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Old 06-24-2003, 12:13 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
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Question Towing Plan - thumbs up or thumbs down?

Here's the deal - our towing vehicle will be a 2001 Chevy Tahoe, 4wd with the 5.3 litre engine. Rated for 7500 pounds of towing or so, with factory tow package included. Due to various considerations, changing the tow vehicle is not an option.

We're envisioning (we don't have one yet, unfortunately!) about a 25 foot Tradewinds, with a dry weight of roughly 4000 pounds and a hitch weight of about 640 pounds.

I'm set on a Prodigy brake controller, which should plug right in to the factory wire harness.

The hitch will probably end up being a Reese dual cam sway control, as a combination of comparitively decent sway control and low cost.

We probably won't do much long distance towing, but it will happen once in a while.

What's everyone think? Will this be a workable combination?


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Old 06-24-2003, 12:34 PM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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I'd say you've got all the basics covered just fine. As long as the hitch can support the tounge weight with the weight bars and the trailer is around the 6500-7000lbs range, looks good to me, even for a cross country trip!


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Old 06-24-2003, 01:24 PM   #3
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depends on the rear-end...but by the book, its ok. keep in mind that the amount of gear you load in the truck counts against the gvw and gcvw.

I tow a 23' safari (gross weight 5500lbs/empty weight 3500lbs by the idea what it really weighs) with a dodge ram pickup that has a 5.2L engine with 3.55 rear end, and it does the job just fine. it does get a little pokey on the really steep grades, but it'll do it.
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Old 06-26-2003, 09:35 AM   #4
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Advice on Towing a 31 footer home

Need the wisdom of all of your combined road miles!
Looking at purchasing a 1968 Sovereign(30-31 footer...) and after learning that to have it hauled by a carhauler might cost my firstborn, am trying to decide if I want to drive up from Austin TX to Wisconsin to retreive. Once it's here, she will be parked on our place.
To the question:
Tow vehicle would be a 1994 Ford Supercab F150, 5.0L 302 engine, rear axle ratio3.55. Trailer would be towed unloaded and dry. Just trying to get it down here safely as possible.

Have not consumated the deal, wanting advice from your collective brains. Don't have to get her until late Sept-Oct, so won't use airconditioner, and well aware of braking sytem issues and tire and bearing issues. Really, just trying to determine tow capacity. Should be a pretty level road between Wisconsin and Texas.

Look forward to hearing from any and all Airstream Road Warriors who have a thought.
Thanks! kf
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:06 AM   #5
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Towing Plan - thumbs up or thumbs down?

Greetings KF!

Welcome to the Forums!

According to the Airstream weights and measures page:

Airstream Weights and Measures

The Sovereign that you are considering has an empty weight of 4640 pounds. This weight also would not inclue options such as the air conditioner, awnings, etc. that could potentially add several hundred additional pounds.

I suspect that your proposed tow vehicle would be marginal at best, but for a one-way unladen tow it MIGHT be a possibility. I am not particularly familiar with Ford products, but a similar '95 Chevrolet with the 5.0 Litre V8 was maximum trailer tow rated for 5,000 pounds - - with GM it took the 5.7 litre V8 to get a 6,000 +/- trailer tow rating. At a bare minimum, a quality weight distributing hitch and heavy duty transmission fluid cooler would be needed. My biggest concern would be for reserve power in an emergency situation.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:15 AM   #6
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That model dry, W/O options is 4640LBS. IF the truck cams setup from the factory with the towing package you should be OK. I towed a 31 foot 77 with the same basic drivetrain. Went fine down the road, stopping was good, hill climbing required a bit of paitence, and NO towing in OD.

The best way to check on trailer towing is the build sticker and a decoder. The towing package would have consisted of a transmission cooler, bigger radiator, prewire for trailer brakes with the 7 way connector under the rear of the truck and a plug under the dash for the controller, a minor increase in rear spring payload capacity, and if the tires are factory they would be a higher load range than a standard truck.
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 06-26-2003, 10:19 AM   #7
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302 CI V8 with a 3.55 rear end, towing a 31' Airstream? Not my idea of a fun trip.
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:27 AM   #8
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Seems like a long ways to pick up an A/S unless you are getting it for next to nothing. The big ones are fairly common, I have seen a few around here, there was one for sale on Hwy 71 between Oak Hill and Bee Caves a while back. I would keep looking locally.

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Old 10-25-2005, 06:04 PM   #9
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i've pulled a 5,000 trailer all over with a full sized dodge van, 200 hp 6, manual trans, and 3.55 rear end. plan for most driving to be around 55, and you'll be fine. let me know what you wind up doing. eric 4916
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:29 PM   #10
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1967 24' Tradewind
1963 19' Globetrotter
1961 24' Tradewind
Silver City , Motorcourt
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Don- We have your exact tow vehicle. We have pulled our 72 31' with it and it pulled like a dream (I won't admit our travel speed!) We also use it to tow our 26' Overlander. But remember to use your load levelers and sway control!!!

Happy trails......



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