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Old 04-20-2015, 10:37 AM   #1
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Chev 2500 Express (Short vs. Extended)

For towing a 6000 lb. 22-26 ft. Airstream trailer, are there significant differences in handling between a short or extended Chev 2500 cargo van?
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:41 AM   #2
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I've towed with both. There is a difference....significant????? They both are very good TVs. In theory the longer wheelbase of the GM extended vans provides more directional stability and resistance to sway, but it's really a matter of preference, IMO.

Extended is marginally better, but I notice a difference.
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:45 AM   #3
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I would think both would be good. Depending on who you talk to, the extended version would be better for towing. I personally like the extended wheel-base for towing, and the extended van would give you more room for "stuff"... would need to check GVWR and GCWR, but I bet you'd be happy with either.
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:49 AM   #4
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Since there is no longer a 1500 version (never was for an extended), OP is fine with the trailer described in post #1. Of course, loading the van with wood and lead negates my statement. Only 2500s and 3500s are available.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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Everything here makes sense, but consider this: a longer wheelbase means more directional stability and a smoother ride, but a shorter wheel base means a tighter turning radius.

You'll be fine either way, so it's a decision as to whether you need the extra room and want the extra stability, or are more interested in a tighter turning radius (handy when backing your long rig into hard to reach parking spots) and easier parking when using the tow vehicle alone. In our Sprinter, we had no question, and ordered the shorter wheelbase and low roof, because even the low roof gives a bigger storage compartment than the Express offers. Our rig tracks great with the shorter wheelbase.
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:20 PM   #6
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Just to throw another opinion into this mix, a longer wheel base does give a more stable tow vehicle......but the distance from the real axle to the hitch ball is a factor that makes even more stability.

The SHORTER the distance from the rear axle to the couple makes for the more stabil tow vehicle...

For whatever it's worth..

Larry
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:26 PM   #7
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When we replace our tow vehicle, Chevy PU, in a few years we may seriously consider a Chevy Van. Seating options, cargo space are making it a contender. Thanks for the considerations.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:37 AM   #8
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When I picked up my trailer, I used a 2003 Chevy Express 3500 with a 5.3L motor. Terrible TV! It kept downshifting to maintain highway speeds, got about 8 mpg. I bought a 2004 Dodge RAM 2500 5.9L diesel, and couldn't be happier!
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:44 AM   #9
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A 4.8 nor a 5.3 is an adequate choice for the 3500 (or 2500 for that matter).

Definitely get a 6.0L, preferably with a 3.73 or a Dmax.

The smaller engines were out there strictly for fleets with low speed, primarily urban routes where power was not a concern, but mileage is.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:04 AM   #10
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Good info guys thanks.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:53 PM   #11
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I prefer the long wheelbase for the extra storage and slightly better ride.
A short wheelbase 3500 or 2500 with a 6.0 should still be a good tow vehicle.
It don't get much better than a long wheelbase 3500 with a big motor- very stable-
I have tow no-telling-how-many millions of miles in extended Express vans with the 4.8 and 5.3- not the fastest thing in the world, but very capable-
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