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#4487065 - 08/13/17 06:24 AM Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing?
Oldtom Online   content

Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 339
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
Background info - I have a 2003 Dodge Caravan, 3.3 liter V6, 135,000 miles. I use this vehicle to tow a small trailer and equipment weighing about 1700 pounds. I have a trans cooler and change transmission fluid and filter frequently. I just got back from a trip to West Virginia where I was creeping up a mountain in lower gear with the tach at 5000 RPM. My little V6 is reliable but is a little short on power for mountains. I currently run Mobil 1 EP 5 w 30 and a Fram Ultra filter, changed yearly at 6000 miles.

Question - I was thinking about running Mobil 1 0w - 40 Euro Synthetic with the Fram Ultra filter. The oil is about the same price at Walmart. I thought a heavier oil would give better protection at 5000 RPM on a 20 degree grade. What do you folks think?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

#4487070 - 08/13/17 06:28 AM Re: Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing? [Re: Oldtom]
bigt61 Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 3117
Loc: Virginia
I think what you're already using is fine, but the 0W-40 wouldn't hurt either.
92 Suburban 2500 7.4L 58k M1_0w40 5yr OCI
99 Olds Aurora 4.0L 91K M1_5w30 5yr OCI
13 Dodge Dart 2.0L 30k PP 0w20 OLM OCI
70 Camaro 5.7L 59k

#4487113 - 08/13/17 07:46 AM Re: Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing? [Re: Oldtom]
demarpaint Offline

Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 30028
Loc: NY
I think you're fine with what you have in the sump now.
God Bless Our Troops

#4487143 - 08/13/17 08:48 AM Re: Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing? [Re: Oldtom]
Red91 Offline

Registered: 12/09/13
Posts: 2132
Loc: Alabama, United States
30wt, because you can.
'89 Chevy 1500
Napa 20/50
'15 Chevy Cruze
AcDelco syn dexos 5/30

#4487169 - 08/13/17 09:45 AM Re: Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing? [Re: Oldtom]
Triton_330 Offline

Registered: 12/24/13
Posts: 780
Loc: Illinois, USA
If you're going to be hitting 5,000 RPM a lot because of the mountains, I definitely think you should switch to 0w-40.
2001 Ford F-150 XLT 4x4 5.4L V8 ~132k miles
-> PPHM 5w-20 w/Fram Ultra
1989 Chevrolet Camaro RS 5.0L TBI V8 ~48k miles
-> Milesyn SB 5w-30 w/Puro Boss

#4487192 - 08/13/17 10:22 AM Re: Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing? [Re: Oldtom]
Run Offline

Registered: 06/07/15
Posts: 720
Loc: Canada
The motor oil is fine. I would be more concerned about the trans fluid. I would recommend Redline C+ over the usual ATF+4.
03 Neon 2.0 - VSP 5W-30 Pentius XL

#4487777 - 08/13/17 08:02 PM Re: Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing? [Re: Oldtom]
blupupher Offline

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4492
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
I just used what the manual said in my '05 with the 3.8.
5w-20 while towing a 1200 lb pop up camper (+ ~1000 lbs people and gear) several times a year (summer temps 100F+), no engine problems in the over 80,000 miles I had it.
Coolant and transmission were my worries (especially the transmission).
1994 Honda VT1100C: Peak 15w-40/TG/2500 mile OCI
2002 Ford F150: GTX HM 5w-20/EcoGard Syn/1yr OCI
2012 Scion xB: QSUD 0w-20/CQ Blue/5k OCI

#4488080 - 08/14/17 06:52 AM Re: Oil for Dodge Caravan used for towing? [Re: Oldtom]
Oldtom Online   content

Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 339
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
Thanks to everyone for thier advice. I am going to measure the radiator and put the largest Hayden plate and fin trans cooler I can fit on the vehicle. I already have a small tube and fin " no name " trans cooler insalled by the RV dealer, that will be replaced. I want more trans cooling capacity for those mountains :-)