Van vs. Truck - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By FaydesMom
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
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Van vs. Truck

Has anyone ever towed with a van (i.e., Ford E350, etc.)? I have never hauled anything before, and I've been trying to gather opinions on this subject for a few years for when I'm financially able to purchase a truck/trailer. My dad used to be a truck driver and says that using a van such as the Ford E350 will be easier to tow due to the drivers seat being more directly above the front wheels. I give him a lot of credit in his hauling knowledge as he's successfully backed a semi trailer up a quarry at one point in his lifetime.

However, he has never hauled live animals, so I'm not sure what other factors there are to consider when towing with an E350 vs an F350. Plus, my dad can be a bit biased and one-sided at times.... Any experience out there? I just want to get all the facts sorted out.

I have found that vans are much more inexpensive than the equivalent truck (or SUV for that matter), which makes the idea of purchasing a van very intriguing to me.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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Vans do not have the power to pull a horse trailer. People who do discover this when the start to have engine and tow-related problems. Get a used diesel truck.
BTW, my 1993 3/4 ton Dodge Cummins, with ~113,000 still hauls well, but I (stupidly) moved a few cement blocks with it, that had been put in for fence posts, and I'm pretty sure that this will cost me a new transmission. I needed a tractor. I don't mind much bc I only have problems around 55mph, and not in the lower gears, and the truck is nearly 20 years old, so new transmissions and the like come with the territory. I just wanted to warn you. I have had to learn about towing and trailers the HARD WAY, over the years, by being stranded more than ONCE.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
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So long as the van is built for towing you'll be fine. Have a friend of the family who has towed many a mile with 1 ton van and a load of people as it was a passenger van and not a cargo van.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 03:31 PM
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Some vans (can't name you models) and some SUV's (like a Yukon) can tow a 2 horse just fine. I <3 my Ford F250 pickup though.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 06:13 PM
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Location: I was born in Germany, raised in Texas.
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Well, I can say from personally experience that an E350 can do all the work of an F350 and then some. I own a diesel E350 Clubwagon because I am the mother of 6 children (that's the then some ). BUT, I am also a farm girl and horse owner. Two years ago, we moved back to TX from VA and I hauled 6 children in a loaded down van and 4 horses attached to the back 1500 miles one way. My van never so much as hick-upped. I also use it to haul hay equipment in the field and bring in hay 100 bales at a time on a 12,500 lb. car haul trailer. Granted, my hubby did a little tweaking. He has converted it to a 4 wheel drive. That helps with the field work. But he didn't do the conversion until after our move back to TX so when we hauled our animals and children from VA to TX, it was still 2 wheel drive. The van is a 1997 and has 225,000 miles on it currently. We had the transmission rebuilt at not quite 200,000 which is actually better than normal for any truck of any brand whether you haul with it or not. I'm attaching a couple of pictures of my "baby" in action. It is the ultimate "mama mobile" and I wouldn't trade it for anything. :)

Hay baler 010.jpg

hay rake 010.jpg
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 07:49 PM
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personal experience, not personally experience...sorry about that.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
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Love the pics, mammaktja! My dad has had an E350 for as long as I can remember. It's a beast on its second engine, but still running sound at 275k+. Not bad for a gasoline vehicle! Especially with the way my dad beats up trucks.

I do love the idea of a van, as it has been extremely useful to own one in my family. If I can double it as a horse hauler, that would be great.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 08:53 PM
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I like how that van is lifted. Awesome.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: I was born in Germany, raised in Texas.
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Thank y'all. It really does serve many purposes. And what's cool is I can do all this stuff and still have as many of my kids with me as necessary (although my teenagers are quickly heading towards wanting their own vehicles). We've owned it for 7 1/2 years and I can't imagine not having it now. I guess the lift was more for fun than function, but you know, when you're an almost 40 year old mom of 6, you don't mind getting a little help in the cool department. My 16 year old's friends think I'm pretty cool. ;) And it's funny Nicole that you mentioned your dad's "beast" because that's what we call ours too. We live in a town of 665 and lets just say I can't hide anywhere where I live. LOL!
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-01-2012, 03:59 PM
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Location: Western Kentucky
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LOL, that's funny, our van is called Beastie!! Must be a "van thing".

Ours is a GMC Savanah with a Vortec V8, no problems hauling anything we hook to it. And man is it nice to have somewhere to rest, relax and maybe play some video games between events without leaving the show grounds.
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