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How much have you towed with your MPV?
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How much have you towed with your MPV?
1000-2000lbs (89-98 MPV)
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
2000-3000lbs (89-98 MPV)
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
3000-4000lbs (89-98 MPV)
17%
 17%  [ 3 ]
4000-5000lbs (89-98 MPV)
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
Over 5000lbs (89-98 MPV)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
1000-2000lbs (2000+ MPV)
41%
 41%  [ 7 ]
2000-3000lbs (2000+ MPV)
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
3000-4000lbs (2000+ MPV)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 17

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velokid
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 4:40 pm    Post subject: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

While my question is primarily for the 2000-2003 crowd, I'd like to here from the 89-98 folks as well. I know the rated towing capacity is up to 3000 lbs for the 2002-2003's, and up to 4500 for some of the MkI's, have any of you actually towed that much? I'd like to tow a sailboat (~2700 lbs including trailer) behind our 2003 with the 4 seasons package, but wasn't sure if I'd be pushing the brakes/suspension/engine too far...

Last edited by velokid on Fri Jul 18, 2003 8:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

You may want to make a poll question, and add some polling options such as:

1000-2000lbs (89-98 MPV)
2000-3000lbs (89-98 MPV)
3000-4000lbs (89-98 MPV)
4000-5000lbs (89-98 MPV)
Over 5000lbs (89-98 MPV)
1000-2000lbs (2000+ MPV)
2000-3000lbs (2000+ MPV)
3000-4000lbs (2000+ MPV)

You can basically just go in and edit your post, and at the bottom you will find options for setting up a poll. If you need help, just whistle (well, just reply...). Wink
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Kiwimpv
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

Yes, I have towed a Trailer Camper - 20ft body, tandem axles, hydraulic drawbar actuated brakes (mechanical/fluid over 4 x disc brakes) and I'm not sure of the weight but it is around 3600lbs, tow-hitch vert load about 75kg, our MPV doesn't have ALL but have added extra Trannie cooler (largest they could find - about 300x200) fitted and ABS rear drums. With RWD, 7+ seater and front mounted 3L+ engine were the key items for shopping - and price as the camper was worth around NZ$18,000 and the MPV was specialled at NZ$11,000 (NZ$1.00 = US$0.58 ).

The big thing with towing heavy and long units is the speed esp downhill or on undulating road. Had to keep under 80km/hr as it is also the national speed limit for towing and was a good guideline for safe driving. Downhill I had to ensure I braked gently and slowed to 70~75km/hr as in an undulating corner, the long camper would swing the MPV around horribly - heart in mouth stuff!!

The tow-hitch load only altered the rear ride height about 35mm and just flattend it down square. Just check you headlight setting once loaded if night driving. I needed a Philips screwdriver and was easy.

Good luck Velokid Wink

goggles

Graeme + 1 + 4
93 Efini V6 162km
87 Capella/626 1.8i 176km
My Weather Site
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03sageLX
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:52 am    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

Haven't towed yet, but plan to later this summer - class III frame receiver gets installed tomorrow (got a good deal, so we went up a class... wanted a 2" receiver)

Per the owner's manual, you'll be on the high side of what's practical in an '02-'03. The gross combined vehicle limit (tow vehicle and trailer) is 7328# with the 4 season's package. Subtract 3800# for the van's curb weight and 2700# for the sailboat and trailer, and you have 828# for people and cargo in the van, including gas. Taking 10% of your trailer weight for the tongue weight and adding it to 828 gives you 1098#, which is just inside the maximum usable load on the van's suspension (by 100#, per CR - Mazda doesn't publish this number to my knowledge).

828# isn't much if you're planning on having the van full too. Your tongue weight will be near the van's 300# limit. Try to keep as much of the load as far forward as possible. Less than 10% tongue load can be dangerous - it promotes trailer sway and makes steering difficult, so don't skimp there. We actually use a bathroom scale to verify our tongue weight before hitting the road. Technically, you should have a weight-distributing hitch for tongue weights over 200# per the owner's manual, but that runs $. If you're going to do this a lot, I'd strongly consider it.

If this is starting to sound like the 3000# limit is a marketer's fantasy, you're hearing correctly. 2500# is more real-world depending on who and want you want to take along. 2000# is comfortably inside the van's limits, but you're not operating at altitude like we are, either.

That said, it's doable, just. You'll need to have trailer brakes (unbraked limit is 1000#), and to take it easy in the heat of summer so as not to overheat the engine or tranny. Turn off overdrive, and keep an eye on your engine temp gauge. If the engine temp heads north, turn off the A/C and roll down those windows!

Not sure how it will handle a boat ramp... FWD is less than ideal on a steep incline. You might need to get some people on the front bumper when you pull it out...

Power will likely not be an issue, as the 2.5 had the same limits with fewer ponies available. I'd be concerned with traction, braking and weight distribution/stability though.

We tow a Coleman camper in the mountains with a 165hp Subaru. Looking forward to upgrading to the MPV. I've had my eye on a 17' Hobykat for a while though, but they don't weigh anything. Good luck.

Hope this helps,

-brianV

03 Sage Green LX
01 Subaru Forester S+ MT
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:59 am    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

So, to answer your question... haven't towed with my 2000 MPV, but I towed quite a bit w/my 1990 4x4 MPV. I towed around loads of sod, at about 6,500lbs per trip one summer. That was a task. 22ft flat bed trailer that would hold four pallets of sod.

Then we sometimes towed the 31ft Olympic. That weighed about 6,800lbs without fuel in it. The hull had been lightened by about 800lbs.

What else, a few trips pulling two snowmobiles... but you could hardly tell those were even back there. That's about a 2000lbs load.

Oh... trailer brakes at all times.. Smile
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velokid
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your input...and thanks javadoc for the poll suggestion! It should be up and running now.

I don't have the boat *yet* but I think I've convinced my dw to agree to it in principle. Wink The MPV wouldn't be packed to the gills - probably just 2 passengers, Portia the Big Black Dog, and supplies, but I'm starting to wonder I'm pushing it too far.

Perhaps I need to convince my dw that we should replace my '94 Sentra with a 98 4x4 AllSport ES...though at 120K, the Sentra shows no signs of ever giving up, so long as its alternator is replaced every 1.5 years Mad
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JimQPublic
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:47 pm    Post subject: Could someone list their GVWR and axle ratings? Reply with quote

I'm shopping for vans and am quite interested in towing issues.

It appears that there are some good hitches and a decent wiring setup for the MPV.

We have a folding camping trailer that weighs under 2500 pounds with just under 300 pounds of tongue weight. (Dry weight per certified scale is 1900 plus we could possibly add 600 pounds of "stuff" if we really load it up). We'll swap over our Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller and EZ-lift sway control unit. We will probably use a Reese Single Bar (400 pound rated) weight distribution hitch.

It appears that this would be just a bit under the MPV's maximums.

I'd appreciate it if one of you owners of a late model MPV could post the van's weight ratings. They should be listed on a data plate inside the drivers' door jamb:
GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
FAWR = Front Axle Weight Rating
RAWR = Rear Axle Weight Rating

Thanks,
Jim
Cross shopping MPV, Sienna, Pilot, Subaru Baja Turbo (Odd mix, eh?)

Jim
Southern California
Shopping for an MPV
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Olyts
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Could someone list their GVWR and axle ratings? Reply with quote

JimQPublic wrote:

I'd appreciate it if one of you owners of a late model MPV could post the van's weight ratings. They should be listed on a data plate inside the drivers' door jamb:
GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
FAWR = Front Axle Weight Rating
RAWR = Rear Axle Weight Rating

Thanks,
Jim
Cross shopping MPV, Sienna, Pilot, Subaru Baja Turbo (Odd mix, eh?)


There was a recall for that info in the 2002 manual. You can find the correct info here HTH

2010 Toyota RAV4
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JimQPublic
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Could someone list their GVWR and axle ratings? Reply with quote

Cool,

That puts it at:
5229 GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
2601 FAWR = Front Axle Weight Rating
2676 RAWR = Rear Axle Weight Rating

From above:
7328 GCWR = Gross Combined Weight Rating
3800 CW = Approx Curb Weight

Gets us to:
Van with 2500 pound Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) and 300 pound Trailer Tongue Weight (TTW) using weight distributing hitch.

7328 GCWR - 3800 Curb Wt. - 2500 Trailer Gross Wt
= 1028 Net Carrying Capacity (NCC) remaining for cargo and passengers in van without exceeding GCWR

5229 GVWR - 3800 Curb Wt. -300 TTW
= 1129 NCC; but this is greater than the NCC using GCWR so use 1028

In
other words the van is rated fine for my trailer, but not for a 3000 pound trailer since there would only be 500 left for passengers and cargo in the van.

Thanks,
Jim
Cross shopping MPV, Sienna, Pilot, Subaru Baja Turbo (Odd mix, eh?)

Jim
Southern California
Shopping for an MPV
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

Jim, if you really want to tow, I'd recommend a '98 AllSport MPV. They're super-nice, and rated at 5,000lbs, IIRC. Not many of the minivans made today pull much more than 3,000lbs on their rating, except the old GM rwd minivans, which I think they still make. But their crash ratings are worse than dismal.

Luck to you!
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JimQPublic
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:58 pm    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

The fact that it's 5 years old and has worse safety ratings are the main reason I have to say no to the '98.

We've looked at the new Sienna which is rated to tow 3500 while carrying 1000 pounds but the extremely low hitch plus impossible to modify rear suspension seem to be putting it out of the running.

Honda Pilot is also on our list but it is a long way from Zoom Zoom.

Jim
Southern California
Shopping for an MPV
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velokid
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 4:25 pm    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

Nice to see some new posts after I hadn't checked this thread for a while!

Does it make a big difference whether the trailer brakes are electric or surge? The boat/trailer I would be looking at has surge brakes.

Also, is it an issue to use a GFX-equipped (MkII) MPV for towing? I wasn't sure whether the lower hitch height would throw things off.

Thanks again to all who have posted...
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03sageLX
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

-velokid: Boats tend to have surge brakes because electric ones don't survive "dunking" well. The biggest drawback is that they're not directly tied to the tow vehicle's brakes, so they're always on when you drive downhill (around here you can overheat them), and there's no way to increase their braking effort from the cockpit (electric brake controllers are adjustable, if you need more help from the trailer, you can ask for it on the fly). Also, in a sway situation, you can hit the trailer brakes without hitting the tow vehicle brakes, which is by far the best way to recover safely from trailer sway.

None of which helps you on a boat, but I include it here for reference. You wouldn't want surge brakes on anything but a boat trailer.

-brianV

03 Sage Green LX
01 Subaru Forester S+ MT
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velokid
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

Thanks Brian. Here in the flat as a pancake Chicago area, having surge brakes overheat shouldn't be too much of a problem. Trailer sway, however, does concern me; I wonder if the relatively low weight of the MPV would make this even worse.

It does sound like the MkI is better suited to this task, but I'd kinda like the 2nd car to be a WRX or a MazdaSpeed Protege... Cool
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: How much have you towed with your MPV? Reply with quote

Velokid,

Last night, I was looking at a silver ES equipped w/both the trailer hitch an GFX. They didn't seem to have needed to modify the rear bumper skirt at all to accomplish this.

FWIW, since it's flat, I don't see why you can't tow the boat w/a MkII MPV, as long as your trailer is properly braked. You'll be pretty maxed out on the rating, but I still think you can do it. It's very important that you get your MPV w/the Four Seasons Package and a very high quality synthetic transmission fluid. I'd recommend synthetic motor oil as well. An once of prevention... Smile
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