The Dodge Grand Caravan is a minivan sporting plenty of cargo space, a strong V6 engine with 283 horsepower. It has convenient features for towing. It's perfect for a family camping or road trip but is it actually capable of towing a travel trailer? And if so, how big can that travel trailer be? We've set out to examine the question and have some answers for you.
The Grand Caravan is capable of towing some travel trailers, but not all. It heavily depends on the weight of the trailer. It also depends on how much weight is in the vehicle itself.
Before attempting to tow any size travel trailer, continue reading for tips, things to consider, and details about the Dodge Grand Caravan. This article will help you conclude what size trailers it can tow.
Useful Dodge Grand Caravan Facts
According to a buyer's guide from car.com, the Dodge Grand Caravan is considered one of the best vans currently on the market for towing. It's also one of the cheapest minivans, starting at $27,040 for the base model.
Underneath the hood is an engine that is geared to deliver swift, efficient performance. It comes with an award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 Flex Fuel engine. This engine brings an estimated 25 MPG on the highway with the help of its Variable Valve Timing; this adjusts intake and exhaust valve timing. For your strength and towing needs, it also comes with up to 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
When making a long trip and the weather or the road isn't all that driver-friendly, the Grand Caravan comes with all-speed traction and electronic stability control. The all-speed traction control applies brake pressure whenever it senses that a wheel is spinning to help maintain vehicle stability and traction. The electric stability control keeps an eye on your steering and adjusts the engine's throttle to maintain directional control — this aids in being able to tow a trailer safely.
For your travel trailer, the Grand Caravan also comes with Trailer Sway Control. This is a sensor that detects when your trailer is swaying too much. When this occurs, the Caravan will automatically apply brakes and reduce the power given in the engine to make the trailer stop swaying. This will not automatically stop the trailer from swaying, but it will assist you in getting control back. If you're looking to buy a Grand Caravan, you'd be buying a minivan with excellent towing capabilities.
What Is The Towing Capacity Of The Dodge Grand Caravan?
There are a few factors that determine how much the Grand Caravan can realistically tow. The maximum weight that it can tow is 3,600 pounds, with up to two people and luggage included. With three to five people, the maximum is 3,450 pounds. With six or seven people, the maximum is 3,000 pounds. These are rough estimates. This number will change based on the weight of your passengers and gear.
Dodge strongly recommends that you don't tow anything with the Caravan during the first 500 miles, or else you risk damaging the engine. In the first 500 miles that you do tow your trailer, drive no faster than 50 miles per hour. For brand new Grand Caravans, these suggestions help the engine get used to towing heavier loads.
Make sure you read this post on towing a travel trailer for some great safety tips!
Do All Dodge Grand Caravans Come Equipped To Tow?
If you're seeking to buy a Grand Caravan and this question looms in your mind, don't worry. Any year, make, or model will handle the job. Just be sure that the vehicle has a tow package.
What Is The Tow Package Of The Dodge Grand Caravan?
Before looking into a tow package, you have to consider how big of a load you may be towing. Depending on the load size, there are three types of packages: class one (light duty), class two (medium duty), and class three (heavy duty). There is an extra heavy-duty class, but it won't be usable since the Grand Caravan can only tow 3,600 pounds.
The tow package should come with the hitch (if not pre-installed), electrical connections (to power the trailer's brake, signal and license plate lights), transmission, and drivetrain.
Should I get a tow package from the dealership or buy and install my own?
The answer to this question is entirely up to you. It's a battle of getting it installed faster and more securely versus cheaper and done by yourself.
If you decide to get your own, know that the prices of hitches and accessories can range from $150 to $800, according to Angie's List. An option for a class three package compatible for the Grand Caravan, made by Curt, can be viewed here.
Am I limited On Options For A Travel Trailer?
If you already have a Dodge Grand Caravan and are looking for a trailer, you may think your options are limited because of its maximum weight capabilities. Three thousand six hundred pounds is pretty decent, but it's less than the average weight of a travel trailer, which is roughly 5,200 pounds dry. That means no gear, no water weight, and no heavy accessories like luggage. The average trailer has a 48-gallon tank for water, which can add almost 400 pounds to the overall weight when full.
Those are all average facts about a trailer. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions.
Characteristics to Watch out For
Whether your Grand Caravan can tow a travel trailer depends heavily on the construction type, dimensions, and features of your trailer.
For example, a camping trailer with pop-outs won't have much of an overall weight increase. Camping trailers with motorized slide-outs can carry an additional 800 pounds. Chances are you'll need a stronger car or truck to tow any trailer with motorized slide outs.
There are two basic builds of trailers: fiberglass and stick-built. Fiberglass built trailers have an aluminum metal structure that's significantly lighter in weight. Stick-built trailers are built with wooden 2x4's on the inside with aluminum corrugated siding outside; these weigh around 900 pounds more in comparison to fiberglass. For the Grand Caravan's towing capacity, try to stick with trailers made of fiberglass and with pop-outs as part of the design.
What Trailers Should I Look Into?
Shop around for lightweight trailers made of fiberglass when available. Read this post for our reviews on the 13 lightest travel trailer models. All of these trailers weight below 3,200 pounds so you can make an informed decision about trailer weight.
Important Safety Information
Below are some notes to keep in mind before towing anything.
- If anything you tow weighs more than 1,000 pounds, it needs to have independent brakes.
- Overloading your trailer risks damaging the trailer or the car, and can cause loss of control.
- Distribute the weight so that 60% of it is in the front of the trailer, and 40% is in the back. More than 40% weight in the back can increase the chances of the trailer swaying.
In short, the Dodge Grand Caravan is capable of towing a travel trailer. If you're searching for a minivan that's capable of towing, the Grand Caravan is capable of doing the job. If you already have a Grand Caravan and are on the hunt for a travel trailer, keep it light. We recommend that you look for trailers that weigh less than 3,000 pounds so there won't too much concern about weight.
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Sunday 6th of June 2021
Judy, as long as you don't exceed the GVWR posted on the drivers door jamb sticker you will be okay. My Caravan has a GVWR of 6000 lbs and weighs around 4500 lbs empty. That means I can add 1500 lbs total of people, cargo, and/or hitch weight. With my wife, four children and pets that's 800 lbs. The weight a trailer should push down on your hitch is 10- 15% of the trailers GVWR, so subtract another 300 lbs from your 1500 lbs. 1500 lbs of cargo carrying capacity, minus 800 in people and pets, minus 300 lbs trailer tongue down force (so a 3000 lb trailer) gives you about 400 lbs of luggage to store in your van for all those people. so I could pull a 3000 lbs trailer with 6 people, two dogs and 400 lbs of luggage in the van.
As for Ranger's comment. Vans haul more weight in people and products daily than most trucks ever do. My van constantly has around a 1200 lb load every time we go shopping or to church. Most trucks I see on the road have no passengers and their bed is empty 98% of the time. Big truck + no passengers = little.../ I mean no family. Minivan + a load of passengers everyday = somebody has been working and making their van work too. I'd prefer towing in my UAV (Urban Assault Vehicle) than my light weight Tacoma any day.
Monday 14th of June 2021
Right on!! i love your answer. i've been so worried about this. I just bought a gutted 1967 Sunset 18ft (with tongue. 14 without tongue) . i have a Dodge Grand Caravan 2010 SE no tow package , except after market hitch. -- Do you think i can tow my camper safely. (i have no idea how much it weighs) -- Should i get a transmission cooler ? thank you !!!! -- LoLo
Sunday 23rd of May 2021
Trucks are for towing. Minivans are for kids. Easier to just keep it simple.
And we wonder why there is much confusion. It probably because Trucks are for towing. Minivans are for kids.
No question exist for towing with a truck except where do you want to go Isn't easier? Buy a Truck for Towing anything.
Debra M Enzweiler
Saturday 24th of October 2020
Me too. I can't find an answer, even from a dealer it's difficult to get a straight answer. I want to know if the van does not have the towing package is adding a hitch receiver for light towing (a wheelchair carrier) factory authorized for warranty purposes.
Saturday 5th of September 2020
There is so much conflicting information online concerning the towing capability, also at the hitch dealers. I read that it will tow 3600 pounds, but some say only if it came factory equipped with the towing package including a beefed up suspension and shocks, transmission cooler and hitch, otherwise it is between 1200-1500 pounds. I have been so confused for the past month!!!!