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I had a hitch installed on my 2017 Pacifica. Hitch rated to 5000lbs GTW. I tried towing a popup trailer that weighs about 1400lbs with it. Vehicle rated to 1500lbs without tow package. Towing was miserable. The transmission would lurch every few seconds. Really bad at certain speeds. At low speeds it feels like the transmission is going to fall out of the bottom of the van. I took it to the dealer and they laughed and said you shouldn't tow with a minivan. They checked the transmission to make sure it wasn't broken and did nothing else. I tried doing a transmission reset myself and I think it helped a bit but still lurching at certain speed shifts.

Does anyone have similar issues? Talked to Chrysler, they told me to talk to my dealer...the one who laughed at me wanting to tow with my vehicle.
 

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Well towing is more than just adding a hitch . It’s utilizes better cooling , brakes , tranny cooler , rear suspension springs , anti sway . Etc , so the guy is right that towing with van isn’t the best idea , I’m assuming your van doesn’t have the trailer tow package either .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well towing is more than just adding a hitch . It’s utilizes better cooling , brakes , tranny cooler , rear suspension springs , anti sway . Etc , so the guy is right that towing with van isn’t the best idea , I’m assuming your van doesn’t have the trailer tow package either .
It does not. But without the tow package its rated to 1500lbs towing. I know I'm pretty close to that, especially with people in the van, but it's just so insanely clunky to drive. Feels like the bottom is going to fall out of the van every 3-4 seconds on the highway.
 

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Quite a few people who post here have no problems towing small trailers with a Pacifica. Perhaps you need to find a dealer that will take you more seriously, and diagnose the problem.
 

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Quite a few people who post here have no problems towing small trailers with a Pacifica. Perhaps you need to find a dealer that will take you more seriously, and diagnose the problem.
Good thought. Unfortunately there's only one dealer within 2 hours. I might just try them again and see if I can talk to a manager first. Thanks.
 

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Yes, I know. A number of posts here have complained of that very same 2 hour problem. Personally, I would never buy a vehicle where the nearest servicing dealer was 2 hours away.
 

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I put a hitch on my 2018 and have had zero issues towing at the max rated 1,500 lbs. It was actually pleasant no swaying, plenty of power, and decent braking. My only suggestion to to smooth the gas pedal input and outputs. I noticed if I "snap" the pedal quickly I'll get a bad shift, vs rolling it in or out, but sounds like your problem is a lot worse. I saw a few posts were a dealer does a reset / "relearn" to help the issue. Also, since it's a 2017, there might be a software update out there.
 

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I had a hitch installed on my 2017 Pacifica. Hitch rated to 5000lbs GTW. I tried towing a popup trailer that weighs about 1400lbs with it. Vehicle rated to 1500lbs without tow package. Towing was miserable. The transmission would lurch every few seconds. Really bad at certain speeds. At low speeds it feels like the transmission is going to fall out of the bottom of the van. I took it to the dealer and they laughed and said you shouldn't tow with a minivan. They checked the transmission to make sure it wasn't broken and did nothing else. I tried doing a transmission reset myself and I think it helped a bit but still lurching at certain speed shifts.

Does anyone have similar issues? Talked to Chrysler, they told me to talk to my dealer...the one who laughed at me wanting to tow with my vehicle.
I don't know much about towing, but you might want to have the transmission adaptations reset even if you don't want to try towing again. See the link in the thread below for paperwork you can take to the dealer.


If you put your van info in the signature line of account settings it will show up at the bottom of your posts and will help us answer your questions easier in the future. Build date is on the edge of the driver's door.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't know much about towing, but you might want to have the transmission adaptations reset even if you don't want to try towing again. See the link in the thread below for paperwork you can take to the dealer.


If you put your van info in the signature line of account settings it will show up at the bottom of your posts and will help us answer your questions easier in the future. Build date is on the edge of the driver's door.
Thanks. I did bring it up with the dealer and they pretty much had no idea what I meant. They charged me for an hour or labor to drive it around and update the firmware. It didn't change anything.

Added signature.
 

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I thought there was a TSB for resetting the transmission adaptations, but I can't seem to find it .There is a way to reset the adaptations by yourself without a scan tool. I would give this a shot.

 

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Here is a link to download the publication from NHTSA about transmission issues:
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2020/MC-10178666-9999.pdf
I think it would be helpful to add instructions on how to search for and download all TSBs on the NHTSA website. I found this information from Consumer Reports on how to access TSBs to be very helpful.
"To find a TSB, go to NTHSA’s Safety Issues & Recalls page. Type in either your vehicle’s unique 17-character vehicle identification number or its year, make, and model. The site will display recalls, investigations, and complaints. There is also a tab for manufacturer communications, which is where you’ll find TSBs, service campaigns, and other important information. You can sort these communications by type of problem. If you expand the tab for associated documents, you can even find the repair instructions that manufacturers send to dealers."
 

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I installed a Curt hitch on our 2017 gasser and towed over 3,600 pounds through the Rockies. It behaved beautifully. I had zero complaints or issues or than some brake fade on long downhill runs. Your situation suggests something is wrong with your van/tranny. That does not seem normal nor remotely similar to my experience with twice as much weight.
 

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I had a hitch installed on my 2017 Pacifica. Hitch rated to 5000lbs GTW. I tried towing a popup trailer that weighs about 1400lbs with it. Vehicle rated to 1500lbs without tow package. Towing was miserable. The transmission would lurch every few seconds. Really bad at certain speeds. At low speeds it feels like the transmission is going to fall out of the bottom of the van. I took it to the dealer and they laughed and said you shouldn't tow with a minivan. They checked the transmission to make sure it wasn't broken and did nothing else. I tried doing a transmission reset myself and I think it helped a bit but still lurching at certain speed shifts.

Does anyone have similar issues? Talked to Chrysler, they told me to talk to my dealer...the one who laughed at me wanting to tow with my vehicle.
Factory Trailer Packages make very little benefit. Larger trans cooler and sway control reprogram does not bring a vehicle from 1500lbs to 3500LBS Most of it is insurace liability. Horsepower and brakes is the limiting factor . Perfect example is Jeep JKs have low trailer capacity just because the roof comes off . The Pacifica architecture has a powerful engine and very large breaks because nothing weighs more than people. It is more than capable of towing 1500
LBS or more pounds safely. I am retired from the automotive industry and have a good friend that actually was involved in the nine speed unit and it is a modern robust box that is loaded with computer safeties for weight variables in the Pacific a vehicle.
 

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I had a hitch installed on my 2017 Pacifica. Hitch rated to 5000lbs GTW. I tried towing a popup trailer that weighs about 1400lbs with it. Vehicle rated to 1500lbs without tow package. Towing was miserable. The transmission would lurch every few seconds. Really bad at certain speeds. At low speeds it feels like the transmission is going to fall out of the bottom of the van. I took it to the dealer and they laughed and said you shouldn't tow with a minivan. They checked the transmission to make sure it wasn't broken and did nothing else. I tried doing a transmission reset myself and I think it helped a bit but still lurching at certain speed shifts.

Does anyone have similar issues? Talked to Chrysler, they told me to talk to my dealer...the one who laughed at me wanting to tow with my vehicle.
 

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I had a similar experience with the dealer. the service department also laughed at the idea of towing a trailer. I inquired about towing a 3600lb airstream. Really confusing to understand it's towing capabilities.
 

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I had a similar experience with the dealer. the service department also laughed at the idea of towing a trailer. I inquired about towing a 3600lb airstream. Really confusing to understand it's towing capabilities.
Page 422 for a 2018: https://cdn.dealereprocess.net/cdn/servicemanuals/chrysler/2018-pacifica.pdf

The problem with giving advice that exceeds manufacture's ratings, is well I don't know you, your van, your use case, your driving ability, etc. If something bad happens nobody wants that blame placed on them. So if I was a dealer, your van can only tow 1,500lbs unless there is a tow package.

The gothca with campers, they always weigh more than what people think. The trailer might only be 3,600lb. Add in some full propane tanks, some gear, and food stuff. An extra 500lb comes quick. Now you have a van that's rated at 1,500lb, that you swaged can probably do 3,600lb, but really loaded 4,100lb. Add in a few people, you are probably well past the GCWR.
 
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