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Old 03-28-2011, 12:30 AM   #1
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1971 Airstream Sovereign 31' Trailer towed with a Suburban

I am about to purchase an Airstream Sovereign 31' trailer. I looked at an online information site last night. It listed its weight at 4960lbs. I have towed that much with my 2008 Suburban before. The seller said the information plate on his unit states it weighs 7200lbs. Can my truck pull it? Also, will I need any special tow package? I've read about a sway tow package, but I don't know what that is. Will I need it? Thanks so much for any help you can give.

James
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by lubbockgolf View Post
I am about to purchase an Airstream Sovereign 31' trailer. I looked at an online information site last night. It listed its weight at 4960lbs. I have towed that much with my 2008 Suburban before. The seller said the information plate on his unit states it weighs 7200lbs. Can my truck pull it? Also, will I need any special tow package? I've read about a sway tow package, but I don't know what that is. Will I need it? Thanks so much for any help you can give.

James
First off , welcome aboard . The difference in weight refers to the empty weight 4960# ( dry ) and the max gross weight 7200# ( loaded ).

You do not state whether the Suburban is a 1500 or a 2500 , I suspect that even the 1500 is enough but you need to check the GM towing guide for your particular truck .

Yes you should use a weight distributing hitch with sway control . There are many threads here on the subject , do a search for weight distributing hitch and you will find much helpfull reading .
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comment. My suburban is the 1500, I believe. Also, I will probably sound like a moron, but could you please explain the difference between "dry" and "max" weight? Also, my truck has towed a 1971 29" land yacht before with no problem.

My father has a tow package with the sway bar, so that is set.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:36 AM   #4
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if i remember right from the airstream manuals dry weight is the base weight of the airstream as it would have come from the factory (no dishes,cookware, water,gray and black water tanks empty,etc.) gross weight is the max. weight after you load the unit up for a trip.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:58 PM   #5
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thanks

Thanks for answering my question. I thought 7200lbs sounded pretty heavy.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubbockgolf
Thanks for answering my question. I thought 7200lbs sounded pretty heavy.
We recently purchased the same. We used an f-150 we purchased the sway bar and a weight distribution hitch. The tow home we had no electric brakes and my husband said it towed great. It sat for 14 years so didn't want to chance the brakes. The PO put new tires on it and I had him pack the bearings so their would be no problem getting it home. Well at least it increased our chances. And nope no problems! You need a 1000 weight distribution hitch. If you would like I would love to keep in touch since we purchased the same. Love to hear how things are going for you and your experiences with it. We purchased ours for life and it's in pretty good condition but we plan on redoing the whole thing in a modern since. Were in no rush to get it done were young and will use it as we go.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
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We have a 2000 suburban 2500, with the 6.0 liter engine and 3.73 differential. It makes 365 HP and 385 lbs ft of torque. We tow a 2009 28' International, which is 6100 lbs dry and 7300 "wet" (or max allowable weight). We are about 6900-7000 lbs when we tow.

Please bear in mind that not only do your dishes, groceries, clothes, bbq, tools etc all add up, but most importantly, you need to focus on how much water you have in your tanks each time before you set out. It is wise to empty the black and grey, and carry as little fresh water as you can based on when you think you will next have access to fresh water. Water weighs about 8 lbs per gallon, so if you were to only fill up a 40 gallon water tank, that would add 320 lbs to your trailer weight. If you have 40 grey/40 black/40 fresh, in the extreme, your on board water alone would weigh about 960 lbs.

We do a lot of towing in the West, and therefore encounter slopes (7 1/2% grades), altitudes (passes up to 9000 feet--and that thins out the air for your engine), and temperatures (often in the high 90's) all of which put a lot of load on the engine. With the four speed in our Suburban (which is more powerful than your 1500, but you may have a six speed which is more efficient) our transmission temperature shows marked increases under load on it's separate gauge. For normal towing and average grades, even at temperature, we have no trouble at all, and the rig feels great, even at Texas's 75 mph trailer speeds. But in the mountains, it can be difficult to hold 45 mph uphill on the steeper grades, with the engine revving up to 4000 rpm and the transmission temp heating up quickly. We hope to replace our SUV this year, and will be looking forward to the new 6 speed transmissions!

You definitely need a load leveling hitch for a trailer your size and weight. We were going to buy the Hensley Arrow, as the premium hitch for safety, but our dealer talked us out of it, selling us the Equal-i-zer 4 pt instead. He said that it is much lighter than the Hensley, and gives excellent handling. We have found this to be very true. With some attention at the beginning to finding the best settings (with his very attentive help), we are extremely pleased with the handling. We have been in some very hairy situations, such as an A-Class pulling out in front of us from a hidden side lot on a 55 mph highway and having to emergency swerve onto the dirt shoulder and then back in front of our blind fellow traveler, and our 47 foot long, 7 1/2 ton handled like a sports car--and I don't know what we would have done without it.

So you should be just fine with your 1500, but concentrate on thinking about every item you put on board our trailer, get a good load leveling device and tune it until it's perfect, and keep your traveling water weight down. If you can keep yourself to 1000 lbs of added stuff, including the water, you will have an under 6000 lb trailer and it will feel great!

Have fun!
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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Make sure that your chassis specs, gears and transmission can handle it, also keep in mind your combined weight vs. HP ratio. Not every TT needs a F-450 to tow it!
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