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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Choosing tow vehicle, Van or 3/4 truck

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carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 04/07/12 09:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NewsW wrote:

Dual wheels have a sizable fuel economy penalty if you do not need the weight carrying function.

The Dual wheel conversions consume something like 15 to 20% more fuel --- including the more frontal area.

Then there is the safety issue.

Again, the issue comes down to the quality of the conversion.

I personally think it is insane for School Buses and conversions to not be required to have 3 point seat belts or better.

But to date, the school board lobbyists have won out on every attempt to get children belted.


Adding duals to my van cost me about ~0.5 MPG empty, and no change towing.

Re-gearing cost me more empty, but improved fuel economy when towing.

School busses come with a pretty high weight-penalty.


Bryan

2000 Ford E350 DRW Wagon (14-pass all captains chairs)
V10 - 375,000 miles


NewsW

US

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Posted: 04/07/12 09:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

carringb wrote:

NewsW wrote:

Side note: GM has shoulder belts for all passengers. Ford does not.


Starting with 08 vans, every seating position in the Ford vans has 3-point belts. Center positions are integrated into the seats. Two companies makes high back seats for the vans, I forgot the first, but they can be ordered as the "Center Isle Seating Package" through Ford. The other is "CVC & More", who not only has a center isle package, but every seat is a reclining captains chair, and center seats also have integrated seats belts. Each chair can be removed individually, and YES, current FMVSS code is met. They are not, however, a low-cost conversion. CVC did my van before I bought it, under contract with Enterprise Ride Share.



Thanks for the correction.

Yes, meeting FMVSS is not cheap... and there are great benefits to doing it right.

The two outfits you mentioned --- do it right.

SoCalDesertRider

Arizona desert

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Posted: 04/07/12 09:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheOMB wrote:

Here's some current vans I found on eBay last night, before I posted here, that put my head into a spin:

Reference, almost exact van I own now:
2002 Chevrolet Express Conversion
- dang they want $11k with 113k miles
- Mine does not have leather and is a 2001, otherwise it's exact same with 5.7L engine... or well mine has 220k miles a bunch of paint dings, loose rear end, 7 bad engine codes and leaks.
- Part of me wants to risk towing with it this summer, it's rated for 6,200 lbs.

2003 Chevrolet Express 2500 Cobra
- BIY $15K with 137k miles
- Only con I think is it's 3/4 suspension.
- I'd remove 3rd and 4th row seats and be ready to roll, almost.
- Need to figure tow capacity with weight of high top and conversion factored in.

2011 Chevrolet Express 9 Passenger
- Pro and Con, probably out of my price range.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/?cmd=View........agename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT#ht_25096wt_911
- Pro and Con, probably out of my price range.

2006 Ford E-Series Van 10 Passenger
- Pro and Con, it's a Dually with V10
- BIY of $15,000 at 80K miles

2010 Ford E-Series Van TV / DVD
- Con, probably above my price at $20k?
- Pro, has Captain seats factory installed where I want them.
- Con, have to drive to NC to get it, BUT

* I got weekend booked in NC in May, if I wait that long for purchase I could expand my purchase area to GA, SC, NC and eve TN.

For reference:2006 Chevrolet Express 15 PASSENGER
- Standard 1 ton Express 15 Pass
- BIY $9850 at 131k miles
- Only thing is that 2nd row of seats.

* I really like the 2003 2500 Cobra.


Of these this is the one I would go for!

'06 E350 dually 10 pass van V10 80K miles $15K


The GM 2500 Cobra conversion van with high top likely won't have enough payload capacity for your purposes.


05E350 6.0PSD
97F350DRW 7.3PSD 4x4 4.10 11' flatbed
98Ranger
69Bronco ATC250R CR500
20' BigTex flatbed carhauler
Callen Camper

92F350 CrewCab 4x4 351/C6
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285/75-16E BFG AT on 16x8 Stocktons
4.56's & LockRite rear

LarryJM

NoVa

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Posted: 04/07/12 09:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NewsW wrote:

LarryJM wrote:

even recommended one go to a van conversion shop if one wanted to install extra passenger captain chairs.

Larry


I do not believe conversion shops, who do not need to meet FMVSS can do as good a job as the manufacturer.

Very few, if any, van conversion shop have the engineering expertise to mount seats as safe as the manufacturer does.


Why risk family?


Just because you are not required to meet FMVSS does not say FMVSS is not a good idea for a minimum level of safety.




Buy the FMVSS certified stuff for cheap from Ford or GM.


Fair enough except unlike you I do feel you can get aftermarket seating that is just as safe as factory seats that meet all applicable FMVSS requirements. Look at THIS SITE in the comments below the seat belt portion as an example. HERE is another and look at the info at the bottom of the page.

Larry


2001 standard box 7.3L E-350 PSD Van with 4.10 rear and 2007 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 8306S Been RV'ing since 1974.
RAINKAP INSTALL////ETERNABOND INSTALL


blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

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Posted: 04/07/12 10:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While a conversion bus will lose some payload, maybe even the same as a SW st ext van, it would have the volume vs the std van. Which in some cases, is more or just as important as the payload part of the equation. An E450 version may be a good compromise too!

Dually does lose some mpg, .5-1.5 maybe 2 depending upon frontal area, tire types etc.

If one is trying to come up with options, all in reality will work, it comes down to what will work best for the end user.

Marty


05 Chev CC D/A LS Dooley

92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
00 Chev C2500, V5700, 4L80E, 4.10, base truck, no options!
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer
3 Single axle utility trailers

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NewsW

US

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Posted: 04/07/12 10:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LarryJM wrote:



Fair enough except unlike you I do feel you can get aftermarket seating that is just as safe as factory seats that meet all applicable FMVSS requirements. Look at THIS SITE in the comments below the seat belt portion as an example. HERE is another and look at the info at the bottom of the page.

Larry





Lets read the sites in detail:

www.imageseating.com/

Here is how you recognize a scam:

There is a statement (written in a graphic so you cannot easily cut and paste it).



It says,

".... (Belts) fully certified to FMVSS 209"

What is FMVSS 209?

Standard No. 209 - Seat Belt Assemblies - Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses (Effective 3-1-67)


BUT WHAT ABOUT FMVSS 210?


Quote:

Standard No. 210 - Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages - Passenger Cars (Effective 1-1-68 ), Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses (Effective 7-1-71)
This standard establishes requirements for seat belt assembly anchorages to ensure proper location for effective occupant restraint and to reduce the likelihood of failure. The requirements apply to any component, other than the webbing or straps, involved in transferring seat belt loads to the vehicle structure.



The vendor is distinctly silent on this issue.


The most critical part of the standard --- seat belt attachment --- is not claimed or certified.

In fact, how can a maker of hardware do that certification?

No way! Only a complete vehicle manufacturer or a certified modder can do that.


Devil in the details...


-------------------


What about the next statement of about FMVSS:

Again -- this is done in a graphic, to prevent easy cut and paste:




There are NO FMVSS codes applicable that a seat manufacturer has to meet.

That is the responsibility of the vehicle manufacturer.

Therefore, that statement means ZILCH.

Specifically, it is the OEM (e.g. Ford or GM) that has to meet this:


Quote:

Standard No. 207 - Seating Systems - Passenger Cars (Effective 1-1-68), Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses (Effective 1-1-72)
This standard establishes requirements for seats, attachment assemblies, and installation, to minimize the possibility of failure as a result of forces acting on the seat in vehicle impact.




Disingenious, isn't it!




It is perfectly legal to install non-compliant seats in the vehicle, e.g. wrap around sofas, fold away beds, etc. as long as there is no claim that those seats are useable for passenger use and is in compliance with FMVSS 207, 208, 209, 210 (and everything else applicable) etc.


Even wonder why RVs come with no seat belts for many seats?

Because it was certificated only for the ones that come from the complete vehicle manufacturer with seat belts!



Therefore, based on the information you gave me --- there is not any reason for me to suggest that these seats and so on are FMVSS compliant.

They are not --- not unless it is certificated as a complete system, with seat, restraints, anchorages, and specifically --- head injury spelled out here:


Quote:

Standard No. 201 - Occupant Protection in Interior Impact
This standard specifies performance requirements to provide head impact protection for occupants.
Passenger Cars (Effective 1-1-68); Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks and Buses with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs.) or less (Effective 9-1-81)
Shall meet requirements for instrument panels, seat backs, sun visors, and arm rests. interior compartment doors are required to remain closed during a crash.
Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, and Trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs.) or less, and Buses with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 3,860 kg (8,510 lbs.) or less (Effective 9-18-95)
Shall meet phase-in requirements for vehicle upper interior components, including, but not limited to, pillars, side rails, roof headers and the roof.
Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs.) or less, and Buses with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 3,860 kg (8,510 lbs.) or less (Effective 9-1-98)
Optional requirements for dynamically deploying upper interior head protection systems providing head injury protection in lateral crashes.
Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs.) or less, and Buses with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 3,860 kg (8,510 lbs.) or less (Effective 9-1-2000)
All shall meet upper interior head protection criteria.




That means designing what materials might one hit their head on in a crash...

Only a complete vehicle manufacturer can do that... and sign off on the certification to DOT.


True quality aftermarket modders (e.g. the ones that does the Enterprise commuter van conversions mentioned above) can do that.

Not many others.

* This post was edited 04/07/12 10:46am by NewsW *

NewsW

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Posted: 04/07/12 10:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

blt2ski wrote:



If one is trying to come up with options, all in reality will work, it comes down to what will work best for the end user.

Marty




His budget ($15,000 or so) is the toughest one to meet.

I can come up with a great solution for $50,000

rowekmr

Chicago

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Posted: 04/07/12 12:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got a little experience with the V-10 in a E350's and a Excursions but they were older than your year range so don't know if the info will help.

I looked for a E350 with V-10 a few years back and in my state I only found one but when I widened my search I found a few on Ebay with diesels but had 200K or more miles and reading about the repair cost scared my off so I settled on V-10's for my almost 9,000lb TT. The guy locally wasn't communicating well and didn't seem too motived to sale so I looked broader to the one in FL which was used by small company to transport people had about 150K and seemed to be well maintained. He tried a few times to sell on Ebay for 4K-6K IIRC but I noticed each time the reserve not being met so I waited and communicated with him after the bidding was over and he told me he listed it on CL locally in FL for 4K something. I followed him with the offers which weren't coming in and got it for $2,700 after minimal haggling and spent $700 shipping it here. It didn't have a factory hitch (ball on bumper) so I installed a Class V hitch and Prodidy brake controller and adjusted the tire pressure and used it for a few camping trips locally with no problems. Being from FL it's ac was artic cold but the FL sun took a beating to the paint on the roof. It was the highest mile vehicle I bought up to then but frankly it road just like my Excursion that had 80K when I bought it. I got the maintenance history from him so I knew what needed to be done which at that time was nothing beside a broken door latch. I missed the 4wd for my 4 season useage so I sold it for (4.2K) in one day on CL. The van had the 3.73 and I never travelled with it far enough on the highway empty to check the mps's but in my Excursion with the 4.30's I was able to get in the mid teens with CC engaged at legal speeds but I went through every system in that truck and replaced everything not up to spec. I think if you broaden your search you might come up with more vehicles that fit your specs.

I don't know how much space you need but the van surely has the most that I can tell compared to the Excursion and the Suburban 2500 that I have used which are also capable towing platforms but if going by the factory #'s the Excursion is much more payload limited. Buying from a dealer is good when the warranties are still good/transferrable or you using their financing but I found better prices when dealing with private owners with your own financing you can haggle more and you can learn much about the history of the vehicle including its useage (personal vs commercial) and the maintenance/repairs or any mods.


03 Ford Excursion Ltd 6.0L ARP studs/HG, 6.4L banjo bolts, blue spring mod, coolant filter, K&N CAI, turbo back exhaust, IDP tunes, SCT Livewire
00 Acura RL
08 Jayco 31 BHDS G2
96 Regal 258 Commodore

TheOMB

Florida

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Posted: 04/07/12 12:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only way I can really solve budget issue is to wait till half way thru my season in August or end of my season in October and buy then. But that means doing this summer in current vehicle, fixing some but not all off its issues. I've not maintained over the past few months like I would because of new vehicle in future and to many problems with current.

Staying in my express would mean a smaller trailer... How many pound under 6200 would you wanna trust something with a loose rear end while loaded with (down sized) gear and family...

Nope bad idea... But if I could do it my budget could go up to 25k, maybe 30k 6 months from now only if something drastic does not go wrong.... Like serious break down on route with family to the next gig... To risky for me, but would increase the budget.

* This post was edited 04/07/12 01:33pm by TheOMB *


www.MarcDobson.com

- Current in Chevy Express LT 1500, 7 bad engine codes, leaks Not sure if I got my monies worth out of 200k miles I've drove so far.
- Moving to 1 Ton Van & BH trailer soon


TheOMB

Florida

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Posted: 04/07/12 01:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Or I could skip the trailer, but that would add $5k of hotels to my year, a lot of inconvenience and lost piles of fun.

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