Towing capabilities


Axiim
02-04-2004, 12:53 PM
I'm trying to figure out how much my 2001 Montana can tow.

The owners manual says 2000 lbs with two occupants and 1400 lbs with up to six occupants. Then it says if I have the optional towing package, I can tow 3500 or 2900 lbs respectively.

I do not have the Towing package per se, but..

From what I can see in the 2004 Montana options, the towing package includes:

Towing prewiring
Upgraded Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler
Heavy Duty Engine Cooling System
High Output Alternator (125 Amps)
Touring Suspension
Automatic Load Leveling
Inflator Kit


#1 I'll get with the Class 3 hitch I'll have installed
#4 I have because I got the package with the rear A/C, 2nd row audio controls, etc
#6-#7 I have from getting the Sport Performance/Handling package
#5- I have the Sport suspension instead of Touring. I can't imagine there's a huge difference here.

So I'm wondering about #2 and #3. I don't have them, so how much can I *really* tow? The 1500 lb difference listed in the manual is a pretty wide margin. Can those two items be installed easily? How much labor would be involved? Any other thoughts or tips would be appreciated.

One other note, I'll have 2 adults and 3 kids total. So we're talking the weight of 3 adults in the van.

Thanks.
-Ax

rodeo02
02-09-2004, 09:47 AM
If you plan to keep your van for a long time / high mileage, I would not tow more than 2000lbs with it. The 3.4L & 4T65E tranny combo is not an ideal tow vehicle. Even if you do occational 2000lb or lighter towing, I would install a quality ATF cooler setup & do yearly ATF changeouts. I personally would not pull more than a jetski, snowmobile, smaller pop-up camper or VERY small boat with a montana.
G/luck
Joel

Axiim
02-10-2004, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the reply.

My immediate need is to tow a U-haul trailer like one of these:

http://www.uhaul.com/guide/guide_template.html?trailer_5x10
http://www.uhaul.com/guide/guide_template.html?trailer_5x8
http://www.uhaul.com/guide/guide_template.html?trailer_4x8
http://www.uhaul.com/guide/guide_template.html?trailer_4x6

It sounds like you're recommending I go with either of those last two.

Any idea how much I should expect to pay from a dealer to get the ATF and Engine Cooling upgrades?

rodeo02
02-11-2004, 08:02 AM
You dont want to go bigger than the 4x8 U-Haul trailer. If it's just a short haul- like a few hundred miles, I would not worry about a tranny cooler. If it's a longer haul, a tranny cooler is a good idea. U-Haul does install them, as does dealers & tranny shops. I would try a quality independant tranny or repair shop first if you dont want to DIY. Have a good trip!
Joel

michael_in_wa
01-02-2005, 02:11 PM
The extra engine and tranny cooling are a must to reduce wear! External Tranny oil coolers are available but the extra radiator capacity and 2nd cooling fan are harder to find aftermarket.
I tow a 2800 to 3000 lbs trailer with my 2000 with the towing option. Like posted before you need to change the Tranny oil and filter at least once a year if not twice if you are towing regularly and or in hot weather.

kkkmc
01-07-2005, 01:48 AM
To install ATF cooler is good idea. They are not expensive if you know how to do it yourself.Just follow instruction manual.I did mine. I'm towing 3000lbs camper tralier for 4 year now. I did not change my cooling capacity. Just do trany oil change two time a year. I also install air bag on my rear coil springs. do it yourself air bag kit instruction manual included. good luck

Lori Bonertz
09-15-2005, 10:10 PM
We had a 2002 Montana with the towing package and towed our 1700 lb Palomino trailer long distances fairly easily. The lease was up on that van and we now have the 2005 Montana SV6. However the towing package on this van has a 1 inch receiver instead of a 2 1/4 inch receiver, which we need. The dealership is being singularly unhelpful. What can we do?

1999montana
09-16-2005, 08:57 AM
... the towing package on this van has a 1 inch receiver instead of a 2 1/4 inch receiver, which we need....

Sounds like the 2005 van was built / designed with a particular 'class' of hitch used that restricts towing capacity. I don't know enough about the different classes, but I suspect the 1" receiver is at the lower end of the scale in terms of capacity.

.

Lori Bonertz
09-16-2005, 12:05 PM
It actually is rated up to 3500 lbs.

1999montana
09-16-2005, 03:14 PM
It actually is rated up to 3500 lbs.

With reference to 'It' do you mean that the hitch is rated or the van's towing capacity is rated at 3500 lbs?

.

1999montana
09-17-2005, 03:57 PM
It actually is rated up to 3500 lbs.

Just checked the specs on a class II hitch with a 1-1/4" receiver rated at 3500 / 300 tongue weight. I don't see a 2" receiver in this class, but it might exist elsewhere. GM states the EWB Montana is rated at 3500 lbs towing capacity. Your dilemma seems to be that it came equipped with the smaller receiver.

According to the specs the trailer towing package is as follows:

"Package - Trailer Towing: 1588 kg (3500 lb.) capacity, includes heavy-duty radiator and transmission oil cooler, trailer wiring harness, heavy-duty signal flasher and higher output alternator (does not include hitch); includes automatic rear level control and accessory inflator kit."

*Notice that the hitch is not installed at time of manufacture.

Did you specifically state that you wanted a class II hitch installed as part of the deal? The hitches I have viewed do come in a 2" receiver but start at 3500 all the way to a 6000 lb hitch. It looks like the 1-1/4" receiver at 3500 lb capacity was chosen to prevent someone from using the higher class weight capability on a vehicle not designed to handle it.

Hope this helps.

.

Lori Bonertz
09-19-2005, 02:21 PM
>Did you specifically state that you wanted a class II hitch installed as part of the deal?
Probably not, just assumed they would supply same as last time. Thanks for your help.

keith32
12-06-2005, 01:42 PM
>Did you specifically state that you wanted a class II hitch installed as part of the deal?
Probably not, just assumed they would supply same as last time. Thanks for your help.

They probably put the 1-1/4" on, just so no one will tow more than the 3500lbs the vehicle is rated for. The dealer installed a 1-1/4" on my 2002 vehicle instead of the 2". Because you can go to a 500lb tongue weight instead of the 300lb. class 2 to class 3.
hope it works out for you.

Renny_D
06-29-2008, 12:34 PM
Has anybody towed a boat with their montana. I don't see the van as having a problem towing a small boat but I do see an issue with it being front wheel drive on the boat ramps. Has anyone towed a boat with their van? Please let me know what your experience was like and how big of a boat did you tow.

Thanks
Renny

Add your comment to this topic!