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Anyone tow a small trailer with a 2012 or 2013 grand caravan

17026 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TWX

We are looking for a new vehicle, my truck threw a rod.

I have posted in the truck section for my choice, but now will post in the Minivan section for my wife's choice.

So we are looking for a six passenger plus vehicle. We have two trailers, one a small cargo trailer that we use when tent camping, and a larger travel trailer for when we stay at a place for a longer time.

I see the Grand Caravan's are rated for 3600 lbs tow rating.

Does anyone have experience towing with the current version minivan at 2000 to 3000 lbs. If so I would like to hear about your experience with the 6 speed and the pentastar engine, performance, mpg, etc.

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Registered
7 Posts
I don't know if it will help, but I pulled a 4x6 U-haul that was loaded to around 1700 lbs with my '97 minivan and it handled it just fine. The new 3.6 has over 100 more horsepower than that one, plus a better transmission so I would say you should be just fine pulling that much.

I believe with those weights you need to have a weight-distributing hitch and brakes on the trailer. I have a towing thread going on another site here:

More info here:

I bought a 6x10 flatbed to haul some quads around and have been quite happy with my '11's performance pulling it - I barely notice it's there as far as handling and power.

· Registered
75 Posts
There is one caution on towing with a new van.
You cannot use an old wiring harness connector, due to the new LED lighting!
With the Chrysler connector system, they have to change the ECM programing.
However, if you get a Curt aftermarket connector system, it includes a provision
for wiring power direct from the battery, thru a relay & fuse, of course, so that the
vans' ECM does not see the additional light load from the trailer!---- and this
system is cheaper to buy, but does require some knowhow to install. It is not a
total plug & play deal!
I put a Curt hitch on my 2011 T&C, but have not purchased the wiring connector kit yet.
You can get both of these items from cheaper than other sources.
I specifically wanted one with a 2" receiver, because of all the couplers that I have from the past.This is a class3 hitch.

· Registered
878 Posts
We've pulled a 2100lb popup (that's dry weight, I believe, so probably closer to 2300lb) with a 2005 SWB Caravan SXT. The van has a 3.3 and a 41TE, albeit with the "trailer tow package" from the dealer. I believe this only constitutes an extra transmission cooler, but I may be wrong. The van pulled that trailer, plus a family of 4 and a rear end full of camping supplies, from Danvers, MA to Harrisburg, PA and back with no problem. The first time we went camping was with a '95 SWB Caravan with the 3.0/A604. I was too young to care much about specs, so I don't remember how much the trailer weighed, but I do remember it was smaller, so it was probably lighter. The trip(s, we made a couple) with the '95 were up into the White Mountains, again from Danvers, and the '05 has handled the heavier trailer over that same route and the grades just fine. Fuel economy won't be very good, I would estimate probably somewhere in the low 20's for long stretches of highway, maybe even very high teens. I don't have any real-world data from the '05 since I'm the only one in my family who keeps track of my fuel economy. But yes, you can do it. Be careful with the tongue weight of the trailer though, keep in mind how much weight you have riding on that rear axle. I think our popup is about 750lb. You may want to consider a load-distributing hitch (from what I understand about towing, which is fairly little since my Spirit is underpowered as it is, they extend further down the frame of the car to better handle heavier trailers and tongue loads).

· Virginia Gentleman
8,737 Posts
I don't trust Dodge's tow rating - it's very optimistic and only factors 150 lb driver and standard equipment in the vehicle. No consideration for any other passengers or cargo.

You need to find the CGVWR (Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) for your vehicle as well as the GVWR.

As example my '06 Ram has a tow rating of 7,750 lbs according to Dodge (as equipped).

Dodge calculated this by subtracting the vehicle weight (5,100 lbs) from the CGVWR (13,000 lbs) and then subtracting 150 lbs for the driver. So 13,000 - 5,100 - 150 = 7,750. They do not factor in the tongue weight, safety margins (15-20%) or any other passengers or cargo in the tow vehicle.

It might be a bit overboard but I recommend the following link to factor in what your true "safe" tow rating is:

When I plug in the numbers for my Ram, the tow rating is only 5,167 lbs (4,133 if I include a 20% safety margin), not 7,750.

If you can accurately figure the tow vehicle's weight when loaded (vs the gross vehicle weight), and an accurate tongue weight, I'm sure I could tow a little more - just so long as I don't exceed the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. From a legal standpoint I cannot exceed that number when towing no matter what enhancements I do to the truck. That is its maximum legal weight.

1,333 Posts
I've never towed with a minivan, but I have towed with a FWD car, a '97 Dodge Stratus. Towed a small flatbed utility trailer when I moved and my truck was down with a burned-out fuel pump. The car with a four cylinder did it fairly well, considering how loaded down both the car and the trailer were.

I wouldn't be overly concerned if the towing is not a daily thing.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
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