Mini-Vans can be really incredible tow vehicles if used within reason.
I think that the minivan and a pop up can be a very good towing match. Here are some notes, and I am really sorry if this gets long winded.
1) Verify that your vehicle is in good working order,
2) Run your tires at MAX PSI
3) Get a STACKED PLATE transmission cooler such as a Derale or a B&M, get one sized for your Rig (truck and trailer)
4) Run trailer brakes, without exception. - A lot of PUP's have "surge" brakes which are similar to what a lot of boat trailer and U-Haul trailers run. They are OK, but electric brakes are better IMHO. Why? Well, that leads us to #5
5) Electric Brake Controller- Lots and Lots of options out there. Main thing to remember is time based is JUNK, you want a proportional controller. If you want to limit research on electric brake controllers, get a Tekonsha Primus IQ, Prodigy P2, or Prodigy P3. Read the instructions and make sure you understand its operation.
6) Get the strongest rated receiver made for your vehicle. Preferrably, you want one that can take Weight Distribution... That leads me to number 7.
7) Mini weight distribution kit designed for PUP's. Etrailer sells them, I think Reese calls theirs the Mini 350 or something like that.
8) Sway control. A simply sway bar would be fine for your set up.
9) Don't forget your Tow Mirrors!!!! Makesh is the best, but CIPA and others work fine as well.
I know the this seems like a lot of information, most folks just drop the trailer on the ball and go, but if you heed the advice from this forum, stay up on your maintenance on your vehicle and trailer, you will have an amazing towing combo.
Thanks! And good luck!
TT: 1995 Layton 2910
Tow Vehicle: 1999 F-350, v10, 2wd, Crew Cab, Dually
Hitch: Draw-Tite Trunnion WD Hitch
Sway Control: Valley dual friction sway control
Brake Control: Tekonsha Voyager
"It's Kind of Fun To Do The Impossible"
in total agreement with jerem0621. keep the speed down and make sure you have all the equipment to do the job. if you just purchased the van you may be able to add a chrysler extended warrenty to it. there used to be a short grace period to add one even if not purchased at a chrysler dealer. just dont tell anyone that you had the whole family in it while towing. also when haveing a cooler installed make sure they use trans cooler line on it and not just the fuel line like most kits come with. trans fluid is not compatible with a lot of that fuel hose and the lines can blow out at bad times.
2000 K3500 CCLB DRW 6.5 TURBO
2009 Cougar 320 SRX
2007 atlas 24 auto hauler
1987 GMC origional low miles
My other concern would be brakes -- I had a late 90s Caravan and the rotors kept warping. I got my Pathfinder because I wanted beefy brakes for the mountains. The brakes have been great (although I usually use the transmission on long downgrades).
I have a 2005 Dodge Caravan (3.3L/v6) I love the idea of the trip - but not at the expense of the van! I need it to last..any thoughts??
Ten years ago we had a van similar to yours with the same questions.
No where could we get accurate answers until we taked with the towing specialist at the Airstream dealer in London Ont. They have set up 1,000's of mini vans for towing and have the knowledge and experience to give you the answers you are looking for. The advice we received from them has saved us $1,000.'s of dollars and 10 years of problem free towing. A two hour drive to London would we very wothwhile. Best of luck.
Add a trans fluid cooler and enjoy the trip.
2010 Cougar 322QBS 5er
2007 Dodge 3500 SRW Megacab, 4x4, 5.9L Cummins, 3.73, 48RE auto HYPERTECH MAX ENERGY or DIABLO PREDATOR tuning MBRP 4" Turbo back Scangauge2 for Boost, Coolant temp, Rail press & Trans Temp
Torklift Stable Loads