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Old 07-24-2006, 11:16 PM   #1
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What's the weight

My husband and I went to the RV Show in Santa Barbara,Ca. We fell in love with the Airstreams and interested in getting one. Our only problem is we have search several websites and can't seem to find the weight of a 22 or 23 foot. We need to know if our Chevy Avalanche can tow it... Can anyone direct me in the right direction or may know the weight. I've attempted to call Airstream my self but since I work late they seem to be closed by the time I get home from work. thanx
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:07 AM   #2
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Airstream has a great pdf available with all the weights - you can find it here.

Their website also has specs available for current production models
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:16 AM   #3
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Hello Denafamily & welcome to Airstream Forums!

For an example take a look at Airstream's Safari page. Scroll down until you see 'Specifications.' That will give you empty weights, tongue weight and gross max weight (GVWR). The same can be found by clicking on the Classic, CCD or Bambi lines at top left. Airstreamer FAQs give trailer weights for past models. Be very aware that published tongue weights do not include additional hitch apparatus (hitch bar or weight distribution gear) or propane in the tanks; weight at the hitch can be up to 200# heavier before you even begin to put personal gear in the trailer. Only a scale can tell for sure.

Tow capacity and combined tow vehicle/trailer rating (GCWR) are less important figures in the load equation. You want to make very sure that your tow vehicle is never beyond it's individual max weight (GVWR), whether you are driving it alone or towing a trailer. Your owner's manual should be the place to start. But ... checking at http://www.chevrolet.com/avalanche/specifications/ and clicking on Capacities, I see that the Payload is 1258# for 2WD and 1337# for 4WD. [Useful formula: Curb weight + Payload = GVWR] The passengers on board, any options on the vehicle, other gear carried in the vehicle, and real-life trailer tongue weight must not add up to more than your Avalanche's payload. Good thing I see is that they're all V8 engined -- a V6 just wouldn't hold up.

Best wishes and ask any questions your heart desires. Welcome again!
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:45 AM   #4
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Hi Denafamily--To determine the actual weight of an A/S in adddition to the length, you also need to know the year of manufacture. As a general rule newer A/S are heavier than older ones of the same length. I tow a 1973 27' Overlander with a loaded weight of 6400lbs with a 2001 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton with a 5.3ltr V8, and 4.10 rear. You probably have the same engine in your Avalanche, with a 3.73 rear. You should be able to tow any 22' or 23' A/S with your Avalanche. Get that A/S, and get rolling.--Frank S
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:56 PM   #5
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I must add some moderation (eh-eh .. ) to my urge to be math-wise. Even if you go new (heavier as Frank S says), I'd also say go for it but plan on having this current tow vehicle loaded lightly in other respects so that you stay within load capacity. Get the trailer you want now but in the mentioned length range. Airstreams are expensive to trade up when you go thru the occasional changes in tow vehicles. By time of the latter you'll be tired of lightly loading your Avalanche and be thinking through these old threads.

Enjoy!! And come back, ya hear?
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Old 07-25-2006, 01:08 PM   #6
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Link to the Safari Spec Sheet - http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...fari_spec.html

Your Avalanche will be within its limits for a 22 to 23 foot Airstream.
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Old 07-25-2006, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Tow capacity and combined tow vehicle/trailer rating (GCWR) are less important figures in the load equation.

You want to make very sure that your tow vehicle is never beyond it's individual max weight (GVWR), whether you are driving it alone or towing a trailer.
hi bob, denafamily and other weight watchers.......

dena family......
the avalance can tow a 22/23 safely...buy the trailer, go campin' and enjoy!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
now bob,

i disagree with the first statement quoted above and the 2nd is a confusing contradiction....

lets start where we agree....
the 'tow ratings' figures most vehicle manufactures offer are confusing;
for several reasons...
-like the exclusion of optional equipement from the figures,
-the need for optional equipment when towing (hitch, tranny cooler, engine cooler, bigger brakes, gear ratios...and so on)
-allowing for reasonable passenger loads, fuel and so on...

on to the dispute.....
repeatedly i read your declaration that........."GCWR is less important....."
-how do you arrive at this view?
-what is the source that supports this view?
-does anyone else agree with this view?
-why do you keep suggesting this to folks new to towing?

the gcwr is the final, absolute (if arbitrary) total figure that should not be exceeded...
it is the total weight of everything (car, trailer, hitch, people, pets, fluids, fuels, gear, options, accessories, food, toys, safety devices, instruction manual, warranties, support crew, ref'r magnets, rock collections, coupons, travel books, spare keys, richard simmons lookalikes....and so on...)

it is the maximum allowable moving mass......
so 'all of everything' that is rolling, being drug or bouncing along...see the list above

it is the max total mass...
that is stalled, started, stopped, turned, swooped, parked and CONTROLLED.

????
so why do you think it a..... 'less important figure in the load equation?
when, it is the final figure for the load equation...

any thoughts or rebuttals?

now for the confusing part....
"You want to make very sure that your tow vehicle is never beyond it's individual max weight (GVWR)"
- agreed this is true; agree gvwr is important...

- but, but, but, but if someone where to suspect/realize
they were exceeding this figure once the trailer tongue was added,
they might be inclined to shift stuff inside the trailer
to lessen the tongue load some...
and reduce tongue weight so they don't exceed gvwr....
or they might move cargo from the t.v. to the trailer...
that 2 would reduce payload and get them under gvwr.......
which you've suggested it is so important.....

but what if they are still over the gcwr?...
which is "less important" say you...
aren't they still ...........................SCREWED?
with regard to the ratings, and legally and safety?


so let me put it to you and others another way...........

IF forced to exceed a weight/towing limitation.........

which would you choose, the gcwr or the gvwr?....
gotta pick one or the other...
no choice for neither
no choice for tossing stuff
no fedex or balloon delivery service....
no way out.....

and nobody gets off that easy....
the ncc and gwr for the trailer isn't exceeded
regardless of choice

what about it bob?

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:03 PM   #8
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I Must Be Missing Something Here...

Which Avalanche do you have?

If you have the 8.1 liter you can tow 10,100 with the 3.73 differentials;
12,000 with the 4.10. Sounds like a tow-beasty to me.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:27 PM   #9
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But....

Quote:
Originally Posted by klevan
Which Avalanche do you have?

If you have the 8.1 liter you can tow 10,100 with the 3.73 differentials;
12,000 with the 4.10. Sounds like a tow-beasty to me.
If you have the 5.3, we have a different story...
7,200 # with the 3.73 differentials
8,000 # with the 4.10

So, we really must know more about your tow vehicle before we can offer a helpful analysis.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:35 AM   #10
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2air' -- I've been busy but bookmarked your detailed reply for clarification on my part. I was guilty of brevity and for clarity's sake will try to explain in more detail. My underlying premise is this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
You want to make very sure that your tow vehicle is never beyond it's individual max weight (GVWR), whether you are driving it alone or towing a trailer.
We 3/4-ton owners must recognize nuances that lighter TV owners face. My "GCWR is less important" statement may be too glib to get away with (dangling preposition excepted) and I apologize. I will endeavor to avoid this in the future. Here goes: a proper owner will not exceed the GVWR of the TV, the GVWR of the trailer, the tow capacity, the GCWR, nor any axle limit.

I more properly should have stated that TV GVWR will be the most threatened excess measure with most setups. Per the Avalanche website, tow capacity is 8000# with a 4.10 rear end. At an accepted 10-12%, this 8000# tow would give a hitch weight of 800-960 pounds; I tend to be wary of the lower figure due to front weighting of WD gear and filled LP tanks. In an ideal world we'd have a valid test of many Forums members traipsing off to CAT scales -- idea for a rally sometime.... Anyway, this leaves an Avalanche owner with 400# or less load they can have in the TV after hitching up -- worthy of a warning IMO. Even the approx 7000# tow capacity of the 3.73 rear end Avalanche requires application of good math and proper loading -- at which point I might agree it could be a fine tow vehicle. The proposed 22' or 23' Airstreams will not actually gross out near the over-large 7000# & 8000# numbers above, but a call to "Do the math" remains just as important. I am imagining 3 or so family members, a dog, gas tank full, and the cargo space with not much gear could use up 1/3d of the TV Payload in a flash. My Reese hitch bar with ball weighs 37# all by itself!

For safety and practical reasons (no CAT scale in my driveway for one) shifting gear inside the trailer should not be looked at to accomplish too much. WD gear & propane stay at the front of the trailer anyway. Try throwing an arrow backwards and you get an idea of the unstable tow if tongue weight is reduced below 10%. Where does it become unmanageable? 8%? 6%? I don't wanna know nor will I lead anybody down this path.

One point from my GMC 3/4-ton truck's manual -- "Maximum trailer weight is calculated assuming only the driver is in the tow vehicle and it has all the required trailering equipment." This suggests Tow Capacity & GCWR should be interpreted properly as an upper limit only under very specific circumstances. As 2air' suggests, I would agree that there is confusion on tow ratings. The newbie, casual or experienced reader will properly look at all the numbers -- at which point I suggest again TV GVWR (GVWR = curb weight + payload) is the most sensitive and easily violated. If one already owns a TV that can be used with some caution, I certainly would suggest keeping an eye on eventually replacing with a more capable TV. Trust and confidence in your equipment enhances the experience. And 'enough truck' let's you camp in the style to which you are accustomed. In case of the unfortunate accident you can at least know you tried to cover the bases properly.

Occasional posts mention how Forum threads have changed over time; eg, no more REAL arguments on best WD gear, best brake controller, and honestly -- this very subject here. RoadKingMoe was the most cogent advocate for "Watch the Payload" and then recommended a safety margin of staying at no more than 85% of any capacity number (I'm not even saying that!)-- his posts are scattered in multiple threads and difficult to find with the Search function as it is today. A member recently recommended this site for an explanation of towing criteria -- it's still "one person's opinion" but seems pretty good.

Where does one go for good advice? Forums advice is free and is all over the block; very good information is in the Forums if the reader will learn how to judge what is being said. It's a needle in a haystack to find a towing expert at a car/truck dealership. RV dealer -- there will be some there. Go to a Forums Rally and you can talk in depth to experienced folks. I would trust 2air' to set me up properly. Sometimes I get PMs from members asking detailed questions -- I try to steer them back to the peer reviewed open Forums as you see in this thread. Thanks to Joe for stimulating this discussion.

And now back to my day job -- dreaming about that next Airstream adventure. Ever get the idea we should just put the 2air' and Canoe posts into their own thread?
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:22 PM   #11
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Hello. one thing to keep in mind, a transmission cooler.a lot of people forget and a nice hefty price is paid in the cost of a transmission.a$150.00 or $200.00 unit will help you alot in towing costs.
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Here goes: a proper owner will not exceed the GVWR of the TV, the GVWR of the trailer, the tow capacity, the GCWR, nor any axle limit.
hi canoestream....

well don't forget to include...
not exceeding wheel and tire ratings and speedlimits!

then the general statement your are composing will be more complete...but like a general liability disclaimer...not much use.

this is better however than the general trend i'v observed...
leading to the statement from you that gcwr was nothing but 'fluff'
if gvwr was exceeded...

post #10 in this thread is very helpful in understanding your rational...
so a big thanks!

also we've had this exchange before, i didn't have any trouble finding
rkm's position on gcwr.....
http://www.airforums.com/forums/218619-post6.html
simply searching rkm and gcwr gives several very specific references...

some here drowned in numbers, others over use them. same to with general concepts or personal experience.

so a little check/balance is useful...if it prompts the reader to think...


i'd still like to know...
if ya had to be over limit on gcwr or gvwr,
which would be chosen?
i'm sure it happens regularly,
so it's hardly a hypothetical...

i think we agree,
that everyone should do the home work for themselves,
ask questions whenever confused,
get experienced help
and keep learning as we tow...

here's too camping soon!

cheers
2air'
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