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Old 04-12-2004, 09:42 AM   #1
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Mom2abidrew's Avatar
Goshen , Kentucky
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Help with towing

Hello. My husband and I bought a 25 foot airstream. It was in GREAT shape and we didn't pay hardly anything for it. Out problem is we don't have anything to tow it with . We got the cart before the horse. So we are looking at trading his car in for something we can pull this with. I have looked at MANY post on here and got really REALLY confused on what would be the best. We are a family of 4 so we need something that we all can ride in and still be somewhat comfortable. We really aren't wanting something brand new. We would like to find used. But we just are sure what to go with. My husband was wondering if we could get by with a Blazer or something like that other than a truck. We thought that would have more room for the kids (their friends) us and the dog. What are your thoughts on this. Thank you for all your help.

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Old 04-12-2004, 09:47 AM   #2
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Help with towing

We use a 3/4 ton Suburban. You could probably get away with a 1/2 ton with the 24 footer. The burb has room for everyone including the kid's friends and ours plus the German Shepard (who won't let the Airsteam leave without him!). Have an old one, but have been so pleased that when we upgraded to a 31 footer, we put a new motor in the burb. First trip this weekend! Can't wait!

Hope you enjoy your new toy as much as we have! Happy camping!

Kathy, Tommy, & Crew, Chattanooga, TN
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1989 SquareStream (Annie #8)
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:32 AM   #3
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I have the same size and weight coach - ours is a '85. I towed with a '95 1/2 ton extended cab Chevrolet pickup, which does work if properly equiped. The back seat of an extended cab is not great if the children are over, say, 10 or 11 years old.

I just traded for a new four door (crew cab) 3/4 ton truck and man, what a difference! Far more towing ease, far more room, far better ride even when NOT towing, and easier to park as well!

Blazer's can have the capacity, but are a little short in wheelbase. The Suburban, especially in a 3/4 ton size would be a better choice all around. They will get about the same gas milage, and the later models will have about the same ride quality.

Don't underestimate the load imposed by your Airstream when loaded for travel, the four passengers, and all the stuff you take with you in the tow vehicle. It really adds up.

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Old 04-12-2004, 11:34 AM   #4
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No to Blazer

I just traded in my Trailblazer (slightly bigger than a Blazer) to pull my 25 footer. The Trailblazer would pull it in theory but it did not feel comfortable and to me was questionable for the long haul on wear and tear. The Tahoe and Yukon would pull a 25 footer OK.
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:29 PM   #5
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Clarification: I was thinking of the old full sized Blazer when I said it could, depending upon equipment, have the capacity. I am like David in thinking that the wear and tear on the later, smaller Blazer would be excessive.

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Old 04-12-2004, 03:02 PM   #6
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Help with towing

Greetings Mom2abidrew!

We are a family of 4 so we need something that we all can ride in and still be somewhat comfortable. We really aren't wanting something brand new. We would like to find used. But we just are sure what to go with. My husband was wondering if we could get by with a Blazer or something like that other than a truck.
Welcome to the Forums!

I see that you are from Southern Illinois as well - - I consider my hometown to be Anna, and will soon be returning to Union County.

For safety and long-term durability, you are well-advised (as per several posts in this thread) to consider something with a little more heft than the Blazer, especially the S-10/S-15 varieties. My father has a '94 S-10 Blazer with the full-factory trailer towing package and the only trailer that we have considered pulling with that vehicle is my '78 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre that has a loaded Gross Weight of at the very most 3,200 pounds.

Something to keep in mind when you think of towing around Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, Western Kentucky, and Western Tennessee is that you will encounter many secondary roads with frequent curves and some serious hills. Much of my towing has been in this region, and a C/K 1500 series truck with the largest motor and heavy duty trailering package will be the minimum that I have found to provide something approaching acceptable towing performance in the hills of this area - - in fact, if it didn't stretch the budget too far, a C/K 2500 series with the large engine and at least 3.73 gearing would provide an even more pleasant towing experience. I would only rate my '95 K1500 Chevrolet Z-71 (5.7 liter V8/3.73 differentials/heavy duty factory towing package) club cab pickup as marginal (seriously underpowered and over-sprung) with my '64 Overlander with its empty weight of 4,400 pounds and loaded Gross Weight maxing out at 6,100 pounds - - the '99 K 2500 Suburban, on the other hand, is hardly burdened by the Overlander with its 7400 VORTEC, 4.10 differentials and heavy duty trailer towing package.

I will admit to being something of a perfectionist with my tow vehicle, and do spend six to eight weeks traveling every summer with at least one trip to the Rocky Mountains most years. One of my key trials of a tow vehicle is how fast it can make 55 MPH from entry ramp speed (towing the fully loaded Overlander) at Lick Creek Road (Exit 36) heading North on I-57 - - the '95 K1500 couldn't make 55 MPH until well past the top of the grade - - the '99 K2500 Suburban handles the task in less than 15 seconds. My other test is how fast the tow vheicle is going when the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 is cleared with the fully loaded Overlander in tow - - the '95 K 1500 was doing all that it could to maintain something less than 20 MPH in low gear while the '99 K 2500 Suburban was continuing along at 55 MPH in third gear with little perceived additional effort. The surprising issue has been that the long-term fuel economy of the 7400 VORTEC has been within 1.2 MPG of the 5.7 Liter in the K 1500 vehicle both solo and towing; and the K 2500 Suburban has been far superior for my patterns of use than the K 1500 Club Cab Pickup could ever have hoped to be especially with its comfortable seating for eight adults (I frequently carpool to a variety of activities with friends and rarely did anyone want to travel with me when I had the pickup - - it too had the premium leather interior package).

To one degree or another every tow vehicle is something of a compromise. For the most part if anyone is dissatisfied with a tow vehicle, it isn't because it is too much/too large; rather it is a situation of having just barely enough or not having quite enough to make it comfortably to your favorite destination. Until I made my first trip back to Southern Illinois that was followed by a Rocky Mountain expedition with the '95 K 1500 pickup, I thought that it was perfectly acceptable as it handled most of my Central and Northern Illinois towing with few reservations - - I only kept that tow vehicle until it had 45,000 miles - - the Suburban (purchased new by me) now has nearly 126,000 miles and I have no plans to trade it at anytime in the foreseeable future.

Good luck with your search for the appropriate tow vehicle!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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