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Old 07-24-2008, 02:29 PM   #43
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Phil, welcome to the Forum. There are many threads on the proper truck for various trailers. Look under "Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches"—it's in the section on "Restoration", etc., on the Forum page. There are endless discussions on various models of trucks, how to tow, what to tow, what not to tow. I recall that some people were not happy with the Nissan Titan describing it as a light duty truck and not up to 1/2 ton specs. I think the Honda Ridgeline is even lighter duty as it is built on a car chassis rather than a truck one, but people tow trailers with it.

Henry, on that same subforum you should find information about GM receivers, recalls on some of them, rust and cracking of them. I'm not surprised your owner's manual says one thing and the receiver says another—my belief would be to believe what's stamped on the receiver as the safest approach. The receiver supplier should know its limits. How manufacturers determine towing ability, payload, gross vehicle weight, etc., is shrouded in mystery and hype. Just how is a 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck determined anyway? You can count leaf springs for a rough idea, but there are many factors. If you read enough threads, you'll find people tow heavy trailers with vehicles that seem much too lightweight for the job and have no problems. Maybe their suspensions are suffering and their tires wear too fast, maybe not. Maybe in a road emergency they are more likely to have a disaster, maybe not. Everybody has a different tolerance for risk and there are distinct differences in driving ability in an emergency.

What would pull a new 25' safely might not pull a new 31'. Minnie's Mate (Tom) believes a 1/2 ton truck would be ok for a new 27' Safari, but I thought when I was looking at 25's and 27's, that the 27' would max out our Tundra on payload considerations. Tom has been doing this a lot longer than me, so I respect his opinion. I still wouldn't buy a 27' and mate it to a Tundra. I think if you're going to fulltime, you be bringing along a lot more stuff than for even a 6 week trip and you have to take that into consideration. When we were trying to figure all this out, we got everything together we'd bring and weighed everything, added in fuel, water, etc., to see just what we had to deal with. Sure, we're anal retentive, but it helped us understand what we were dealing with.

Unfortunately, all this information about weight is difficult to sort out, but eventually, it should become clear, or clear enough to venture forth.

Gene
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:10 PM   #44
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Gene, I'm certainly no expert on Toyota trucks but Toyota claims the Tundra has a towing capacity of 10,300 LBS. My wife's Expedition is a 1/2 ton based SUV and has a towing capacity of 9,400 LBS. This is sufficient to tow our 30' Safari. Our 30' Safari has a GVW of 7,400 LBS., IIRC. A new 27' Classic is much heavier @ 9,000 GVWR would be a different story.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:21 PM   #45
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Tom, you're right about the towing capacity, but the payload isn't so great. It varies considerably among all the models and some accessories make it even lower, although Toyota is vague about that. The Toyota 5.8 L engine is a monster, but the suspension is less monstrous, though a lot more beefy than the previous Tundra model. Every truck is different and payload was the big issue to me. The 27' Safari added 70 # to tongue weight plus another 400 # GVWR and being bigger, we would surely pack more in it. The extra $4,000 also made a difference and we wanted a shorter trailer. After figuring in how the tongue weight is distributed across the axles and all the other variables, we decided to go with the 25'. Now that we keep adding things to take along, we feel good about our decision.

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Old 07-24-2008, 06:27 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by HankO View Post
...I'm totally confused now...Henry
u now qualify for 'stream ownership and membership here.

1. that thing bolted or welded to the back/under the towvehicle is NOT a hitch...

it IS the receiver (think of it as the wall plug or outlet FOR the hitch) for a towing bar/ball/hitch apparatus...

the "5000" limit u read is for towing with a simple BALL and no 'weight distribution hitch'...

sometimes known/confused with the 'bumber' hitch capacity (but a ball on the bumper is another thing)

hitch "CLASS" includes the w/d capacity . very likely the RECEIVER on your truck is class IV (4)

OR the TRUCK MAY HAVE A CLASS III (3) receiver...

http://www.randpcarriages.com/tech/T...tchClasses.htm

there are LOTS of basic guides 4 getting up to speed on towing/hitching issues...

it's partly learning new terminology and partly learning some mechanical notions and partly BS...

trailer life has some good basic info online, so wander around their webpage...

Trailer Life Magazine

and most of the vehicle companies committed to towing publish towing guidelines...

these USUALLY have the specs (read the fine print) and some basic towing concepts...

here are a few online versions, but most ford truck dealers have printed versions for free...

http://www.olatheford.com/fleet/2008...ertowguide.pdf

http://www.texasmotorsford.com/img/384794

http://www.fordvehicles.com/assets/p...F15_towing.pdf

when it comes to the actual HITCH apparatus, most of the vendors also have online resources...

reese

Equal-i-zer

and IF u are interested in this particular hitch (the haha) u can start here...

but bring eyedrops and a whoopee cushion, it's a long ride.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ide-26279.html


cheers
2air'
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:03 PM   #47
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Is it a Hitch or is it a Receiver or is it.....

1. that thing bolted or welded to the back/under the towvehicle is NOT a hitch...

it IS the receiver (think of it as the wall plug or outlet FOR the hitch) for a towing bar/ball/hitch apparatus...


2Air,

I'm getting more confused by the minute. I went to one of your posted links www.Randpcarriages.com and they refer to the different classes of "Receivers" as Hitches.

I'm lost in Hitch or is that Receiver Hell

Henry
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:43 PM   #48
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[I]...I'm getting more confused by the minute...
not 2 worry, u r making progress...

hitch can be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, first name or cuss word!

why do they call those little places we plug gadgets INto, outlets? or receptacles...

the little 2 inch (+/- depending on class) square HOLE is really the 'receiver' and that is the part u will USE...

but billions (ok a lot) of people and vendors call 'em hitches...

it's hard to fight that many people, even IF they are old...

here is a glossary that will and to your learning...

and confusion

rv words 'splained some...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:43 PM   #49
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I don't watch TV - but am an avid reader - and will miss my weekly fix of a half dozen books from the library

Yes, I read at least that much, and I missed my usual hit-three-four-library-branches-per-week routine once we were on the road. Used bookstores were as necessary as the morning coffee. I also became more willing to watch commercial-free television, and movies.

As to tables, I have seen some nice solutions in these pages, owner-retrofits that a carpenter with reasonable skills could duplicate. Our trailer has two tables in different areas (no dinette, but free-standing chairs; the other by the couch that also expands for a drop-in leaf) so that projects can be done, but I sense you indicate something sturdier than these one-leggers.

Still, the extra six feet from 28' to 34' is not worth it to me, were I again to purchase a trailer (for one or two persons only) despite the huge amount of living area in the latter trailer.

Task lighting (and electrical capacity within reach) are other concerns for working closely.

A friend of mine (now sadly deceased) had a carpenter modify the twin bed area of his Airstream to a bench and shop for his custom jewelry work, lighting and electrical were the hardest to arrange properly. He "lived" in the front of the trailer until his house was built and retained the trailer as a shop for some years.

As to A/C, well, there are times when shutting the windows, arranging window coverings and turning up "Performance Today" on NPR is the single cure for some campgrounds and daily goings-on. Being down South in the winter still involves high humidity, and a little cooling goes a long way. The option of it's use is what I like. And am looking forward to to installing new Max-Air or Fantastic Fans for yet more options in comfort.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:52 AM   #50
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Hitch Ratings

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Originally Posted by HankO View Post
This thread has opened my eyes, just when I thought I had enough hitch and weight dist. system I'm finding out I may be under gunned.

I too have a 1/2 ton chevy 5300 V8, with a 4.10 rear end. I've just bought a 97, 28' Excella. My owners manual rates the 1/2 ton chevy (with the 4.10 rear end) at Max trailer weight of 8700 lbs. I've talked to a couple of other Airstream owners and they say the truck should pull the 28 footer OK. I just bought a 12000 lb Equalizer, but have yet to pull the trailer with the new set up.

I have never given a thought about the Hitch on the truck, as I figured GM would put on the best and largest hitch for the upper rating. I just checked the factory hitch on my truck, and where the plug is it says "V5 Northern Stamping", but below this it says "Max Trailer Weight 5000 lbs?
I'm assuming this is a V5 hitch but only rated to pull a 5000 lb trailer?

I'm totally confused now

Henry
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Henry
I can clear up your confusion on the hitch rating, but first let me say that your TV will pull that trailer for you with the proper hitch, but not that hitch as it is a Class II/III hitch.
The Hitch: the V5 designation you see on the hitch is not the federal rating it is a manufacturers designation. Federal standards place ratings on hitches for the amount of weight they can handle. The class ratings start at II and go to VI, (1 has been faised out) the II & III is for light trailers such as 8-10 foot max weight of 1000 lbs load and tongue weight of 300-500 Lbs, IV is 5000-10,000 LB tongue weight up to 1000 Lb,
the VI is for trailers in the 10-20,000 range and a tongue weight of 12-1500lbs.
The II & III are usually mounted to the bumper, where the IV, V, VI, are usually mounted to the frame.
Depending on the truck size as too which hitch is used. For now lets stick with the full size trucks.
Most of your hitches are usually class III that is offered in trailer packages for Chev, GMC and Chrysler unless specifically ordered otherwise, and Ford and Toyota are using the IV hitch.
The hitch you have on your truck should have the rating stamped on it somewhere. if it is not beware of that hitch.

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Old 07-25-2008, 06:22 AM   #51
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My decisions about what I want/need are based on what I do: I make handmade books and jewelry and need a place to do that sort of thing when the weather isn't nice or it's windy - which means a dinette is really a necessity - it needs to be high enough to avoid a wagging tail - and stable so all the little parts aren't bumped onto the floor - I don't watch TV - but am an avid reader - and will miss my weekly fix of a half dozen books from the library. Drawing and painting will be primarily out doors and maybe not where the trailer is parked- but writing and creative journals are also most comfortably and productively done at a table Neither I nor my friends are 20 something any more - so I want a sofa that makes into a decent bed for guests. I'm not fond of A/C - and deal better with being hot than with being cold - so I'll only run it when it's unbearable. (I only turn it on in the truck for about 5 min. to cool it off when it's been sitting in the sun - then I shut it off and ride with the windows open - I don't like being hermetically sealed in! Maybe I'm weird - nahh.)

As I'm a solo traveler - I'm not sure I need a lot of what people who travel as duo's need - but a rug a folding table and a couple of chairs - which I already have - should work for starters.

Louisa & Jasper Joy
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You are on the right track, don't pick the TV first pick the trailer then the TV.
On the trailer if the 30-34 is too large and the 23 is too small or just not quite big enough then I would go into the happy medium 25-28, then look at a TV that can handle it, keep it for 2 years then if you need to trade up or down from there.
This is where the used market really plays an important role, if you are really unsure about what kind of trailer you want to own then I would suggest that you look at a used unit, have it inspected there are many good used TT out here this way if you find what you have chosen is not what you need and you have spent time in it, then you will know more of what you do want and you can move into a smaller or larger new one and at the same time it will also give you a chance to also pick a good Tow Vehicle because you also start with used thus allowing you the ability to trade it. Of coarse the drawback is the fact of used, but you wont be locked into a new TT & TV.
I can understand what you are going through, I know that I like the larger trailer because of the added space in the event that due to weather we have to spend any amount of time in the trailer, but on the same token we dont want one too big either, then there is the issue of the grandchildren we want to be able to have them with us on occasion so additional space is needed.
So what we have done is to buy a used 31 and I am going to get it back to right condition including repairing anything that could cause a problem later down the road. I plan on keeping the used unit for 2 years and then at that time we are going to buy a new one. This will also tell us whether we want to stay with the TT or go into a MH.

Sarge
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:56 PM   #52
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Speaking of Flying Cloud. Airstream has renamed the Safari model line as the Flying Cloud (the name speaks to you doesn't it).
Yes, it does. I finally figured out the renaming - Flying Cloud was one of the China Clippers that raced around the horn and I believe that she set records at one time - those 18th/19th century clipper ships were light and fast for their day - I love the name!

Yes, I'm trying to chose a model based on the way I live and the things I like to do when I'm not outside - then if the truck isn't adequate I'll trade it. But I want to try and "get it right" in my choice of a trailer on the first go because I'm going to be living on my meager retirement and probably won't be able to trade up without dipping into my capital - which is not a viable option. (Gotta save something to pay the nursing home!) But I've started looking at ads for used A/S's and there are some interesting prospects - which would definitely leave a lot more jingle in my jeans than buying a new one.

Since neither my black lab nor I are finish carpenters and know zilch about electricity, wiring, pumps and such I'm very nervous about the unknowns in buying used. I look at ads in which say people never used the oven or some of the other appliances and I wonder if there will be problems because they weren't used and have just sat corroding.

Also, I've revamped several houses - have a total of three new kitchens behind me - and I'm tired of projects. I want to hook up the TT and go enjoy life - not be fussing with improvements and fix-it stuff. The whole point for me is to go all the places and see all the things I've always wanted to do and do some art and writing and not be burdened with a whole lot of things needing improvements and substantial maintenance. - kick back and relax and enjoy life on my terms, in my own way. Which leads me back to buying new and getting on with it. All of which says I don't yet know what I want! But thanks to all the info I've gotten here I do think I can probably tow a 25 or 27 Safari with my truck - especially if I get a new "receiver" so I'm not worried about that. Seems a small price to pay for peace of mind - and it's high on my list of priorities - because I'll be setting off alone - with no home base and nobody to call if I get into trouble.

Louisa & Jasper Joy
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:09 PM   #53
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You are on the right track, don't pick the TV first pick the trailer then the TV.

I can understand what you are going through, I know that I like the larger trailer because of the added space in the event that due to weather we have to spend any amount of time in the trailer,

Sarge
Sarge, thanks for the empathy - really - it's nice to know that my going round about "the decision" is not unique. The scary part is that I'm burning my bridges - the TT will be my home and my only home and I'm determined to get rid of everything that isn't going with me so I'm not paying storage on stuff that I then have to come back and get rid of. I come from a long line of pack rats and I'm trying to shed that skin and be who I want to be instead living the lifestyle that I was brought up in - ( a nice house with nice things in a nice neighborhood) which I now find to be a burden. I'm working 50 hours a week to support it and too much of my money is going for property taxes, gasoline for an 80 mile a day commute and huge heating oil bills. I'm opting out of the traditional American Dream!

Louisa & Jasper Joy
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:11 AM   #54
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Getting out of the rat race.

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Sarge, thanks for the empathy - really - it's nice to know that my going round about "the decision" is not unique. The scary part is that I'm burning my bridges - the TT will be my home and my only home and I'm determined to get rid of everything that isn't going with me so I'm not paying storage on stuff that I then have to come back and get rid of. I come from a long line of pack rats and I'm trying to shed that skin and be who I want to be instead living the lifestyle that I was brought up in - ( a nice house with nice things in a nice neighborhood) which I now find to be a burden. I'm working 50 hours a week to support it and too much of my money is going for property taxes, gasoline for an 80 mile a day commute and huge heating oil bills. I'm opting out of the traditional American Dream!
Louisa & Jasper Joy
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Louisa,
There are many of us who are exactly where you are right now and working towards the same goal. We too haved lived the dream, Home, Cars, Jobs, Excetrea. It has also become too much for us as well and with all our money going into paying for this stuff and then work constraints a person really can not enjoy traveling and doing all the stuff that had to be given up because of family and bills. We are currently raising 2 of our grandchildren and this is why we have started with used, hopfully the parents will wise up and the kids will be where they belong and when that happens we too will sell off everything but those few things that can not be replaced, get rid of the house, cars, maybe even the motorcycle and then we are going to go full time as well because my wife wont have to work and we can live off my income.
Until then I will be watching this and other sites and others adventures good and bad and the outcomes of both.
If anyone wants to notify me of their travels, I can be emailed direct at SargeAF@Hotmail.com

Sarge
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:01 AM   #55
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I forget who said it - the trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win - you are still a rat.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:53 AM   #56
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I forget who said it - the trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win - you are still a rat.

George Carlin.
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