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Old 09-13-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
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6.0 Conversion Van vs. 32BHDS Trailer?

I have always wanted a conversion van. My uncle had one that we would go to the lake with and camp out with his super awesome jet boat. Anyway, I have been thinking about getting one for a long time. I was limited to 4x4 because I had my boat, but recently sold it so 4x4 is not required anymore. I have a 2005 Chevy 2500HD diesel Duramax now. I can't afford a diesel conversion van, they are way out of my price range. I can however sell my truck, put some money down, and afford a 2015 Chevy 2500 conversion van with a 6.0 like this one -

Used 2015 GMC 9 Passenger Conversion Van for Sale in Phoenix AZ 85009 HighTopConversionVans.net
I think you see what my question is now. I have a 2014 Jay Flight 32BHDS that I have weighed loaded (without the tanks full as I usually don't go far with anything in them) and the result was 9200#. The van has a towing capacity of 10500# according to the dealer.

So, I know the numbers work, but I am afraid of it being a gutless wonder when towing my trailer. My truck can tow it up some steep mountains, but I am not so sure about the van. I know there are people on here with Chevy 2500's with the 6.0 pulling the 26BHS trailers, but I wonder if anyone has any real world experience with towing a 32BHDS.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:12 PM   #2
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I am sure the van can pull the 32 BHDS, but while your 32 is within the tow rating, the big question is what is the available PAYLOAD of a van like that? All passengers, cargo, wd hitch, AND the tw (tongue weight) should be less than the available payload. The other weight rating to stay under (some consider it more important than the gvwr of a vehicle) is the rear axle rating.

Being a conversion van it will have less payload than a comparable "stock", standard van.

Find out what the payload is, and report back. When you weighed your set up before, did you weigh three times?
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'16 Jay Flight 32 BHDS ELITE 32 BHDS MODS Reese DC HP

WDH SET UP. HOW A WDH WORKS. CAT SCALE HOW TO.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:00 PM   #3
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3/4 ton van, that should be sufficient. If GM goes the way of Ford, the "full size" van may someday become extinct.

With heavy tires and possible bags/timbrens any squirrelly-ness could probably be abated, if it arose.

As an owner of an 32BHDS, pulling with GMs 6.0 L 3/4 ton pickup, I am successful in keeping 99% of our gear in the camper and out of the bed. So I think it's totally possible to keep the van to "just" people.

Go for it! With a heavy trailer and a long wheelbase of a 9 passenger, it'll tow real nice.

I'd personally miss 4x4 only because I like using low range on occasion.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need-a-vacation View Post
I am sure the van can pull the 32 BHDS, but while your 32 is within the tow rating, the big question is what is the available PAYLOAD of a van like that? All passengers, cargo, wd hitch, AND the tw (tongue weight) should be less than the available payload. The other weight rating to stay under (some consider it more important than the gvwr of a vehicle) is the rear axle rating.

Being a conversion van it will have less payload than a comparable "stock", standard van.

Find out what the payload is, and report back. When you weighed your set up before, did you weigh three times?
I haven't gotten back with the dealer to ask about weights, but I found a similar van that shows the weight to be (after conversion) 8600# GVWR and cargo capacity 3262# regular wheelbase or 3053# extended wheelbase. I have weighed my setup correctly (with weight dist, without and truck only) so I know my truck weighs exactly 8000# and trailer is 9200#. Looks like the van has 323HP and 373 torque. My truck has 310HP and 520 torque. That torque is a huge difference. I am surprised the HP is not too much difference.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbailey View Post
3/4 ton van, that should be sufficient. If GM goes the way of Ford, the "full size" van may someday become extinct.

With heavy tires and possible bags/timbrens any squirrelly-ness could probably be abated, if it arose.

As an owner of an 32BHDS, pulling with GMs 6.0 L 3/4 ton pickup, I am successful in keeping 99% of our gear in the camper and out of the bed. So I think it's totally possible to keep the van to "just" people.

Go for it! With a heavy trailer and a long wheelbase of a 9 passenger, it'll tow real nice.

I'd personally miss 4x4 only because I like using low range on occasion.
I am good about getting everything I can out of the bed of my truck too. The only thing we keep back there is the barker tote, champion generator and firewood. We have been finding it harder and harder to find camping places without fire restrictions. We have a propane campfire now and have been using it more and more. I have added a hitch for the bikes when we bring them or the tote and generator when we don't. I could work it out so we wouldn't need anything large in the van. I only use 4x4 on the boat ramp so I don't think I will be missing it.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:16 PM   #6
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Nuny... The barker tote and the gas grill are the only things left in my bed too. In New Hampshire it has gotten so restrictive on moving fire wood from county to county that I don't even bother anymore. The kids' bikes are so small they could go anywhere, even a front mounted hitch.

The tote could easily be racked up under the TT if I were to visit my welder buddy with a 12-pack. And I've seen some real slick bike mounts that ride the bikes in the TT in the dinette nook... Basically flip the table over onto the floor, mount bike fork mounts to the underside of the table, and the bikes are stable and secure.

Heck, I might do both those things eventually anyways, just to get my "load the camper" time down to the time it takes to hitch up.

The torque numbers are all in the gearing of the tranny and the rear end. A good tranny guy can re gear if it is a super deal breaker. But if it's got the Allison tranny, it won't be cheap to re gear, maybe you could get away with just a rear end re gear. But try it first. That 6.0 l engine will scream up to 6000 rpm, and it'll ask for more... Just be liberal with the throttle and keep it in L (or 1) for those times you need low gear.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:30 PM   #7
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Nun,

If you end up having about 3k lbs of payload, that is more than my '13 Silverado (2750lbs)!!! Lol You should be fine if thats the case.

I am surprised at the tq rating though.... is that a typo that you came across???

I know there has been a few times I have used 4wd when storing the tt on the boards to level it (needed to raise it about 8"). Made it easier to walk up the boards. I have since leveled the area and will be taking the tt back to where we usually store it at the end of the month. SHOULD only need a board to keep the tires off the dirt.

What gearing does the van have?
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'16 Jay Flight 32 BHDS ELITE 32 BHDS MODS Reese DC HP

WDH SET UP. HOW A WDH WORKS. CAT SCALE HOW TO.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:33 PM   #8
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Need, I'm not surprised at the tq. I'm guessing it has 3.42's
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:01 PM   #9
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I am sure on the van numbers and my truck is the 2005 with the LLY so I know my numbers are correct as well. I don't know what either gears there are or what transmission is in the van.

Here is my setup with the bikes on the back -
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Need, I'm not surprised at the tq. I'm guessing it has 3.42's
That could be... It will be interesting to hear if so.
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WDH SET UP. HOW A WDH WORKS. CAT SCALE HOW TO.
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