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Old 04-17-2016, 12:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy Towing capacity

My wife and I fell in love with the idea of owning an Airstream. Next we fell in love with the 25FB serenity. Here's the problem, we own a late model midsize pickup. A 1996 Toyota T100, V6, 4WD. The 25FB slightly exceeds the towing capacity of our truck. Both in tongue weight and gross weight. I know how to read a data plate and I know there is more than likely some wiggle room built into it by Toyota engineers and attorneys. My question is. What size Airstream do you own and what are you towing it with? Also I would be very great-full for any seat of the pants advice you can share with me on this topic.
Airstream wannabe.

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Old 04-17-2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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Quite simply you need to go with a smaller Airstream (19' or less) or a more robust tow vehicle. A 25FB has a a heavy hitch weight, 960-1200lbs. when loaded.

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Old 04-17-2016, 01:08 PM   #3
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Attorneys do not get involved with the setting of tow capacity. If they did, we didn't have to put up with the current mess - all vehicles would be rated zero.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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I don't know what kind of vehicle a Toyota T100 is, but if the tow ratings on trailer & tow vehicle are less than they need to be than either get a larger TV or smaller Airstream.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:51 PM   #5
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Agree. You already know that you will overload your truck, so why force the issue? Remember, when (not if) you have an accident, someone else is likely to be injured as well as you and your wife. Why chance it? Besides which, your truck is 20 years old. This sounds like a perfect excuse to get a new one.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:07 PM   #6
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Small vehicle , small transmission usually gets very expensive if you don't wreck first...
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:11 PM   #7
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If the T100 is in good mechanical condition and looks nice, you can easily trade it for a more appropriate tow vehicle. No need to purchase new as lightly used and lease returns are often quite good value if you shop carefully.

There are other options as well. Read the information in the Tow Vehicle threads. Check out the CanAm web site references. Andy did an article on the use of Minivans as a tow vehicle that was carried in one of the Airstream magazines.

The default towing solution is a 3/4 diesel. However, a lot of folks us 1/2s and SUVs. While some folks have a dedicated tow vehicle, others need one that does a multitude of functions. The ideal tow vehicle would have a low center of gravity, wide stance, longer rather than shorter wheelbase, short overhang to locate ball close to the rear axle, soft ride, excess payload for gear, adequate cooling system for long climbs and hot desert drives, big well ventilated disk brakes, efficient engine, reliable systems, economic maintenance, and no payments. Some folks even feel a good Airstream TV should be silver, but we talk about the importance of safety a lot and White is more visible than silver.

One last point. Airstream owners suffer from 2ftitis. If 19 is good, 22 is better. If you like 23 now, the wife will want a 25 later. If you can't live without a 27, it is only a matter of time before you want a 30. So Do Not Buy a 19 if you want a 25 now. You will just end up trading the truck and the trailer later. Go to the dealer. Do not go to buy, but to sit in all of the trailers. Discuss how you would use it, how you would store in it and how you would sleep in it. Then research the models. See what folks who have owned them say. See what problems develop. Find out that information before you purchase. Understand the upgrades that you may want and understand that the cost of the Airstream is not just the purchase price. It includes the cost to use it and enjoy it.....and store it and maintain it.

Read the tire, battery, generator and solar threads. When you get frustrated with that information, read the trip threads.....the ones with pictures are great and will get you excited so you can go back to the configuration research threads.

After you do your research you may find a smaller trailer works for you. You may find your first decision is the last one you will make. But do not let the tow vehicle capacity make your decision. Much better to match tow vehicle to trailer.

Good luck with your research.

When you get a rig, travel safe and make some smiles. Pat
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:14 PM   #8
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The T100 is about equal to today's Tacoma. Not nearly the truck you needs for that coach. With the heavy tongue weight a Tundra would barely fit your needs if you want to haul anything or anyone in the truck.
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:35 PM   #9
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I tow a 30 ft Flying Cloud with a Land Cruiser. I am very close to my towing limits.

My advice is to get the trailer you want and tow with what you have for awhile. Then make your own evaluation as to what you may want to change in your setup.

As you begin to tow, weigh your setup to help you evaluate your rig and to make any needed adjustments. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was lighter overall than I thought.

I would suggest that you can tow just about anything with your truck just be prepared for slower speeds, more maintenance, and more adjustment of your weight distribution system.

And of course have fun.

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Old 04-17-2016, 04:28 PM   #10
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You live in Grand Junction, CO. Anywhere you go from there is either up or down, very little flat. Trade your T100 while it still works well. I started towing my 23' AS with a Tundra small block v8. It worked, but it struggled in the mountains. A 5.7 L v8 Tundra would probably have been ideal for my 23', and adequate for your 25'. But I was tired of babying it, and got a Ford F-250 diesel instead.

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Old 04-17-2016, 04:32 PM   #11
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The scale runs from "Any vehicle can tow any trailer" to "You must have a one ton diesel dually to tow the smallest trailer!"

You need to find your comfort level on the scale!

For my part, probably the largest influence on my own decision was that I just did not feel happy - from a possible liability issue - towing a heavier trailer than the manufacturer of my vehicle stated as ok, even if the vehicle seemed up to the task.

Many folk say that is not an issue for concern, but I'd rather not find out by personal involvement!

I guess my philosophy is mostly in line with those who feel it best to err on the side of too much tow vehicle, sure is nice to have a hefty power reserve and a solid towing platform.

Something we each just have to weigh up and then take our pick!

Happy & safe towing with whatever you decide to go with!

Brian & Connie Mitchell

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Old 04-17-2016, 04:48 PM   #12
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From experience towing in the Rockies, I agree with those who say don't even try it. Performance in those hills (up and down) at that elevation will not be satisfactory, and in my opinion too risky. You will enjoy the whole experience a lot more with a worry-free setup.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:18 PM   #13
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I recently returned from Florida with a 23' towed by a Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel. I have plenty of power but on long downhill grades and entering a curve the trailer begins to sway quite a bit. I believe the problem is the 109" wheelbase. I wish it was 150" heavy truck. The first time it happened were we neck deep in Atlanta traffic and almost had a major problem! I am current looking to trade the Jeep for a pickup.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AirJackson View Post
I recently returned from Florida with a 23' towed by a Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel. I have plenty of power but on long downhill grades and entering a curve the trailer begins to sway quite a bit. I believe the problem is the 109" wheelbase. I wish it was 150" heavy truck. The first time it happened were we neck deep in Atlanta traffic and almost had a major problem! I am current looking to trade the Jeep for a pickup.

The Hensley Arrow hitch would likely solve the sway issue. It keeps our 30' Classic in line behind our F150 Ecoboost. It may bide you some time before trading, if there are budget issues.

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