Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-01-2014, 06:19 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Santa Clarita , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
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!!!

Oldgrumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 06:27 PM   #2
Full Time Adventurer
BoldAdventure's Avatar
2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,748

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 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
BoldAdventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 06:31 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Santa Clarita , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
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...
Oldgrumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
Pileus's Avatar
1985 31' Excella
Seguin , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 113
Images: 9
I tow my 1985 Excella 31' with a Ford F150. NO PROBLEM.
Pileus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Santa Clarita , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
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?
Oldgrumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 08:26 PM   #6
Rivet Master
1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,049
Blog Entries: 13
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.


new (usually dirty) Nissan Titan XD (hardly paid for)
Old (enhanced with "male pattern baldness") Sovereign
Young, lovely bride
Goofy dog, dismissive cat
n2916s is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Will cover for 31ft Classic fit 31ft Sovereign? rv4007 Winterizing, Storage, Carports & Covers 8 08-16-2013 08:34 PM
Excella vs Excella II vs Excella 500 vs Excella 1000 ElCamino Man Trailer Values 5 03-21-2013 02:32 PM
Newbies! Best vehicle to tow 31ft 1974 Sovereign? 74yachtpnw Tow Vehicles 17 08-18-2011 08:21 PM
towing a 31ft 1970 sovereign with a 1994 one ton dodge Beverly II Tow Vehicles 7 04-19-2010 09:38 PM
tow vehicle for 31ft 1970 Land Yacht? happydaze General Interior Topics 23 07-22-2007 08:01 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.