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Old 07-13-2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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Will truck I love pull the A/S I Love?

Hi,

I'm new here and have been looking for an RV for full-timing. It's just me - an almost retired woman and my black Lab. Today I fell in love with the 23' Safari - when I went to look at some class C's. I really like the A/S - it's so classy and high quality as opposed to the lesser construction and decor in the others. I currently have a 2002 GMC SLE shortbed 4x4 pickup with a 5.3 liter V-8 engine and a factory tow package. I love my truck - she's a cream puff, quick, plenty of power (empty) decent mileage and turns on a dime - I'd like to keep it. Is this adequate to safely tow the 23' Safari?

I don't know what the hitch on the truck is - it's whatever was part of the standard package GM put on when the truck was built.

I don't have a lot of experience with trailers - a few U-hauls over the years and a boat trailer - but it was all short distance and the boat doesn't weigh much. But how hard can it be to learn?

Any opinions and advice will be appreciated - advance thanks.

Louisa
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:37 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on tow vehicles, but just wanted to say welcome and ask you to post pics of your labrador in the pet section. Not only are we Airstream lovers, but a good number of us are pet lovers as well. Again, welcome!
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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You should have no problem with the truck, as long as it has a tow package (includes things like a transmission cooler). I would consider a new receiver for the truck, as some of them suffered rust problems, to the point of failure.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:50 PM   #4
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Is it a new 23 foot Safari or a vintage Safari?
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Is it a new 23 foot Safari or a vintage Safari?
Oh, yeah, they did start making those again, didn't they?...
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:57 PM   #6
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Dumb question - what's the receiver? the hitch has a removal ball - mounted on square stock which goes into the square "receiver?" on the truck and is held in place by a maybe 1/2 inch pin which is secured with a spring clip. It had a bit of surface rust - which I brushed off and repainted it just this week - it's not missing any metal from rust - just paint.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:58 PM   #7
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It's a new safari - but I may look for a used one - I'm in no rush.
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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Yes, the receiver is the part that bolts tot he frame of the truck, and the head is the piece that slides into it, and holds the trailer ball.
It being a new(er) Safari, it should still be within rating for your truck. You would have to check the GVWR of the trailer, and the tow weight rating for your truck (usually found in your owner's manual under "towing").
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudentane View Post
Dumb question - what's the receiver? the hitch has a removal ball - mounted on square stock which goes into the square "receiver?" on the truck and is held in place by a maybe 1/2 inch pin which is secured with a spring clip. It had a bit of surface rust - which I brushed off and repainted it just this week - it's not missing any metal from rust - just paint.
The ball is mounted on a hitch bar. The hitch bar fits into the receiver and there is a removable pin that allows removal of the hitch bar. The receiver should be a 2" square. Also look for a 7-pin connector at the rear bumper. That tells you the truck is more than a basic model and set up for an adequate hitch. The remaining question is the presence of a tranny cooler.

5.3L? 23' Airstream? No problem mon... er, m'am!
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:46 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Welcome...

Glad to have you here..

If it looks at all like this..It would be a good idea to replace.
Not just for the rust, I have seen them fail with a lot less corrosion.

Your truck should do just fine with that great little AS.

Good luck
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:08 PM   #11
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Welcome Pudentane
Definately if your hitch(receiver) looks like the one above I would replace it. There was a recall on some receivers that General Motors installed on some vechiles and they replaced them free of charge with a better one.If it comes out of your pocket,U mentioned UHAUL. They have Draw-Tite /Which is identical to Reese. I not sure what ball height U need but get the correct Drop Drawbar(thats what the ball is mounted on) and while U are there get a Weight Distrubition or Straight Line hitch. U Haul has probably the best prices of anybody. I did shop around before I bought mine.
Oh the question about the Shortbed 4x4 It will do a good job for ya.
Best of Luck on what ever you deceide. Have fun Streamin'
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:19 PM   #12
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Just before dark tonight I went out and crawled under the truck and had a look at the hitch - it's in what I would call great shape - looks brand new - I've never pulled anything with this truck - and yes I believe the receiver has a two inch opening - although I didn't measure - just eyeballed it.

The fellow at the dealer's said my truck would pull it but I would need a "brake package" - but sometimes salesguys tell women what they want to hear - ya know what I mean?

Thanks for the info and the reassurances.

Louisa & Jasper Joy
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:28 PM   #13
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I think what the guy was referring to is a brake controller. It sends power to the trailer brakes when the truck brakes are applied. Your truck is most likely pre-wired for this and installation is fairly simple. There are several brands of brake controllers on the market. Tekonsha makes the prodigy and now the P3 model. These are the most popular units today. I have an older prodigy and am very satisfied with it.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:45 PM   #14
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I had to have our brake controller installed on our current truck,as well as the 7 pin plug relocated to use for our trailer. If you find a trailer repair shop, they should be able to sell you a quality controller, install it, and install the connector for the trailer wiring. Most GM trucks have a blank fuse in place of the one that should go in the charge line for the trailer, it would need to be replaced with a real fuse. Location is under the hood, left side, in the fuse/relay box.
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