I hate for this to be one of my first posts, but I'm going to cross-post a somewhat long lead-up to a short question from a thread I started over on RV.net. I'm REALLY interested in the 19' for my family.
Here it is:
I had started another thread in the Hybrid sub-forum that strayed from my original question and ended up talking about my minivan's LACK of capabilities to tow pretty much anything other than a pop-up.
I thought I'd start a new thread to discuss (hopefully in an intelligent manner) the specifics of towing a TT (or HTT) with my minivan.
So, to start, let's look at the vehicle:
2008 Dodge Grand Caravan ~ 105,000 km
3.8L engine (I've found multiple power figures for this engine, from 195 up to 215 HP, the torque figure seems to be pretty consistent at 230 ft-lbs though.)
Currently has a brake controller and class III hitch installed on it, and these components were installed just last summer (2011).
When installing the above, I found out the van already had a factory tranny cooler. It did not come with the factory tow package; no wiring, no hitch, yet did have the cooler on the transmission. Strange, but I'll take it.
Prior to actually buying a trailer, I will have some "helper springs" installed such as the Timbren style that replace the factory bumpstops on the rear axle and help to control heavy loads.
I will also use a weight distributing hitch with the trailer.
GCWR 8700 LBS
Curb Weight 4483 lbs - distribution F56% (2510) R44% (1972)
Tow Rating 3600lbs
Note about the tow rating I found elsewhere - that 3600 lb figure is based on 2 adults and their luggage. Each person is estimated to weigh 150 lbs. For 3-5 passengers, the rating goes down to 3200 lbs. So it seems that Dodge expects each person to being about 50 lbs of luggage.
For my family, it will be myself (about 225) my wife (not divulging that number based on my own personal safety!) and my two young boys, 4yo (36 lbs) and 6 months. (19 lbs)
I'm putting up our personal weights to illustrate that despite the fact that there will be 4 passengers, we certainly don't fall into what Dodge has classified as a "normal" 4 people. Basically I'm saying I've got a couple hundred extra pounds available, above that 3200 mark.
One other spec I found was that you're not supposed to tow anything with a frontal area greater than 32 square feet. The only thing I can think of this affecting is the ability to go faster on the highway, or straining the engine/transmission.
I have not been able to find axle ratings for the van yet - maybe some others have greater powers than I with the Google and can find those numbers for me
Anyways, after posting all of that above, I pose the question:
Why can't (or shouldn't) I tow a TT with a dry weight rating of 2500 lbs?