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Old    Chad Helvey (venom93corba)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-27-2010, 6:50 AM Reply   
So we were out looking at mini vans and we started looking at the Toyota Sienna. And when I looked at their brochure they said with their tow package the towing capacity was 4000 lbs. I was like wow. I already have a tow vehicle, 2006 Durango w/ a hemi. But I thought this would take some off the burden off it since I tow it everywhere. I'd be towing a 2k9 Supra 21V. What do you think?
Old    882001 (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-27-2010, 6:54 AM Reply   
whats boat and trailer gvwr? im sure its over 4 k
Old    Chad Helvey (venom93corba)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-27-2010, 7:02 AM Reply   
I know the boat weighs 3800 not sure about the trailor.
Old    Dallas Cowboys #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       05-27-2010, 7:08 AM Reply   
forget the weight. what about the toyota unintended acceleration!don't let it get away from you.but seriously the boat and trailer weigh more than the tow vehicle thats nevr good.
Old    Chad Helvey (venom93corba)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-27-2010, 7:17 AM Reply   
yeah thats true. Maybe not, owell. I was trying to stay away from the 10 mpg's my Durango gets, haha.
Old    Joe Sellhausen (joesell)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-27-2010, 8:00 AM Reply   
Chad, what kind of milage do you think that minivan is going to get when your towing? If you get it, make sure to post pic's.
Old    David (colombiansurfer)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-27-2010, 8:05 AM Reply   
Mini Van = Soccer Mom
Mini Van pulling an awesome wake board board boat = No eye candy on the boat.

just kidding...
Old    Tyler Hiney (thiney)      Join Date: Sep 2009       05-27-2010, 8:09 AM Reply   
As long as you can handle driving it I say go for it there is no problem with the tow vehicle weighing less than the load. The only thing to make sure of is that you have the correct class of hitch so that it can handle weight, that you have good trailer brakes, and you might possible have to add helper springs or bags to the rear of the minivan if it sags too much.
Old    Tdc_worm C (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-27-2010, 8:18 AM Reply   
1. Toyota's website says that w/ the optional towing prep package that max tow cap is 3500 lbs. Assume 10% for tongue weight of 350 lbs.

2. Front wheel drive. Because you will likely be at or over the tongue weight recommendation, your drive traction will suffer, and will be severely compounded at any ramp, especially if wet (ever see people bounce on a truck bed for traction at a ramp? how would you like people bouncing on your hood for traction?)

3. 3.5L engine makes paltry torque of 245lbs, and doesnt do it until 4700 RPM...that means you will have that engine singing to get to the meat of the otherwise weak torque curve...
Old    Jason B (boomboom)      Join Date: Apr 2008       05-27-2010, 8:39 AM Reply   
I'm not going to sugar coat it...whenever I see a setup like that, I think "wally." Sorry.
Old    Tyler Hiney (thiney)      Join Date: Sep 2009       05-27-2010, 8:40 AM Reply   
Good points as long as the ramp is not unreasonably steep and your not taking any long road trips over mountain passes I still think it would be fine. On another note I did not realize that it was a front wheel drive I have never dealt with front wheel drive vehicles and towing before so my opinion may be worthless on the subject.
Old    Tdc_worm C (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-27-2010, 8:48 AM Reply   
@ tyler

---want to see your insurance company deny coverage real quick? exceed the manufacturer's recommendations...
---want to see toyota deny warranty real quick? use the vehicle in a manner for which it wasnt intended...
Old    Ty (wakeandsnow27)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-27-2010, 9:09 AM Reply   
what do I think?
I think I vowed to NEVER own or drive a minivan. I think they're embarrassing to be seen in.

hahaha- only 'cause you asked.
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       05-27-2010, 9:22 AM Reply   
Like already stated a bunch of times it is a terrible idea.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       05-27-2010, 9:51 AM Reply   
I would not be so judgmental. I can't tell you how many "Wally's" I pulled that showed up in a van, many driven by their mothers. Others have arrived on their bicycles. They looked like Wally's until they got behind the boat. I looked like a Wally the other day with beginners equipment hanging from the boat until my soon to be 2.5 year old took to the water and stopped traffic.

I see boats on a daily basis that outweigh the towing vehicle. At my local ramp it's probably 65% of the rigs. That is what trailer brakes are for. Put them on all axles but remember you do need to consider the tow capacity.

Last edited by srock; 05-27-2010 at 9:54 AM.
Old    Tyler Hiney (thiney)      Join Date: Sep 2009       05-27-2010, 9:54 AM Reply   
The warrantee can only get denied if they can prove that the improper use caused the failure that is being warranted (very easy for them to make up B.S. and do). I’m sure you are right about the insurance as well if it came down to it and you were at fault they would drop you in a heartbeat for going outside the manufacturers specifications. I guess I should have worded my post differently now that I go back and read them (sitting in a meeting half paying attention to WW and half to the meeting lol), I was speaking to the fact that the minivan could handle the boat. I have never taken anything in for warrantee nor have I ever had a claim on my insurance so those things are never at the front of my mind when thinking of these things (yes I realize that I should). Going back to the original post if you don’t care about the things Tdc_worm c so rudely mentioned above and you have the balls to show up to the lake in a minivan then go for it. On a side note that could go well in their new commercials.
Old    J.B. O'Neill (gnarslayer)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-27-2010, 9:56 AM Reply   
if its front wheel drive maybe the engine weight would give traction on the front tires... just a thought... i still wouldnt suggest a mini van thoughthey just arent too cool
Old    Tdc_worm C (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-27-2010, 10:28 AM Reply   
man, if that was rude i would i hate to see how you wet the bed when somebody points out an oversight of yours when in person...but i digress, and thread-jack over.

good point JB, and poorly addressed in my initial post. typically front wheel drive vehicles are designed more for comfort and fuel economy and have unibody constructions. as such, the rear suspension is typically very compliant and soft in order to keep from having a jarring ride (like you would find in a pickup). as soon as you start to add weight to the rear (w/ passengers and tongue weight), the neutral attitude of the car is altered and weight bias is shifted the rear, taking weight off of the front wheels, regardless of engine placement.

that is one reason i dont agree w/ leveling kits in pickups. trucks are designed to be slightly higher in the rear when empty, so that when you add a load and/or tongue weight, the truck rides level, which allows the steer tires to grip. if you have too much tongue weight, the front tires will lose steer grip... trucks w/ leveling kits typically tow w/ rear lower than the front...

Last edited by tdc_worm; 05-27-2010 at 10:30 AM.
Old    Tyler Hiney (thiney)      Join Date: Sep 2009       05-27-2010, 11:05 AM Reply   
I usually take it quite well I know when I’m wrong it happens a lot to everyone everyday if you cant take it life would be pretty tough. Back on topic kind of… seems like you know a little more about suspensions than I do but I'm always willing to learn more (I totally agree with you on the leveling kits not only does it throw off the things you mentioned it throws off the geometry of the front end causing other bad problems for example “death wobble” in dodges). Do you think that adding helper bags to the minivan like I mentioned above would remedy the things you are mentioning all other variables aside?
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-27-2010, 11:32 AM Reply   
Mount another trailer hitch in the front... That way when you're pulling the boat out you can use the front hitch to get some traction..... ha, ha, ha

Honestly.... As a tow vehicle that would be near the bottom of my list. FWD will get you stuck on a ton of boat ramps around where I live. You wont budge that boat on a wet ramp with any sort of incline. Plus you'll probably eat tranny's for lunch.

No thanks. I 'd rather suffer though 10mpg than deal with that.
Old    Dwight Kinley (beretta5spd)      Join Date: Jan 2010       05-27-2010, 11:54 AM Reply   
Let's just say that being a good driver has a big part to play in this....but the Sienna will not tow it well. Would I use a Sienna to put the boat in the water if I was within a mile of the lake....probably. Would I trust the minivan to pull the boat out of the water at the launch....probably not.

If this is possible...pulling a supra is possible.....doesn't mean I'd want to be doing the driving.

In other news.......where my kids at?

Old    Chad Helvey (venom93corba)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-27-2010, 12:01 PM Reply   
Ha ha. Guys when you have 3 kids ( 2 of them that DO play soccer and a 1 yr old that needs a big a$$ stroller) you'll realize that an SUV or mini van is a necessity . I already have the SUV I just thought this might work, that way I dont always have to jockey for a vehicle when Im ready to take the boat out. Also we were looking at the AWD.
Old    Chad Helvey (venom93corba)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-27-2010, 12:03 PM Reply   
The Boatmate trailer that I have has trailer brakes on it.

Last edited by venom93corba; 05-27-2010 at 12:07 PM.
Old    Chad Helvey (venom93corba)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-27-2010, 12:07 PM Reply   
HA HA HA I just watched the "Where my kids at" vid. LMAO!
Old    Dwight Kinley (beretta5spd)      Join Date: Jan 2010       05-27-2010, 12:12 PM Reply   
Glad you enjoyed the vid Chad! Please do everyone else on the road a favor and use the Durango to tow. There's no problem with you buying the Sienna, just use it for what's it's meant to do....haul kids around, not boats.
Old    Chad Helvey (venom93corba)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-27-2010, 12:38 PM Reply   
No problem I just wanted to get everyones thoughts on it. When I saw the towing capacity right away head went to the boat
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       05-27-2010, 12:51 PM Reply   
Yep sienna sounds great for doing everything you need to do except tow. Like you stated you have the Durango for that.
Old    Tdc_worm C (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-27-2010, 2:20 PM Reply   
to address the air bags---

---i install them on everything i tow with. firestone and airlift both offer complete kits that just bolt in place for leaf springs, and pop in place for coil springs. most cost around $100 (for coil spring bags) - $250 (for leaf spring bags). they also sell auto kits for around $250

i never would have considered them worth that $100-$250 until i had my nissan armada w/ the load leveing suspension, when unloaded, it road like a car, when it sensed a load, it stiffened the air bags in towed like a heavy duty truck...


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