Towing Experience with Popup Camper
Just finished a 400 mile round trip towing a Popup camper with my 2018 Pacifica. Dry weight of the trailer is 2400 lbs (2500 lbs with roof top AC), it has trailer brakes, & I do not have the factory tow package. On the way home I weighed my Pacifica and trailer at a certified scale. 8060 lbs. This was with 3/4 tank of gas, family of 5 (3 young children), & gear.
First 200 miles was all in the rain, half highway (Flat), half back roads (some hills but nothing to big). Last 200 miles was all highway, dry, and mostly flat. Outside temps were in the 70's and low 80's.
Some notable points about the trip
-Oil, transmission, and other Temps were at most 10 % above normal for the speeds I was traveling. But still below the half way mark on the gauges.
-Trailer had brakes, and I gave myself space to stop, but I never felt like I could not stop in time for something. Including a time I had to slam on my brakes to avoid someone who cut me off.
- I also have a mechanical anti sway bar because the pop dealer recommended it.
- On flat highway I was able to drive 75 without any issues. This was in a 70 mph area and I did not feel comfortable any higher then 75 even then I mostly kept it below 72.
There were a few Cons
-With all the gear in the van plus the 250 tong weight there was 1-3 inches of sag in the suspension. Ride handling was fine, but I may consider air bags in the future.
-The pacifica transmission is without a doubt the week point in the whole towing system. It tends to stay in high gears for fuel efficiency, which was fine on the highway, but can make towing on hills difficult. This can be fixed by giving more gas, but requires a bit of a learning curve I still need to master.
- I did have to start the van from a dead stop on a small hill in the rain. This produced some front wheel slippage, but the van was still able to get going.
I have the Tekonsha 90250 Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Controller which I am not completely sold on. Highway braking was fine, but it tended to be jerky at low speeds. I found I had to use the hand held controller a few times to smooth out braking at low speeds. Also when braking down long hills there were issues with consistent braking. At no time did I feel like I was going to lose control of the van, and I have never towed a trailer with brakes before, so it may be technique. I tried to keep braking to short bursts.
Anyway, if you are considering a popup or other trailer below 2500 lbs dry weight the Pacifica can handle it well. I would avoid anything heavier as you will quickly reach the 8600 lb combined vehicle max.
Last edited by mattlreese; 06-26-2018 at 07:12 PM.