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Old 10-29-2015, 07:35 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
Name another RV shop that advocates ignoring the manufacturer tow ratings.
OK...

How about just about every RV shop on the planet if the decision is to sell a $40,000 sport versus a $130,000 Classic! "Yep, your Buick will tow her just fine...... (kicking tires to test)"
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:52 AM   #22
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It is most often a mistake to buy a travel trailer to accommodate a tow vehicle. It is probably wiser to acquire a tow vehicle that will comfortably handle the travel trailer that you want and/or need.

Albeit, I am not a full timer, but I have quite a bit of experience Airstreaming. In the last ten years I have spent more than 1,700 nights in my Airstream. I have had a 23FB and two 25FB's. If I were to full time, the 23 would be the bare minimum, and the 25 would be much more preferable.

Good luck in your quest. Choose carefully.

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Old 10-29-2015, 10:40 AM   #23
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Thanks again, everyone. Your advice, opinions, and experience on both sides of the aisle are invaluable and I will weigh my options very carefully (pun intended).

Some of your comments made me laugh. I appreciate the sense of humor in this group! Though I know this is a very serious matter and I am taking it with the utmost seriousness.

I don't have enough capital to pay outright for both an AS and a tow vehicle, so I'm looking at borrowing more than I intended (just the AS alone) if I decide to go the upgrade route.

Does anyone know of a good lender who is used to people borrowing for both auto and rv at once?
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:55 AM   #24
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Hi there,
You mention not having enough capital to purchase both a tow vehicle and an Airstream. I'm curious, are you looking at used or new for each?
You are on an exciting journey. Good to see folks, such as yourself, doing research and taking advantage of all these wonderful folks' experience on the forum. Well done.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:11 AM   #25
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Thanks. I'm excited about this journey and want to do it right.

My 4Runner is completely paid off, so I was looking at taking out a loan for an AS, preferably used. The lower the monthly payment the better. As of right now, I don't have a telecommuting job lined up, so I plan to basically wing it as far as jobs go.

So if I end up doing a truck/AS combo, I will look at used for both, as I still need to try and make those monthly payments as low as possible.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:11 AM   #26
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Hi there...
Although we do not "full time" we spend over six months this year in our 2014 FC 20' towed with certified pre-owned VW Touareg. We decided on Airstream first and preferred to go new to get exactly what we preferred. Saved $$$ on low mileage VW and we could not be happier. Well ...I'd be a little happier if we also owned a beach cottage in Kauai but enjoy your Airstream hunting!
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:16 AM   #27
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Aside from the option to retrofit the '02 to tow... consider some other issues:

How many miles on that 4Runner? Will you be faced with replacement soon-ish anyway?
How much will you spend to get it tow ready? Would those funds be better spent in another way?

.
My 4Runner has just about 200,000 miles on it. It's in great shape. All the pertinent parts have been replaced within the past 4 years. I feel good about taking it out on the road because I know the history. Not to mention that 4Runner's are known for long lives.

I expect it to live another 200,000 miles.

Of course the other thing I have to consider is the type of loan I'll able to take out now will be much greater with a full-time job as opposed to when I'm living a life on the road working from temp job to temp job (I expect to land a telecommute job at some point).
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:37 AM   #28
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Time for a bigger vehicle-
We tried to find a trailer to tow behind my 1999 Nissan Pathfinder.
We were too limited.
Got a Tundra and doors opened as far as trailer options go.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:44 AM   #29
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20' AS and tow vehicle combination

FWIW, we have a 20' that we tow with a Dodge Durango SUV. The TV is rated to tow 6500 and the gross weight of the AS is 5000, so it works fine. We love the 20' because of the kitchen space and the better traffic flow floor plan - and that's what sold us.

The closer the tow rating of the TV to the gross weight of the AS, the more trouble you will have going up hills / mountains.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:45 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc929 View Post
I don't have a telecommuting job lined up, so I plan to basically wing it as far as jobs go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc929 View Post
My 4Runner has just about 200,000 miles on it. It's in great shape. All the pertinent parts have been replaced within the past 4 years. I feel good about taking it out on the road because I know the history. Not to mention that 4Runner's are known for long lives.

I expect it to live another 200,000 miles.

Of course the other thing I have to consider is the type of loan I'll able to take out now will be much greater with a full-time job as opposed to when I'm living a life on the road working from temp job to temp job (I expect to land a telecommute job at some point).
This all sounds like a shoddy plan being poorly executed and based mostly in fantasy.

As someone who is full timing, I would highly advise against "winging" it. You need a real plan. And part of that plan needs to be a better vehicle and some realistic expectations.

What is your timeframe for going full time?
Do you have the ability to save cash to reduce the loan amounts?
Are you in debt? Debt on the road can be a serious drag.
How will you actually earn a living?
How frequently will you travel?
What type of camping will you do?
How much do you think it will cost you each month to live on the road?

You've been given some good advice in this thread. You should start considering it rather than shrugging it all off.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:58 AM   #31
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I think suggesting one get the ideal travel trailer and then buy a TV to match it may be ignoring practicality, or at least reality. Some may already have the intended TV, or they plan to put 90% of the miles on the TV not hooked to a trailer and don't want to be subjected to the harsh ride of a 3/4 ton.

Seems if someone already has the intended TV, or there are other reasons to select a 1/2 ton, or an SUV, or a car, then match the trailer to it and accept that the trailer may not be ideally roomy. This may not be an issue if camping is only an occasional thing.

The exception would be full-timers. Then the TV will be hooked up most of the time.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:05 PM   #32
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Thumbs down Read the thread before making assumptions

Quote:
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I think suggesting one get the ideal travel trailer and then buy a TV to match it may be ignoring practicality, or at least reality.
The first post states that the OP intends to full time. So every piece of advice given by all in the thread has been relative to that. So do tell us more about ignoring practicality and reality?

Quote:
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P.s. I plan to do full-time living in my trailer.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:23 PM   #33
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Well...
The OP may not to live permanently in a 16' or 19' trailer, which is about all the 200,000 mile 4Runner can handle.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:52 PM   #34
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Well...
The OP may not to live permanently in a 16' or 19' trailer, which is about all the 200,000 mile 4Runner can handle.
I don't think that I would care to full time in a 16 footer with a wet bath and a single waste tank.

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Old 10-29-2015, 02:54 PM   #35
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I'll let others comment/advise on the suitability of your fine Tacoma for a 20ft FC, but if you do need to full-time...by yourself...the layout of the 20ft FC is perfect. Huge galley, nice bed, and perfectly usable bathroom/shower. Although we don't full-time, we use ours weeks at a time (pulling it with a 2012 Tahoe). Its a great floor plan. Safe travels. jon
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:13 PM   #36
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What year range are you thinking of on the trailer? I myself would be happier driving down the road with an older trailer, and a newer tow vehicle, than to be broken down with a newer trailer, and an older tow vehicle.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:34 PM   #37
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Hey Everyone,
My wife and I took an Airstream to Go vacation last year in California. We loved it so much we are looking to get one eventually. I am 59. I have started my "big turn"! I got rid of the sedan and got a GMC Yukon. It says the towing capacity is 8,500 lbs. I know that ought to pull at least a 27 foot but what kind of wear and tear should I expect if the 27 footer weighs 7500 lbs? The Yukon has a 5.2 litre engine. I really got interested when Ya'll started talking to dkottum. I got the vehicle thinking this is all I would ever need. Thanks
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:40 PM   #38
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Quote:
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The closer the tow rating of the TV to the gross weight of the AS, the more trouble you will have going up hills / mountains.
A 2015 VW Touareg with the V6 gas engine would struggle on some hills/mountains.

A 2015 VW Touareg with the V6 diesel engine would fly over the same mountains/hills by comparison.

They are both rated at 7700 lbs towing.

There many things that determine tow rating and occasionally it actually has something to do with towing ability. Tow vehicle research time would be better spent learning about the characteristics of a good tow vehicle, as well as the aerodynamics and stability of various travel trailers, weight does not make them equal either. Then research weight distribution/sway control hitches and proper setup and adjustment.

Tow ratings are only a starting point. This is unrealized by many and the source of endless towing arguments. And the reason some people love their 1 ton truck and others love their SUV, but never believe the other knows what they are doing.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:47 PM   #39
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This person doesn't live in an Airstream but a 17' Casita fiberglass trailer. Works on the road with seasonal employment. Right now she's in Texas working for Amazon.

Interstellar Orchard | Lessons on the journey to full time RVing

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Old 10-31-2015, 08:51 AM   #40
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When the idea of an Airstream occurred in September of 2012, I planned to use my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel as the tow vehicle. After downloading the Airstream Catalog, I figured the 19' International Serenity model with a GVW of 4,500 pounds would work.

I then started reading Airforums. There I learned that my factory receiver would need to be reinforced to use a weight distribution hitch even though it had been "fixed" by a factory recall. More reading opened up the possibility of even a larger taller after the hitch work was done. Sight unseen, we ordered the 2013 25FB International Serenity based upon the literature floor plan and numbers. The drawing showed one could walk around the cross frame bed.

I drove the Mercedes on the 4,400 mile round trip from Phoenix to CanAm in London, Ontario where they reinforced the hitch and tweaked the Hensley hitch stinger by cutting about 5" off and putting in a slight bend to preload the weight distribution system.

I picked up the new empty trailer in Los Angels. The listed literature 833 pound tongue weight turned into 1,150 pounds after adding the Hensley hitch head, the street side and rear awnings and a 150 watt solar panel. I was able to tow the unit home through the mountains on I-10 with no issues. I crossed the CAT scales and all the weights on the Mercedes axles and GVW were within limits. The "empty" trailer of course exceeded the suggested 5,000 pound towing weight limit.

After loading the trailer for camping with all the stuff, full water and propane and my wife in the car, on the trip to the CAT scales the car seemed to strain the drive train on the slight grades. The scales reported a overloaded front axle and the GVW of the car was exceeded. The trailer alone now weighted 6,800 pounds out of it's 7,300 pound GVW.

We then acquired a 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD diesel. That solved the tow vehicle capability issue. For many reasons, we were unhappy with the 25FB and it was traded in on a 31' Classic. The Dodge is a perfect match for that trailer and all is well.

The Mercedes is now towing a 2015 23D International Serenity which should have been the original choice. The scale numbers are all okay and the Trailer weight is over a 1,000 pounds lighter than the 25FB.

The OP needs to do a lot of on dealership research of sitting in the different models, lying on the beds to see if they will work (like not hitting your head when sitting up in a 25FB) and making sure the toilet leg room is adequate if the door is closed. Sit at the dinette and look at the TV screen. Is that position comfortable? Look at the real storage space.

The mentioned existing tow vehicle may not be compatible with the dream.

Do a lot more reading and set realistic goals for full timing. Airstream, by the way, does not recommend their units for full timing. More of a disclaimer since many folks do exactly that.
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