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Town & Country Pull a Boat?

cubicalratcubicalrat Posts: 1
edited April 2013 in Chrysler
Hi Gang! I would like to buy a minivan for the family in the next month, but would also like to buy a fishing boat in five years when my kids are old enough to appreciate it. The more I research the topic, the more confused I become. Some state that minivans should not be used for towing, even if they come with a towing package (Class II - 3500ibs for the town and country). One of the reasons listed is because its front wheel drive. I have a 00 Explorer that I pulled my dads bass boat that is ~2500 lb. It has less horse power and torque than the specs for the town country. But its a 4x4, I do not think I ever tested pulling the boat out with only two wheel drive. I do not recall ever seeing any minivans at the boat ramp over the last decade. My question to the team . . . has anyone sucessfully used their minivan to pull their boat? Was it able to easily pull the boat out the water on a wet boat ramp? I tried calling Chrysler and also spoken with a dealer, but they just read me back the specs and stated it could pull `3XXX lbs with the towing package. Thanks!

Comments

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    i don't think the issue is the towing capacity, but rather the limitation of any FWD vehicle when going up an incline. There is a natural shift of weight off the front wheels to the rear when going up a hill. This rearward shift reduces the traction of the front (driving) wheels. So couple this with putting more weight on the rear of the van (with a loaded boat trailer) which by itself lightens the front end and trying to pull the combo up a wet boat ramp with reduced traction and you see where the problem may be.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    +1 to srs_49's comment. We have a T&C with the 4.0L V6 and towing package, but I'll never put a hitch on it. Wanted the towing package for the bigger brakes and alternator, transmission cooler and other goodies. I tow our boat with a 4x4 V6 4Runner. There's a reason why you don't see minivans at the boat ramp, and srs_49 nailed it.
  • Have been towing a little 700lb. sail boat from 5.000 feet up over a pass and sailed at 9000 feet without issue. it will spin the tires on the ramp if you leave the brake on.
    Last week pulled a 15 foot 30 hp Aluminium fishing boat over 10000 feet up and down grades for 200 plus miles each way without issues. 18 mpg if you care.
    I left the T&C in economy mode going West with the cruise control and it bogged down going over Monarch Pass. Going East took it out of economy mode and it stayed above the speed limit of 45 mph on the mountain road.
    I use the gears going down hill.
  • I have a 2012 T & C and tow a Macgregor 19 sailboat with no trouble. I towed across country with both my 2002 and 2006 T & Cs with no trouble, even hauling it out on ramps with the water ballast full so weight of boat, trailer, water, motor, etc. was about 3000 lbs.

    I'm considering replacing the Mac 19 with a Mac 26X which weighs about 4000 to 4500 lbs depending on items in the boat. This exceeds the rating and I'm concerned about going up steep hills and maybe even the issue of losing traction on steep wet ramps since the boat weight on the hitch lowers the traction on the front wheels. Anyone ever pull a weight this large?
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    The general rule of thumb is to tow no more than 80% of the rated capacity of your vehicle, so if vehicle is rated at 3500#, tow no more than 2800#. With front wheel drive vehicles, I would tow no more than 70% (just my opinion). The issue is the stress put on the transmission. You'll cook it going up those steep hills. Also, when towing, one needs to replace the transmission fluid more often than called for in the service manual, regardless of drive type.
  • I recently began using my 2000 T&C to pull my 18' Bayliner outboard ski boat. Lifting the rear door really makes backing down the ramp easier. And I have never had the wheels spin coming back up the ramp. I always use the middle gear when pulling to keep the rpms and trans fluid moving (@2000 rpms) and use the low gear and proceed slowly when pulling back up the ramp. Not saying that I might not have future problems but all seems well now.
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