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Old 05-07-2010, 07:09 PM   #1
Bex
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Another GMC 2500 3/4 ton van question

What can I (safely/reasonably) tow with it?
Its a 1990 with 150,000 miles
GAWR front axle is 1542KG/3400lbs
GAWR Rear axle is 1545KG/3406lbs
GVWR is 2994KG/6600lbs
Rear axle is 3 42
Engine is 5.7L
It does have a transmission cooler
Any assistance would be appreciated
Cheers!

Bex
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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We towed our '63 Overlander with a 1995 G2500 van configured like yours. It had no trouble at all with it, the trailer weighed about 5,000 pounds.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
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Thanks!
I guess the follow on question is what maximum could I tow?

Cheers
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bex View Post
Thanks!
I guess the follow on question is what maximum could I tow?

Cheers
Personally, I'd try to stay below 6,000 pounds towed. Maximum capacity depends on a lot of things, like how much is in the van.
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:46 AM   #5
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I had a '95 Chevy G20 with a hightop conversion package - very similar to your vehicle. After crunching ALL the numbers I concluded I was able to tow a 31 Soveriegn, and I did. While it was by far the best family roadtrip vehicle we've ever had (me, wife & 3 kids), it was at best an adequate tow vehicle. The gearing (combination of tranny and rear end) just wasnt well suited.

In contrast, when we purchased a Suburban, the improvement in towing behavior was enormous. I still miss the interior and living space of the big van though
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Personally, I'd try to stay below 6,000 pounds towed. Maximum capacity depends on a lot of things, like how much is in the van.
OK, So today I weighed the van.
Front is 2557lbs
Rear is 2293lbs
Van is 5070lbs
That includes me (160lbs) and a full tank of fuel.
Hitch is rated for 5000lbs or 7500 lbs with an equaliser hitch/sway bar set up.
So what does this mean when looking at max towing capacity of the van.
I am just not understanding this.
Should I not be exceeding the weight of the van, when its loaded?
I do realise that just because the hitch is rated at what it is, is no indication of what I can actually pull. Somebody said 6000lbs. Does that mean I have to load up the van to EXCEED the trailer weight, so it (the trailer) remains lighter than the van. If not, would that be a case of the tail wagging the dog?

Thanks

Bex
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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look for a sticker with weight ratings on the van door frame and post those numbers.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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Towing Capacity

What you are looking for is the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
What that is is literally the max weight of the tow vehicle and the max weight of the trailer. The only time it will come up and bit you is if you are in an accident, however, when you start going past the CGVWR towing starts to become less and less enjoyable. Trailer life might still have it posted for your year. If not you will have to call the manufacturer for it.
My 1990 G3500 CGVWR is 12,500 LBS
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richinny View Post
look for a sticker with weight ratings on the van door frame and post those numbers.
My first post has them, and thats all there was on the label.
I called a dealer or two and they say they are only able to go back 10 years, so the info is not available. If I cannot get it resolved here (in the next day or two) then I will call Trailer Life and buy the rating for that year and model.

Bex
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:18 PM   #10
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I had a 1989 GM van, 3/4 ton like yours. I sold it though before I bought my Airstream.

With my van, I'd consider towing anything that didn't exceed the 7500 pound hitch rating. GCWR ratings do not have the force of law, and it's really matter of what you're comfortable driving and your sense as owner of the wisdom of trading off wear and tear on the power train against the expense of buying a truck that's set up specifically for towing.

Vans have a problem with engine and transmission cooling, in general, because there are so many potential obstructions to airflow. So, you have to watch temperatures, keep everything clean so it cools better, and accept that maybe a transmission overhaul and some engine work are going to be part of the routine maintenance at some point.

There are a bunch of things I'd be more concerned about than the GCWR:

* Is there any play at all in the tie rod ends or steering gear?
* Is there a steering damper? If not, maybe add one? If there's one there, time to replace it?
* Any play in the front wheel bearings?
* Can you still tell what color the shocks were painted by looking at them?
* Any oil leaks (it's going to be running hot and you don't want a fire)?
* Have you or someone you trust completely disassembled the brakes so you can say with confidence that they're OK?
* If the hydraulic brake lines haven't been replaced by now some of them probably should be

You do not have to have the van heavier than the trailer. I tow an 8500 pound trailer with a 6000 pound pickup.

You have over 1100 pounds of rear axle capacity available so that shouldn't be limiting.

It's going to be a little slow and you'll notice it most when trying to cross or merge into traffic on a busy undivided highway.

People come here with all kinds of crazy ideas on what they can tow but I don't think you're one of them.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bex View Post
My first post has them, and thats all there was on the label.
I called a dealer or two and they say they are only able to go back 10 years, so the info is not available. If I cannot get it resolved here (in the next day or two) then I will call Trailer Life and buy the rating for that year and model.

Bex
as beginner mentioned... is there a Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or CGVWR?
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:58 PM   #12
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Jammer.
Thanks! This is great info that I can take to my auto Guy.
Just to clarify one point. The axle capacity on the rear end, is that the hitch weight, so for instance a 6000lb trailer at average of 10% = 600 lbs so being well within capacity, or am I missing it again?
And you are right, I am not interested in what I CAN tow, I want to ensure that what I tow is safe spec wise and within my comfort level. I am still looking for a trailer and have several criteria for choosing. I am not inclined to change this vehicle just yet and feel that I will be buying a trailer that is within its capacity to tow anyway. I just want to ensure that is the case.

Thanks again

Bex
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richinny View Post
as beginner mentioned... is there a Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or CGVWR?
No there is not, thats what I am trying to find out.
Its not easy is it?

Bex
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:07 PM   #14
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not so far anyway ;-)

i once had a pdf file with this info that is hiding from me. i'm still looking.
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