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Old 01-11-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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What do you tow your Airstream with?

My husband and I are looking to purchase our first Airstream. We have our eye on a 2005 28" Safari with slide out. We have an '05 Armada and I am a bit worried about the tongue weight. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:04 AM   #2
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My husband and I are looking to purchase our first Airstream. We have our eye on a 2005 28" Safari with slide out. We have an '05 Armada and I am a bit worried about the tongue weight. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
Tongue weight is taken care of by the hitch bar rating.

That rating is dictated by the kind at type tow vehicle that an owner may have.

Usually, the heavier duty tow vehicle, the lighter the rating bars.

If you have, as an example, a heavy duty tow vehicle, and use high rated torsion bars, more road shock is transfered to the trailer, which in time, can cause numerous problems.

I am not familiar with an Armada.

Andy
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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The Nissan Armada is a 1/2 ton based SUV. Rich Luhr towed his 30' Safari Bunk for three years and over 60,000 miles with one. The weight of the trailer and particularly the tongue weight would be much different. He would probably be the best member to ask about the Armada's performance.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:34 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Welcome aboard...

We be Burb fans.. they have worked well for us, but.....you will get a LOT of opinions.

Peruse carefully...good luck.

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:39 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard and good luck in your search.

According to the Airstream specs found here...

http://service.airstream.com/files/library/70a0a8e62e022272.pdf

The 2005 28' Safari with a slide has a GVWR of 9,100 pounds and the slide out makes the tongue weight 1,250 pounds dry with no options. I googled the tongue weight spec for an '05 Armada and the specs I found list it as 910 pounds. So if I were looking at that trailer I would also be looking to upgrade to a tow vehicle that's a little beefier.

We have a '06 30' slide out and it pulls very nicely behind our 3/4 GMC turbo diesel. We did have to upgrade the receiver on the truck from a Class IV to a Class V receiver to properly handle the 1,050 pounds of tongue weight.

Like Bob said above, this is one of those opinions
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:29 PM   #6
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Edmunds show the payload of the Armada at 1,700 lbs.

2005 Nissan Armada specs, auto safety at Edmunds
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by chelseaf View Post
...I am a bit worried about the tongue weight. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
welcome aboard.

it's good u are worried about the tongue mass. it IS an issue, a LIMITING ISSUE in this example.

while the nissan has the guts to PULL it and brakes to help stop it...

u will be severely restricted in term of PAYLOAD in the suv.

in other words you will NOT be able to carry much stuff beside the tongue.

everything depends on YOUR camping style, gear, needs and expectations, destinations ....

so a LOT more info about how you expect to use the rig and what is to be carried and and WHERE, and so on is needed.

also the brand/type hitch expected to be used...

those that offer the MOST SWAY control will CONSUME another 200-250 lbs to the suv payload....

my vote is 3/4 ton tv OR a new 'heavy half ton truck' which can be spec'd with payloads ~2000+ lbs.

mongo has the 28 safari/slide...(CA Streamer) and uses an f250 mule and seems very happy....

pm him or look for some of his threads on this combo.

do your homework and make careful selections....

and fiddling with w/d bar RATINGS will not change the basic issue/limitation for this combo...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:34 PM   #8
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The weight of the 28 slide is not a problem for the Armada, whether pulling or stopping, as 2air correctly points out.

However, the 28 slide-out is a monster on tongue weight, and for that reason alone I would recommend a tow vehicle with a hitch rated for 12,000 lbs / 1,200 lbs tongue. The Armada's hitch is not up to the challenge.

Also, while the Armada's relatively short wheelbase makes it much nicer to drive around town than the typical 3/4 ton truck, the downside of that shorter wheelbase is that it needs a Hensley or Pro-Pride hitch to tow a 28 foot or longer trailer comfortably. With a 28 slide + Hensley, you can easily hit 1,400 lbs of tongue weight, which puts you up in the same category as the big 34-footers.

It's too bad, because if you had another trailer I would recommend the Armada to you. We found our Armada to be satisfactory in all respect for our purposes. It's a good solid tow vehicle for many Airstreams. We sold ours with 80k miles, still in excellent running condition.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:00 PM   #9
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I looks like you are in good hands with responses so far - wheelbase matters! Diesel is more dollars up front but keeps value far better. They've reduced the wheelbases on the largest SUVs, to get a long sled takes going to a pickup truck platform...
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:19 PM   #10
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We have the 2006 QX56 which is basically an Armada. With the 25 Classic we are at our limits for the rated tongue weight of the factory hitch. If I had to do it again, I would look very seriously at the Ford, Chevy vans. Pick Ups are not our thing, but those vans sure look interesting to me. I might even be able to take the motorcycle along!
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:18 PM   #11
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The tongue weight on a 2005 28' Airstream with slideout is 1050#s according to Airstream. I had Doorgunner weigh my 2005 28' SO trailer tongue with an aircraft scale and it weighed in at 975#s fully loaded, including Hensley hitch.
I tow with an F250 6.0 diesel and am extremely happy with the match. I've been towing with this combo about 4 years with no issues. My Hensley uses 1000# rated bars so the towing is not so rigid and more flexible to keep the trailer from shaking itself to death as Inland Andy mentions.
At about 2400#s the payload rating for the 28' slideout is more than just about any other Airstream with the GVWR at 9150#s. This is a lot of beef for an Armada. The nice thing about having the extra carrying capacity of a 3/4 ton TV is you can throw all the other stuff in the bed ...BBQ, bikes, kayaks, dog, firewood, generator, etc., and not have to worry so much about overloading.
I would definitely consider a different tow vehicle than the Armada for this trailer or a different trailer if you want to keep the Armada.
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