View Full Version : Transmission coolers

11-24-2005, 09:22 AM
I was wondering if any TM owners use a Dodge Grandcaravan 3.8 l for a TV.
My question is if the tow package that came with vehicle includes a transmission cooler? The information says transaxle cooler. Are they one an the same. GW and I are excited, we drove 4 hours to see our first TM and was really impressed. This site is also AWsum! We have put a deposit on a new 2006, 2720 with many bells and whisles! Can't wait!

11-24-2005, 09:32 AM
Midwest Dave
Great! I hope your pleasures continue to grow with the new TM.

11-24-2005, 09:45 PM
I was wondering if any TM owners use a Dodge Grandcaravan 3.8 l for a TV.
My question is if the tow package that came with vehicle includes a transmission cooler? The information says transaxle cooler. Are they one an the same. GW and I are excited, we drove 4 hours to see our first TM and was really impressed. This site is also AWsum! We have put a deposit on a new 2006, 2720 with many bells and whisles! Can't wait!
Do a search on "grand caravan" (include the quotes)...you'll find lots to read. Your vehicle's "transaxle cooler" may not be enough...a secondary cooler may be needed.

You have a very marginal-for-towing 3800 lb "tow capacity"...that means you better plan to load both van and trailer very, very lightly. Especially if you're getting a trailer with lots of "bells and whistles"...those options will substantially add (like 500 or more lbs) to the "dry weight" or "empty weight" listed on TM's website.

As long as you only tow on the flat, low altitude roads of the midwest you'll probably do OK. But any mountain towing...either in the Appalachians or "out west" in the Rockies or Sierra will make your Dodge work very, very hard and will dramatically shorten its lifespan.

11-25-2005, 02:37 PM
Thanks for your help Bob and Ray, I appreciate it as we are also Newbies.
There is certainly a lot to learn! :new_Eyecr

12-19-2005, 07:15 PM
I had the opportunity to talk with a friend who is a sales person for Dodge motors co. He confirmed that the transaxle cooler is the transmission cooler.
The package includes heavy duty altenator, radiator,etc as well as the transaxle cooler. It also came with the wiring harness for the trailer hook-up.
He did mention The weight capacity max for that model is 3800lbs. I think we will be alright. :cool:

12-20-2005, 04:25 AM
I have a TM pulled by a Grand Caravan. I did not have the dealership tow package. I bolted on a trailer hitch and wire harness. We live in Ozark Mountains. We traveled to the Smokey Mountains. Seemed to do just fine. I average 16.5 MPG. Load on van seemed fine. Sure it needs Load distributing hitch and air lift. Hot weather I need to bolt on trans cooling add on. I load enough such. Stop at Wal-Mart for resupply every three days. Wash clothes Sundays and Wednesdays. I was concerned at first,now I am sure its a good match. This is justification of cost of TM, I didn't need a gas hog to pull our camper. Life span of Van is seven years, Life span of TM is maybe 15 years. Just the way it is.

12-20-2005, 03:36 PM
:) Thanks for your words of experience. What model TM do you haul?
We haven't got ours yet, this spring we are getting a new 2006 model 2720.
About the air shocks or pillows, why do you have them when you have a WDH? I thought I had read in one of the posts that it was not necessary for both? Your right about the TV vs. TM life, I think we will be ready for a newer TV in a few years. I appreciate your coments Magdefrau :) .

12-20-2005, 08:41 PM
Our TM is a 2004 model 3023. We bought it used. Almost got a 2005 model 2619. But, this used model was best size for our two kids and us. Used larger model priced the same as new smaller model. 3023 is the right size. Its big behind the van. I got a extension mirror to help. You got to think when you make a turn, when you stop and were you pull in to get gas.
I had already bolted on a Reese heavy duty hitch, part no. 37042. The nature of a Mini-Van will allow the tow unit to lower the hitch too closed to the street. The Air Lift pillows, Kit No.59560, corrects this. You got to have some type of helper for the leaf springs. The TM dealer may have not sold us the WDH but it came with the Used TM. This is how it works. The Air Lift keeps the hitch from dragging. The WDH keeps the frount tires in good contact with the road. The mini-anti sway bar keeps the TM and the Van in line. The dealer instaled a braking box unit, this times the TM's brakes with the Vans brakes. I realize now we need these four devises to tow a TM with our 03 Grand Caravans safly. I'm going to bolt on a Transmission After Market Cooling System before 95+ degree driving weather.

12-21-2005, 06:23 AM
I'll just add my experience. I have a 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager with the factory towing package and a 1999 TM 2619. I use only a WDH. I have over 18,000 tow miles with the TM and over 102,000 miles on the TV. Haven't had the hitch drag once. I do replace the coolant and transmission fluid every two years.

12-21-2005, 03:25 PM
Re Air Lifts. We had AirLift air bags in the rear coil springs of the Honda Odyssey we towed our 2619 with for three years and they made it a much better vehicle -- even when we were not towing. One Ody owner reported on the http://www.odyclub.com owners site that he almost lost control during an emergency maneuver with 4 bikes hung off a rear rack on his stock Ody. AirLifts solved that problem. AirLifts are not a substitute for a WDH but a worthwhile addition for some lightly sprung vehicles IMO.

12-22-2005, 08:50 AM
The dealer that we are using suggested "Risers" to keep us from bottoming out on gas station driveways and other low clearence areas. What is the difference in Risers and air pillows? Anyone!!! :new_Eyecr

12-22-2005, 12:51 PM
We were driving this Fall or rather canoeing. What you need to see in your mind's eye is a thunder shower, a hundred year down pour. If it was summer I could call it a frog strangler. Well, pulling the TM on the highway had gone fine until this mid-morning event. I will remember this, as should a rather smart reader, Good plan during a hard rain would be to pull over. Stopping your Minivan and TM as well as pulling off from a stop is in the red caution zone. I had before this time only driven in dry 80 degree conditions, my confidence in our rig was high. Good thing the costs of mistakes makes me vveerryy careful not to go too fast. First, the braking box really stops your rig, set the timing so that the TM slightly drags the van, keeping the wagon straight. The anti-sway bar, that I was told I didn't need, adds to keeping things in line. Once I'm on the road I tighten it rather stiff. Secondly, I need to learn more about the WDH. Because, I had the adjustment so that the center of gravity was not forward enough, as I gas the van it found it hard to get traction, front wheel drive. Two inches of water on the highway helps you know this. Gosh, it would be great to have a large TV, but it's nice to operate a fuel eco vehicle the other three hundred days of the year. Maybe the charm is having a wife next to you say, "Sweetheart I'm hungry, that looks like a good place, and now is the time to stop and eat lunch". After the sun appeared the rest of the trip was easy. Two hours late getting home, but no scratches, no claims and another family safe high adventure recorded. Hey, what about Snow and Ice , Ouuuu..... I bet it would make a good story.

12-27-2005, 09:35 AM
Well I guess you just need to get the unit that works out best for you, as for me and DW ours will be TrailManor thank you :)

12-27-2005, 08:33 PM
Most likely the TM has twice the room compared to truck campers. We need the space our TM has. That was pointed out by the wife. She says snow and ice is out anyhow. And a Van is cool. It can put a Camper too. My son tells me that.

02-28-2006, 05:19 AM
I just spent several hours at our local transmission specialty shop. They have been in business since 1959. I had a transmission leak found by my oil change shop. It was a leak on the sol-box on the front of the tranny. It tells the tranny when to shift. After it was done and fluids and screens serviced I sat down with the owner and asked him about my concerns. he said to watch and listen for the tranny hunting for a gear when in overdrive.If

this is happening often then use 3 (PRND31) . The cooler is adequate under these circumstances. Watch the color of the tranny fliud.When its darked red it is time to change. All in all he said that my 2002-Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8 L
with tow package should do just fine! I consider this the ultimate blessing for the suitability of TV and it's towing features. :D

Midwest Dave
Quad Cities USA