Bike racks and tongue weight - Page 4 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-29-2016, 01:44 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by skiman View Post
On the Astro, I think the studs either pulled away from the metal or the metal ripped out where they were welded. Been a long time and can't remember exactly. The issue with unibody is that you don't have the beef for a concentrated load like a bolted in receiver and WDH. The hitch was properly adjusted and tongue weight was within spec. Spring bars were lightest at 550 lbs as I remember. After I ran bolts up through the floor never had an issue. Why I like full frame for towing.

Hey Carl,
I drive an '03 Astro AWD van for my work truck. Its not a unibody construction. If you would crawl under it there is what looks like a full framed pick up frame there ..... well maybe someone did a frame switch on me ... If so I'd like to thank them as its been the most sure footed vehicle that I have ever driven.

Tom
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:32 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
Hey Carl,
I drive an '03 Astro AWD van for my work truck. Its not a unibody construction. If you would crawl under it there is what looks like a full framed pick up frame there ..... well maybe someone did a frame switch on me ... If so I'd like to thank them as its been the most sure footed vehicle that I have ever driven.

Tom
It's been 20 plus years since my 88 Astro. Hard to remember. Good vehicle for us and 3 boys. I think it has a partial frame as someone earlier mentioned. At any rate, where the receiver is mounted was not a heavy frame and the front mount failed. Great vehicle with a grunt of a chopped off small block. Pulled our 4000 pound HILO up and down some pretty serious mountains.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:44 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
I drive an '03 Astro AWD van for my work truck. Its not a unibody construction. If you would crawl under it there is what looks like a full framed pick up frame there ..... well maybe someone did a frame switch on me ...
Tom - try looking under the rear end, not the front. I'm pretty sure you'll see the unibody structure, as in this photo; that's what I've seen, on Astros built after 2003, but of course I haven't seen yours. The front subframe is long, but just goes to the rear end of the transmission... or if you do have a full frame find out who did it and send him to my place - I could use a free custom fabricator.

The Chevrolet brochure for the Astro when it was new has a reasonable exploded drawing showing the front subframe, and no separate frame in the rear. Of course, Chevrolet could have radically redesigned the structure of van - without changing anything on the exterior - just before discontinuing the model, and other Astro owners didn't realize it... but I don't think so.
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