You Can’t Tow With That!
One of the conversation starters that I often have at campgrounds is along the lines of “ “You can’t really be towing that great big Airstream with that little mini van are you?”
The truth is that this is a relatively new chapter for us since we purchased a Dodge Grand Caravan to replace our twenty year old GMC Suburban 2500. I didn’t really have anything to complain about with the Suburban, other that the bone jarring hard ride, the $200.00 fill ups and the amount of space required to try to park it. It had been across the continent with us and been quite dependable. But after seeing the number of car and trailer combinations that were put together at Can-Am RV Centre I was quite intrigued by the options available to tow our 25 foot Airstream Safari. The great thing about Can-Am RV is that there are a fleet of tow vehicles and something is likely similar to what you have in your driveway already. I borrowed their 2014 Dodge Caravan and used it to tow our Airstream a pretty good distance. I was immediately impressed with how well the combination handled and that the braking was as good or better than that on our Suburban. I guess when you think about how much weight the 2500 has to stop of it’s own weight, it makes sense that a much smaller mini van with big four wheel disc brakes is going to have braking power to spare. So we were sold pretty quickly that a Dodge Caravan was going to be our next vehicle. The model we purchased has the stow-n-go seating throughout and I often have all the seats folded down. I was able to get 14 sheets of plywood, a dozen sheets of styrofoam insulation, an air conditioner and a hot water heater all inside with the tailgate closed, much to the amazement of the young lad at Home Depot that was helping me load up. The other great thing about the Caravan is that when not towing we get great gas milage in the “Econo” mode and the ride is so much more civilized than a pick up truck or large SUV.
The most important part of putting together a reliable and easy to tow combination is having the hitch components set up properly and using the best components available.
There are lots of places that can install a hitch and send you down the road. If the hitch is not “dialed in” quite right your camping trip can end up being a tiring and intimidating experience. A correctly installed system will give you that “ I hardly even knew the trailer was there” experience. I can attest that the latter is our experience with the Caravan and the Airstream. In August I towed home from WaWa Ontario to St Thomas, 14 hours, only stopping for gas and a couple short breaks. I usually don’t tow that many hours a day, in fact, that is double to what I prefer, but the truth is, there was nothing exhausting about making that trip.
The thing I hope that our readers can take away from this testimonial is that when it comes to picking a tow vehicle, keep an open mind and do some research. On the Can-Am RV website there is an on-line form that helps you get advice about what you can tow. The recommendations are based on tried and true results, extensive testing on slalom tracks and 50 years of experience. Can-Am is currently experimenting with a Tesla Model 3 to determine the uses of electric tow vehicles in the RV industry. The list of cars of all shapes and sizes that are towing successfully after being set up at Can-Am RV is staggering. And just think, if you do have a Camaro, or a Jaguar, or a Dodge Caravan towing your trailer you will have an instant conversation starter at every fill-up and campground as you field questions about “you can’t tow that”.
Towing with Mini-Vans Video (it's the icon on the right)