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Old 09-12-2016, 12:57 PM   #1
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Anyone Tow with a Ford Transit Van?

Our current tow rig is a Ford E350 van with a 7.3L diesel. Rated @ 10k. It's been an incredible tow rig. (16 mpg, 12 mpg towing).

We're considering selling it in favor of a new Ford Transit with the Ecoboost motor. Depending on the options, they're rated to tow up to 7100 lbs. Why would we sell our great rig in favor of one with a smaller towing capacity and more cose?

- we are mountain biking 2-3 times a week. Taking them apart to store them in the van is getting old, and putting wear and tear on the bikes. We want to be able to store them in the transit all the time without pulling the wheels off. They're expensive bikes, so we won't be putting them on a rack/carrier. I realize most people won't understand this, but it is what it is. We refuse to store them outside the van.

- we're considering putting our AS in storage next summer and just traveling in the van. We could build a big boxy van out like this for minimalist living for a few months.

- we'd also get to stealth camp when necessary. Kinda hard to "stealth" in the Airstream right now.


A bit about us:
We live in our FC 30 full time right now. We absolutely love it. TONS of room, tows well (with our current van), and it's set up just the way we want. We live full-time in our FC30. We'd obviously have to downsize our trailer if we got a transit. We're considering the FC 23D and the FC 235FB. The FC25 is much more desirable (bigger fridge, larger tanks, but heavier...) but it's on the verge of the limits of the Transit. We don't think we'll have it loaded to the gills, but we'll have to do some very careful weight management.



Does anyone here tow with a Transit? Which trailer do you tow? How do you like it?
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:15 PM   #2
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Those new Transits are pretty neat. Quite a few sites where owners are really setting them up nice. Almost building out their own campers.

Loved the adventure off road with your friends. (Minus the slipping wheels) My DH kept saying my Jeep could do that.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:27 PM   #3
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I believe user QE2 here tows with new Transit w/Ecoboost. I believe they have been very happy with it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Those new Transits are pretty neat. Quite a few sites where owners are really setting them up nice. Almost building out their own campers.

Loved the adventure off road with your friends. (Minus the slipping wheels) My DH kept saying my Jeep could do that.
Thanks. Yeah, we're thinking of a simple buildout inside so we could use it for short trips. Almost all jeeps could handle black bear pass. Just don't go when it's raining.

Thanks for watching our videos and following along, it means a lot.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:29 AM   #5
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Transit Van's roots are European Ford.

Let's see how these upgraded models hold up in America. Until then, I have my doubts.

Just my 2.

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Old 09-13-2016, 11:32 AM   #6
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We are interested in the transit van for the same reason, want to take 4 bikes with us and can't do it in the F150. What is the tow capacity on it? Do you know if it has 4wd? It looks like such a great option.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:23 PM   #7
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Here is a suggestion based on my personal quest for the ultimate Airstream Tow vehicle: I recently purchased a GMC Sierra 1/2 ton Pickup, Crew cab, 8 speed, 6.2L 420 Horsepower, 460 Torque, Z71 suspension. I added an ARE cap and the bikes are very easily stored in the weather tight bed. I use fork mounts attached to a board and remove only the front tires. The bikes sit side by side mounted to the board. I had to add some weather sealing to the tailgate too. The cab is huge and the bed can hold eight 27 gallon bins without bikes or four with bikes. Four bins can also go in the back seat. Fuel economy is very good compared with the Yukon XL 6.2 that I had previously. It’s more off road capable than a Transit van, which I know is important to you. A bonus is the high power wifi hot spot that comes with the truck.

As for mountain biking, I’ll be riding in the ICEMAN mountain bike race near Traverse City MI in November. Look for our Airstream at the Finish Line and stop by for some chili.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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For an additional $12-13k you can get quigley or quadvan to convert them to 4x4. pretty penny at that price. I heard Ford didn't want to offer them with 4x4 or awd because they were afraid they'd cut into their F350 sales.

Being RWD, it can be a pain in bad weather, especially towing.

With the right engine and body combo, you can get up to 7300 lbs towing capacity, but keep in mind these are unibody vans. They don't recommend using a weight distribution hitch (but I will anyway).

With the setup I want, 3.5 EcoBoost, lwb, medium roof (I may get a tall roof... still deciding), it's between 6700 and 6900 trailer weight. Which really limits me...
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:04 PM   #9
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4 X 4 Sprinter dually 3500. Gecko (on these Forums) is using a 2WD 3500 dually to tow their 28' Airstream.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:19 AM   #10
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I put together a little spreadsheet with the tow capacities of the 2016 transit. Keep in mind these are for an empty cargo van with no windows and now extra seats beyond the front two. Also keep in mind that this is the load rating including cargo...

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Old 09-23-2016, 08:45 AM   #11
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Coming home from work yesterday and a Transit van passed me. Looks like it had the tallest roof and longer wheelbase with the longest body. There was a lot of over hang between the rear axle and bumper which seems it would not be good for towing a heavy trailer.

What model of Transit are you considering?

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Old 09-23-2016, 09:04 AM   #12
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Agreed, I don't want the long body, that wouldn't be fun to tow with.

We're looking at the longer wheelbase with either the mid or high top. We're thinking high top (but not the extended length model). We can stand up in the mid top, but only barely. We'd like a little more height.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:30 AM   #13
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Ever looked at the Nissan NV? High roof and 9500 pounds towing on the cargo van. Don't see many around but seems to be the best towing van with a high roof.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:33 AM   #14
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yeah, they're the highest rated new van, (along with the chevy) but If I weren't going for a full boxy van, I'd rather keep my 4x4 7.3L diesel E350 and add a fiberglass high top. I'm rated to tow 10k lbs and I get 16 mpg and I have 4x4.

The NVs don't really give me anything I don't already have (if I added a high top).
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:02 AM   #15
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How does the cargo bed length of the Transit van compare to Fred? I think the spec for the Transit van, extended wheelbase is 143".

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Old 09-23-2016, 10:14 AM   #16
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I had a friend put this spreadsheet together for me.



For some reason the transits feel so much bigger inside. I think it's the square corners.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:20 PM   #17
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So. Looking at your spec sheet,they're pretty much the same dimensions. Believing you easily possess the ability, after seeing everything you've already done to Fred yourself, why not just chop the top and install a Westfalia style topper? After which, with slightly robust struts installed you could install upside roof mounts for the bikes, handle bars towards the rear against the outside edges and that should give enough room for comfort and never have to disassemble them.
I know, I'm one of those you mentioned in the video and you've already "decided" but you've got do much into Fred and you never get out what you've put in. (Not very stealthy though)
http://s84.photobucket.com/user/Roon..._0043.jpg.html
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:51 PM   #18
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Unless I've missed something in this thread I find myself compelled to ask the question; "why in the world are you shopping for a 'new van'"? I've watched your YouTube videos on your present setup and it is perfect. The motor and chassis combination that you've put together should last you a million miles! What's driving this van shopping? Sorry to be so nosey but when you "put your life out there on YouTube" you're gonna get questions. I admire your work a great deal.

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Old 09-25-2016, 10:02 PM   #19
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Aah yes...the rest of the story.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpatrick16 View Post
Unless I've missed something in this thread I find myself compelled to ask the question; "why in the world are you shopping for a 'new van'"? I've watched your YouTube videos on your present setup and it is perfect. The motor and chassis combination that you've put together should last you a million miles! What's driving this van shopping? Sorry to be so nosey but when you "put your life out there on YouTube" you're gonna get questions. I admire your work a great deal.

Pat
I must admit when I posted the above I had missed the earlier posts I even went on-line to see if you were making a "YouTube" video about your quest. Then I took another look at the "history" of what had been posted and "discovered" the "why" of what you were trying to do. Now I understand the "rest of the story". Good luck in getting this all figured out.
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