I have a 2000 GMC Safari van w/V6 vortec engine, about 185K miles. I bought it thinking I'd be able to tow a 2-horse trailer (haven't bought yet) but one mechanic nixes the idea saying it will tear up the engine & the other says the vortec (whatever that is) makes it workable for towing. The van is rates to tow 5500 lbs & gross weight is about 7200. Had anyone had any experience towing - pro or con - with a vehicle of this size engine, or hopefully, w/the same vehicle? I just love this van and if it can work, I don't want to sell it - but if it won't, it's got to go! Thanks a lot. Myra
What you have to remember is that even tho your van is rated to be able to pull your trailer, the engine and the way it's build is not made to pull such weights. They pull the limit on their vehicles because it is required by law, but realistically, it is not made to pull a horse trailer (with a moving animal on the way best of days).
I used a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee(which is bigger than what your towing vehicle will be), and tho it was rated to be able to pull a horse trailer(which I did for 6 months), I completely destroyed the transmission. The transmission is just not build for heavy pulling.
The second you move over to even a small truck, they way the transmission is put together is made for pulling. It has a cooling system that will be able to take on the weight as well.
Knowing what I know now, I will never do it again. I currently drive a 2009 Ford Escape which on paper can "also haul" a horse trailer but let me tell you, it won't get near it.
With the amount of work that is required by the engine to pull a horse alone, you will(and I can guarantee it), will detroy your transmission.