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Old 08-29-2015, 07:48 PM   #1
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Towing with a '95 van

It's a chevy deisel passenger 3/4 ton with 140,000. Length is 17-18'.
Automatic transmission replaced within the last 20,000.
Is the length of the van going to be a problem ?
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:55 PM   #2
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Towing what?
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:41 PM   #3
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Towing what?
Looking at 20-25' AS or kin. I realized that i don't see alot of vans pulling trailers...
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:58 PM   #4
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GM vans make good tow vehicles. I've towed with 3 and found them very stable. I'm currently towing with an '04 3/4 ton passenger GMC.

Dodge and Ford have built extended vans that have some stability problems. Problem was those extended vans had a standard van wheel base with a longer frame which led to instability. We used to have them at the college that I worked at. Due to their instability we were restricted or how many occupants we could carry. The GM extended vans were built on a longer wheel base and didn't exhibit any handling issues. Your '95 should make a good tow vehicle.

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Old 08-29-2015, 09:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich minford View Post
It's a chevy deisel passenger 3/4 ton with 140,000. Length is 17-18'.
Automatic transmission replaced within the last 20,000.
Is the length of the van going to be a problem ?
I used an extended 1 Ton Chevy van to pull a 34' Airstream Trailer . It handled and pulled great with the right sway and weight distribution setup.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:00 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, that's good to know. It's a conversion van without the extended ceiling and is super comfortable to drive, with the flexsteel captain chairs.
For the time being, it's serving as my poor man's camper. I've only had it a month and never towed anything with it.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:26 PM   #7
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While this shouldn't be a problem with your van in particular, be aware that conversion vans are heavier then factory passenger vans due to the conversion van components that are added aftermarket. That leaves less towing capacity.

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Old 08-30-2015, 07:15 AM   #8
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I tow with a 2500 van

The length of the wheel base is a good thing. The extended vans are not the best because you want the hitch close to the rear axle of the tow vehicle
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:42 AM   #9
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The length of the wheel base is a good thing. The extended vans are not the best because you want the hitch close to the rear axle of the tow vehicle
Like Jack said above, only Ford and Dodge had some problems with using standard wheel base for their extended Vans. The distance from the rear axle to the hitch on Chevy extended vans is the same as on standards. I pulled thousands of miles with an extended Chevy Van and it was extremely stable.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:40 PM   #10
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I have also used Chevy vans for towing. A 1988 1/2 ton (350) and a 1998 1 ton (454). Both of my vans were standard length, not extended and both were very stable, even in emergencies. My vans were both factory vans (not conversion),

I currently use a 2009 F150 and it seems to me that the vans have a shorter turning radius. On the down side, the drivers seat was not good. I had to put a small pillow behind my back and even then a couple days of driving was painful.
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:09 PM   #11
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A word about Ford Vans

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
Dodge and Ford have built extended vans that have some stability problems. Problem was those extended vans had a standard van wheel base with a longer frame which led to instability. We used to have them at the college that I worked at. Due to their instability we were restricted or how many occupants we could carry.
Jack
The so-called instability issues attributed to Ford vans had nothing to do with towing a trailer. Jack mentioned that his college restricted on the number of occupants.

The extended Ford van became a favorite of churches to transport members to events. The vans can carry 14 people. With luggage, the load can approach 3000 to 3500 pounds AND it is all above the floor. I have seen church vans with luggage on the roof ! Users can "get by" with loading like this as long as the vans are driven carefully.

Most of the sad incidences attributed to the Ford van have resulted from unfamiliar drivers having little experience with heavy vans and yet driving them like they are accustomed to doing with their lightweight personal cars.

Driving 75 to 80 mph on highways and changing lanes abruptly is much different in a heavy van and should only be done with caution. And that means a very gradual lane change on a straight road. I personally would not drive a van loaded with 14 people faster than about 62 mph. Many Ford van crashes involve high speed, inexperienced drivers, and often a blown tire. Could the deadly combinations of inexperience, possibly old tires, inadequate maintenance, high speed, lack of caution, and high center of gravity be factors involved?

I have owned a TransVan on a Dodge chassis and two Ford vans. I have never noticed any instability in any of them. But let's look at the differences in design.

My vans did not carry all of the loads high above the floor. The motor home conversions have a lot of heavy equipment on or below the floor. Most of the internal loads are not as high above the floor as a passenger sitting in a regular van bench seat.

Regarding the issue of towing, I think the 28 inches of extended length on the Ford E-250 HD chassis is insignificant when towing, provided a good WD hitch and anti-sway device is employed. These devices should be used for any travel trailer regardless of tow vehicle size. I’ve towed several different trailers with my Ford vans, and always had good towing experiences.

The OP does not have a Ford van, Rich has a Chevy. My comments about his van are these.
Conversion vans are often built on a relatively lightweight chassis. Maybe a low hp 5 liter V8. Light springs. No tow hitch receiver. Lightweight tranny, meaning it won’t last long in trailer towing service. What I’m saying is: the van conversion company typically specs the van chassis for the conversion. As others have mentioned, there may not be much left to use for carrying cargo or towing, after the conversion is made. Also, van conversion customers wanted smooth rides, not the rough ride that comes with a heavy towing van chassis having big stiff springs and large heavy frames that require big, firm shocks.

So, Rich your task is to determine what you have. Check the door sticker to see what its GVWR is, and have a tranny expert tell you if the van has a heavy duty or light duty tranny. I don’t think weighing your van and then comparing that number to the GVWR and GCWR would be too extreme.

Let’s Roll !
Wolf
8/30/2015
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:38 PM   #12
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Towing with a 95 van

Usually the conversion vans are cargo vans which then are modified by the conversion builder. Wolf you echoed my concern regarding weight and other concerns. I ordered my passenger van new for multi-reasons. First I wanted the 3/4 ton frame, wheels, frame, and suspension system. I had owned 3 prior half ton vans and I knew my adventure into a 30' Classic slide would require a much beefier vehicle. The other thing that the 3/4 ton van gave me access to was the 6 liter engine, the 4.10 rear axle, and a heavier duty transmission that could safely handled O.D. towing. With all that, this van was rated to tow 9,900 lbs. At the time a diesel equipped GM van was not available in 2003.

The interesting aspect is that I towed my 27' Safari with a '99 Chevy half ton passenger van. It had a 5.7 liter gas 3.73 axle. It was not rated to tow in OD. The Safari was 6,000 lbs with my normal camping load. The Chevy got about 12-13 mpg towing. My GMC 3/4 ton van built to my specs also gets 12-13 mpg, only towing a 8,400 lb 30' Classic slide out.

One thing to keep in mind is that bigger isn't always better. If I had chosen a one ton van, the towing capacity would have been reduced due to the heavier frame. Likewise 4 wheel drive which was an option would have also reduced capacity.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:52 AM   #13
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That van will do a great job towing an Airstream.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:45 AM   #14
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Ok, here are the specs;
1995 6.5 deisel 20 (3/4 ton)
Heavy duty trailering equipment option
Locking differential-rear axle
Rear axle 3.42 ratio
GVW rating 6875 LB.

Rear axle is about 4 feet from bumper
Conversion package 4 captain chairs with bench fold down bed in back
with carpet and soundproofing on walls and ceilings.

Sorry to be so dense, but how is the 3.42 ratio for towing ?

Suitable for towing a 33 Streamline (looks heavy) or am I better off with my 2005 Dodge deisel 3/4 ton pick up ?
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