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3/4 Ton or 1 Ton Van? GM, Ford or Chrysler?

Discussion in 'General Expediter Forum' started by Larry, May 30, 2003.

  1. Larry

    Larry Veteran Expediter Charter Member

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    In addition to my FL70, I uses a 3/4 ton pick up with a twin axle tag trailer. I carry about 3,000 lbs in the cargo (covered) trailer. I am looking to buy a van, that I can build in a sleeper with all the amenities (inverter, TV, micro, refrig) for pulling the trailer plus use for my hunting and fishing excersions. I cannot park a pick up with camper in my subdivision, so I have decided to convert a cargo van into a camper/work truck and disguise it as a station wagon by adding one window. Maximum load in the van would be @ 2000 lbs. I would anticipate putting 20 to 30,000 miles per year on the van. Since I have a very largae family in the Detroit area, I can get employee discounts on Ford, GM & Chrysler products. What's the recommendation for manufacturer, engine and rear end? One ton or 3/4 ton? Diesel or gas?

    Thanks and Drive Safe.
     
  2. winemaker3279

    winemaker3279 New Recruit

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    Larry, first off let me say that I do not own a van yet. I have a friend that bought a new Chevy 1 ton cargo van with a Vortex 6.0 gasoline motor. It gets around 15 to 18 mpg and has balls! Even under a load this van gets up and goes. Since I have gotten this idea about getting into expedite with a van, I have asked every driver I talked to about their vehicle. Generally, this is what I have found out: Chevy and Ford seem to get the best compliments. I have yet to talk to a driver that likes his Dodge. They also say that you do not need a diesel motor. The initial cost for a diesel is about $4,000 more when considering new. I have looked at all three companies and personally, I like the Chevy. Good luck!

    The best defense is a good offense...thank GOD I'm offensive!!!
     
  3. catfish

    catfish New Recruit

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    go for the 1-ton, you never know when you might have to load it down. as for brand preference, i ran a chevy, but each has its merits. chevy has the best gas engines, but ford has the best diesel.(at least until the dmax is available in the vans). while the old 350's were good for 500-600k miles without an overhaul, nobody i know has run the new vortec engines that far yet, so time will tell. the 4L80E trans in the chevy is stronger than the one in the ford, unsure about the dodge. ford uses a dana rear end which is less prone to axle seal leaks than the corporate gm rear. also, i believe the dana piece is a little beefier. if you are going with an extended van (and why not, the extra room comes in handy) remember that the chevy has a longer wheelbase than the ford or the dodge, allowing the van to handle better if loaded heavy on the back end. the chevy has the largest door opening (but the latch hangs down enough to lose some of the extra height) followed by the ford, then the dodge.
     
  4. bkkeystone

    bkkeystone New Recruit

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    Larry,

    Who do you drive for getting loads for your p/u and trailer combo???

    I want to pull a trailer with my Ford van (used as sleeper)but dont know where to start finding a company that will do that.

    Thanks
     
  5. Larry

    Larry Veteran Expediter Charter Member

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    The pick-up trailer combo is used only to haul for my company, not for others.

    Getting back to my questions. Chevy offers full time 4 wheel drive. How does this effect fuel economy?
     
  6. streetsweeper

    streetsweeper New Recruit

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    It will have a negative impact on your fuel economy. Unless you need four drive where you run all the time, I'd stick with part time or go with a two drive.
     
  7. GroundHawk

    GroundHawk New Recruit

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    Go with the one ton--I like the chevy but the ford I think is beefer,by the way do you have any trouble unloading that trailer and how is it done? Hawk
     
  8. teacel

    teacel Veteran Expediter Charter Member

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    Larry!
    I think, to each his own. Fords hold up and so do Chevy’s. I personally like the Chevy. I have 4 3500 ext vans running hard very hard. I run the one I drive 600 miles every day and I cruse around 75, all day. At times I run 250 miles without stopping. The van has 150000 and the only cost so far is all new fluids, a tune up and a new set of tires. The thing has the same power as when I bought it. All the vans are doing very good. I don’t think the other guys drive like I do, Well at least they don’t admit they do. I don’t see why you need a Diesel, for gas is less cost, all the way around. Gas is cheaper, repairs are cheaper, and over all cost is less. The choice is yours brother.
     
  9. GroundHawk

    GroundHawk New Recruit

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    Tony I'm glad to hear that I'm a Chevy man for sure I just could never get any good feed back on the newer Chevies--I'm still run my older Chevy and I know it is very reliable and has taking a beating,the new Chevies just look like when they have a small load they sag in the back. 600 miles a day---you da man Hawk
     
  10. Larry

    Larry Veteran Expediter Charter Member

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    Hawk:
    The cargo trailer, with ramp is used to haul a 1000 lbs. Kabota 2000 4 wheel steering tractor to which I added an additional 800 lbs of hydrolic modifications to for a business I own. I don't have any problems loading or unloading; I just drive it up and down the ramp.

    Thanks,

    Drive Safe
     

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