Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-12-2015, 12:41 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1985 31' Excella
Jasper , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 19
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)

alexj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 01:11 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,030
Blog Entries: 1
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.

featherbedder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 01:50 PM   #3
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
lewster's Avatar
Currently Looking...
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,807
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.

Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 01:56 PM   #4
Rivet Master
47WeeWind's Avatar
1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,139
Images: 20
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!
Fred Coldwell, WBCCI #1510, AIR #2675
Denver, Colorado - WBCCI Unit 24
Airstream Life "Old Aluminum"
Airstream Life
"From the Archives"
47WeeWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,592
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.
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
Rivet Master
nrgtrakr's Avatar
1975 27' Overlander
Mission , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 827
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.
nrgtrakr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 03:49 PM   #7
Rivet Master
87MH's Avatar
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
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."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 04:41 PM   #8
Regular Guy
NavyCorpsman's Avatar
1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 556
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.
NavyCorpsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 05:21 PM   #9
Rivet Master
switz's Avatar

2014 30' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,235
Images: 8
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.
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
switz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 11:22 AM   #10
New Member
1957 18' 18 Footer
Casper , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Just curious ... You say "But if i ever do try to tow it....."

Why would you not be towing your new Airstream"

cmadis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
2004 22' International CCD
2015 30' International
Box Elder , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 162
For each truck UHaul rents, they list the towing capacity on their site. Here is one:

U-Haul: 15ft Moving Truck Rental
lbdesign is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 11:47 AM   #12
Rivet Master
Ahab's Avatar

2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
Nobody has mentioned the rough ride your bound to have and how this will effect your coach.
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 12:06 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
Terlingua , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 9
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!
sbeckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 12:42 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member
2000 30' Excella
2014 30' Classic
Princeton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 229
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.

larryglarson is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I have 3 boxes of assorted parts from my airstream 59 Tradewind, I would like to sell by the box for 300.00 per box or best offer per box betsy Airstream Classifieds 0 09-19-2014 11:01 AM
Towing larger trailers with SUV or 1/2 ton trucks RivetNV Tow Vehicles 61 05-14-2013 09:16 PM
Who rents trucks to tow my 1962 Airstream Globetrotter? M Cordell Tow Vehicles 5 04-04-2011 10:36 AM
what can we tow w/ older trucks? nurngen Tow Vehicles 7 01-29-2011 12:48 PM
Mileage for gas trucks vs diesel trucks? mrchinup1 On The Road... 126 04-21-2008 06:43 AM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:05 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.