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Old 01-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #15
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to you question, the simple answer is yes. You can tow a 25 to 28 foot Airstream with a half ton truck. That being said, you might find that you may not be comfortable towing that much trailer with a half ton.

We have a 2005 25FB named Lucy, that we have used and towed extensively (990 nights/90,000 miles). Lucy tips the scales at 7,400# ready to camp with a 900# tongue weight. We originally towed Lucy with our '04 Tahoe. We found this combination to be OK, but not to our complete satisfaction. The Tahoe just strained a little too much for our liking, and we found the braking capabilities less that confidence-inspiring. We felt that the half ton Tahoe was marginal for the job at hand.

We then towed Lucy with our two Suburban 3/4 tons with the 6.0 liter gasoline engine. These worked flawlessly in every department for the 7.400# Lucy.

We recently went to a one ton Duramax as we have added a 3,000# truck camper to the mix.

Bottom line is that if you don't plan to go far or often, the half ton will probably be just fine. If you are planning long trips in challenging terrain, you might want to consider something heftier.

Remember that an insufficient tow vehicle is the primary cause of a perfectly good Airstream becoming a very expensive piece of yard art.

Good luck in your pursuit of the perfect Airstream.

Brian
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #16
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No doubt about it, a big truck is a pain to drive/park on an everyday basis. BUT, the pain is worth it when you hitch up & head down the road. The tail absolutely cannot wag the dog. Too many things can go wrong that you have no control over, like blowouts, crazy/reckless drivers, mechanical failures, rough roads,etc, which may require drastic actions. The longer, heavier the truck the better the chances to maintain control.
When it comes to TV's, more is better. Just an opinion. And you know what they say about opinions ,ask 10 people, get 11 answers! John
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marinablue
Newbe's... We are looking to buy an Airstream but also need the truck. We are looking at the 25-28 footers. Wondering if a new Chevy 1/2 ton pickup or Tahoe will pull the newer Airstreams? Or will we need to get a 3/4 ton?? Thanks for any & all advice.
Not only look at what you can tow but what it will take to stop it. My 3/4 is great at towing and will do it all day, any day. But ask yourself if you have enough vehicle to stop yourself (and whatever you put in it) when your AS drum brakes fade after two miles going downhill on a 6% grade and that 18 wheeler going 25 pulls out of the slow lane while you are doing 65. Scary.... Yes...will it ever happen to you,.... never thought it would happen to me.

Change the shorts. Remove the pucker from all the seats, be thankfully for having more than you need!

Cheers
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:05 PM   #18
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You don't need a big truck to get big brakes. And that oversized truck has to stop itself before it can stop your Airstream.

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Old 01-29-2012, 09:31 PM   #19
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Hmmm

Ok, I try not to get into these debates but here goes my 2 cents worth....

People claim they can tow a 34 foot Airstream with a 1/2 ton with no problems, Ive even seen somewhere where it was posted that a person tows a 34 foot Airstream with a Dodge Dakota....

Well when we first bought our Airstream 30 footer, I towed it home with a 08 Chevy 4 door 1/2 ton 2 wheel drive 4.8L engine. It was about a 3 hour drive home and when we got home I looked over at Mrs. S and I said "we have got to get a bigger truck.'' I felt like the truck was constanly down shifting for every little slope in the road. There is one hill right before our home and it knocked me from 65 mph to about 50 miles an hour and the truck was really pushing hard. I knew it would not be good for the tranny of this truck to continue pulling in such a struggle. So we bought a 11 diesel Dodge Mega Cab 4x4 6.7L Dually, and its the best darn decsion we have ever made. I dont mean as far as truck brand, get whatever brand you like. I just mean as far as torque and HP.

Now I would love for a 1/2 ton or that Dodge Dakota pulling that 34 footer follow me up Bob Cat Pass (9820 ft. Elevation) and then down the other side and we stop in Red River, New Mexico and then he tell me hes got all the power he needs for pulling that trailer. Bet them brakes would be pretty darn hot as well......but what do I know its just my 2 censt worth
Id rather have more truck than Ill ever need then wish I would have gotten what I needed hands down any day.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr & Mrs S
Ok, I try not to get into these debates but here goes my 2 cents worth....

People claim they can tow a 34 foot Airstream with a 1/2 ton with no problems, Ive even seen somewhere where it was posted that a person tows a 34 foot Airstream with a Dodge Dakota....

Well when we first bought our Airstream 30 footer, I towed it home with a 08 Chevy 4 door 1/2 ton 2 wheel drive 4.8L engine. It was about a 3 hour drive home and when we got home I looked over at Mrs. S and I said "we have got to get a bigger truck.'' I felt like the truck was constanly down shifting for every little slope in the road. There is one hill right before our home and it knocked me from 65 mph to about 50 miles an hour and the truck was really pushing hard. I knew it would not be good for the tranny of this truck to continue pulling in such a struggle. So we bought a 11 diesel Dodge Mega Cab 4x4 6.7L Dually, and its the best darn decsion we have ever made. I dont mean as far as truck brand, get whatever brand you like. I just mean as far as torque and HP.

Now I would love for a 1/2 ton or that Dodge Dakota pulling that 34 footer follow me up Bob Cat Pass (9820 ft. Elevation) and then down the other side and we stop in Red River, New Mexico and then he tell me hes got all the power he needs for pulling that trailer. Bet them brakes would be pretty darn hot as well......but what do I know its just my 2 censt worth
Id rather have more truck than Ill ever need then wish I would have gotten what I needed hands down any day.
I agree!
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SARGE/AF View Post
What ever you look at remember to add 2500 lbs to that weight of the trailer for all extras such as clothes, food, cooking supplies (ie Dishes, pans), camping gear.
Sarge
2500 lbs of gear? Aren't you over the GVWR for both your 31' and the 34'? You need to lighten your load!
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:21 PM   #22
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Marinablue,

Notice how most everyone's TV is the best one on the road ever made forever in history.

Take your time and you too just may be allowed to join the club.

Bob
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:27 PM   #23
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As others have already said, you would be hard pressed to find a 1/2 ton truck that could not pull your AS trailer. However, then come the hills ( loooooooong ride up the mountains around here) and you make it to the top after innumerable transmission hunting for gear / shifts ... then comes the downhill where you notice the potentially small difference between the mass of your tow vehicle and the mass of your trailer ... yeouchhh, quickly, review the laws of physics ... you know energy = mass times velocity or speed raised to the second power ... and you are needing to control that mass (hopefully, still) behind you ... any wagging (or what happens when a semi passes YOU?) ... can you smell the brakes / any fading ... how is the transmission temp ... what is happening with the engine temp after the long haul up and now you're headed down hill.

Remember, your dealer can download recent profiles and knows exactly what conditions caused your TV to potentially fail. Can you do it with a half ton ... certainly, we did (ecomonics / budgets considered) with only a 20FC - and now miss our F15o around town. Butttt ... wow, do we like the Ram 3/4 ton diesel and can hardly wait to hook up and hit the road! Our AS and us both deserve the larger mass of our new 3/4 ... as I told the new recruits when considering personal equipment purchases ... what is your safety / life worth vs how much can you afford to spend ? But then we are relative newcomers to this AS disease ...
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:54 PM   #24
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Oh boy, our half-tons are risking life and limb of all around us. How do the folks with BMW, Mercedes, and VW SUV's make it out of the driveway?

So get the trailer and THEN match the tow vehicle to it. If you ask for advice here may be oversized by two or three times. Or undersized by two or three times.

doug k
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:02 PM   #25
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For my retirement I wanted a camper and a truck that'd last 10 years because I expected I'd only last 10 years. So I bought an Airstream and a big honkin' Chevy diesel truck.Two years into it, I believe we'll all exceed the expectation.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trex View Post
Many 1/2 ton vehicles have the ability to tow 7,000 pounds, but don't have the brakes one needs to stop in an emergency, or to go down a long steep hill. To be safe, your tow vehicle should always exceed the gross towing weight, by 20% or 30%.
That is the key...!! it might be able to tow it but when you get into a harry situation will you be able to stop it...? You will never regret an "overkill" tow vehicle!!

BTW - our 1 ton makes great grocery hauler during the week!!!

Ashley
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:41 AM   #27
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We bought our diesel 3/4 ton 4wd crewcab long before we bought an Airstream... but it's well matched to our trailering. I can head off to Burning Man w/ the whole family, an extra 55 gallons of water in a barrel in the back of the truck, and all the stuff we need for a week in the desert - and pull it over Donner Pass.

I'd get the largest truck that makes economic sense for you, particularly if you don't need to drive it solo much of the time.

- Bart
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:03 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts
We bought our diesel 3/4 ton 4wd crewcab long before we bought an Airstream... but it's well matched to our trailering. I can head off to Burning Man w/ the whole family, an extra 55 gallons of water in a barrel in the back of the truck, and all the stuff we need for a week in the desert - and pull it over Donner Pass.

I'd get the largest truck that makes economic sense for you, particularly if you don't need to drive it solo much of the time.

- Bart
Not to gang up on the half ton crowd but two years ago I was coming off Donner Pass and had a harrowing experience. It was late May and temps in the seventies when we left Sacramento but at the top of the pass it started snowing and temp dropped to 28 degrees....thanks to my one ton Dually Dodge we made it safely into Reno an hour before they closed the pass. Another time coming off Cabbage Hill into Pendleton....you get the idea. Just think everyone needs more margin than they "might" get away with.
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