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  1. #1
    Super Member Henro's Avatar
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    Few miles north of Pgh, PA
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    Kubota B2910, BX2200, Yardman 20HP pos...

    Default Van VS Pickup for towing?

    I'm trying to learn BEFORE I buy my trailer. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    I have a E350 SuperDuty Ford Econline van. It is a window van. Off hand I don't know what the ratings are.

    I'm wondering how this van would compare to a pickup as far as towing a trailer would go. I am thinking of buying a 10K trailer, with brakes on both axles...that is about all I know at this point.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone might have as far as towing trailers with Vans. I doubt I will ever buy a pickup again...although they are often very useful...

    Is there any major difference between a van and pickup when towing?

    I look forward to learning something...please help if you can!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    I can't imagine that there would be any major difference. I use a Chevy Suburban with overload springs and towing package to haul my 18' x 7' trailer with dual axles/brakes.
    An E350 is a one ton isn't it? It's more than I'm using for sure.
    I would think you could easily haul your Kubotas with it, no problem.
    John

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    236
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    Escondido California
    Tractor
    2005 Ingersoll Rand Bl370b

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    I also own a one ton van a 2001 GMC Savana cargo van. The rating on my van for towing is 10,000 gvw. I was also thinking of buying a 7,000 to 10,000 gvw trailer to tow my tractor with. David. I would think some of the differiences with a van is you don't have as much visibality, it is taller and wider so cross winds effect it more. It generally has more weight over the back axal so more traction. David.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    721
    Location
    Boerne, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M9000

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    Henro, theres no easy answer for your particular van without knowing its load rating and other stuff thats been done to it but absolutely an E350 makes a fine tow vehicle if equipped correctly for 10,000lbs you could probably get away with the 351 size engine just fine or maybe even a big 6 or smaller v8 if the gears are there. Probably the biggest concern you should have and easily fixed if its not already there is when you start towing almost anything or even carrying heavy loads you should always have a good transmission cooler and if towing you'll want tow mirrors outside your load with bubbles to help you stay off the passing geos and such and you'll probably want to invest in a weight distributing hitch with a sway control on it so every strong wind or big truck that passes doesn't move you around in your lane.
    You should be able to take the vin number to your Ford dealer and they can tell you how it was originally equipped from a tow standpoint the rest is a piece of cake or you can get a basic idea from the sticker inside your drivers side door although those numbers are on the lighter side it is nice to know by how much you are exceeding your vehicles intended GVWR, and your GCVWR (gross vehicle and gross combined vehicle weight rating). If you were using it commercially DOT in Texas at least is hard on folks that exceed it but for the average joe pulling his own stuff and not for pay I've never heard of anyone having trouble unless its an obvious overload and safety concern although the last couple of years they are cracking down a lot so they may start checking that on residential applications as well they are already requireing inspections but they aren't enforcing it very well on trailers yet unless they had a reason to pull you over first then they probably will fine for that as well.
    Steve

  5. #5
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    3,983
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    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    Our church van is an econoline one. It would certainly pull a trailer. It's a V10. Has the weight to pull the trailer, too. Tongue height would be awful high unless you put on a dropped tongue.

    I pulled a heavy rental trailer with my Tacoma when I went to pick up my Gravely and all its implements. Wasn't bad. Wouldn't have wanted to be on an interstate without trailer brakes though.

    We once pulled trailers with our cars to California and back. Main thing you notice is need to have trailer brakes. Darn 1957 Olds had sorry brakes even without a trailer behind it.

    I really question the buying of huge vehicles for the occasional need to pull a trailer. Think it would be a whole lot cheaper to rent trailer and vehicle for when you need them. It's the difference between owning a vehicle that only gets 8-12 mpg vs. one that would get 26-27 (average, 30 on the road) like my Tacoma does. Be a lot safer to the rest of us if you happen to run into us with the smaller vehicle that gets near 30 mpg. Save gas for us, too, and lower the price due to reduced demand.

    Ralph

  6. #6
    Super Member ronjhall's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    7,573
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    SE Michigan, AZ when its cold in MI.
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    Kubota 2910 HST

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    Henro
    I tow with a Chevy Astro Van. Not as heavy duty as your Econoline. One thing I notice with my van is the distance from rear wheels to trailer ball is shorter than a pickup. This means that I do not get as much side movement when backing a trailer in place. This has both good and bad consequences. When trying to back into a tight spot a lot more movement of Van is required to get trailer aligned. When backing it is easier to hold a straight line because ball moves less.
    With the short distance trailer hauls a lot better. I use a Equalizer Hitch on my 7000 lbs trailer. Sure makes a lot of difference how trailer tows.
    I have towed with both Pickups and Vans. A equalizer hitch will make the tow about the same on both vehicles.
    During my trip out west. We had only one traffic tie up. An Econoline Van towing about a 30' travel trailer had separated from the Van and slid down the Freeway on it's side. Did not see any damage to the Van. But trailer will need at least one side replaced if it can even be repaired. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] This may not anything to do with your Van, but was one of those thing you remember.
    For your B2910 you should not need more that a 7000 lbs trailer. There is a big jump up in trailer weight when going to a 10000 trailer.
    I have a 16' beaver tail trailer. If I was to do it again I would get a 18'. The fit with a FEL and BH will allow for some adjustment of load.

  7. #7
    Super Member ronjhall's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    7,573
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    SE Michigan, AZ when its cold in MI.
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    Kubota 2910 HST

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    <font color="blue"> I'm trying to learn BEFORE I buy my trailer. </font>
    Have you checked this thread.
    Home Made Trailer. Should be a good project for you and your welder. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
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    Kubota L5460HSTC

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    This ought to tell you what you want to know.
    Ford Towing Guide

    If you know engine, &amp; axle ratio you can find the towing capacity. For the 2005 E350 it ranges from 6,200# (5.4L V8 3.55 gears) to 10,000# (V10 or diesel 4.10 gears)

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    88
    Location
    Bullard, TX
    Tractor
    02 CIH D33

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    Ralph,
    I do not mean to attack you here but let's discuss something:
    Your desire to drive a small, foreign made vehicle (which you say gets near 30 mpg) is just that- Your desire.
    Please do not try to guilt people into buying something they do not want to buy. As far as being safer if they run into you... I see a whole lot more small trucks and cars cutting off larger vehicles, than I do the other way around.
    So all you folks in smaller vehicles, do us a favor - Do not cut us off, or pull out in front of us wrecklessly. That will keep us and you safer. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] I suppose I could just ride a bicycle everywhere and have my groceries delivered to the house when I need them... Would that make you feel safer ? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Thanks as always,
    Daniel

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Nov 2003
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    8,384
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    Central Michigan
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    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Van VS Pickup for towing?

    Henro,

    I've towed a lot of miles with both pickups and vans, most of them were with a 7,000 lb. travel trailer and I actually preferred the van over the pickup. Most vans, unless they are an extended model like the Ford Super Cargo Van, have a shorter rear overhang than a pickup truck does. The shorter the distance between the rear axle and the hitch, the less leverage the trailer being towed can exert on the towing vehicle.

    A second plus to using a van, at least in my case, was that the flat front surface of my travel trailer required my towing vehicle to overcome a lot of wind resistance, and the van, with it's larger frontal area than the pickup, seemed to take less effort to pull the trailer. I was using a Reese 10,000 lb weight distributing receiver with both vehicles and there did not seem to be much difference in the way they handled crosswinds and semi trailers passing by.

    FYI, the pickup I used was an F150 longbed with a 4.9 six and 4.10 gears, the van was an E150 with the 351 V8 and 3.55 gears. I have always thought the real limiting factor in towing heavy loads was more of a chassis issue, and not horsepower.
    You can always shift down when you need more torque but your frame, brakes, and suspension have a set limit. With a 1 ton chassis, I am quite certain your van will easily be able to handle your needs.

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