report on towing boat with '94 caravan

Hi,
I had posted here in september, prior to using my 3.3 ltr 1994 Caravan LE to tow my 16' Dixie fiberglass boat from new jersey to florida. I asked for
advice about towing, etc., and promised to let you guys know how I made out on the trip.
Everything went fine. I had no trouble at all.
To prepare for the trip I flushed the automatic transmission oil and replaced the filter screen as suggested. Buying the right gasket/screen kit was a problem because there are 5 different sets, but eventually, by counting the bolts on the pan I was able to get the right one. The flush was a total flush, including the torque converter. I did that because I bought the van used and it had 150,000 miles on it. Also installed a medium sized transmission oil cooler and mounted it forward of the radiator, and replaced the serpentine belt. I also rotated the rear tires to the front.
The only thing I should have done, and didn't, was install air shocks because the weight lowered the rear a lot, but not enough to bottom out luckily.
So I can report, yeah, you can definitely use a caravan to tow a small boat long distances. One other thing, I ran in overdrive the whole way and had very little downshifting into 3rd. It happened once in a while on grades but not enough to turn off the over drive. With a fully loaded van, and boat, 40horse Evenrude, trailor, and one passenger, I got 24 MPG on the trip, compared to the usual 27. I removed the rear seats prior to the trip to reduce weight and provide more cargo room. Most of the driving was on cruise doing about 60.
mike
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Good stuff
http://www.carforums.net/ Auto Forums
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On Thu, 15 Dec 2005 21:42:49 -0500, Mike Hollywood wrote:

If you can find air shocks for this thing, please let me know.
I was working for a parts dealer (CarQuest) before I got my Caravan (92, same body style) and I figured, since i had a discount still, and I carry about 3/4 of band equipment around with me, Air Shocks might be nice...
Monroe doesn't make them. Gabriel doesn't make them...
I suppose I could cob something in, but I'd rather try to do it right.
After leaving CarQuest I went to work for a used car dealer with all kinds of connections to off-beat parts as well as the main-stream stuff...NOPE!
I tried the web, the phone book, whatever. Not a thing...
The only thing I was able to find was that there are 'helper' springs available for these things. What a PITA...
Let me know if you find anything different. I gave up...
Funny thing is, you can get air shocls for an '88-93 New Yorker. Go figure...

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Hi,
I never tried to buy air shocks for the van. My mechanic suggested them at the last minute. I hadn't thought of it prior to the day we left, but as it turned out, for my purposes, they weren't really necessary anyway. If I locate them, I'll post here.
Mike
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