Why the reduced tow rating with aftermarket hitch? - Page 2 - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nikbrewer View Post
what popup trailer do you have / looking at getting
Don't have one yet, but I'm cheap so I'm guessing an ultralight might be out of the question. I just don't want to be limited either - just in case.

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Originally Posted by hawkfan View Post
Whatever your thoughts on the tow ratings with vs without the tow package, just keep in mind that if you don't have the tow package your only rated to tow a max of 1500lbs. If you were to get into an accident while exceeding that weight your insurance company will most likely drop you on the spot and leave you on the hook for whatever damages may have occurred. That risk seems much more costly than the cost of the tow package.
Now why did you have to go and ruin all the fun? lol Yes, this, among others, is another reason for concern.

I just did a cursory look through the Pacifica and Odyssey owners manuals regarding towing. It's clear as day in the Pacifica manual that the limit is 1500lbs trailer weight and 150lbs (149lbs) tongue weight "without towing package." My guess is it can support more tongue weight but 150lbs is 10% of the claimed 1500lb max tow capacity. I wonder if you could make a case if you did the necessary upgrades yourself that it met the same criteria. Couldn't do sway control, but everything else. Don't want to test that though. It also suggests that in order to maintain the warranty, all these "guidelines" need to be kept. What's interesting is the GCWR is 6500lbs without tow package and 8600 with.

The odyssey is more vague, and makes no distinction between towing package or not. It has a maximum trailer weight based on number of occupants, and a maximum gross vehicle weight. That's it.

So, it still leaves me with the question... why?

edit: looking closer, the chart with tow limits actually says they're for the given drivetrain. Change the drivetrain and it doesn't apply? So, throw in the bigger cooler and you're good? (probably not, but bureaucracy stinks)

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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 07:13 PM
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I towed a 1500ish popup without brakes and you could hardly even tell the trailer was attached to the van. This was through Skyline drive and several other hilly areas.

I currently have a 2500 lbs popup but have only driven in 40 miles. My first long trip is this weekend and I plan to post about it.

Also the comment about insurance. My popup is insured with the same company as my car, tow rating stuff never even came up.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 07:31 PM
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My last insurance company asked what a pop-up was when I tried to add it to my policy. I don't think they'll question the tow package. But I've always went with the tow package because it wasn't too much. I've noticed that very few new Pacifica's have them so I may be in the same boat. Wish they'd build more with the tow package.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jamsomito View Post
Ok, thanks TomB for the thoughts. I have a little time to figure it out, but I'm leaning back towards aftermarket hitch on the Pacifica.
While I agree with others that you'll likely be fine with after market from a pulling perspective, keep in mind there are a couple other benefits to the OEM version. For one it sits a good bit higher off the road as it's built into the rear bumper which can make a difference for things like bike racks and cargo carriers. You also get working hands-free opening since there are two sensors included on either side of the OEM hitch (as opposed to one sensor in the middle without it). Obviously subjective, but I think it looks a bit better as well
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by hawkfan View Post
Whatever your thoughts on the tow ratings with vs without the tow package, just keep in mind that if you don't have the tow package your only rated to tow a max of 1500lbs. If you were to get into an accident while exceeding that weight your insurance company will most likely drop you on the spot and leave you on the hook for whatever damages may have occurred. That risk seems much more costly than the cost of the tow package.
That's also a rampant internet myth that's been out there forever.

Negligence can't be used to deny an insurance claim. Heck, that's the whole purpose behind car insurance. Someone is almost ALWAYS negligent when an accident occurs, but it's virtually unheard of for an insurance company to deny a claim on that basis. They deny claims every day based on coverages and fault(collision vs. liability and assigned responsibility), but never negligence. That's why DWI victims still get their losses covered despite gross criminal negligence on the part of the person who was drinking. The drunk operator's vehicle is also covered if he paid for collision coverage, but of course the insurance company will frequently drop coverage because of risk after paying the claim that they are legally required to pay.

I've chatted with a few law enforcement officers over the years about this, and they all agree on one thing. There is no legal meaning behind manufacturer's recommended towing capacities. The only enforceable standards are what are on the door sticker, which are GVWR and GAWRs. GCWR isn't listed on a passenger vehicle or light truck's sticker, so that limits what you're legally responsible for in the event of an accident investigation.

Has anyone seriously heard of state police scraping up an accident scene, piling all the bits of rubble into a truck, and hauling everything to a scale? I've yet to find a single example in any state.
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by apnar View Post
While I agree with others that you'll likely be fine with after market from a pulling perspective, keep in mind there are a couple other benefits to the OEM version. For one it sits a good bit higher off the road as it's built into the rear bumper which can make a difference for things like bike racks and cargo carriers. You also get working hands-free opening since there are two sensors included on either side of the OEM hitch (as opposed to one sensor in the middle without it). Obviously subjective, but I think it looks a bit better as well
Yep, I do like the look of the factory hitch better for sure. I think I remember reading the factory hitch on the pacifica is only about 1/4" higher than an aftermarket one since it mounts so low, so I'm not as concerned about height on this as I would be on another vehicle, but I will be using a bike rack on this even more than a trailer so it is a consideration. I'm probably not going to get a trim level high enough for the foot sensors so likely not a consideration for me, but who knows, maybe I'll find a good deal.
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jamsomito View Post
Yep, I do like the look of the factory hitch better for sure. I think I remember reading the factory hitch on the pacifica is only about 1/4" higher than an aftermarket one since it mounts so low, so I'm not as concerned about height on this as I would be on another vehicle, but I will be using a bike rack on this even more than a trailer so it is a consideration. I'm probably not going to get a trim level high enough for the foot sensors so likely not a consideration for me, but who knows, maybe I'll find a good deal.


1/4 seems way too little. I took a look at my OEM hitch and Id say the bottom of the bumper aligns roughly with the midline on the hitch. So at best Id guess a well designed after market hitch would be about 1 1/2 inches lower. Still may not be an issue, but it seemed off so made me take a look.

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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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1/4 seems way too little. I took a look at my OEM hitch and Id say the bottom of the bumper aligns roughly with the midline on the hitch. So at best Id guess a well designed after market hitch would be about 1 1/2 inches lower. Still may not be an issue, but it seemed off so made me take a look.
Ok, thanks for that.
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 11:10 PM
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What’s the height of the bottom of the receiver tube? My Curt aftermarket hitch sits almost 10” off the ground.
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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I could be wrong, but the sway control isn't a sway bar but rather an electronic sensing system that works with the brakes, there isn't any extra hardware associated with it.
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