van and trailer

Discussion in 'Old RVUSA Forum' started by Old Forum Post, Dec 19, 2000.

  1. Old Forum Post

    Old Forum Post Senior Member

    [Jill] I&#039ve recently gone from a motorhome to a van and trailer. I have a 2000 Chev Express 1 ton extended van. I&#039ve ordered the hitch and wiring and swaybars etc in anticipation of getting the trailer. I think I&#039ve found the trailer and I just want to make sure it&#039s a 1996 Wilderness 23&#039 dry weight around 3600lbs. My van can tow up to 10000lbs but I will be travelling large distances frequently and do not need a huge unit. I have other things I need to carry and have a tray that fits in a hitch receiver that was on the back of my MH, would I be able to attach this to the back of the trailer? It holds approx 400lbs of stuff. When I&#039m towing through the mountains should I shift up or down or let the van do that? Does anyone know where I can get more info on a 1996 Wilderness?

    TIA
    Jill
     
  2. Old Forum Post

    Old Forum Post Senior Member

    van and trailer

    [Les Adams] Jill,

    Good choice with the 1 ton van and 23&#039 TT... Should be a good combination with plenty of reserve...

    I would caution you in regard to loading #400 on the rear of the trailer... This will directly offset the existing tongue weight of the trailer possibly to the point of towing instability...

    You can most likely do this if you offset that weight by loading the trailer heavier in the front to maintain existing tongue weight... Tongue weight is extremely important to towing stability and is usually 10-15% of the total trailer weight...

    If for instance your stock tongue weight is #500 and you load #400 on the extreme rear of the trailer, you will have insufficient tongue weight for towing and in all probability the trailer will be very unstable and want to sway badly... If you maintain tongue weight by stowing some other gear forward, you could then tow with reasonable assurance that stability would be as good as standard towing conditions...

    However, I should say that it is not a good practice to load extreme weights at the rear of the vehicle... You would be far better off distrubuting the gear throughout the trailer for good weight distribution while maintaining the ideal 10-15% tongue weight...

    Generally speaking, let the transmission do the shifting and tow in OD ONLY if the trans is not "hunting" (shifting) back and forth between OD and 3rd... When this frequent downshifting starts to occur, manually place the transmission in 3rd (or whatever gear is required) and hold it there until the terrain flattens out and "normal" shifting patterns return...

    The rapid and frequent downshifting causes excessive heat in the transmission and torque converter and will result in shorter transmission life or even failure if allowed to continue for any length of time... I normally tow in OD until this condition occures in the mountains or hilly terrain and then I disable OD and run in 3rd gear (or second depending on terrain) until the terrain flattens out enough to maintain forward momentum in OD...

    Best Regards,
    Les
     

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