Towing Capacities

Where can I get a list of the towing capacities of various vehicles? I am towing a 16’ Scamp trailer with a Town & Country and everyone, including my mechanic, is telling me I will blow out my transmission in the middle of Iowa! We like the minivan for it cargo room, and the Mrs. is not if favor of a pickup. We did have a Jeep Liberty for a while but I was told “It rode too rough”.
Bye the way the Scamp’s max gross weight is 3500# but we usually are under 3000#.
Thanks for any replys

The best source of towing information for your vehicle is contained within the owners manual (hopefully) stored in your glovebox.

Personally, I think I think your mechanic is onto something about messing up your transmission. That sounds like a lot of trailer for a FWD minivan.

Good luck.

I’m really not sure…but
Try searching through a towing resource like Camping World magazine ( and their on-line ) …or, one of their RV stores may have printed info about towing vehicles.

That’s the first that comes to mind and I’ll bet there’s other towing focused resources.

Ford has a separate towing brochure on their cars and trucks, avilable at the dealer if you ask specifically for it.
I’ll bet that Chrysler dealers have similar info available.

Did your T&C come with the factory towing package? If not, you’re pulling way to much. If it did, you’re right at the limit, which is just about the same for all minivans as far as I can tell:

My wife’s 98 Ford Windstar’s towing capacity was 3500 lbs with the factory towing package which included PS and trans coolers. It was 2000 lbs without the package. Her 06 Toyota Sienna also has a 3500 lb towing capacity. Personally I would not use either vehicle to tow your trailer, too close to the limits for my liking.

Ed B.

Towing 3000lbs every once in a while is probably OK…but I wouldn’t do it a lot.

And I’m NOT a big fan of towing with a fwd vehicle.

Agree with other posters; you are heading for trouble without a special towing package.

I agree, 3000 lbs continuously towing with a vehicle not designed for it will cause additional wear. These capacities all, must be taken with a grain of salt and a truck rwd with a 4 cyl and a robust drive train but with the right gearing would serve you better. Medium size pick up with a v6 would be ideal. I know your wife may not like pick ups, but a truck based SUV or heavier, car like handling of a Honda Ridgeline or midsize Highlander or Pilot or indeed a truck, is what you need.

If you tow 3000 lbs with a van and start loading it up with gear and people, I guarantee you will easily exceed it’s total vehicle weight capacity which includes both load and tow weights. On many vehicles like yours a 3500 lb tow weight assumes one driver and very light load inside. Trucks and truck based vehicles should have higher total capacities and will not only be safer, but more reliable when towing this weight over time. Whether your wife wants one or not, choose the right vehicle. I let my wife choose the appliances she feels are best, but when it comes to safe operating cars and trucks, I get the nod. You asked, you took the initiative to find out. You take ownership of the decision. I would .get the right vehicle ! It ain’t a minivan, especially this one and generally most fwd cars.
Everyone can’t be wrong…I predict mechanical and /or safety problems in our future with this van towing this trailer. Carnak has spoken

I don’t know of a “list” of vehicle towing capacities. It is a hard list to compile; you have lots of brands, models, motor sizes, and transmissions, all change the towing capacity. Then a vehicle with a factory “towing package” can tow up to 2X as much as the same vehicle without a towing package.

You can go to and select a vehicle by year and equipment and find out the towing capacity. Unfortunately you have to do the research one vehicle at a time.

If your Caravan has a smaller V6 motor, and doesn’t have a factory towing package I’d say you are just at your limit or just a bit over it.

Towing at capacity or above, although it feels doable driving around town…can frighteningly rear its ugly head at the very very worst of times…
----- I speak from eye popping, pedal to the floor, mess my pants, scary experience !

When selecting a tow vehicle …then something to tow…leave ‘‘headroom’’ in the specs or you’ll soon wish you did.

Anything capable of safely towing the Scamp will likely “ride rough.” And do I read a Green Acres conflict in this post?