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Old 03-15-2015, 09:58 AM   #11
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 84
Great input all, thanks much, just what I'm looking for. Re: pickups I always thought they were superfluous unless you're a rancher or something, but maybe I'll have to reconsider. Are PU mfrs still held to lower govt safety standards than passenger vehicles, e.g. air bags etc.?

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Old 03-15-2015, 12:47 PM   #12
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 517
I'm way in favor of towing with full sized vans so take this with a grain of salt.

I've been towing with full sized vans since 1974. I love them for towing and comfort when on the road. I feel that many people just haven't towed with them to figure out how well they work.


Longer wheel base, wider track, short distance from rear axle to tow ball, straight rear axle (not independent suspension), decent vehicle weight, a real frame, stiffer suspension and some other things I'm likely forgetting all work to make towing better. A full sized van has those.

Another thing that full sized vans have is a better transition from vehicle box to trailer to help with air flow. I've noticed that I get much more air wash bumping my trailer around from big rigs that are tankers or vehicle haulers than I do from 40 and 53 ft box trailers. I feel that the box shape helps tractor trailers and vans with air movement while towing.

For towing I would go for the 3/4 ton van and V8 over a 1/2 ton with V6. You pay a bit in fuel economy but the extra capacity is worth it. My personal opinion is that with diesel fuel prices and diesel engines being more expensive than gassers a gas engine makes the most sense for casual use towing with a van.


Vans allow easy storage for stuff while traveling. Everything stays dry and is fairly readily available. We had two young children traveling with us. Being able to have each one in their own rear seat was a godsend. That remained true into their teen years. Don't underestimate that if you have kids.

In most vehicles you sit partially reclined. In a full sized van you sit more upright with your feet flat on the floor. That makes it easier to change positions while driving long distances. That is another plus that I wouldn't underestimate.

Some of the worst towing experiences I have had have been when helping others tow using their SUV. I hate towing with SUV's. That includes my friend's Escalade.

FWIW. vic

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Old 03-15-2015, 10:54 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Bern
Posts: 403
I used to travel the east coast with Five other grown men in a suburban plus luggage for two weeks. I'm 6'5 several members of my crew were well over 6'. I know where you are coming from in the legroom department. If you want room and comfort a suburban is the way to go. That one and my current ride had 4 captains chairs and a 3rd row bench seat. Extremely comfortable and tons of legroom for my 17 yr old son in the back. I now do that travel but not as far in 15 passenger vans. (Changed companies) Nowhere near as comfortable.
I owned a 4 door Ram. Plenty of room for me but not so much for a full size man behind me. Loved that truck and it had awesome power. I currently tow my camper with a suburban. Tons of room for gear and luggage, including our scuba gear. Mine is a 1500 and will tow 9200lbs. My TT is only 3100 with a tongue weight of 410. It tows this nicely and pretty easily with four air tanks and about 200 lbs of scuba gear in the back, two adults and one teenager. If you have higher weights look at the 2500 model. I have owned trucks and SUVs. Where as I loved that Ram I have gravitated to SUV's for the simple fact that I can leave gear in it and lock it up. Groceries and luggage also won't get wet. And my God the thing is a tank. Its a foot longer than my camper. As a side note the most comfortable travel I have done was in a conversion van but with the crew and luggage a 3/4 ton chassis is a must. Vans are heavy and are not aerodynamic at all. Your cargo capacity will be affected. My personal opinion is a suburban is the way to go. Can't speak for Expeditions as I've never been in one.

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