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Old 02-08-2014, 07:40 AM   #29
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Hills are why you have a transmission. Select the proper gear and a 6 cyl can pull as well as an 8 when driven by an experienced driver. And the new 6 s are as powerful as the old v8s we grew up with were. There are limitations, but generally the new six cyl will do just fine for towing under most condtions if the driver does not want a rocket ship up the hills. Sometimes slow and easy is a lot safer than fast and furious. Jim
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:45 AM   #30
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It was a joke!, can't you read. A joke. I should have known that certain members here cannot take any statements that they disagree with, but in my post I said it was a joke. Jim
That's OK, I knew it was a joke, not sure if it came across as me being serious, but I partly did it for the benefit of anyone who does take the soccer mom minvan thing seriously.

And some people do. For the sake of image, I know of some people who will avoid driving a minivan even though it totally meets their needs. Instead they'll drive a sedan or maybe an SUV which somewhat works for them. I say to heck with that - buy and drive what works for you. If you can afford two vehicles, then great. Get a minivan and a sports car. Otherwise, get one vehicle that will get all of your primary needs taken care of.

I know of a lady who had a family of six. This was a while ago, and they had a Dodge Grand Caravan (very sensible) that she drove most of the time and when the whole family had to go out. Her husband drove a Chevy Cavalier sedan which he used as a commuter car and they had as a second vehicle. Well, she worked as a receptionist at a garage. One day my friend came in to get his Mustang GT convertible for a mechanical inspection, as he was going to sell it.... to buy a minivan! Why? Because the Mustang GT convertible did not suit his needs for having space to haul around stuff he routinely does. The Mustang and Caravan were both of about the same value at the time. The lady was absolutely drooling over the Mustang and said how she couldn't wait to get out of a minvan. So... they traded vehicles! Yep. So when her family of 6 had to go out, they had to take two vehicles - the Mustang and the Cavalier. And my friend, who was single, had a nice roomy soccer mom minvan where he could easily haul around all of the things he needed to in comfort.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:50 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Hills are why you have a transmission. Select the proper gear and a 6 cyl can pull as well as an 8 when driven by an experienced driver. And the new 6 s are as powerful as the old v8s we grew up with were. There are limitations, but generally the new six cyl will do just fine for towing under most condtions if the driver does not want a rocket ship up the hills. Sometimes slow and easy is a lot safer than fast and furious. Jim
Absolutely right on the money. Some of it I can relate to personally, some of it I know in theory and will soon experience in real life.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:59 PM   #32
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I picked up my 2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L today. I love it!

The Town & Country is the top of the line minvan from Chrysler, although there are still different levels of trim. Looking through the owner's manual I see there are still a few things I don't have, but it has almost everything, including a factory transmission cooler, backup camera, navigation, remote starter, full stow & go seating, full leather, touring suspension, etc, etc, etc. I'm totally spoiled with luxury features - it's the nicest vehicle I've ever had. I usually get base models but this time I splurged. It will make a great tow vehicle and great traveling vehicle - both when towing and when solo.

Weather permitting, I go to Can Am next Wednesday to get the hitch and other equipment installed and of course pick up my 1990 Airstream Excella. I just remembered I have a picture of the Airstream from the day I went to look at it. You'll see it hitched up to a dark grey 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan that belongs to Can Am. I think it will look even better hitched up to my silver Town & Country. Also pictured are some pics from today when I got home with my new van, parked next to my 2005 Chevy Astro, which I was originally going to use as my tow vehicle. It's still a good van, but the Town & Country is quite an upgrade!
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:03 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy View Post
I picked up my 2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L today. I love it!

The Town & Country is the top of the line minvan from Chrysler, although there are still different levels of trim. Looking through the owner's manual I see there are still a few things I don't have, but it has almost everything, including a factory transmission cooler, backup camera, navigation, remote starter, full stow & go seating, full leather, touring suspension, etc, etc, etc. I'm totally spoiled with luxury features - it's the nicest vehicle I've ever had. I usually get base models but this time I splurged. It will make a great tow vehicle and great traveling vehicle - both when towing and when solo.

Weather permitting, I go to Can Am next Wednesday to get the hitch and other equipment installed and of course pick up my 1990 Airstream Excella. I just remembered I have a picture of the Airstream from the day I went to look at it. You'll see it hitched up to a dark grey 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan that belongs to Can Am. I think it will look even better hitched up to my silver Town & Country. Also pictured are some pics from today when I got home with my new van, parked next to my 2005 Chevy Astro, which I was originally going to use as my tow vehicle. It's still a good van, but the Town & Country is quite an upgrade!
Excellent!
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:10 PM   #34
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JSG

Congrats on your new TV. It looks great! Great for towing your new Stream and traveling solo (no Stream).

Dan
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:02 PM   #35
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Congrats on the move to the Mini Van JSG. We have had one in our driveway for the last 14 years. Don't know how we would get buy without one. That new Chrysler V6 sounds like a winner.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:13 PM   #36
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Thanks. I've been really enjoying driving the new minivan over the last week since I got it. Very nice, modern and comfortable. I'm still discovering more nice luxury touches and features every time I drive it. And it's more fuel efficient than my last van. It's definitely a great vehicle to drive solo, without towing. I'm sure it will make a great tow vehicle too, from what I've heard. I'm supposed to go to Can Am tomorrow to get the hitch put on and bring the Airstream home. Just waiting on confirmation if the appointment is still on, as there were some delays in getting a few parts. If not tomorrow, then weather permitting, I'm sure it will be before the end of the week.

As others have mentioned, once you have had a van, it's hard to go back to a sedan again. I've had several vans over the years. For some of that time, I also had a small sedan too, but had a van as well. It's nice to have just one vehicle and make things simpler. The van can do everything I need it to, except be as fuel efficient as a small sedan. But, I can't have everything. It's a small tradeoff for the versatility of having a practical van.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:37 PM   #37
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Happiness is a well hitched minivan....

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Old 02-18-2014, 06:23 PM   #38
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Yes, looks great! If all goes well, and it's not dark outside yet, I will be able to show you a picture of my minivan pulling my Airstream like that too!
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:23 PM   #39
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OK, here we go, pics of my nearly-new minivan and my nearly-vintage Airstream. 2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L towing my 1990 Airstream Excella 25. Both are now all mine and at home in my driveway!

The van sure drives different with the Airstream hitched up, but felt very secure, even as the big rig semi-trucks passed me, or I passed others (no crazy driving, I took it easy driving at or just under the speed limit for the most part). Towards the end of the almost 3 hour drive home, I was starting to feel more comfortable driving. But I still need lots of practice backing up and hitching up/unhitching. I got the "Can-AM Special Hitch" as the Hensely, which I really wanted, was not available. I think it tows quite well with the equipment its got, and the Airstreams are known for being the best towing travel trailers anyways. So far so good!

I want to thank everyone at Can-Am RV in London for their help in getting me set up and on the road, and for Don McKelvey from this forum and local WBCCI chapter President for coming over to meet me in person yesterday. Even though I've spent limited time in my Airstream, it really feels comfortable and like home. Can't wait to go camping in it, or I might even be full timing in it (or possibly being a part time full timer, as a snowbird if I can set up my work situation). Anyways, here are the pics of my new (to me) van and Airstream!
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:47 PM   #40
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OK, here we go, pics of my nearly-new minivan and my nearly-vintage Airstream. 2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L towing my 1990 Airstream Excella 25. Both are now all mine and at home in my driveway!

The van sure drives different with the Airstream hitched up, but felt very secure, even as the big rig semi-trucks passed me, or I passed others (no crazy driving, I took it easy driving at or just under the speed limit for the most part). Towards the end of the almost 3 hour drive home, I was starting to feel more comfortable driving. But I still need lots of practice backing up and hitching up/unhitching. I got the "Can-AM Special Hitch" as the Hensely, which I really wanted, was not available. I think it tows quite well with the equipment its got, and the Airstreams are known for being the best towing travel trailers anyways. So far so good!

I want to thank everyone at Can-Am RV in London for their help in getting me set up and on the road, and for Don McKelvey from this forum and local WBCCI chapter President for coming over to meet me in person yesterday. Even though I've spent limited time in my Airstream, it really feels comfortable and like home. Can't wait to go camping in it, or I might even be full timing in it (or possibly being a part time full timer, as a snowbird if I can set up my work situation). Anyways, here are the pics of my new (to me) van and Airstream!
Lovely to see. Thanks JSG.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:19 PM   #41
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We should simply stop calling these vehicles "mini-vans". They are a far cry from the original K-car based Dodge product. With many (like the Honda Odyssey) having the capacity to carry 4x8 sheets of building materials inside, they are hardly mini anymore. With hundreds of horsepower, they have more power than muscle cars of the not too distant past. I've suggested that Honda offer a commercial version with a raised roof-I'll get right in line. I think we should just call them "front wheel drive vans".
Nice to see the capabilities of these vehicles fully utilized.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:40 PM   #42
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Maybe "mid size" vans would also be a good name for these vans - especially since there are now 4 cylinder compact vans on the North American market like the Ford Transit Connect and Mazda5 that I think are deserving of the name "minivan." They're small, 4 cylinder vans with sliding rear side doors. Grand Caravans, Siennas (which can come with All-wheel-drive), Odysseys, etc, should really be called mid-size vans when taking into account the size of those smaller vans on the market today, as well as the traditional full size vans. But, old habits die hard, including the names we gave certain segments of vehicles decades ago.

The Grand Caravans, Siennas, Odysseys and even older models like Chevy Uplander, Astro, Ford Windstar and Freestar, etc, could easily pass as mid-size vans today. With the except of the Astro (rear wheel drive) and Sienna (the can come with all-wheel drive), these are usually mid size to large front wheel drive vans that are very capable of hauling lots of cargo, including - as far as I know - sheets of plywood, and towing larger trailers - certainly most Airstreams under 28 feet. Maybe even bigger, but that's pushing it.

Looking back 30 years, it's incredible to see how the original Dodge Caravan has evolved into a much more refined, larger, vastly more powerful and reliable, better built and more fuel efficient van packed with modern and reliable technology that can do just about everything its original model did, only better, and probably for less or comparable money when the money is adjusted for inflation. I think Dodge is giving away the base model American and Canada Value Price Grand Caravans too cheaply. And even the higher end trim levels and the Town & Country seem like bargains when you consider what you get and what the vans are capable of.

It's too bad more people don't realize, or believe that these vans are capable of more than they think, especially trailer towing. I bet there are many people who bought a 3/4 ton or 1 ton, or even diesel dually pickup or Suburban to tow a trailer that a modern "minvan" could tow - all with the added benefit of being smaller to park and more fuel efficient to drive when not towing.
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