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Old 07-24-2009, 11:32 PM   #43
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Now I suppose I'm a bit biased having 8 children, but if I had known how useful the Ford E-350 15 pax van was 12 years ago, I'd have skipped the Ford Aerostar altogether.

We own a 2001 E-350 with a 7.3 Powerstroke but had a 1999 gas burner before that. The gas did okay with our 27' Overlander (before we upgraded to the "Strato-Bunkhouse Sovereign-sleeps 10) but stuggled a bit on grades. The PSD, with a 4" exhaust and mild performance chip, tows like a CSX train.

I am a huge fan of the E-350 because it is heavy duty, seats can be easily removed and used for cargo, and they are CHEAP used because no one but churches, daycares, and full sized families want them. Did I mention the huge 4-wheel disc brakes?

You can easily find one within your budget and they work well if you plan to enlarge your family. They can seem intimidating at first but my wife really prefers it because of the height advantage (she is only 5'2").

You just want to avoid pulling too many Gs on the corners in them. We've had an E-350 since 2001 with no incidents.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:27 AM   #44
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Yeah, this is my perfect thread! Just purchased a 1999 34' Excella. What is the best car type TV for her? A Surburban? A 2500 3/4 would work? Can I buy an older one if I find a good one? I just really don't want a truck.

Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:46 AM   #45
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3/4 Ton TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by connorsa View Post
Yeah, this is my perfect thread! Just purchased a 1999 34' Excella. What is the best car type TV for her? A Surburban? A 2500 3/4 would work? Can I buy an older one if I find a good one? I just really don't want a truck.
Thanks!
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Connorsa,
Any 3/4 ton whether it is a pickup, suburban, excursion, would work, If you find an older one in good condition or make one into good condition would work too, good part you can always find parts and fix yourself, drawback is depending on how old you are talking when you get back into the 70,80's you are going to be looking at a large engine like the 460,450, Etc and they are very poor on fuel, where if you get into the mid 90's and even up into the 2000's you will do a little better. But given the weight of the 34 especially after you add your stuff you would be much better with a diesel, plenty of torque, better fuel milage, lasts longer (500,000 miles compaired to 200,000 miles). As far as a pickup vs a suburban/excursion this will mostly depend on you, how many passengers, what you want to haul inside. On the work truck issue you can find trucks that are no different than most cars as far as interior.
I had pickups reg, extended, crew cabs, 6 1/2 & 8 FT beds, the bed is very handy as far as for bicycles, go carts, etc, the suburban on the other can do pretty much same as a pickup but you have more passenger room.
I currently have a 1976 Soviergn 31 FT, 07 GMC 1500 Ext Cab & 2005 Ford Excursion, I have found myself driving the Excursion all the time because of its multi use and passenger availability. There is 5 people, my wife, me, 3 grandchildren with a 4th that will be joining us next year. With it having the 6.0 Diesel I get decent fuel milage which is better than the GMC. Towing with the Excursion is a dream, with the 6.0 I have the torque to pull with and it rarely goes into passing gear because of the torque which saves on fuel, ware & tare on the vehicle itself. I have had a 34 footer attached to the excursion and it is like the trailer is not even there.
One thing I learned and did not know until I was looking into a suburban is on the Chev/GMC suburban is to watch for the LT or SL model, these are a light 1/2 ton or just a dailey driver and not made for towing, LT & SL stand for light truck.
The Excursion is Ford and is the same as a F250 except for the body from the front doors back, so parts from a matching F250 will fit it.

Sarge
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:26 AM   #46
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FWIW I tow with a 1991 Caprice wagon.
If you go with an older full size car (i.e. 1970's) you will run into repair issues. Not many places understand old American iron any more. Most mechanics these days don't know what to do with out a computer. :P

In your shoes, I would go with a Suburban.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:36 AM   #47
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Conorsa a 3/4 ton Suburban, Excursion or equivalent pickup truck should be perfect for you.

There is nothing wrong with buying a used tow vehicle as long as it is in good shape. Towing will stress the engine, cooling system, and brakes but if the vehicle is in good shape it won't matter.

Would suggest you add a transmission cooler and if necessary, new tires. If you do buy new tires it is a good idea to go to a lower profile tire. In other words the same size as the stock tire in width but smaller diameter. This has the effect of lowering your gear ratio and also reducing side sway.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:23 AM   #48
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Newbie here...and saw a Dodge Magnum SRT8 (6.1L Hemi engine) towing a 30ft. Am purchasing a 27fb. Need experienced opinions...will this work? I will be a full time live aboard. Single lady with 2 small dogs.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:37 AM   #49
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The Excursion is Ford and is the same as a F250 except for the body from the front doors back, so parts from a matching F250 will fit it.

Sarge
With the exception of the rear spring stack which is "wiggly", especially with a 34' tri-axle. A set of Bilstein shocks, radius rods and a Helwig body anti-sway bar on the rear axle turns the Excursion into a monster tow machine. I did find after four years with my Excursion/tri-axle combo that a little longer wheelbase truck would have made me feel a little more secure towing.

Roger
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:13 AM   #50
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I have a Buick Rivera, super charged, I am thinking about using as a tow vehichle. I would appreciate some thoughts before I put $$$ into the hitch. It's a beautivul car, looks a little like a Jag and runs like a top, but I don't know if it is heavy enough to do the job.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:17 AM   #51
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I have a Buick Rivera, super charged, I am thinking about using as a tow vehichle. I would appreciate some thoughts before I put $$$ into the hitch. It's a beautivul car, looks a little like a Jag and runs like a top, but I don't know if it is heavy enough to do the job.
What does it say the tow rating for the car is in your owner's manual?
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:43 AM   #52
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I did some research today and learned the Buick Riviera willl only handle 1000 lbs. That is far short of what I need.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:24 AM   #53
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only towing mods i made with my x,were timbrens and bilstiens.had the factory sway bars from the factory.no problem at all handling any trailer you want to hitch to it.with the airstream i use a hensley and the whole tow is effortless.many years ago i towed a 26 sob with a late 70s impala station wagon with a 350 v8.had to put heavier springs on the rear because i kept botttoming out.after that i have always towed with 1/2 or 3/4 ton trucks.with a 31 i beleive a 3/4 ton truck will make your travels much more pleasureable.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:11 AM   #54
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Family Car

Simple, 1992-1996 Buick or Caprice Station Wagons. They offer V8's most with a stock 5000# tow rating from the factory. I have towed a 1979 31' International with mine and currently tow a 1975 24' model.

You will naturally need to properly equip it with a frame hitch, sway kit for hitch, t clip wiring harnees, brake box tranny cooler and rear coil over shocks or air leveling kit. Some later models already have a leveling kit from the factory.

The Buick Roadmaster Wagons (also Caprice) can get fron 18mpg to 25 mpg. The 1994-1996 models have the Corvette LT1 V8's. The wagons are very reasonably priced and are bullet proof.

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Old 01-28-2010, 08:18 AM   #55
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Vans

Be careful of the vans, they do not have an honest to god chassis but are uni-body with a facsimily frame. This limits the towing capacity quite a bit. My 1990 G3500 (1 Ton) Rally STX only has a Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (CGVWR)of 12,500 lbs. Most 2500 pickup trucks that have a real frame usually carry a CGVWR of 20,000 lbs or more.
A lot of the sedans from the 70s still had real chassis AND had no CGVWR (A REAL PLUS). As I remember Fords and General Motors full size sedans (Buick, Chevy, Olds, and Pontiac) from the 60s had a real chassis, Chrystler and American Motors/Rambler did not (had uni-body/facsilily frame). Also full size sedans of the 60s had real horsepower.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:27 AM   #56
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If you want a wagon or sedan to tow with, anyone who does not at least consider a 94-96 Caprice or Roadmaster is making a big mistake. Big comphy car. full frame. reliable, powerful and fuel efficient engine. And I think they are quite nice to look at.




note that the car in the photo is looking for a new home also. package deal can be discussed.
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