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Old 06-14-2006, 01:28 PM   #21
Rivet Master
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Albuquerque , New Mexico
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Originally Posted by jcanavera
I owned a '91 Astro Ext which has the largest capacity tow rating of any Astro built. It had a premium gas V6 along with a 4.10 rear axle. Towing capacity was 6,500 lbs. I pulled a 28' Thor built aluminum framed SOB and used a Reese dual-cam sway control hitch. I towed for two years and while the Astro was up to the task, that 28' SOB was a handful. The problem was the Astro just didn't have enough mass to deal with the forces placed on the trailer. Not that it swayed, it was just the issue that the trailer and Astro were literly pushed as a unit, when dealing with strong winds. I could do about 300 miles a day, and was worn out by that point.

I personally can't figure how a 2000 Astro, with less capacity can safely handle an 8,700 lb Excella much less mechanically hold up to towing such a trailer.

And you had a 4.10 rear axle! Chevy didn't offer a 4.10 on the Astro in 2000, so unless Joe got a special order, he's running a 3.73.
Ken L
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Old 06-14-2006, 02:05 PM   #22
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1976 25' Caravanner
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Campton , New Hampshire
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Astro Van ?


Would you please share with us what RVSEF has to say about using a tow vehicle that is loaded 2600# beyond it's max. rating . You also have to consider what your insurance company will say,should you need them , and the law .
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:24 PM   #23
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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Yes this is a quandery ,

Ive thought about the astro thing today ,I am a mechanic technician and i work on these astros often ,have driven them on my road tests after repairs made etc, they are somewhat choppy do to the short wheelbase ,they have good power for a v6 4.3 engine.Knowing them or not the 780 # tongue weight alone has the vehical already over loaded ,but I would surmise the WD
hitch would really make the astro and the trailer pretty rigid as a unit because the van is so small ,no mass .But I don't understand the idea of using that to tow such a large heavy trailer so clearly beyond its limits .If the trailer brakes ever failed ,have mercy o lord!! and a clear path ahead .Ive heard of the v8 conversion etc ,but that doesn't make up for the fact that
that vehical is still not big enough by any stretch of the imagination period.
reminds me of the intrepid /airstream debacle.We need to think saftey here

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