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Old 04-20-2009, 07:52 PM   #1
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The tow vehicle confessional

Our tow vehicle is a 2006 Dodge Caravan SXT.

The one with the massive 3.8 litre V6. It's equipped with an advanced hitch, with weight distribution devices, anti-sway bars. I have a honking big transmission cooler. I tow with the column shifter firmly in "3" (not overdrive, except on long downhills). Our mileage when towing is about 15 mpg. When not towing, it's 20 to 25 (city/highway). When towing, we leave about 3 gallons of water in the fresh water tank because there's always going to be water where we're going. We don't pack, nor do we need to pack, 7 or 8 hundred pounds of stuff when we travel.

I know it's not the ideal tow vehicle. When the van dies (and it would probably give my dad a rueful pleasure if it burned out the transmission while towing) we will replace it with something bigger. But that something bigger has to be able to hold 6 people, plus two dogs, and not make me feel like I'm driving a truck, so it will probably be whatever GM or Ford is offering in a 3-row-seating format (Suburbans are looking nicer and nicer). But I expect it'll be 3 or 4 years before we need to replace it.

So far, touch wood, my knuckles haven't approached white in colour while towing, and we haven't had to stop to change pants. We drove back from Algonquin in a rain storm down windy roads, and I felt secure.

This is not to say that I will ignore the weather, or drive beyond my ability. I'm an accountant, after all.

I've greatly enjoyed reading the forums, and soaking up the knowledge and all the points of view, and the relative civility of the discussions. I hope to spend many enjoyable years here, and so I thought it would be good to unburden myself about the minivan TV.

When we make it to rallies, we'll be hard to miss!

Maybe there are others out there, like us.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:59 PM   #2
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Was it set up by Can Am RVs?
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:26 PM   #3
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What's to confess?....

Your enjoying your trailer, thats what important.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pageclot View Post
Our tow vehicle is a 2006 Dodge Caravan SXT.

The one with the massive 3.8 litre V6.
Compared to the 150HP, 3.0 V6 engine we had in our Nissan van that is big. The Nissan towed our 23' for many, trouble free years. Enjoy your travels with the SXT and your Airstream.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:41 PM   #5
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We have a Grand Caravan, but made the mistake of getting the 3.3 litre. So before we can tow the Sovereign, we need to get another tow vehicle.

We're looking at Ford Freestars, and that big 4.2 litre V6 makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Seriously, that is what we will very likely get. Our son has an F150, and while it's a marvellous truck for what he uses it for, we want a minivan, and that's that.

::whew:: There, I said it too. Glad I got it off my chest. Thanks for opening the subject, Pageclot.
It's true, all Canadians are wild-eyed crazy about TVs.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:35 PM   #6
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... I won't tell anyone I'm thinking of a Dodge Magnum.....
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Was it set up by Can Am RVs?
Sure was. They were/are great. It's probably a good thing they're not closer, as I'm sure we'd pester them by wanting to come by and look at all the trailers.

The first time we drove there, late February, to look at a trailer, it was during a snowstorm, and there were a bunch of AS owners and trailers inside their garage for a meet and greet. In a snowstorm. They all looked very happy.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:19 AM   #8
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Its whatever you yourself are comfortable with. I as a professional driver(retired) feel mini-vans are to light and underpowered for anything over 16 to 19 ft of trailer.
Its not your daddys Caddy or Oldsmobile that weighed in a more that 5000 lbs and had a full box frame under them.
So I will be glad to stick to my Ford F350 that I know weighs more that my trailer and has brakes enough to stop that trailer in case of a trailer brake failure.I still get 14 mpg around town and 20 on the highway and 17 towing.
Again its all about comfort zone and safety and each individuals concept of those two items.
If we all liked the same things there would only be one auto mfgr and 1 trailer mfgr.
Just be safe out there and enjoy the gifts we have.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:18 AM   #9
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I guess it depends what year Dad's Oldsmobile was:

1977 Oldsmobile 98 (still body-on-frame, but first "downsized" year) = 4070 lbs.

1974 Oldsmobile 98 = 4990 lbs

The Dodge Caravan SXT in this thread = 4515 lbs.

Tom
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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I still get 14 mpg around town and 20 on the highway and 17 towing.
You are getting amazing mileage on that F350, Mike. Why, Consumers Reports said "Expect 14 mpg overall on regular fuel." for the F-150!

ps: the curbweight of the Ford Freestar is 4,275 lbs. My trailer is 5,100 lbs "dry", and max weight is 7,100.

I have told my wife that we must avoid repeating Lucy Ricardo's mistake of collecting large rocks as they toured in the movie "The Long Long Trailer".
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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Magnum

Hey Pageclot... you wont miss us either at rallies...
34ft Dodge Magnum Hemi

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...1&d=1240325521
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:45 PM   #12
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Aage
I have check time after time tank after tank. It does not vary only a little. My truck is a SW, Longbed. CrewCab with 7.3 liter International Harvester (Ford) Diesel and and Allison Automatic.
I drove over the road for 45 yrs. I seem to be able to squeeze the best mileage out of my diesel.It takes a steady toe and patience. You cannot expect diesels to act like gas jobs.They are not meant to go from 0 to 60 in 6.1 seconds.They develop torque to pull with,and speed comes later. I didn't get that kind of mileage till I passed the break in point of about 60k miles. I'm also very religious about oil changes,I use the same oil as the big trucks. Its also important to keep an eye on Air filters every other oil change. That's my secret and now its not a secret anymore.
Roger
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:07 PM   #13
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Well said Roger..

When we got the 06 8.1 4:10 Burb I thought the MPG wouldn't be close to what we were getting with the 95 454 3:73. It had been "massaged" a little to help along those lines.

NOT the 06 is 2mpg better all around.

Slow down, keep your brain on your right foot, enjoy the ride, you'll learn to love it!!!
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:22 PM   #14
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I acutally have towed mine short distances with a hyundai santa fe!!! It actually towed real nice. However I will be looking for a suburban, tahoe, or expedition within the next year.
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