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Parts Needed To Tow A Trailer With 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan

Question:

I have a 2017 dodge grand caravan and want to buy an escape travel trailer. Some say it cant be done because of the weight of the trailer. It weighs 3500 lbs. I can not find in the owner manual how much I can pull. I also want to know what I would need to make this happen. I will be the only passenger in the vehicle. My van has the auto shift to manual, whatever it is called. Thank you for your help.

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Expert Reply:

According to the owner's manual for the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.6L Automatic the maximum trailer tongue weight of the van with 1-2 people in it is 360 lbs so if your trailer tongue weight stayed under 360 lbs you shouldn't have an issue as long as you are not exceeding the gross combined weight rating, gross axle weight rating and the hitch capacity on your van.

You want to make sure you are not exceeding the gross combined weight rating of your van which is 8,750 lbs that is the combined weight of the trailer, plus the weight of all the cargo in the vehicle and trailer, and the passengers. You also want to make sure not to exceed the gross axle weight rating. That information is on the vehicle loading/vehicle certification label on to the driver's side B-pillar.

The hitch on your vehicle must be rated for the tongue weight of the trailer you are trying to tow. I recommend The etrailer.com Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Matte Black Finish part # e98854 which has a tongue weight rating of 400 lbs. I have attached a video for your reference.

You will also need wiring to power the lights in the trailer. I recommend T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector part # 118534 for the 4-way. A trailer that weighs 3500 lbs will have brakes so you will most likely need an electric brake controller.

For electric brakes you will need a 7-way on the back of the van, part # ETBC7L comes with the components needed to install a 7-way. You will plug the 4-way I mentioned earlier into the pigtail from the 7-way plug and extend the black power wire the van's battery. The 7-way plug will need to be grounded to a clean bare metal surface on the frame. The rest of the wires can be tucked away.

Now that you have the 7-way installed you can use Curt Echo Mobile Trailer Brake Controller - Wireless part # C51180 that plugs in line with the 7-way and activates the trailer brakes with your Grand Caravan's brakes. It also can be adjusted and monitored via a smart phone app. It only requires power from the vehicle's battery so you will not need any additional wiring.

Finally, you will need a ball mount and ball to tow the trailer. If you are not sure what size ball the coupler on the trailer takes or how much rise or drop you may need, I recommend etrailer ball mount kit # 989900. It comes with 2 ball mounts; one with a 3/4 inch rise or 2 inch drop and one with a 2-3/4 inch rise or 4 inch drop. It also includes a 1-7/8 inch ball, 2 inch ball, hitch pin with clip, and a storage bag. I have attached a helpful article that explains how to figure out the rise or drop you may need.

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Heather A

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