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Old 09-02-2014, 09:36 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Newbie? No experience with any RV or horse trailer, or utility trailer or hay wagon? Go ROBUST! A little too much tow vehicle is going to be better than one that has to be specially rigged for a load that exceeds manufacturer's spec, even if the spec is conservative.
For me, going "robust" wasn't where I wanted to go when I started out. I have no regrets at all getting a tow vehicle that many would say is inadequate because, properly rigged, it's perfect for my towing needs. The hitch setup, from the receiver to the WD system, gives me a very responsive ride and I certainly have gained a good understanding of how it all fits and works together. I've had no scary moments towing, no sway and no "tail wagging the dog" in four year's traveling, so something is working correctly back there.

If I was advising a newbie, though, I'd be saying two things. Firstly, what do you want the TV to be doing when it's not towing and secondly how much stuff do you want to haul around when you are? Get those questions answered, then you can move onto your chosen size of TV.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:07 PM   #58
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"how much stuff you want to haul around when towing" is the most limiting factor in choosing a tow vehicle. Big loads need heavy duty pickups, there is little choice. Except the choice to haul less around.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:10 PM   #59
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On a more rudimentary level, if the original poster is still following this thread, here are some suggestions. This is how we chose our vehicle.

1-go to the Airstream website and look up the GVW, empty trailer weight, and hitch weight of all of the airstreams. Put this into a spread sheet.

2-read up on some of the internet resources that explain how to size a tow vehicle to a load. Read several until you understand the ideas behind combined weight, empty weight, tongue weight, cargo capacity, how much a gallon of water or waste weighs. Keep reading until it clicks.

3-go to the internet resource that was posted earlier that shows the tow ratings for all vehicles. It can be confusing. But it will help to get a good idea of what different types of vehicles are capable of towing. Pay attention to tongue weight and GVW. Load info into your spreadsheet of vehicles you are interested in comparing. Now also look up current vehicle costs for those you are considering.

4-To look at non-towing MPG and cost of fuel comparison, EPA.gov or similar (can't recall exactly) lets you compare vehicles side by side, and helps quantify the fuel costs. You can even compare gas to diesel vehicles. This lets you compare the Jeep Grand CherokeeV8 gas vs Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel, etc. So you can get some idea on how the vehicles will compare under daily driver usage and use this to look at cost of vehicle vs cost of fuel. You may be surprised. I know that I was.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:31 PM   #60
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Unfortunately such a spread sheet ignores the towing dynamics discussed in this and other towing threads and does not include the quality of the hitch system and setup.

Perhaps useful as a rough starting point that needs a lot of polishing.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:39 PM   #61
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World's cheapest tow vehicle

I have a woman friend whose medical condition severely limits her mobility.

She only goes camping about 3 times a year - usually for several weeks at a time - and those campgrounds are usually less than 100 miles from Virginia Beach. I or one of three other people tow her trailer to the campsite of her choice. She rents a golf cart to get around locally when she's camping.

She has offered to pay each of us $500 for the tow and return journey which is usually 5 hours max. All three of us accept only gas money... and some very good cookies!

Marie pointed out that even $1500 to $2500 per year is DIRT CHEAP compared to the cost of owning a tow vehicle. (And most car/truck rental companies don't want you to tow anything with their vehicles, unless it's a big box truck.)

This wouldn't work for 80% of us on a long term basis - but think about this as a way to get started. You can get the CART before the horsepower. Do you have a friend or relative with a decent driving record and a big tow vehicle? Then make him an offer he can't refuse! Start camping. Several campgrounds around here will let you pay $5 to $10 per day to leave the camper on site - you pay full rate only on days you are actually in residence.

Just a thought for those who might benefit from it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:04 AM   #62
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I repeat.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...ml#post1503532
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:27 AM   #63
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A lot of new posters come and go after seeing what a zoo this place is.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:47 AM   #64
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So the reality is; new folks come for generic advice, but there is no generic one size fits all advice. Reason; everyones towing expectations & configuration will be different.

Is that what I'm getting here?
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #65
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These discussions range far beyond the OP, and they can be useful to many. I have benefitted greatly from various subjects on Airforums and appreciate all who contribute.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:02 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
So the reality is; new folks come for generic advice, but there is no generic one size fits all advice. Reason; everyones towing expectations & configuration will be different.

Is that what I'm getting here?
Yes and no. There's rarely a one size fits all solution, but you can learn from reading what others have to say.

I try to avoid offering specific advice, but I am happy to share my experiences. Whether readers agree or disagree is immaterial, it's just the way that I did it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:03 AM   #67
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These discussions range far beyond the OP, and they can be useful to many. I have benefitted greatly from various subjects on Airforums and appreciate all who contribute.
You're right, Doug; I really enjoy reading what my fellow Airstreamers want to share, even when it gets fractious, and I've learned much since joining.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:14 PM   #68
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I'm going to bury this deeper in the trash basket than the "80% rule".
Oddly enough, you are only 20lbs over the 80% range by doing the math. If I guess your setup right using source in link: http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/201...ammlup1500.pdf

And based on the GVWR for the 2012 Flying Cloud.

And somehow I seem to be skating both the 80% and the wheelbase rule of thumb, even though I didn't set out to do either of those.

My truck is rated to 9650lbs towing. 80% of that is 7720 or 120lbs to spare. As my sticker on the Airstream lists the GVWR at 7600lbs.

A matter of fact, subtracting my GCWR 15500 - 7600GVWR AS - 6800GVWR TRUCK = 1100lbs

And the wheelbase math puts me at 27.5 for a 140.5ft of wheel base. But I tell ya, I didn't plan any of that. But I thought it was funny.



This is probably useless information in regards to the thread at hand. Since we've already discounted it all. But I figured it was funny how that worked out. If you leave the kitchen sink at home you don't need a semi truck.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:01 PM   #69
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Heck, Andy says you can tow a 34' Classic with a Chrysler 300, no problem.....just don't try to stop going down a steep hill, or tow up Grape Vine when it's 100 degrees.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:27 PM   #70
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It is sort of fun after a while to PREDICT the responses :-)

If you can predict not only WHAT will be said but WHO will say it, then you're a REAL rivet master :-)

I'll try to be a good boy now.
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