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Old 09-11-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
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Could Use Your Advice

We are in the market for a late model Flying Cloud. We live in Colorado and will need to tow over mountain passes. We are also looking to trade in our Volvo XC 90 for another mid-sized SUV with the right amount of towing capacity for traveling around the West. Any suggestions of the right vehicle?
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums! What size of Airstream are you looking to buy? Folks will be able to give better responses if they have this info...
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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As long as the AS is not too big, I have always liked the Grand Cherokee. I have had the straight 6, and the 4.7 L V8 and tow up to 22' with them. I would not hesitate to go as high as a 25'. I have a 2012 Overland with the 5.7 L V8 on order now.

BTW the milage of the previous Jeeps, 6 or 8, has been in the 13-14 mpg range towing my usual 20' Argosy.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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I tow my '07 20' Safari with an '05 Mercedes ML500. Been out west twice in the past year with no problems in the mountains. I average 12-14 mpg.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
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We like the Honda Ridgeline. Been all over the west with no problems. A Honda generator fits nicely in the trunk out of sight and we can get 16 mpg.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:57 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forums! What size of Airstream are you looking to buy? Folks will be able to give better responses if they have this info...
We will be pulling a 23 foot Flying Cloud. Seems we would need a Tow Capacity of greater than 7,500 pounds in order to safely make it over the many passes around the State. Open to all suggestions. Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #7
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As the others have said, You need to zero in on the Airstream that you want. Then you can consider your tow vehicle options.

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Old 09-13-2011, 10:03 AM   #8
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Snostream,
Welcome to the BEST venue for help and support. I've learned So Much in the few months we've owned our AS. Just about any 3/4 ton PU will pull it, gas or diesel. Many have said don't get the Heavy Duty suspension kit because it roughs up your AS on the road. We liked our old GMC 1500 5.3 V8, but it just didn't have the "gunch" to pull the mountains of the west. Before our western trip we got the 2500HD with the 6.6 DuraMax diesel. What.A.Difference! The Dmax doesn't even know the AS is back there most of the time. I plan to keep both of them a long time, so I justified the investment.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:17 AM   #9
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The tow capacity rating has nothing to do with how much mountain-pulling power you have (and not much to do with safety either.) Towing capacity is often heavily based on maintaining powertrain cooling (primarily transmission fluid temp.) It is measured by towing up a steep grade in Death Valley at 100+ degree temperatures at max air conditioning at highway speeds.

In other words, this is an extreme test. If you have the capacity for the trailer (6000 lbs GVWR, IIRC), you will definitely have the cooling. But that's different from having power. In general, something that's faster when not towing will be faster when towing.

Given what you want, I would go with a Hemi-powered 2011 Grand Cherokee or Durango. I've towed with both and they're very, very nice vehicles. Cheaper than the German competition with more dealers in rural areas.

A 2011 Touareg TDI (or even the 3.6-liter gas V6) or a BMW X5 or Audi Q7 or a Mercedes ML/GL can all do this too. The Germans are typically fussier with set-up and often say you can't use weight-distribution, although plenty of people use properly-set up WD bars with these tow vehicles.

Tom
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:07 AM   #10
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We already own a 94 Toyota pick-up, which is a sentimental friend, incapable of pulling much of anything. That means we are not in the market for a pick-up, but an SUV. I drove the Touareg TDI yesterday. It is a mid-sized Diesel with a rated towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. It would seem like a solid candidate to pull the 23 foot Flying Cloud. Anyone disagree?
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:16 AM   #11
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Our last unit rally here in GA had a TDI in attendance with a 30' Airstream in tow. It looked like a sweet setup.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:34 AM   #12
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The diesel Touareg will do just fine. Request the OEM factory hitch and wiring harness installed.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:41 PM   #13
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I drove the Touareg TDI yesterday. It is a mid-sized Diesel with a rated towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. It would seem like a solid candidate to pull the 23 foot Flying Cloud. Anyone disagree?
A sweet set up with power and capabilities to spare.

Make sure you get the connection right to take advantage of all the technology.
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