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 > Must-haves for Van or SUV as tow vehicle?

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Lwiddis

Death Valley NP

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Posted: 11/13/20 12:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"And perhaps tend toward a van for the greater payload capacity..."

Vans don't necessary have more payload capacity than a pick up. Depends on the van. They have more space.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Mickeyfan0805

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Posted: 11/13/20 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

"And perhaps tend toward a van for the greater payload capacity..."

Vans don't necessary have more payload capacity than a pick up. Depends on the van. They have more space.


Yep - understand the numbers and consider them carefully. I would suggest that you will be in full-size SUV or van territory. As a single traveler, you might be able to get by with a properly equipped full-size SUV depending on the weight of the animals and gear. You may find that it needs a van. The former will be much more accessible on the used market, and would likely work better as a daily driver when you arrive.

okhmbldr

oklahoma city

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Posted: 11/13/20 03:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

.

* This post was edited 11/15/20 10:03am by okhmbldr *

pitch

NY

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Posted: 11/13/20 04:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know, I am not agreeing with a lot that is being said. Tow packages are not created equally. What you need is a hitch 5point wiring harness and a brake controller. Factory packages will also include a transmission cooler.
That E-350 could be an ideal machine for you. Good price not a lot of miles.Of course 350,s are usually bought by businesses so it may have been ridden hard and put away wet.
I am much more casual than some of these guys. I have towed hauled and carried stuff in all manner of vehicles for over fifty years.
Do not get a half ton. your twenty foot tt is probably going to gross between 6 and 7k giving you a tongue weight ofabout800 pounds.
When you are looking at vehicles open the drivers door. There will be a stickers that says "Weight of cargo and passengers must not excced xxxxx"
In my opinion you want that figure to be a minimum of 18oo pounds 2200 would be perfect.
Most important is proper wiring harness
brake controller
transmission cooler
sufficient cargo capacity.

Grit dog

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Posted: 11/13/20 04:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most all full size suv or pickups have adequate hitches and wiring worst case you’d need to add a brake controller.
Vans may have less chance of having that setup but depends.
Virtually any full size suv pickup or van in the last 20 years or longer will have the capability to pull a small 20’ ish trailer. Provided its in good mechanical shape if it’s older.

Agree SUV if you plan on keeping it after the trip. No one wants to daily drive a E350 cargo van around daily.
But the van will be the best bang for buck budget wise if you are only concerned about the trip and will sell it.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 11/13/20 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tortiemctortiepants wrote:

Would an older vehicle with low miles and no major mechanical problems after an inspection be reliable, or should I really try to find a newer vehicle? For example, I found a 2007 Ford E350 with a tow package and only 60k miles on it for $8500, and I am interested in it but hesitate because of its age.

Heck that is just "broken in" ! Which engine ? The 6.8L V10 has a lot of power, but it is thirsty.

Like any used vehicle it will need "maintenance" items which can add up. Brakes all around, shocks and a front end alignment including replacing worn items. This could easily add up to over $1,000 if you are having it done. Find a good independent shop. Dealer charge too much.

Tortiemctortiepants

VA

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Posted: 11/13/20 07:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

Tortiemctortiepants wrote:

Would an older vehicle with low miles and no major mechanical problems after an inspection be reliable, or should I really try to find a newer vehicle? For example, I found a 2007 Ford E350 with a tow package and only 60k miles on it for $8500, and I am interested in it but hesitate because of its age.

Heck that is just "broken in" ! Which engine ? The 6.8L V10 has a lot of power, but it is thirsty.

Like any used vehicle it will need "maintenance" items which can add up. Brakes all around, shocks and a front end alignment including replacing worn items. This could easily add up to over $1,000 if you are having it done. Find a good independent shop. Dealer charge too much.


It is the 5.4 liter V8, would that be adequate?

Tortiemctortiepants

VA

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Posted: 11/13/20 07:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pitch wrote:

I don't know, I am not agreeing with a lot that is being said. Tow packages are not created equally. What you need is a hitch 5point wiring harness and a brake controller. Factory packages will also include a transmission cooler.
That E-350 could be an ideal machine for you. Good price not a lot of miles.Of course 350,s are usually bought by businesses so it may have been ridden hard and put away wet.
I am much more casual than some of these guys. I have towed hauled and carried stuff in all manner of vehicles for over fifty years.
Do not get a half ton. your twenty foot tt is probably going to gross between 6 and 7k giving you a tongue weight ofabout800 pounds.
When you are looking at vehicles open the drivers door. There will be a stickers that says "Weight of cargo and passengers must not excced xxxxx"
In my opinion you want that figure to be a minimum of 18oo pounds 2200 would be perfect.
Most important is proper wiring harness
brake controller
transmission cooler
sufficient cargo capacity.


Thanks! It is from a private seller, but must have been used more for work/hauling I’m assuming as the rear seats are gone. But I need mostly space anyways.

Would an inspection be able to tell me if it had the proper brake controller/wiring harness/transmission cooler?

Tortiemctortiepants

VA

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Posted: 11/13/20 08:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

okhmbldr wrote:

Most trailering packages include the hitch rated to suit the vehicle, a larger radiator, plus a transmission cooler. Will vary with different manufacturers.
A full sized van will tow just about any 20' trailer you find.
Many of the front wheel drive SUV's come with the trailering package. GM's, Traverse, Acadia, Enclave, they are all six cylinder engines but get close to 300 hp. Ford Explorer also a great tow vehicle for the smaller trailers.
Just find the trailer first, then select something you will enjoy as a daily driver that has the capacity to tow your new trailer. Also, good idea to put you total package together a few months before you begin your adventure. Take a few small trips an get used to your vehicle/trailer package. Good luck.


Do you think the V6 engines could handle a cross county trip? I had eliminated them from my search thinking that they wouldn’t hold up... but if they could handle it that would be good news on the daily driver and gas mileage fronts!

Tortiemctortiepants

VA

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Posted: 11/13/20 08:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mickeyfan0805 wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

"And perhaps tend toward a van for the greater payload capacity..."

Vans don't necessary have more payload capacity than a pick up. Depends on the van. They have more space.


Yep - understand the numbers and consider them carefully. I would suggest that you will be in full-size SUV or van territory. As a single traveler, you might be able to get by with a properly equipped full-size SUV depending on the weight of the animals and gear. You may find that it needs a van. The former will be much more accessible on the used market, and would likely work better as a daily driver when you arrive.


I’m still trying to wrap my head around all the different important numbers... I understand them theoretically (I think...) but I have no frame of reference to be good at guesstimating how much weight I’ll likely be looking at carrying around once loaded up.

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