Question about towing with a van

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littlefolks

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Jun 17, 2013
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Hi, I am new to full timing too.  As of yet, I am still having the last garage sale this Saturday. Fully out of the house by June 30th.  I need to stay on Long Island for another month to finish out my contracts, Little Folk's Music.  Than we are off. My question is not so much about the noise, though I do believe it is one of the factors of why I am leaving New York, but towing issues.  I purchased a 1993 Coachmen Chevy van.  It is beautiful, and low millage too!  I was just offered an 28 foot flagstaff travel trailer. Can I pull it with the large engine VAN?  Anyone know?
 
I split your question off into a separate topic and put it here where it will get better exposure and won't dilute the original topic.
 
Will need more info about the weight of the trailer (GVWR) and the towing capability of the van, e.g. engine size (5.0L, 5.7L, etc) , transmission, etc. A van makes a solid tow vehicle, but few 1993 models had a really large tow capacity. As far as I know, Coachman is not a Chevrolet model so it's probably a body conversion by an aftermarket upfitter and based on either the Chevy Astro or Chevy Express Van. The Express comes in G10, G20 and G30 variants as well.

I'm doing a bit of guessing here, since specs on 20 years trucks is hard to come by.  The Astro vans max out at about 5000 lbs towing while the Express van can range from around 4500 to as much as 9500 lbs for the largest engine in the G30.

I would guestimate a 28 ft Flagstaff to be in the 8500-9500 lb range when loaded for travel.
 
littlefolks said:
I purchased a 1993 Coachmen Chevy van.  It is beautiful, and low millage too!  I was just offered an 28 foot flagstaff travel trailer. Can I pull it with the large engine VAN?  Anyone know?

I wouldn't, for a bunch of reasons.

The Coachman is an RV built on the G30 van platform and equipped with the 454 (7.3 liter) engine.  For 1993, you probably have the 4L80e transmission although there is a possibility that you have the very similar but older TH400 since that was the year they switched.

A Coachman is itself an RV -- you've got a stove, a fridge, a furnace, probably an air conditioner, and a freshwater and sanitation system.  It weighs considerably more than a passenger van or cargo van and that affects the capacity remaining for towing.

Anyway, all vans have problems getting enough airflow for cooling leading to high under-hood temperatures and localized hotspots.  Heavy towing makes this worse, and can lead to all kinds of fiddly and expensive failures, among them problems with belts and hoses, insulation, the alternator and other accessories, and the ignition system.  I had a 1989 van that had been used to tow a camper by its former owner and I ended up selling it after spending thousands of dollars, cumulative, on minor repairs.

So - my advice - don't try to tow anything heavy with that rig.  Occasionally towing a boat or a small cargo van or something is fine. 
 
Thank you all!

'ALICE' is a Coachmen Van Camper 'Saratoga' The engine is a 5.7 L-V8, with a new Chevy Curt Class III concealed towing receiver (6,000Lb. weight Carry - 10,000Weigh distribution/ 600lb. Trailer-1000lb(Tongue weight?)  with a Multi purpose ball mount 7,500Lb. GTW. 750lb. TW .  Maybe a smaller trailer?  Any suggestion?
 

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