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To tow or not to tow or can my van really tow

5915 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  tsbrewers
Hey everyone,
I am new to the forum and I just purchased a used wells cargo trailer. My van is a 2001 GMC Savana 3500 LWB cargo van with the 5.7L Vortec and I believe a 4 speed transmission. The original owner states that the trailer has a gvw of around 7500 pounds and towed it with his Ford Econoline 350. Well the other day I loaded her up with about 3000 lbs and could barely get the vehicle speed over 35 MPH on the highway and pulling hills felt like I was going to blow out the tranny (engine roaring and barely gaining speed). The van was pretty much empty except for me, a passenger and a tool box. I figure the curb weight of the trailer is 2500 and together with the 3k load was around 5500 lbs gross weight.

I have hauled a few HEAVY loads in the van, upward of 2500 lbs, and that feels very heavy. Normally I move around 1000 lbs on average.

Right now I am under the assumption my van simply can't handle the trailer and I have to buy another van that is spec'd for towing. And buying a new or even used van is out of my budget. Is there anything I can do to increase my vans towing capacity? I know the rear ratio might be a problem, I am looking into finding out what my ratio is.
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the vehicle should tow 6000lbs. with normal sluggish tow effort. now I would look to install a transmission cooler. also I would only tow in 3rd gear. you have to use 89-93 octane when towing. replace fuel filter/check fuel pressures , new air cleaner . use synthetic oil.

check for a restricted exhaust. could be clogged cat converter.

I used to tow with a 1983 307cu car a 4200lbs boat . towed real good , but I had a huge tranny cooler and with a carb a ram air setup . also a 3 core radiator. never had a problem 380,ooo miles sold vehicle. 17yrs of use.

I don't see how changing to synthetic oil is going to increase his performance. The only thing that will do is increase oil life
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