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Old 04-11-2016, 04:31 PM   #15
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Half ton tow...

We have now towed our 03 25 ft Safari loads of miles. Our first Tundra in 07 Towed great. We traded it for a 12 in12. Everything was the same on both trucks but this one does not tow as well or feel as safe. I don't. Know how but it feels like the AS gained a lot of weight and the Tundra lost a lot of its power and suspension. As my wife is driving more too, we have decided to move on to a 3/4 ton diesel. With the current half ton we can't use the cruse control because even on flat ground using tow haul the truck hunts for gears. Going up moderate hills not using cruise its just lots of downshifting while being unable to maintain speed to keep from blocking traffic. A recent forum compared half and three quarter and one ton Ford trucks. They convinced me that for a 25 or longer we will move up. Also, as the half tons are getting as expensive as 3/4 and one tons it seems like a no brainer. Toyota have both been incredibly trouble free or we would have traded already--past history and Consumer Reports have been the biggest holdup. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:49 PM   #16
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So...
What I glean from your post:
Keep my '07?
It is still in nearly new excellent condition with 51,000 miles-
It even smells good.
Paid for trumps any new truck in my household budget.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeSchelin View Post
The Airstream is a 18' 1963 Caravel weighting in at 2800 lbs. The tow vehicle is a 1948 Ford Tudor powered by a 401" Buick Nailhead engine. The car should out weigh the trailer by 400 lbs.

I would tow with that rig combination. My concern would be the transmission/clutch holding up. And the cooling capacity of the radiator.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:41 PM   #18
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Tow Check Calculator

Here is a website you might want to look at: http://rvtowcheck.com/rvtc_calculator.html It's compliant with SAE standards. Also, check out RV Consumer Group. I hope this helps.
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:29 PM   #19
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It all becomes subjective. I have towed pop-up campers with an Astro van, the 2700lb Coleman was a great tow, enough power, enough brakes, moving to a 3500lb Fleetwood, not so great, insufficient power, scary braking. Traded for a 2011 1500 Silverado Crew Cab, great tow. Bought the 2014 27FB Int. 6900lbs, did not tow badly in flat Florida some gear hunting on overpasses. 300hp and 370 ftlb just wash quite enough for west of Texas. I estimated using 75% of capacity.
Bought the 2015 Duramax 2500 Crew Cab estimate 50% of capacity. Percentage of capacity equates to real world capability which relates to real towing comfort and sanity. You makes your choices and you live your consequences'.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ChuckFeldt View Post
It all becomes subjective. I have towed pop-up campers with an Astro van, the 2700lb Coleman was a great tow, enough power, enough brakes, moving to a 3500lb Fleetwood, not so great, insufficient power, scary braking. Traded for a 2011 1500 Silverado Crew Cab, great tow. Bought the 2014 27FB Int. 6900lbs, did not tow badly in flat Florida some gear hunting on overpasses. 300hp and 370 ftlb just wash quite enough for west of Texas. I estimated using 75% of capacity.
Bought the 2015 Duramax 2500 Crew Cab estimate 50% of capacity. Percentage of capacity equates to real world capability which relates to real towing comfort and sanity. You makes your choices and you live your consequences'.

Your transition pretty much parallels my own experience, Safari minivan to Sierra 1500 to Sierra 2500HD diesel as I moved up in trailer size.

Each time I moved to a larger trailer - the previous TV could handle the larger one, but I always felt I was on the edge of something bad being more likely to happen and so for peace of mind changed TV for a totally relaxed towing experience!


I am equally happy as you and would go the same route again without question!

Plus I do simply enjoy the diesel truck, and will be sorry to get rid of it if / when we no longer tow a trailer!

As you say though, each to their own, and good luck to all of us! De a dull workd if we all thought the same as is said!

I will admit that I did not ever seek out anyone with particular expertise in setting up a TV to match a particular trailer. Just did it myself - and then bought a Hensley for good measure!.

Who knows, had I done so, I might be singing a different song!

Brian.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:25 PM   #21
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Don't make the mistake of thinking oversize and overcapacity comes without consequences. A ton or more extra vehicle weight plus extra load capacity (which is likely to be used) needs more money to buy, service and repair. It's extra weight requires an exhaust brake to control descent which is unsafe to use on slippery, icy roads, which can be seasonally common on mountain passes. It's high center-of-gravity makes it tipsy when things go out of control, its poor emergency maneuverability makes it more likely to get out of control, and its weight more likely to crush the roof in event of rollover. Its heavy unsprung weight and stiff springs can be rough on passengers and Airstream.

We have towed throughout the country with our 1/2 ton Ram Hemi, learned how to use the engine/transmission fully for best results for the terrain and conditions at hand, and load it according to our and the truck's capability. Great tow vehicle, so much so we just bought another with the broad torque range and economy of a relatively small diesel engine and flexibility of an 8-speed transmission. There may be some consequences, but in our judgment less than an oversize tow vehicle.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:44 PM   #22
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I am with the tow vehicle and trailer should be about equal weight crowd. I forgot to connect the umbilical for the first 200 miles of our trip back home from FL. I tow a 31 ft trailer (7000lbs) with a 2000 Excursion. I noticed some increase in braking distance but otherwise the rig handled and stopped well. The red flag was the brake controller being blank. Had I been some place other than FL, it might have been more of an issue and I definitely felt stupid afterwards. Had I been in a lighter weight tow vehicle I have a feeling the trailer would have really pushed the smaller tow vehicle around with no trailer brakes. I like having a little margin for stuff like this. Yeah you can run a smaller vehicle at it's limits and also limit what and how much you can carry or you can get a bigger vehicle. If a 150 costs the same as a 3/4 ton then why buy the less capable tow vehicle. Inflated towing specs show the 150 and the larger trucks to have the same capacity but not really.

Perry
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:15 PM   #23
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A nailhead belongs in Ol'Yeller and making miles on the vintage racing circuit. For tow duty, drop in a nice late model Corvette mill with a six speed manual and cruise your way across the miles putting smiles on folks along the way.

Actually, you have a very nice rig. Caution to drive it conservatively and maintain an attentive driving style. You have enough power to exceed safe travel velocity in very quick fashion.

Pictures would be a nice addition to the thread. And now that you have sucked us in, how about the story behind the rig. It would be nice to hear about the adventures of a vintage RVer.

Lots of smiles to the miles with a rig like yours. Travel safe. Pat
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeSchelin View Post
Does any one know how I can calculate what I want to use as a tow vehicle and the Airstream we want to purchase?

Weight of car verses weight of trailer?
Braking capability of the car and trailer?
Tongue weight of the trailer?
Horse power & Torque of the car?

If you know of a website, could you share the link?

Thanks

Lee...
CAUTION. I just went through the same decision. I was advised by an Airstream dealer that the Toyota Tundra was the perfect tow vehicle for any Airstream. So I bought one. Towed my 2015 25FB FC all last summer. My 2015 Tundra was rated at 9800 lbs towing capacity. It pulled great. Then I started doing research on payload and axle ratings. Come to find out, my truck only had a 1336 lb payload (occupants plus cargo). Once you add in a camper top or a tonneau cover, your significant other, and dog, you will already be over your maximum payload rating, as well as your gross axle weight rating. The only way to know what your vehicle is rated at for sure is to look at the actual sticker for the specific vehicle. Remember the same vehicle can have different ratings, so it's important to look at the ratings for each vehicle. It is located in the drivers door jam. I ended up trading it in on a ram 2500. I am much happier. And by the way, some discouraged me from doing this and felt that the tundra was a great choice for a tow vehicle even though my weights had been exceeded.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:36 AM   #25
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The chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

Overloading a tow vehicle's axles and tires or towing capacity puts one in the position of a test driver looking for the weakest link in the vehicle. The increased stress on bearing and brakes could become problematic.

I pulled a new empty 2013 25FB International Serenity from Los Angles, up the mountain grade at Palm Springs and finally to the East side of Phoenix. The scales reported the axles were within limits on the 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel.

After loading the trailer for camping and having the wife and gear in the car, we drove to the CAT scales again. The car was laboring on the relatively flat terrain with the trailer at 6,800 pounds of the 7,300 pound GVW. The Mercedes axle ratings were exceeded.

We found a new 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins and have enough capacity now to safely tow the 10,000 GVW (9,200 pounds camping ready with all the stuff aboard) 2014 31' Classic.

The Mercedes found a new towing job with the narrow body and lighter 2015 23D and tows with no strain and the axle loads are within limits even when extra stuff is in the car with us.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:32 PM   #26
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Wally Byam's book recommended that the tow vehicle outweigh the trailer. Back when he wrote that, cars were made of fairly heavy steel, and his aluminum trailers were really light. Today, steel is rare, and Airstreams are heavier. As others have said, run the numbers.

An easy way to figure, if you aren't sure just what Airstream you will get, is to work with the numbers of the heaviest one on your list. Work with gross weight, not dry weight. 10-15% of that weight will go on the rear axle of the tow vehicle.
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Old 04-15-2016, 06:55 PM   #27
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I was hoping Andrew Thompson (AndyT ? on Air Forums) from CanAm RV in Canada would see and reply to this thread.

Andy presented a seminar at Alumapalooza several years ago that addressed this very issue. His approach made quite a bit of sense to me and demonstrated why some relatively small vehicles can suitably tow relatively large trailers without problem. The same is not true for all vehicles - Andy incorporated horsepower, torque, transmission ratios, final drive ratio, wheelbase, track width, rear overhang and other parameters in his calculations. By the way I test drove a Ford Taurus Andy had setup and it was towing a 30 ft Airstream in the flat lands of central Ohio and it was a marvelous setup! I can imagine that vehicle towing around the country without any major issues. What it may lack in the mountains was more than compensated for in general handling and agility!

I consider Andy an expert on the subject. Perhaps he will provide you a copy of his seminar notes or speak to you via phone or contact you via email to give you some insight into the considerations he believes are important.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:22 PM   #28
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"By the way I test drove a Ford Taurus Andy had setup and it was towing a 30 ft Airstream in the flat lands of central Ohio and it was a marvelous setup!" If that's where you do all of your towing, it would work just fine. How well will it do in the Ozarks, to say nothing of the Rockies?

That said, which Taurus was used, and how was it equipped? I didn't see anything on Ford's site about towing in a quick glance, but with the proper setup I suppose it could tow something, but I wonder about a 30' coach that is fully loaded (10,000 pounds GW).
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