I've read through the hundreds of posts debating the whole "how much can I tow with X minivan" and I understand the various weight restrictions and implications to safety, vehicle wear, etc.
I have a 2010 T&C Touring w/NO tow package. What after-market upgrades are suggested to approximate the manuf. towing package?
The suggestions have all been vague like "big trany cooler" or "suspension". I really need specifics if possible.
Here are my requirements:
I tow infrequently, perhaps 3-5 times/yr with 4x8 trailer for yard soil, furniture buys, camping equipment. However, I'll be picking up a moderate POPUP camper and tow with the vehicle passenger loaded. Realistically, camping only 3 times/year, mostly flat terrain, travel at most 200 miles one-way, in summer weather (no crazy winds or storms).
TV Basic Additions: Class III hitch w/2" receiver & 4/7 pin wiring harness, ball mount, riser.
Trailer Upgrades: Brake controller & weight distribution bars if the popup trailer needs them.
Question#1 is TV Upgrades: Are these specific upgrades below sufficient?
* 2010 T&C Rear Suspension Enhancement example @ etrailer
* 2010 T&C Transmission Cooler example @ etrailer
Question 2: My vehicle has a Lifetime Max-Care warranty, wondering if the below modifications start really pushing it by giving (legit or otherwise) Chrysler an "out" for warranty exclusion repairs due to after-market mods.
* Engine Oil cooler?
* Upgrading existing radiator possible?
* Brake upgrades possible?
I don't know how these or other options compare to the manuf. upgraded T&C Tow Package. I need guidance on how much to upgrade the vehicle given the little amount of towing will be done, albeit not a light garden trailer anymore.
The two parts from e-trailer well most definitely be needed. After I get home tonight I will try and find out what else is needed for the T&C.
As to the Max-Care, you will need the call the number in tbe booklet and ask them. I too have that coverage on our 2010 Jeep Liberty. I would think you will be OK however beings the drive line has a lifetime coverage call to verify. Also have them send you something in writing if they say your coverage will be fine!
Perrysburg Dodgeboy 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab SLT Cummins HO
2005 Keystone Cougar 304 BHS
Chrysler the only one to pay back 100% of their loans from the Government. *The Old Car Company" still owes 1.6 billion. Is that better Chuckles
Being it's a 2010 it's already equipped with an adaquate trans cooler.
Main things are a full size spare as the donut will not take the stress of towing/weight and actualy weighing the van to determine the real towing capacity (GCWR-actaul loaded van weight).
A weight distribution hitch may be nessecary depending on the rear end drop when hooked up to the camper.
I didn't know how much to trust etrailer's product line. Just because a company only offers 1 Rear Suspension Enhancement for my vehicle doesn't mean it will be sufficient for me. But there aren't any metrics/specs other than "Capacity: 1,600 lbs". Don't know if I can trust UHaul to upgrade just because they say it's just as good or better.
Thanks I had completely forgotten about the donut.
I'll definitely get the weight distribution bar for the popup. I'd rather spend the extra money to be safe, but heard they can be unsafe when used unnecessarily.
I'll call MaxCare but I doubt they'll say or send me anything -- it's already stated in the contract about after market additions (and in CA the law for warranty exclusions is mostly favored to the consumer). I guess my Question#2 was b/c I was feeling spendy to upgrade for towing, but didn't want to go overboard and have glaring mods for the dealer service folks to draw attention to and assume I'm towing some 30' trailer or something b/c of it.
Having an added tran-cooler + suspension is one thing, but I wanted opinions how much doing more (like oil coolers, radiator, etc) would be unnecessary? and draw the unwanted attention.
Adding a weight distribution hitch means you really don't need any suspension mods. The hitch does the job of transfering weight from the rear of the vehicle to the front to bring it back to it's normal attitude. Now it may be lower but it will be lower all around and you won't end up with a non-towing rough ride many suspension aids give you.
For discussion, I'm assuming about a 3k popup. Doubt you will need WD. If you can get airbags for your vehicle, I would recommend them just to make the rig travel level. They do not improve your carrying capacity. Get the largest rated hitch for the vehicle. Trailer brakes and a controller should be seriously considered, especially if you'll be doing some mountainous trips.
Even if you have a factory installed transmission cooler, an additional or larger replacement cooler is required. I would also recommend a transmission temp guage, because the tranny will be the first thing to go and you might save it if you see the temp is getting to high. Wouldn't hurt to install a combo water/oil/tranny temp guage.
WRT to your warranty, thoroughly read your contract to determine what, if any, effect your mods will have on the warranty.
2002 Keystone Cougar 286, 8,400lbs loaded, pulled with a 2004 F150 Supercrew, 5.4, 3.73 gears. Retired and enjoying life
Before you go out and spend a bunch of money on a WD hitch make sure the receiver hitch installed on your van is rated for a WD hitch.
Not all of them are.
2002 Chevy 3500 DRW 8.1L/Allison
2000 Palomino B1500
...and the reason why I need a DRW to haul a Palomino:
2004 United 7x14 tandem axle enclosed toy trailer
2011 PJ 8x20 7-ton deckover equipment trailer