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Old 04-26-2017, 11:54 AM   #1
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1976 Argosy 26
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Chev Express 1500 5.7L v8 Conversion Van as TV?

We were looking for a decent used conversion van even before getting the Argosy. There's one for sale near me for a great price & we're gonna go look in the next few days & gotta move fast if it is the good deal that it seems to be.
It's a 2000 Chevrolet Express 1500 5.7 L V8 Conversion van with slightly raised roof by Explorer. It has 170,000 miles. Will this pull the '77 26 ft Argosy? I do not know axle ratio, or if it has tow package or receiver hitch or anything.
We're a young couple with a 4 year old and a conversion van would be perfect for weekend trips and even occasional daily use, or hauling project materials from home depot. It would be the ideal vehicle if it can comfortably haul the Argosy. In a perfect world the van would pull the Argosy, we'd set up base camp and use the van for daytrips and weekend treks.
I saw an old thread on here from 2012 titled "best chevy/gmc for towing" where 1 member said they pulled their 28 ft to Alaska and back, over 10,000 miles, with the same vehicle, with same engine. Of course I can't find the thread now.
Admittedly, I have no real world experience with towing.
When we go to look at this van, what do I need to look for and ask? Also, is it a P.I.T.A. or very expensive to install receiver hitch, weight dist, transmission cooler if it is necessary and not present on the vehicle?

I appreciate any advice.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:05 AM   #2
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I am on my second Explorer van and love it. The first had the 5.7L motor and had a tow rating of 6600 pounds. I had no problems towing an SOB that weighed 3900 ponds. I must say that I am looking forward to my next van which will be a 2500 rather than the 1500. While I could pull through the mountains of Colorado it was a slog. The Appalachians were not a problem. The extra torque of the 6.2L motor plus 10,000 pound tow capacity will be a welcome enhancement. With that said I love my vans!
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:18 AM   #3
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The problem with conversions is some are very heavy. I had a 2000 Express, 5.7L 3.73 gears and the tow package. I added an additional trans cooler. At the time I had a 5500 pound SOB. It pulled it fine, but was weak in the mountains....because of the very heavy conversion. Real walnut wood everywhere and lots of bells and whistles. It was at GCWR with 5500 pounds behind and not a whole lot of gear in the van. At the time, there were 3 kids travelling with us, so people was about all I could put in the van. It was a great vehicle though, had it for 15 years....never a hiccup. Just brakes, some front end components and fluid changes.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:28 AM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Sunset Valley , Texas
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Adding the receiver is not hard, surprisingly easy and inexpensive.
Does it have a 7-pin plug? Is it wired for a brake controller? These are things I have done and while time consuming and a bit a tedious, can easily be achieved by someone with a decent set of tools and good GoogleFu. Transmission cooler I have not done... sorry no input there.
There is the issue of campgrounds only allowing one vehicle/trailer to be connected at a site to consider....

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