Originally Posted by smitty31093
Mini Vans were made to provide transportation for soccer Moms and to replace the families station wagon. Although a trailer hitch may be available for a minivan, that does not mean they are suitable TV's. Most minivan hitches are probably class 1 or class II at the most and rated for no more than 350 lbs tongue weight. The minivan may pull the boat OK, in a perfect scenario, since it does have surge brakes, . If Murphy's Law means anything to you, you may want to rethink the practice. I had a couple of minvans back in the day and found the transmissions to be prone to failure about the time the warranty expired, and I never pull trailers with them. Just a thought.
As you said, "back in the day". Across the board, automatic transmission reliability and durability is much, much better than it used to be in the '90s (and possibly early 2000s). The conversion to computer control of the transmission and vastly improved manufacturing tolerances at automotive prices probably has a lot do with the improvement.
In any case, failure of modern minivan drive trains, even when used for towing, is no worse than any mid-size SUV or 3/4 size truck. Honda uses the same platform and drivetrain on the Ridgeline (truck), Pilot (SUV), and Odyssey (minivan). Kia/Hyundai likewise use the same powertrain on the minivan and SUV.
Minivans, in addition to being comfortable road vehicles, have payloads of around 1300lbs, bringing them close to par with many 3/4 size trucks, and better than many SUVs.
Within their limits - typically 3,500 lbs - minivans tow just as well as the small trucks or mid-size SUVs. The long wheel base helps, and the suspension is built for good-size loads. The disadvantages are their low-slung body which has limited road clearance for the hitch (really needs a WDH for 300+lb tongue weights), and power is limited for more than 60 sq ft of frontal area for trailer.
We have been happily towing our A-frame (2,700 lbs loaded) all over the Mid-West, and averaging about 19mpg while towing. We just upgraded to a larger A-frame (about 3,100 lbs loaded), and with some tweaking of the WDH, tow just as well.
Others prefer trucks, I prefer a minivan as a general-purpose family vehicle.
just my thoughts
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan (now at 200K miles and still towing)
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time