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Old 09-06-2007, 12:53 PM   #1
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Towing Capacity

Hello -

Does anyone know the maximum towing capacity for a '75 Argosy 26ft. with a 454 engine? I'm looking to tow my Toyota 4runner which is approxiamately 5,250 lbs.

If anyone knows how the brake buddy systems work or what I would have to do transmission wise to my 4runner to tow it that would be awesome as well.

Cheers,
Allen
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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time2learn2search

LOTS of threads on this topic in the moho section...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f310...tion-9976.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f160...c-mh-4431.html

and the range appears to be 2k 2 4k.

regardless 5.2k is way too much. the moho will move at snail speed...

IF you can deal with the rear airbag, and receiver and brake issues safely.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:50 PM   #3
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Thanks 2air

Thanks 2air -

The second thread was very helpful. No black and white answers but according to the threads the Toyota is way too heavy for a classic to pull. Nothing is easy is it

Cheers,
Allen
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamlean
Thanks 2air -

The second thread was very helpful. No black and white answers but according to the threads the Toyota is way too heavy for a classic to pull. Nothing is easy is it

Cheers,
Allen
Allen,

Don't be so quick to say you can't pull the Toyota. There is another member of the forum that has a 345 and pulls a 24' or 28' enclosed trailer with his porsche race car inside. As a matter of fact I beefed-up the hitch on our 310 to match his modified hitch.

Here is a picture of the 345 pulling the enclosed trailer.
Click image for larger version

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The 345 is a stout engine with a lot of grunt. Especially if you've made improvements for air intake and exhaust.

The biggest issue you will have pulling the Toyota is the brakes. But for $1000 you can buy a brake system that goes inside and actuates the brake pedal on your Toyota.

We bought the 20' Argosy specifically to pull our 1974 31' Excella 500 that is being modified to hold our two Triumph race cars. The Excella will weigh somewhere around 6500 lbs when done. I will be modifying the frame and axles to handle the load appropriately. I'm a firm believer that the Argosy can handle towing the load.


Brad
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:27 AM   #5
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Alterations...

Hi Brad -

My Argosy has a 454 with a brand new rebuilt transmission. I beleive like you that the power plant is probably not the problem. Can you tell me what kind of frame alterations you are going to have done to pull the load? Are you planning to do this yourself or a shop? Have you had any estimates on this work?

Cheers,
Allen
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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Allen,
Your engine and transmission are not the problem with the towing capacity the receiver is. AS attached it to the bumper thus giving you only a 2000 lb. capacity. There are several threads on beefing up the receiver here. We had a new receiver bolted to the frame beyond our gray water tank. That way if I ever have to replace the tank I do not have to cut the receiver off. The information you need for your Toyota can best be found at a dealer. I have attached a link to the 2006 dinghy guide from MH magazine which may give you some help.
2006 Dinghy Guide
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamlean
Hi Brad -

My Argosy has a 454 with a brand new rebuilt transmission. I beleive like you that the power plant is probably not the problem. Can you tell me what kind of frame alterations you are going to have done to pull the load? Are you planning to do this yourself or a shop? Have you had any estimates on this work?

Cheers,
Allen
Allen,

Do you know which version of tranmission you have in your Argosy? Is it the TH400 or TH475 (as was used in the later Airstream motorhomes like our 310)? From everything I've read the TH400 should be up to the job but if you have the opportunity to get a TH475 (straight cut gears in the TH475 vs helical cut in the TH400) get it. Oddly enough our Argosy also has a rebuilt TH40o in it.

I've attached before and after pictures of the 345 hitch mod that the other forum member posted. I don't have pictures yet of our 310 hitch mod but I modeled it after the picture shown below.

Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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Keep in mind the Argosy rear frame setup is somewhat different. On our 20' Argosy the chassis frame rails are one continuous run from front to rear. On our 310 the chassis frame rails don't run full length and so Airstream added about 2 feet to the rear of the frame. Thats the area that needs to be beefed-up properly. If its not done properly the rear of the moho can sag and that will cause huge problems with your shell.

I feel there are two reasons the tow ratings on these mohos are low, one is the longer mohos have the frame rail additions that can sag if not supported properly the other is braking or stopping power. You have to supplement the brakes of the moho with brakes on the trailer or vehicle you are towning.

Below is a picture of our 310 (with the modified hitch) pulling our 14' flatbed and Susan's Spitfire. Total trailer load was probably around 3500 lbs.

Click image for larger version

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Brad
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:36 AM   #8
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Hi Brad -

This is great! I'm going to look under my moho and see what's going under there and try to take some pics. It's got a hitch on it now but who knows where or what it's attached to.

The brakes are definitely of concern and if I carried a car I would definitely get the brake buddy device. I wonder if there is a place where you could rent something like this? Seems like U-Haul would have a device like this.

Started looking at a MINI Cooper which is about 2,000 pounds lighter than the Toyota at around 3,000 pounds but maybe I should get a Spitfire like your wife's

Cheers,
Allen
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamlean
Hi Brad -

This is great! I'm going to look under my moho and see what's going under there and try to take some pics. It's got a hitch on it now but who knows where or what it's attached to.

The brakes are definitely of concern and if I carried a car I would definitely get the brake buddy device. I wonder if there is a place where you could rent something like this? Seems like U-Haul would have a device like this.

Started looking at a MINI Cooper which is about 2,000 pounds lighter than the Toyota at around 3,000 pounds but maybe I should get a Spitfire like your wife's

Cheers,
Allen
Allen,

You could always use a tow dolly with brakes but the disadvantage to a tow dolly is you can't backup. I don't think U-Haul rents anything like a brake buddy. The brake buddy I saw at camping world required an assembly be bolted to the drivers floorboard that actually pushed the brake pedal on the car. If the towed vehicle originally has power brakes I'm not sure how well a brake buddy would work. Best bet would be to contact the manufacturer and ask about that.

The Mini Cooper sounds like a great idea to me

Brad
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:36 AM   #10
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i think in another thread you mentioned NOT wanting to spend much money....

at some point (seldom the beginning) it may be useful to point out the obvious...

'towing' a trailer has somewhat different issues than towing a toad or dinghy...

hitch load is different, brakes and lights are different, even the 'tow bars' are different.

yes a 454 equipped moho may handle the 3 ton mass but stopping or surviving modern traffic are other issues.

in stock form these mid 70s had ~230 hp and zeroto60 times measured with a sundial...

so IF planning to pull anything far or up hill or at elevation, power-plant mods are important.

better intake, headers, free flowing exhaust and so on.... easily 1-2,000$ for the basics.

in addition to the reciever, wiring, brakes, frame mods and so on...

just 2 tow another vehicle?

you haven't given us much info on the travel planned, how many people, special needs and so on...

it makes some sense for a large family on a long trip with long layovers in a 40 ft 3 slide moho...

or someone parked in ONE SPOT for the season...

to pull a toad.

for 1-2 people in a little moho like yours it may be un necessary.

i never pulled a toad, instead using a bicycle or moped.

and it's pretty easy to drive YOUR moho into most areas...

it isn't that big.

there isn't that much to put away when pulling up stakes...

so before spending thousands just 2 equip it to pull a 4x4 suv ask yourself...

do i really need to do this?

it could be much cheaper just to call a taxi..

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:10 PM   #11
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hey 2air, you are totally right. do I really need this, is the question?

i'm looking at a cross country drive (ATL to LA) and I'd be staying in LA for a while so at some point I would need a car. Question is do I just get out there and buy a cheapie car or possibly sell my Toyota here in Atlanta and buy something like a Mini that I could toad comfortably. You guys are great for helping me work this out. There is so much to think about before you just hitch up something and take off.

I have a hitch on the vehicle now that who knows may already be set up for this, but I doubt it. I'll be posting pics very soon.

Thanks 2air.

Cheers,
Allen
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:25 PM   #12
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Allen,

What you really need is a copy of your Argosy owners manual. Our 74 manual only lists a 20' and 24' motorhome. Interestingly enough the 24' has a higher towing rating than the 20' does. 4401 lbs vs 3710 lbs. It would be interesting to see what the rating is for a 26' Argosy.

Personally I like the idea of switching to the Mini Cooper as a toad

Brad
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:51 PM   #13
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The Mini can not be flat towed, you would need a tow dolly. Regardless if you use a tow dolly or flat tow you can not back up when you have your TOAD attached. To give you some concrete numbers as to what AIR is saying we just equipped our Saturn L200 as a toad. The cost for the tow bar, chains, wiring, and base plate installation plus rock catcher for Chummy was just over $1,500. The majority of that went into the base plate and wiring. Saturn's are built for being towed and have made it easy for the installers to put on the base plates and wiring if you bring in some other model expect to pay more. The brake buddy is another $1,000.
In the past we have rented cars on longer trips and found that to work well. When my wife needed a new car we bought the Saturn, knowing it could be towed. We'll drive this Saturn for many years to get our money out of it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The Mini can not be flat towed
Chaplain Kent,

Are you referring to the "new" Mini (Maxi) or the old Mini ?

I would assume the older Mini with a 4-speed gearbox would be able to be flat towed but its something I've never looked into so I could be wrong.

It definitely does cost a lot to setup for towing. Fortunately we got a nice Falcon II tow bar with our 310 and we opted for magnetic lights for the rear (although we'll never do that again) along with having me install the towbar brackets on our (94 Honda Civic). Towing the Honda we hardly even notice its back there.

Brad
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