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Old 10-22-2007, 05:56 PM   #1
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1990 250 tow capacity?

I'm looking at buying a 90 250 MoHo with the 454 but I cant find a tow capacity. I wanna tow my Toyota Tacoma behind it (around 4k lbs). I cant find this info anywhere and the owner doesnt know. Can anyone help please!!!
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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Most of the classic motorhomes have a 2000 lb towing capacity. I'm not sure about the 250. The factory should be able to tell you.

Others on the forum have added beefed up hitches to tow greater weight. Here is a thread on the topic http://www.airforums.com/forums/f310...ity-35737.html
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:09 AM   #3
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Thank you guy99. I had read that thread but it wasnt specific to model, drivetrain, or chasis type so I didnt know how well it applied to the earlier years and various models. I put a call into Airstream but havent heard back yet. But it sounds like alot of people are reinforcing the hitch receiver and towing up to over 3,000 lbs without a brake assist. I'd be towing upward of 4,200lbs of modified "Rock Crawler" Tacoma 4X4 + 1,300 lbs (min) of dual axle car trailer (with brakes). So I'm curious about the gear ratio difference between say a 25" and a 32". A Bank Power EFI 454 in front of a T400 trans is plenty enough HP and TQ to tow most any load behind it with the correctly geared (and beffy) rear axle, so I think the 2,000 lbs number keeps getting tossed out there because thats the spec on the MoHo's weight it can effectivly stop without trailer brakes assisting.
When I get the info I'll be sure to post it up for people.
Thank you, gents .....
Joel Munger
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtMunger
.....I think the 2,000 lbs number keeps getting tossed out there because thats the spec on the MoHo's weight it can effectivly stop without trailer brakes assisting.
When I get the info I'll be sure to post it up for people.
Thank you, gents .....
Joel Munger
I totally disagree with anyone subscribing to the "brakes only" issue.

On almost any motorhome the distance between the rear axle and the hitch is very long. I mean, when comparing to a "normal" tow vehicle, it is HUGELY long - diesel pushers usually being the exception.

The side force moment arm created by any thing being towed is magnified many times by this distance between the rear axle(s) and the hitch.

Any time you are in a situation when you are braking and there is any side force at all on the hitch (such as in a turn) it will not take much force to push the MoHo sideways if there is not excellent traction between the rubber and the road. Lost traction comes in a variety of ways and could happen to anyone at any time - loose gravel, wet roads, hot slick pavement, or ice - it happens - and more often than you may think.

Try putting an 8 ton motorhome in an emergency brake mode when going down hill (below the speed limit) when the streets are wet and someone pulls out in front of you - ask me how I know. Just a little bit of side force pushing at the hitch will most certainly cause a loss of control situation to develope when (not if) straight line control of the total mass is lost.

No amount of hitch modification will change the limits put on towing by the manufacturer if the limits are set by side force reaction capabilities or any mechanical limitation of the frame (brakes, tranny, suspension links, etc.).

Exceeding the manufacturers tow limit is setting up a scenario for a serious accident - don't do it.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:00 PM   #5
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The side force moment arm created by any thing being towed is magnified many times by this distance between the rear axle(s) and the hitch.
I would certainly agree with that. But if the object your towing is balanced and brake perportioned correctly it shouldnt be as much of an issue as towing and object with no brake assist. Also, from what people have typed on the towing subject, seems like only one person on here is towing a vehicle under 2k and thats a VW. Plus people are posting different lengths of MoHo from 25' to over 35' but still spitting out the same 2,000 lbs number. If it were based on the applicable side load under braking conditions then the longer motorhomes with more ass end hangin off the rear axle should have considerably less tow weight allowable. So how is 2k the magic number?
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:17 PM   #6
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is it related to the strength of the chassis?
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:12 PM   #7
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I doubt it. The chasis should be beefy enough to have itself towed by it. Usually vehicles rated tow capasity is rated by factoring drivetrain, brakes, and weight.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:34 PM   #8
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Well I heard back from AS Tech today and it looks like a gold standard. So, a 25' 1990 Airstream Classic MotorHome 250 is rated to tow 2,000 lbs. I was quite dissapointed to find there was no data on brake assited vs. non, and there was no reasoning why ALL MoHo's of this type (despite length, suspension, or drivetrain) were rated at 2,000 lbs , but thats the magic number! So if it ever comes up in a game of trivial pursuit, or while standing before Alex Trebec on Jeopardy try to stay humble as you dazzle the audience with this once elusive answer (in the form of a question, of course)
Airstream didnt break the 2,000 mark till well after the classics and reached 5,000 lbs towable before they stopped motorhome production.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:10 PM   #9
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My assumption is that the 2000 lb limit was established by legal, not engineering. Maybe even after the classic motorhomes were sold - I've never seen this limit in the documentation - only reported from Airstream.

OTOH, there is at least one report on these forums of a hitch failure on a classic motorhome.

I've done my best - my Scion is about 2500#, and I have the unified tow brake. I also inspect the hitch frequently.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:38 PM   #10
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The hitch on a classic is basically a bumper hitch and is not attached to the frame. I think AS is generous with their 2000 pound limit. My hitch was bent in an upward pointing position by the PO after a small fender bender, no damage anywhere else. I straightened it using a come along attached to a tree. When we decided to tow our Saturn it was a no brainier that we needed to get that hitch attached to the frame. The brake issue is a different horse. First you have your state laws to contend with, next is the type of terrain you drive. In Wisconsin I drive relatively flat roads and do not need brakes on a towed vehicle. If I ever was to travel out West I would have to install a braking system since I would be driving in states that require it by law and terrain that mandates it for safety reasons.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtMunger
I wanna tow my Toyota Tacoma behind it...!
hi sarge

towing and 'toading' are not the same (or r they?)

for a variety of reasons already covered elsewhere.

like here and the threads embedded therein.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f310...ity-35737.html

search 'toad' for the mother-load.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:14 PM   #12
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Framed

Best get under there and take a look see...
Our 345 Classic hitch does not touch the bumper.
Is all frame mounted.
The cross bars were added by PO.
Hitch is not the limiting factor here.

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Old 10-27-2007, 05:39 PM   #13
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I would like to add my .02 to the discussion. My old Argosy has a tow limit of 4000 pounds according to my owners manual. The main difference between my old bus and the newer Airstream motorhomes is the rear suspension. Mine has leaf springs and quite a rough ride. It seems to me that when Airstream went to the air bag rear suspension, that became the weak leak in the chain (towing wise).
Since I have never towed anything I would gladly trade rear suspensions with anyone who is looking for more towing capacity!
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Warbs
I would like to add my .02 to the discussion. My old Argosy has a tow limit of 4000 pounds according to my owners manual. The main difference between my old bus and the newer Airstream motorhomes is the rear suspension. Mine has leaf springs and quite a rough ride. It seems to me that when Airstream went to the air bag rear suspension, that became the weak leak in the chain (towing wise).
Since I have never towed anything I would gladly trade rear suspensions with anyone who is looking for more towing capacity!
Interesting. What drivetrain does your Argosy have?
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