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Old 12-12-2006, 05:24 AM   #1
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I have inquired here about this before, but can't find the old topic, so I am going to ask again.

We are planning on getting a hybrid in the future. The models we are looking at have a GVWR between 5100 and 5800. Hitch wt is between 442 and 770. 770 is a bit high, so we may look for one with a lower one. I also want to look at other brands as well. We want the one with the 2 sets of bunk beds, slide is not necessary.

Now, the tow vehicle we found last night is wonderful. We are in love with it. It is a navy blue Chevy Express 1500 LT, 5.7L V8. It has a tow package. From what I have dug up in my research, the tow capacity of this van is 6K. That is kinda close with the 5800lb camper. Of course, that is a fully loaded trailer. The unloaded trailer wt is only 4400lb. I can't see us loading that much in it. We keep it light. Adding the kids and I into the van adds a total of 500lbs.

The lighter trailer is only 5400lbs. That is the Fleetwood Orbit 260XP. I could get the one w/o the 4 bunks and get the one with the 3 bed ends instead and it is only 5100 lbs. We really want teh 260XP though.

I have 2 questions. Will it be pushing too hard to get the 1500? We have looked everywhere and can only find a 3500 that is a 12 passenger van, we want a 7 passenger. I can't find any 3500 or 350 7 passenger vans. I have been looking for months now.

Other question is... Does anyone know of another brand of hybrid with the 2 sets of bunk beds with a lighter GVWR and/or tongue wt.

Thank you.
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:24 AM   #2
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I have inquired here about this before, but can't find the old topic, so I am going to ask again.

We are planning on getting a hybrid in the future. The models we are looking at have a GVWR between 5100 and 5800. Hitch wt is between 442 and 770. 770 is a bit high, so we may look for one with a lower one. I also want to look at other brands as well. We want the one with the 2 sets of bunk beds, slide is not necessary.

Now, the tow vehicle we found last night is wonderful. We are in love with it. It is a navy blue Chevy Express 1500 LT, 5.7L V8. It has a tow package. From what I have dug up in my research, the tow capacity of this van is 6K. That is kinda close with the 5800lb camper. Of course, that is a fully loaded trailer. The unloaded trailer wt is only 4400lb. I can't see us loading that much in it. We keep it light. Adding the kids and I into the van adds a total of 500lbs.

The lighter trailer is only 5400lbs. That is the Fleetwood Orbit 260XP. I could get the one w/o the 4 bunks and get the one with the 3 bed ends instead and it is only 5100 lbs. We really want teh 260XP though.

I have 2 questions. Will it be pushing too hard to get the 1500? We have looked everywhere and can only find a 3500 that is a 12 passenger van, we want a 7 passenger. I can't find any 3500 or 350 7 passenger vans. I have been looking for months now.

Other question is... Does anyone know of another brand of hybrid with the 2 sets of bunk beds with a lighter GVWR and/or tongue wt.

Thank you.
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:44 PM   #3
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OK, I have a little more info. It has a Vortec 5700 engine. The book lists two different wts on it depending on axle ration. A 3.42 can tow 5600, a 3.73 can tow 6600. How do I find out what my axle ratio is? They are both listed with the 5.7L. I am assuming since the trailer has the trailering package, it has the 3.73.

Also a question about electric brakes. Our trailer has them and our van has the brake controller. Will we need to switch the brake controller to our new van? I assume I will. Even with the trailering package, I think you still need a brake controller. Is that assumption correct?

I have the van overnight. We brought it to the RV storage lot and hooked it up just to see if the electric worked and it towed level. Everything checked out fine. I did not try to tow it though. If I can't control the brakes, I don't want to try it.

We really like the van, but don't want to get it if we can't tow with it. I know we would have to add a sway control and possibly a w/d hitch as well.
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:46 PM   #4
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The VIN number is one area to look at for what the axle ratio is. I sent mine on a vehicle that we bought to GM and they gave all the info on the vehicle.
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:16 PM   #5
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SAndra...
I have access to check your info on the vehicle. I work at a GM dealership so I have access to the GMVIS program. PM me OR post the VIN here and I can give you all the information on the vehicle. Let me know if you want the info on PM or posted here. I can have it in moments IF I am online
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:50 AM   #6
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Thanks MonacoMama, I have PMed you the vin.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:43 AM   #7
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Mamaloya..
Info has been PMed back to you.
Good Luck
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:56 AM   #8
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It didn't come through, could you post it here?
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:57 AM   #9
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Sandra, just remember that the tow ratings you are getting are based on a base model van and only a 150# DRIVER. When you add accessories, options, cargo, hitch and passengers, you will reduce the towing capacity by the amount of the added weight. For estimating purposes, I would not go over 80% of the published tow rating to allow for passengers, cargo and such.

So, if your tow rating is listed as 6000#, I'd keep my loaded trailer weight under 4800# which eliminates the trailers you are considering unless you don not plan to carry more than about 400# of water and camping supplies. For the trailer weights you are considering and with your family, you need to be looking at 3/4 ton vans (2500 series). Sorry to rain on your parade.

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Old 12-13-2006, 06:26 AM   #10
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Ken, I don't mind you raining on my parade, as long as you do it before I am standing in the rain.

The owners manual states that it is taking into consideration 1 driver and 1 passenger. So I guess I would only add the kids in it. That would be 5 kids, but the total would be 360.

We don't normally carry water in our tank, although if we were going to drydock I guess we would fill it right before we got where we were going.

Now if it is the 3.73, and with a tow capacity of 6600 at 80%, equals 5280. That is short of our 5800, but I don't think we would be as heavy as you think we will. If I take 400 off for the kids, that is 6200. That leaves enough room to load it, considering that the 5800 is the GVWR, that is having it fully loaded I assume. If we don't have much in it, the actual trailer wt may be only 1K over dry wt. 4475 plus 1K is only 5475. That leaves some play. Am I deluding myself? I am not arguing, just want to crunch some numbers with someone who knows.

I did look into a few more campers though at your urging. I looked at an Aerolite Cub 23BH. It has one set of bunk beds, 2 queen bunk ends and a sofa bed and dinette. The 2 boys could have the bunk beds, dh and myself on one end, the 3 girls on the other end. One of the girls could take the sofabed if she wanted to. I think it is plenty roomy for us. Not the 4 bunks like I wanted, but still Everyone with the own bed except the 2 youngest who like to share anyway. It has a GVWR of 4840. Is that more along the lines of what you think we should get? It seems a nice camper. The Kodiak is the same, but I like the color scheme better. I just need to look into the price.

Well, please keep me sensible here. What do you think?
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Old 12-13-2006, 06:38 AM   #11
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VIN
VEHICLE BUILD
Merchandising Model : CG11405 -2001 EXPRESS LT VAN
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating : 3223 kg (7107 lb) Order Number : DDQXZ4
Build Date : 04/10/2001 Build Plant : 11105
OPTION CODES
AJ1 - DEEP TINTED GLASS AK5 - DRIVER & RIGHT FRONT PASSENGER AIR BAG
AU0 - KEYLESS REMOTE DOOR LOCK AU3 - POWER DOOR LOCK SYSTEM
AXP - MPV VIN IDENT POSITION A07 - FULL BODY GLASS - 6 WINDOWS
A08 - RIGHT SIDE BODY GLASS-2 WINDOWS A17 - SWING OUT LEFT SIDE BODY GLASS
A18 - SWING OUT REAR DOOR GLASS A19 - SWING OUT GLASS-REAR AND SIDE
A31 - POWER WINDOWS BG5 - DELETE FLOOR COVERING
C36 - REAR HEATER C49 - ELECTRIC REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER
C5Y - 7100 LB GVW RATING C60 - AIR CONDITIONING
C69 - AIR CONDITIONING-FRONT & REAR DE5 - EXT ELECT REMOTE HEATED MIRRORS
DH6 - LIGHTED LH & RH VISOR MIRRORS EVA - EVAP EMISSION REQUIREMENT
E24 - DOOR SIDE CARGO, HINGED FE9 - FEDERAL/NORTHEAST EMISSIONS
GT4 - REAR AXLE - 3.73 RATIO G80 - LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL-REAR AXLE
JB6 - VAC POWER DISC/DRUM BRAKES KD1 - TRANSMISSION OIL COOLING SYSTEM
KG8 - 130 AMP GENERATOR K34 - ELECTRONIC SPEED CONTROL WITH RESUME SPEED
L31 - VORTEC 5700 V8 SFI ENGINE M30 - 4 SPEED ELECTRONIC AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION WITH OVERDRIVE
NA1 - LIGHT DUTY EMISSIONS NF2 - FEDERAL EMISSION SYSTEM
NP5 - LEATHER WRAPPED STEERING WHEEL N33 - COMFORTILT STEERING WHEEL
PA3 - FLAT 5-SPOKE ALUMINUM WHEELS R8L - HAIL DAMAGED UNIT
SLM - STOCK ORDERS TDC - "SHIP THROUGH FREIGHT CHARGE"
TFD - RETAIL AMENITY DELETE T98 - STAMPING VEHICLE IDENT NUMBER
UC6 - AM/FM STEREO W/INTEGRATED 6-DISC CD CHANGER, AUTO TONE CONTROL AND RDS (REPLACES STD/OPT PKG RADIO) UP8 - STEREO RADIO PROVISIONS
UY7 - HD 7-LEAD TRAIL. WIRING HARNESS U73 - FIXED MAST ANTENNA
VK5 - TEMPORARY SEAT VR4 - WEIGHT DISTRIB. PLATFORM HITCH
VXS - COMPLETE VEHICLE LABEL V22 - DELUXE FRONT APPEARANCE PKG.
V37 - CHROMED FRONT AND REAR BUMPERS V73 - STATEMENT OF VEHICLE CERT.-U.S. /CANADA
WEN - WENTZVILLE,MO. PLANT XHA - P235/75R15/X ALS BW TIRES-F/R/S
X88 - CHEVROLET CONVERSION YB9 - DELETE INTERIOR PAINT
YD3 - BASE EQUIP FOR SCH GVW PL-FT AX YD5 - BASE FRONT SPRING
YD6 - BASE REAR SPRING YF7 - UPFITTER EQUIPMENT
YHA - P235/75R15/X ALS BW TIRES-REAR YK6 - SEO IDENTIFICATION
Y91 ZHA - P235/75R15/X ALS BW TIRE-SPARE
ZP7 - SEVEN-PERSON SEATING ZQ2 - POWER DOOR LOCKS AND WINDOWS
ZQ3 - TILT WHEEL & SPEED CONTROL ZW6 - GLASS - COMPLETE BODY
ZW9 - STANDARD BODY OR CHASSIS CAB ZY1 - SOLID PAINT
Z82 - HEAVY DUTY TRAILERING EQUIPMENT 1SL - LT LUXURY VAN PACKAGE INCLUDES: * (2) OVERHEAD LCD MONITORS & FRONT CONSOLE MOUNTED VIDEO CASSETTE PLAYER * VIDEO GAME HOOKUP * (2) INFRARED HEADPHONES * AM/FM STEREO W/CASSETTE & CD * BOSE PREMIUM 12 SPEAKER SOUND SYSTEM * DEEP TINT GLASS * REMOTE KEYLESS ENTRY * REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER * FRONT & REAR AIR CONDITIONING * ELECTRIC HEATED EXT MIRRORS * ILLUMINATED VISOR MIRRORS * REARVIEW MIRROR W/TEMPERATURE AND COMPASS * BRUSHED ALUMINUM WHEELS * LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL * TRAILERING PACKAGE * LEATHER WRAPPED STEERING WHL * 7 PASSENGER SEATING
39U - INDIGO BLUE METALLIC 52I - NEUTRAL INTERIOR TRIM
522 - NEUTRAL CUSTOM LEATHER TRIM 6L5 - ISRV MIRROR, COMPASS, O/S TEMP
6WZ - FRONT SPRING - LH 7WZ - FRONT SPRING - RH
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Old 12-13-2006, 06:42 AM   #12
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Mamaloya-
I removed the VIN from the last post-did not think that everyone needed to see it...and yes.. it is a 3:73 ratio
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:00 AM   #13
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YAY!!!!

Thanks so much MonacoMama!!!!
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:04 AM   #14
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Did I read the description right that it has a wt distributing hitch already?
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