Astro Van Junk? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-12-2003, 12:41 PM   #1
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Astro Van Junk?

:bh I went to the Asto forum & was shocked to find how much trouble the Van has giving it's owners. I am looking for something to replace my 95 Areostar with 165K miles. It hasn't given me any trouble. ,(The only reason I am looking for something that is a van, plus will tow) I had settled on a Astro but now I don't know. I don't want a SUV but is this the only choice out there? I want something to last. My last Chevy was a 75 Vega. Haven't had a Chevy since. I am getting a Camper & need the towing that the Areostar doesn't offer.
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Old 07-12-2003, 12:57 PM   #2
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Frustrating

Don't you just hate it when you work and work to come to a decision then find out that it may not be perfect either? Talk about frustrating! Seems like that always happens to me. :o

Everyone has their preferences, so I won't even go there. Everyone has had their bad luck stories with all makes of vehicles, so I won't go there either. What I will say is find the one you really want, make sure it's at least 20% or so above the mfg recommend towing capacies and I think it will be fine.
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Old 07-12-2003, 03:38 PM   #3
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Hi
We just replaced our 93 Aerostar with a 2000 Windstar. Like you we had planned on getting an Astro but bad gas mileage, small uncomfortable foot wells, and we heard of lots of problems.

Your Aerostar will tow minimum 3800 lbs or 4800 lbs depending on axle ratio. Look at the specs on the door. Friends of ours just replaced their Aerostar with an Astro and don't find it tows as well.

So what size/weight trailer are you planning on? And how many people? We tow a 13' Trillium, usually with 5-6 people.
Nancy
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Old 07-12-2003, 03:46 PM   #4
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Astro

We are going to be towing a Casita 17 foot trailer (Egg). Just worried about the age of the Areostar. So thought the Astro would fit the bill. But don't want to risk it after reading about maintance problems. So our options are open again.:E
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Old 07-12-2003, 03:59 PM   #5
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eeeks another Virginian

oh we are going to have to have a Va get together sometime. Hampton here
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Old 07-12-2003, 04:39 PM   #6
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I think a Windstar and similiar sized vans would not easily tow a 17' Casita.

Except for the Astro and full sized vans there isn't much out there. If I remember correctly though GM is offering a longer warranty on new vehicles, (or was that Chrysler). Longer warranty would take care of more problems. Also GM is offering 60 months no interest, at least in Canada.

Nancy
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Old 07-13-2003, 08:34 PM   #7
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towing with Astro

I've had five Astro vans in a row (three years apart usually) and have not had a major problem with any of them. I pull a Coleman pop-up loaded to about 3,000 lbs. (and my '87 Burro) with ease. 18 mpg and no towing package. I think the only ones you hear from are those that have had problems, not those that are satisfied.
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:34 PM   #8
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Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, the Astro Van ... properly equipped ... is one of the best towing bargains on the market today.

Only problem is the front passenger side foot room. If your significant other can live with that, go for it.

Since I often ride shotgun while Pam drives, the foot room doesn't fit my 6"4" body.
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:16 PM   #9
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Our Astro

:wave We are very happy with our '97 Astro Conversion Van, we tow our 12 foot homemade camper, just this last weekend. No problems with the tows.
Hello Virginians....
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Old 07-15-2003, 10:07 PM   #10
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astro van

I pulled my first scamp with a 89 yes 89 astro van and when I traded in my first scamp for the one I now have I'm still pulling with the 89 astro. since I pulled two scamps on the same road going to and returning from Backus I found the second scamp pulled much easier than the first. don't know why but it does I now have about 5000 miles on it since last Nov. and old astro does fine.
having said that a friend of mine is trading in his 2001 f150 and I can buy it for the pay off price great deal for me so old faithful astro will be put out to pasture.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:30 AM   #11
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Towing with a Sprinter

I started a thread about towing with a Sprinter over a year ago on the Casita Club forum:
http://forums.casitaclub.com/thread_view.c...cfm?Thread=2840
I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has considered a Sprinter to tow their Scamp or Casita?
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Old 07-19-2003, 12:23 AM   #12
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more Astro

I just spent three weeks pulling a 17' Bigfoot over what seemed like most
of the mountain passes in southern B.C. with a Safari (the GM version of
the Astro). The Safari is a '99 with AWD and 3:42 gearing, to which I added
a transmission cooler. The van certainly pulled better than the biodegrading
F250 I previously had, but it does go through the gas. I don't have a gauge
for the transmission, but the radiator guage did not show a problem on grades
up to 9% (but it's not going up those at 100kph either).

I can't speak to its longevity since the van is new to me, but as for
towing, I would say it is capable. If you don't need AWD for winter traction,
I would skip it, and the 3:73 gearing would probably be an advantage.
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:54 AM   #13
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I just went some 4000 miles with my 2002 Astro 2 wheel drive, pulling a 13" Burro. Went out to Yellowstone the northern route and returned the southern route. Lot's of mountains.
Car computer showed 257 gallons used at 15.5 MPG average.
No problems with the van so far. All tows like a dream.
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Old 07-27-2003, 06:44 AM   #14
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work horse

Jack, I have a 1988 Safari, same as the Astro. I have pulled boats and even towed my 42 army jeep from middle Georgia to central Florida and back more than once. The old army jeeps probably weigh as much or more than the van. My 16' 86 Casita weighs much much less than either the jeep or Boat. The Safari has 396,984 miles. I rebuilt the engine at 196,000 miles, transmission at 145, 000. I cover a lot of ground in out of the way spots looking for pictures. In 96, I removed the middle and rear seats, installed a bed, table and small sink and camped in it for years before I bought my Casita. A couple of years back I got stuck in soft sand in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and it was the devil to get help as the nearest wrecker service was on the mainland and a two hour ferry ride away. I used the local good old boy system though and got both free and met some great guys. The Safari has been a real work horse, but I retired it to a back up and went with a 4 wheel drive Tahoe. I hated getting stuck. First trip out, well see for yourself. Yeah, I know.... don't ask.
Lanny
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