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Old 12-27-2006, 08:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat370
For years I pulled a 34 Foot AS Limited (9,000 lbs.) in the rocky moutains with a 92 1/2 ton Burb 350 small block with no trouble.

When I sold the Burb it ad 194,000 trouble free miles on it.

Pat370
We towed a 25' Jayco in the Rockies and all over Canada and the US with a 3/4 ton 454ci Suburban. It was an 85. It lasted through that and 3 teenagers. If the body didn't totally rust away, we'd most likely be towing with that truck today. Before the 85, we towed with a '77 LTD wagon. Did a fair job, but there were times....... times we never had with the Suburban, where white knuckles were a regularlity with the 1/2 ton wagon w/ a 400ci.
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:14 PM   #16
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We have a 2005 25' Safari (Lucy) which weighs in the 6000-7000# range when loaded. We tow with two different TVs. We have a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe (Matilda) with the 5.3 liter dual fuel and Autoride. Matilda does OK, especially around Florida (pretty flat), but she does strain a little on a Florida hill (not much). Our other TV is a 2005 Suburban (Olivia) with the 6.0 litwer gas engine. She is a 2500 4x4x4 (4 WD and Quadrasteer). Olivia really does the job; she pulls Lucy anywhere, anytime. We spent two weeks this summer in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Olivia pulls strong and bakes well.

The bottom line is that a 3/4 ton truck does the job and a 1/2 ton truck is for use in Florida and other flat places.
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
We have a 2005 25' Safari (Lucy) which weighs in the 6000-7000# range when loaded. We tow with two different TVs. We have a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe (Matilda) with the 5.3 liter dual fuel and Autoride. Matilda does OK, especially around Florida (pretty flat), but she does strain a little on a Florida hill (not much). Our other TV is a 2005 Suburban (Olivia) with the 6.0 litwer gas engine. She is a 2500 4x4x4 (4 WD and Quadrasteer). Olivia really does the job; she pulls Lucy anywhere, anytime. We spent two weeks this summer in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Olivia pulls strong and bakes well.

The bottom line is that a 3/4 ton truck does the job and a 1/2 ton truck is for use in Florida and other flat places.
Well put!
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Those cars 30 years ago had nearly i-beams for frames. They had 400ci engines or in a lot of cases larger. A time when excess was king....until the oil embargo, then things leaned out. These vehicles were somewhere between 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton in raw density.

I don't think one can compare cars and RVs of today, particularly Airstreams which weighed a good deal less than they do today.
We had our '71 Buick Centurion before we even remotely considered an Airstream. We had towed small trailers including, when the kids were home, a large pop-up piled on top with camping gear, bikes and canoe. Obviously the 455 cid engine had no hint of the extra weight however, the dips and sways were annoying at the worse. Our '24 TW with the Equalizer WDH and 1000# bars is barely noticeable behind us so we have the right combination. However the Buick is a convertible (talk about strong frame) and is limited to the additional 'stuff' we can carry...especially when the kids and grandkids are aware we are heading up to 'the lake'. So this thread confirms my conclusion...high engine torque and a long wheel base will be necessary especially when we move up to a larger AS eventually. Great post.
Neil.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:09 PM   #19
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Yes-it is interesting how much lighter the older models were. All this stuff we now "need" to "rough it" really adds up! Certainly, an older full chassis (pre-unibody) with a big V8 was up to the task 30+ years ago, and would do the job with a smaller camper today, but not in the 25' plus league...this calls for HD equipment.
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Old 12-28-2006, 03:57 PM   #20
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The bottom line is that folks who don't know the difference will just not understand until they get into a 3/4 ton. I know several folks that think it's just a gimmick or marketing tool. Once you go from a 1/2 ton to a 3/4 it's clearly night and day difference, and for those that have seen the difference are the ones on the mountain top now. Remember, I was one of those 1/2 tonners and too have been transformed.

Here too, tow vehicles are like religion or politics....no one will convert easily. Took me few years myself.
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:34 PM   #21
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The important thing is for newbies to realize that swaying down the road with white knuckles is not the normal state for towing a trailer. Our 1/2 ton van is oversized for our trailer, and if we ever upgrade I want to continue to have a vehicle that is times and a half what we need. Towing is one place where I always want to have 'more than enough'!
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:56 PM   #22
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I'd have to echo the thoughts of Bill. I've always been a van person so I been through quite a few 1/2 ton vans. I've always considered the experience good but when I moved up to the 3/4 ton size it became very evident how much better things could be.

My trailer at that time was a 6000 lb. '01 27' Safari and I felt so good about how my half ton van handled it. This in light of coming from a 28' square SOB to an Airstream, which in itself was a revelation in towing ease. But when I traded for the 3/4 van (I was buying for the future), and felt how that big frame and suspension handled that Safari, I unexpectantly realized that there really was a difference, and it was for the better.

From a monetary standpoint in the world of vans, the pricing difference between the half ton world and three quarter ton world is negligible. But consider the fact that you are getting larger wheels, brakes, tires, suspension system, and a better transmission, you are getting so much more. Then if you are like me and you decide to up size your Airstream, you already have the tow vehicle to move forward with.

My only issues with going to the 3/4 ton vehicle is the fact that the empty ride is rougher....no doubt, and the fact that the van sits a little higher. Enough so that I had to remove the weather strip trim from the top of my garage door framing to allow the van into the garage.

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Old 12-28-2006, 06:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
no doubt, and the fact that the van sits a little higher. Enough so that I had to remove the weather strip trim from the top of my garage door framing to allow the van into the garage.

Jack
Well said Jack....my Burb has a few hairs between the bottom of the door and the roof of the Burb. If there were nats between the burb and garage door bottom, they'd die from a lack of oxygen, it's that close.

In GM land a 3/4 ton typically gets you an engine upgrade too (5.3L to either 6.0L or 8.1L). The only exception is the SS pickup and the 1500HD (both half tons) that both come with the 6.0L.

But I wouldn't have it any other way......
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
The important thing is for newbies to realize that swaying down the road with white knuckles is not the normal state for towing a trailer. Our 1/2 ton van is oversized for our trailer, and if we ever upgrade I want to continue to have a vehicle that is times and a half what we need. Towing is one place where I always want to have 'more than enough'!
Yep! You don't need a 3/4 ton to tow a Bambi, but having "more than enough" TV is the key...
Not having enough, or just barely enough TV as someone else commented, is the leading cause of yard art.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:46 PM   #25
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:49 PM   #26
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What % Capacity

I seen a Ford Explorer pulling a rather large Jayco last month, sort of got me interested in reading up on towing. I wonder how it held up?----------

My old 72 Trade Wind is only about 4500 Lb empty & about 5500+ loaded. I have pulled it with a 3/4 ton Chevy diesel (got stuck on level ground - wet clay + a heavy engine) - I did get out without much trouble, it just took awhile. It was annoying with several 1/2 tonners going around me--yes I had 4 wheel drive on it.

I have also pulled that same trailer with my 1/2 ton Sierra I do have a 5.3L and cannot speak for the 4.8L, but I have not had a single problem. If the trailer was much heavier I may want a 3/4 but for the weight I have the 1\2 ton does fine, even in the hills of SW Wisconsin. I belive my trucks towing capacity is about 7500 Lb.

I do agree about upgrading if you are near the capacity of a towing vehicle. There are some draw backs to 3/4 tonners, like fuel consumption, tires, cost and a couple of other minor things. There are very clear, obvious and numerous advantages as well. I would not upgrade just for the sake of having a larger truck - unless it was a $deal$ or I needed a larger truck.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:57 PM   #27
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I seen a Ford Explorer pulling a rather large Jayco last month, sort of got me interested in reading up on towing. I wonder how it held up?----------
We saw an a Blazer that towed what looked to be the remains of a 25' SOB. I say remains because he was sticking out the passenger rear window and his wife was standing through the passenger front window of their Blazer as it rested on it's side on the highway. The trailer was in the grassy median having come to rest after several rolls. Their dog must have been in the RV, wasn't hurt and was running down the Interstate. Contents of the RV were scattered all over.

The odds are that eventually that Explorer will have a higher chance of the same thing happening.

After seeing this and my exp towing our 25' Safari with a Chevy sedan, which had the power to do the job....I picked up the 3/4 Suburban when we got back from that trip.
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:14 PM   #28
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A couple years back there was an explorer that was on its side in AZ in
the grassy median with a sob trailer destroyed .Their lives seemingly on hold
at that moment .You only need to see these wrecks once in your life ,to
know that having a TV that is more than capable to handle your trailer
and your family is a must .Just cannot make it any plainer than that .

Scott
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