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Old 09-12-2015, 12:41 PM   #1
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Can box trucks tow travel trailers?

I am not planning to tow my new trailer at the moment, but if I ever do try to tow it, I do not have a vehicle I am sure is a good tow vehicle

What I do have is a 94 E350 17ft box truck that is a retired Uhaul, that I picked up a while ago off Craigslist when I needed to move because it was cheaper than renting a UHaul. It notably does have a trailer hitch on it and a wiring connector

I have never seen a box truck pulling a camper trailer however, so not sure it is actually a feasible idea. It certainly would allow you to haul a lot of stuff (though admittedly I hate the idea of taking a 17ft box truck grocery shopping and all the other stuff a tow vehicle is used for when not towing)

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Old 09-12-2015, 01:11 PM   #2
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No reason that box truck can not pull travel trailer. The E350 should not be prob. as many tow with 150 or 250 pick ups. Many dif. types of racing use box trucks to pull trailers, some with living quarters and racers. Only dif. some AS snobs look askew at this, before any body gets there nose bent because I said SOME SNOBS NOT ALL AS are snobs.

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Old 09-12-2015, 01:50 PM   #3
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Before you decide to tow an Airstream with a U-Haul truck, you will need to add a 7-way plug to the bumper section and a brake controller as well.

Any U-Haul trailer with brakes had hydraulic surge brakes that did not require a controller. The trucks were wired for lights only, not electric trailer brakes.

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Old 09-12-2015, 01:56 PM   #4
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Was done by Michael . . .


Five or more years ago there was an active participant on these Forums named Michael J. Depraida (screen name "Artstream") who was an artist, primarily a painter and T-shirt guy. A full-timer, he towed his Airstream with a box truck for his supplies, including a small portable freezer run by solar panels on his roof. Do a Google search for his posts and/or his photos and you might find a few photos of his box truck tow vehicle. Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Just a question for everyone.... is there any problem with the width of the box and the turning radius which could cause the box to hit the trailer and dent it on sharp turns? I know it would be difficult to see the trailer back there to know what is going on.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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Jackknife hard enough with any TV and the AS bends ...
I'd look at the thread about the artist with a box truck - my guess is the receiver on the hitch is longish.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
.... is there any problem with the width of the box and the turning radius which could cause the box to hit the trailer and dent it on sharp turns?...

Yes - the likely hood of denting the trailer in a tight turn is high - not only because of the extended width, but also due to the hitch usually being buried (recessed) into the bumper.

I have a vertical patch on the driver side front of the Vintage Classic due to immediate PO from whom I purchased the trailer.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 09-12-2015, 04:41 PM   #8
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The E350 will pull it just fine. Make sure the transmission is good to go before you head for the hills. A lot of "flat land" TV's wind up in the tranny shop when they start pulling the load uphill. Especially the higher mileage / service vehicles. Be careful in the sharp turns while backing.
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:21 PM   #9
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You may need cargo over the rear axles for better traction and stopping power when towing. This type of vehicle is typically lightly loaded on the rear axle when empty.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:22 AM   #10
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Just curious ... You say "But if i ever do try to tow it....."

Why would you not be towing your new Airstream"

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Old 09-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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For each truck UHaul rents, they list the towing capacity on their site. Here is one:

U-Haul: 15ft Moving Truck Rental
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:47 AM   #12
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Nobody has mentioned the rough ride your bound to have and how this will effect your coach.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:06 PM   #13
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Calculate distance from truck end to trailer front. Then calculate length of extended hitch receiver for a minimum of 60 degree turns. This should provide adequate distance between TV and AS. Rear side mirrors should give plenty of visibility when turning as well as backing up. Service shops that mount custom hitches should be able to figure the required length and you may have to modify the ASs tow arms to accommodate the required distance. Good luck and a good ride to you!
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:42 PM   #14
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Sure it will do a great job. Some things to consider. Need hitch long enough so the truck box will not hit the trailer while turning. If it is long then it has to be strong enough to carry trailer. As was mentioned you need a 7 pin electric plug in and a break controller.

You will be the envy of everyone with all your storage capacity. Or you could use truck for sleeping area for quests. Or?

Good luck.

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