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First real tow with the Astro

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thevalleyboy
I sleep in my van
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

First real tow with the Astro

Post by thevalleyboy »

Well decided to test the vans towing ability out this weekend - tomorrow I am heading out to my folks place with the tent trailer in tow. Calgary to Invermere so a couple of pretty serious mountain passes in my way, I'll report how she does with tranny temps etc. I'll also take a few photos of the van and trailer for posterity. I don't imagine I will have any issues..... maybe just a little issue at first to adjust the trailer brakes...

Happy Easter everyone and have a good holiday with your families...

Cheers! :canuk: :cheers:
2001 Astro LT AWD - SOLD @ 180,200KM
Now I got a 2006 Ford Expedition King Ranch 4 x 4
to pull a Hybrid RV - 2006 Kodiak 235
Calgary, Alberta
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dunedog
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Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:22 pm
Location: Pioneer Valley WMass

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by dunedog »

Have a safe journey......
1999 LS AWD 3" Lift,4.10's,Snowplow,9500lb Ramsey winch
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LaGrasta
I sleep in my van
Posts: 705
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Mission Viejo, CA

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by LaGrasta »

Happy Easter, be safe and report back...
1998 Astro, 224,000 miles

K&N air filter
TruCool trans cooler
2" Overland lift & 15" BFG Terrain, 3.73 gears
JET Performance SCU-2000 (Speed Control Unit)
Gabriel Ultra shocks, rear AirLift bags & sway bar
iPOD, CD, DVD, Dutch door mounted 12s, 400w
Draw-Tite Dual Port Hitch System, hitch-mounted bike rack (4), hitch-mounted cargo tray, Thule roof-mounted cargo box

chemist
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:30 pm
Location: Pocono Mts, PA

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by chemist »

A tent trailer? You won't even realize it's back there. Seriously. Safe journey, and try to remember it is back there when cutting corners and such, because with something that light it's easy to forget. I almost do with my boat in tow.

Some things I've towed or pulled with mine:
Towed
* a 50 ft boom lift (4800 lb with 350 lb on the tongue) - 30 miles, uphills, down hills, highway speeds, etc
* a cord (4ft x 4ft x 8ft) of cut and split firewood (50% season) in this trailer with plywood sides that I put on it: http://www.snowbeartrailers.ca/page/Mod ... ty_Trailer - 10 miles, all uphill, much of it steep
* my boat
Pulled
* a stump--yes it worked
* a Dodge Caravan uphill out of a snow/ice packed driveway
* a Jeep Cherokee out of a snow drift--don't know how he got that stuck...
* standing trees that needed direction while being felled
* 3.5 x 3 foot oak logs (3.5' thick by 3' long) short distances and across ditch--cleaning up a tree I paid someone to drop, but they dropped it in the wrong direction, into a wooded portion of my neighbor's yard :axe:

Also towed and pulled other minor things. All of this was done with the van stock, weaker 3.43 gears in the rear end and front diff, and no aftermarket tranny cooler. So don't worry and try not to forget it's back there. :)

Previous Vans: 1998 Astro, AWD, 138K mi; traded on 2003 Chevy Astro, AWD, 125K mi; traded on
2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT, 4x4, ext, long box
2007 Chevy Cobalt
1998 Maza MPV (180K mi and in need of PA inspection--only paid $500!)

Needed: a Gen 2 Astro project vehicle...
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Topic author
thevalleyboy
I sleep in my van
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by thevalleyboy »

As far as not knowing it was back there.... ha - it was there - this tent trailer has a 3500 lbs max capacity - tongue weight 280 lbs....

But I didn't have any issues with it - the tranny ran at about 120-140 degrees (used to run about 160-170 without the cooler) - outside it was about 10 C, so I imagine that is why it ran fairly cool - will run hotter in the summer I am sure (anyone know what optimal tranny temps are?). I got about 15L/100KM for mileage - so I basically got just better then city mileage towing it. Now it wasn't fully loaded because this was only a test run out to my folks and did a little bit of work to it, but I figure similar mileage in future.

All this considered I am very happy with the entire adventure the van was a trooper and the tent trailer towed as expected.

Cheers!
2001 Astro LT AWD - SOLD @ 180,200KM
Now I got a 2006 Ford Expedition King Ranch 4 x 4
to pull a Hybrid RV - 2006 Kodiak 235
Calgary, Alberta

Spike99
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:58 pm
Location: North of America

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by Spike99 »

thevalleyboy wrote:.... the tranny ran at about 120-140 degrees (used to run about 160-170 without the cooler) - outside it was about 10 C, so I imagine that is why it ran fairly cool - will run hotter in the summer I am sure (anyone know what optimal tranny temps are?). I got about 15L/100KM for mileage - so I basically got just better then city mileage towing it. ...
A good graph I printed and often reflect back on is: http://www.tciauto.com/Products/TechInf ... ctancy.asp

Well worth memorizing and printing a backup copy (for vehicle's glove box).

Hope this helps...

.

LiftedAWDAstro
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 4379
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: New Haven, NY

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

I generally don't want to see much over 200 degrees F in the tranny. 160 - 180 is optimal. If running full synthetic you can go to 250 for a short time as long as you cool it down first chance you get.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy
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LaGrasta
I sleep in my van
Posts: 705
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Mission Viejo, CA

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by LaGrasta »

Just the report I thought I'd get. Glad to hear it went well.

Thanks for the tranny temps too, I'm always curious. Report back after a trip when the weather warms.
1998 Astro, 224,000 miles

K&N air filter
TruCool trans cooler
2" Overland lift & 15" BFG Terrain, 3.73 gears
JET Performance SCU-2000 (Speed Control Unit)
Gabriel Ultra shocks, rear AirLift bags & sway bar
iPOD, CD, DVD, Dutch door mounted 12s, 400w
Draw-Tite Dual Port Hitch System, hitch-mounted bike rack (4), hitch-mounted cargo tray, Thule roof-mounted cargo box
User avatar

Topic author
thevalleyboy
I sleep in my van
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: First real tow with the Astro

Post by thevalleyboy »

All right so here are some photo's of the tent trailer - I've been slacking... I admit it

Hooked up behind the van
Set up with view of the slide dinette
Head on (from hitch)

Image
2001 Astro LT AWD - SOLD @ 180,200KM
Now I got a 2006 Ford Expedition King Ranch 4 x 4
to pull a Hybrid RV - 2006 Kodiak 235
Calgary, Alberta
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