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Old 09-05-2018, 12:13 PM   #1
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Anytown , California
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Potential owner of a Sport 16'

Greetings all! I am considering the purchase of a new Sport 16' but am feeling a bit lost. I am hoping somebody here can help. I have never owned an RV nor have I towed with my vehicle. I have a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan, 3.6L with nearly 100k miles. Towing capacity is 3600lbs.

Is this vehicle going to satisfactorily tow the Scout?

How much mpg loss should I expect?

Are there any must have things added to the scout before or immediately after purchase?

Cheers,
Tony
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:33 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, but power and payload don't look bad. You'll need to find out more about the hitch itself, max tongue weight and individual axle ratings to see if you are good to go, need to get a new hitch, or beef up the current one.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
I'm no expert, but power and payload don't look bad. You'll need to find out more about the hitch itself, max tongue weight and individual axle ratings to see if you are good to go, need to get a new hitch, or beef up the current one.
I have a class 3 with a 380# tongue weight. I know I will need to change my 4 pin to a 7 pin and get a brake controller.

Any thoughts on MPG loss?
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:00 PM   #4
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You may have to strengthen the hitch receiver. Can-AM RV in London ON Canada have likely done one and would give you advice over the phone. Is it using the Pentastar 3.6 L engine. The only downside of towing with the Grand Caravan would be the front wheel drive.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
You may have to strengthen the hitch receiver. Can-AM RV in London ON Canada have likely done one and would give you advice over the phone. Is it using the Pentastar 3.6 L engine. The only downside of towing with the Grand Caravan would be the front wheel drive.
Yes, it is the pentastar 3.6 engine. I was thinking about the fwd issue. Is that bad?

I will give them a call, thanks!
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:15 PM   #6
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Towing with Caravan

The Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country have a reputation of a high rate of transmission failures. If yours has not been serviced regularly (every 30k miles fluid and filter change with Mopar fluid, yes they are picky which fluid you use) do not expect the trans to last a long time. If you do decide to tow with this Caravan, at least add a quality high capacity transmission cooler. Your Caravan probably was not equipped with factory tow package so no heavy duty radiator, no oil cooler, no higher amp alternator, etc. You get the picture. Will it tow a 16 Bambi? Probably, but maybe not for long depending on the terrain. One more thing, be very careful with the brakes. These vans are not equipped with the greatest brakes in the world. Have them looked at by a reputable brake mechanic and do tell them your going to be towing a travel trailer. Stay safe.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:17 PM   #7
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The Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country have a reputation of a high rate of transmission failures. If yours has not been serviced regularly (every 30k miles fluid and filter change with Mopar fluid, yes they are picky which fluid you use) do not expect the trans to last a long time. If you do decide to tow with this Caravan, at least add a quality high capacity transmission cooler. Your Caravan probably was not equipped with factory tow package so no heavy duty radiator, no oil cooler, no higher amp alternator, etc. You get the picture. Will it tow a 16 Bambi? Probably, but maybe not for long depending on the terrain. One more thing, be very careful with the brakes. These vans are not equipped with the greatest brakes in the world. Have them looked at by a reputable brake mechanic and do tell them your going to be towing a travel trailer. Stay safe.
Good info, thanks!
I bought it used and was told it has the towing package. I will take it to a professional to see if that is true.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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Yes, it is the pentastar 3.6 engine. I was thinking about the fwd issue. Is that bad?

I will give them a call, thanks!
The Pentastar is a great engine. The main issue with FWD is to be sure and use a WD hitch to restore the weight to your traction axle to maintain traction and steering control. On slippery uphill climbs you may run out of traction. It happened to me towing a smaller trailer with a Dodge Journey on a short, steep gravel hill in Ohio. I now have a 4 wheel drive tow vehicle with a locking rear diff.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:44 PM   #9
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The Pentastar is a great engine. The main issue with FWD is to be sure and use a WD hitch to restore the weight to your traction axle to maintain traction and steering control. On slippery uphill climbs you may run out of traction. It happened to me towing a smaller trailer with a Dodge Journey on a short, steep gravel hill in Ohio. I now have a 4 wheel drive tow vehicle with a locking rear diff.
Awesome!
Thank you.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:26 AM   #10
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Travel plans?

Another consideration should be how you plan to use your trailer. We bought our AS a year ago, had a TV that (we thought) was more than ample for our planned usage, which we envisioned as relatively short trips within a day’s drive of home.
The more we used our AS (we were newbies to the whole towing/RV thing as well), our travel plans expanded, and our practical knowledge increased, and we suddenly realized we needed a bigger, more capable tow vehicle. Do not lose sight of the fact that your requirements will probably change after you start using your Airstream.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:37 AM   #11
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I've towed our Bambi (or it's equivalent,i.e.,
Casita or TAB) with everything from a Lincoln navigator to a Lexus hybrid and pretty uniformly the drop in milage has been roughly 30-33%. Currently our RX hybrid drops from 24.7 mpg to 16 mpg.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:47 AM   #12
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Another consideration should be how you plan to use your trailer. We bought our AS a year ago, had a TV that (we thought) was more than ample for our planned usage, which we envisioned as relatively short trips within a day’s drive of home.
The more we used our AS (we were newbies to the whole towing/RV thing as well), our travel plans expanded, and our practical knowledge increased, and we suddenly realized we needed a bigger, more capable tow vehicle. Do not lose sight of the fact that your requirements will probably change after you start using your Airstream.
Other side of the equation is all the people that buy an Airstream (or any TT for that matter) and find out it's not for them after one season and sell it. Take things as they go, you can always get a larger TV or TT/TV combo in the future if that's what you decide.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:10 AM   #13
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2014 16' Sport
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Towing Capacity

I own a Sport 16' and use it 10 or more months of the year. Using what you say are your TV ratings, you are close to the max. If you tow anywhere there are hills, you are putting a real strain on your engine and transmission - and unfortunately your manufacturer has poor ratings from any number of sources for transmissions. And even on relatively flat roads - you are still at max. I use a 2014 Toyota 4Runner and even have to slow down going over the sierras or rockies.

Exterior Length 16'4"
Hitch Weight (w/LP & w/o options, water & cargo) (lbs.) 350 - note this is unloaded weight.
Unit Base Weight (w/LP & w/o options, water & cargo) (lbs.) 2,860
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (lbs.) 3,500
Net Carrying Capacity (NCC=GVWR-UBW) (lbs.) 640
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:24 PM   #14
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Rhinebeck , New York
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Been there and done that. Living in Europe and driving a Dodge Caravan I bought a trailer weighing @1200 kilos empty. I had a tow hitch, hooked up and off we went. Wow what a nerve racking experience. Bottom line I don’t think it’s a good idea. The Caravan was never designed to be a tow vehicle especially something like an AS 16’ Sport. I have one and I tow with a Ram 1500. But, you can always try . Please, you must read all the great technical comments found here in the forum. Be sure the tow car has been optimized for towing. If you don’t I fear you will regret it.Best of luck.
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