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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm contemplating my next toy hauler.

Currently, I have a long bed/ext cab V10 dodge and 16ft flatbed. Tows fine, gets around 9-10 mpg towing.

Now, I'm building my new Jeep (linked flatfender, 3000 lbs, 11 feet long), so I don't need a ton of hauling power.

I love the toterhome builds that are out there, but honestly, I don't need a 24ft medium duty truck.

Thinking about a 1-ton van style cube van, with a 14-16ft box with loft.

Looking at Uhauls, they have 14ft main floor, which would just fit my rig with a short (18" maybe) counter across the front, that would have a couple cabinets, and room for a small fridge and 2 burner stove. OTher than that, just roll out some carpet and a fold-down futon bed frame once the Jeep is out.

Not worried at this time with any plumbing, other than maybe a sink. If I want a toilet, for now, I'd have a chemical toilet.

Considering that for the last few years, I camp in the back of my dodge in a camper shell with an air matress, this is an improvement. I'd be able to stand up, and have a nice bed in the loft for my little boy.

The stats seem to be ~8000lbs for a van of this size, compared with the 9000lb unloaded weight of my dodge + camper shell setup + flatbed trailer.

Small block gas would be my engine of choice, compared to my V10, I'd guess I might get maybe 12mpg or so, since no trailer drag.


Any thoughts?

most of my hauling is michigan, not tons of grades of any length. I have other transportation for daily driving, and a minivan which already does 95% of my home depot type hauling. I presently use my dodge maybe 12 times per year, I see it being the same with such a van.
 

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I have towed with a rented 16ft penske van a few times. Gets the job done but it's not a powerhouse. IIRC they come with 4.10s, 4l85e, and the 6.0l vortec motor. They can be had with pretty low miles since penske cycles them out of use after they hit around 30k. One would probably make a decent camper/hauler.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You won't see 12 mpg out of an old Uhaul -- I work for them for a few years in College and the 17' Trucks (E350 Box vans) wouldn't get 12 mpg empty...
How much of that was pure highway driving, though?

We used to get about that with our old sprinkler truck (chevy 350, 14ft box).

But even if I get 10mpg, its no worse than what I have now. I can't see it being worse than a V10 + trailer.

Gas cost don't really worry me, as long as its not worse...
 

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Small block gas would be my engine of choice, compared to my V10, I'd guess I might get maybe 12mpg or so, since no trailer drag.


Any thoughts?
But your trading trailer drag for a giant brick in the wind, you not going to see any better mileage, probably worse.

The 6.0 will get the job done, but it has to work harder to pull the weight resulting in the same or lower mileage.

ex#1 - Moved little brother home from San Antonio to Phoenix in a 16ft budget truck with a 6.0. Mostly clothes and some small furniture, no where near your projected 3000-4000lbs. 65 the whole way home, best tank was 9mpg.
ex#2 - Used Dad's truck (2003 GMC 2500HD Crew Cab shortbox 2wd 6.0 auto) to pull my cj7 out on a 20ft flatbed. 60-65 from phoenix to Glamis and Back, averaged 9.5 mpgs for the trip.
 

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yep, both times I pulled with a penske it got 10.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But your trading trailer drag for a giant brick in the wind, you not going to see any better mileage, probably worse.

The 6.0 will get the job done, but it has to work harder to pull the weight resulting in the same or lower mileage.

ex#1 - Moved little brother home from San Antonio to Phoenix in a 16ft budget truck with a 6.0. Mostly clothes and some small furniture, no where near your projected 3000-4000lbs. 65 the whole way home, best tank was 9mpg.
ex#2 - Used Dad's truck (2003 GMC 2500HD Crew Cab shortbox 2wd 6.0 auto) to pull my cj7 out on a 20ft flatbed. 60-65 from phoenix to Glamis and Back, averaged 9.5 mpgs for the trip.

Hehehe, which confirmed what I've known for a while, the 6.0 stinks on gas. :laughing: I haven't been looking at any GM 6.0s, anyway, usually ford E350s with 5.4s or 6.8s. Around me, if I actually pull 60-65, I get 11mpg with the V10, mostly flat around here. I got 11.5 pulling our 7000lb kubota, so close to 9000lbs on the trailer.

I really don't care about gas mileage very much, don't want that to be the major factor. I don't expect it to be much different, one way or the other, than the dodge. But I would guess slightly better.

Just was curious if anyones used them to pull their rig inside. Any direct experience to share.
 

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Sounds like a great idea. You may not improve fuel economy, but you'll be much more comfortable when you get to the trail/camping, particularly if it's raining. You also have better security for your rig when hauling, and easier parking/maneuverability.

It would also be a decent camper for *gasp* non-wheelin' trips! :laughing:


My Toterhome got used for *gasp* moving a relative this past weekend. :grinpimp:
 

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I might be missing something, but how do you figure you will be able to haul a rig inside the box with a 1-ton?

What is the payload rating for the van?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Sounds like a great idea. You may not improve fuel economy, but you'll be much more comfortable when you get to the trail/camping, particularly if it's raining. You also have better security for your rig when hauling, and easier parking/maneuverability.

It would also be a decent camper for *gasp* non-wheelin' trips! :laughing:


My Toterhome got used for *gasp* moving a relative this past weekend. :grinpimp:
See, thats it exactly.

For me, my dodge is ONLY used for towing, and hauling big heavy dirty crap. But I have a camper shell on it (bolted to the rails, and weighs 300 lbs), so I am limted there, even with what I can fit in. I can't fit my quad (too tall), or my lawn tractor (too wide). Last time I bought a piece of equipment (mid-size milling machine), we had to uncrate it to fit it in the truck.

Everything else, I haul with my minivan, its just so much easier. Then I have a car to drive to work. I have no issue pulling a trailer, but its definately more stressful than just driving a truck.

Much of our camping is in inclement weather. A lot is in northern michigan or canada north of there. Its common for it to be sub 40 degrees and raining or snowing. So nice warm dry camping is a real priority, especially if my little boy is with me.

And, yeah, its not lost on me that it'd be dang convenient to have a moving van, from time to time.

I'll just have to see what I can find out there.
 

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You will lose the ability to have a moving van or cargo hauler without having to remove all your camping gear.....
I would just keep the truck and not get the van....
Add a slide in camper for the truck and you can still use a trailer, plus you can slide the camper in and out as needed for moving your crap....
Just my .02 worth........
 

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You will lose the ability to have a moving van or cargo hauler without having to remove all your camping gear.....

Ummm...yeah, except for the part where he said he'd run an 18" deep counter across the front. Why would he have to remove that to haul his crawler, an ATV, his lawn tractor, or even some greasy junkyard axles? :confused:


Think of a box truck as an enormous aluminum tent...that you can haul your rig inside. The interior is completely flexible.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Right. basically I'd have that last 2 feet with some stuff there, and a folding bed like in MT4runners. The main floor would still be 7 ft wide by 12 ft long by 7 ft tall for if I need to haul cargo.

my current truck (which has 140k miles and a very rusty chassis and I want to get rid of) only can fit stuff under 44" tall and about 50" wide or so. Its to much PITA to take the cap on and off all the time.

Truck needs to go, one way or the other. Its did a lot of duty pulling snowmobiles by previous owner, so its really rusted from road salt.

Look at his here:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8362656&postcount=17

Thats what I want, a row of stuff on the wall against the cab, and a folding bed. But I'm use a futon frma ethat I have and make it so the pieces could fold flat against the wall in just a few inches space. Then it could be a couch or a bed. (I have a nice one in the basement ready to chop up for this...).

I doubt it'd ever be more than me and my son, or me and a buddy. It'll be years until my newest son (2 weeks old) is old enough. So it'll be startan. If I decide I to want to plan for plumbing, then I'd go for the larger size truck. But there's a great supply of these 14-16ft box trucks around here.

I guess I need to go clean my truck and get it ready to sell.


If this one had an attic above the cab, I'd be all over it. 20 miles from my house...

http://detroit.craigslist.org/car/722735321.html
 

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How much of that was pure highway driving, though?

We used to get about that with our old sprinkler truck (chevy 350, 14ft box).

But even if I get 10mpg, its no worse than what I have now. I can't see it being worse than a V10 + trailer.

Gas cost don't really worry me, as long as its not worse...
I moved myself in a 17' E350 Uhaul from Oregon to Minnesota towing a trailer and got about 8 mpg. Moved back with a diesel 17' Uhaul and more crap on the trailer and got around 10 mpg. Yes the trailer was overloaded both ways -- but the truck was not. :D


Around town the gassers just suck the gas --- People would seriously get 6, 7, 8 miles to the gallon around town for there 30 mile move.

But compare the fuel mileage to a motor home and your the same or better -- compare it to anything of similar size and your the same.
 

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I drive a E-450 van with a 15' box everyday at work with the v-10, it gets about 8 MPG, a little less in the winter. I think your going to be maxed out payload wise with a cube van, IIRC my old van(94 E-350 w/460) had a max gvw of 10,500 or 11,000 pounds, if your rig weighs 3000# and the truck is 8000# it's going to be close.
Keep in mind the axle placement, it may be tough to balance the load if you don't have much room to move the rig forward inside the box, a cube van with to little weight on the front axle is no fun in the snow(trust me on this, been there done that).
Make sure you can plate it so you don't need a GVW plate, ours at work need them, it may be a comm. vs. non comm. deal, if not a GVW plate starts at about 500$ a year.
Don't forget that many of the cube vans have thin plywood floors, may need some work to haul a rig inside.

Brewchief:D
 

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If your crawler's motor is ahead of the rear axle, some of your weight problem is solved.

I put traction tires on mine--the same type many of the local loggers use in icy/snowy forest road conditions. Before I put them on, when I was bringing it home in February, I got stuck in a parking lot! :laughing:

Haggar said:
If this one had an attic above the cab, I'd be all over it. 20 miles from my house...

http://detroit.craigslist.org/car/722735321.html
For the price and what's already been done to that rig, GET ON IT!!!

You could either put a fiberglass fairing over the cab and reinforce its floor for sleeping space.. OR..

...I've contemplated a fold-out awning tent bed--sort of like the hard-sided tent trailers have. :grinpimp:
 

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I helped a buddy unload a uhaul f350 van not sure in length and did not check the door tag, but it was showing a tag outside that the gross weight is under 14,500 lbs. Assuming that to be true, if the truck will fit, you should be alright.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, a buddy has a motor home with the awning like that, and our last trip it rained every night. We were all parked under the awning every night.

We just have such fowl weather for camping. We usually are in Canada either in April or October. Between that, we run into black flies a lot so stay away.

I'm waiting for more details from that guy about that truck. I could always make a fold out sleeper bunk for my son across the front... Like the low door, and the tool boxes underneath.

BTW, on UHaul's site on their 17' truck (E350 with a 14ft box + 3 ft attic)

Capacity
Volume: 855 cu. ft.
Max load: 5,780 lbs.
Gross vehicle weight: 14,050 lbs. max
Empty weight: 8,270 lbs.

My Jeep is a fiberglass flatfender that will be under 3000 lbs. It'd go in there just fine.
 
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