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Old 07-14-2004, 09:02 AM   #1
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Opinions wanted

Looking at a 2003 E-150 Clubwagon XLT with 5.7 Price is right...
Thoughts on how it will do with my 28 footer???
From what I remember it's tow rating was somewhere around 6000 pounds without the tow package. The only problem I see with the van is that it is white.

My plans are to get the trailer to weigh in at around 4000 dry.
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Old 07-14-2004, 09:11 AM   #2
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You'll need to be a little more specific. 28' Ambassador is 5400 lbs? How much luggage, in Lbs? How many people will be along? We need to figure out your total weight. It does not sound like that rig will have the capacity you need, or it will be close.
Personally I like white it is a good choice, keeps cool and does not show dirt as much as darker colors. Does not attract attention as much as others.
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Old 07-14-2004, 09:46 AM   #3
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The family is myself, wife and three kids. I'm not sure about luggage (or stuff for that matter) I was thinking pack as light as possable anyway. I don't expext to do 60 up hill, or win any drag races. This is part of the reason I plan on building the interior as light as possable, using some of the older methods like honey combe core doors and thin paneling. the most wieght in the trailer will be the water and fridge/food stuffs.
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Old 07-14-2004, 10:06 AM   #4
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That drive train was the same one I had in my 95 F150. I was towing a 77 31 footer with it with no trouble.

The fact that you are towing a pre 70's coach should be factored in, it will be lighter. good news on being equipped with the factory tow package. BE sure to check the load range on the tires if they are not OEM. The factory would have shipped it with load range D tires. Load range C are cheaper, but can lead to a spongy feeling while towing. IIRC the max tow cap is 6700 or 6250 LBS in that model year. In 95 it was a 7500 LB cap.
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Old 07-14-2004, 10:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by till
The family is myself, wife and three kids. I'm not sure about luggage (or stuff for that matter) I was thinking pack as light as possible anyway. I don't expext to do 60 up hill, or win any drag races. This is part of the reason I plan on building the interior as light as possable, using some of the older methods like honey combe core doors and thin paneling. the most wieght in the trailer will be the water and fridge/food stuffs.
In towing, it's not so much as speed and ability to drag something behind you, when a vehicle is overloaded it will cause it to fail more than what would be normal. An early grave so to speak.
If you can keep the unit at 4000 lbs. dry then add 600lbs for passengers and 800lbs for food, gear, and water that would bring you up to 5400lbs.
That falls within your vehicles capacity, with about a 10% margin for error.
I still like White on a vehicle.
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Old 07-14-2004, 11:02 AM   #6
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I'm wondering if there is really 1400 lbs of "build-ins" inside an Ambassador. Reducing the weight to 4,000 lbs. does not seem likely to me. I'm just guessing, of course.

I towed our 25' Sovereign for a couple of years with a 1/2 ton pickup truck. There is no question that our new 3/4 ton handles the load so much easier. It was clearly a strain on the suspension on the 1/2 ton, and probably on the drive train as well.

I'm not crazy about white (in spite of the fact that my current tug IS white), but I sure like vans.

Mark
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Old 07-14-2004, 11:22 AM   #7
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I just did a little more research. It is a 5.4 liter, not 5.7, the tow rating is 6500 lbs. I can see where the wear and tear will be a factor. I'm also seeing it from the side that the van will not be living its whole life with a 6000 pound anchor behind it.

I can live with white, I many have a second color painted over the lower half for contrast, maybe federal yellow.

I'm shooting for 4000. I will start off weighing the trailer once the shell is back on and the interior walls installed. Then adjust the target to a realistic number.
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Old 07-14-2004, 11:38 AM   #8
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Last edited by till : Today at 11:27 AM. Reason: I just can not spell worth a damn
One of those days?

Seriously Tedd, your Ambassador's original dry weight was 4430 pounds. Your target of 4000 pounds seems a bit ambitious. Although attainable, are you going to be left with anything to enjoy? You will not be able to carry any propane or freshwater, so boondocking is pretty much out of the question.

I really do not think my cabinets could be made any lighter, so your only solution would be to not install them at all.

Although you know you will not be able to do 60 mph up a hill, do you really want to sit on the side of the road waiting for the radiator to cool off?

Is it at all possible just to pass on this tow vehicle?

Tom
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:22 PM   #9
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Tom,

4000 pound dry weight. That would mean cutting about 430 poounds of weight. Yes it will be hard, but it is a target. Maybe helium in the tires and and the black and gray water tanks.
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:24 AM   #10
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Well thanks to your input and a real close looking at, no van. The thing was a rental unit and was abused big time. Thank you and I will keep the focus on a 3/4 to 1 ton van, diesel if possable.

Thank you all again.
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Yes, four kids and two adults in the thing.
Happy wife, happy life.
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