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Hi all, I am shopping for a used minivan to use for cargo trailer towing either 5 x 10 or 6 x 12. Can anyone recommend an optimal year and model to look for - what is the best way to tell if the vehicle has towing specific features? Budget is between 8K -12K, but some flexibility if needed either way. Thanks in advance.
 

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Hi all, I am shopping for a used minivan to use for cargo trailer towing either 5 x 10 or 6 x 12. Can anyone recommend an optimal year and model to look for - what is the best way to tell if the vehicle has towing specific features? Budget is between 8K -12K, but some flexibility if needed either way. Thanks in advance.
2014, 2015
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, so any particular trim level and is the factory tow group package still an option or is it standard?
 

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I'd recommend a '14+, as they will have HD brakes standard - regardless of whether or not it has the tow package. I personally wouldn't want to tow without those... Tow rating with or without the tow package is the same on my '14. Rear load levelling suspension (Nivomat's) is nice to have as well. Agree with markzrt1 - a '14 or '15 should be within your budget. Should be able to find some newer ones as well for that price. I've been very happy with my 2014 DGC.
 

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2013+

Reason being, 2013+ have better brakes. Make sure the vehicle have 17" wheels, not 16"

If ex-rental, even better. Ex-rentals usually are better equipped.
 

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I have a previously Enterprise rental 2013. It's fairly well equipped, but didn't have towing standard and light duty brakes.

I'd try to get a 2015+ if you could. HD brakes are standard, plus you get the added fuel economy from the updated Pentastar. If I'd known just a few months after I bought mine they'd do the engine upgrade, I would have waited. Doesn't seem like much, but those few upgrades would be worth it to me.
 

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I have a previously Enterprise rental 2013. It's fairly well equipped, but didn't have towing standard and light duty brakes.

I'd try to get a 2015+ if you could. HD brakes are standard, plus you get the added fuel economy from the updated Pentastar. If I'd known just a few months after I bought mine they'd do the engine upgrade, I would have waited. Doesn't seem like much, but those few upgrades would be worth it to me.
2013 have HD brakes as std. equipment. Even some 2012 have HD brakes.

Buy T & C if you can, better equiped than Caravan.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been searching the forum and saw another thread that mentioned this but the link to check a VIN but is not working for me. There is a lot of info in this forum, but I'm getting confused. It says the factory towing group comes with: Heavy duty radiator, engine oil cooling, transmission cooling, trailer say damping (Novomat shocks?) Looking through cars.com, its difficult to tell which have the equipment.

Go to the Chrysler site and input your VIN under "Equipment Listing". It will show "Load Leveling and Height Control" if you have it.http://www.chrysler.com/webselfservice/chrysler/index.html
 

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Go to the Chrysler site and input your VIN under "Equipment Listing". It will show "Load Leveling and Height Control" if you have it.http://www.chrysler.com/webselfservice/chrysler/index.html
That link redirects to the Chrysler Customer Care main page. Just slap your VIN on this link: https://www.chrysler.com/webselfservice/BuildSheetServlet?vin=

2013 have HD brakes as std. equipment.
Nope. HD brakes became standard in 2015. Check my build sheet. You won't find Heavy Duty on the brake package line. Caraline's Factory Equipment
Apparently some missed the date and were sold as 2016s, because SD brakes show up in interchange for them on sites like RockAuto.
 

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Let's do this. Ask members here with a 2013-2014 and ask them if any of them doesn't have HD brakes. Bet everyone have them.

CV or Crew might not, for some reason.
2013's came with 16 or 17 inch wheels. 16" =smaller brakes. 2014 could only get 17 inch wheels.
 

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2013's came with 16 or 17 inch wheels. 16" =smaller brakes. 2014 could only get 17 inch wheels.
Exactly. According to interchange CV went to HD brakes in 2015, Routan in 2014, T&C and other DGC trims in 2016. Officially the change happened in 2015, but interchange still shows them for 2016.
Wheel Sizes 2015 Wheels Sizes 2014

Let's do this. Ask members here with a 2013-2014 and ask them if any of them doesn't have HD brakes. Bet everyone have them.

CV or Crew might not, for some reason.
DGC trim levels for 2013 were (in order from lowest to highest) AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, R/T. Why would you think that the 2nd top tier would have SD brakes when the 3 lower tiers had HD? Doesn't make sense. Makes even less sense that the cargo van would keep SD brakes as an option after HD was made standard on other trims.
 

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My 10/2013 build 2014 AVP has 17" wheels with HD brakes. As was said, later years C/V's had 16" wheels w/std brakes. Made no sense for a work truck not to have HD brakes
 

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Exactly. According to interchange CV went to HD brakes in 2015, Routan in 2014, T&C and other DGC trims in 2016. Officially the change happened in 2015, but interchange still shows them for 2016.
Wheel Sizes 2015 Wheels Sizes 2014


DGC trim levels for 2013 were (in order from lowest to highest) AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, R/T. Why would you think that the 2nd top tier would have SD brakes when the 3 lower tiers had HD? Doesn't make sense. Makes even less sense that the cargo van would keep SD brakes as an option after HD was made standard on other trims.
Let's just wait for replies from actual owners, not from what you see over the internet.

Something to read in the meantime:

Posted on 01-16-2014, way before 2015:

From what I can find if you have 17" wheels and it was built on or after 3/24/12 you will have the HD's. Some of the 2013 still had 16" wheels and therefore they by default got the light duty.


If you have the HD fronts with the dual pistons and 13" rotors (330mm) it will have the larger 12.9" (328mm) rear rotors and calipers too.
The light duty rotors are 11.8" (302mm) on the front and 12"(305mm) on the rear. Yes the rear rotors are larger diameter than the fronts on the light duty setup but the rears are not vented.
A light duty rear caliper.



A Heavy Duty rear caliper.


As you can see the HD has a smaller cutout in the top of it.
I'm looking for some pictures of the outside of the rear calipers to see if there is any easy way to identify them at a glance thru the wheels.

Posted on 2012:

my 2012 does specify HD brakes on the sticker (no charge), but does have the 17" wheels-and this was an early production model (10-11) it was one of the reasons i purchased it, being that the rest of the touring models on the lot had 16" wheels (icluding a touring cloth model with the towing package-one i have yet to see again including on-line)
 

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Let's just wait for replies from actual owners, not from what you see over the internet.
As the owner of a 2013 with SD brakes and 16" wheels, I find it very amusing that you are still trying to convince me that I'm imagining all that.
 

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As the owner of a 2013 with SD brakes and 16" wheels, I find it very amusing that you are still trying to convince me that I'm imagining all that.
Well, yours doesn't count as very strange things only happens to you. Some 2013 doesn't have HD brakes, but HD become std. on 2013 (after they released yours, of course).

Other weird replies from you:

According to you, if you remove the thermostat, the engine overheats, even worst, you've seen it over 100 times, wow!

Having the thermostat out is not good. That could be causing your overheating.

As for the fan coming on with the A/C, it should come on any time the compressor is engaged. This may not be the entire time the A/C is switched on unless you live in an extremely hot climate. If the van is overheating it will not allow the compressor to engage.
With the thermostat out the entire system is being heated and cooled.....
It's not a myth, it's a fact I've seen happen over 100 times. If you only drive short distances or in cold weather it might seem like a myth. Let one idle without a thermostat. Might take an hour to warm up, but fully warm to spewing coolant won't be long behind that.
 

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Anyways, for the O.P.

If the vehicle you are buying is 2013+ and have original 17" wheels, then it should have H.D. brakes, just make sure the front brakes have double piston calipers, that easy.
 
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