Questions about pulling a small Aliner with a mini van

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Oldwolf

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I am looking for information from folks here that have towed an Aliner Ranger 10 (Small: 10ft cabin on 13ft frame) using a minivan. Approximate weight 1300 pounds dry weight. Specifically, I would be using a Gen 3 (2015) Toyota Sienna AWD. The engines on these are rated around 270 hp. I can usually maintain 24-27 mpg on my camping trips and have never towed a trailer with it. I am very interested to hear what your experiences are with the smaller Aliner behind a van like mine in terms of handling, braking and mpg. I am looking forward to hearing back from you!
 
You'll get a lot more response on a Sienna forum. But you might find this link helpful: https://towstats.com/toyota-sienna-towing-capacity/

The rated towing capacity is 3,500 lbs with trailer brakes and only 1,000 without, so you need brakes. If your Sienna doesn't have the brake controller and hitch, you'll need to add them.

Pulling it should be easy as you have plenty of power and enough weight to be stable. 1/2 ton pickups are towing 10,000 lb trailers and seem to manage.
 
Well, I like you guys a lot so thought I'd post here first. :)
I am a member of Siennachat.com and for sure will ask there, too.
I've read about the Aliner and mpg, some people said they barely noticed they were towing it, others said their mpg dropped significantly. I am sure these answers are related to vehicle size, hp, tow capacity, speed, etc..
Am hoping to get some first hand information from anyone that is towing an Aliner with a mini-van.
I already installed a Class III hitch, but would still need to install the controller.
 
Try asking your question in the forum in the link below. That is the Aliner owners “Club” forum. There are likely some persons towing with minivans in that group.
https://aliner.com/community/
 
My buddy pulls his with a little suv type car. Ford Focus I think... he has no issues. I’ll get info from him.

I’ll just edit this... it is a Ford Escape... 2.0L w/ turbo. He’s made a number of trips across country with no problems.
 
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MPG is whatever it is... best way to save gas $ with your "house" is to not drive it around so much!
 
I am looking for information from folks here that have towed an Aliner Ranger 10 (Small: 10ft cabin on 13ft frame) using a minivan. Approximate weight 1300 pounds dry weight. Specifically, I would be using a Gen 3 (2015) Toyota Sienna AWD. The engines on these are rated around 270 hp. I can usually maintain 24-27 mpg on my camping trips and have never towed a trailer with it. I am very interested to hear what your experiences are with the smaller Aliner behind a van like mine in terms of handling, braking and mpg. I am looking forward to hearing back from you!

I imagine this is somewhat relevant -- for several years I've towed a 13' Scamp with my 4 cyl. 2006 Toyota RAV4 whose towing capacity was 1,500. The camper is 1,200lbs dry so add a few hundred on top of that. You can see both in my profile photo.

Had no issues and it towed nice and smooth even up and down hills. It is a must to make sure you have trailer brakes and a brake controller installed, IMO. A mechanic installed one for $100 so it wasn't too bad. Electric brakes on the camper really help slow things down going downhill, that's the biggest issue.

As for MPG, I'd lose around 7-8mpgs down from my regular 22mpg. Not too shabby all things considered.

Since the van has a more powerful engine than the RAV4 I had and your camper is almost the same weight as mine I don't think you'll have any issues.

After a few years I "upgraded" to a Nissan xTerra w/4WD so I could go off-road otherwise I would have kept the RAV4. Interestingly, with the bigger engine in it I've found no loss in mpg towing the camper on relatively flat terrain.

Ray

PS. You may want to see if it’s recommended to install a transmission cooler for your van to extend its life when towing. That is if it’s an automatic.
 
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I imagine this is somewhat relevant -- for several years I've towed a 13' Scamp with my 4 cyl. 2006 Toyota RAV4 whose towing capacity was 1,500. The camper is 1,200lbs dry so add a few hundred on top of that. You can see both in my profile photo.

Had no issues and it towed nice and smooth even up and down hills. It is a must to make sure you have trailer brakes and a brake controller installed, IMO. A mechanic installed one for $100 so it wasn't too bad. Electric brakes on the camper really help slow things down going downhill, that's the biggest issue.

As for MPG, I'd lose around 7-8mpgs down from my regular 22mpg. Not too shabby all things considered.

Since the van has a more powerful engine than the RAV4 I had and your camper is almost the same weight as mine I don't think you'll have any issues.

After a few years I "upgraded" to a Nissan xTerra w/4WD so I could go off-road otherwise I would have kept the RAV4. Interestingly, with the bigger engine in it I've found no loss in mpg towing the camper on relatively flat terrain.

Ray

PS. You may want to see if it’s recommended to install a transmission cooler for your van to extend its life when towing. That is if it’s an automatic.
Tranny cooler for my manual tranny is just as important… most all transmissions have a cooler. You may need to put a larger or heavy duty cooler in… and the two things that are not maintained well is transmission fluid/ filter changes and in line filter changes for manual transmissions…
 
My Sienna has an AT cooler from the factory. BUT, I plan to install a Scangauge2 and monitor the ATF temperature. I can add a secondary cooler if necessary. Also equally as important is AT preventative maintenance, which includes fluid changes commensurate with the duty severity of the tranny.
 
One big reason I sold my trailer was it had no trailer brakes and I went up AND DOWN mountains far too often. The trailer was on the smaller side and I pulled with a pickup, but after one too many white-knuckled trips I got a quote on trailer brakes and a controller. It was a lot closer to $1000 than $100. Maybe I just went to the wrong mechanic?
 
One big reason I sold my trailer was it had no trailer brakes and I went up AND DOWN mountains far too often. The trailer was on the smaller side and I pulled with a pickup, but after one too many white-knuckled trips I got a quote on trailer brakes and a controller. It was a lot closer to $1000 than $100. Maybe I just went to the wrong mechanic?

In my case the brakes were already on the trailer and I bought the controller myself on Amazon (and it was cheap!) so it was a $100 install job.

Ray
 
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