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Confused Towing

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Topic author
catbones
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 8:27 pm

Confused Towing

Post by catbones »

Hi everyone, new to the forum and not yet an Astro/Safari owner but hopefully soon. However, before I become one I wanted to look into the towing capabilities of the Astro/Safari since anything like in the Express Van is little pricey, at the moment.

I'm a little confused when it comes to Towing, since I've read the forums, documentations, manuals, etc.. plenty of areas state these things can pull 5000lbs if properly equipped (tran cooler, springs, towing pak, etc..).

However, many of you on the forum also stated that towing a 21' or 25' trailer with about 4500lbs was a no go..

Currently, I've got a 18' travel trailer that I pull with my Torrent (Torrent can pull 3500lb max, properly setup), currently trailer is 2600 dry and 3300 full. The torrent also out of room for my family of 5... to come along. See my point? so I thought that an Astro for instance with 5000lb pull would be a nice exchange. I want something that has more pull then the Torrent, so that in the future I might pull something else other then the TT. I don't want to be stuck with just 3500lb max pull vehicle either.

So, is Astro alright to pull with an trans cooler, air springs and tow.. specially the 2003 - 2005 models?

Or should I forget about it and stick with my torrent? My wife has the mommy bus, which is a dodge caravan but we either take two vehicles or one.

Any suggestions are welcome. -Thank you!
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doyoulikeithere
ASV Supporter
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Posts: 2060
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Misty Mountains of Cowichan BC.

Re: Confused Towing

Post by doyoulikeithere »

Ditch the (Cough Cough) Caravan and replace it with an AstroSafari with HD tow package. You wont be sorry.
2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 - Blue.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
1990 Astro - AWD - Brown.
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd - Silver & Blue.

Kidhauler
I sleep in my van
Posts: 877
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:46 pm
Location: Vancouver B.C.

Re: Confused Towing

Post by Kidhauler »

I tow a 24 foot 4500lbs travel trailer with my van no problem. It isn't fast but I'm not in a hurry. I tow in drive not overdrive and dont go above 90kph it will go faster but your starting to rev fairly good and I don't like doing that to my van.
1999 Safari Touring edition.
trailer tow pack with a 3:73 posi
Bucket bench seats, Rear heat, Rear Airconditioning.
teal green
300 000 kms
AirRide air bags in the rear to fix soft stock suspension.
Onboard aircompressor to make it all work nice.

Topic author
catbones
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 8:27 pm

Re: Confused Towing

Post by catbones »

Now, is there a difference with HD Towing package, is that a Factory thing or is it the same as me installing a Class 3 hitch rated for 5500lbs with 500 and tranny cooler ?

BTW: Trailer does have its own breaks. :)

BTW #2: Wife won't let go of the Caravan... changed calps twice in 3 months, they are eating my pads. Dealer says its under warranty but still no fix with new. I wish I could let it go. My Torrent however, had its years and I out-grew it with the family. Try fitting 5 people and a dog it it lol...

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

Re: Confused Towing

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

There really is no difference between HD tow and no tow except the Class 3 hitch and 8 wire harness in the back. No matter what, you will need to add a tranny cooler and possible something for the weight on the rear such as Timbrens, air bags or an extra leaf spring. If you can find a van with 3.73 gears that would be a better option to have.
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

Kidhauler
I sleep in my van
Posts: 877
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:46 pm
Location: Vancouver B.C.

Re: Confused Towing

Post by Kidhauler »

The factory tow pack came with the 3:73 rear end if you have a taller rearend that will lower your towing capacity. I added airlift bag to the back of my van and that made a huge difference. I found the old single leads were way better than the steel leafs in the newer vans.
I was pretty upset that it took a $600 set of bags to do what my 91 did stock.
1999 Safari Touring edition.
trailer tow pack with a 3:73 posi
Bucket bench seats, Rear heat, Rear Airconditioning.
teal green
300 000 kms
AirRide air bags in the rear to fix soft stock suspension.
Onboard aircompressor to make it all work nice.

Topic author
catbones
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 8:27 pm

Re: Confused Towing

Post by catbones »

So AWD 3.42 ratio is pretty bad then without some air on the back?

Is there a way I myself can find out the ratio when I take a look at one or even ask the customer ahead? or is it hard to replace the gears? I'm just handy dandy .. I like to do my own stuff if tools allow it.

I'm guessing if its a stock tow it has a 3.73.. ?

Sorry for all the questions.

Kidhauler
I sleep in my van
Posts: 877
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:46 pm
Location: Vancouver B.C.

Re: Confused Towing

Post by Kidhauler »

Stock tow package has the 3:73 gears. My van is the touring edition so I think the back might be extra soft for a better ride. I chose bags because they are there when you want them for towing but when running around the rest of the time I just run 20psi to level the rear of the van.

To find the axle ratio you can check the rpo codes in the glove box lid or on rhe passenger door. I remember g80 is the posi back axle but I can't remember the code for 3:73. The codes are easy to look up on line
1999 Safari Touring edition.
trailer tow pack with a 3:73 posi
Bucket bench seats, Rear heat, Rear Airconditioning.
teal green
300 000 kms
AirRide air bags in the rear to fix soft stock suspension.
Onboard aircompressor to make it all work nice.

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

Re: Confused Towing

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

The stock tow package did NOT include 3.73 gears from at least 1998 -2005. The 3.73's had to be special ordered. The only thing you got was trailer brake and charge wiring and a hitch.
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
User avatar

doyoulikeithere
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 2060
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Misty Mountains of Cowichan BC.

Re: Confused Towing

Post by doyoulikeithere »

ya to find the axle ratio look on the RPO code sticker in the glovebox. As long as no one has changed out the axle for a different one, you can identify it just by looking in the glovebox.
Check this thread out on it...
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8111&hilit=rpo+code+gt5
2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 - Blue.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
1990 Astro - AWD - Brown.
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd - Silver & Blue.

Topic author
catbones
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 8:27 pm

Re: Confused Towing

Post by catbones »

I guess, I should maybe move this into the "General Talk" section of some sort, since these questions are becoming more relevant to buying suggestions then towing. Admins of the forum, I do apologize.

So, I can check the ratio, that's really good. Now any exception of buying anything with high mileage and rental carfax history ?

Thank you to you all for the help.
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