There forums are usually highly educational for people to access and learn about their vehicle's systems, capabilities, characteristics, etc. Towing is one of the topics that people ask about. What I am saying in my previous post, textbook or not, is folks who want to tow should realize there are limits for towing capacity that engineers place on vehicles. Pacifica is no exception. If you have the FACTORY installed tow package (not a do it yourself or dealer installed receiver), the Pacifica can tow 3500#. If you have a do it yourself or dealer installed receiver, the Pacifica is downgraded to tow 1500#. This may be perfectly fine for many people; bike rack, cargo carrier, small utility trailer of small boat.
If you tow more than your vehicle is rated to tow, you can get into trouble. For example, your trailer begins to sway at higher speeds (tail wagging the dog) or your engine overheats or your braking is inadequate. My point is that the factory tow package provides features that will help make your towing experience safe, more enjoyable, and help prevent premature mechanical failures on your tow vehicle. This is not only textbook, but prudent towing advise and practice. All boaters out there know that there are limits on what size engine you can place on a boat. For example, mine has a maximum HP rating of 175 HP so I would not want to put a 200 or 250 HP on it due to safety issues and damage to the transom (not to mention it is illegal). Same goes for towing, Stay within the limits of your ACTUAL tow capacity and you will have a safer and more enjoyable experience.
GDM makes good points for most vehicles and towing situations. However, the Pacifica raises some questions. The things included in the factory tow package do not account for the 2100 pound increase in tow capacity.
>There are no suspension or braking upgrades which one would expect to find for such an increase in tow capacity.
>The heavy duty radiator has .3 qts (9.6 ounces) more coolant than the standard radiator. Hardly a significant difference.
>The electronic trailer sway control can be turned off. The manual does not include any warnings about a reduction in towing capacity if electronic stability control is turned off so it does not improve towing capacity.
I'm a stickler for proper towing including not overloading specified capacities and setting up the vehicle and trailer correctly to tow safely. I have the factory tow package on my Pacifica but I can't see how it can offer a 3600 pound towing capacity and the van without it can't. It does not make sense.
Forum members without the factory tow package have shared experiences that their Pacifica has towed much more than 1500 pounds without any affect on handling or operational temperatures.
Warranty is a concern but likely low risk. One can easily monitor operating temperatures and take action if needed during towing. Unless the van is brought into the dealer with the trailer attached the dealer won't know what you have been towing. Same way they won't know if you operated frequently with the interior of the van overloaded or towed a 4000 pound trailer with the factory tow package.