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Old 07-01-2015, 06:53 AM   #1
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Anyone towing their x17z with a caravan?

Were towing with a 2013 caravan with the newer 3.6l 6sp engine. Seems to tow hard, constantly shifting. After our first trip I did notice the manual shift option which might improve things a little. I'm reluctant to travel very far. There are some campgrounds I would like to visit but have big hills on the way which concern me. I am within the weight limits of the vehicle towing capacity and using the weight distribution hitch. Just wondering if anyone else is having concerns or am I being to over cautious.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:04 AM   #2
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No such thing as being overly cautious!
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:11 AM   #3
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The Caravan is a unibody design. Therefore, every single input from the hitch will be felt through the cabin.


A truck or SUV has a separate frame. The hitch is bolted firmly to the frame. The body is mounted on the frame through rubber isolators. So you don't feel the harshness when towing.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:06 AM   #4
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The owners manual says to shift it to "5" and leave it there (when you shift to drive, go to manual mode and then shift up to five. The transmission will work normally but not shift to sixth gear). That's what I do. You feel every movement of the trailer because of the unibody construction and, with a WDH, it really feels odd. Can't say as it feels beyond the capacity of the vehicle though. I've done hours of back roads and highways with it and no ill effects at all. Happy camping!
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:03 AM   #5
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You are not overcautious. Yes, you are probably within your weight limits. But it's also likely you are very close to that limit. Any "harshness" is not due to the unibody construction. It's because you are so close to your limits. You are also towing a box which is not very aerodynamic.

I have twice knowingly towed close to my weight limits. As you are discovering, it's certainly doable, and safe. But I would not have towed either of those setups in mountains or on long trips.

I predict a mid-size SUV like a Traverse or Durango is in your future.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
...snip...
I predict a mid-size SUV like a Traverse or Durango is in your future.
I towed (400 miles X 4 trips) a 2,700# trailer with a 4,000# Jaguar XJ-6L. The Tacoma towed that trailer MUCH better!
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:47 PM   #7
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When in doubt - this little spreadsheet I'm linking to is absolute GOLD if you're towing. I highly recommend it if you're towing your X17z w/ a 6 cylinder van, or a 32' travel trailer w/ a F350. Physics is physics.

Towing Capacity Worksheet
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:53 PM   #8
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I have a Town & Country and wouldn't consider towing my 17Z with it. The minivan is a great cruiser and probably would work fine for towing a small boat or utility trailer, but not really suited for towing a full size RV. Hills, heat, wind resistance, A/C cranked, and cross-winds will all push a minivan beyond it's design limits (transmission, cooling system, etc.).
Now, with that said, I did meet a camper that was pulling a 17Z with a new T&C and said it towed fine so who knows...
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:23 AM   #9
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I pull our Starcraft AR-ONE 15RB with a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, trailer weight is approx. 2700 lbs. 2 adults, and one 7 year old. The van is rated at 3800 lbs towing (I have the tow package)and I am using a WD hitch and sway control, and P2 Prodigy. If I am going into a head wind the van does drop from 5th gear to 4th at every hill. Without a headwind, it stayed in 5th gear and I actually was averaging about 16 to 16.5 mpg. With headwind about 10-13 mpg. I set my cruise to 62 MPH and rarely go faster, although without having cruise on sometimes I have crept closer to 70 for very short amounts of time. I never have felt once that i had too much trailer for the van BUT I don't think I would go any heavier in trailers with out a different vehicle. I will say that I know the trailer is back there, but it has handled bluffs as easily as flat land. Would I like to have more vehicle for a trailer ?...yes. In fact I have been shopping around for a SUV or truck but I dont feel a 'rush' to get one...I am looking more for the reason of already thinking about a bigger HTT and would definitely need a bigger vehicle.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:30 AM   #10
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I pull our Starcraft AR-ONE 15RB with a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, trailer weight is approx. 2700 lbs.
2700# as delivered on the yellow sticker, yes. Actual weight ready to camp? Not a chance. Don't be deceived by published weights. Have you weighed it fully packed for a trip? That trailer is 3,200# GVWR. With 3 people your personal stuff in the trailer probably weighs close to 500#. More than likely you are very close to or within 100# of your GVWR. That's not bad, you just need to understand what you are really towing.
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