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Old 21-06-2013, 00:35   #1
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Boat Towing

I have a macgregor venture 22 bare bones and id like to hope that my minivan is strong enough to pull it, at least on fairly level roads. Does anyone have experience with this? The van is a 02 dodge grand caravan with a 3.3 v6. The towing capacity is 2200lbs and the boat by itself weighs 1800 I believe.
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Old 21-06-2013, 00:48   #2
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Re: Boat towing

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Originally Posted by Airshac View Post
I have a macgregor venture 22 bare bones and id like to hope that my minivan is strong enough to pull it, at least on fairly level roads. Does anyone have experience with this? The van is a 02 dodge grand caravan with a 3.3 v6. The towing capacity is 2200lbs and the boat by itself weighs 1800 I believe.
It should be OK.
Just make sure you have good brakes and the wheel bearings on the trailer are in good shape before you get underway.
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Old 21-06-2013, 00:52   #3
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Re: Boat towing

Cutting it close for me. If it was occasional; and short; then yeah I'd do it. But you will eventually have to pull it out a steep ramp, or up a tight windy road out of a canyon, and I'd want more cushion.
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Old 21-06-2013, 03:42   #4
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Re: Boat towing

That 1800 lbs is the design displacement. Actual weight of the empty boat should be lighter, as the designer assumes there will be normal loading with crew + gear. Can you take it to the scales and get a precise weight for trailer + boat? Then you'll know what you're dealing with.

I second the advice to have good trailer brakes. If the trailer doesn't have them -- add them. Get weld-on brake flanges if the axle doesn't already have flanges.
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Old 21-06-2013, 04:12   #5
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Re: Boat towing

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Originally Posted by Airshac View Post
I have a macgregor venture 22 bare bones and id like to hope that my minivan is strong enough to pull it, at least on fairly level roads. Does anyone have experience with this? The van is a 02 dodge grand caravan with a 3.3 v6. The towing capacity is 2200lbs and the boat by itself weighs 1800 I believe.


Check with the manufacturer. Minivans have limits for towing, just like all vehicles.
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Old 21-06-2013, 04:55   #6
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Re: Boat towing

By the way, Airshac -- Edmunds says your towing capacity is 3800 lbs, not 2200. So things are looking a bit more comfortable.

2002 Dodge Grand Caravan SE Passenger Minivan 3.3L V6 FFV 4-speed Automatic Features and Specs

I still harp on the brakes, though. I was recently towing an unbraked trailer with a MacGregor 21 (total weight of boat + trailer maybe 2000 lbs) using my bigass Chevy Suburban (tow capacity 7800 lbs), and I probably got a little too comfortable, feeling that the car towed like there was no trailer back there . . . but coming down a hill and needing to stop at a stop sign, I found myself pushed an extra 5 or 6 feet into the intersection. I want to be able to tow the same trailer with our smaller sedan, so the trailer now has brakes.
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Old 21-06-2013, 05:17   #7
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Thanks for the input every one. I'm going to do a little test driving this weekend to see how it handles. And I'll look into add on brakes. I guess they would be electric?
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Old 21-06-2013, 05:32   #8
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Yes on electric brakes. Any trailer dealer can prolly add them. Consider adding a transmission cooler too and avoid an expensive transmission repair.

Good luck!
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