Should I put a tow package on my

I have a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country with Stow and Go seating. It currently does not have a tow package on it. I just purchased a small 16 foot bass boat and need something to pull it to the lake.

Should I put the hardware on this vehicle to pull my boat?

Whether you should or not is up to you. However, Chrysler automatics are not known for their ruggedness.

If you install a proper hitch and wiring and a transmission oil cooler, and treat the vehicle with respect, you’ll be OK. I assume the distance to the lake is not too long. I assume it has a V6 engine.

Factories install “Tow Packages”…After that, consumers install air-shocks, a hitch and a tranny-cooler and call that a “tow-package”. But it isn’t…Good Luck…

no. the distance to the lake is not very far. maybe at most 120 miles. This trip might be once or twice a year. I am very easy on her and show lots of love.

how much would a oil cooler cost? (ballpark)

thanks for your response…didn’t know about this oil cooler addition I need to make.

How much does the bass boat and trailer weigh? What does your owner’s manual say about the towing capacity?

It’s simple. If the gross vehicle weight rating of the boat and trailer is lower than the towing capacity, you should be fine.

There are small bass boats that are light enough that they can be towed by a minivan. Make sure the one you buy is one of those.

If you tow with a minivan you’re shortening the life of the transmission. Change the tranny fluid more often if you tow with it and don’t let the tranny fluid get too hot.

I would like to add: If you plan to buy one of those big fancy fiberglass boats the professionals use, go to a Bass tournament and take a look at what the pros use to tow their boats. I doubt you will see any minivans.

If the tongue weight compresses your suspension too much to tow vehicle and trailer LEVEL,
do not put air shocks.
invest in air helper springs such as AirLift brand.
Shock brackets are not built to hold such wieght.

For ideas on proper towing equipment see RV publications like Camping World and Trailer Life.

I’ve installed a number over the years and the cooler itself is a small radiator with some hoses. I typically cost $40-$90 depending on size. Any good automotive shop has them for your vehicle. Don’t go to the dealer for this. Installation is about 1/2 hour or $40-$50 or so. I installed all mine, but you may not want to do this.

We get tow questions all the time. For the most part, the answers depend upon the individual capabilities of the tow vehicle, the actual weight of the what is being towed, what conditions you plan to tow under and how often. Of those, only the first is an absolute from OP, and all answers we can give are general tow suggestions ideas. I’ve seen aluminum 16’ bass boats with a 25 hp 2 stroke, a Honda Civic could tow w/o breathing hard on very short trips with no hills. Then I’ve seen 16" FGs, all decked out with equipment, with dual 4 strokes that a 3/4 ton 4 wd diesel might be necessary for secure towing to the lake over rough camp roads after a 1000 mile jaunt at 70 mph over interstates. Where are You ?

16ft fiberglass with 80 hp 1969 mercury engine. I’m only going to use my van to tow the boat once or twice a year. No big hills. Mainly flat, and the lake I plan on going to is only about 40-50 miles away with half the road being interstate. I also have a 1997 awd town and country that already has a tow package so I am thinking about using that vehicle instead. The only bad part about this idea is (1) it has 140000 miles and (2) I’m a painter and the smell is almost unbearable for the family to ride in.

That is where I’m at now. Thanks for your help and suggestions everybody!

16ft fiberglass with 80 hp 1969 mercury engine.

What is the gross vehicle weight rating of the boat/trailer combination? It should be on a metal placard somewhere on the boat trailer, and might be abbreviated as “GVWR.”

Regardless of “tow packages”, I would keep my tow weight under the manufacturers standard tow weight. Your car appears around 2000 lbs. Any way you cut it, your boat, motor trailer, gear and passengers will exceed the limits of the gross vehicle weight limit of either minivan. IMHO, regardless of the infrequency, 40 to 50 miles occasionally, is doable with either vehicle, but I don’t feel safe acknowledging it. If you can possibly afford it, a trade in for a real truck based van (GMC) etc. would be a great all round investment. A crew cab truck with cap could keep the smell from passengers. Fishing trip gear gets underestimated like the fish they catch gets over.
Sorry…that’s a substantial boat and the family wouldn’t appreciate a break down, regardless of what the tow weight might officially be. It only takes one trip to break something.
Good luck…dump the minivan.