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Old 08-01-2012, 10:47 PM   #21
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

All good points Cathy!
And I'm definitely doing my research prior to buying any trailer.

Just a point to make in terms of the weight inside the van affecting the tow rating.
All of the info I've found states that the 3600lb figure INCLUDES 2 passengers + their luggage. Each passenger = 150lbs + 50lbs of luggage. That's what Chrysler seems to consider the average traveler's weight.
My two boys don't weigh much, and neither do their clothes so in reality I'd probably be considered to have 3 passengers by Chrysler's rationale. The tow rating will likely be reasoned to be about 3450lbs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:20 PM   #22
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

I will preface by saying that this is just my opinion. I would not feel comfortable towing a trailer that is anymore than 60-70% of the tow vehicles max. but there lots of people who go right to the limits and beyond and seem to get away with it. Its just not worth it to me. there is the added strain on the vehicle, there is the safety aspect in regards to braking as well as handling. Most people seem to fixate on the power and ability to get going, not me i worry about stopping it when it all goes wrong. yes i know the trailer has brakes But when in a panic stop you simply can't have too much brakes and often in that situation the trailer brakes can just lock up which doesn't help anything then.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:39 PM   #23
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

Adam, the towing capacity has nothing to do with the weight of the passengers, it is simply how much maximum weight the vehicle can tow.

For starters, you cannot exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the total of the weight allowed including its own weight, fuel, passengers, trailer hitch weight, and cargo in it.

As well as the Towing Capacity of 2600 pounds, you need to know the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). This is the total of everything in the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight), plus the trailer weight fully loaded.

With any vehicle so close to the various rated weight limits, it is really easy to exceed just one of these limits. So long as none of these individual limits is surpassed, you are allowed to tow. I do like a bit of a room for error in there, but would be comfortable up to 90% capacity on moderate terrain.

Things like having trailer brakes set up enough is another thing to consider, as many back them off too far because they don't like the feel of them grabbing (working).
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:26 AM   #24
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Adam Blaster

One other spec I found was that you're not supposed to tow anything with a frontal area greater than 32 square feet.
For me this would be the deciding factor; I would imagine that the 19' has a frontal area of around 49 square feet going by the specs. sheet on the Escape web site. Wind resistance makes a lot of difference in your ability to tow a certain load.

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Old 08-02-2012, 08:51 AM   #25
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

Barry has a good point, wind resistance is a HUGE performance factor. When we went out to the Escape Rally this year, from Calgary to Banff was a wicked wind. Not thinking straight at first I wondered why I could not get up to speed quickly, thinking maybe something was wrong with the car, then realized it was the wind. I burned almost half a tank of gas in one hour. Once I hit the mountains, even with all the climbs, my performance and mileage improved greatly.

Adam, sorry if it seems we are ganging up on you and raining on your parade, but at least my opinion is that there is no way I would go with your present van as a tow for the 19.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:32 PM   #26
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

I fully agree with the above statement about wind resistance, it is a big factor. also a side wind can be a big deal as well, any one whoe has towed up highway 2 from Calgary to Edmonton knows what i am talking about, there is always a strong side wind on this road and if the trailer is too big for the tow vehicle it is a horible drive.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:52 PM   #27
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

There is a fellow on the FibreglassRV forum who has taken scales to various get togethers and has weighed many trailers at their true weight, fully loaded for use. Here are a few weights of the 19 footer
axle tongue total
19Escape_____Dual Axle____3305_____450_____3755
19Escape_____Dual Axle____3440_____360_____3800
19Escape_____Dual Axle____3740_____240_____3980

And the 17 footer

17Escape_____Plan B_______2340_____320_____2660
17Escape_____Plan B_______2500_____340_____2840
17Escape_____Plan B_______2560_____320_____2880

This 17 foot had a full water tank
17Escape_____Plan B_______2500_____500_____3000

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Old 08-03-2012, 01:39 AM   #28
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennrose
There is a fellow on the FibreglassRV forum who has taken scales to various get togethers and has weighed many trailers at their true weight, fully loaded for use. Here are a few weights of the 19 footer
axle tongue total
19Escape_____Dual Axle____3305_____450_____3755
19Escape_____Dual Axle____3440_____360_____3800
19Escape_____Dual Axle____3740_____240_____3980

And the 17 footer

17Escape_____Plan B_______2340_____320_____2660
17Escape_____Plan B_______2500_____340_____2840
17Escape_____Plan B_______2560_____320_____2880

This 17 foot had a full water tank
17Escape_____Plan B_______2500_____500_____3000

I actually saw that guy's web page from a link posted on RV.net.
I looked through his list and he had maybe 15 or so 19's listed. From my quick scan I'd say about 80% were over 3500lbs by at least 200lbs, some were over 4000lbs.
I have been receiving some private messages and emails from a few folks that have towed trailers heavier than 3500lbs with minivans, and some have done it for many years without any incident or problem with their vehicle.
I really wanted to see a definitive reason why I couldn't safely tow the 19' with my van, and that list of most of the 19's being well over my van's limits has pretty much sealed it for me.

I appreciate all the feedback and opinions that have been shared in this thread, now I just need to figure out what to do next...

I've been thinking of abandoning the trailer idea altogether and going with a Class A and just tow the minivan. (Everyone i asked about towing with a Class C said it was not a pleasant experience.)
Or, sell my two Cherokees and get a pickup loaded with comfort options for the family, and a more appropriate tow rating.
Those two options set me back in my timeline quite a bit due to financial restrictions. And selling my two Jeeps would not be my favourite thing to do...

Ah well, back to the drawing board!
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #29
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

I wonder why the folks that tow heavier than 3500lbs with minivans PM you instead of posting here in this thread out in the open? Seems strange since driving their rig down the highway is out in the open in public in view.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:15 AM   #30
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Re: Towing a 19' with my Dodge minivan?

What is wrong with the 17' Escape, they have the screen room option also and the front bunk?gaucho. I'm not sure towing a front wheel drive vehicle will work either, I'm assuming the Dodge is front wheel drive. See the next thread here http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=1742.0
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