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Old 01-10-2003, 06:28 AM   #15
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2001 30' Excella
Bedford , New Hampshire
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We pulled a 27' SOB trailer all over the country with a 93 Astro Van. The GVW of the trailer was 5000 lbs. and we stayed within the limits. We probably had over 30,000 miles towing. When we finally got rid of the entire rig and traded up to the AS the Astro had 193,000 miles and didn't burn a drop of oil, the engine was never opened up and the tranny was as good as new.

That being said, the first year we had the unit, it was white knuckle driving like you've never want to see. I installed the pullrite hitch on the truck and everything settled down as it should.

When we got rid of the rig, I was digging through the literature on the truck and was surprised to find out the truck had a 3.42 rear end. Certainly a testament to the strength of the truck and not my brain.

I think you will be very happy with an Astro installed with a Hensley or a Pullrite. The wheelbase of the Astro is just too short for a travel traler without a proper sway control hitch.

Good luck

-Life is a journey, not a destination.
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:06 PM   #16
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I just got a 2000 Safari RWD to pull my 71 safari airstream.
Its the only tow vehicle thatwill fit in my driveway. what is an equalizer hitch? is it to raise the height of the ball ?

My stream unloaded is 2800lbs loaded 3300lbs 23ft single axle.

Scotti D.
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:26 PM   #17
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Look at the GMC site. There are a number of variables, however it looks like that you fit in the range they are talking about provided your weight info is correct.

Eq hitch spreads the weight of the tounge out across the tow vehicle and the trailer.

Make sure your trailer has brakes and you have a controler to activate them

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Old 03-04-2003, 04:43 PM   #18
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Copied from a previous post I made to a different thread:

Just to chime in I had a '91 Astro EXT that was a real stump puller. It had a premium gas V6 and a 4.10 rear end. Towing capacity was 6,000 lbs. I pulled a 28' travel trailer with it for about 4 years.

The stability was marginal and even though I had good sway equipment and great towing power, it was a chore... Watching for semi's, dealing with wind gusts. As far as I was concerned that trailer was a big sail. I never felt out of control but I disliked the way I felt after driving 300-400 miles...just whipped.

I traded the Astro for a full sized Chevy Express van. Funny thing I only gained 500 lbs. towing capacity over the Astro but I couldn't get over how much stability I gained.

I gained another level of towing comfort by moving to the Airstream. It just sits back there and follows along. There is a difference.

You can't substitute capacity for wheel base and tow vehicle weight.


Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 03-05-2003, 07:51 AM   #19
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1986 25' Sovereign
Boise , Idaho
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Thumbs up Re-powering Astro/Safaris

The v-6 in an Astro is a chevy 350 with two cylinders removed. Kits are available to replace the 6 with a v-8. It fits without surgery, all the bolt on stuff (alternators, etc.) fits perfectly. I was planning on a transplant untill my wife decided she just didn't trust me!
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:15 AM   #20
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2001 30' Excella
Bedford , New Hampshire
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Having used the astro as a general purpose vehicle to transport my family and also tow a trailer, I've always been very impressed with the vehicle. I used one for over 8 years and put more than 193,000 miles on it.

That being said, I believe the vehicle has a relatively short wheelbase and in the extended model enough of an overhang to make towing a trailer larger than a bambi a frightful experience. I had to install a pullrite hitch on mine to comfortably tow a 27 foot award tt.

If you intend on purchasing a new astro, you better hurry up, I believe they are to be discontinued after the 2002(3)? model year.



-Life is a journey, not a destination.
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