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bryang, Dodge Technician
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What is the towing capacity for the 2008 dodge grand caravan

Customer Question

What is the towing capacity for the 2008 dodge grand caravan with the 3.3 l engine?
I want to pull a 2500 lb pop up camper, I do not have the towing package. Should I add a transmission cooler, or is this weight just too much to tow?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  bryang replied 5 years ago.
Hi bosley, here is the towing capacity found in the service manual.

Bryan,

Please hit the ACCEPT button if I have answered your question.


SPECIFICATIONS
In this section you will find safety tips and information on limits to the type of towing you can reasonably do with your vehicle. Before towing a trailer carefully review this information to tow your load as efficiently and safely as possible.

To maintain warranty coverage, follow the requirements and recommendations in this manual concerning vehicles used for trailer towing.



Common Towing Definitions
The following trailer towing related definitions will assist you in understanding the following information:



Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
The GVWR is the total allowable weight of your vehicle. This includes driver, passengers, cargo and tongue weight. The total load must be limited so that you do not exceed the GVWR.



Gross Trailer Weight (GTW)
The gross trailer weight (GTW) is the weight of the trailer plus the weight of all cargo, consumables and equipment (permanent or temporary) loaded in or on the trailer in its "loaded and ready for operation" condition. The recommended way to measure GTW is to put your fully loaded trailer on a vehicle scale. The entire weight of the trailer must be supported by the scale.



Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR)
The gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is the total permissible weight of your vehicle and trailer when weighed in combination. (Note that GCWR ratings include a 68 kg (150 lbs) allowance for the presence of a driver).



Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
The GAWR is the maximum capacity of the front and rear axles. Distribute the load over the front and rear axles evenly. Make sure that you do not exceed either front or rear GAWR.

WARNING: It is important that you do not exceed the maximum front or rear GAWR. A dangerous driving condition can result if either rating is exceeded. You could lose control of the vehicle and have an accident. Failure to follow these instructions may result in possible serious or fatal injury.





Tongue Weight (TW)
The downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer. In most cases it should not be less than 10% or more than 15% of the trailer load. You must consider this as part of the load on your vehicle.



Frontal Area
The maximum height and maximum width of the front of a trailer.



Trailer Sway Control
The trailer sway control is a telescoping link that can be installed between the hitch receiver and the trailer tongue that typically provides adjustable friction associated with the telescoping motion to dampen any unwanted trailer swaying motions while traveling.



Weight-Carrying Hitch
A weight-carrying hitch supports the trailer tongue weight, just as if it were luggage located at a hitch ball or some other connecting point of the vehicle. These kind of hitches are the most popular on the market today and they're commonly used to tow small- and medium-sized trailers.



Weight-Distributing Hitch
A weight-distributing system works by applying leverage through spring (load) bars. They are typically used for heavier loads, to distribute trailer tongue weight to the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer axle(s). When used in accordance with the manufacturers' directions, it provides for a more level ride, offering more consistent steering and brake control thereby enhancing towing safety. The addition of a friction / hydraulic sway control also dampens sway caused by traffic and crosswinds and contributes positively to tow vehicle and trailer stability. Trailer sway control and a weight distributing (load equalizing) hitch are recommended for heavier Tongue Weights (TW) and may be required depending on Vehicle and Trailer configuration / loading to comply with gross axle weight rating (GAWR) requirements.

WARNING: An improperly adjusted Weight Distributing Hitch system may reduce handling, stability, braking performance, and could result in an accident.
Weight Distributing Systems may not be compatible with Surge Brake Couplers. Consult with your hitch and trailer manufacturer or a reputable Recreational Vehicle dealer for additional information. Failure to follow these instructions may result in possible serious or fatal injury.






Trailer Hitch Classification
Your vehicle may be factory equipped for safe towing of trailers weighing over 2,000 lbs (907 kg) with the optional Trailer Tow Prep Package. See your dealer for package content.

The following chart provides the industry standard for the maximum trailer weight a given trailer hitch class can tow and should be used to assist you in selecting the correct trailer hitch for your intended towing condition. Refer to the Trailer Towing Weights (Maximum Trailer Weight Ratings) chart for the Max. GTW towable for your given drivetrain.


Trailer Hitch Classification
Class Max. GTW (Gross Trailer Wt.)
Class I - Light Duty 2,000 lbs (907 kg)
Class II - Medium Duty 3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
Class III - Heavy Duty 5,000 lbs (2 268 kg)
Class IV - Extra Heavy Duty 10,000 lbs (4 540 kg)

All trailer hitches should be professionally installed on your vehicle.



Trailer Towing Weights (Maximum Trailer Weight Ratings)
The following chart provides the maximum trailer weight ratings towable for your given drivetrain.


Engine/Transmission GCWR (Gross Combined Wt. Rating) Frontal Area Max. GTW (Gross Trailer Wt.) Max. Tongue Wt.
3.3L, 3.8L AND 4.0L Automatic 6,600 lbs (2 993 kg) 22 Sq., Ft. (2.0 Square Meters) Up to 2 persons AND Luggage 1,800 lbs (816 kg) 180 lbs (82 kg)
6,600 lbs (2 993 kg) 22 Sq., Ft. (2.0 Square Meters) 3 to 5 persons AND Luggage 1,350 lbs (612 kg) 135 lbs (61 kg)
6,600 lbs (2 993 kg) 22 Sq., Ft. (2.0 Square Meters) 6 to 7 persons AND Luggage 1,000 lbs (454 kg) 100 lbs (45 kg)
3.8L AND 4.0L Automatic with trailer tow package 8,600 lbs (3 900 kg) 40 SQ. FT. (3.72 square meters) Up to 2 persons AND Luggage 3,800 lbs (1 723 kg)* 380 lbs (172 kg)
8,600 lbs (3 900 kg) 40 SQ. FT. (3.72 square meters) 3 to 5 persons AND Luggage 3,350 lbs (1 519 kg)* 335 lbs (152 kg)
8,600 lbs (3 900 kg) 40 SQ. FT. (3.72 square meters) 6 to 7 persons AND Luggage 3,000 lbs (1 360 kg)* 300 lbs (136 kg)
* For vehicles equipped with Fold-in-Floor seating, the Gross Trailer Weight must be reduced by 100 lbs (45 kg). Refer to local laws for maximum trailer towing speeds.
The trailer tongue weight must be considered as part of the combined weight of occupants and cargo, and should never exceed the weight referenced on the Tire and Loading Information placard. Refer to the Tire–Safety Information Section in this manual.


Trailer and Tongue Weight
Always load a trailer with 60% to 65% of the weight in the front of the trailer. This places 10% to 15% of the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) on the tow hitch of your vehicle. Loads balanced over the wheels or heavier in the rear can cause the trailer to sway severely side to side which will cause loss of control of the vehicle and trailer. Failure to load trailers heavier in front is the cause of many trailer accidents.

Never exceed the maximum tongue weight stamped on your bumper or trailer hitch.



Consider the following items when computing the weight on the rear axle of the vehicle:

The tongue weight of the trailer.
The weight of any other type of cargo or equipment put in or on your vehicle.
The weight of the driver and all passengers.


NOTE: Remember that everything put into or on the trailer adds to the load on your vehicle. Also, additional factory-installed options, or dealer-installed options, must be considered as part of the total load on your vehicle. Refer to the Tire and Loading Information placard in the Tire Safety Information Section of this manual for the maximum combined weight of occupants and cargo for your vehicle.


Towing Requirements
To promote proper break-in of your new vehicle drivetrain components the following guidelines are recommended:

CAUTION: Avoid towing a trailer for the first 500 miles (805 km) of vehicle operation. Doing so may damage your vehicle.
During the first 500 miles (805 km) of trailer towing, limit your speed to 50 mph (80 km/h).



Perform the maintenance listed in Section 8 of this manual. When towing a trailer, never exceed the GAWR, or GCWR, ratings.

WARNING: Improper towing can lead to an injury accident. Follow these guidelines to make your trailer towing as safe as possible:
Make certain that the load is secured in the trailer and will not shift during travel. When trailering cargo that is not fully secured, dynamic load shifts can occur that may be difficult for the driver to control. You could lose control of your vehicle and have an accident. Failure to follow these instructions may result in possible serious or fatal injury.



When hauling cargo or towing a trailer, do not overload your vehicle or trailer. Overloading can cause a loss of control, poor performance or damage to brakes, axle, engine, transmission, steering, suspension, chassis structure or tires.
Safety chains must always be used between your vehicle and trailer. Always connect the chains to the frame or hook retainers of the vehicle hitch. Cross the chains under the trailer tongue and allow enough slack for turning corners.
Vehicles with trailers should not be parked on a grade. When parking, apply the parking brake on the tow vehicle. Put the tow vehicle automatic transmission in P for Park. Always, block or "chock" the trailer wheels.
GCWR must not be exceeded.
Total weight must be distributed between the tow vehicle and the trailer such that the following four ratings are not exceeded:
GVWR
GTW
GAWR
Tongue weight rating for the trailer hitch utilized (This requirement may limit the ability to always achieve the 10% to 15% range of tongue weight as a percentage of total trailer weight).


Towing Requirements -Tires
Do not attempt to tow a trailer while using a compact spare tire.
Proper tire inflation pressures are essential to the safe and satisfactory operation of your vehicle. Refer to the Tires–General Information section of this manual on Tire Pressures for proper tire inflation procedures.
Also, check the trailer tires for proper tire inflation pressures before trailer usage.
Check for signs of tire wear or visible tire damage before towing a trailer. Refer to the Tires–General Information section of this manual on Tread Wear Indicators for the proper inspection procedure.
When replacing tires refer to the Tires–General Information section of this manual on Replacement Tires for proper tire replacement procedures. Replacing tires with a higher load carrying capacity will not increase the vehicle's GVWR and GAWR limits.


Towing Requirements - Trailer Brakes
Do not interconnect the hydraulic brake system or vacuum system of your vehicle with that of the trailer. This could cause inadequate braking and possible personal injury.
An electronically actuated trailer brake controller is required when towing a trailer with electronically actuated brakes. When towing a trailer equipped with a hydraulic surge actuated brake system, an electronic brake controller is not required.
Trailer brakes are recommended for trailers over 1,000 lbs (454 kg) and required for trailers in excess of 2,000 lbs (907 kg).
CAUTION: If the trailer weighs more than 1,000 lbs (454 kg) loaded, it should have its own brakes and they should be of adequate capacity. Failure to do this could lead to accelerated brake lining wear, higher brake pedal effort, and longer stopping distances.



WARNING: Do not connect trailer brakes to your vehicle's hydraulic brake lines. It can overload your brake system and cause it to fail. You might not have brakes when you need them and could have an accident.
Towing any trailer will increase your stopping distance. When towing you should allow for additional space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Failure to follow these instructions may result in possible serious or fatal injury.





Towing Requirements — Trailer Lights AND Wiring
Whenever you pull a trailer, regardless of the trailer size, stop lights and turn signals on the trailer are required for motoring safety.

The Trailer Tow Package may include a 4 and 7 pin wiring harness. Use a factory approved trailer harness and connector.



NOTE: Do not cut or splice wiring into the vehicles wiring harness.

The electrical connections are all complete to the vehicle but you must mate the harness to a trailer connector. Refer to the following illustrations.







Towing Tips
Before setting out on a trip, practice turning, stopping and backing the trailer in an area away from heavy traffic.



Towing Tips - Automatic Transmission
The “D” range can be selected when towing. However, if frequent shifting occurs while in this range, the “3” range should be selected.



NOTE: Using the “3” range while operating the vehicle under heavy operating conditions will improve performance and extend transmission life by reducing excessive shifting and heat build up. This action will also provide better engine braking.

The automatic transmission fluid and filter should be changed if you REGULARLY tow a trailer for more than 45 minutes of continuous operation. Refer to the Maintenance Schedule in section 8 of this manual for transmission fluid change intervals.


NOTE: Check the automatic transmission fluid level before towing.


Towing Tips - Electronic Speed Control (If Equipped)
Don't use in hilly terrain or with heavy loads.
When using the speed control, if you experience speed drops greater than 10 mph (16 km/h), disengage until you can get back to cruising speed.
Use speed control in flat terrain and with light loads to maximize fuel efficiency.


Towing Tips — Cooling System
To reduce potential for engine and transmission overheating, take the following actions:

City Driving - When stopped for short periods of time, put transmission in neutral and increase engine idle speed.
Highway Driving - Reduce speed.
Air Conditioning - Turn off temporarily.
refer to Cooling System Operating information in th

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