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Old 10-17-2016, 05:48 AM   #1
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Minivan towable

My brother is in the market for his first camper. I like the Jayco brand and want to show him a trailer he can pull with his minivan. What is the best option out there in the 3200 lbs class? He has a wife and two young children. And two campgrounds within 20 miles of his house. He does not want a pop-up a slide is preferred but do not know if that can happen.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:29 AM   #2
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If you give us some more details about what minivan he has and what the towing specs are we can give you some ideas.

You can have a look at specs and floorplans on the Jayco site though. The GVWR is the important number. Don't go by the dry weight and dry tongue weight. Those will always grow.

2017 Hummingbird Travel Trailer Floorplans & Prices | Jayco, Inc.

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Old 10-17-2016, 07:53 AM   #3
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The trouble with 2 adults and 2 children in a minivan is that it really limits your options. Even the smallest Hummingbird will probably put your brother over the payload capacity of the minivan.
'
Having towed a small travel trailer myself with a minivan as well as a pop-up, I can tell you that a pop-up is the best fit for your brother's situation.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:41 AM   #4
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^ Agreed. Minivans aren't great tow vehicles, especially for hard sided full profile trailers. Get a pop-up or upgrade to a truck.

That being said, I would advise your brother to go out and buy a used pop-up for not too much money and try it out. Make sure everyone in the family likes it first before going out and dropping serious money. He'd be able to sell it for close to what he paid if he gets a good deal, and then step up in vehicle and/or trailer.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:35 PM   #5
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We towed a 2015 Jayco 16XRB with our 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan, complete with a WDH and electric brakes. While it techinically worked, I wasn't very happy with it. We towed it the camper practically empty (*maybe* 100 pounds of food/blankets, etc) and we only went short distances over flat roads.

I immediately looked for a light truck to pull, especially with the thought that we may want a bigger camper down the road. We found a cheap, used Silverado 1500 with a lot of miles and it was night-and-day different. Now we tow a 26BH with it.

If it were me -- knowing what I know now (and it was all experience after I needed it) -- I'd recommend not towing anything other than a popup. Nothing hard-sided. The passenger tires and the profile of the van aren't conducive to safe towing at the limit, especially with a van full of stuff, a wife, and some kids.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:28 PM   #6
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Don't do it!

I, like others, learned my lessons the hard way. There is no minivan that I know of which will safely pull a 3200lb trailer. Even the Odyssey with it's 3500lb tow capacity is not suitable.

Remember the tow capacity of the vehicle includes all of the occupants of the vehicle as well as any items inside both the RV and the car/truck. Two adults and two kids, assuming a traditional family, means at least 500lbs before you pack in blankets, food, water and any other items you want to bring along. I recommend to friends who are looking to assume a minimum 1200lbs of people and gear, 1500lb is probably a safer estimate. Also note that dry weight normally does not include items such as the propane tanks on the front, the A/C unit or several other items which add weight to the rig.

A decade ago, I was sold my first RV and was told my Minivan could handle the 2900lb trailer. I towed it twice and feel lucky that I arrived at my destinations without harming my family or others on the road.

For the safety of his family your brother needs to reconsider either his tow vehicle or reduce the weight he is willing to tow to under 1800lbs (Assuming the 3000lb weight limit of most minivans).
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:30 PM   #7
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Our 2013 dodge minivan pulls our 16xrb very nicely. Well within all weights including payload. Family of 6. Adults on rear bed, kids on dinnete. We are heading from Michigan to Florida this weekend.
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:33 PM   #8
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A couple of times now I've read about safety issues. Properly set up, I don't think it's unsafe to do. I never felt unsafe towing my 3500# travel trailer with my mini-van. It simply wasn't up to the task long term. And forget about mountains.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:32 PM   #9
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Just google:

odyssey towing airstream
sienna towing airstream

I know that airstream is a little bit easier to tow, but anyway, there are people towing larger trailers with minivans. minivans have pretty good payload capacity and a good wheelbase. Again, there will be more people shouting that only tracks can tow...
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono View Post
Just google:
Again, there will be more people shouting that only tracks can tow...
I'm not arguing that a mini-van can't physically tow a larger trailer. However those of us that have actually towed with mini-vans, SUVs, and full size trucks speak from experience and have a point of reference to compare. Not just reading theory or quoting lines from a certain Canadian RV dealer. I KNOW there is a difference in towing ability and comfort because I've done it.
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