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Old 01-17-2004, 06:47 PM   #1
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A Classic question?


We're new to this forum and we've been Airstream admirers for many years. We're looking to move up from our 27' Class C SOB to an Airstream. We really like the Classic, though after reading through the posts we're wondering about tow capacity? Is it true that the gasoline Classic can only tow 2000 lbs? We'll need to tow a 3500 lb car. What about Land Yacht towing capacity? Our budget will keep us in the mid-1990's for either a Classic or a Landyacht. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Are there any full timers out there in Airstream MH's? If so, we'd really like to hear what models you have and any recommendations you may have? We plan to be FT in about a year!

Ted & Harma & Hemma
Northern VA

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Old 01-17-2004, 08:04 PM   #2
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da moose,

Welcome to the group! You are right about the tow rating on most of the Classic MH's. I do know of a couple that tow Saturn's (2,300 lbs.) as a toad with a brake buddy. I also know of some that do tow 3,500 lbs and then a scooter. I don't know the tow ratings of the 1994-1996 models. There are some 1994-1995 diesel Classics on a Spartan chasis that might pull your 3,500 lbs.

The frustrating thing is that no one knows why that limit was set at 2,000 lbs. Was it the legal tow limit for most states without trailer brakes? I see SOB MH's all the time that are on the P-30 chasis pulling all kinds of heavy toads. Certainly our Airstreams are lighter than the giant SOB's on the same chasis.

Crazy thing is, some Argosy units on the same P-30 chasis have tow ratings of 4,000 lbs. Go figure. This has always been a mystery to all of us.

Fred H.
1977 Argosy 20' Motorhome
Fred's Airstream Archives @
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:36 PM   #3
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1978 25' Tradewind
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towing & fulltiming

We wrestled with the weight limitations and ended up with a Saturn wagon, that is loaded up! We have no problems towing that with our '84 345. I did put on the Banks Powerpack though, so I'm sure that makes a difference.
We have been fulltiming in this rig for over a year. Two adults and a 6 year old. It hasn't always been a dream come true, but we aren't ready to jump back into the burbs yet.
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Old 01-27-2004, 08:49 AM   #4
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I rarely ignore (never actually save this case) load ratings but we routinely tow our 4000lb wakeboard boat with our gasoline 345. You can not even tell it is back there.

PS - the boat trailer does have it's own onboard hydro brake system.
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Old 01-27-2004, 08:59 AM   #5
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da moose
It's not a classic but, rather the new Airstream Westfalia..
It's MB chassis with the diesel and, can tow 5000lbs. Just be sure to read the fine print..
So they say Airstream
Welcome to the forum~!!

WBCCI 5292 AIR 807
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New England Unit
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:43 PM   #6
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Over 4000#s, the motor is probably going to be a weaker link than the chassis, depending on the length of the coach and the frame rail extensions bolted onto the main frame. Obviously a 37' with long extensions will create some serious and scary leverage if the tail tries to wag the dog, but my 30' has towed a race trailer that weighs maybe twice what you are considering. I wouldn't go much over 4000#s without headers, etc. and toad brakes, especially if you're going into the hills or are in a hurry. If you have a 502, a supercharger or a gearsplitter on a 28' or 30', maybe you can pull more. That said, my PO towed a 4000# Jeep for 60K miles all over the country with no brake hookup and stock manifolds. Did it for 10 years. I can't imagine how! It took me all of 2 days with a 4000# load to put the headers and brakes on. For me, you're good for 3500#s on a 30' coach with headers and brakes. Much more than that, you need a diesel or some fancy stuff. Should be able to do it, early-mid-90's Classic or Land Yacht, for under $30k. Maybe way under if you go back into the '80s.

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