Is an after market tow package worthwhile?

http://www.trailmanor.com/WebDocs/Camping-Towing/tow-vehicles.html
I just ran across this ! This seems to be an industry with some deception. Look closely, they show a picture of a RAV and claim it can easily tow a 30 foot pop up camper. No wonder the definition of what is small in the minds of a perspective buyer can be skewed as making a sale seems to be more important then leading people down a path of poor towing choices.

If you tow a 30 foot, single axle trailer, you better not be going over 45 mph or you will get thrown off the road by the trailer. Single axle trailers are prone to whipping around, and the longer they are, the worse they are.

If you can find the tongue weight of the popup that would be a consideration for the need of an upgraded suspension.

Get as close to what the factory included in the Tow Package as you can, we stayed under 3,000lbs and actually more like 1700-2000lbs with our 1988 Grand Voyager with the factory tow package (rated that year for 4,000lbs but nobody took that seriously). These transmissions don’t exactly have a reputation for durability as is so a cooler and a little more frequent servicing would be a good idea. A small pop-up trailer probably isn’t too much heavier than our 16ft boat with a single axle trailer (Loaded for going camping the load was closer to 2000lbs)

I know you said you don’t want a new vehicle, but had you considered an even trade? We used a Chevy Astro AWD to tow stuff all the time. It was great and we never ever had a problem towing anything. Lasted a long time too. All the rear seats came out so it was like having all the benefits of a mini-van, but could have some of the benefits of a truck when needed.

No wonder the definition of what is small in the minds of a perspective buyer can be skewed

Exactly why my first question was- what’s your definition of “small”? You hit it on the head.

The people selling trailers will tell people what they want to hear. Which is why I believe the OP is MIA. Didn’t get the validation they wanted. Didn’t want to be told your new requirements don’t fit the vehicle you currently own.

Through conversations here, I have a pretty good idea regarding the capabilities and experience of the regular posters. I have no reservations about the skills and abilities of Whitey, dagosa, et. al. However, seeing the number of unknown to me people hauling all manner of questionable loads and towing very visibly unsafe rigs on a frequent basis makes me err on the uber safe side when offering advice on boards like this. My family is on the road too and I don’t want to encounter some dude thinking he’s A-OK when the trailer tongue is pointed down at 30 degrees, the front wheels are almost totally unloaded and the trailer is swaying back and forth behind that undersized, under-equipped minivan/SUV at 70 mph on the interstate…

I’m trying to decide what/if my van can safely tow and then will look at particular models of pop up. What further information were you looking for?

To the OP. I have a minivan and don’t load up the interior of it, and feel very comfortable towing behind it. No heavy loads, unbalanced loads, and give good stopping distance cushion when i do.

if you are careful, and truly mean you are driving a short distance (you said 100 miles or less/low rolling hills/relatively flat), go ahead.

after your first time, you will likely know if you are pushing it or not. You can always install everything later/piece by piece.

I don’t get carried away with over doing things, but i also am a cautious driver/courteous to what i am doing. If you likely speed, follow close behind, will likely load up the van and also load up the pop up camper…then don’t do this.

common sense trumps everytime.

Thanks, my thinking is, I would get the aftermarket tow package if it was worth it or not get a trailer at all.

remember, you said 50-100 miles, not cross country. or for hours on end. 1.5 hours each way is not that big of a deal. I drive a 1998 3.8L Grand Caravan w/o towing package. Just a hitch and lights. 160K miles and running strong…but i do it smart.

If you would take as much time and effort to actually READ the posts in your thread as opposed to posting links to definitions everyone here already knows the meaning of, you might know the answer to your last question. If all you want is people to parrot your own preconceived notions, carry on…

Even with an aftermarket tow package your minivan is a marginal vehicle for towing. Perhaps you should really check out the trailer and see if one that weights about 2000 lbs dry will have the size and features you want. You can add about another 1000 lbs of weight for the fluids and associated gear and supplies that will be packed in the trailer and the van. If you can’t find a suitable camping trailer that is 2,000 lbs or less then you need to rethink the tow vehicle before you buy the trailer.

Thanks for the input, folks, but it may be a moot point. As my wife was driving home today, a driver ran a stop sign and smacked into the side. No one was hurt fortunately. We’ll see if it’s totaled or not.

Thank goodness ! So glad she is well.

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