Can a Pacifica tow a camper?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a Pacifica tow a camper? We will discuss the pros and cons of towing with a Chrysler Pacifica and analyse this minivan’s behaviour on the road and perks. 

Can a Pacifica tow a camper?

A Chrysler Pacifica can tow a camper, trailer, boat or small caravan. It has a towing capacity of up to 3600 lbs (1623 kg), 287 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, a 9-speed transmission, thus enough power to haul even a fully-loaded camper. 

Please see the table below for arguments pro and against towing with a Chrysler Pacifica. 

In favour of towing with a Chrysler PacificaAgainst towing with a Chrysler Pacifica
There is plenty of room on two levels for luggage behind the third row.It consumes a lot of gasoline, and with 7 passengers, the bill is quite expensive.
The practicality of the Stow & Go system, although its operation is not the simplest.Halogen main lighting should be a thing of the past.
Ride comfort in conjunction with exterior noise isolation.There are so many moving parts that there is a lot of creaking noise inside.

The Chrysler Pacifica has received multiple awards for being one of the best-equipped, safest and most reliable minivans, and with greater acceptance in the US and Canada.

How to tow with a Chrysler Pacifica

There are many concerns to address when towing with a Pacifica. These include good brake and tire condition, proper hitch and mounting selection, signal light connection, and weight distribution. The transmission is a concern as trailer maintenance generates a lot of extra heat. Proper preparation for towing will ensure a safe ride and a minimum of stress on your vehicle.

Here’s how to prepare your Pacifica for towing:

  1. Check your tire pressure and inflate your tires to 33 psi for 17-inch wheel models. Examine the tires for wear. If they are bald or have very shallow treads, replace them. Tires are more prone to blowout as they approach the end of their life. A compact spare should never be used when towing.
  1. Make sure you have the trailer brakes working properly. This avoids “fishtail” and offers the necessary additional stopping power. The factory Pacifica brake system is not designed to handle a source of large additional weight safely. Use an electronically controlled braking interface instead. This activates the trailer brakes without affecting yours.
  1. Inspect for proper signage capability. A harness connects Pacifica’s turn signals, running lights, and brake lights to the trailer. This is essential for safety. If you have the factory trailer towing package, this is pre-wired for you. Connect trailer plug to vehicle harness. Do not splice or modify the plug. Give it a try before hitting the road.
  1. Install an external oil cooler for the heaviest loads. The towing process creates a great deal of additional heat. The service is the transmission every 60,000 miles if you regularly tow instead of the 120,000 miles prescribed for “normal” driving. Improper towing can void the warranty and create dangerous driving conditions.

Here’s how to prepare your camper for towing:

  1. Weigh the trailer and its contents, if possible. The manual for the vehicle clearly outlines the weight limitations: 3500 pounds towing and the contents are the absolute maximum. Your Pacifica may already have a towing package.
  1. Make sure the weight is distributed correctly with approximately 60 percent of the trailer’s weight in the front half of the unit. Use a weight-distribution hitch for heavier loads of one ton or more. Provides greater stability, a more level ride, and better braking control.
  1. Load the camper so that 10 percent to 15 percent of the total weight is pressing on the hitch. This “tongue weight” is the downward force applied by the tow ball. Too much or too little weight on the tongue is dangerous and could cause loss of control. 

Other questions you may be interested in

Why do my trailer tires keep blowing out?

Are Dutchmen campers good?

How long does a travel trailer last?

The manual advises 350 pounds of tongue weight maximum, 260 pounds if you don’t have an external drive cooler. These numbers vary slightly depending on the number of passengers and the weight of the load of the vehicle; a table is included in the owner’s manual.

  1. Familiarize yourself with backing, turning, etc., before hitting the road, especially if it’s your first time to tow a particular item. Towing is a “slow” experience compared to ordinary driving.

6 tips for towing with a Pacifica

  • Never tamper with or “fortune rig” brake connections.
  • No splicing of cables; repair with standard plugs and connectors.
  • Never pull a trailer at a higher speed than it is designed for.
  • Do not tow with an overloaded Pacifica.
  • Never tow with marginal tires.
  • Do not exceed the tongue weight specifications.

With Chrysler Pacifica on the road

The interior space is the most important aspect in a minivan, and Pacifica continues to be a benchmark in this area. It offers a three-row (2 + 2 + 3) configuration for seven passengers, as the second row has two captain’s seats instead of a bench. Converting it to a cargo van takes a couple of minutes with the Stow & Go system, and if all available seats are occupied, it still feels spacious and comfortable.

The armchairs invite us to spend hours there, the smooth ride absorbs any discomfort that the pavement has prepared for us, and those who travel in the first two rows can adjust their position in different directions. Minivans are one of the few really practical vehicles that offer luggage space behind the third row, and Pacifica does so with double-bottom space.

The minivan’s nearly 300 hp propels it forcefully to and from any desired speed, it handles like a large sedan, and the high centre of gravity is well compensated for with a responsive suspension and highly intrusive electronic assists that keep a light-hearted cruising speed without compromise.

The brakes are those that, despite their good performance and stability when slowing down, are operated by means of a long, padded travel pedal, very typical in Chrysler vehicles. The steering wheel is large in diameter and the steering is a slow response, however, this does not affect the manoeuvrability or when parking, or on the highway or when turning a corner in the city.

I like the response of the Pentastar engine, which like a good naturally aspirated V6 must reach the top of the tachometer to develop all the available power and achieve maximum torque. The feeling that the transmission gives is that of being looking for the ideal gear all the time, and that sometimes it is difficult to find it, the good thing is that each transition is so smooth that it does not make the ride uncomfortable.

Finally, although the Limited version of Pacifica does not have an autonomous emergency brake or adaptive cruise control, among other elements that have been removed to adjust the final price, it does offer a reinforced structure designed for shock absorption, 10 airbags, traction control, stability and proximity sensors that facilitate parking manoeuvres and minimize blind spots.

What’s more exciting about the Chrysler Pacifica

The most exciting part is, of course, the technology and the ad-on. This is where the difference with the Premium version is most noticeable, since there is only one screen to play DVD for the rear rows. Of course, it includes two pairs of wireless headphones with independent audio.

In the UConnect 8.4 system, only the navigation was removed, however, it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interface, with which you can use your favourite maps app to reach your destination. 

It is controlled via an 8.4-inch touchscreen in the centre of the console or the buttons on the steering wheel and also features Siri EyesFree voice commands and an Alpine audio system with 13 speakers and an amplifier.

Conclusions

If your need for family transportation has placed you between a minivan and a three-row crossover, let me direct you to the best option: the minivan. No available crossover offers the comfort and convenience benefits of this — or any other — minivan, and they are very similar in equipment, power, and fuel economy.

If you travel a lot, you will find the minivan beneficial since is more comfortable and in addition, Pacifica offers an active noise cancellation system that you will notice when driving at a constant speed. Don’t worry about the image you are promoting, since towing with a minivan is considered totally cool nowadays! 

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

References

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