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Old 04-20-2019, 07:58 PM   #1
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Chevy Express 3500 van bouncy ride

We are looking at getting a new tv. Test drove a Chevy Express 3500 LT passenger van w/6.0 engine and this is more than enough to handle our 22' mini lite. The problem was the test drive demonstrated some crazy bouncing on the highway, especially on the concrete sections. Further research indicated that Bilstein shocks would help. I'm leery of getting a tv and then buying shocks only to later find out that the problem persists. Anyone out there using a Chevy van for towing?

Thanks
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:05 PM   #2
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Long wheelbase 3500 anything is going to feel that way on certain sections of road. This is why I question those that claim they love their 3500 (or 2500) as a daily driver. Maybe they just don't know how well other cars and trucks ride, maybe they don't have the concrete roads. My 2500 Ram and 2500 GMC both did it bad on our busiest road which is paved in concrete because asphalt just won't hold up to the traffic it gets. Loaded and towing it isn't as bad, airing down the tires will also help but then you have to air up to work which is a PITA as LT tires on 2500s and 3500s need much more PSI to get their weight rating. We traded in on a 2500 Suburban and it definitely is better but no where near as nice as our minivan on the same roads. Sometimes I think it might be the expansion joints are spaced exactly the same as the wheelbase on these trucks. Speaking of expansion joints I live where the roads may be -30 in the winter or 110 in the summer so they have to be built to accommodate a lot of expansion.

Not all cars are that great either. My brother had to trade in his Subaru WRX because it would literally make your kidneys hurt on those roads.
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:10 PM   #3
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On a side note, if it's a new van I'd look at getting one with the 2.8 Duramax if 6800 pounds is enough tow rating. I've hear MPG reports on that van beating 30 MPG not towing at 60 mph. The 6.0 will be lucky to get 20 mpg, mine gets low teens in the Suburban but it is a 4x4 and a 2001 model.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:50 PM   #4
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Hi Hersbird - it is a used 2018 w/16k miles. It is the standard length, not the extended version. We used to have a 95 custom van that was bouncy too, but not this bad. Not sure if it is my faulty memory or because of the power sofa etc., it was more loaded, which helped. We loved that van and drove it until it just wasn't reliable and replaced it with a Toyota 4Runner which we also love. Been thinking of going back to a van, but not if we are going to get beat to death in the process. The Michigan roads we take tend to be concrete in places and they are the worse. You may be right about the wheelbase and the joints, the shorter 4Runner bounces some, but nothing like the van. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:04 PM   #5
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I have a new 2500 GMC Savana w/6.0l and have owned 2 previous full size vans, putting over 800K km on the last one. The ride isn't near as nice as my Yukon Denali but it is an awesome tv. No regrets.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:57 PM   #6
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That van is designed to carry weight. If it is lightly loaded it won’t ride well.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:18 PM   #7
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I personally would look around for one of the last 2500 Suburbans or Yukon XLs, they made them up until 2013. They get a huge payload, 8-9 passenger seating with still lots of room behind the 3rd row and a good tow rating. They will ride nicer than a van and will probably have 4wd with a real low range the Denalis and Escalades don't have (those also don't have anywhere near the payload and weaker transmissions.) I saw a couple nice 2011's when I was looking last fall for just over $20k with under 100,000 miles. I couldn't pass up the older one I found and ended up paying $3900 for my 2001 with 235,000 miles on it. It still runs and drives great. When the motor does die GM will ship a brand new 360hp version off the assembly line to my door for $5500 fully ready to drop in, throttle body to oil pan. As a comparison probably a Toyota 5.7 will go 235,000 trouble free miles but when it dies Toyota gets over $20,000 for the same setup on a brand new 5.7 crate motor! Just a new bare short block is $7000 from Toyota. Yes used would be less, but same with the GM. If a new GM motor is only $5500 complete it makes the used ones really cheap, I've seen used Toyota 5.7s for over $10,000 complete. I like Toyota and Honda but you just can't beat how inexpensive parts on a GM are. In my experience I have very few problems with all my cars and trucks. I never get how a Honda or Toyota minivan can be more reliable than my Chrysler when my van has 85,000 miles, is 8 years old, and has just had oil changes, 2 sets of front brake pads, one rear, not even rotors, and is on it's 2nd set of tires, and nothing else. How can the other vans be more reliable than perfect?
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:02 AM   #8
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Interesting perspective on the engine replacement, I had no idea the cost difference was that great. Thanks for all the info!
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