Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-10-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
buena vista , Virginia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2
dodge caravan as a TV?

I am shopping for a small, used Airstream, my first. My current car is a 2006 Dodge Caravan (3.8L automatic). The manual says I can only pull 1,350 pounds with 3-5 persons and luggage. However, with Dodge's "trailer tow package", I could pull 3,350 pounds. Does anyone have experience with a Dodge Caravan as a TV? Is the "trailer tow package" something that could be added on? If so, which Airstream trailers would be under the 3,350 (with the recommended deductions)? Thank you for any advice!
__________________

__________________
car-go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2009, 10:13 AM   #2
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,124
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
Welcome to the forums.

Here is a list of dry weights. With the low towing limits you will be very limited as far as trailer selection. These are dry weights with out any options (Air Conditioner, awnings, hitch etc.) or personal items added to the trailer. It also does not include water or propane.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf weights.pdf (100.7 KB, 71 views)
__________________

__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2009, 11:04 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
RBolton's Avatar
 
Belington , West Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 304
car-go, I am a Dodge Dealer. Regardless of charts and ratings, I would not recommend towing more than about a ton with the Caravan and that is with the trailer tow pkg. Tongue weight is a real concern too.

There is not a "kit" for field installation of the Trailer Tow Pkg. It includes rear suspension, electrical system and cooling upgrades.

Roger
__________________
RBolton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2009, 10:04 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBolton View Post
car-go, I am a Dodge Dealer. Regardless of charts and ratings, I would not recommend towing more than about a ton with the Caravan and that is with the trailer tow pkg. Tongue weight is a real concern too.
I'm curious. Why is the tongue weight a real concern with the Caravan? Are they that bad of a vehicle? We see so many of them around here towing TT's. For many years our 93 Nissan Van easily handled the 600lbs of tongue weight on our 23'.
__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 05:55 AM   #5
The handy accountant
 
pageclot's Avatar
 
1976 27' Overlander
Scarborough , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 165
Images: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by car-go View Post
I am shopping for a small, used Airstream, my first. My current car is a 2006 Dodge Caravan (3.8L automatic). The manual says I can only pull 1,350 pounds with 3-5 persons and luggage. However, with Dodge's "trailer tow package", I could pull 3,350 pounds. Does anyone have experience with a Dodge Caravan as a TV? Is the "trailer tow package" something that could be added on? If so, which Airstream trailers would be under the 3,350 (with the recommended deductions)? Thank you for any advice!
Many Dodge Caravans came standard with the tow package upgrades (transmission cooler, heavy duty alternator, etc etc). Ours did, even though the invoice didn't specify the tow package.

We have the 3.8L automatic SXT, and after installing a weight distributing hitch (reinforced by CanAm), anti-sway bars, and brake controller (all vital parts of a good hitch), we were good to go for towing our '76 Overlander. Not ideal, but we weren't about to buy another vehicle before our current one is worn out. We take it easy, put it in 3rd gear and let it rev, and touch wood, we've been fine.

I do drool when I look at Dodge Sprinters, however, with their medium sized diesel engines and large interior roominess. When we win the lottery, we're upgrading our tow vehicle (and everything else).

Don't get discouraged, and best of luck on your search! I would look at older units that are lighter (and narrower), and maybe restrict myself to 25' or shorter.

-----
Kevin
__________________
pageclot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 07:18 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Denis4x4's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Currently Looking...
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,111
I just set up my wife's '08 T&C with 4.0 V6 and tow package to pull a new t@b that weighs 1600# empty. I went this route because the t@b and larger t@da both have surge brakes. For the record, I have to add the t@b to the list of quality trailers I've owned that includes our 25' Safari and a Featherlight car hauler with living quarters.
__________________
Denis4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 03:03 PM   #7
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
buena vista , Virginia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2
re-thinking airstream

I guess I'm wondering if an Airstream is practical with my Dodge Grand Caravan, though I am heartsick to give up the idea. I've been told that even the old, lighter ones would be a strain. What are some good sources for used, lighter brands of travel trailers? I want to travel with my parents this year, while they are still able. Have appreciated all your replies and would appreciate further thoughts from anyone.
__________________
car-go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 03:35 PM   #8
Moderator
 
Stefrobrts's Avatar

 
1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,905
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
It sounds like you're worried about traveling with elderly parents, and for that I think you should consider the layout of the trailer for comfort and convenience for them as well. If you're just talking about taking a few trips through the summer, you might want to just rent a small motorhome. If you're talking about hitting the road for the entire summer, you might consider if they'll be comfortable sleeping on a pull out bed or a folded down dinette, which is what you'll probably have in any trailer small enough for your caraven to tow.
__________________
Stephanie




Stefrobrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 05:18 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
1966 30' Sovereign
1963 22' Safari
orlando , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 280
Images: 9
I had a '01 Grand Caravan which in itself was a good camper.25 mpg and ample sleeping room with the 3rd seat removed and back seat folded down.Using it as a tv is another story.The transmission was nothing more than a dart/valiant trans turned sideways with the tail shaft removed.My brother had a '06 Caravan which he pulled a 4000 lb moving trailer from texas to florida.He burnt up the trans in Alabama so a Caravan as tv is only good if you are going one way-to the repair shop.Vans are good campers.Volkswagon campers in the 60's were killer,but I digress.Welcome to the forum.In passing,my first Airstream was delivered for I had no tv.
__________________
richie rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Sorry bud, but yer pop-up or base camp bound. I can see no way possible you are going to be able to tow a trailer, cargo, fuel and passengers and keep it under 3600lbs......
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 07:59 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,632
I also own a T@B that I tow with my Honda Odyssey minivan. (Pulls it great.) I admit to considering a larger trailer, particularly for the bathroom. You've got a few options, as I see it, if your goal is to stay anywhere near the towing limits:

- Old (and I mean old) Airstream - as in a 60s Caravel or Bambi. Not cheap when restored. But they're light - under 2000 lbs for the Bambi.

- 77-79 Argosy Minuet 20' - dry weight of 2500 lbs and a fairly light tongue weight.

- Newer Bambi 16' trailers are around 2900 lbs dry weight.

Given your goals - traveling with your parents - I'd actually consider something different. I'd look at (indeed I have been looking at) a Trailmanor. These hard-wall pop-up trailers are very light, and give the advantage of having a large bed at either end, great for adults sharing a trailer. You could also look at their new hard-sided fixed-wall Elkmont, a 24' trailer that weighs 2500 lbs and has a large fixed bed up front.

There are other "white box" trailers that combine light weight and decent space inside. Dutchman (part of the Thor congolomerate that includes T@B and Airstream) builds the Eco, a fully composite lightweight trailer.

I admit, these options aren't cool looking like Airstreams (or my T@B.) Vanity may be what ultimately sways me to indulging in aluminitus. But these trailers have some unique attributes for those of us who don't want to buy a heftier tow vehicle.

Tom
__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 08:05 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
I went this route because the t@b and larger t@da both have surge brakes.
The T@B has surge brakes - the T@DA does not. (It uses a different chassis from the T@B's European Al-ko chassis.)

Tom
__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 08:31 PM   #13
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Dave and Pat tow a Minuet (the lightest out there) with a 2003 Caravan CT. If I recall the story john hd told, the CT is a commercial Caravan with somewhat higher capacities. I'm not finding much info on that model at Edmunds or Kelly Blue Book. That said, there are few significant mountain climbs within 1000 miles of Madison, WI. Such marginal rigs are for two people trailers max.

Without talking about the uncommon find of a lightweight Caravel or Globetrotter and your interest in significantly rehabbing a lighter vintage unit, what we're really talking about here is whether your adventure & life-changing Airstream choices should be frozen by a limited tow vehicle you will have for only a few more years.

More recent or older Airstreams will both require an investment (money vs. possible significant rehab time). Either way you'd be happier with a more significant tow vehicle. Remember how SUVs were parked with 'for sale' signs at the end of last summer? You'll end up putting more into an Airstream than you will in budgeting a mid to large tow vehicle. Make the Airstream 'for keeps.' Set up a plan for trading your Caravan and acquiring an Airstream? It might take more time than you'd currently wish but I'm sure you could get there.
__________________

__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
09 Dodge 4227free Tow Vehicles 14 04-22-2009 04:45 AM
Dodge Cummins Brad Hunt Tow Vehicles 33 12-19-2007 08:57 AM
Dodge Magnum R/T sieve Member Introductions 16 08-04-2007 09:22 PM
Looking for a caravan/mini-caravan from CA to Perry Mac1 WBCCI Forum 3 02-06-2007 06:12 AM
Dodge Durango cameront120 Tow Vehicles 2 11-09-2006 02:03 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.