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Can I pull a 5,000lb. + airstream trailer with a 97 Ford E250 CNG Van?

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  • Can I pull a 5,000lb. + airstream trailer with a 97 Ford E250 CNG Van?

    I was wondering if you can safely pull a 5000lb. trailer with a CNG Van or other CNG vehicle? I am trying to find a CNG work vehicle that could also be used as a towing vehicle as well.

    Any help is much appreciated!
    Lucy P

  • #2
    Re: Can I pull a 5,000lb. + airstream trailer with a 97 Ford E250 CNG Van?

    There are a number of cng vans and trucks available that can easily handle your needs. The F-150 or above, the Chevy trucks rated 1500 or above and the vans, like the Ford/GM vans, rated 3/4 ton or 1 ton should suffice.

    The van you describe should work, but the year model may fall under the dreaded compu-valve issues. Some of the Ford users can tell you for sure. The owners manual should give you towing limits if it's available.
    Last edited by Curtis; 02-11-2010, 02:07 PM.
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    • #3
      Re: Can I pull a 5,000lb. + airstream trailer with a 97 Ford E250 CNG Van?

      For the Chevrolet vans there is a proabition on towing anything with it. It is marked on the bumper, printed on the side of the CNG cylinder mount and listed in the owners manual. So, with that many warnings---I just had to make a class IV hitch for my 2001 G3500 one ton van. I have no problem towing anything I want with it. If I am towing anywhere that includes a lot of hills or sustained high speed driving I switch to gasoline operation. The extra power when running on gasoline is a bonus however I think the key is exhaust gas tempertures under high load might exceed the levels necessary to do some damage to the cats and possibly the exhaust valves. I think the same goes for most CNG light duty vehicles.

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      • #4
        Re: Can I pull a 5,000lb. + airstream trailer with a 97 Ford E250 CNG Van?

        The two previous responses were good advice. Check the the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) of the full package (truck, trailer with everything on board, wife, dog, kids, etc) and let that be your guide. Stop by the truck scale on your way out of town and blow $10.

        When you are in closed loop while towing you shouldn't have to worry about cylinder and exhaust gas temperatures, the O2 sensor will keep you at the stoichiometric ratio. When you go into modified open loop when running towards wide open throttle, (scantool will tell the tale) you should not go any richer than 1% CO. The "old timers" (older and more experienced than me) have said that is a safe maximum when going for full power. If you get to rich with CNG or LPG the cylinder will over heat and the valves will be damaged and the CAT could be damaged (overheat) trying to oxidize the unburnt fuel. A dyno with 5 gas or portable 5 gas used while towing will give the answer.

        Larrycng

        (heading for Mexico and fresh shrimp)

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