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Old 09-15-2011, 01:50 PM   #31
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Re: Why a van?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywagon
In my opinion, and for my use, the biggest, (and only), advantage of a pickup/camper over a van is it allows you to have a GMC with a Duramax diesel and an Allison transmission!!! Why Ford continues to let GM beat them over the head with a power train combo that is light years ahead of the relative trash that Ford keeps foisting off on us is beyond comprehension. The only reason I got rid of my GMC was to go to the van platform which, for my use at least, is superior to the pickup/camper in every way except as noted.
As I said earlier, Just My opinion...
Bill

I agree BTW and own both. The GMC/Chev is street ahead of Ford today in so many ways. The 7.3 in its time however was the best in both van and truck mode but since then...the bean counters won!
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:20 PM   #32
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Re: Why a van?

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Originally Posted by vlamgat
The weight analysis I have done on the 3500 HD or F-350 using a loaded Lance Camper at ~5000 lbs brings my equivalent weights way below the ~13000 you are using. Much more like ~11,000 and that truck has a 21000 lb Combined limit leaving a tow capability of about 10000 lbs.

However this is the first I have heard/read of a hitch extension reduction in tow capacity. It stands to reason of course but none of the camper sites refers to this?
My boss has an '04 F350 6.0 PSD dually. It weighs about 7600 pounds empty. So while it drives okay with its 12' camper, it actually is right at GVWR, and more importantly is over RAWR, even without a trailer.

The reductions for extensions are listed on the extension itself. My 12" extension (which I need with some trailers) states the tongue weight limit is 1/3 the receiver tongue weight limit. So my 6,000 rated receiver is only good for 2,000 pounds of tongue weight with the extension. And few pickups are rated for a that much tongue weight, so the effective tongue weight will be much less. And that is while ignoring the RAWR.

The only way to tow 10,000 pounds with a pickup and 5,000# camper is with an F450, and SuperHitch truss receiver with truss extension.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:18 PM   #33
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Re: Why a van?

Trailering & Payload
Curb Weight (lbs.) 6414 6732
Max Payload (lbs.) 4286 4268
GVWR (lbs.) 10700 11000
Max Conventional Trailering, 3.73 Rear Axle (lbs.) 9400 9100
Max Conventional Trailering, 4.10 Rear Axle (lbs.) 13000 13000
Max 5th Wheel Trailering, 3.73 Rear Axle (lbs.) 9400 9100
Max 5th Wheel Trailering, 4.10 Rear Axle (lbs.) 13900 13600
GCWR, 3.73 Rear Axle (lbs.) 16000 16000
GCWR, 4.10 Rear Axle (lbs.) 20500 20500
Spring & Axle Capacity
Front Gross Axle Weight Rating (lbs.) 4400 4800
Front Spring (lbs.) 4400 4800
Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (lbs.) 7050 7050
Rear Spring (lbs.) 7050 7050


The above are the single and dual cab GMC 3500 numbers. A large Lance with a side door and slide out is 3100 lbs dry and smaller one with no slide out much less. So the point is valid At the high end of the big p/u a loaded camper is as close to overloading as most of our SMBs.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:02 PM   #34
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Re: Why a van?

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Originally Posted by vlamgat
No one has mentioned relative safety for all aboard where I think the 2 up front in a van are probably going to survive most events but unless they are in full passenger seats the remainder are relegated to 50s safety standards. Whereas the newer trucks are essentially as good as sedans.
SMB retained one of the rear shoulder belts in our GM EB, not sure if it is the same as a Ford. The other two lap belts, that's just something we accept, as we are years away from our youngest being out of a child seat. With respect to safety, especially as Carringb alluded to in RAWR, I like the weight and more even weight distribution of the van than a truck and camper, knock on wood.

Regarding the Duramax, I am a stronger proponent every mile I drive it. It is still much quieter than even the new Ford Scorpion, which was marketed as quiet. Not sure how GM accomplished that but it is remarkable, especially in a van where the engine is almost in your lap. Also, the fact that most performance shops will only work on Duramax and, to a lesser extent, Cummins pretty much says it all.

The GM vans don't have the most advanced transmissions, especially compared to the Allison, but the 4L8x is proven and universal, and there are many upgrade options as it is so loved by hotrodders. There are some used GM diesel SMBs that are absolute steals compared to similarly equipped Fords, especially given their superior reliability record.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:56 PM   #35
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Re: Why a van?

Sold my SMB and bought a Casita, I wonder how much weight the SMB would shed if the interior structure were fiberglass ala Casita rather than the wood cabinets.Mine always felt heavy to drive. The Casita weighs 2400 lbs dry with a conventional steel frame trailer underneath, the unit without frame weighs ? 12-1500 lbs for a 17 ft trailer with bath and kitchen. I ve thought about buying a bare van and installing the cabinetry from Casita, the interior dimensions and wall angles are very similar.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:13 AM   #36
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Re: Why a van?

Quote:
The above are the single and dual cab GMC 3500 numbers. A large Lance with a side door and slide out is 3100 lbs dry and smaller one with no slide out much less. So the point is valid At the high end of the big p/u a loaded camper is as close to overloading as most of our SMBs.
While our Lance/Chevy rig is now 20 years old, we added airsprings and welded a support bar across the chassis, at Lance's recommendation. The airsprings were a great help-0-tipped the weight forward and balanced the load. The cross member was protection for broken frames that Lance said had happened with that vintage Chevy.

Quote:
The 7.3 in its time however was the best in both van and truck mode
I assume you're referring to Chevy's big V-8. Loved it though though the rest of the powertrain was buggy. Alternator out @ 60k, transmisssion & brake rebuild @ 110k (Did I mention the Lance was heavy?), misc. other failures that caused us to stop using the truck and started our journey to SMB. Not to mention our preference for the van configuration.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:13 AM   #37
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Re: Why a van?

Well, we've gotten off in deep spec territory, but i wanted to go back to your original question of 'why a van?'. For us, it's mobility. I have a restored 30' Airstream, and have had about every kind of motorhome, van, trailer/truck combo, etc. I bought the van to occasionally tow the Airstream, but mostly to camp in on it's own. It replaced a crew cab Chevy 6.0 which was a GREAT tow vehicle. It really depends on how you like to travel and how long you have to enjoy it. We have found over the years that it's quite a pain to take a truck/trailer on long road trips, because of the lousy mpg and the lack of mobility. So many places you have to have a reservation or really do a lot of planning, so you know your trailer is safe somewhere, etc. Then you are limited to how far you can get from it in a day usually to sightsee. Like i said, i've done both a lot, and when we go to the beach, for instance, it's great to have the trailer for the climate controlled environment and amenities when you're going to be in the same place for several days. But with a van, you can maximize your time off (if you are still working and want to get the most out of roadtrips). We like to pack up each day or 2 at the most and move on down the road. The National Parks, which we are trying to see most of with the kids, are so easily accessible to vehicles which fit in a single parking space (overlooks, tent friendly campgrounds, attractions, gas stations, stores, small towns). We just find it so much easier to never have to 'park' anything and leave it. If we need the sunscreen or a jacket, it's never back at the site, it's always with us. Costs a lot less this way too.
I'm sure you see my point, but since i've done a lot of all kinds of camping, i'm enjoying the 'simplicity' of van/tent camping the most. Always fun to take a road trip and we've always got the big screen/hot tub/walk-in shower/big kitchen/etc. to really enjoy once we're back home.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:55 PM   #38
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Re: Why a van?

I pretty much use my SMB as you describe your use except that its driven by my real vice of racing cars. It give me a place to hang out in the heat of the day or hole up from the rain as we never have NASCAR type facilities. The only thing I am finding is that its cramped for 2 people when you have to be inside it as opposed to just using its resources as a base. And I think one can get more utility from a good camper plus truck combo than a van and wondered if others have experienced or thought about the same approach. Which it appear they have.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:18 PM   #39
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Re: Why a van?

Oh yeah, I'd say most of us here think about this stuff way TOO much!
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:51 AM   #40
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Re: Why a van?

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Oh yeah, I'd say most of us here think about this stuff way TOO much!
I agree but better than trying to think about what sort of government we have !
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