You love your Chrysler Pacifica but also want a camper. You might be wondering if you have to get rid of your beloved minivan and buy a truck to haul the camper. We've done some research and have found the information to help you out.
A Chrysler Pacifica can be equipped with a tow package and has a towing capacity of 3,600 pounds. Therefore, it can safely haul some, but not all, campers.
If you still have some questions about the Chrysler Pacifica's towing capability, don't worry. In this guide, we'll discuss the topic at length. Keep reading to find out more about the towing capabilities and features of the Chrysler Pacifica and some information about campers that are suitable choices for this minivan.
What size camper can a Chrysler Pacifica tow?
While the Chrysler Pacifica can tow a camper, it is not suitable for every camper. The Chrysler Pacifica has a maximum towing capacity of 3,600 pounds.
However, you definitely should stick with a lightweight camper under 2,500 pounds or even an ultralight under 1,800 pounds for a couple of reasons.
First, you have to leave a weight capacity for your passengers, personal belongings, furnishings, full tanks, and everything else you will keep in your camper and van's cargo space.
You also have to consider the tongue weight your hitch and receiver can handle. Second, it is best not to haul the maximum weight or risk overstraining your Pacifica for safety and mechanical reasons.
Since several camper models are available that weigh less than 2,500 pounds, there shouldn't be a problem finding one that fits your family and your Chrysler Pacifica. Please do not exceed the towing capacity of your minivan. An overloaded tow is an accident waiting to happen.
Now, let's look at some general specifications of the type of camper that the Chrysler Pacifica can safely tow.
These are campers that range between 12'-17' in length. They usually only sleep two, but some sleep up to five. There are minimal amenities, although some do have air conditioning and a TV.
Expect very basic cooking facilities and limited storage. These campers are very compact and basically a step above tent camping.
Here are a few of the top-rated campers in this class.
However, even with these models, be careful because some have a top weight of up to 4,500 pounds, so don't expect to load any of these campers with lots of extras and still stay under the dry weight that your Chrysler Pacifica can handle.
- Roulette ProLite: 590-1,900 pounds
- Armadillo Trailers: 1,800 pounds
- Scamp Travel Trailers: 1,200-2,900 pounds
- Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro: 1,763-3,433 pounds
- Jayco JayFeather Micro: 1,585-4,660 pounds
Campers in this weight class are a bit longer and larger. Therefore, they can accommodate more people and amenities, giving you more of the comforts from home. You start to find full kitchens and bathrooms in this size camper.
Pop-up campers or folding campers are a common type that falls into this class. The combination of fiberglass and tent-like walls expands when the camper is fully constructed, allowing more room for a lighter weight. It also allows for more compact storage when not in use.
Not all the campers in this class are folding. Many are fully enclosed with fiberglass sides and have layouts like larger models.
Here are few popular lightweight campers for you to consider. Again, some campers have a top weight not suitable for towing by a minivan, so you can't have everything, but you will get more amenities than most ultralight campers on those weighing less (dry weight) than 3,600 pounds.
- Casita Spirit Deluxe: 2,480 pounds
- Riverside Retro: 2,530-2,725 pounds
- KZ Sportsman Classic: 1,770-3,440 pounds
- Forest River Rockwood Extreme Sports Package: 2,076-2,933 pounds
- Coachmen Clipper: 1,418-2,225 pounds
Cautions for Towing with a Chrysler Pacifica
Minivans weigh much less than pickup trucks and vehicle weight matters when towing. The weight of the towing vehicle helps maintain the stability of the entire load, especially in windy conditions.
Therefore, to safely tow with a minivan, there are some things that a driver needs to know to keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe.
Keep a well-maintained van
First, make sure that your minivan is in top condition. Towing puts a strain on a vehicle. If there are mechanical weaknesses, they will definitely show up when the vehicle is under a heavy load.
Towing puts a strain on the engine, which can cause the vehicle to overheat if pushed too hard. This can easily happen if you are towing in extremely hot weather or over mountainous roads.
Easy on the Brakes
Also, the braking system will be under additional strain, trying to hold back the additional weight of the load. Installing brakes on the camper and a brake controller is a good idea if not already included in your tow package or as a feature on your camper.
It is especially important if you will be hauling your camper often, over long distances, or over terrain that is not flat.
Mind the wind
Next, campers easily catch the wind, resulting in an overturned camper and possibly the vehicle. Even if that doesn't happen, the wind can push your load around on the road and into another vehicle. In windy conditions, it is best not to tow with a lighter vehicle such as a minivan.
Pre-trip Safety Check
Finally, make sure to do a pre-trip inspection every time you pull out. Make sure your safety chains and pins are secure and that all lights are working properly. Check your tires to make sure inflation levels are what they should be, and that tread levels are good.
This information doesn't mean that you cannot safely use your Pacifica for towing. It just means that you need to be proactive and cautious and make sure you understand the possible situations that can arise on the road.
It's also a good idea to have a roadside assistance provider and phone number on hand. You want to be prepared if an unintended situation occurs. Being stranded on the side of the road can be a scary and dangerous situation especially if you don't have a plan in place.
Does the Pacifica have a tow package?
A tow package is not standard equipment on the Chrysler Pacifica. However, the Trailer-Tow group is an available package option all on models of the Chrysler Pacifica. It costs $1,000.
If you are a skilled DIYer, you can also add an aftermarket tow hitch and receiver. However, this does not have all the features of the Pacifica tow package.
So you will need to make accommodations or install the additional features. If you go with this option, do plenty of research to ensure you have all the safety features covered.
If you decide to install your own tow package, consider Curt's hitch and receiver that fits select Chrysler Pacifica models.
You will also need a wiring harness. This Curt 4-pin is a great companion to the Curt hitch and receiver.
What is included in the Pacifica tow package?
The Trailer-Tow package option available on each model of the Chrysler Pacifica includes the following features:
- 220-Amp Alternator
- 7-pin and 4-pin Trailer-Tow Wiring Harness
- Heavy-Duty Radiator
- Hitch with 2-inch Receiver
- Trailer Sway Damping
While not included with the Pacifica tow package, it is helpful to include a backup camera to add to the back of the camper to aid with backing into campsites and parking spots.
Consider this Wireless RV backup camera with a touch screen, night vision, and a 7" monitor.
How much weight can a Chrysler Pacifica hold?
Some people mistake towing weight and payload capacity for the same thing. This is not true. The payload capacity is the full capacity of the weight a vehicle can hold.
This would include all cargo and passengers in the vehicle. The towing weight is the amount of weight the vehicle can pull.
While the payload capacity is listed in the owner's manual, it can also be calculated by subtracting the vehicle's curb weight from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
The equation for the Chrystler Pacifica would look like this:
Which minivan tows the most?
According to RVOwnerHQ, below is a list of popular 2021 minivans and their current listed towing capacities:
- Honda Odyssey – 3,500 lbs
- Toyota Sienna – 3,500 lbs
- Dodge Caravan – 3,600 lbs
- Dodge Grand Caravan – 3,600 lbs
- Kia Sedona – 3,500 lbs
- Chrysler Pacifica – 3,600 lbs
- Chrysler Voyager – 3,600 lbs
- Ford Transit Connect – 2,000 lbs
Camping is a great family activity, and owning a Chrysler Pacifica does not prevent you from hooking to a camper and taking the family out for an adventure. However, you do need to choose a lightweight camper that is suitable for towing by minivan.