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Old 06-26-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
Daveak
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2006 RELAY-3
Default Relay Trailer Towing

My wife and I are thinking about getting a small trailer that we would tow with our Relay. Any thoughts - Especially by anyone who has towed a trailer with this vehicle.

We have a 2006 Relay3 AWD with the trailering package with about 10,000 miles on it. Please advise. Thank you.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
BradJK
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2005 RELAY-2
2001 SL2
Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

I suspect your thinking travel trailer and not utility trailer.

Not the greatest of tow vehicles, Power to pull any substanial grades with a trailer is an issue. I pulled our somewhat beefy 4x8 utility trailer to the cabin once with an average load of junk plus our family of five and applicable luggage. Hills were a struggle, I was turning the A/C off just to maintain the speed limit in some spots.
The rear suspension would bottom out occasionally.
Temperature was climbing more than I would like (It was a scorcher that day though)

*However neighbor next door has a Pontiac Montana SV6 van and he tows a sizable tent trailer apparently with no problem other than wishes for more power like I had noticed. The difference being he has the optional air leveling suspension to quell the suspension issue and he has the towing package which mine doesn't have. So he has additional cooling capacity and a tranny cooler (Very important!)

Thats all I know for you.
Brad
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

We have the load leveling suspension and the trailer towing package with the extra cooling options. Though I cannot remember if that includes a tranny cooler... And we are talking about a travel trailer, most likely a folding trailer, either with hard sides or the traditional pop - up variety.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:39 PM   #4
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2005 RELAY-2
2001 SL2
Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

I believe,our vans are rated at 3500 pounds.

Considering 4 passengers in the van could weigh up to 600 pounds plus 200 pounds in luggage. plus 200 pounds stocking all the necessities, bedding, food and stuff for the trailer.
Your down around 2500 pounds for a trailer. most of the conventional trailers I just found are 2600-2800 pounds. Tent trailers are 1500 Normal style to 2200 for a slide out model.

What I'm trying to get at is you could max out your van and pack light with a conventional trailer, but if your desired vacation includes some serious mountain passes I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:21 PM   #5
JonLawHastings
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2006 RELAY-3
Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

'Hills were a struggle, I was turning the A/C off just to maintain the speed limit in some spots.'


Even without a trailer and just my wife and kids and cat in our 2006 AWD I was turning the a/c off while climbing small hills in the Mojave Desert two weeks ago.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:18 PM   #6
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2006 RELAY-3
Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

Do you have the extra cooling equipment? We have been up some long grades and our temp gauge has hardly moved, but that was only with two kids and two adults and only 'moderately' loaded.... A purely relative term. Aside from the fact that it was only about 70F when we did it.

And yes it will be a lightweight (folding type) trailer, I certainly do not want to overload the van, I know it could be easy to do.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

I plan on towing a small sailboat that I imagine weighs about 5 or 600 lbs on a trailer that weighs 3 or 400 lbs so given the 1000 assumed weight do I need to worry about the tow package that Saturn sells?

The manual says the towing capacity of the Relay is 3500lbs and makes no mention of the tow package so I'm assuming I'm OK.

Please let me know if I'm wrong and an someone tell me what's included in the dealer tow package as the parts guy has no idea.

Thanks

Eric
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

The Relay is perfectly capable of towing your boat. You just need the hitch and because you don't have the towing package you'll need to splice into the vans brake wires to get the trailer brakes working. The towing package comes with a harness in the rear cargo compartment I believe.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:29 PM   #9
Daveak
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2006 RELAY-3
Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

I think you need the towing package to pull the maximum weight of 3500 lbs., otherwise you may actually have a limit of about 2000 lbs, - but I dont know for sure.

One thing to keep in mind is that a tow package includes more than just a hitch. I can't remember everything included in the Relay tow package, but at a minimum I think it includes a 4 pin harness and an oil cooler and a heavier duty cooling system, but I could be wrong. I don't think it included a tranny cooler. I am sure someone around here knows exactly what is included.

That being said, if you are only towing a total of 1000 lbs you should be just fine, but assuming you don't have the load leveling you must keep the tongue weight to a minimum. The engine will tow that little weight just fine, but you will probably notice it running hotter in stop and go traffic and up longer grades as you don't have the extra cooling options. If the rear end of the van is noticeably lower or bottoms out when you are towing, you will need to get some type of air struts/ shock package or you will ruin your suspension. After market type would be fine, any reputable shop can guide you in the right direction.

We also had our local Saturn dealer install the hitch, it is a class 2 and looks great. Assuming you are OK with a class 2 hitch, I would go with what the dealer installs. I don't know about your dealer, but it was price competitive and nearly all of the bar is hidden behind the bumper and it looks great. It won't be a rusty eye sore below my bumper in a few years.
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:32 PM   #10
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2007 RELAY-3
Default Re: Relay Trailer Towing

No matter what you are towing, I would still suggest outfitting your vehicle with the same items found in the factory towing package:

Rear air shocks
Class III hitch
Solid state trailer connector
Transmission cooler

These mods will help to increase the life of your relay, and will give you the piece of mind that your van will be ready to handle any situation.

The shocks are available from gabriel through JC whitney, the hitch is available on e-trailer, and the connector and cooler can be found at your local advance auto parts.

Hope that all helps.
Brian
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