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Old 01-24-2008, 09:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TBRich
We don't have a huge long history of either a moho or towing a TT, but we have a couple of years' worth of experience in a moho and about a year with the TT. Even after this short time witht the TT, I much prefer the TT situation...I feel more in control of the vehicle(s), we are more comfortable, we are less stressed, and the whole experience is just better. Even our dogs (who don't drive, mind you) seem more at ease with the towing situation. Perhaps they know something we can't understand. I'd recommend renting a moho for a short trip and see what you think for yourself...not sure it would be so easy to rent a TT for a try, but at least it would give you some sense of what a moho is like.
Just my thoughts...
Pretty much the same here, including the dogs. The moho was a complete pita and since we didn't tow a dinghy were limited to what we could do once anchored.

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Old 01-24-2008, 12:14 PM   #16
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My sister tows a 27' ultra-lite SOB with her Hemi Durango with an Equal-izer hitch. I was surprised by the tow capacity of the Durango (beats my 1/2 ton truck with a 6.0 litre) . I have also followed her for several 1,000 miles through mountains and windy flats (Georgia to Ohio). I never noted any loss of control, near misses, and quite honestly she didn't sway much if any at all. She is a safe driver...keeps the speed in control and drives responibly.

I don't totally understand when Airstream owners talk about how nice the Airstream is too haul. They cite aerodynamics, alignment and balance only to go on and say you need a 3/4 ton or 1 ton dually to haul a trailer under 30 foot.

I also agree with other people that most MOHOs (Airstreams not included) are not very well designed and I don't trust them. Given some of the wrecks I have seen I can't believe my parents used to let us get up and go to the bathroom and walk around in these rolling death traps.

If I were you I would find the size Airstream you are comfortable hauling within the towing specs permitted, then I would listen to Andy and hitch up the right way. IMHO Airstreams are the best hauling trailers on the road and I think that translates into safer operation.

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Old 01-24-2008, 01:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ckeysor
I don't totally understand when Airstream owners talk about how nice the Airstream is too haul. They cite aerodynamics, alignment and balance only to go on and say you need a 3/4 ton or 1 ton dually to haul a trailer under 30 foot.
How true - glad it's not just me that noticed this!
Gary & Debbie
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ckeysor
I don't totally understand when Airstream owners talk about how nice the Airstream is too haul. They cite aerodynamics, alignment and balance only to go on and say you need a 3/4 ton or 1 ton dually to haul a trailer under 30 foot.
Many of us for years have been confused by this contradiction!

Ford seems to believe a 1/2 ton is all one needs to safely tow the most heaviest 34' Airstream. YouTube - New 2009 Ford F-150: Most Capable Light-Duty Truck Ever
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:32 PM   #19
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Than there are always those, who try to overdo.
YouTube - small car towing
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:36 PM   #20
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I need to issue a sincere thank you to all of you who have responded. It's tremendously helpful for an inexperienced person like me to draw upon the collective experiences of the posters on this board before making a big purchase.

I also have to say that it has been eye opening for me to see how consistent the preference is for travel trailer towing versus a motorhome, and I didn't expect that. I recognize that the board itself tends to attract those devoted to travel trailers, which may be a bit biased, but those who have experience with both motorhomes and travel trailers tend to agree on safety related advantages of travel trailer towing. I also didn't really fully think about roll over integrity, position of seat belts, etc. on motorhomes.

I few of the posters asked me to define what I meant by safe. Although morbid, I guess the best way to articulate it is how frequently travel trailer towing and motorhome use result in serious injury or death versus some standard like driving a car. For example, if I knew how many deaths per million miles occured towing a travel trailer versus driving a motorhome versus driving a car, I'd get an objective standard of relative safety. Has anyone ever come across any data on highway safety for different types of RVs?

Note that I recognize that travel trailer crash statistics wouldn't distinguish between those that had properly set up rigs versus those that were stupid, nor would motorhome data distinguish between those who knew nothing about them but rented them versus experienced owners, so I'd have to look at statistics skeptically. Nevertheless, they'd be interesting to know if they're available.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ckeysor
I don't totally understand when Airstream owners talk about how nice the Airstream is too haul. They cite aerodynamics, alignment and balance only to go on and say you need a 3/4 ton or 1 ton dually to haul a trailer under 30 foot.
Welcome, you are smart by doing your research first. AirStream's do tow very nicely...the issue with 1/2 ton's becomes tonque weight versus payload. Some of the larger (30' and above) are balanced over the axles to result in low tongue. Some are not. The Classic's and Excella's tend to have greater hitch weight. The Vintage (pre 80's) AS's are almost 1/2 the weight of the newer models. The newer Safari Sports are narrow and lighter. You will really need to research which models(s) you may be interested in. You can quickly eat up the capacity of a 1/2 ton when you have 1000# of hitch weight. This does not leave room for passengers, bikes, kayaks, and all the other "stuff" we tend to bring on our voyages. An overloaded vehicle is an unsafe vehicle. You see it is NOT that AS's tend to like bigger TV's. It is more that AS's tend to be more experienced towers and have leared to appreciate the extra safety and capacity of having the right TV.
Your Dodge should be a great TV, for the right AS. Good hitches are not necassarily expensive; Equalizer= $399 delivered to your door.

Ask away, you are on the right track.

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Old 01-24-2008, 02:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bonzai30b
I few of the posters asked me to define what I meant by safe. Although morbid, I guess the best way to articulate it is how frequently travel trailer towing and motorhome use result in serious injury or death versus some standard like driving a car.
This is not easy to compare. Mostly drivers of motorhomes drive much slower and more carefully, than others. Therefore those vehicles seldom are involved in accidents and serious accident happens very rarely. But at any roll-over accident in basic motorhome there are fatalities.
I own vintage bus conversion. It lacks slide-outs and new generation electronics, but I plan to keep it forever thanks to high-quality materials and roll-over resistance. For similar reason I am restoring 43 years old Airstream trailer.
I know that keeping the children in Dodge for most of the day is going to be hard, but Dodge will protect them much better in case of accident, than any motorhome cheaper than 1/2 Mil.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:10 PM   #23
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Safety was my primary reason for switching from a motorhome to the Airstream. It was either that or spend my retired years restoring a motorhome like the Bluebird, or a similar well-engineered steel-framed rig, that I would feel safe driving. There was no way that I could afford a modern diesel pusher that possessed most of the safety features of a commercial bus. Truth is, IMHO - and I'll rest my case without addressing the gory details - most of the lower-priced Class "A" motorhomes (i.e. - those that could be purchased for a price equal to or less than that of a new Airstream and tow vehicle) are rolling sticks and staples death traps. The Class "C" rigs are somewhat of an exception - but only for a couple wearing seat belts in the steel cab section. The Airstream is, in general, no less subject to damage from an accident than any other trailer - but, because it handles better, it just may be more capable of avoiding an accident when properly hitched to a suitable tow vehicle. The good thing is that trailers don't carry passengers!

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:43 PM   #24
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Just another couple of thoughts:

I have owned a small motorhome, it was easy to drive and park for me and my husband. Even though we have a small Airstream, I am not so good at the parking, driving with the trailer. Do both of you want to drive?

The motorhome required substantially more insurance... another seperate vehicle with a motor, many more tires (count 'em!) while a trailer is insured differently as they actually believe you aren't driving it daily 365.... You might also consider parking considerations. Will you have a place to store/park your trailer, how about a moho? How much rent will you have to fork out if you have to pay for parking? Moho's typically get really lousy mileage.... whereas many tow vehicles can do much better.

With a family, a trailer has some conveniences a moho does not (unless you are pulling a "toad" ~ a small car behind) you can park the trailer, you and the kids can go hiking, etc. and Mom can go to the market, etc. Or, if your tow vehicle needs repair, you can park the trailer at a campground and get the truck repaired and still have a place to stay!

With my limited experience of having a small moho vs small trailer I sincerely believe the trailer has been more cost effective for travel, and has definitely held up better than the moho that seemed to have something breaking or falling off every other day.

If you have never camped in a moho, try renting one and see what you think. It is harder to keep the kids in seat belts in many moho's which I believe is a important safety factor. In the truck, probably no problem.

Good luck on your quest. Let us know how you do.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:07 AM   #25
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I have a great deal of experience driving both motorhomes and towing trailers. I have taken motorhomes on some trips but generally prefer a trailer.

As well we have 10-15 motorhomes traded in each year. With most of them if they were a trailer and handled that bad we would not let them leave.

I have never felt a motorhome had any real safety advantage over a properly set up trailer and tow vehicle.
- The disadvantages are, much longer stopping distance.
- Much taller center of gravity
- Unless you get into very high end units they have a very narrow suspension stance.
- Far less structural integrity than a tow vehicle.
- If you do hit something or roll it there is an awful lot of stuff in there that is going to become a projectile.
- The noise level in a motorhome is usually much higher which tires you sooner.
- It is easier to be distracted while driving one.
- It is hard to keep kids in seat belts they always want to find an excuse to move around.

One way the motorhome overcomes some of this is great visability due to the tall seating position that allows you to anticipate situations earlier.

Beyond that the cost of ownership, maintinance, resale and fuel use are all much higher than owning an Airstream.

Your Durango will tow quite nicely and safely if you want to be extra certain use a Hensley. I would agree with a previous post that you might want to consider a 25' for the extra space.

If you ask your dealer they should be able to connect an Airstream to your Durango for a test tow.

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Old 02-01-2008, 08:57 AM   #26
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I know lots of people that would not even consider towing a trailer, and I know lots of people that feel the same way about driving a huge truck. It's just like suspenders and belts, a personal decision thing.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:53 PM   #27
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Towing Concerns

I've been trying to find a better way to do everything for 62 years now.
Here are a few observations:
If you have small kids (I have grandkids), you will want a motorhome simply because of the "are we there yet-I gotta pee-I'm hungry-papa, Riley touched me! syndrome. There, you'll have a table and chair with seatbelts. Not ideal, but a reasonable safety compromise.

I like a C because they are more like the familiar vans that most of us have driven. My wife won't even consider driving an A.
Plus, the overcab sleeping/storage is great.

A motorhome will park in most lots using two spaces, then just drive out. My trailer and truck take up over 50 feet. This also makes it frustrating when the wifee wants to pull into that little antique shop.

As a guy once said, you gotta pull something no matter what. On the other hand, some folks plan well and buy provisions on the way to the site. Then they never leave. If you do run around, as we do, then you'd better have a small, I said small, vehicle. Try to park my truck in downtown New Orleans. And at 12mpg empty, it gets expensive. Any whoever says that you need a 3/4 ton truck is just trying to justify their purchase. (I made the mistake of getting an HD2500 with the 6.0).

As for your concerns, I've never found towing to be a white knuckle experience. You just have to let your dealer set you up properly. In return, you'll give him about $500.
If you have a motorhome, expect to spend close to $2000 for your towing-brake setup.
You could find a used dollie for $1000.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. All through school, my son's teachers could tell that he was well traveled, and without camping, it would not have been possible on my teacher's salary.

Let the hate-mail begin
don (you can never have too many campers)
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:05 PM   #28
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Piece of cake...

Originally Posted by Bonzai30b
I am a big fan of Airstreams, and I thought I had settled on buying an Airstream travel trailer (around 23') to tow with my 2005 Hemi Durango, but I need to admit that reading the towing threads on the forum has caused me to reconsider this. Because my tow vehicle is also my primary, i.e. family vehicle, I need an SUV. A pickup truck wouldn't work.
We've towed a 25FB for two years and 20,000 miles with a Dodge Durango Hemi with no problem except rear brakes that seem to warp a bit too easily. Search the Forum for other threads mentioning the Durango and I'm sure that you will find that others have had similar successful towing experiences with this terrific SUV.

A 23-footer to house 4 people could be more than a bit tight. Search the Forum for thoughts on size and you'll probably find a couple of threads about moving up from a 23-footer to something larger.

By all means, get out there and enjoy the Airstream experience. Your first trailer needn't be your last.

Mike Young & Rosemary Nelson

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