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Old 04-20-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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towing with a mini-van

Hello - we are trying to decide between the Jayflight Swift 154BH and the Swift 184BH. The 184 is 2 feet longer and 200 pounds heavier than the 154. Our tow vehicle is a 2011 Nissan Quest minivan. I am nervous that the extra pounds and length of the 184 will make a significant difference in the ease of towing.... any input? Right now we just have a light pop-up camper, and I am used to pulling that, and I'm worried that the 184 will be too much.

I really wish I could try out towing each and see how they feel, but haven't found a way... any input on how different these two trailers will feel? My Quest can tow up to 3500 pounds.

We are a family of 4 (two kids) and so the added sofa of the 184 is attractive, which is why we are considering the bigger camper...



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Old 04-20-2014, 05:03 PM   #2
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Both of those choices are very close to your max rating. Probably not a good choice either way. Sorry! Many believe you should never get to within 80% of max. I tend to agree.

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Old 04-20-2014, 06:06 PM   #3
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I personally wouldn't tow anything bigger than a 10 foot popup with a minivan of any kind.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:19 PM   #4
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I wouldn't do either in a Quest. My wife has a '12 Quest, and we tried to tow a Rhino on a 8' flatbed a couple times. She refuses to do it again, and the profile of a travel trailer would make it much worse.
I would be really worried about the CVT towing any box type trailer.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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Nope....no ma'am.....never in a million years
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:08 PM   #6
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I'd say it's more drag then weight. My sister towed a large pop up every where with her Grand Caravan. It rides in the slip stream and is easy to tow. My Jay Feather is lower and more aerodynamic then many trailers but it's still like pulling a parachute. If I had a minivan I'd stick to a tent trailer but if I had to have a travel trailer I'd get the lowest and narrowest one you can find.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:25 AM   #7
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If it was only you and your husband, and you didn't have that CVT transmission I'd say this is very doable. We towed a '03 Kiwi 17a with a mini-van for a summer. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great.

However, given that you've got 2 kids, your family, your "stuff", and the tongue weight of the trailer are going to eat up the Quest's payload in a heartbeat. You have to subtract that from the towing capacity. If the total weight of your family, the tongue weight, and anything else in your van is say, 1000#, then your towing capacity is now 2500#. I think you'll be looking at bigger TVs in a very short time.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:45 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the input. I'm actually looking at a KZ Sportsmen Classic too - their 16 foot BH camper weighs 2200 pounds, more than 400 pounds less than the Swift 154BH. I don't know.... wish I could try one out before buying...

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Old 04-21-2014, 08:29 AM   #9
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Just because you can wow with a mini van doesn't mean you should. Beside the weight capacity how well made is the van for increased electrical loading, transmission, wheel bearings, brakes, differential, stiffness of the unibody. Even if it seems fine you may be wearing it out much quicker.

That said they do it in other countries all the time. We are blessed to have better non commercial tow vehicles in North America.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:13 AM   #10
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I've towed a 2000 lb+ 5'x8' cargo trailer with my 2008 quest for many thousands of miles. While the Quest engine and transmission had no problem whatsoever with the load, problem was that the suspension was not up to it. The back end would sag and I'd be constantly hitting the payment with the front trailer tongue jack. I also ended up blowing a shock absorber on one trip.

I ended up having my mechanic install heavy duty shocks in the back and a Air Lift 1000 kit http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This helped a lot, but I'd still occasionally hit the tongue jack, just because the receiver sits so low.

Since then I bought a 2012 Pathfinder, and a 3000lb Pop-Up trailer. The Pathfinder pulls my cargo trailer like its not there. However, I feel the weight of the pop-up trailer behind the Pathfinder. It pulls it fine however. I'd be wary about trying to pull the Pop-Up trailer with my Quest just because the tongue weight is heaver than my cargo trailer. Maybe a WDH might help, but I don't need one with the Pathfinder.


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