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Old 08-10-2008, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Lettuce Land
681 posts, read 2,597,425 times
Reputation: 254

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Used to run a tow truck and hauled lots of wrecks. janB gave you good advice. Nobody's mentioned your hitch. Have a one-step-higher class of hitch [depends on weight of trailer you'll be pulling] permanently installed on your van by a professional or shop. And go with the load-levelers / anti-sway bars. They work.

Have fun on your travels. You'll see lots of fun things. Hope you make it to the west coast.
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:52 PM
 
Location: south central Pa
140 posts, read 778,607 times
Reputation: 119
All the advise given has been good ,as for length there is a formula :For the first 110" of wheelbase, this allows you 20' of trailer.
For each additional 4" of wheelbase, this gets you 1' more of trailer. This is the standard in the RV world. Its not the law but more of a trusted formula.
Another place to look is RV Dot Net. Alot of good info there too.
I had an older 1986 B250 van 5.2l with the 5 lug wheels ,Dodge offered both 5 and 8 lug wheels on B250 depending on what packages it had on it.
My B250 pulled my 19 ft 1971 Tag-a-long (3500 lb)with no problem .But My B250 being an 86 model lacked power (80's where short on power). But I had very little sway with just a classIV hitch and no load equalizing hitch setup or sway control.
Also you want to get a good elec. brake controller and a good load equalizing hitch set up. Depending on the length of the camper a good sway control for the hitch set up too. My guess from what I have read in your posts you can prob tow up to a 25'-26' model with no problem .
Good luck in your shopping
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Full time RV"er
2,403 posts, read 5,788,039 times
Reputation: 1472
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBBB17037 View Post
All the advise given has been good ,as for length there is a formula :For the first 110" of wheelbase, this allows you 20' of trailer.
For each additional 4" of wheelbase, this gets you 1' more of trailer. This is the standard in the RV world. Its not the law but more of a trusted formula.
Another place to look is RV Dot Net. Alot of good info there too.
I had an older 1986 B250 van 5.2l with the 5 lug wheels ,Dodge offered both 5 and 8 lug wheels on B250 depending on what packages it had on it.
My B250 pulled my 19 ft 1971 Tag-a-long (3500 lb)with no problem .But My B250 being an 86 model lacked power (80's where short on power). But I had very little sway with just a classIV hitch and no load equalizing hitch setup or sway control.
Also you want to get a good elec. brake controller and a good load equalizing hitch set up. Depending on the length of the camper a good sway control for the hitch set up too. My guess from what I have read in your posts you can prob tow up to a 25'-26' model with no problem .
Good luck in your shopping
I Need to ask 1 important question though most of the time with 5 lug wheels it would have been a 318 ci.v8, as to with the 8lug would have a 360ci. v8 engine this makes all the differance in the world as to what you can tow because there is a differance in the transmission .
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:14 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,129 posts, read 34,624,910 times
Reputation: 16206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
MIU...I have seen all I want to see of WV...I want to travel & see the country. So no I dont have a clue what I might encounter. Yes there are stupid drivers out there. My son got hit by a car crossing the street here in his home town. I have almost been hit riding around town on my mobility scooter. But I refuse to sit in my apt & let life pass me by. My son sits in his room 24/7 he Is becomming one of those people that are scared to leave the house. & 2 yrs of treatments have not helped. IF I can get this off the ground then we will give it a good old fashion try.
What about converting the interior of your van into a camper setup? Wouldn't that be safer for you to drive and cheaper on fuel?
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:35 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,437 posts, read 31,491,210 times
Reputation: 8140
Miu...Not big enough, The van has a lift for my mobility scooter in back. Then there is my 34 yr old son & my Service Dog! & I just found out campgrounds dont except vans!!

Fighter 1 It has a 5.2L engine [someone told me that = 360 V8] And a 4 speed overdrive automatic trans.

Bobbie I like your math & it will be an older camper...so I am figuring a 20-22 ft camper.

NOW heres another question...sounds dumb BUT does the lengh include the tungue or not? A friend says it does not I say it does. What do you folks think?
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:06 AM
 
Location: south central Pa
140 posts, read 778,607 times
Reputation: 119
Katie1 , A 5.2l is a 318cid a 5.9l is a 360cid .
I would hope yours has a A518 transmission (the old A727 with an OD unit)
Fighter1 ,Mine had a A727 transmission with trans cooler and a 9 1/4 axle with a 3.23 ratio. I Don't remember if Dodge put an A904 trans behind a V-8 in B250s .To many years have pasted since I worked for Dodge.
The A727 (A518 with OD) was a better transmission. The A904 (A500 with OD)was an ok trans for cars but not for anything you want to tow with.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:15 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,437 posts, read 31,491,210 times
Reputation: 8140
318..thats not much pulling power. I had a Scamp with a slant 6 that was a 318.
So whats the difference between a slant 6 & V8 318?

As for the transmission...there is an od button on the dash. So how can I tell it the trany IS a 3 speed or 4 speed?
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:43 AM
 
Location: south central Pa
140 posts, read 778,607 times
Reputation: 119
Hi again Katie1
Ok a slant 6 is a 225 cid (3.7L or so)6 cyl ,slant 6 was not a powerhouse by any means. But it was a tough engine.
318 cid (5.2l) was always a V8 was a good engine too. Keep the oil changed and regular maintance it should last for many years.
A 318 will tow a camper but a 360 is better
As for your transmission with an OD button it is a 4sp Overdrive transmission
Ive had two differant trucks the B250 and a W150 (4x4) with 318's in both never had any problems. I also had 360s in two differant trucks a 85 ramcharger and my current 99 durango. Have not had a prob with either one of those either. I tow with my durango but it does have a tow pkg.
Alot depends on how far and what terrain you plan on towing through
If i towed any great distance or over lots of mountains I'd op for a diesel 3/4 ton truck. But that will be down the road ..
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,437 posts, read 31,491,210 times
Reputation: 8140
Thanks for all the information....everyone!
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:06 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,129 posts, read 34,624,910 times
Reputation: 16206
Some hotel chains take pets for free. I've had very good luck traveling across the country staying at Red Roof Inns. And they are pretty cheap imo. I think that since you need a mobility scooter to get around plus have a service dog, I really don't like the idea of you driving across the country towing a camper. And by the time you factor in the cost of a camper plus the decreased fuel efficiency of your van from towing said camper, plus campground fees, I think that it might be slightly cheaper just being only in your van and staying at motels instead. And what if your van needs mechanical repairs from the strain of towing the camper? You'll probably go through a set of brake pads on the trip.

And how much experience do you and your son having towing a camper? It's not that easy and you have to be way more diligent a driver than you are now. You will have to make wide turns. You will have blind spots.

Anyway, be careful on the roads. Have a very safe trip!
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