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Old 02-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #71
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As they say...a picture is worth 1000 words...so here's our Ford Edge, Hensley hitch & C34.

Now for those that may say..."ya can't pull that, with that"...in Dec we traveled with our C34 from Windsor Ontario, to Bradenton Florida, where we stayed for the entire month.

This was the first "long-distance" vacation we've taken with the (new to us..) Classic 34, but it was not a problem & rolled along the road very similar to our Safari 25.

Of course, given all the "ya need a huge truck" conversations...I was a bit concerned with how it would tackle the mountains of Kentucky & Tennessee...but I'm glad to report the whole trip...there & back was about as perfect as we could have ever hoped for.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:46 PM   #72
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Thanks for the picture Paul. Nice to see counterpoints to the "you need a bigger truck" theory.

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Old 02-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #73
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WOW!! Tow a 34' with an Edge? Never thought I would see that combo....happy it works for you. Kinda flies in the face of physics, experience, load numbers. But if it works, so be it.

I am so afraid of an accident, that we use much more truck than we need.

Are the "numbers" within legal limits, e.g. TV capacity, braking, etc....?
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:22 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Zigidachs View Post
WOW!! Tow a 34' with an Edge? Never thought I would see that combo....happy it works for you. Kinda flies in the face of physics, experience, load numbers. But if it works, so be it.

I am so afraid of an accident, that we use much more truck than we need.

Are the "numbers" within legal limits, e.g. TV capacity, braking, etc....?
Your assumptions are off with every assertion you've made. Without an exception.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:41 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ouellette View Post
As they say...a picture is worth 1000 words...so here's our Ford Edge, Hensley hitch & C34.

Now for those that may say..."ya can't pull that, with that"...in Dec we traveled with our C34 from Windsor Ontario, to Bradenton Florida, where we stayed for the entire month.

This was the first "long-distance" vacation we've taken with the (new to us..) Classic 34, but it was not a problem & rolled along the road very similar to our Safari 25.

Of course, given all the "ya need a huge truck" conversations...I was a bit concerned with how it would tackle the mountains of Kentucky & Tennessee...but I'm glad to report the whole trip...there & back was about as perfect as we could have ever hoped for.

Here's another one...



Sienna 3.5l V6 towing a 28' International Serenity - 1000lb Eaz-Lift bars rather than a Hensley. We (2 Adults, 2 big kids) went from Chatham, Ontario, down to Orlando in Florida in the summer, then came back via New Orleans and Birmingham AL. The hills in KY and TN slowed us a little but were of no consequence.

Rather than flying in the face of physics, this setup makes the most of the science. The TV is quite low slung, has a wide track and long wheelbase as well as a reasonably small overhang as a percentage of the wheelbase. Our beefed up hitch allows good weight transference to the front axle and the Prodigy brake controller brings in the trailer brakes to their full effect. The only disadvantage I can see that this setup has compared to a big truck is that we have less HP and less torque. That means that we're slower on the uphill and tend to take it gently on the downs. We averaged around 12mpg towing but where we really win is when not towing with around 28mpg.

Certainly this setup ignores Toyota's tow rating but, as those figures have not been derived by any scientific means and take no account of the vehicle's modifications, they can be ignored with impunity. The fact is that the combination works well and is both safe and legal.

Of course, if you prefer to tow with a big truck then that's your choice and I'm certain will work for you. There are, though, alternatives!
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #76
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Paul, that's great! Did you get any funny looks going down the road?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:39 AM   #77
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Here's our "You can't do that with that" rig:

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:36 AM   #78
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Ooh, is it show and tell? Here's mine!



And here's some shots of one of Andy Thomson's towing talks, which include some of the slides that explain how they come up with figures for what vehicles can tow. The one thing he emphasizes over and over again is that it's not just about weight.

(BTW, the Jetta is a very safe TV. A bit more power would have been nice, and I nearly bought a 2.0L Jetta TDI to get it, but in the end decided being able to buy the exact AS I wanted was better than buying down from that in order to be able to afford a newer tow vehicle as well. I won't be winning any races, though. I try to stay at 60-65 mph anyway for the trailer tires. The dream TV is a Touareg TDI...)
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:37 AM   #79
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Geezers' Rig

Here's a pic of our setup. Had it for a year now and traveled up and down the CA coast and in the Sierras. Our Suburban 1500 with towing package handles the weight of our 27' very well. The combination of steep grades and altitude over, say 4000', means we climb grades slowly--35 to 45 mph; but we're not in a hurry and we keep engine max RPM between 3000 and 3500.

Our 27' FC is well within GM's tow rating for our Sub. Added vented disk rotors to the front to help avoid brake fade on long down hills. Never been a problem so far; we tend to use the brakes rather than transmission for maintaining safe downhill speeds.

With just over 20 trips--mostly long weekends--so far, we're averaging just over 10 mpg in tow/haul mode with 120k+ miles on the odometer.

While a big, honking truck would mean we could glide over the passes and carry more doodads with us, we'll stick with the Sub for now because of its quiet, comfortable ride ... and it's paid for ....
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:04 PM   #80
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I LOVE my Euro SUV (not pictured) for towing an AS<25', boat, etc.

I tolerate our trucks 1/2 ton hemi & full size diesel for hauling the above loads with a little less comfort & handling.

I can't however imagine towing/stopping/swerving in any combination of AS >Bambi with a lesser/smaller vehicle (& I'm not talking purely macho HP...tire surface area, breaking power, AWD/4x4, computerized traction, etc.) I say this as someone who has used the jaws of life & extricated families from awful crashes (with&without trailers). Sure there is also such thing as overkill & one using an E550 or Unimog may still find themselves in a pickle...but it's up to you (not your AS/TV dealer who's chasing $) to brace for the worst case scenarios for you & others sharing the road with you.

I am glad the above members & combos have traveled safely, but I'm loathe to think what would happen if those set-ups were the majority & traversing the country highways, diverse terrains & hazards!
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspirations
I am glad the above members & combos have traveled safely, but I'm loathe to think what would happen if those set-ups were the majority & traversing the country highways, diverse terrains & hazards!
We'd all be driving slower?

Seriously, I drive this combo because it's safe. I can't travel as fast nor go up hills as fast, and forget trying to moose out of sandbanks or snowdrifts, i don't have the clearance and it's a front wheel drive, but I am safer in my Jetta than in the majority of pickup/trailer rigs out there. That's according to my VW mechs, not just Andy Thomson.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #82
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I swear, Airstreams should come with a big warning sticker explaining that choosing a tow vehicle is a bloody nightmare. Hubby and I are in the same position as the OP, having recently bought a new (and bigger) AS and now trying to decide on a new (and bigger) TV. Reading threads like this is helpful to a point, but with so many strongly held and strongly diverging opinions, they also cause insomnia!

That said, I'm sure the pain of decision-making will eventually be forgotten, and we'll love the new setup once we figure it out. (Right?!) At one point hubby suggested we just bail on Airstreams and get a Class A RV and tow a small car. To which I replied that in that case he'd have to trade in not only his truck but his wife....
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:16 PM   #83
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Really wanted to stay out of this no-win situation, but I must say I find it extreemly interesting that when someone proposes towing a late model 25' or slightly bigger with a 1/2 ton pickup, here comes the screams of warnings about going over the GVW of the truck.

However, let a person from North of the border come up with a 34' towed with a Ford Flex, or a 31' towed with a FWD minivan, no one even mentions the GVW rating of those vehicles.

Is it just because they are setup in Canada that all rules of weight go overlooked?
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #84
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Is it just because they are setup in Canada that all rules of weight go overlooked?
I think perhaps you're overlooking that the two kinds of comments come from two different groups of people. For those of us who got our setups at CanAm or following Andy Thomson's formulas of figuring it out, weight is only one of six different areas of concern.

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