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Old 10-13-2013, 09:23 AM   #15
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My 2003 30' slide out with full liquids has a net CCC of 660 lbs. Gross is 9100. I estimate that our typical weight when not carrying water is around 8,200 lbs. Hence my use of a 3/4 ton vehicle. As noted once you get into the never versions of the Classic line, you dealing with some serious weight.

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Old 10-13-2013, 09:57 AM   #16
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In a TV Overkill is a Good Thing

Here's a verbatim tutorial I posted in 2006 in response to a similar question. Perhaps it will help in your decision. The bottomline: The the pre-2000 5.7 liter and the post 2000 5.3 liter Chevy or GMC Suburban or Tahoe with the 3.73 rear axle is inadequate, or barely adequate, for pulling a 30' Airstream.

From 1996 until May 2005, I kept looking for marginal improvements in towing while balancing fuel consumption not towing.
1996: 1995 2-WD Surburban with pre-Vortec 5.7 liter (350 cu in), 3.73 rear end, pulling 1976 Airstream Safari 23'.
This wasn't a bad combination in coastal Carolina and the east coast where we lived at the time, but it didn't do well in the mountains of NM. (11 mpg towing and 17-18 mpg combined).
2001: 1999 4-WD Surburban with Vortec 5.7 liter, 3.73 rear end pulling 2000 Airstream Safari 27'.
The added power of the Vortec engine was offset by increased weight of 4-WD and larger trailer. Performance in mountains was marginal. Non-towing average MPG was lower than 1995 Suburban. (11 mpg towing and 15-17 combined)
2004: 2003 4-WD Z71 Suburban with Vortec 5.3 liter, 3.73 rear end pulling 2000 Airstream Safari 27'.
The advertised increase in horsepower of the 5.3 over the 5.7 is great for non-towing, interstate highway cruising; but a big disappointment for towing. The extra horsepower comes at higher RPMs and results in less torque and marginal towing performance on mountain grades.(12-14 mpg towing and 17 combined)
2005: 2005 4-WD Silverado 2500 HD with Durmax Diesel pulling a 1976 Sovereign 31. A towing machine, but not a very good vehicle for driving around town, so I bought a 2005 Pacifica for city driving.

What you need. I need 4-WD, but if you don't otherwise need 4-WD, stick with 2-WD. That gives you 500 pounds of additional towing capacity and improves your non-towing gas consumption by about 2MPG.
If you want a tow vehicle that must double as your non-towing, take the kids to soccer practice, family car; the 1500 Suburban 5.3 liter is a nice compromise vehicle if you can find one with a 4.10 rear end. If you want to optimize mountain towing, look for a 6.0 liter with 4.10 rear end. If you want a towing machine, and you care naught about MPG, get the 8.1 liter and the 3.73 rear end.
Bottom line... you will never be satisfied with 5.3 liter and the 3.73 in the mountains, but it's the most fuel efficient combo Chevy offers (12-14 mpg towing and 17-18 mpg combined maybe better with 2-WD and keeping your speed below 62 mph.
The 4.10 rear end behind the 5.3 will make you less unhappy, in the mountains and may be all you need. The 6.0 liter with a 4.10 will make your heart sing in the mountains, but make your heart will ache at the gas pump (11 mpg towing and 13-14 mpg combined).

Since I posted this in 2006, I now own a 2007 Classic 30 (GVW 10000), and I pull it with a Chevy 2500 HD Duramax.

By the way, Dry Weight is a mythical concept that should not enter into your TV calculations. We are never really "Dry."
Hope this helps.
Ken
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:58 AM   #17
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I project that the combination weight of the 2014 Classic 30 and our loaded truck could be close to 19,000 pounds. We were at 16,000 pounds combined weight at the CAT scales with the 25FB.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:34 PM   #18
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I still need to go to the Cat scales for the true numbers, but I think our combined rig might weigh 14,000#.
We are not unhitching tonight because we are leaving in the morning.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:47 PM   #19
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2007 30' Classic. Dry weight 7460#. weight loaded with all accessories, bikes, bike rack....ready to camp; 8500-9000#s (per scales).

I have towed with:

2000 Express van 1500; 5.7 L. Overloaded in every spec. Handles fine, underpowered.

2010 Avalanche 1500, 5.3L. Overloaded in every spec. Handled fine, underpowered, but not as bad as the Express.

2011 Escalade EXT,6.2L. Overloaded rear axle only. Power was fine.

2011 Silverado 6.0L gas. Fine in every way.

2012 Denali XL, 6.2L. Overloaded rear axle. Power was fine

2012 Silverado 2500HD, 6.6 Duramax. More than fine in every way.

2013 Denali XL (same as above)

2013 Silverado 2500HD, 6.6 Duramax (same as above)
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:16 PM   #20
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2012, 30 Flying Cloud. Around 6300-6400 dry wt. tongue 880#. Pulled it first with a 2011 Chevy crew cab 1500 with the big 6.2, 403 HP engine. 8 mpg if you tow on hiway, some hills and 65 (sometimes 70) mph. You stop a lot for gas with the 26 gal tank. The 1/2 ton TV did OK, but you had to gear down/slow down going up hills. You also had to plan ahead merging into busy traffic--acceleration ok, but it is a gas engine and thus not a ton of torque--even with the big V8.

Now have a 2012 Chevy 2500 Duramax diesel. 3.73 rear and of course the Allison transmission. 12mpg towing at 70 on the hiway. 14 mpg at 60 mph. 36 gal fuel tank. You can't overheat the engine, you can accelerate into traffic with ease. I run it on cruise control and it very seldom shifts down going up hills unless real steep. You have to check the rear view mirror to even know the trailer is there. The truck has total control of itself and it's load accelerating, cruising, climbing, descending and stopping ( look at 3/4 ton brakes and compare to 1/2 ton) ( look at springs and suspension). Wouldn't go back to 1/2 ton gas unless I went to 25 ft or smaller.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:11 AM   #21
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We have a 2012 30ft FC and pull it with a 2002 F250 diesel. At scales, we weight just over 14000 lbs for truck and trailer. Our tongue weight is 920 lbs. The truck handles the load with relative ease and we get between 11 and 14 mpg, depending on terrain. With the truck weighing a little more than the trailer, it has the weight to handle the trailer on the road. I wouldn't want to pull it with a smaller truck.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:27 AM   #22
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A) Please tell us what 30 f Airstream you own? And it's dry weight ?
B) Please tell us what tow vehicle you use and how good it pulls?


I own a 1979 Sovereign International

31'...

Dry weight with the hitch is 7100 pounds (according to the marker on the front of the trailer)...

We tow our monster with a 1986 Ford F-250 v8 Manual and still have 1500 more pounds to add to the hitch before it goes too overloaded!

No problems so far!! We went up the Siskyous with no problem, up the Grapevine in CA with no problem.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #23
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We tow a 34' 1984 International with a dry weight of 6250lbs with a Honda Odyssey minivan. With WD in place, the car only carries about 500lbs when the trailer is fully loaded - payload is 1400lbs, hp are 260, weight of the vehicle and the trailer are roughly equal.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:37 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I still need to go to the Cat scales for the true numbers, but I think our combined rig might weigh 14,000#. We are not unhitching tonight because we are leaving in the morning.
I was close- our rig ready to camp weighs 14,460#.
Front GVW 3900
Front actual 3060
Difference 840
Rear GVW 4150
Rear actual 3960
Difference 190
How do I transfer more weight to the front axle?
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:56 PM   #25
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Equal-i-zer hitch.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:19 PM   #26
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Don't Need No Stinkin Pickup

See my avatar and do a search on "withidl". My assembly is a 2002 ASCL 31' with a GVWR of 8,300# towed by a BMW X5 with a GVWR of ~6,000#. The X5 has 300 hp and 350+ #' of torque. Hitch interface is a Hensley.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:15 PM   #27
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I can't afford a BMW X5...
My "stinkin' pickup" has 381 hp and 400 ft lbs of torque.
It has 30,000 miles.
I'm gonna run what I brung.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:50 PM   #28
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Hello Happydays,

We tow our 30' 2012 Signature with a 2008 Jeep GC diesel. If you read some of my posts, you will see that it works really well, and it doesn't matter if you are on the prairies, in the mountains, or on some of the steep grades found on the back roads of the Appalachians. The Airstream weighs in at 7600 lbs according to the scales just east of Hinton and the combination achieves 14.7 mpg. It fits in most gov campgrounds but does have a problem at the BDI. The Jeep has been modified by CanAm in London. I hope the new Jeep diesels are as good as this one has been. Others have had excellent success with diesel SUVs, Minivans, Durangos, Volvos, and almost any truck. Go Bombers. Jim
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