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Old 05-17-2008, 06:44 AM   #41
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I too was let's say excited to tow and still am. I had never towed anything and went to Mo. to pick up my A/S with what I call and under powered truck 1/2 ton Chevy with 4.9L anyway I made it home just did not go over 60 mph I have a solution for the hill stuff come to Florida no hills just bikini's ....SAM
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:38 PM   #42
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Having spent many hours towing through the "hills" of WV, I can attest to your concerns. Much good advice has already been stated and I agree with pevious posts. Take care of your equipment, keep speeds reasonable, look ahead (read those signs about grade and plan your braking / slowing strategy before you start down the "hill"), enjoy the thrill of the scenery while you are slowly descending the "hill" smelling the brakes of the less cautious drivers ahead of you.

I'm an SOB towing a 29' SOB (7500#) (till my Spartan Mansion is on the road) with a '99 Superduty Powerstroke 3/4 Ton Crew Cab Automatic. You have a great towster to use in them thar hills so don't be concerned.

My "hill" driving strategy is this. Ascending short less steep grades; leave the Overdrive engaged. If on a long / steep grade and your trans is shifting down/up repeatedly then take it out of Overdrive enable and just pull in a lower gear till you top out the grade. When descending shallow grades I usually reengage the O.D. and keep my speed down with shot but strong brake applications. Steeper grades I leave it in "3"/, "D"/, 3rd/ no OD and let the engine help out. Really steep grades I slow way down @ top of "hill" and down shift to "2"/ 2nd gear and let the engine hold me back. As I pick up speed I give short pulses of brakes again. Using your brakes with a little "authority" for a short time then staying off of them allows them more needed cooling time and the low gearing also allows the same. Riding the brake even lightly is constantly putting heat into them but never allowing any to come out and is harder on them. As you descend the grade you can always allow more speed to pick up if the "Pucker Principle" isn't too bad in the seat of your pants. I usually find this strategy to work well for myself and my wife who will tow ( in forward gears) any where I will. (Man, I love that)

That said, I look at (trailer) brakes as a cheap item and set my controller to bind 'em up hard on the hills. I can replace my trailers brakes probably 2-3 times for the same $$$$ as what the trucks' cost and IMHO letting the "cart" hold the "horse" back is the safest strategy any way.

You should be "concerned" in the "hills" but not scared. WV in my opinion is an under apprectiated place and I've never met any one unfriendly there. (I just was up on Spruce Knob for the first time about a week ago wth the wife and F.I.L. and the drive is worth it!) It's a good place to practice your driving skills too as the "little hills" aren't too long. Keep your speed down and enjoy the scenery. If you get comfy there you'll be well "steeped" for most anywhere else you tow.

As an aside I'd like to say how much I enjoy the AIR forums even tho I'm not a 'streamer. I've found a plethora of info here that carries over to my Spartan and enjoy the wide variety of topics posted here. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be an SOB towing a Silver Twinkie!!

Have a good weekend......, Brad
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:54 PM   #43
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watch THE LONG.LONG TRAILER .although it's a comedy,it was the dumb things they did that made the trip treacherous.i'm sure you did everything wisely including strapping the kids in.take a deep breath because invairiably you will feel your heart pounding in your chest.fear is good.it means you are in anticipation of the unknown.this is good! being fearless is not so good.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:18 PM   #44
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now this is a scarry ride.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:24 PM   #45
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now this is a scarry ride.
Didn't I see that RV on Christmas Vacation?
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:39 PM   #46
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Didn't I see that RV on Christmas Vacation?
could be.that is a '71 UNGER .mattress giant is giving it the thumbs up.front drum brakes and either a 413 or 440 on dodge frame.one of the occational central florida jewels on the side of the road.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:55 PM   #47
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one of the occational central florida jewels on the side of the road.
Central Florida seems to be something of an elephant graveyard, where old RVs come to die...
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:31 AM   #48
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Where to start RE: Tow issues

We have a '97 Sub K1500 that we added trailer and brake system to last year. We are looking at buying an AS and wonder what our choices are in terms of size of an AS and being able to tow it without problems with the Suburban we have.

Any thoughts on our vehicles ability or where to start in this haystack?

jwb
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:12 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbinks
We have a '97 Sub K1500 that we added trailer and brake system to last year. We are looking at buying an AS and wonder what our choices are in terms of size of an AS and being able to tow it without problems with the Suburban we have.

Any thoughts on our vehicles ability or where to start in this haystack?

jwb
Lots of people tow Airstreams up to 25' with the 1/2 ton Suburbans, but it depends on how the truck is equipped....does it have the towing package? What rear end gear ratio does it have? What engine?

If it does not have the towing package, I would estimate something in the 23' would be the upper "comfortable" limit, but that's just my opinion. At a minimum, I would install a transmission cooler if there is not one already.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:15 AM   #50
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Specs on my Suburban

In reference to my towing questions is the following info...

The orignial sticker that was on this 1997 K1500 Suburban LT says the following in reference to towing, etc: "7,300 LB GVW Rating Factory Installed", HD Trailering which is factory installed as well as these options added- HD Auxiliary Transmission Cooler, 3.42 Rear Axle Ratio, 4spd Auto Trans with OD.

Last year I had Helwig Helper Leaf Springs installed/bolted to it to bring up the payload to 2500 lbs.

From what I have read I thought this Burb would only pull approx 5500 lbs max. I'm not sure what it had "7,300 GVW" listed on the invoice.

FYI- I am wanting an AS. However, I just looked at an Avion today that is FSBO (retired neighbors) which is 30', 1983 model and had a GVWR of approx 8500lbs on its ID tag. They are asking $6,500 for it (2nd ownders, Zip Dee's, just had new tires added to it, etc. tho needs batteries, coupling for heater?)

I appreciate any thoughts.

jwb
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:33 AM   #51
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Hi, txbinks. With 3.42 gears, you are geared too high for most towing. Half tons with 3.73 gears are, for the most part, able to tow a 25'er. My 25'er has a GVWR of 6,300 lbs [some 25'ers are 7,300 lbs GVWR] and the new 23'ers only weigh 300 lbs less than mine on the GVWR. So 22' or smaller should work. As for the 30' Avion, plan on buying a more capeable tow vehicle. [3/4 ton]
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:13 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbinks
In reference to my towing questions is the following info...

The orignial sticker that was on this 1997 K1500 Suburban LT says the following in reference to towing, etc: "7,300 LB GVW Rating Factory Installed", HD Trailering which is factory installed as well as these options added- HD Auxiliary Transmission Cooler, 3.42 Rear Axle Ratio, 4spd Auto Trans with OD.

Last year I had Helwig Helper Leaf Springs installed/bolted to it to bring up the payload to 2500 lbs.

From what I have read I thought this Burb would only pull approx 5500 lbs max. I'm not sure what it had "7,300 GVW" listed on the invoice.

FYI- I am wanting an AS. However, I just looked at an Avion today that is FSBO (retired neighbors) which is 30', 1983 model and had a GVWR of approx 8500lbs on its ID tag. They are asking $6,500 for it (2nd ownders, Zip Dee's, just had new tires added to it, etc. tho needs batteries, coupling for heater?)

I appreciate any thoughts.

jwb
Hi jwb, welcome.

A couple of comments; the 3:42 rear end does not make sense if you have the HD tow pkg (you have all the other components) that is most likely the standard rear end, is there another column on that sticker that shows "add ons"? You may see an upgrade to 3:73 or 4:10. Worst case, climb underneath and look for a tag on the rear end...this will remove any doubts. Again, it's possible, but I really don't think you would have 3:42's in that truck.

Search around and get some info on that Avion (loaded tongue weights etc) sounds interesting!

Helper springs and misc bolt ons do not increase your vehicles capacities. They may help handle rated loads better, but do nothing to increase capacities.

Be careful, do it right, and keep an eye on that Avion!

Bill
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:26 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbinks View Post
In reference to my towing questions is the following info...

The orignial sticker that was on this 1997 K1500 Suburban LT says the following in reference to towing, etc: "7,300 LB GVW Rating Factory Installed", HD Trailering which is factory installed as well as these options added- HD Auxiliary Transmission Cooler, 3.42 Rear Axle Ratio, 4spd Auto Trans with OD.

Last year I had Helwig Helper Leaf Springs installed/bolted to it to bring up the payload to 2500 lbs.

From what I have read I thought this Burb would only pull approx 5500 lbs max. I'm not sure what it had "7,300 GVW" listed on the invoice.

FYI- I am wanting an AS. However, I just looked at an Avion today that is FSBO (retired neighbors) which is 30', 1983 model and had a GVWR of approx 8500lbs on its ID tag. They are asking $6,500 for it (2nd ownders, Zip Dee's, just had new tires added to it, etc. tho needs batteries, coupling for heater?)

I appreciate any thoughts.

jwb
I agree with everyone...Your suburban is geared too high for towing anything bigger/heavier than a 23' Airstream, IMHO. About the Avion, I owned and pulled a 23' Avion, and while very nice trailers, and while built very well, they are also very heavy compared to an AS product, and not as aerodynamic as an AS product.

I went from a 24' Argosy to the 23' Avion, and was towing it with a 1/2 ton GMC suburban equipped with the factory towing package. The Sub pulled the Argosy with no problems encountered, but hooked to the Avion, it struggled a lot on the slightest hill. Having that experience, I would not consider pulling 30' Avion with anything less than a diesel equipped 3/4 ton truck. But, this is just my opinion.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:53 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbinks
FYI- I am wanting an AS. However, I just looked at an Avion today that is FSBO (retired neighbors) which is 30', 1983 model and had a GVWR of approx 8500lbs on its ID tag. They are asking $6,500 for it (2nd ownders, Zip Dee's, just had new tires added to it, etc. tho needs batteries, coupling for heater?)

I appreciate any thoughts.
AVION is built like a tank. Big frame, independent suspension and a floor that must be one-and-a-half inch thick. I think you need only compare prices to a comparable year A/S to see what a bargain it is. And, if in a few years, with some cosmetic updates, you could let it go at a nice profit if it really doesn't do it for you. Compared to an A/S there is almost no work to be done outside of some known areas.

SILVERAVION :: Index Test

I like them all. I'd never turn down a nice one. And you won't see yourself going the other way on the highway, an A/S is a bit generic. The woodwork and interior finish is really top-notch on the AVION.
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Old 06-04-2008, 03:09 PM   #55
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My 2000 GMC 3/4 ton 5.0L van had 3.42 gears... Pulled fine on the level, couldn't go up hills to save it's life. My 1999 1/2 ton 5.7L Burb has 3.73 gears, much better!
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:48 PM   #56
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I suspect you were traveling I-64 near Beckley, WV the mountain is a 7degree grade, you wouldn't be the first to be intimidated by it, you will notice there are three lanes, tractor rigs often climb at less than 20 mph, so if you got through that ok you have survived one of the steepest in the east ....and you survived....good experience for future safe travels!
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:08 PM   #57
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Thumbs up What They Said..

Quote:
Originally Posted by txbinks View Post
In reference to my towing questions is the following info...

The orignial sticker that was on this 1997 K1500 Suburban LT says the following in reference to towing, etc: "7,300 LB GVW Rating Factory Installed", HD Trailering which is factory installed as well as these options added- HD Auxiliary Transmission Cooler, 3.42 Rear Axle Ratio, 4spd Auto Trans with OD.

Last year I had Helwig Helper Leaf Springs installed/bolted to it to bring up the payload to 2500 lbs.

From what I have read I thought this Burb would only pull approx 5500 lbs max. I'm not sure what it had "7,300 GVW" listed on the invoice.

FYI- I am wanting an AS. However, I just looked at an Avion today that is FSBO (retired neighbors) which is 30', 1983 model and had a GVWR of approx 8500lbs on its ID tag. They are asking $6,500 for it (2nd ownders, Zip Dee's, just had new tires added to it, etc. tho needs batteries, coupling for heater?)

I appreciate any thoughts.

jwb
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:41 PM   #58
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My 2000 GMC 3/4 ton 5.0L van had 3.42 gears... Pulled fine on the level, couldn't go up hills to save it's life. My 1999 1/2 ton 5.7L Burb has 3.73 gears, much better!
I wish I could have a split rear end like the old school buses had. One for speed, One for towing.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:58 PM   #59
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Road sub: We have a 10,500 lb 34 ft. trailer. We pull with an F250. Yes it downshifts and that is OK. With many mountains behind us I have a rule. Before I start on steep grades I slow to 40 or 45 MPH. I allow the vehicles to accelerate to 55 mph and then I brake down to my start speed. As long as you do not get going too fast you are OK. We purchased a Hensley hitch 113,000 miles ago and it is a pleasure to tow with it. Be sure your brakes and tires (five years or younger) are in top notch condition. Do some towing in relatively flat country and build your confidence. fjs
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:13 AM   #60
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On the strech of I-5, between Redding, Ca., and Central Point, Or., there are many 6 to 7% grades. In winter it is not uncommon for the road to be closed from time to time, due to the weather in the Shasta mountains.
Made that run last winter, with around 4k, or so for trailer, another 1k in suburban. blowing fog, could'nt see past headlights, patches of ice and snow,yes, had some real fear. Put it in 2nd. gear, and made downhills at 25 to 35, did'nt care if some big-rigs passed me. Would not go faster than I thought was safe, for existing conditions.
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