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Old 08-15-2019, 07:23 PM   #1
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Vans as tow vehicles

My old 1/2 ton Ford cargo van is kind of noisy inside .Borrowed my son's 2016 Gmc Denali 2500 diesel 4x4 to tow our trailer to Oregon for a week.The Mrs decided we needed a new tow vehicle.We tow a Minilite 2104s.Its probably about 5000lbs loaded.Looking for a slightly used 3/4 truck was not working out.Everything was very expensive.Had to resort to plan b.I did not want a diesel as I work on my own vehicles and hate fixing diesel trucks.The easiest engine that I like to work on is the 6.0 Gm gas engine.So we ended up getting a Chevy 3500 15 passenger window van.This was cheap compared to a truck .I like the fact that everything is locked up inside.The seats can be removed as needed.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by oldxr View Post
My old 1/2 ton Ford cargo van is kind of noisy inside .Borrowed my son's 2016 Gmc Denali 2500 diesel 4x4 to tow our trailer to Oregon for a week.The Mrs decided we needed a new tow vehicle.We tow a Minilite 2104s.Its probably about 5000lbs loaded.Looking for a slightly used 3/4 truck was not working out.Everything was very expensive.Had to resort to plan b.I did not want a diesel as I work on my own vehicles and hate fixing diesel trucks.The easiest engine that I like to work on is the 6.0 Gm gas engine.So we ended up getting a Chevy 3500 15 passenger window van.This was cheap compared to a truck .I like the fact that everything is locked up inside.The seats can be removed as needed.
Those are good, the cutaway version of the van is used as the basis of a class C motorhome.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:15 PM   #3
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That looks good. I'd be tempted to dump the trailer altogether and make that into a stealth camper. Or tow a trailer that just looks like a contractor trailer and put "Big Dave's Septic Service" on the side so nobody messes with it.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:01 PM   #4
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Here is the run down on driving/towing with this van.It rides very rough empty.If you compare the unloaded weight vs gvw sticker in the door it can carry a little over 3000 lbs inside.Thats good because I will carry 2 small motorcycles in back +other stuff and still have legal seating for 5 people.I don't use a weight distributing hitch.It rides good with out 1.The engine +6 speed transmission do the job easy.No tail wagging the dog feeling at all.It was a big job to wire it because it did not have any tow package wiring at all.It has front and rear ac/heat.Except for the rough ride empty I am happy with it .Probably going to put some better shocks on it.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:06 PM   #5
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I grew up pulling mowers all over the state of KS with a 1 ton Chevy Van. The van, loaded with tools, and pulling a car trailer with mowers on it rode just as good as my dad's 1/2 ton Chevy truck. I think the 1 ton vans make great towing vehicles. They're just so damn big when you're not towing, that I wouldn't want one.

Glad you were able to get what you wanted. It sounds like a great tow rig.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:05 PM   #6
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My brother didn't pull a camper with his, but he did tow an enclosed trailer that probably came in at around 5K or a little more. He had the E-350 Ford version with the 5.4L. But he towed that trailer all over the Eastern U.S. and as far west as Colorado. He no longer has the job that required the trailer, but he still has both the van and the trailer (I think). It did a great job for him.
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