1. An aftermarket hitch, properly installed, should not affect the warranty, because FCA offers a hitch, too. And presumably, it has published tow ratings and other gross vehicle weight ratings in the manual.
Don't forget to get a FULL quote on your hitch install. You need the hitch, good brake controller, and a 7-pin wiring harness.
2. If you want a good towing experience, consider a weight distributing hitch...or at minimum, airbags to augment the rear suspension. I have the airbags on my RAM 1500, and they transformed the towing experience. No more wallowing and porpoising. But a half-ton pickup is in a whole other league compared with a minivan. My truck is rated to tow nearly 8000 pounds.
Your Caravan is FRONT wheel drive, so a true WDH is definitely called for. It actually transfers load from rear to front and improves towing traction while also reducing excess load on your rear tires.
Also, consider your poor rear tires. Your Caravan will be loaded to the gills with camping junk, and your trailer will, too.
Remember that gross combined vehicle weight includes:
~ trailer and all its contents including fresh water, etc.
~ tow vehicle (TV) full of fuel
~ all passengers, baby seats, diapers, etc.
~ all other cargo
GCVW is the most important number to monitor...especially if you're towing in the mountains. And your soon-to-be "truck" tires need to be up to the job.
If it were me, I'd get the WDH and airbags to handle the extra load in the Caravan cargo bay.
3. With or without a bathroom...?? I would no longer live without a bathroom, because we exclusively boondock. We NEVER have hookups. And "pit/vault toilets" in CO are dreadful at best. Think concert porta-john on a 100 degree day.
Our PUP's black tank is only 12 gallons, but it will handle two adults for 4 days with room to spare.
4. A portable "cassette" toilet (e.g. from Thedford) may have a black tank of nearly 6 gallons capacity, so a spare "black tank" for the porta-potti would give you similar capacity. https://www.amazon.com/Thetford-9236...ortable+toilet
The tanks are sanitary and can be dumped into a pit toilet or your toilet at home at the end of the trip. Typically, one cabinet (often near the door) is designed to hold one of these out of sight. It definitely eats up a whole cabinet, but if you don't have a proper bathroom, I can speak from experience that these are MUCH better than nothing...especially compared to making a run for a campground toilet late at night, in the rain, with a 4 year old dying to pee!
5. PUPs are a lot more work than a "hard side." This may be a factor with the duties of also caring for two little kids. From arrival to FULLY setup...as in my ass in a chair with a beer...it's a 90 minute job to setup the PUP, move supplies to and fro, unload a canoe or whatever, get out and setup the camp chairs and other paraphernalia, put up the awning, and so on. The "bag awning" alone is far more work/time/effort than the awning on a hard side. I've had a PUP for about 10 years, and don't let anyone fool you that it's much quicker than that...especially with kids' detritus to deal with.
6. If you need air conditioning (AC), don't fool yourself that an AC unit is going to do a great job in 100 degree weather in what amounts to a HUGE tent. It will be cooler, but getting your PUP down to 80 would be quite a feat for an add-on AC unit in an uninsulated canvas structure that might be 150 square feet.
A hard-side, other hand, is far better insulated, so the heat and AC don't work as hard. On the flip side, a PUP can be opened up and aired out easily, whereas a hard-side may need to run the AC more often, because the cross ventilation is nowhere near as good as it is in a PUP. 6 of one, half dozen of the other.
7. If you really need AC, that will limit you to one of two options: a) 30 amp shore power at an RV park (some offer only 15 amps); b) a truly serious generator. A 2000 watt Honda/Champion/Generac ain't gonna run your AC. It will run the fan, but it won't handle the compressor. A 5000 BTU window AC at home will run on a 15 AMP circuit, but your rooftop AC on the camper is likely to be 13,500 BTU. A typical 2000 watt (MAX for startup) generator can only deliver about 1500 watts continuously (about 15 amps).
You can buy two of these and run them in parallel, or you can buy a FAR more expensive, bigger, heavier inverter generator that can deliver 30 amps. That big generator will add about 120 to 130 pounds to your payload (and you and your wife must lift it in and out of the trailer or TV)...not counting fuel to keep it running. Two small Hondas will also weigh 120+ pounds together (but you can load each without help), and you have the joy of keeping TWO machines running...and two machines generating noise together. If you're running the AC, that means keeping two generators running for long periods of time. Oh joy!
And don't even think about getting a "construction" (open frame) generator. They are cheap and powerful, but your neighbors will hate you, because they are FAR more noisy. Most campgrounds won't even allow them, and if you're boondocking, your neighbors will come by in the middle of the night and fill the gas tank with sugar... or just shoot you. And you won't be able to stand the noise yourself.
Lots of people will claim their AC works on a single Honda 2K generator. But Dometic says no. https://www.americanrvcompany.com/as..._prodsheet.pdf
(scroll down to the generator specs).
And running your AC in what amounts to severe "brown-out" (low voltage) conditions will eventually extract a toll on your AC equipment. Again, there are lots of wild claims out there, but Dometic says the generator must be able to deliver 3500 watts!
(I expect to get a lot of pushback on this subject, but I'll let Dometic's literature speak for itself. Physics are physics....regardless of someone's claims of perpetual motion.)
8. If you plan to boondock, add solar. The "ZAMP" stuff is OK but expensive for the watts generated. I added a single, 100-watt panel to the top of my PUP with this kit. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
All brands of panels appear to be the same panel made by one factory in China. According to Windy Nation, there is virtually no difference between a polycrystaline and monocrystaline panel. But the "charge controllers" make a big difference. This kit has a truly adequate charge controller that can handle up to 4 panels. Cheaper charge controllers are available, but they can be a poor investment. In sunny Colorado (similar to Utah), my single group 24 12 volt battery is fully charged by early afternoon. I go to bed with a full battery each night, and I'm able to use this small inverter to run my electric blanket for about 30 minutes to take the chill off the bed (we are at about 8300 feet). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Of course, solar and inverters are superfluous if you're always hooked up to the grid, but as your kids get older, you may want to try more boondocking. In my humble opinion, it's no fun to be in an RV park in what amounts to a big tent, next door to a motor home or fiver running it's AC nonstop. To me, that's not camping...but that's me.
In summary, expect a PUP to be more work in many ways.
Your Caravan might handle something like this: https://starcraftrv.com/travel-trailers/satellite/
I see lots of small SUVs and minivans towing campers like this. Rockwood makes a mini series: Rockwood Mini Lite (modelid) Travel Trailers by Forest River RV
Whether your Caravan can handle that or not is going to be in your Caravan's owner's manual...and up to you.
Note...I have a PUP, so I'm not saying they are bad. But as a platform for small kids, it's worth considering other options before you plunk down your cash. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, and I believe your fundamental question was, "...is a PUP the right choice for me?" The answer is, "that depends."
One man's opinion...remember, you asked.