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Old 01-03-2014, 11:11 AM   #15
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Nice!.... Be sure to post some pics when you get it all together.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:24 PM   #16
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A little late to the party but for what it's worth, we had a 16' Bambi and towed it without a WD hitch. Granted, I know we had plenty of towing power but again, even without the WD hitch it towed just fine. No problem at all
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:56 PM   #17
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Hey Whirlwind....

Greetings from Central Oregon. Glad you got things straigthened out with Andy's wise counsel - he's the man. There is a lot of mis-information out there, including from auto dealers, especially foreign car dealers.

Hope to see you in one of Oregon's beautiful parks.

Poppy
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:53 PM   #18
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I am new to the forum and I have a MB GL550 - I haven't found my dream Airstream yet, and seeing your post makes me nervous about buying one and having the added expense of buying a new car. Can our SUV tow a smaller Airstream? I am trying to educate myself about the different models and vintage vs. pre-owned... a lot to cull through! Any advice on this... Thanks!

I will be waiting to hear about your maiden voyage with your Bambi!
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:20 PM   #19
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Your GL550 can tow all but the very largest of trailers, never-mind just a Bambi.

The official towing capacity, without custom work, is already close to 7500lbs, with a payload of 1600lbs.

To put this into perspective, my 34' trailer weighs 6250lbs empty, about 7300lbs ready for camping.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:54 PM   #20
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When my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel was built in October of 2006, the trailer brake control wiring was wadded up in the right rear of the car and required a special adapter wire harness. The interior would have had to be removed to get the trailer brake control wiring to the driver's footwell for the control head. In January of 2007, that model then had the brake control wiring brought to the driver footwell.

So, I used the Tekonsha RF Prodigy wireless brake controller to tow the 2013 25FB International Serenity home from the selling dealership and several trips to the CAT scales.

Brake Controllers - Tekonsha

It worked well and did not generate any Hensley hitch "bump" activity when the car braked. Since the CAT scales reported the numbers that the Mercedes front axle was overloaded and the GVW weight was exceeded when the trailer was loaded for camping, the Mercedes reverted back to the daily driver role and a Dodge 2500HD diesel assumed the role of tow vehicle for us using it's built in brake controller.

Because we sometime feel the Hensley hitch "bump" with the Dodge built in brake controller, I am considering reactivation of the Tekonsha RF Prodigy brake controller to solve that issue. The other possibility could be the Direct Link brake controller which is also sold by Airstream.

DirecLink Brake Controller

Good luck in the tow vehicle and trailer brake controller research.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:27 PM   #21
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My thoughts on a trailer-tow vehicle like this is one I use in real life with different utility trailers. A road test.
Does the tow vehicle have the power to move the vehicle, even up a reasonable incline?
Can the tow vehicle stop the trailer within a safe distance?
When hooked up does the headlights still light up the highway or does it shine up into the trees? (this may take a night-time test) This lets you know if there is too much weight on the rear axle of the tow vehicle.
Remember a safety tip! If too much emphasis is put on balancing the load front to rear, then you may not have enough weight on your rear axle to prevent a jack-knife. When the rear axle is where loss of traction is during a panic stop, then a jack-knife condition is imminent. During a hard stop weight will shift to the front axle so keep the rear axle heavier.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:02 PM   #22
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TV Vehicle

We tow our 2013 16' Bambi with a 2010 Jeep Liberty 4x4 with a posted 5000 pound tow rating.

We use the Prodigy 2 brake controller with a equalizer hitch and sway control bars. I suggust not towing with either.

The Jeep 3.7 has only 210 hp so it does ok on heavy grades so I assume you're BMW with more hp and torque should do even better.

Recently we stopped at a commercial weigh station and the Bambi with full LP tanks, half tank of fresh water and our stuff was just over 3,300 pounds.

We're upgrading to the Grand Cherokee with the new six so that should solve our lack of performance towing the AS.

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Old 01-29-2014, 06:32 PM   #23
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Jack, you are almost a ton under the Jeeps tow rating and you are towing one of the most towable trailers on the market. What seems to be the problem? Or do you think the Jeep is over rated??
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:10 PM   #24
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To be fair, JackDog going from the Liberty (which doesn't really handle that well and has a lump of an engine) to the Grand Cherokee (handles better, and the V6/8spd combo is very, very good at towing) seems to be a solid move forward.

I was very, very impressed at how well a 2014 GC V6 towed my 23' trailer. Not as fun as the Hemi/8spd or the EcoDiesel, both effortless towers, but very capable all the same.

Tom
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:51 PM   #25
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Jeep Liberty

The V6 in the Liberty isn't really the problem; the major hamstring is the antiquated 4 speed automatic. Even with the tow/haul button locking out the OD the transmission hunts and seeks and will overrev when pushed. I had my transmission guy install a trans cooler and a shift kit which has helped but he told me that he gets alot of these into his shop with blown seals and other maladies.

As far as handling with my hitch setup and the excellent road manners all AS's have I've been able to stay on the road even in extremely high cross winds when traveling through the Mojave desert when everthing else has had to pull over and wait out the winds.

I love everything else about my Jeep, looks, size, great foul weather / off road performance. I've even ecked out 15.5 mpg on several occasions.

It's sad that Jeep instead of upgrading this vehicle and making it better decided to go with a Fiat car based SUV with bizarre styling and minimum towing and off road capibilities; a Jeep in name only!

Hopefully this time next year I'll be able to tackle those pesty grades with the Grand Cherokee. I love the hemi and if I was towing one of the larger AS's I'd go with the V8 but the new Pentastar V6 should be more than enought to tow the Bambi. Oh by the way on my previous post I meant to say that I would not tow a trailer without the aid of sway bars and a equalizer hitch.

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Old 01-30-2014, 12:52 PM   #26
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The Jeep Liberty is actually a strong tow vehicle, but a gas hog, also.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:35 PM   #27
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Liberty MPG

You are correct about the MPG on the Liberty. I'm a featherfoot driver and in regular driving w/o the trailer the best I've been able to do is 15 city / 21 hwy!

I think most people in this forum will agree when towing a trailer you can acutally get better MPG towing with a more powerful TV since your not overstressing the motor and constantly pushing the rpm levels up.

Maybe I should keep the Liberty and dropping a hemi drivetrain into it! Ummmm....


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Old 01-30-2014, 02:27 PM   #28
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You don't need all that much power to tow an Airstream.

I measured hp output (at the wheel) of my own vehicle (a Honda Odyssey) and the highest I could get it was 148hp when accelerating from a standing start up a sizeable hill. On an average day on the highway there are very few times when the rig demands more than 50-60hp to keep things moving at 60mph.

Average rpm at that speed are 2300, the Ody's engine is a V6, delivering a max of 240hp. Gas consumption is around 16mpg at that speed.

I tow a 1984 34' International, it weighs in at around 7000lbs.
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