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Old 11-01-2005, 07:05 AM   #15
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1989 37' Airstream 370
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I've towed a Toyota tacoma 4 wd pickup truck with my 370 from North Carolina to Florida with no problems. It didn't react any differently than when I tow my two motorcycles.

I also keep my speed to no more than 60. It turns 3k rpm and runs at 220 degrees at that speed. Cruises down the road like buttahhh..........

I get a lot of looks from others at gas stations, campgrounds, etc. Their first question is "What is it?" I had a camper neighbor in Daytona last week ask me if I made it from an Airstream trailer.
Happy Motoring
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:21 AM   #16
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Thanks for your towing experiences. I really will need to tow something on a few of my trips where I plan to stay-put for a while. I still have my 30' Avion travel trailer (which I dearly love), but I don't have the space or the money to keep this dual ownership up for too long. Driving a motorhome on daily grocery and sight-seeing trips is a bit much when you're staying in one place for a while. If you've towed the Toyota with no problems, I should be able to do the same with a Chevrolet Malibu? I suspect it should weigh no more than your truck, and even has a lower profile. What type of hook-up do you use? How about brakes and lights on the Toyota? I would really appreciate any info you could give on that.

Thanks,

Noiva (Tim)
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Old 11-04-2005, 12:26 PM   #17
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Tim,
You might want to check Roadmaster or BlueOx sites for towbar/bracket specifications for the Malibu. Also, if it's an automatic transmission you'll likely need some kind of secondary lubrication system if you plan to tow four down....while you're at it, since it's over 2000 lbs you will need a supplemental braking system in the Malibu. If it's front wheel drive you might be better of with a tow dolly. Some of them have surge brakes on them.

Honestly, this same thought process is how I ended up with an old VW as a TOAD. The car and the towbar were only a little more money than a RoadMaster setup and Brake Buddy for my VW Golf or Jeep Cherokee. It is also one of the only vehicles I can tow four down and stay under the 2000 lbs rating on the 345. My daily commute is only about five miles so I've made it my daily driver and am now selling my Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Strange how the Airstream has so much control over things....
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Old 11-04-2005, 12:53 PM   #18
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Steven,

Thanks for the tips. What is your opinion/experience with tow dollies? The Malibu is front wheel drive, but Chevrolet says it can be towed on all four wheels. I'm thinking a dolly with brakes may be a better choice for the Airstream. Less weight on the coach, and braking capacity with the dolly. I have a while to research this, and I really appreciate your taking the time to help. Please let me know your thoughts on the dolly idea. Nick Danger, who posted just above you, has the same model (370) Airstream as I, and he seems very satisfied with the performance of the dolly set-up. Again, I'm open to whatever you can share.

Thanks again.

Tim
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:20 PM   #19
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Tim,
I don't have any experience with the dollys. I see them a lot as a popular choice for towing FWD vehicles. It also can get you around the braking issues (but they are not ideal for long downhills)Tonque weight on a towbar would be less or close to a dolly, but a dolly will increase your towing weight over the car a lot more than a bar.

I would check out your local dealership and see what they have to offer.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:44 PM   #20
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
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Tow Dollys

I use a Demco tow dolly made in Iowa. It has rack and pinion wheels and turns nicely. It also has surge brakes wihich also work very well. We have three vehicles that we tow, depending on where we are going. One is a 1974 Corvette, a 1995 Explorer, and a 2005 VW Jetta Diesel. I don't have to rewire any of them for brakes or lights. I did make a light bar that fits into the reciever hitches for long trips and has a long cable inside a garden hose stretched with bungees under the vehicle. It works very well and gives tail lights. With the tow dolly I don't believe I need it though.

I have helped friends hook tow bars and I think I can get loaded and ready to go faster than they can since it takes so long to hook up the brake buddy.
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:54 PM   #21
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Tow Dollies

Jim,

Are you talking about a 2-wheel dolly where one drives a vehicle up onto two platforms, secures the front wheels to the dolly, and that's the deal; or are you talking about a trailer you actually put the towed vehicle on? I'm asking because you mentioned rack and pinion wheels on the dolly. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Thanks for the info. Always appreciate folks taking the time to give a new motorhome owner information. As I said, I have until next spring to decide what to do, but the more information, the better.

Tim
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:01 AM   #22
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Tow Dollys

The kind that you drive the front wheels onto. Some dollys have a system whereas the plate with the car wheels on it swivels as you turn. In the Demco the wheels are just like a cars front end and as one turns the linkage turns the other. I have pulled both and the rack and pinion works the best for me. Also, be careful as surge brakes are now required by law and there are a lot of dollys for sale with no brakes. People can't use them anymore and want to dump them.
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:41 AM   #23
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Thanks for the clarification. One other question. How does the rack and pinion system react coming down mountains and braking at the same time. Do the brakes on the dolly stop the rack and pinion from turning the towed vehicle to one side or the other? It just seems, without having observed this setup, that the towed vehicle would have a tendency to push toward the motorhome right or left coming down a grade.

Tim
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Old 11-05-2005, 03:23 PM   #24
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
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Tow Dollys

We have been through a lot of mountains and no problem at all. On a system like that the wheels are set just to the rear of center and they will track whichever way the dolly is turning. I even tend to forget the car is back there as the braking is so normal that you can't tell you are towing. I am sure there are better set ups, but I am quite happy with this one. We can trade vehicles and don't have to spend a cent getting them set up. The only problem is that when you camp, you have to find a place to stow the dolly. I usually shove the tongue up under neath the MH.
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Old 11-05-2005, 03:36 PM   #25
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Jim,

Thanks for this information. I have a friend who was a truck driver all his working life, and he's convinced a dolly is the way I should tow a car with the motorhome. Your information seems to verify that. I really appreciate your time and advice.

Tim
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:40 AM   #26
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I towed a Saturn Vue behind a 28' sob from Ca. to Fla. and back with a Master Tow tow dolly. It had elec. brakes and worked great. Joe
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:54 AM   #27
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Thanks for the info. I've gotten several recommendatios for the Master Tow brand. I definitely want brakes on it, since I plan to do some mountains from time to time. Since you've traveled from coast to coast, that's a pretty good test. Did you buy your dolly new or used?

Tim
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:01 AM   #28
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Re: 1989 370

Hey Tim,
I noticed you have an 1989 Airstream. I don't know if you saw it or not, but I just put up the other day a link to a file that has the 1989 Airstream Brochure in 4 jpg files.
I bought the brochure on ebay and then scanned it to share on the site. Here's the link:
http://theborkowskis.com/Airstream/1...mhbrochure.zip

Enjoy your Airstream! They are the best!
John
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