Full size van for towing?

The Peddler

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May 28, 2008
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2400 SeaSport Explorer - "Permanent Waves"
With a growing family (me, wife, a toddler, another on the way, and two 65-70lb dogs) the crew cab 2500HD seems to be shrinking. Wife doesn't like the idea of the dogs in the bed/canopy for their safety and due to weather extremes. We do travel as a family often-enough, and we like to do activities that require more cargo and/or towing capacity than the typical "Soccer Mom" vehicle.

I came-across this today; http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ctd/5697673268.html

Does anyone tow a 9,000-lb load with a full size van? Supposedly the tow capacity is 10,000-lb. I might be too close to have a nice "safety margin?" Having a diesel is appealing vs the anemic V8's normally in these rigs. Despite the DuraMax engine, it doesn't have the Allison trans, and that may be the weak point in this one? It is 4x4 though, via aftermarket conversion.

I'd love a DuraBurb, (Google it, they're the Shiznitty) but they're too rare and rich for my blood.

Thoughts on the van idea? Since I'm used to running my truck with a canopy on the bed, the enclosed cargo area doesn't deter me. I have a utility trailer I use for tall stuff already.
 

TexMojoII

Well, Shit!
Jul 18, 2010
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So, family and dogs are all up front in the truck, so what is under the canopy? Is it still full? Dogs and fishing gear don't mix. LOL
 

Bill Ryan

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Feb 12, 2015
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I would have a tough time buying a Duramax without a Allision on the back side.
 

hbouldin1216

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 10, 2012
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My dad towed a 30' 2002 Weekend Warrior toy hauler loaded with 5 dirt bikes for a good 5 years with a Ford E350 gas van. I note the year because this was before the original owner sold the company and he was still building the trailers with heavy duty, quality materials. Took it empty all the way to Yellowstone for 2 weeks as well. That van you posted won't even feel a 9k load
 

wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
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laurence
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Dogs in the elements in the back of a truck with a canopy? What kind of POS ankle biters do you have? Better tell all those farm dogs they can't ride in the back of the truck anymore... But hide your boots when you do ;)

But seriously, dogs should be in crates, just big enough to turn around and lay down in (not even stand comfortably). That's the safest for them.
 

Chtucker

Lowe boat denter
Feb 15, 2012
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Quigley is the best at converting vans to 4x4, been around forever, real engineering (not backyard mechanics) and very spendy new. Website shows the conversion at $12k.

They were sought after in Colorado
 

☆THRASHER☆

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Jul 23, 2014
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Quigley conversions are great. The other draw back with the Duramax van is that it is highly detuned because they couldn't fit the Allison Transmission in it. I owned a Duramax van for a while it was a great rig. On the bright side that transmission is way cheaper than the Allison and comes with a hundred thousand mile warranty. I originally thought I'd pull my boat with the van and convert it to 4 x 4 but decided it would never pull like my Cummins. My boat and trailer weigh 13k.
 

J.C.

Run what ya Brung
May 20, 2012
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Justin
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18' aluminum
I've owned a couple vans. I still am having sellers remorse from my last one. It was the best tow rig I ever had but I had one too many camping apparatuses and was offered more than I payed for it after putting about 100,000 miles on it. It was a lifted (4 inch and 31s) g20 350/r700 4x4 with 373 in the rear. My boats not that heavy but it would pull my enclosed toy hauler at about 6000 and you barely new it was there. One nice thing about them is the side entry while your hooked up as opposed to fighting your trailer to get in and out of the camper. Especially if you plan on crashing in it .rear bench was a tri fold that dumped into a queen size bed.my dogs absolutely loved the van as opposed to the truck camper.

For that kind of coin I would seriously look into a sports mobile with a pop top camper and maybe even an older one with the 7.3. They sleep four pretty easy even if your just crashing the night before launching.They are kind of the holy grail of sports mobiles and prolly in your price range.
 
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Walker Inc.

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That's bad ass. I would rock it. When the transmission grenades just have one built hell for stout.
 
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goatram

Notable Member Gate Keeper to the Great Northwest
Apr 3, 2008
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grrrrrrrr
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That's what coolers are for. Keeps the Juice cool for your Jenner
 
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The Peddler

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Thanks guys! This seems a very viable option for me. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger, but I'm probably going to go test drive the Quigley at least.
 

The Peddler

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Tell me about your pickup...
I love it, and I'm not sure I'm ready to give it up to be honest. It's a 2015 2500HD Crew/LTZ, "Standard" bed (6'6"), DuraMax. Loaded with virtually everything, except rear DVD or rear sliding window. Almost 45,000 miles.

This is my 4th DuraMax truck. They're PHENOMENAL trucks! 20MPG on highway road trips, 11-12 towing the boat. Usually about 15MPG mixed city/hwy driving. I can drive from Olympia to Reno or Sacramento without stopping for fuel.

I'd value the truck at about $45k, I think. (It is NOT for sale at this time.)

My biggest concern about the van is the long-drive comfort vs the truck. I don't drive as much as some, but more than the average guy. I need to be able to put-in 10-12 hours behind the wheel comfortably.
 
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Chtucker

Lowe boat denter
Feb 15, 2012
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You really need to drive the van then.. I have driven some REALLY BAD 4x4 conversions. I trust Quigley, but the one I have in mind (not a Quigley) made the ride unbearable and the vehicle was sold at a big loss after the conversion. The suspension was way over sprung.

Honestly, no matter how cool the van is, they have not been updated as well as the pickups. The interiors are not as nice, the fit and finish to me isn't comparable. If you want the room, it is a great idea. I don't think you would be happy with the van as primary driver.

I see 100s of vehicles through our shop, and for towing, I don't think you could beat a crew cab pickup. If the Mercedes Sprinter had a higher tow rating, it might be an option, they are now available from the factory with 4wd.
 

jasper hickman

Team RED BEARD
Dec 23, 2014
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jasper
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26' sea master, RED BEARD
I also had a diesel 4x4 van, it had a older 7.3 IDI that had 0 power but it looked cool as hell and performed in the woods and off road. I put some time into research and built my own so I have some ideas about the subject. I can go on for hours about different van configurations especially 4wd conversions and different companies and how they handle the front axle swap.

A quick synopsis about the subject, no van will ever tow as well as a cummins turbo diesel, or any of the big 3 for that matter. And from your list of "wants" from a rig I think a Doge mega cab would be right up your ally.
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BugeaterInWa

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Why not just look into buying a short bus for your tow rig. You could customize the interior for not a lot of $ and have a sweet tow rig.

Then you get to keep your truck!
 
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The Peddler

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Matt
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2400 SeaSport Explorer - "Permanent Waves"
Honestly, no matter how cool the van is, they have not been updated as well as the pickups. The interiors are not as nice, the fit and finish to me isn't comparable. If you want the room, it is a great idea. I don't think you would be happy with the van as primary driver.
This is my biggest worry. I may instead need to find a way to carry the dogs in the truck canopy safely and comfortably.
 

North River

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This is my biggest worry. I may instead need to find a way to carry the dogs in the truck canopy safely and comfortably.
I
Strapped down in kennels. My labs have ridden thousands of miles this way. If its cold, get insulated covers for the kennels
 

seimdog

Newbie
Jun 29, 2012
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SEIM DOG
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Bayliner JACKALOPE
A van, SUV, or 1/2 ton pickup are all rated to tow a fair amount of weight. The problem is when going down hill even if below the GVW at times a load will begin to sway. Frequently that is game over and the load and vehicle roll.
I have seen this several times in the Easton and Vantage area. Some have been deadly.
If you are worried about dog safety get a high quality crate and keep them in the canopy. Of your full size pickup.