popup is a great way to start out. Not too much investment and has a bit of what other trailers have (heater, water, covered beds) and it is still camping. You can get a feel if you want to continue on. We liked our popup for 16 years before moving up to a (big) trailer. Or rent a Class C for a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:36 PM   #8
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Thank you for everyone's reply and idea. And yes, after looking into the issue with using minivan to pull a trailer, I think I am very limited and potential could run into headache.
The issue with pop up is that it don't have a bathroom that my wife think is essential. We are thinking about:

a) rpod 171 which is 2500 lbs dry weight, that is one of the lightest that we may have a chance to pull
b) epro 19FD which is 2900 lbs dry weight (this one is really pushing to the limit of what a Grand Caravan can do.
c) we will limit ourselves to go around provincial parks or KOA campground around in Ontario (4 - 5 hrs drive max).

Our minivan is 2010 model year, there is not a lot of resale value. I am hoping it can pull for a few more years before we will switch to a truck. In case this idea don't make sense, we will get a few years old truck first and wait for next year or so before we get a trailer.

I am wondering if this make sense? Is it even an idea that will work if we try a rpod 171 or epro 19FD? Or I should step back and focus on getting a better vehicle first?

thx for all your input...
Ted.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:25 PM   #9
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Renting an RV could be helpful in finding out how RVing fits for you. Some companies will deliver and set up at campgrounds. Not cheap but not as expensive as buying.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchong View Post
Thank you for everyone's reply and idea. And yes, after looking into the issue with using minivan to pull a trailer, I think I am very limited and potential could run into headache.
The issue with pop up is that it don't have a bathroom that my wife think is essential. We are thinking about:

a) rpod 171 which is 2500 lbs dry weight, that is one of the lightest that we may have a chance to pull
b) epro 19FD which is 2900 lbs dry weight (this one is really pushing to the limit of what a Grand Caravan can do.
c) we will limit ourselves to go around provincial parks or KOA campground around in Ontario (4 - 5 hrs drive max).

Our minivan is 2010 model year, there is not a lot of resale value. I am hoping it can pull for a few more years before we will switch to a truck. In case this idea don't make sense, we will get a few years old truck first and wait for next year or so before we get a trailer.

I am wondering if this make sense? Is it even an idea that will work if we try a rpod 171 or epro 19FD? Or I should step back and focus on getting a better vehicle first?

thx for all your input...
Ted.
Stop thinking about dry weight. It's a marketing ploy aimed at suckers. No trailer ever actually weighed it's dry weight. And once you've added your own stuff, it can be many hundreds of pounds greater.

Go by Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This number is usually located on a white sticker on the drivers side of the trailer. You can usually deduce it online by adding the dry weight they give you to the CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) they give you.

You also need to think about payload, which is usually exceeded before towing capacity. Since most people can't weigh a tongue unless they own the trailer, a good number to use for planning is 12-15% of the GVWR. If you get a weight distribution hitch, that will add another 75-100 lbs to the tongue weight. There's a payload sticker on your vehicles door frame that will give you the payload. Subtract the tongue weight from this number and what's left has to cover passengers and "stuff" you put in the vehicle. (Note: If it says "passengers and cargo" then a 150 lb driver is already assumed; if your driver is more than 150 lbs, you must include the difference. If it says "occupants and cargo" then you must include the total weight of the driver.)

Good luck.
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