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Old 08-06-2008, 08:58 PM   #15
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
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Anne and Debbi, welcome to the Forum.

We started looking the end of last summer and by the end of October, we had a Safari 25' FB. We had a perfectly good 2002 Tundra, but didn't believe it was good enough to pull a 25'. The engine was a bit small for that, but the biggest issue was payload. So we bought an '07 Tundra. This is a much larger and more powerful truck than the 1st generation Tundra's (actually 3rd generation if you count the T 100 as 1st gen.). The first Tundras, as Richard says, were a light 1/2 ton. I think the newer ones are 1/2 ton plus, maybe 5/8 ton.

The big issue with 1/2 ton trucks—and they're all different in all their capabilities—is payload. Most have big enough engines to pull a 25 or 27, but the suspension may not be up to it. Some people pull 27's with a 1/2 ton, others feel they need a 3/4 ton. We wanted the Toyota for reliability (we've had excellent service with Toyotas), and believed the 27' was a little too heavy for the Tundra's payload. We certainly liked the 27' floorplan, but 400 more lbs., 70 lbs more tongue weight and around $4,000 were clinchers, so we got the 25'. If you had the standard cab new Tundra, it has more payload, but we wanted the larger (4 door) cab. And the 27' just seemed too long.

But if you are looking at something from the '90's, some of them were lighter than the contemporary ones. I don't know exactly when the weight changed, but I think it was at the end of the decade. If you want a '90's Airstream, be prepared for repairs. Even experienced people can get fooled and have to do a lot of work. Various Forum members will inspect used ones for you and you can find them somewhere on the Forum. If you are good with home repairs, that's a good start for a trailer, but remember it's a whole house compressed into a couple of hundred square feet and that's a challenge. And even new ones need a lot of maintenance, more than a good car or truck. Whatever you do, it will cost you more than you think for there's a lot of extra stuff to get. If you visit the factory, there will be many toys to tempt in the gift shop (we all go to the factory eventually).

There are many threads about tow vehicles and GVWR, GCVWR, axle ratings, tow capacity and payload. There are plenty of books about RV's that are useful to read. You will be confused, but it gets better after a while. You will have trouble sorting out all the recommendations about trucks and weight, but after a while you'll figure out who to trust (usually somewhere in the middle between the paranoid and the foolishly fearless).

Read and read until you are comfortable you know enough and are ready to act. Most say to find your trailer first and then the tow vehicle. We knew we were going to get the Tundra and bought it first, but we knew we would probably get the 25 even then. For us, the decision on each affected the other.

And Anne, greetings from north of the Uncompadre Plateau.

Gene
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:06 AM   #16
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2009 27' FB International
Silsbee , Texas
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Thanks Gene for the reply...We are definitely going through all you said...We have decided we want the 27FB...I want the Ocean breeze due to color scheme and triple awnings...doesn't matter to hubby as long as it is a 27FB...The TV is what is driving us crazy..We love Toyota (have 2 FJ Cruisers). The Tundra 4X2 is definitely something I could drive and prefer, along with rebates being offered on it( What we save would allow us to be able to spend more on the AS, so we don't blow the budget)...then we have the Ford dealership quoting us a deal that is very hard to refuse on a Diesel F250 King Ranch 4X4, that will pull and carry a small house( no towing or payload issues with it)...then of course the other makers have their good pts... Decisions...Decisions...Decisions...

I sorta got depressed on all the interior flaws on the 08 trailers we looked at in Houston...mine you we are not picky people...but just freaked me on some of the quality of work for the price...and then all the problems I am reading on here people are having...(I keep telling myself to take it all with a grain of salt...the FJ forums had me freaked with all the FJ problems, when I ordered my FJ and we haven't had any issues in 2 years). Just kinda busted my bubble.

Now we're home and I'm psyched again. Luckily we're in no big hurry, so learning as much as we can, and trying to get the best price.

Have a great day!

Debbi
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:59 PM   #17
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blueiwahine, Debbi,

I always find myself saying, "If I only knew then what I know now".
I purchased an 4x4 Excursion new in 2003. I can count the times on one hand using the 4-wheel drive, I could have avoided those occurances. My next tow vehicle will be 2-rear drive, they ride, steer better and tow-capacity is greater.

This is my preference but at least I shared my thoughts with you.

Good luck, JB
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:20 PM   #18
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I wouldnt tow with a tundra. Also they never made a 3/4 ton. Not very relliable. Frame issues ect. Kind of like the Honda oddessey, a market that fizzled out quik because they cant compete with American quality and longevity. You sound like your having a good time in this life and that is great. Buy American it is well worth it when you get into the bigger trailers you want a sure foot on the road. High winds or semis passing you . Toyota has spent alot of money on marketing. Chevy offers a great 1/2 ton with creature comforts and fuel economy. I personaly like Ford ( super duty) but it is overkill for yuor application. 2009 is a new body style for F150 I think. Good luck
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:40 AM   #19
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As you can see, Debbi, people are really attached to their trucks. Our '07 Tundra has about 8,000 miles on it in 10 months and has been flawless. Our 2002 Tundra had zero problems except they rebuilt part of the front suspension on a recall. Our two 4 Runner were flawless except for 3 or 4 very minor issues (such as a bad windshield wiper blade). Our '99 Tacoma was flawless. Sure, Toyota markets their vehicles, but they back it up with reliability. Compare their reliability with others and Toyota always is ahead of them.

The new Ford 150 is supposed to come out in November. The general rule is to avoid a totally new model because there will be problems in the first year (I admit I didn't wait that long for the Tundra).

The 2wd Tundra would have a much bigger payload and might well be a good combination with the 27'. Finding a 2wd in Colorado can be a chore. You might have to go to Albuquerque.

You're right to take your time. We didn't have any patience once aluminitus struck. We've had a number of minor defects on ours, but they're getting fixed. One problem is the dealer network is thin and we (and you) have to travel long distances to get things done.

Gene
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:04 PM   #20
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Anne,
Just wanted to say Sorry...didn't mean to hi-jack your thread.

Thanks everyone for the info.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:21 PM   #21
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Debbie and Annie I think it was. My advise to you both is GIT OFF THE COUCH! Put the wish books away. Let your fingers do the walking. ATTEND some local Rallys,look at some Airstreams in REAL TIME. Wiff not salesman breathin down your neck. Streamers always welcome those who are curious and intrested in Airstreams. We always wanna show off ours even to customers that come to our place of business and ask about the AIRSTREAM.
PLEASE DON'T wait like I did,till U R 70 yrs old and then start.
We purchase 1977 Overlander 27ft its just rite size for us. Price was rite too.Be patient there is one out there U can afford.
The biggest one thing is DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
I will refrain from gettin into TV's as I get moderated. BUT I would STRONGLY suggest U go with 3/4 ton AMERICAN MADE
Roger
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