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Old 01-27-2006, 02:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriolis1
Make sure the receiver on the van is rated class III or better (IV preferred). Doubt they make anything rated higher for a Safari...

Some of those clamp on towing mirrors would be strongly advised, too.
Well at the time ('91) the factory supplied hitch was a class IV.

Jack
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Old 01-27-2006, 02:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Well at the time ('91) the factory supplied hitch was a class IV.

Jack
I can believe that. I can't imagine anyone making a class V that would bolt on, though, but then if one is trying to tow in the class V range with a Safari they've missed the clue boat anyway.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:47 PM   #17
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wow, thanks for all the replies. i'm gathering that while this is not ideal, if i can take the proper precautions i'll make it back.

i wish i could afford to pay someone to drive it home for me, but if i did, there would be no point in getting this particular trailer. the main reason i'm considering it is it's price vs. condition. if i paid someone $2500+ to deliver, i'd no longer be in the black. i like the idea of renting a tow vehicle but i'm not sure it would be economical. once you figure in daily charges + mileage i bet i'd be in for $700-$1000 before gas, hitch, food....and then there's the problem of a brake controller, would a rental have this? i'm not sure if they'd look to kindly to me installing one.

i considered asking to borrow a buddies 05 avalanche, but then i remembered he gives that truck more affection than his wife. no point in upsetting him, heh heh.

so far i've not thrown down the cash for the trailer just yet as the drive is still bothering me. it's a tough call, i sure could use lodging tho.

just to answer a few questions:

the van is a '00 70,000 miles, drives well
4.3 liter v6
reciever is class III (7500 tow capacity w/ weight dist. hitch)
not sure of the rear end gears
will be running light, 1 passenger(150#), no seats(i bet they weigh 200# or more all together), and a tool box, just in case.

so far here's my plan if i go through with the purchase:

check brakes
new tires
trans cooler
wd hitch
brake controller
new fluids

did i miss anything? to be honest half this stuff i need to do anyway.

i appreciate all your suggestions, what a great board.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:55 PM   #18
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I guess the only thing I would add to this list would be a transmission temp gauge. They aren't expensive, no harder to install than a brake controller, and can be placed inline when you install the tranny cooler. Good way to know if you're at risk of boiling the fluid before you actually do.

Oh, and I think the rear end gear ratio might be on the label in the glove box (at least that's where I remember them being....way back on my '76 3/4 ton 454...)
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:57 PM   #19
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Well if you know for a fact that the van has a 5,800 lb. towing capacity, it has to have a 4.10 axle. The 3.73 would not get you close. Be sure you include sway control with your wd hitch. My recommendation would be either a Reese dual-cam sway control or an Equal-i-zer brand hitch. Note that the new Reeese dual-cam will require holes to be drilled in the trailer A-frame. The Equal-i-zer will require components to be bolted to A-frame.

Unless you have the skills, you might have the trailer moved by the current owner to a company that can do the hitch work, or an RV-dealer with the proper skills and experience with these brands of hitch. You don't want to do this wrong.

If your van has the trailer towing package, you will need to finish the wiring and bring it to an outside plug. Again this can be done by the folks working on your hitch and sway control.

Jack
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:13 PM   #20
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I'd say one way to know for sure is to find an online VIN decoder that will break all the specs down - such as with rearend gearing and whether or not it had the trailering package...
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Old 01-27-2006, 07:42 PM   #21
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re: Tires and Brakes - TV or Trailer???

Quote:
Originally Posted by crsdawg
wow, thanks for all the replies......so far here's my plan if i go through with the purchase:

check brakes
new tires
trans cooler
wd hitch
brake controller
new fluids

did i miss anything? to be honest half this stuff i need to do anyway...
I would clarify here - check both the TV AND the trailer brakes and tires.....

There is a good chance the tires (and rims) on the trailer are - shall we say - on the vintage side. Most of the consensus here within the Forums is not to take a chance if the tires are more than 7 years old - check the trailer brakes and repack the bearings while you have the rims off for the tires - don't forget a premium wheel balance after the new tires are mounted...

Luck - please let us know what you do and how it turns out -
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:37 PM   #22
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All we can say is that we wouldn't tow a 31 footer with a Safari w/ V6. Too short of wheel base and no power to control it if you need to. I can't believe anyone who has towed any length of time would go along with this.
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:59 PM   #23
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Exclamation Anythings possible; maybe?

First impression about doing this with the van is "If there is a safer way please do it"
Some folks here say yes it can be done but with these precausions...... Others "Not a good idea"

I say hey if your lucky you can probbably make it. But what if your not lucky. What if that trailer over- powers you in an emergancy stop situation. The term tail waggin the dog was used. Think about grabbing a dog and waggin it with its tail... Not a pretty picture.
Imagine a 300 pound person running into the back of you while you are waiting at the bus stop and you get pushed off the curb into the street.
Or how about an 18 wheeler flying by you because your too slow in the right hand lane and the wind sucks the trailer and then your tow vehicle toward it. This is what it can feel like in this kind of towing situation.

Ok I am off the soap box. Please consider a rental truck, or have a freind haul it for you. Yes money is a little important, but your personal safety is priceless, do this trip knowing you have the odds in your favor.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:42 AM   #24
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Campcollector. I couldn't have said it better!! But take it from someone who has been there. Try a 31 foot behind a full size big Dodge station wagon in the hills in California and you get hit by wind sheer from behind. We were out if control for 1/2 mile and took up all four lanes. The trailer was laid on both sides. It ain't fun.....
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:04 AM   #25
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give tvtransport a call they are good people!!
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:39 AM   #26
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[quote=campcollector
I say hey if your lucky you can probbably make it. But what if your not lucky. What if that trailer over- powers you in an emergancy stop situation. r favor.[/quote]
But what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not luckyBut what if your not lucky......you get the idea....
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Old 01-28-2006, 06:28 AM   #27
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Just because it "can" be done doesn't mean that it "should". Please be careful!
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:33 AM   #28
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I think everyone agrees that this is a true roll of the dice, either way. However, I think since we are talking about a one-shot deal, one-way, the odds are in your favor. It would however, be the "acme of foolishness" to try to do anything more than to use it to bring the trailer straight home. I can tell you with a reasonable degree of certainty that no one here would advocate using this van as a regular tow vehicle. That said, Airstreams tow beautifully, but do not let that lull you into thinking that it's okay to run the posted speed limit in all cases with this setup. I'd propose running at least 10 mph under the posted speed limit in virtually all cases, do your utmost to avoid congested driving conditions wherever possible (meaning plan your route very carefully, in terms of times of day, as well), and by all means, keep an eye on the weather. There will definitely be some driver fatigue, so take as many rest breaks as you can, to keep your skills as sharp as possible. In short, take your time.
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