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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2016 Metris cargo van. I have a question which would be better for the van. I have a job I need to drive from Virginia to Miami FL. about 1000 miles the weight would be including me about 2400 lbs. Would it be better to load it all in the van or pull a trailer which weights about 700 lbs. and split the load 1200 lbs. in the van and 1200 lbs in the trailer? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jeff,
 

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I'd use the trailer. Especially if you have no passenger up front and most of that weight is on the rear axle. I've pulled a 4000+ trailer happily but have also loaded up the (passenger) van with food bank stores for short trips. Not that I noticed, but the dealer found both rear springs broken - replaced under warranty. You may have heavier springs in cargo van, but why risk it?
 

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I’d say six of one, half a dozen of the other for the vans health. Both might stress it, both are in its capabilities. Trailer towing puts stresses on vehicles that aren’t present without them. The cargo model has reinforced springs not present on IMACDs model, which I think has the passenger Comfort suspension. The regular passenger suspension and the cargo suspension are beefier.

My advice would probably be; if you own a trailer, have a brake controller for it, and are used to driving a vehicle with a trailer, it probably makes sense to use it. If you don’t have a trailer brake controller (and thus would really need to acquire a Metris compatible wireless one for me to reccomend towing), need to rent crappy trailer from U-haul, and do not have towing experience, then put it all in the van.

Overloading a vehicle is imprudent (and 2400 lbs on a Metris Cargo is generally NOT overloading) but I come from the flea market world where half the vehicles in use are not only overloaded by hundreds if not thousands of pounds (including my poor old Ford), but a goodly percentage are scrapyard refugees (also my poor old Ford, may she Rest In Peace as a fence post somewhere) maintained on a shoestring, repaired with duct tape and bailing wire- literally.

Breakdowns do occur on those old warhorses (which include some decade+ old Sprinters), but accidents on the road are quite rare (accidents in the close confines of the markets are daily occurrences, but that has nothing to do with overloading) and they are driven like that a thousand miles a week, 8-12 months of the year (depending on whether or not they snowbird), generally for years. Your van will survive one trip to Florida at 95% of its weight limit just fine.
 

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Great question. I'm guessing your MPG will be better without the trailer. But 2400# is right at the top end of the load capacity, so lots of tire and brake wear, transmission work too. Trailer handling in bad weather or dangerous conditions is suboptimal.

In good weather, I'd use the trailer. If it's a bad weather trip, load the van.
 

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If you can secure it well, and close to center of the van, I would probably haul it in the van. You would have better security at a hotel. I-95 is pretty flat, level and good condition from Richmond all the way to Miami. I've hauled around that much weight one time, I was surprised how well the brakes handled the load, but there is not much suspension travel left...but on flat road it rode better than it ever has. Lol. Main thing is make sure you can secure it well....it wants to kill you if not. The baracade I'm sure is strong but not sure how strong. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for everyone's advice. Looks like there is no unanimous way to go. Once I decide which way to go and make the trip I will post my results.
 
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