Re: Trailer Tongue Weight Question - Definitely too much stuff in Caravan?

Rich Gort (
Wed, 18 Aug 1999 14:37:14 -0700 (PDT)

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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> On Chevrolets we don't have D and 3 we have OD and D (same thing)... GM
> states - OD unless downshifting occurs... (Like every bridge in town) If
> shifting occurs then you must use D (3) (in caps and underlined) which is
> next lower gear from high. My wife's 96 Dodge Caravan states same thing
> hidden in verbiage somewhere. My neighbors 99 Dodge Ram truck (12 cylinder)
> says same thing. Probably all mfrs. state same thing hidden somewhere in the
> verbiage... It seems the locking converters cannot handle heat very well... bring up a good point, namely the designator used on the shifting
lever to indicate overdrive. On my Chrysler (and I would presume on most
Chrysler products with 4 speed transmissions) "D" indicates Overdrive and
"3" elimitates the use of 4th gear. I think I like the GM way better
using "OD" for overdrive and "D" for no 4th gear. I can see how this
could cause much confusion when discussing this important subject.

Chrysler goes so far as to say that "3" should be used under all "heavy
operating conditions". They also say that "the towing of trailers is
restricted, with vechicles not equipped with the trailer tow package to
reasonably level roads in moderate ambient temperature." Now you tell me
where in this country you can find reasonably level roads and moderate
ambient temperatures in summer. Seems to me you have either heat or
mountains or both in most places.

> Add to your list
> vehicle load and or position of load in vehicle
> type of road/terrain.
> load leveling or load distributing hitch if over 2000#
> Trailer brakes if trailer and load exceed 2000# (required in most states
> by law)
> more frequent axle and transmission service (fluid change) 7500 mi instead
> of 15k
> use of air conditioner
> outside air temperature
> distance travelled.
> size of tires (may change axle ratio)
> Best
> SF

Good points! One thing to think about is if you even THINK you MIGHT ever
tow a trailer, buy a vechicle with the tow package. It is usually only a
few hundred bucks extra, and you get a whole lot for your money, no matter
which brand of car you buy. I also recommend a receiver (slug) type
hitch, so that you can easily adjust the hitch height (by use of proper
slug) to match any trailer you might pull.

Rich Gort
Lake Stevens, WA
Sailing Northern Puget Sound and North Cascades Mountain Lakes