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Old 07-01-2014, 06:19 PM   #1
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Santa Clarita , California
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Towing Vehicle for '85 Excella 31ft

Hello Friends!
As a Newbie to the Airstream Community this will be my first of many postings.
Last week we bought a 1985 Airstream Excella 31ft.
We have been hunting for a unit like this for some time now...
Long story short:
What is a suitable towing vehicle to safely tow the trailer ( after modifications adding approx 500lbs weight).

I understand that the older trailers are lighter and have less tongue weight, but will a F-150 or Ram 1500 be sufficient to do the job?
Here is what we will be putting in the Truck:
3 bikes

Thank you!!!

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Old 07-01-2014, 06:27 PM   #2
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Let the debate begin. What is suitable for you? There are so many variables to consider. I don't think you can ask this question without opening a debateful can of worms.

You should probably ask yourself what you want from your tow vehicle first. Daily driver? Weekend tower? Full timer?

Again, there is no straight forward answer, just lots of opinions.

Personally I think both of those light duty trucks are going to be able to handle the load properly configured. We're going with a Dodge Ram 1500 Lamaie 4x4.

Some will chime in that nothing less than a International Freightliner suitable.

It's still your decision. Good luck.

Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:31 PM   #3
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Isn't this an obvious answer? Towing the trailer with all the gear we need?

Personally, I like a F-250 4x4 Diesel, but would rather have a smaller sized TV.

To me the question revolves around the technical aspects:
Can it be towed safely?
What are the weight constraints for the truck and trailer?

I do not want to get into which truck is better or can my Touareg pull the Trailer.

PS: I tried pulling it with my Touareg. It works but does not feel safe. Especially since the Trailer was empty and I was alone in the car...
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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1985 31' Excella
Seguin , Texas
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I tow my 1985 Excella 31' with a Ford F150. NO PROBLEM.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
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Can you guys please help me do the math...

Trailer weight Empty: 6500
Personal Items: 500
Supplies: 300
Additional Weight due to Modification: 500
Gas: 200

Total approx 8500

Does this seam right?
So, getting a truck that can tow 10000lbs is sufficient?
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:26 PM   #6
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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An 8500 pound trailer is going to put 1100 pounds or so on your hitch, which is payload. Granted, your weight distributing hitch will lever some of that weight back on the trailer axles but most is going on the tow vehicle axles. So, you need a vehicle that will tow about 10000 but will also have a payload of 1100 pounds PLUS whatever you intend to carry (people, camping gear, bowling ball collection...)

I believe an F150 with the HD payload package would do it but you may consider any of the big three's 3/4 ton offerings.

I have towed my 31' over 50000 miles with a Nissan Titan but we travel light. Very very light.


Old (usually dirty) Nissan Titan
Old (enhanced with "male pattern baldness") Sovereign
Young, lovely bride
Goofy dog, dismissive cat
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