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  1. #1
    No Huevos katya422's Avatar
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    Experience or Opinions on Dodge Grand Caravan?

    Yeah, I know. Not sexy or sporty at all. Not even a top ranked minivan.

    But I found that there are a fair number of 2019 SXT trim for sale from $16K to $18K ranging between 25K - 50K miles; lower mileage/higher priced.

    I drove one cross country as a rental and thought it was alright- comfortable, okay power, lots of room inside, but not particularly nice looking, blah "infotainment" center. They haven't been redesigned in a very long time and the 2020 is the last year of production.

    They are supposed to be able to tow up to 3600 pounds w/equipped for towing.

    I still like my little hatchback. It isn't all that comfortable for long trips and the road noise has probably contributed to hearing loss. I see vehicles comparable to mine listed for sale now for $6K to $7K.

    I think it would be nice to have to option to tow a camper. Of course the two campers I've found most appealing are kind of heavy.

    I like the style and features from this manufacturer, but the larger style says 3100 dry weight and then something called GVWR @ 4000 to 4200:

    https://golittleguy.com/lg-max/

    I appreciate the likely better durability from Casita, though I don't like the interior or kitchen as well:

    https://casitatraveltrailers.com/spirit/

    ETA: random- still like the looks of the Little Guy trailers. And at least some of their customers lift.

    Last edited by katya422; 09-13-2020 at 09:31 AM.
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  2. #2
    rapscallion gluon's Avatar
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    Sienna or Odyssey or bust.

    id take a 95 privia over a new caravan lmao
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    Registered User bigcat3655's Avatar
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    Drove one across the country and back in June. Didn't like it. Ports for electronics were not well placed for the kids. Good storage space but I'd imagine most minivans have that
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    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    My Dad bought a 2020 right after Easter to replace his ‘06 Town and Country that was slowly dying of cancer. It’s a decent van, he was pissed it didn’t have the power doors or a spare tire, just a compressor and he would have preferred a Pacifica or Voyager, but couldn’t afford those. In the times I’ve driven it, it mostly drove fine other that an impromptu road trip from the Chicago Suburbs to Lansing, MI for a generator after we lost power during the Derecho that blew through (which, of course, was back on when we got home) it would get “twitchy” on the road if you weren’t on top of it. I also found the drive by wire throttle lacking in responsiveness, so I reprogrammed that when we got home. When I found out about this reprogramming method for my 2012 200 with the same drivetrain, I found it made an improvement in throttle response that helps it actually feel as though it has 283hp. Even without that, my Dad and “Kid” Sister (well, she is in her 30’s with a 10mo old, but still) have spun the tires on it by accident, Dad enough that the cruise control turned off due to it. I found the brakes are fantastic, huge appearing, and seemingly stuffed into the 17” alloys it left Canada with!

    If you’re wondering about the drivetrain, Dad’s van is way too new for me to judge it in that platform, which I believe has a curb weight of at least 4400lbs, but with my much lighter, 3600lbs 200 with the earlier Flex Fuel version of it, I can at least offer a few insights. I have around 107,500 miles on mine right now and it has been rock solid, only repairs to this date have been the thermostat, it’s housing, the heater core, and the gearboxes that’s control the HVAC vents in the dash, though I do have an appointment for Wednesday to get it in for an oil cooler replacement (which is leaking and mounted under the lower intake), then to have them check the motor mounts (I have heard of those eventually coming apart with how I drive) as well as the wheels bearings and CV shafts, mainly due to the mileage on it, may see how much extra it would cost to put new brakes plugs in it since the upper intake manifold has to come off to replace those anyway and 3 of them are pointed at the cowl and firewall. I have taken full advantage of it’s flex fuel capability and found that those V-6 engines have 2 favorite things, cool night air and E85. The temp differences can be felt on Dad’s Caravan while just burning plain old 87 octane, but when you start introducing corn liquor to the mix, it can cruise down the road as though it was just a 4 cylinder rental with an old lady behind the wheel, then lay down rubber while trying to fight torque steer and steering to the left as the nose of the car sidesteps to the right if you get too aggressive with the throttle leaving a light. I’ve seen where that last part freak out people who aren’t used to higher powered front drive vehicles while those of us who are generally have responses ranging from “eh” to a very Nelson like “HA-Ha” those stories.
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    No Huevos katya422's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gluon View Post
    Sienna or Odyssey or bust.

    id take a 95 privia over a new caravan lmao
    But why though?

    Originally Posted by bigcat3655 View Post
    Drove one across the country and back in June. Didn't like it. Ports for electronics were not well placed for the kids. Good storage space but I'd imagine most minivans have that
    TFS. Electronic extras aren't a big concern to me unless they compromise the main functions of the vehicle (drive-ability).

    My current vehicle is a 2007 Honda w/no touchscreen/camera anything. I would like to have cameras, but don't even care if they are after market. I often find the touchscreen thing annoying when I want to access something like the radio or phone but can't do it because the screen is locked into a camera function.

    I only have one kid and she is as tall as me and helps herself to my closet regularly. If she is with me she sits on the passenger side and takes over the dash access for audio/chargers.

    I don't even like active GPS. The talking lady annoys the hell out of me. If I am going somewhere and I don't know the way I would rather write down all my directions on notebook paper. If I screw up and get off course then I will pull off and look at a map on my phone to reroute.
    Last edited by katya422; 09-13-2020 at 08:48 AM.
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  6. #6
    No Huevos katya422's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    My Dad bought a 2020 right after Easter to replace his ‘06 Town and Country that was slowly dying of cancer. It’s a decent van, he was pissed it didn’t have the power doors or a spare tire, just a compressor and he would have preferred a Pacifica or Voyager, but couldn’t afford those. In the times I’ve driven it, it mostly drove fine other that an impromptu road trip from the Chicago Suburbs to Lansing, MI for a generator after we lost power during the Derecho that blew through (which, of course, was back on when we got home) it would get “twitchy” on the road if you weren’t on top of it. I also found the drive by wire throttle lacking in responsiveness, so I reprogrammed that when we got home. When I found out about this reprogramming method for my 2012 200 with the same drivetrain, I found it made an improvement in throttle response that helps it actually feel as though it has 283hp. Even without that, my Dad and “Kid” Sister (well, she is in her 30’s with a 10mo old, but still) have spun the tires on it by accident, Dad enough that the cruise control turned off due to it. I found the brakes are fantastic, huge appearing, and seemingly stuffed into the 17” alloys it left Canada with!

    If you’re wondering about the drivetrain, Dad’s van is way too new for me to judge it in that platform, which I believe has a curb weight of at least 4400lbs, but with my much lighter, 3600lbs 200 with the earlier Flex Fuel version of it, I can at least offer a few insights. I have around 107,500 miles on mine right now and it has been rock solid, only repairs to this date have been the thermostat, it’s housing, the heater core, and the gearboxes that’s control the HVAC vents in the dash, though I do have an appointment for Wednesday to get it in for an oil cooler replacement (which is leaking and mounted under the lower intake), then to have them check the motor mounts (I have heard of those eventually coming apart with how I drive) as well as the wheels bearings and CV shafts, mainly due to the mileage on it, may see how much extra it would cost to put new brakes plugs in it since the upper intake manifold has to come off to replace those anyway and 3 of them are pointed at the cowl and firewall. I have taken full advantage of it’s flex fuel capability and found that those V-6 engines have 2 favorite things, cool night air and E85. The temp differences can be felt on Dad’s Caravan while just burning plain old 87 octane, but when you start introducing corn liquor to the mix, it can cruise down the road as though it was just a 4 cylinder rental with an old lady behind the wheel, then lay down rubber while trying to fight torque steer and steering to the left as the nose of the car sidesteps to the right if you get too aggressive with the throttle leaving a light. I’ve seen where that last part freak out people who aren’t used to higher powered front drive vehicles while those of us who are generally have responses ranging from “eh” to a very Nelson like “HA-Ha” those stories.
    Wow. That is pretty comprehensive.

    I doubt I would have found anything about reprogramming on my own, or possibly even that it runs smoother with E85.

    Your repair list seems like a lot to me, but I'm a low miles/manufactured in Japan driver since 1998 IIRC. Had a Corolla and then a Fit because my ex wanted me to change vehicles. I think all I have done with the Fit is batteries, tires, wiper blades, brake pads, and some scheduled maintenance. Honestly the only thing the Fit requires more often than most is tires and I believe that is a known issue.

    Were the repair issues relatively easy to diagnose?

    Any thoughts on towing? It isn't something I have experience with. I looked at SUVs and pickups a little but the prices are high and the gas mileage is poor; at least in what I found.
    Last edited by katya422; 09-13-2020 at 08:59 AM.
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    Not much room under the hood for an after market SC or turbskie. And I could be wrong but I think they only come with automatic transmissions. Very roomy though.
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    Originally Posted by katya422 View Post
    But why though?



    TFS. Electronic extras aren't a big concern to me unless they compromise the main functions of the vehicle (drive-ability).

    My current vehicle is a 2007 Honda w/no touchscreen/camera anything. I would like to have cameras, but don't even care if they are after market. I often find the touchscreen thing annoying when I want to access something like the radio or phone but can't do it because the screen is locked into a camera function.

    I only have one kid and she is as tall as me and helps herself to my closet regularly. If she is with me she sits on the passenger side and takes over the dash access for audio/chargers.

    I don't even like active GPS. The talking lady annoys the hell out of me. If I am going somewhere and I don't know the way I would rather write down all my directions on notebook paper. If I screw up and get off course then I will pull off and look at a map on my phone to reroute.
    old previas are as cool as a minivan can ever get. mid-engine, supercharged, reliable as a mule, roomy AF. it is the ultimate minivan.

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    No Huevos katya422's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronKrazy View Post
    Not much room under the hood for an after market SC or turbskie. And I could be wrong but I think they only come with automatic transmissions. Very roomy though.
    Yeah, no idea about space in the engine compartment. I saw that the Ford Ranger has pretty good towing capacity for a mid-size truck and it has a turbo. Seem expensive to me though (around $30K). Better gas mileage than the bigger trucks, but costs near the same; particularly if you are willing to go used.

    Originally Posted by gluon View Post
    old previas are as cool as a minivan can ever get. mid-engine, supercharged, reliable as a mule, roomy AF. it is the ultimate minivan.

    Huh, so not specifically because you hate the Caravan, but just think the Previa is cool. I didn't know they had a mid-engine. I had a '99 Corolla that I liked, but then the next generation I didn't care for- the small cars were being made bigger and with less responsive handling.
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    I own a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (go ahead an laugh phaggots, I have a wife and 3 kids), and it's honestly a nice riding car. It's a little more expensive than the Grand Caravan, but its features make it worth it.

    The 3.6 is reliable engine. I'd definitely opt for the Pacifica over the GC though
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    Originally Posted by ClivesTriceps View Post
    I own a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (go ahead an laugh phaggots, I have a wife and 3 kids), and it's honestly a nice riding car. It's a little more expensive than the Grand Caravan, but its features make it worth it.

    The 3.6 is reliable engine. I'd definitely opt for the Pacifica over the GC though
    aren't Pacifica's notorious for blown transmissions?
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    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gluon View Post
    aren't Pacifica's notorious for blown transmissions?
    Not that I’ve heard, those were an issue in the KL Cherokees and 2nd Gen 200 sedans as well as some Honda and Range/Land Rover models that also use it. From what I understand, they’ve got the mechanical side sorted and the electronic programming side as well.
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    Originally Posted by ClivesTriceps View Post
    I own a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (go ahead an laugh phaggots, I have a wife and 3 kids), and it's honestly a nice riding car. It's a little more expensive than the Grand Caravan, but its features make it worth it.

    The 3.6 is reliable engine. I'd definitely opt for the Pacifica over the GC though
    Other than that oil cooler/filter adapter leak and the thermostat and housing issue, I’ve had no other issues with the 3.6l in my 200, it’s even old enough that it has a 150k extended warranty for the left bank head (there were issues with them in 2011), but I doubt I’ll need that. It’s at the dealer now for that cooler replacement and I’m having the plugs done while it’s there since it’s over 100k now. Got some goodies for it when I get it back too.
    Last edited by BJoe; 09-19-2020 at 12:01 PM.
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    1st a choice a Toyota Sienna 2nd choice Kia Sedona
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    Originally Posted by ClivesTriceps View Post
    I own a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (go ahead an laugh phaggots, I have a wife and 3 kids), and it's honestly a nice riding car. It's a little more expensive than the Grand Caravan, but its features make it worth it.

    The 3.6 is reliable engine. I'd definitely opt for the Pacifica over the GC though
    When I looked at reviews there were quite a few negative ones around the Pacifica transmission. This one says so far so good with the 2020 but trouble with earlier models:

    https://www.motorbiscuit.com/the-202...ajor-category/

    Originally Posted by DoragonKingu View Post
    1st a choice a Toyota Sienna 2nd choice Kia Sedona
    Consumer reviews for 2017 and newer Siennas aren't exactly glowing. There was a change in the engine that was supposed to improve fuel efficiency, but seems like a good number of people got lemons.

    So far the only big complaint I've seen about the Sedona is a lack of good steering feel IIRC.

    It is weird on the Caravan. On Edmund's if you read what they have up for 2019 the official review is "meh, but if you need something cheap" and then if you look at their review for 2020 they say straight up don't buy this car. The consumer reviews for the Caravan/2019 are overall positive. OTOH another article someplace was saying that the Caravan was a surprise best seller (2017 I think).

    https://www.edmunds.com/dodge/grand-caravan/2019/

    https://www.edmunds.com/dodge/grand-caravan/

    I just spent some time looking at what around in a Honda Odyssey and the 2015 and 2016 EX or better are supposed to be good (2017 and later I guess have/had issues). Most of those are listed around $20K or more which seems kind of high for a vehicle over 60K miles even though Hondas are usually solid on reliability.

    It seems to be a segment that just hasn't gotten much attention from automakers for awhile. I want comfy seats, good handling/acceleration/braking, enough power to tow a camper, and a really well designed spacious interior. Also decent MPG.

    My Fit has the stuff in bold, though the driving stuff isn't what it used to be and I'm not sure why exactly. I really appreciate a car with good acceleration (0 to 60) and braking, not because I plan to race anyone, because driving on busy congested highways is safer if you can put on speed quickly and stop in a short distance. It just gives you a few more seconds to respond to idiots and avoid an accident.

    This new VW looks cool, but isn't being sold in the US.

    VW Caddy Mini Camper

    https://www.motorbiscuit.com/a-forbi...der-the-stars/

    Grrr...c'mon VW, send 'em over here:

    Last edited by katya422; 09-23-2020 at 08:55 AM.
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    akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) akmerle is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500)
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    If wanting to stick with FCA product, you may want to look at V6 Durangos. Will have the towing capacity you want, good bit of interior room, and the v6 won’t be relatively bad in terms of MPG.

    If wanting something Japanese with the capability of a truck, but with more daily driving benefits, then be sure to check out used Honda Ridgelines.
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