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I know this is a maybe a long shot after looking through several pages of threads, but on the theory that you never know until you ask I am asking. Since I am going to be a fulltime RVer with my Oliver (picking it up in early to mid October), I have been focusing my tow vehicle search on vans. I wanted something that would offer a combination of good storage and easy access. I'm narrowed down to the Chevy Express, GMC Savana and the Ford Transit. Does anyone have any experience with any of these? Would love to hear from you even if you didn't use the van to tow an Oliver.
My wife and I are conducting Oliver research and will lay eyes on our first OLE II this coming Friday. Trying to answer as many questions as possible before the upcoming visit, and one question on the list is: Can we use our existing 2007 Chevy Express AWD Van? What are your thoughts on keeping this vehicle as a starting point for a tow vehicle? Here is the data on our van: 2007 Chevy Express H1500 AWD Passenger Van "5300" V8 Engine The manual lists 3.42 and 3.73 Axle ratios, but does not specify which ration for my particular vehicle. Maximum Trailer Weight is 6,100 pounds (NOTE: The "Cargo Van" version is rated at 6,500 pounds, but all other specs look the same for both models. I'm not sure what the difference is besides the number of seats.) GCWR is 12,000 pounds Here is the data on our hitch: Weight Distribution Hitch Max Gross Trailer Weight is 7,500 pounds. Max Tongue Weight is 750 pounds. Weight Carrying Ball Mount Max Gross Trailer Weight is 5,000 pounds. Max Tongue Weight is 500 pounds. We have been very happy with this van, and it has made several long journeys. The only downside to our van, is that it is a base model -- no cruise control... no electric windows... nothing fancy inside at all. We can live with this until the time is right to purchase a newer vehicle The AWD handles dirt, gravel, ice, and snow with ease. The van has only "broken loose" from the road once, and that was when I was testing the limits -- I kept the gas on... did not touch the brakes... steered where I wanted to go... and the van eventually straightened and continued down the road. We have one bench seat and removed the 2 back bench seats. The storage is incredible. I can't imagine that we would ever exceed the GCWR, but you never know. My local tire-guy installed some heavy duty tires for hauling cargo (groceries) over the passes around Lake City. Can't tell you exactly what type of tire at the moment, but he has never led me astray. It looks like we definitely need the weight distributing hitch. Thanks, Peter and Patty (no... we do not have much towing experience!)
Those of you with the big diesel trucks, please post your fuel economy figures and a brief description (towing speed, elevation, terrain). I have a 2006 Ram 3500 5.9 Cummins and am wondering what I would see towing an Elite II. I regularly get 18-20 mpg running empty on the freeway, and up to 22 on 60 mph flat back roads.... I am hoping for 16 pulling the trailer. Thanks, John Davies Spokane WA