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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening everyone,

I'm relatively new to the forum, and the Pacifica in general. Almost a month ago I purchased a certified used '17 Touring L with the intention of towing my boat with it. After about 170 miles towing in various conditions, I'm really happy with how this turned out.





My boat is an 18' Larson runabout, which I put on a scale a few years ago to find the axle weight at 3,300 lbs with a full tank. Add in about 200 lbs of tongue weight, and it sits right at the maximum capacity of the Pacifica, as well as the '14 Escape I previously towed it with. One thing that drove me to the Chrysler was the ability to view actual fluid temperatures in the instrument cluster display without messing with OBD adapters and such.

I dislike how we don't have the ability to exercise any manual control over the transmission, but the factory programming seems to be really well done. This thing never seems to hunt for gears, and learns the load quickly because it doesn't try to upshift the second I ease up on the accelerator pedal. Going down the highway with the boat, most of my time is spent in 6th gear around 2,500 RPMs, with the occasional shift to 7th. After pulling with Honda and Toyota vans in the past, I imagined the Pentastar V6 would have more than enough power with the trailer, and my van sure doesn't disappoint in that area. I have no difficulty staying with traffic, and the overall towing experience seems quite stable. My trailer has hydraulic surge brakes, which I think are a requirement towing with a vehicle in this weight class.

The cooling system seems up to the task, but my coolant temps have gone as high as 228* on the highway in warm weather. I'm happy with that, but if I see warmer temperatures as the summer progresses I may look at swapping the larger radiator that comes with the towing package. The transmission hasn't gone higher than 193*, and I attribute much of that to the transmission staying locked into gears rather than constantly hunting for the correct ratio.

Overall I'm quite happy with how it's handled, and is a great option to pull a correctly set-up trailer at this weight. :grin2:
 

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And isn't it great to launch with a FWD vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And isn't it great to launch with a FWD vehicle?
Sort of. Better than straight rear-wheel-drive, but not great IMHO.

My AWD Escape was really impressive, and before that I pulled this with an F150. If I have one complaint with this setup it's traction...the super-short 1st gear means wheelspin from a stop is a problem if I'm not real light with the throttle. It's not the van's fault...a few years ago we had an AWD Sienna that was great at a boat ramp, but the sacrifices that come with that particular AWD system weren't worth it this time around.
 

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The towing experience with your car is fabulous simply because you got the jazz blue exterior color, and nothing else. :D.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Nice! Did you add the tow hitch to the vehicle after market or was it included with the van (factory installed)? Your comment about the radiator makes me think it is an aftermarket hitch.

I'm curious bc we just picked up our Pacifica yesterday, complete with factory installed tow package.
 

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Congrats on the new vehicle JB007, enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice! Did you add the tow hitch to the vehicle after market or was it included with the van (factory installed)? Your comment about the radiator makes me think it is an aftermarket hitch.

I'm curious bc we just picked up our Pacifica yesterday, complete with factory installed tow package.
Yep, I installed a Curt Class III hitch and a 7-pin trailer connector. I would have preferred the factory package, but they're quite difficult to find on the used market. Depreciation has eaten me alive over the last few years after a divorce motivated me to downsize, so I was determined to find something slightly used.

The other reason was that my 6-year-old daughter is disabled and uses a power wheelchair. We have a handicap-accessible '15 Sienna for this purpose, but I also have a hitch carrier for her chair. The wheelchair itself is 340 lbs, and the hitch carrier is another 140, so I wanted more tongue weight capacity than the factory package offered. NOT that I prefer to put 500 lbs on the back of my Pacifica, but it's nice to know the hitch can handle it if required.



 

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Discussion Starter #9
That Sienna looks a lot like a Ford Transit!
Weird, right? Probably camera angle. >:)

That was our pre-divorce handicap van. A couple months after this photo it was fitted with a side-entry lift. The Sienna is a complete conversion, and because of that is very difficult to mount a hitch to.

 

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Glad the aftermarket worked well for you! We also looked around for a used vehicle that would suite our needs, but it was tough to find a good price, and what we wanted (avoid what we really didn't like or want). I'm glad it will work for you when you need to tow your daughter's wheelchair, or for the fun boat! Thanks for the pictures, she is a cutie, with a determined look!
 

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Did you install the Curt Class III hitch and the 7-pin trailer connector yourself? If yes, was it an easy job? If no, where did you have it done and how much did it run you?


Yep, I installed a Curt Class III hitch and a 7-pin trailer connector.

Nice! Did you add the tow hitch to the vehicle after market or was it included with the van (factory installed)? Your comment about the radiator makes me think it is an aftermarket hitch.

I'm curious bc we just picked up our Pacifica yesterday, complete with factory installed tow package.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did you install the Curt Class III hitch and the 7-pin trailer connector yourself? If yes, was it an easy job? If no, where did you have it done and how much did it run you?
Yes, I installed it myself. The hitch itself was pretty easy, the most difficult part was dealing with the passenger-side bolts directly above the muffler. I didn't want to pull down the entire exhaust, so it was a bit of a challenge getting them torqued up properly. Nothing crazy, though...the hitch took under an hour with me taking my time.

The wiring was the hard part. This is the first vehicle I've done where the tail lamp wiring is accessed externally, so the connector kit has to be fished up between the bumper fascia and the body all the way to the taillight. I used a wire nut to connect my power wire from the battery to the 7-pin connector and the trailer module, and ran a line to the reverse circuit as described in this thread:

http://www.pacificaforums.com/forum/489-towing/36562-7-pin-trailer-wiring-install-reverse-circuit.html

All told, it took me about half a day to get things done. Not a bad job, but certainly not the easiest I've done. But look on the bright side, no drilling!:D
 

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What part number is the Curt Class III hitch you installed and where did you get yours?


Did you install the Curt Class III hitch and the 7-pin trailer connector yourself? If yes, was it an easy job? If no, where did you have it done and how much did it run you?


Yep, I installed a Curt Class III hitch and a 7-pin trailer connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What part number is the Curt Class III hitch you installed and where did you get yours?
I bought the Curt 76046 from eTrailer.com:

https://www.etrailer.com/p-76046.html?hhyear=2017&hhmake=Chrysler&hhmodel=Pacifica

Unfortunately it looks like the price went up quite a bit. I paid $139.97 a month ago, and they price matched www.autoanything.com at $131.76. Search around, Etrailer will price match just about anyone.

ON edit: Yup, AutoAnything still sells it at that price.

https://www.autoanything.com/towing/draw-tite-trailer-hitch
 

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Yes, I installed it myself. The hitch itself was pretty easy, the most difficult part was dealing with the passenger-side bolts directly above the muffler. I didn't want to pull down the entire exhaust, so it was a bit of a challenge getting them torqued up properly. Nothing crazy, though...the hitch took under an hour with me taking my time.

The wiring was the hard part. This is the first vehicle I've done where the tail lamp wiring is accessed externally, so the connector kit has to be fished up between the bumper fascia and the body all the way to the taillight. I used a wire nut to connect my power wire from the battery to the 7-pin connector and the trailer module, and ran a line to the reverse circuit as described in this thread:

http://www.pacificaforums.com/forum/489-towing/36562-7-pin-trailer-wiring-install-reverse-circuit.html

All told, it took me about half a day to get things done. Not a bad job, but certainly not the easiest I've done. But look on the bright side, no drilling!:D
I also thought installing the hitch was not difficult and I did not have a lift, I just worked under the car. etrailer has a video that is very easy to install, but you need to remove the sound damping cover first. There are tons of exposed screws easy to access, and then two more in the passenger rear wheel well that are a little trickier to access. It was also a pain to remove the rubber attachment points for the muffler, and I needed a ratchet extender piece to reach old of the bolts with my torque wrench.

Wireing was also simple, I used some electrical fish tape to pull the wire to the battery.
 

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Thank you very much for the information.

I bought the Curt 76046 from eTrailer.com:

https://www.etrailer.com/p-76046.html?hhyear=2017&hhmake=Chrysler&hhmodel=Pacifica

Unfortunately it looks like the price went up quite a bit. I paid $139.97 a month ago, and they price matched www.autoanything.com at $131.76. Search around, Etrailer will price match just about anyone.

ON edit: Yup, AutoAnything still sells it at that price.

https://www.autoanything.com/towing/draw-tite-trailer-hitch
 

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Just towed a pop up trailer 500 miles. Weight about 1400 lbs. Coolant hit about 210, tans hit 194 for about 5 miles at the end, but mostly stayed about 180. This was with the outside temp between 92-100 degrees
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just towed a pop up trailer 500 miles. Weight about 1400 lbs. Coolant hit about 210, tans hit 194 for about 5 miles at the end, but mostly stayed about 180. This was with the outside temp between 92-100 degrees
Thanks for the data, those temps look good.


Just for perspective, today I had to park in a parking garage for a doctor appointment. My van is still in the shop, so I’m driving a brand-new ‘18 loaner Pacifica with 208 miles on the odometer as of now.

It took about five minutes to find a spot and park, which of course were at low enough speeds to not blow much air through the radiator. When I parked my coolant temp was 231, and oil at 226. Both of these on a completely unloaded van in 75-degree weather.

My point is that temperatures that used to be cause for concern are completely normal on these.
 

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I am not a novice to towing having towed a 4200# boat safely as far 300 miles one way dozens of times with an appropriate tow vehicle (Durango with tow package) that has a tow capacity of 6200#. Reading TomB's posts suggest to me that he is towing with the Pacifica that has a tow capacity of 1500#. IF TomB had the factory tow package (which he admits he does not have) then he is at the limit of the Pacifica (3500#) BEFORE adding normal boating cargo to the boat and gear to the Pacifica and passengers to van. Since he actually has a tow capacity of 1500#, he is 2000# over his vehicle's actual tow capacity. I'd suggest the Pacifica is not the right vehicle of choice for this boat with a factory tow package and for sure is not the vehicle of choice with after market hitch. FWD is also not a good choice because of wet and slippery boat Ramps. I have seen people spin their wheels attempting to retrieve their boat on various boat ramps, some without success and some with serious tire smoke.

A factory tow package for the Pacifica includes: 220 amp alternator, seven and four pin connector, class ll hitch with 2 inch receiver with rating up to 3500# of gross trailer weight and trailer tongue weight of 300#, heavy duty radiator, trailer sway damping/sway control. The $995 MSRP cost for this is well worth the spend IF you have any inclination of towing something.

Also, if you install an after market hitch and exceed more than your owner's manual states you can tow (1500 pounds) and then require warranty work due on the engine overheating or some other issue that can be traced to towing, I suspect Chrysler will void the warranty. Just saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am not a novice to towing having towed a 4200# boat safely as far 300 miles one way dozens of times with an appropriate tow vehicle (Durango with tow package) that has a tow capacity of 6200#. Reading TomB's posts suggest to me that he is towing with the Pacifica that has a tow capacity of 1500#. IF TomB had the factory tow package (which he admits he does not have) then he is at the limit of the Pacifica (3500#) BEFORE adding normal boating cargo to the boat and gear to the Pacifica and passengers to van. Since he actually has a tow capacity of 1500#, he is 2000# over his vehicle's actual tow capacity. I'd suggest the Pacifica is not the right vehicle of choice for this boat with a factory tow package and for sure is not the vehicle of choice with after market hitch. FWD is also not a good choice because of wet and slippery boat Ramps. I have seen people spin their wheels attempting to retrieve their boat on various boat ramps, some without success and some with serious tire smoke.

A factory tow package for the Pacifica includes: 220 amp alternator, seven and four pin connector, class ll hitch with 2 inch receiver with rating up to 3500# of gross trailer weight and trailer tongue weight of 300#, heavy duty radiator, trailer sway damping/sway control. The $995 MSRP cost for this is well worth the spend IF you have any inclination of towing something.

Also, if you install an after market hitch and exceed more than your owner's manual states you can tow (1500 pounds) and then require warranty work due on the engine overheating or some other issue that can be traced to towing, I suspect Chrysler will void the warranty. Just saying.
I appreciate your perspective, but FWIW, I'm not exactly new at this. I've done over 300,000 miles towing trailers between 400-62,000 lbs, with everything from a Mustang to a Kenworth road tractor. I've been boating my entire life, and have been dealing with ramps as the driver since I was 16. Much of my experience to date has been with FWD minivans on said boat ramps. Trust me, I get it.

As far as safety's concerned, my aftermarket Draw Tite hitch is rated for 4,500 lbs towing, and 675 lbs tongue weight. Both are significantly higher than the factory tow package. My trailer has hydraulic disc surge brakes that are in proper working order, and it tows like a dream behind my van. I've geeked out on temperatures, aftermarket coolers, and such for years on other forums with other tow vehicles, but this is one that doesn't appear to need any supplementation. That is, of course, assuming the instrument cluster temp readings are accurate.

I get it...you're reciting the textbook answer here, and I can't disagree with that. But I'm very comfortable with how my van tows, and I'd make the same choice again. 0:)
 
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