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Old 07-12-2017, 08:16 AM   #1
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Minivan Towing

Searched this subject but couldn't find any threads. Sorry if that isn't the case. Looking at getting a camper for our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. They have a minivan with 3,500 towing limit. Any suggestions on appropriate trailers for this situation?

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Old 07-12-2017, 11:27 AM   #2
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Popup or A-frame.

NOT an appropriate tow vehicle for a full height trailer, mainly due to frontal area limitations.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:42 AM   #3
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Most every pop-up would be fine though. Pop-ups actually have a lot of room inside once they are set up, they are just a pain to set up in comparison. We used to tow a pretty big Jayco popup with out old 2001 Caravan and it did just fine. With a full height camper it isn't so much the weight, but the aerodynamic drag. There are a few smaller, non-pop-up campers like a scamp, but the standard stuff from the major companies all put max room and ease of construction over aerodynamics. Don't be fooled by something like the R-pod, that tapered back is actually worse than a flat back (at least in the Rpod's case as it's too steep) although they are 7' wide instead of 8'. A few little Jaycos are 7' wide as well with 1/2 The price and more room. Neither have enough room for a family IMO. With a small boxy trailer and a standard v6 (non turbo) in anything, I would limit highway speeds to 55 mph. The aerodynamic drag increases exponentially with speed. With a standard size travel trailer it takes 10hp to pull it through the air at 30mph, 24hp at 40, 48hp at 50, 82hp at 60, and 131hp at 70mph. That's just for the aero drag, nothing to do with any others for rolling resistance of tires or the cooling and electrical loads.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:48 AM   #4
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Make sure the mini van is properly equipped, Just because brand x says it will tow 3500 most models will not. When we had a mini van it was rated at 1500 lbs even though the salesman said these will tow up to 3500.

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Old 07-12-2017, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaklevel View Post
Make sure the mini van is properly equipped, Just because brand x says it will tow 3500 most models will not. When we had a mini van it was rated at 1500 lbs even though the salesman said these will tow up to 3500.

Yep, it has to have the factory tow package to tow 3500lbs.

Minivans are designed to carry people, which they do well.
Unfortunately those features are the opposite for what is needed for towing.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
Yep, it has to have the factory tow package to tow 3500lbs.

Minivans are designed to carry people, which they do well.
Unfortunately those features are the opposite for what is needed for towing.
Except 7-8 passengers sometimes means they are built with higher payload ratings than some 1/2 ton pickups. The "tow package" varies between brands, often it is nothing more than a hitch and wiring, sometimes it means other parts as well are different. Usually the import vans have less variations and are more likely to be just a hitch and wiring but the grand caravan has also gotten that way of late. One motor, one transmission, one radiator, one set of brakes, etc. No matter what other options or trim level is ordered. Doesn't mean the manufacturer won't use any excuse possible to drop the warranty so if you are buying new get the package, but if it's used and out of warranty etrailers.com can set you up with everything you need.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:14 PM   #7
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Look at your owners manual first. Honda reduces the tow capacity based on how many people/cargo inside the vehicle. With 8 people I have seen it say not recommended
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:42 AM   #8
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Yep, we towed our pop-up with a minivan and it was fine. No way would I consider towing a hybrid, even a small one.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:24 AM   #9
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We towed a popup with a minivan for about 8 years. Everything was fine until the kids got heavier, and then my daughter invited her 200# boyfriend!
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