getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby MI_Ghost » January 25th 2021, 11:13pm

markmitch wrote:not sure how flat towing verses dolly towing would be that much different to be honest.... As far as the dolly if there is wind blowing that strong then I will have to go slow or stop for the night early.

Dolly towing creates an additional pivot point that makes more slop/movement in the towing connection. I often see people dolly towing totally oblivious to the fact that the vehicle they are towing is swaying like a fishes tail behind them. I have even seen wrecks were the towed vehicle swayed enough to cause the driver to lose control.

When you cross WY and see all the big fence like objects. Those are wind breaks. 25-30 mph winds are the normal light winds. NE does not have any wind breaks. Not even trees! Even a semi truck does the white knuckle dance in those winds. April is still winter across the Sierras an Wasatch ranges. Watch the weather and drive safe. Plan on a 6-8 day trip towing with a dolly.

As a OTR truck driver for 30 years it is a safety issue to me. I've said my peace. You will do as you wish. Enough said.
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towing an Astro with a tow bar-anyone done this?

Postby markmitch [OP] » January 26th 2021, 3:14am

Just curious if anyone here has ever flat towed an Astro/Safari van? I am looking into al aspects of long distance towing of my Astro. I know I have to remove driveshafts. Thanks Mark
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Re: towing an Astro with a tow bar-anyone done this?

Postby 02GMC » January 26th 2021, 4:07am

We bought an RV in Dec '18. Our Safari has been a toad for about 10K miles. It's 2wd, I was given a (what used to be) Remco driveshaft disconnect coupler. This was on a shaft for a Chevy truck, I went to salvage yard and found an Astro/Safari driveshaft identical to mine - took that and the shaft with coupler on it to a driveline shop to have it put on. I wanted to save my original. I don't have any of the parts to operate it from inside van, but if I did I wouldn't bother. 15 seconds i can slide under van and snap spring-loaded coupler to desired position. It is right in front of yoke on rear axle. I did run wiring and diodes to use van rear brake/turn/tail lights from connection to RV. Other than that turn ignition out of "lock" position so steering wheel can move and disconnect battery. Bought a Roadmaster base plate for van from etrailer.
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Re: towing an Astro with a tow bar-anyone done this?

Postby markmitch [OP] » January 27th 2021, 5:06am

how does the baseplate bolt to the frame of the Astro van? which tow bar did you use and can you explain the lights wiring a little better? I have to get my 89 Astro to New Hampshire from Nor-Cal in April. Appreciate the help.
Any other pointers are much appreciated.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby 02GMC » January 30th 2021, 6:22pm

It bolts to the front subframe at the sides, and also at the front.
I was given a used BlueOx towbar by the same guy that gave me the Remco disconnect. Roadmaster I think is the only baseplate still avail for these vans. Etrailer had an adapter to go from Roadmaster baseplate to BlueOx towbar.

As for the lights all I am using is a 4 flat connector. Just ran a male 4 flat (trailer end connector) from front bumper under van securely. Came up thru passenger rear quarter, across back under interior trim piece at rear and spliced into factory taillight harness in driver's side rear panel. The diodes (also from Etrailer) were necessary for the turn signals to work. Tried without and backfeeding caused both to flash regardless. Also isolates from the van power for the lights.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » January 30th 2021, 7:59pm

I will be using a tow dolly simply because the tow bar system has to have brakes on the towed vehicle by law if the towed vehicle is over 3000 lbs. Which my van weighs in at approximately 3400 lbs. I am driving down south to get on I 40 which will take me across to I-95 area then up to NH. To avoid the high winds /ice on I-80 in April. It will add a few extra days to my trip but as long as I make it I will be happy. But Thanks for the tips.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby AstroWill » January 31st 2021, 2:00am

markmitch wrote:my van weighs is closer to 6000 lbs.


markmitch wrote:Which my van weighs in at approximately 3400 lbs.


Please, please, PLEASE let me know what kind of diet you put your van on. I knew those rear bench seats were heavy, but I didn't think they were THAT heavy.

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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby sixsix » January 31st 2021, 2:45am

Oof
.

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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » January 31st 2021, 3:17am

yeah first time was a guess then I looked it up and I have no rear seats in it. Also I took the home built console out and will be using it in the Ford for the trip/
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » February 2nd 2021, 2:34am

OK so after some considerable time going over routes of travel in April , weather conditions , traffic using a dolly for approximately $500 to rent verses the internet quote of $1150 to rent a trailer. I was going to use a tow dolly and go I-40 from the southern California area across the southern parts of the country. This route is much nicer weather wise BUT that adds 2 days and many more miles to my trip which in turn would cost more money and wear and tear on both vehicles
So I was at a local hardware store today and they do the u-haul thing so I got a quote for the trailer instead of the dolly and guess what? For some reason its $380 dollars cheaper then the only price for the same dang trailer. So if I get the trailer going I - 80 all the way to New York with my van on a trailer won't be a problem. So after all this A trailer it will be. I will post when I am on my way (1st week of April)
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby Rod's Trucks » February 2nd 2021, 3:03am

Yes, and you can carry other stuff on the trailer, and enclosed in the van.
I brought home a couple of long ladders and some long lumber on a trailer under a Mercedes, that was coming this way behind a relatively short rental van.
Have a safe trip...and that is a direct order! :pray:
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » February 2nd 2021, 6:14pm

Never even thought about that, I have a ladder and a house door I bought with frame and never used. So yeah I added fog lights, back up camera, stereo, overhead console and roof rack to the ford. Also I have done oil change, trans filter, rear end oil change, new tires and alignment, greased all grease fittings, ordered a new trailer hitch with grade 8 bolts
I still need to flush the coolant cause its brown and when I tested it its only good to 20 degrees and replace the ignition switch when it comes in. This v-10 takes 7 gallons of coolant to fill.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby AstroWill » February 2nd 2021, 7:53pm

Sounds like a good deal on the trailer!

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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby sixsix » February 3rd 2021, 12:27am

markmitch wrote:... I will post when I am on my way (1st week of April)

Cool - :crying:
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