I have a 2005 GC SXT. It's rated for a towing capacity of 3,800 lbs.
I'm planning a summer vacation which involves towing my 3,000 lb. boat
on a 12-hour drive.
A friend suggested that it might be worthwhile to have a transmission
cooler added. Today, I went to my dealer for an oil change. I asked
for an estimate to add a tranny cooler. The dealer said that there's
no tranny cooler listed for that vehicle. He didn't think that there
would be room to add one. I haven't looked for myself, but I noticed
that the factory "trailer tow prep group" option, which I didn't get,
supposedly includes a tranny cooler.
My two questions are: Does anyone know if a transmission cooler is
actually available (My dealer has been wrong before.)? Would a cooler
be a good idea for the trip that I'm planning?
I don't think you are rated for 3800 lbs. without the factory tow
package. Check your owner's manual, I am pretty sure it is rated for
2,000 lbs without the factory tow group.
That said, I am sure you can locate a trailer shop that installs hitches
and can fit an auxillary transmission oil cooler into the vehicle;
however there is a general guideline to not exceed that maximum tow
rating by more than 75% for safety. At 3000 lbs your boat trailer is
already above the 75% (plus 150 lbs ) the maximum -- and more than
likely you would be exceeding your rear axle weight limit with the
tongue weight of your trailer (genrally somewhere between 10 and 15% of
the trailer's gross weight).
All of this indicates how inadequate (or barely marginal for those
desperately idealic people) this combo would be, not taking into
account additional passengers, food, cargo, etc.
Additionally I assume your trailer has hydraulic surge brakes. You will
find that the mini-van's brakes will fade fairly quickly on long grades
leaving you will virtually zero back pressure to enact the trailer's
brakes. Speaking from experience here, wear dark colored pants.
I checked the manual and you are correct. I have the correct hitch,
but the trailer prep group includes transmission cooler, oil cooler and
load leveling system.
I've already pulled the boat on a 50-mile trip with no trouble, but a
longer trip could be a different story. I'll have to decide what to do
now; invest in the appropriate upgrades or take my other (older)
vehicle on vacation. Hmmmmmm?
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