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Old 09-18-2016, 10:00 AM   #43
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
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Originally Posted by explore more View Post
yup, I have the yamaha 2000. Even when I run the fuel out of the float bowl (i.e. turning the fuel knob to "off" and running it 'till it shuts itself off from lack of fuel) and the vent switch on the fuel cap to "off" I still get a lot of odors. Lately I've been sandwiching a ziplock between the fuel fill cap and the threads, and that helps a little, but I still get some bad fumes from time to time. I wish I could figure out what it was.

We met a fellow streamer with the same generator, and he siphons all the gas out of the tank when he transports it, then stores it in a rubbermaid to keep odors down. We may have to try that.

My van will be for sale soon, as we are looking to get a transit. (we're 95% sure about this choice). We'll lose out on a ton of towing capacity with the E350, we'll lose 4x4, we'll lose ground clearance, but we'll gain more room to stand up in, and more room to store the bikes.
Thanks for the info.

On the transit, are you sure it's got the guts to haul your 30'? I'm seeing tow ratings at 7,500 and GCWR of 13,500.

I have a 2012 F150 with the 5.0 and 3.55 gears. My ratings are very similar, 7,700 towing and 13,500 GCWR. I can say that I've never lacked for power here on the east coast (even in the Smokies and such), but I haven't been out west yet either. When looking for a van I discounted the transit because it looked like too much of a lateral move. The NV has a GCWR of around 16,000. It does weigh about 1,000 lbs more than my truck, so the real increase is in GCWR is 1,500 lbs, not 2,500. But when you are bucking up against the limits that 1,500 is comforting.

I know you guys travel light and your trailer is modified a bit so may be lighter than stock. Any idea of actual travel weight?
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:07 AM   #44
planning for full time...
 
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
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The real upside of towing with a van like the Sprinter/Transit/NV with the high roof is the protection it gives your AS from stones/gravel and the occasional low branch or shopping mall low height beam. It would be far easier and cheaper to fix the van for chips, dings and dents than the AS, that's for sure. It would be worth the extra fuel for a mint dentless AS resale point of view.

We have a high top NV at work; can't say I like the looks and even though the maintenance has been sketchy at best, it runs like a tank. $40 for an oil change from Nissan and that's about all (first model year to boot). If you get all the glass and a colour version, say in the mettalic gray or brown, it actually looks pretty classy.

Cheers
Tony
Just a point of note, but you can only get the high roof version in the cargo van, so no side windows, no rear seats, and no a/c in the rear. I did give some thought to going this route, but I'd have to add a couple seats and then build out the back to at least get some sound insulation and a little comfort back there. It's an option, but when you get the passenger version that is all done for you.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:44 AM   #45
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2011 22' Sport
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Towing with vans

We are towing our 2011 22'FB Bambi Sport with our 2005 Toyota Sienna Minivan very carefully. It is not equipped with a transmission cooler, and should be, but after towing several trailers for over 40 years, I've discovered that it is possible.

For distance we tow on the interstate highways where gradients are not steep, we use the slow lanes, and I do not press the transmission, which is the weak link, to work very hard. Off the interstate I try to find relatively flat routes. Mostly we travel locally for long weekends, but have taken two longer trips of over 1500 miles after which I had the transmission checked for wear, no problem.

We live in Connecticut near the shore. Next year I hope to take a long trip west and for that I may consider adding an after market cooler although the van has almost 200,000 miles on it. On the other hand we are in our mid eighties and it is a question of whether we are up to it.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:28 PM   #46
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On the other hand……because most here are van owners

There are of course some drawbacks of a van.

Especially if you have more than a few acres of land
You won't always be towing.

I really miss having a pickup truck when I need to procure or move firewood, stone, dirt, mulch, wood pellets, or garbage.

Also transporting any type of equipment with a gas engine, gets scary with the fumes. I ended up getting a used open utility trailer, which also saves me big time when it's time for the garden trailer to go in for service. It's paid for itself many times over.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:34 PM   #47
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Beauty and the Beast

Our 12 passenger GMC 3500 Duramax gives us plenty of cargo capacity that is easily accessible. With the back 2 seats removed lots of space for bikes, Honda generator and all the stuff that you might need !! The van has absolutely no problems pulling our 2015 27' FC I debated for a long time what TV I would want to pull with and did not intend to get as heavy of duty of vehicle as this, a 2500 with gas engine would do fine, but this was a deal not to to pass on. Bonus is I'm getting 13-17 mph depending on wind/terrain. Guess which vehicle is the beauty and which is the beast ?
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:36 PM   #48
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MandolinDave that's a good point. We are also of the mindset that once you have a pick up truck you will never know what you did without one. You will also likely never be without one again.

That being said maybe we would keep the older truck if we got a van and we do have a utility trailer to help out.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:10 PM   #49
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To NV or not to NV

To Harpo, our sincerest condolences on the loss of your wife. If it doesn’t embarrass you to be seen with crazy people, we would be honored to keep you company in a campground sometime.

In case you’re busy, here’s our brief answer on van ownership. Yes, we like our NV. Have some time on your hands, or can use some entertainment, read on.

We’ve owned our 2016 NV 3500 SL HD since the end of March. It went on a 5-week trip from Texas to South Dakota and Iowa. Passed thru Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska primarily on two-lane highways. Drove to a few USACE campgrounds and state parks who were a ways down gravel roads. So far, we like Bumble, the Abominable Snow Van quite a bit. Between his big butt and the Pro-pride we stayed in our lane whenever hit by those big cross-winds for which the Great Plains are notorious.

Yes, we had a few inquiries from the curious who found Bumble more intriguing than the AS. There aren’t many of them on the road, especially when you leave large urban areas. The first and usually only question? “What kind of vehicle is that?” We’re already closet attention seekers (why we like our AS), so the attention was kind of thrilling. Sometimes we were just cheeky enough to say BAV, for big ass van.

We would be lying through our teeth if we said the NV body shape didn’t startle us a bit when we first discovered it. We have that voluptuously curvy AS after all. Still, in a world where people aren’t afraid to be honest, while she’s pretty to look at, not always the most practical. Storage is an issue, especially for long-haulers. So what is Bumble? A Nissan Titan pickup with a van body. Sort of. He’s the beast to our beauty. Destined to be a classic combination. Once we got past his shape and took a good hard look at function, we were sold. Nine animals traveled with us on our last foray. Here’s the breakdown on the passenger list: 5 dogs from 23 – 55 lbs., and four rabbits. All were crated or caged. After the fur kids were all in, there was still room for 9x12 patio rugs and a two-room tent the wife calls Rabbit Romper Room. We also had other items squeezed in here and there, like the charcoal and wood chunks for our outdoor cooking.

Now about that function. The big nose, which is disturbing to some, holds the engine entirely in front of the cab. There is a big console between the front seats, but it’s strictly storage space. And removable to boot. The NV floor is completely flat from the front seats to the rear doors. The boxy shape, while startling, is interior space. When you’re an RVer, it’s a game of inches and all are precious. In the passenger model, all seats but the front come out. You can configure them in a variety of combinations. They are a bit of an albatross for us, since we don’t need them right now. Still would rather have the passenger model. Bumble is our only vehicle now, since we no longer do lots of daily driving. He hauls materials for our reno, including 4x8’ materials. We can lay them flat on the floor. We did take steps to protect our floor and the seat hardware from dirt and animal hair. There is a 9x12 canvas drop cloth on the floor until we find a long-term solution we like. The disadvantage for some might be how high the NV sits. You will step up. (But we find it vastly amusing to look down on heavy-duty pickups.) Blind spots? Yes. Learn to love the back-up camera and the small mirrors at the bottom of the rear views. They’re amazing.

As the animals leave us, more stuff will come into the van. We can already put the anti-gravity lounge chairs on a crate or two when needed. The (2) 2000W generators will eventually be included. They are in military-style heavy duty plastic cases with lids and wheels. The gas is kept in an old-fashioned Jerry can.

The whole NV line is considered commercial. We were handed over to the fleet manager the minute we expressed interest in the NV. It’s early yet, but durability might not be an issue. They certainly back it up with an excellent warranty. We got the impression that the company is kind of eyeing the RV market, too. Hence, the towing option. While Nissan has some new, massive Titan pickups, it appears they aren’t afraid to offer a different option to those who find pickups less practical. The NV appears to be positioned as a transition vehicle for long-term pickup owners, who might be sitting on the fence while considering switching to the dark side. (Van ownership.) In the end though, it’s all about what you can find that suits your needs best. And like it or not, corporations hold all the cards. They take a great amount of pleasure in offering what they think the rest of us need. It’s the consumer who has to compromise.

Decide an NV is your solution? Why not have fun with it? Ours has almost acquired pet status. That’s why he has a name. We think they would make a great Babe the Big Blue Ox, Hulk, Godzilla or even Mongo.

Long post, we know, but we’ll do our best to make this our only contribution on this thread. Thank you for your time.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:58 PM   #50
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Thanks for the info.

On the transit, are you sure it's got the guts to haul your 30'? I'm seeing tow ratings at 7,500 and GCWR of 13,500
You are correct. It can't handle our 30'. We have to sell our airstream and get a 25' model. Too bad those transits can't tow more, cuz I love my 30.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:11 PM   #51
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Starstream, excellent points to share on your Nissan NV experiences. Thank you so much.

As we do our research we appreciate all the reading expertise but actual USE trumps book knowledge and that's something you don't get by reading and brochures and spreadsheets.

Keep up the good posts.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:27 PM   #52
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You're welcome. We have a tendency to research lots. Finally took the plunge to actually go look at Bumble in person. Came home with him the same day. He's our first new vehicle, so a big deal in more ways than one.

Yes, the NV is different. It's only been in production 3-4 years. Anyone who has one right now is an early adopter. There are both advantages and disadvantages when you're in that category. But commercial is a new category for Nissan. You might say they're "muscling" in. They are doing their best right now to gain market share for the NV. Their support of it right now is a win for the end user. Hopefully, they will make it long term.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:09 PM   #53
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This works for me for the past 6 years (no steep climbs attempted :-))
1990 Chevrolet G30 1 ton extended sport van has 350 engine pulling a 1974 Excella 500.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:26 PM   #54
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You are correct. It can't handle our 30'. We have to sell our airstream and get a 25' model. Too bad those transits can't tow more, cuz I love my 30.
Are you being serious or not? hard to tell.

Btw, I had a 25 and went to a 30. loved the 25 but really not sure I'd want to go back. the bigger holding tanks alone make the 30 awesome.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:21 PM   #55
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I have no experience with some of the newer designs like the Sprinter or Transit, but have quite a few miles in E-150 and E-350 towing utility trailers. The trailers were well within the towing capacity of the vans, and towed easily and uneventfully.

My dislike of vans is that they are less comfortable than pickup trucks for a long haul. Dodge is particularly uncomfortable. The wheel well intrudes in area that I need for my feet. It is difficult to find a comfortable position. Ford vans feel jittery and sloppy. The 350 is better than the 150, but neither compares well with F-series. Chevy vans are by far the best of the three by a wide margin.

In any case, the ride in a vehicle with the driver's seat farther back from the front axle is calmer. This matters little running around town. But hours in the driver's seat can make a big difference in daily fatigue.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:17 AM   #56
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Here's a video tour of my van, Fred. After the suspension upgrades I made, there's nothing jittery or sloppy about it, but the stock ones do definitely have that vague feeling to them.

I have absolutely loved this van.

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