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Old 05-11-2011, 09:32 PM   #1
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New 184bh with a minivan TV.

Hi

Thought I would post some of my experience towing my new 2011 jayco swift, 184bh. Very nice inside the TT, but im wanting to share my minivan tv experience. From the factory comes in at 2700lbs, rated up to 3500 with all my stuff. I will try to pack it light, in the 300lb range.

I had a 450km drive back from picking it up with my 2011 sienna. The drive back had no weight distribution, I do have a brake controller installed, the toyota tow package with tranny cooler and after market receiver. Here is my thoughts on it:

The Sienna does tow this size trailer quite well. It will get up to 120+kph, but is working for it at that point. On the level i found it cruzed comfortable at 100-110kph @ 2400-2500 rpm, and dropped to 90-100 ish on hills without pushing it, although cruise will make it hold 100/110. Acceleration is very good with that size and weight behind it, i was quite surprised. Around the city you could barely notice it, even braking was very good. Without any weight distribution the rear sagged about as much as having a couple adults in the back, not scraping, but noticeable. Engine temp sat at the same spot as normal and didn't move.

Today I installed an E2 weight distribution and sway control hitch, and did about 50km. The ride was a lot better, and not much sagging in the rear, not noticeable to the eye.

for mileage normally on highway i get 10 to 11L/100km or 23mpg ish, towing i got 18 to 19L/100km or 13 mpg ish.

I would have no problem doing a local 300-400km trip with it. Im looking at a 1000km trip this summer, but would like to get more time with it before I decide i want to take that on.

It handles well on the highway, even passing oncoming semi's at speed. No surprises or disappointments at all, i was a littel hesitant but cant justify a big truck for something my family may or may not enjoy. I was very impressed with how the sienna tows the 184bh
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Zector,

Great "hands-on" experience for those looking at similar TV/TT combinations, they will appreciate your post. It's amazing even on the lighter TV/TT combinations how much a properly sized/adjusted WDH can influence the towing experience.

Sounds like you will have a enjoyable camping season.

Bob
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:36 PM   #3
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I miss the mpg towing our little Casita with our Odyssey. Went from 14mpg down with the van to 9mpg now with the truck/tt! I wish Jayco made the Swift a couple of years ago; we would have owned one of them instead of the Casita!
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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Is it normal for mileage to drop almost in half? I was crying at the pumps! And to think my commuter is a vw diesel.

I read as much as i could before I took the plunge and ordered it. There was some info out there, and several messaged me asking me if i had some to share with them thinking about the same type of setup. So i thought id share as best as i could.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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Hey There

Hey there,

As I also have a new 184, with a 2010 Mountaineer (V6 4.0L) as a tow vehicle, I also thought I would share my experiences.

First off - CampingWorld techs would not sell me a WDH - which is suprising, considring they tried to sell me everything else under the sun.

They told me the WDH was not recommended, as this is a single-axle tt, and it wouldn't make a difference at that weight. This is the same feedback I got from Ford.

The Mountaineer towed this thing just fine - its a 5-speed, and I'm at altitude (5000 meters), but I had no problem getting it up to 70-75 mph on the highway...you can definetly tell you are towing something at that speed, but at lower MPH, felt totally normal.

Trailer itself is outstanding...very comfortable inside, nice 5000 BTU AC, used microwave, stove, ac, etc.. my first time out.

In terms of MPG, got 11 MPG on the way down, but 15 mpg on the way back up by slowing down to 65 mph, and not using so much AC....

Towed it about 400 miles the first time out, and am planning a 1600 mile trip in a few weeks - don't see any issues yet!

Only thing I don't like is that the gray/blackwater on this thing come out a single pipe, with no way to just have it on graywater draining mode. I may be able to install a valve a bit farther back on the pipe to make this possible, but I am very suprised they designed it that way.

Cheers,
MercNM
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:49 PM   #6
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Great Report MercNM! Welcome to the forum!

Odd about the WDH. I am not expert on those, but I dont know why they would not recommend it. I pull a couple of smaller single axle utility trailers and would love to at least get rid of some of the bounce.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zector View Post
Hi

Thought I would post some of my experience towing my new 2011 jayco swift, 184bh. Very nice inside the TT,

The Sienna does tow this size trailer quite well. It will get up to 120+kph, but is working for it at that point. On the level i found it cruzed comfortable at 100-110kph @ 2400-2500 rpm, and dropped to 90-100 ish on hills without pushing it, although cruise will make it hold 100/110. Acceleration is very good with that size and weight behind it, i was quite surprised. Around the city you could barely notice it, even braking was very good. Without any weight distribution the rear sagged about as much as having a couple adults in the back, not scraping, but noticeable. Engine temp sat at the same spot as normal and didn't move.


for mileage normally on highway i get 10 to 11L/100km or 23mpg ish, towing i got 18 to 19L/100km or 13 mpg ish.

You do realize that RV Tires are only rated to 60mph 98kph? Also that the faster you go towing will cut your mileage by a squ factor.. the aerodynamic drag on these things is HUGE.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:22 PM   #8
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So glad to hear that the weight police from other forums haven't crashed the party here.....yet. The ones who swear that you need at least a 3/4 ton truck with a marble mixer (diesel) to tow anything heavier or longer than an aluminum rowboat fully loaded with a MinnKota trolling motor, 2 oars, a battery, and a lifevest..... We're planning to tow with a minivan (2006 Sienna) until we can replace our tow vehicle with something that has a bit heavier tow rating. So, we're limiting ourselves to a trailer with a max GVWR of 3500, and plan to load lightly and camp mostly locally, as our tow vehicle/trailer plan will not allow us to camp in the mountains, though I'm sure we can make it 1,000 feet up into the hills from where we live. Glad to hear of others minivan towing experiences. I have read on other sites of others towing nearly 5,000 lbs with minivans, though not sure I feel comfortable with that weight behind a unibody minivan. BTW, I don't believe in the 80% max towing rule, as I had worked for car dealerships including Ford, Toyota, GMC, and Dodge - the manufacturer's have already under-stated their vehicle's actual towing capacities by about 20%-25%. I think that's where a lot of the needing a half-ton truck to tow a pop-up myths come from. I have nothing against wanting a buffer zone in the mix, bot some of the things I have heard on other websites are simply, in some cases, untrue, in other cases, exagerrated greatly. Anyways, glad to hear of other's minivan towing adventures!
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FoCoNoCo View Post
So glad to hear that the weight police from other forums haven't crashed the party here.....yet. The ones who swear that you need at least a 3/4 ton truck with a marble mixer (diesel) to tow anything heavier or longer than an aluminum rowboat fully loaded with a MinnKota trolling motor, 2 oars, a battery, and a lifevest..... We're planning to tow with a minivan (2006 Sienna) until we can replace our tow vehicle with something that has a bit heavier tow rating. So, we're limiting ourselves to a trailer with a max GVWR of 3500, and plan to load lightly and camp mostly locally, as our tow vehicle/trailer plan will not allow us to camp in the mountains, though I'm sure we can make it 1,000 feet up into the hills from where we live. Glad to hear of others minivan towing experiences. I have read on other sites of others towing nearly 5,000 lbs with minivans, though not sure I feel comfortable with that weight behind a unibody minivan. BTW, I don't believe in the 80% max towing rule, as I had worked for car dealerships including Ford, Toyota, GMC, and Dodge - the manufacturer's have already under-stated their vehicle's actual towing capacities by about 20%-25%. I think that's where a lot of the needing a half-ton truck to tow a pop-up myths come from. I have nothing against wanting a buffer zone in the mix, bot some of the things I have heard on other websites are simply, in some cases, untrue, in other cases, exagerrated greatly. Anyways, glad to hear of other's minivan towing adventures!
Being able to tow the weight is one thing, drag from a tt is a dramatic difference and adds to the overall "weight" and stability you have back there. I always looked at it as dragging an extremely heavy sail from a boat. Just my .02, but I like sticking to the 80% rule. Like a small insurance policy helping to protect my family and I when we tow.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
I don't believe in the 80% max towing rule, as I had worked for car dealerships including Ford, Toyota, GMC, and Dodge - the manufacturer's have already under-stated their vehicle's actual towing capacities by about 20%-25%. I think that's where a lot of the needing a half-ton truck to tow a pop-up myths come from. I have nothing against wanting a buffer zone in the mix, bot some of the things I have heard on other websites are simply, in some cases, untrue, in other cases, exagerrated greatly. Anyways, glad to hear of other's minivan towing adventures!


That really depends on the vehicle. Some of the new half tons are rated to tow 10 or 11,000 lbs, I`m thinking the tow rating on them is not understated. Their suspension and payload capacity will also struggle with the tongue weight of an 11,000 lb trailer, if not outright surpass its capabilities. Then there is the previously mentioned Drag factor of a TT. The 80% rule can help with this somewhat. My truck is rated to tow 8100 lbs, but the suspension is pretty much maxed with a 6500 lb TT and its tongue weight. So tongue weights/payload can sometimes be more of an issue then tow ratings. Not a member of the weight police as I have a marginal TV at best. But a little buffer zone can be a good thing.
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