Towing a dodge B350 camper van- need advice
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Thread: Towing a dodge B350 camper van- need advice

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    johnH123's Avatar
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    Towing a dodge B350 camper van- need advice

    My grandfather has acquired a 1988 dodge b350 camper van with several major issues that need addressed. He doesn't want to get into fixing those things so he's having me do it. No problem except 1 thing....

    He lives in northeast Tennessee and i'm in Indiana. The van is not in a condition (powertrain wise) to drive all the way up here. It needs to be hauled. I'm going to do it because he doesn't have his f250 anymore and consequentially nothing to haul it with.

    I have a truck that I believe is capable of towing this sucker (2001 silverado 2500hd 4x4, crew cab/short bed with 4 speed auto and 6.0, 4.10 gears with factory hitch so i can tow about 10,000 pounds or so). My concerns regard the trailer needed.

    The original plan was for me to drive down there and use a uhaul on-way car hauler. I'm concerned that this configuration will not be a safe combination because the length of the van will cause it to be improperly loaded. Plus it doesn't have electric brakes which I'm not to excited about. However, my local rental place has 16' 10k flatbed trailers for the same price as the uhaul would be. The uhaul page says max load of 5500 lbs, this page says a similar van is 9000 (his isn't as extensive as the one on the page, plus has stuff like water tanks deleted)

    I have a couple questions. For people who have used the uhaul transport, how long is it, and whats the biggest thing you would pull on it? If theres anyone who has/had a dodge b350, how long is it (can't find a published spec on google), and would you be comfortable hauling it on a 16' trailer?
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    JD4044M's Avatar
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    If it was me doing this I would pay to have it transported to you worry free in towing. U Haul Set up for moving Cars is a joke for that rig and it will be a strain on your truck to pull being so surface large wind and weight wise. Then drive it back when finished it was $1,000.00 for the guy to get my Power wagon taken to California from Washington State. You will have fuel, rental, food to eat and hope nothing goes wrong towing it to add into the total cost. Plus you will be in DOT Range with total weight to deal with them too when the works is over 10,000 lbs truck and trailer.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF3642.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	98.9 KB 
ID:	662400Dimensions
    Wheelbase
    150 SWB: 109.6*in (2,784*mm)
    LWB: 127.6*in (3,241*mm)
    Length
    1978–1990 150 SWB: 178.9*in (4,544*mm)
    1978–1990 150 LWB, 250 & 350 SWB: 196.9*in (5,001*mm)
    1978–1990 250 & 350 LWB: 222.9*in (5,662*mm)
    1991–93 B150 (Wagon only): 187.2*in (4,755*mm)
    1991–93 B250 and B350 SWB (Wagon only): 205.2*in (5,212*mm)
    1991–93 B250 & B350 LWB (Wagon Only): 231.2*in (5,872*mm)
    Width
    1978–1990: 79.2*in (2,012*mm)
    1991–93 Wagon: 79.0*in (2,007*mm)
    1991–93 Van: 79.8*in (2,027*mm)
    Height
    1978–1990 150: 78.3*in (1,989*mm)
    1978–1990 250: 79.9*in (2,029*mm)
    1978–1990 350: 80.5*in (2,045*mm)
    1991–93 B150 Wagon: 78.1*in
    Last edited by JD4044M; 12-16-2018 at 08:31 PM.

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    Uhaul is going to frown on you putting a one ton van on one of their trailers and I'd say their car haulers are the same length as the rental place you mentioned. While the van may fit on a 16' trailer I think you'd be light on tongue weight.

    I would estimate the van to weigh around 8k so you'd be pushing it on a 10k trailer.

    I don't think your truck is undersized for the task but I believe the 2001 trucks were equipped with a class 4 receiver which means you need a weight distributing hitch to pull this off. Considering the time invested in driving both ways and fuel consumed you could probably get the van shipped for not much more.
    wildbranch2007 and JD4044M like this.

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    I think your truck is fine. But your going to need a trailer at least 20’ or longer . Probably need a 14k trailer. A goose neck trailer would be ideal.

    I’m not sure what the cost is to rent a trailer. It may be more cost effective to hire someone to haul it.
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    You may want to consider a tow bar. My father utilized one extensively when I was a boy. It was the type where he'd drill the bumper, mount some angle iron verticals, and attach the tow bar to them. Now this was back in the days of steel bumpers. He built his and they were not to complicate to construct. U-Haul use to offer one that clamped on to the bumper, but with the advent of the composite bumper, they didn't work. As such, came the car carrier.

    I utilized the tow bar several times. The last time was to retrieve one of our stepvan service trucks from just outside of Green Bay, WI. I allowed a new hire to utilize it to move from Green Bay to Brainerd. The truck had sat for nearly a year, with only brief run times in that period. His father drove the truck to Green Bay, they loaded it up to the gills, and were barely out of Green Bay when the engine started on fire. The distributor vacuum advance arm had froze on the pivot bushing, from prolonged storage, resulting in the timing being off. This in turn resulted in detonation. It must have been knocking like crazy, but they just kept driving it until they blew a hole through a couple of pistons. They continued to drive it and it pumped oil out the valve cover breather, dipstick, and so forth as a result. The oil eventually caught fire on the exhaust. If I wouldn't had a fire extinguisher in the truck, I would have lost it all. So I drove one of our other stepvans to Green Bay and tow barred this one back, fully loaded with his personal possessions/furniture. I didn't have any issues controlling it and drove at the speed limit of the interstate. The roads were dry. Both trucks had 1-ton chassis.

    If you utilize a tow bar or car hauler, you'll need to drop the driveshaft, assuming the van has an automatic transmission. The rear, output bushing, of the transmission is lubricated via a pump feed. Without the engine running, the bushing receives no lubrication.
    JD4044M likes this.
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    Thanks everyone! Lots of great opinions here.

    Getting it hauled will cost more than doing it myself. The uship page i posted before had several bids on that particular van- the lowers was over 2000. The local trailer rental will actually be ever so slightly less than the uhaul (they make you add extra insurance and other things that drive up the price) This will be a simple go down there one day, pick it up and come back the next. No hotels, will bring my own food, etc.

    I'm honestly not to worried about to little tongue weight, but rather to much based on my recent experience towing the 4510, BH/FEL on this 10k trailer. I would say its just about perfect- maybe a touch on the heavy side;



    Obviously the van will probably be a little more front heavy than the tractor.

    also, the uhaul site has no issue with this combination. The biggest thing i don't like about uhaul is those stupid surge brakes they use. yuck...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2E47425A-0ED8-427C-A2DF-5D09792794FC.JPG   Screenshot (12).png  
    Last edited by johnH123; 12-17-2018 at 10:49 AM.
    - 2002 John Deere 4510 TLB PR,
    -Woods BB60X 60" rotary cutter
    -Countyline box blade,
    -Allis Chalmers sickle mower,
    -RED windrow rake,
    -titan 48" 3000 pound forks/bale spear
    - Farm Star rear bale spear

    Yamaha Rhino 700, Yamaha Rhino 660,
    Murray 624 mower/38" deck

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