_STUCKY needs a tow rig...

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_STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby _STUCKY » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:12 am

EDIT: I have started a thread here:
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-rigs ... these.html

So, I've been wanting to purchase something for a while now and would like some input from you guys. You all seem to be more practical about this than the pirate crowd would be. They would tell me I need an 18 speed peterbuilt with a sleeper and a 40 foot double decker trailer. You know, something out of my budget.

The goal:
I want something to pull my jeep with, a dedicated tow rig. I want something I can sleep in, but not only me. It needs to be big enough for at least me, my lady friend, and/or a friend or 2. It needs to have overdrive in the transmission, and that transmission needs to be a stout unit, example would be no th700r4. The motor needs to be reliable, and bonus points for diesel, power, and fuel mileage. It needs to be at least a 3/4 ton platform, and bonus points for 1 tons, duallies,and 4x4s, no 1/2 ton platforms. I also desire a full float rear axle for dependability, example gm would be full float 14 bolt. It also needs to be able to go 65 mph easily with a trailer and jeep. My price range isn't set in stone, I'd pay more for a better platform, but I'm gonna say $5000 or less is the budget, and that's from looking at prices on things that appeal to me. I do not want a jalopy.

As far as the trailer goes, my dad has a car trailer that my brother and I both use pretty regularly, and its seen better days. I thought about buying a trailer first, but then I'd be putting the cart before the horse. Currently, or maybe I should say in the recent past, the setup I have been using is borrowing my dads truck (01 extended cab dodge dually 4x4 cummins) and the car trailer and sleeping in the back seat. It's better than sleeping on the ground, but is terribly uncomfortable and I know the lady friend won't go for that setup, and I don't expect her too.

Things I don't want:
Any 1/2 ton platform. It's simply not rated for what I plan to do.
A pickup with an in bed camper. If I did this, I know I'd end up taking the camper out after every trip. I want a dedicated rig.
A full size rv. I do not need a 28 foot rv to do what I want to do. Most rvs are just too big to fit this bill. There's a good possibility that I'll have to take whatever I get through some muck at some point.
I do not want to have to need a cdl to drive what ever I get. That way anyone can drive it.
6.0 ford van. I read some bad things about cooling and heat build up under the hood.
Junk.

Things I have been considering:
A full size van. I could do whatever I wanted with a gutted van. Windows, extended rears, and extended tops are a bonus.
A uhaul type truck. A walk through thing from the cab to box is a bonus. Im not wild about the rear door I see on most of them.
Full size SUV. Suburban, excursion, or maybe a crew cab truck. I'd like to be able to stand up inside though.
Class B (I think) motor home. The ones build on a truck or van platform, but most seem out of my price range, or dilapidated.
A short bus. This isn't ideal to me, since I'd rather have my co pilot next to me instead of hiding out in the back sleeping or eating all my food or peeing out the window.
Ambulance. There's some good deals out there, but I'm not sure what I'd be getting into when I start gutting the back.
Top kick or similar type truck with a box on the back. This setup is bigger than what I need, but would be ok since most would have a diesel and a transmission setup for over the road hauling.
Full size pickup with a gooseneck trailer and some sort of a box, maybe a small pull behind type camper set onto the deck of the trailer at the front. Similar to my buddy's rig, but not using an in bed camper (I don't like how he has his mounted at all)

So with all this in mind, what do you guys think? Input? Suggestions? Links? Title to your rig?
Last edited by _STUCKY on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: _STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby _STUCKY » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:14 am

http://crowemotors.com/newandusedcars.aspx

This is the type of thing I'm after. This looks very appealing to me. I could do whatever I want in the back of this.

The pictures are all here:
http://modules08.dealercarsearch.com/us ... id=2508308

Edit: Of course, it would get remodeled inside. This has a roof mounted AC, setup for a generator (not included), a window (that opens!), side entry door, walk through door. I'm not extremely wild about the 5.7, but after some reading I found out its basically a ram jet 350 in stock form, so plenty of power (I think) with good ol' reliability. These all came stock with 4l80E transmissions and 4.10 gears in the full float rear axle. I see this as an RV that I could make fit my needs.
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Re: _STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:22 am

The van that I put up the link to has a L31 5.7 V8. Does anyone have any experience with those? We have mainly had Ford gassers and Dodge diesels for work trucks, and the biggest motor I've owned and driven was the TBI 350 in the K5, which is not impressive as far as power goes. It is no pooch, but the 4.3 in the S10 has more power stock than the TBI 350 had listed stock. I am seriously considering calling that dealership and asking what the bottom dollar is on that bad boy.

According to Wikipedia regarding the L31:
The Vortec 5700 L31 is a V8 truck engine. Displacement is 5.7 L. It is the last production Generation I small-block from Chevrolet. The cylinder heads feature combustion chambers and intake ports very similar to those of the LT1 V8, but without the reverse-flow cooling. As such, the L31 head is compatible with all older small-blocks, and is a very popular upgrade. It offers the performance of more expensive heads, at a much lower cost. It does, however, require a specific intake manifold (a Vortec head has 8 bolts attaching the intake manifold as opposed to the traditional twelve bolts per head). The L31 was replaced by the 5.3 L 5300 LM7. The 2002 model year was the final year for the L31 5.7 L small block V-8 whose origins date back to 1955. The Vortec 5700 produces 255 hp (190 kW) to 350 hp (261 kW) at 4600 rpm and 330 lb·ft (447 N·m) to 350 lb·ft (475 N·m) of torque at 2800 rpm. It is currently being produced as a crate engine for marine applications and automotive hobbyists as the "ramjet 350" with minor modifications.
L31 applications:
1996–2003 Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana full-size vans
1996–1999 Chevrolet/GMC C/K full-size trucks
1996–1999 Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Suburban full-size long-wheelbase SUVs
1996–1999 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon (and 2000 Tahoe Limited and 2000 Tahoe Z71 models) full-size short-wheelbase SUVs
1999–2000 Cadillac Escalade
TBI L31 applications
1996 G-Series vans over 8,500 lb (3,856 kg) GVW w/ 4L80E transmission
Special applications
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
Isuzu Box Trucks
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Re: _STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:55 pm

_STUCKY wrote:The van that I put up the link to has a L31 5.7 V8. Does anyone have any experience with those?
Good engine. Last of the bullet proof 350 V-8 engines. Good power to mileage ratio.
I pulled my 3000lb car on a trailer behind a box van with a 350/350 combo a few times. Worked just fine. That box van is a big push in the windstream though. I moved to a '72 Suburban with a 350/350 after that and did that for many years. Not practical after the kid was around though. We needed more room.

Your perfect towed rig would be a Scorpion by Fleetwood. Put the Jeep on the back and go anywhere. The luxury of a nice side pop-up on the front.
Then just pick your tow rig. In your price range an older suburban would be on the radar. Out of that price range a Duramax would be the ultimate.

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Re: _STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:40 pm

So you think I'll do pretty good with this bad boy?

In 06 Chevy started putting Duramax diesels in the work vans, but they are pricey. I googled scorpion by fleetwood, and that's a pretty nice setup, but I don't think my jeep would fit. My tires and wheels make it as wide as a full size truck, and bumper to bumper it's right about 13 foot, if I remember right. I did think about a suburban, and .... I have one.... But the biggest problem I have with that is transmission choices. I don't want to use a 700r4, but I want overdrive, and buying and installing and working out the bugs of a 4L80E are way, way out of the budget right now. As you know, TH350 and TH400 do not have overdrive.

Now as far as the suburban that I do have goes.... Last night a terrible idea was hatched. I bought an 80 1 ton 4x4 dually Chevy, running, delivered, from a buddy for $650, for parts... And I'm thinking Super Rat Suburban! I now have 2 Dana 60s, a good Tbi 350 (in the 87 k5), a good TH400/205 combo (in the 1 ton), and enough leaf springs to make it happen. I need a SRW 14 bolt. This is such a terrible idea that won't happen for a while.

:evil:

But anyways... I talked to the guy that has that van a little bit ago. I flat out asked if he would take $4000 Monday morning. He, without hesitation, said yes. So I went in and talked to the bank, and that is in the lower range of the ballpark for these things. I'm thinking drive up Sunday, drive back Monday. I have to be here Tuesday for sure to haul grain.

The guy said that it was originally bought by some mobile auto detail company. They had the generator in it to run a vacuum. There is some paint on the inside that has been spilled, no big deal. There is no hitch, but that's not a big issue. I might be able to make something, or most likely what will happen is we have a very good fab shop an hour south of here that I know could make things happen. He said the tires are good, but 1 has a flat spot, so it has a slight shimmy or shake to it. I guess I'll see about that Monday. It will get a thorough looking over, inside, outside, top, and bottom. .

So, in s10 related news, I paid off my loan for my truck yesterday, so I may as well jump right into another one and get this van, right? Right? Right?! Lol

:wave:
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Re: _STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:20 pm

_STUCKY wrote:So you think I'll do pretty good with this bad boy?
As long as hills and wind are not in your travels, and If you can handle the single digit fuel mileage while towing. You will be fine.
I googled scorpion by fleetwood, and that's a pretty nice setup, but I don't think my jeep would fit. My tires and wheels make it as wide as a full size truck, and bumper to bumper it's right about 13 foot, if I remember right.
If I run across Chris' set up I'll post a pic. His is bigger than yours with the axles spread. The rear bumper doesn't have to be on the trailer, just the rear tires.
Buy a $2000 pop-up trailer and mount it sideways across the front of a long deck trailer and build your own Scorpion. Easy to do. Much less expensive than other options.

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Re: _STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:26 pm

HenryJ wrote:Buy a $2000 pop-up trailer and mount it sideways across the front of a long deck trailer and build your own Scorpion. Easy to do. Much less expensive than other options.


Yea, I thought about doing something like that. Check out some of these. :rock:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-rigs ... reads.html

Here is a bad picture of my buddy's setup.

Image
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Postby _STUCKY » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:42 am

Hey Brule, would you please move this thread to the "_stucky's junk" thread?

I ended up getting this and cruising it 425 miles home. Needless to say, I have a few ideas. I'm going to do a little build thread on pirate though. I asked on there about this project and got a pretty good response. I'll link the thread once I get to work.

Thanks :wave:
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Re: _STUCKY needs a tow rig...

Postby _STUCKY » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:44 pm

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