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I wonder if the stability software doesn't even come into play unless a trailer brake is plugged into the trailer wiring harness?

TomR00
 

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To respond to all the great comments since I posted a couple weeks ago, I completed my trip while towing with my aftermarket class 3 hitch.

I towed a 2850lb compact car on a 750lb uhaul car dolly through the rocky mountains, plus an estimated van cargo and passenger weight of 600lb. I also probably exceeded the aftermarket tongue weight limit of 149lb (versus 360lb tow pkg limit). So it's safe to say I was maxed out.

That being said, the Pacifica did an excellent job throughout. I never noticed any trailer sway even on bumps, curves, uneven construction work, etc. Ambient temperatures were 45-70 degrees, and the transmission temperature stayed around 150-160 degrees, with the exception of two major ascents, where it briefly peaked at 195 and 203 degrees respectively. Coolant and Oil temps also stayed in the normal range. Most descents were mild enough that coasting + wind/friction negated the need for much braking, though some did require moderate intermittent braking—which I did notice some minor brake fade. (side note, I originally thought the dolly came with surge brakes... and it indeed would have been nice to have).

I was easily able to keep up with traffic if I wanted to (even on ascents), but typically traveled slower than normal and kept a large gap when following. I was impressed with the shifting as well. Other than wanting higher RPMs on some down hill runs to ease braking, it maintained high RPMs on steep ascents even if I let off the gas (eg, infrequent shifting). I know cruise control will downshift on descents to maintain your set speed, but it obviously disengages when you hit the brake pedal. So I didn't use it this trip.

My conclusion is the Pacifica with an aftermarket hitch does very well. As long as ambient temperatures and cross-winds or other sway factors are low, it can tow the same as the OEM tow package. In either case, if you disregard the trailer brake requirement for loads over 2,000lb, you'll put some harsh demands on the brakes.
 

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I have yet to tow anything with this van yet but I will. people are so overtly cautious with these tow ratings, Just get the following:

#1. an additional trans cooler, they're cheap and easy to install
#2. some load helping air bags, they're also cheap like $100
#3. a class 3 hitch and wiring harness

Now just tow on your marry way for about $400 instead of that huge markup they charge, and don't worry about sway control, those popups and small campers have never swayed for me.

I'm expecting this Pac to tow better than the Ody or Sienna simply because the tongue weight is rated higher, I might even throw my MR2 spider (2000#'s) on a trailer and pull it down to florida with us.

On a side note the '18 Ody uses the same 9 speed tranny as the Pac, and by same I mean it's literally the same tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
DannyMcD: This is terrible advice & irresponsible. You must be trolling my thread. Towing over a vehicle’s limits endangers other people’s safety & exposes you to huge financial liabilities in the event of an accident. It is illegal for good reasons.
 

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Also don't forget that 3500lbs. is only with the factory installed tow package. Any aftermarket or factory hitch added afterward, the vehicle is only rated for 1500lbs. towing capacity. This is due to the factory tow package also includes a heavy duty radiator, higher amperage battery, and computer software upgrade that helps stabilize the vehicle when towing.

TomR00
I am trying to add the mopar hitch and am getting a no from the dealer. I do not tow we use a rack for a motorized wheel chair, or when we go to Yosemite we take our 5 bike carrier. niether one of these would exceed the 1500 but they are saying no to adding it on the 2018 hybrid limited we have. Any suggestions? I need it done before June.
 

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I am trying to add the mopar hitch and am getting a no from the dealer. I do not tow we use a rack for a motorized wheel chair, or when we go to Yosemite we take our 5 bike carrier. niether one of these would exceed the 1500 but they are saying no to adding it on the 2018 hybrid limited we have. Any suggestions? I need it done before June.
Not sure of all the details, but the Hybrid is not rated to tow anything and thus the dealer's reluctance to add a hitch. It was one of my considerations when I opted for gas rather than hybrid. One issue may be the gross vehicle weight rating which is only about 1300 lbs above the curb weight. That doesn't leave a lot of room once you add passengers and luggage.

All that being said, you might find a non-Mopar installer willing to do it. U-Haul does hitches, but they may be too corporate to add one to the Hybrid. I guess I'd look for an independent trailer supply place which might be willing to do the deed.

Good Luck!

Dave
 

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Was looking at popups today and came across this post, great info. Its sounds like it is safe to say the combined towing capacity of passengers, cargo and a trailer should not exceed 3600 lbs.

OP puts realistic tow rating at around 2900, but I agree the original title feels more realistic.
 

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I took a stab at the calculations posted for my 2018 Pacifica with the factory hitch.

GCWR 8600 lbs
Curb Weight -4330 lbs
Trailer at Max -3600 lbs
Remaining 670 lbs

So, 670 lbs to work with.

Weight 670 lbs
Two adults (175 lbs avg) -350 lbs
Three kids (50 lbs each) -150 lbs
Weight for luggage, etc. 170 lbs

These are the numbers I came up with for the max rating, but I'm considering towing a pop up with a GVWR of 3250 lbs. By my calculations, I would have the capacity to add 520 lbs of luggage, etc. If I travel with an empty water tank, I think I could pull off a couple hundred more lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Mukel: A few thoughts.

1. Don’t forget to look at the tire loading sticker of your Pac (drivers side door jamb). The maximum load it states is the true loading max for your van. Use that number as starting point & deduct weight of occupants, tongue weight of trailer & cargo. Don’t work backwards from GCVW as that is not the number to use for the calculation you are doing.

2. If you have stow & go seats (which we all do), the trailer at max is 3500 lbs. as you have to deduct 100 lbs. (see asterisk in owners manual in towing section).

3. After you figure out max weight of van, you can figure out the remainder of the GCVW for the max trailer lbs. Note that while the trailer tongue weight had to be added to max load of the van, it is not counted when calculating GCVW so minus that from the van part of GCVW so those pounds become available for the max trailer weight.

After recalculating, I suspect you will find that you won’t have anywhere near 520 lbs for trailer cargo. A 3250 lb pop-up will likely max out your capacity. The good news is the Pac with factory tow package is very stable handling when towing near or at maximum ratings with little to no squat at the rear.
 

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Nails1

The gross axle weight rating (value on inside of driver's door jamb) is something to consider but in the case of the Pacifica it is not a factor as other limitations are more restrictive.
The front axle rating is 2900 lbs and the rear axle rating is 3250 lbs or 6150 total. The gross vehicle weight rating is 6005.
The max occupants and cargo weight, as posted on the tire pressure sticker, is 1150. Add this to the curb weight of 4330 and the max weight of the van is 5480. Well below the combined axle rating or the GVWR.

In the mukel's case it looks like there is 1020 lbs available for occupants and cargo; 8600 - 4330 curb weight - 3250 trailer weight.

Substracting the estimated 400 pounds for occupants leaves 620 pounds for cargo.
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Shawnee. Agree that the GCVW is more critical for the Pacifica than the front & rear max axel ratings.

However, Don’t think we agree on the calculations. If the van’s tire sticker loading max is 1150 then the math looks like:
1150 lbs
- 290 lbs has trailer tongue weight (guess)
- 500 lbs occupants
- 360 lbs cargo
Van total weight: 860 lbs (1150 lbs max load plus minus 290 lbs tongue weight) + 4330 lbs curb weight = 5190 lbs. Check. This is under the max GVWR of 6500 lbs.
If Mukel’s pop up weighs 3250 lbs & van loaded up weighs 5190 lbs, the GCVW is 7580 lbs. Check. This is under the 8600 lbs max GCVW.
However, since max tow rating is 3500 lbs, there is only 250 lbs available for cargo in the trailer.

To tow within mfg’s Specs, you have to check axel weight maximums, tire loading maximum, GVWR maximum, tongue weight maximum, trailer tow weight maximum, & GCVW weight maximum.

It is anything but simple if you want to tow by the book.
 

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I tow a pop up with a max weight of 3600 lbs, but it only weighs 2500 dry. I passed on another popup with the same max but 2800 dry because the extra 300 lbs would have put me over the combined 8600 max with cargo.

As it is I have another post where my combined weight on a scale was 8060 lbs, giving me some wiggle room for more capacity.

Though when you tow at the max tong weight maxing out the interior cargo load is much eaiser to do then the combined weight with the trailer.
 

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@dotbot Do you know what the acceptable temp range is for the transmission fluid?

Anyone added a transmission cooler?
 

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@dotbot Do you know what the acceptable temp range is for the transmission fluid?

Anyone added a transmission cooler?
I don't know if the pacifica has a higher temp tolerance, but I doubt it's different than the industry acceptable range of 175. 175-200 isn't too bad, but once you approach 220-240, I assume the dash will alert/complain. You should slow things down if you start passing 220. Generally, you don't want your tranny to pass 240 degrees. It's interesting the tow package adds nothing to cool the tranny, so I suspect it's not a likely risk unless you're really pushing the engine and are loaded near/past capacity. And in that case, your engine temps aren't going to be happy.

So I think an added cooler is unnecessary unless you always find yourself towing and your tranny temps are consistently pushing 200 degrees.
 

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@dotbot Do you know what the acceptable temp range is for the transmission fluid?

Anyone added a transmission cooler?
I do not know the acceptable range, but I just rented a Pacifica out west in 100 degree temps at grade. My transmission, oil, etc temps were consistently higher then what I get towing where I live on the East Coast. Now I have yet to tow at grade, but I was getting up to 230 oil temp in the rental. Highest I have ever seen towing is 220.
 

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From the info in this thread, I take it that the Pacifica Limited (gas) with Factory Tow Package will not safely tow an Airstream Sport...

I would say it would not, but you are only about 300-400 lbs high based on the dry weight. I have another post on here with my 2500 lb dry popup camper and I have not had any issues towing yet. However, I have not towed in the mountains, and I would not tow the popup above 4000 ft. Fortunately, I live on the easy coast so this will not be an issue.
 

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@wisejd, I say the gas pacifica would tow a 2900lb trailer just fine. Even if loaded to 3100-3600lb. I've towed 3600+lb through the rockies and the brakes were the weakest piece. So as long as you have surge brakes or 7-pin electrics, the pacifica will tow it. Would something rated for 5000+lb be better? Sure.
 

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@wisejd, I say the gas pacifica would tow a 2900lb trailer just fine. Even if loaded to 3100-3600lb. I've towed 3600+lb through the rockies and the brakes were the weakest piece. So as long as you have surge brakes or 7-pin electrics, the pacifica will tow it. Would something rated for 5000+lb be better? Sure.

@dotbot

Interesting as I just rented a Pacifica and was slightly above the max cargo capacity. I found the transmission to struggle at low speeds, but it was fine at highway speeds.
 
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