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Old 11-11-2015, 02:51 PM   #1
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Towing of 2012 Airstream Interstate

This is related to my other post about wrong fueling. I have a trusted certified Mercedes mechanic who will be giving me a discount. Although it makes sense to get the repair in Van Nuys, my concern is that if there is additional issues or it requires more work, I would prefer to be with my mechanic. A tow operator had agreed to $1500 on a medium tow truck. But I heard that it's important to tow on a medium flatbed. Thoughts?
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:25 PM   #2
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I had also read here that a flatbed is better, and when mine had to be towed last summer, they brought a flatbed.


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Old 11-11-2015, 04:14 PM   #3
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Flatbed.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:36 PM   #4
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You want a what is called a Landoll. Tow companies will know what this is. They come in different sizes for towing all kinds of things from Sprinters to heavy machinery. The one you want is a flatbed trailer that has 3 axles which move to lower the trailer down.

Just tell the tow company that you are 22 feet long unless you have ext then you are 24'6" and 9'8" tall.

google landoll for more info.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:43 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your advice.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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Sprinter-based RVs always need to be flat-bedded. In a previous thread several months back, we searched for an example of what a proper Sprinter flat-bedding scenario looked like, because there are multiple types of tow trucks and owners have reported confusion and problems in getting this job done without additional damage to their Interstate.

We didn't find any examples at the time, but I have one now. A few weeks ago, popular writer Brent Rose had his T1N-based Class B break down because its alternator failed. Remarkably, he managed to find a tow in the middle of nowhere. He mentions having to stack 2x4's so that they could get the Sprinter up onto the platform without the tail end (with its important RV appurtenances) hanging up on the ground due to the angle of inflection of the flat bed. The loading process reportedly took 40 minutes as a result. That is definitely something to watch for no matter who you get to tow your Interstate and how knowledgeable they believe they are. Make sure they don't damage your undercarriage.

Here's a pic of his vehicle as loaded... photo credit Brent Rose / Connected States.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:11 AM   #7
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IB just for clarification do you know how long his Sprinter is? I believe those flatbeds to be 20' so most newer Interstates will not fit. That was the case when I was towed on a landoll trailer.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:42 AM   #8
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IB just for clarification do you know how long his Sprinter is? I believe those flatbeds to be 20' so most newer Interstates will not fit. That was the case when I was towed on a landoll trailer.
I am almost certain that the one shown in the photo is a 22-footer.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:35 AM   #9
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I think you are probably right. You can see it hangs off the back so an Interstate Ext would not fit on that flatbed tow truck. IMO that was pushing it because of the tie towns that are used. There are slots in the metal bed that the operator hooks their chains into and then secures to the vehicle. In that scenario there was no ability to secure rearward from the rear of the sprinter because there wasn't any/much bed left.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:58 PM   #10
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:45 PM   #11
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<<flat-bed image>>
Thanks for this. Did it require additional measures such as ramps to handle the inflection, or was it drive-aboard?

Our lowest point of clearance is 5.5 inches above ground, where Airstream re-routed the Sprinter exhaust pipe (presumably because of the generator). Between that and the potential for tail-drag, and with experience being a superb teacher, I no longer make any assumptions where clearance issues are concerned.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:10 PM   #12
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Thanks for this. Did it require additional measures such as ramps to handle the inflection, or was it drive-aboard?

Our lowest point of clearance is 5.5 inches above ground, where Airstream re-routed the Sprinter exhaust pipe (presumably because of the generator). Between that and the potential for tail-drag, and with experience being a superb teacher, I no longer make any assumptions where clearance issues are concerned.
A bigger problem is, these tow trucks need so much room in front of your van in order to deploy the tow bed, so if there isn't already that much room in front where you happened to break down (breaking down on the highway is one thing, breaking down in a parking lot is quite another), you could end up having to push the van into position by brute force before they can even hook up to load it onto the bed.

And it takes a lot of brute force to push a Sprinter vanů
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:43 PM   #13
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Thanks for this. Did it require additional measures such as ramps to handle the inflection, or was it drive-aboard?

Our lowest point of clearance is 5.5 inches above ground, where Airstream re-routed the Sprinter exhaust pipe (presumably because of the generator). Between that and the potential for tail-drag, and with experience being a superb teacher, I no longer make any assumptions where clearance issues are concerned.
The front was no problem but the rear was getting close. Just to be on the safe side the driver put down a couple boards to lift the rear wheels up and avoid scraping.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:44 PM   #14
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A bigger problem is, these tow trucks need so much room in front of your van in order to deploy the tow bed, so if there isn't already that much room in front where you happened to break down (breaking down on the highway is one thing, breaking down in a parking lot is quite another), you could end up having to push the van into position by brute force before they can even hook up to load it onto the bed.

And it takes a lot of brute force to push a Sprinter van…
True Dat

If you were stuck in a parking lot and your van didn't run, you may be pushing no matter which type or size tow truck.
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