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Old 11-09-2008, 09:26 AM   #1
btr
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Newbie and Tow Vehicles!

Hi, so we're looking to get about a 26' Airstream to take to weekend sporting events (about 3-4 day long trips).

I have no idea what TV we'll end up with, because we're courting several auto sponsors who may or may not have a vehicle that can tow it! And it's likely we'll have a choice of which vehicle within that brand to choose from. I'd like to get a large SUV instead of a truck if advisable?

Any guidelines as to what I should and should not do? Seems very vague about what vehicles can tow which trailers, so I need some guidance. Sounds like just because vehicle "x" CAN tow say 7,500lbs doesn't mean it SHOULD tow 7,500lbs. I know wind, tow vehicle length, etc all play a factor along with weight, so how the heck do I know what to do???!!! Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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If you are looking to tow a 26 foot Airstream, it sounds to me like you are not going new or newer, but possibly vintage (older unit). Older units weigh less than new(er) units. Depending on what you'll be hauling, I would think a 1/2 ton would do the trick, or even a decent station wagon or sedan with solid engine/trans. Roadmaster, Caprice, Impala, Fleetwood all come to mind.

If however you are going to go with a newer unit, they are a bit heavier and I would then suggest looking at a 3/4 ton something (pickup, Suburban, etc)
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:59 AM   #3
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We tow with the vehicle indicated below. This was a case of Horse before we got the wagon. Beware of short wheel base vehicles. ITs my own belief that U should not use anything less than half the weight of the trailer. Any 3/4 ton VAN/Suburban/Pickup or any of the full frame Stationwagons with the correct hitch will do the job. With anything smaller than 1/2 anything you will be sacrificing SAFETY for Fuel Mileage . NOT A GOOD TRADEOFF in my book. U are gonna get a lot of differing opinions on the Forums So let safety be your guide. I have 60 yrs experience with everything from farm wagons to 53 ft semi-trailers I have towed em all.
Best of Luck with whatever U decide.
Roger
PS Here we go again gang He kicked over that ant-hill again!
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:34 AM   #4
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first step is to know the weight of the trailer fully loaded along with the tongue weight of the trailer.suvs tend to be heavier so you want to make sure you have enough braking power to stop everything in a panic stopping situation.for example i tow with a diesel excursion,the combined truck and trailer rating is 20000 lbs.this is the rating that the manufacturer feels the axles and brakes on the truck can handle adequately.since the truck has a gross weight of 9000 lbs this leaves a max towing weight of 11000 lbs for the trailer.alot of sound advice on these forums from people with many years of towing experience will tell you to not exceed 80 percent of gcwr,which in my case is 20000 lbs.my experience has taught me while towing that the stopping part of all the equations is the critical part .most 3/4 ton trucks have no problem pulling the load.hope this helps.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:51 AM   #5
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I would go with a 3/4 ton pickup, you can do it with it a 1/2, but I'd rather have more than not enough truck.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:07 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum
I would have to agree with 99Limited34. Go with a 3/4 ton and you will enjoy the experience more. A diesel engine will also make the towing much easier. One word of caution (personal experience) stay away from the short wheelbase trucks. I know I have went overboard in pulling my 34 footer with a F 350, but then again, I always feel in control of the rig.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:39 PM   #7
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Your main question being 26ft trailer, what tow vehicle. You should be fine with a half ton truck or van.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btr View Post
Hi, so we're looking to get about a 26' Airstream to take to weekend sporting events (about 3-4 day long trips).

I have no idea what TV we'll end up with, because we're courting several auto sponsors who may or may not have a vehicle that can tow it! And it's likely we'll have a choice of which vehicle within that brand to choose from. I'd like to get a large SUV instead of a truck if advisable?

Any guidelines as to what I should and should not do? Seems very vague about what vehicles can tow which trailers, so I need some guidance. Sounds like just because vehicle "x" CAN tow say 7,500lbs doesn't mean it SHOULD tow 7,500lbs. I know wind, tow vehicle length, etc all play a factor along with weight, so how the heck do I know what to do???!!! Thanks!
A 1/2 ton truck with a Reese 750 dual cam load equalizing hitch, would be perfect.

Do not install any air lifts, air shocks, or overload springs. To do so will defeat the purpose of the hitch.

Towing that trailer, without a superior load equalizing hitch, is an excellent way to spend some time in a hospital, or worse.

You might also want to check out your axles, before you make a trip.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:30 PM   #9
btr
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Thanks for all the replies everyone, this sure is an active forum!

So if the GVWR on the trailer I'm looking at is 7,400......would using a larger SUV that tows 7,500 (like the new Kia Borrego V8) be a bad idea for any reason? It's not exactly the longest SUV, but meets the weight requirements supposedly.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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I pull our 31 ft Sovereign with a 4WD Chevy Silverado 1500 (1/2 ton). I have not needed the 4WD at any campground yet, but do use it when hooking up at home. I could do it just fine without the 4 wheel drive, but I get in the grass a bit where I park our trailer at home, and having the 4WD engaged ensures I don't spin a wheel and tear up the grass.

When I tow, I use 2WD and overdrive, unless I get into really hilly areas. Check your owner's manual on this. Chevy says I can do it, but makes the same claim about downshifting if the transmission is "cycling" in and out of overdrive a lot (you know when this happens, because the tachometer jumps up and down a few hundred RPM, the sound of the engine changes, and you can feel it.). I also don't tow over 65 MPH ever. You can find several posts here that talk about tire rating and the like, but my reasons are fuel economy, and safety (should be the other way around - shouldn't it?).

I have owned as big as 1 ton trucks before, and as light as our 31 footer is, my 1/2 ton handles it just fine. If you look at some of the vintage sales pictures, most of these trailers were pulled by full size cars or station wagons in the 60's and 70's before SUVs were mainstream vehicles. I'm not trying to bad mouth anyone who uses a 3/4 or 1 ton to pull with. I am just saying that I don't plan on trading in my 1/2 ton for a bigger truck. It does the job just fine.

If there were two trucks you were looking at, one 1/2 and one 3/4 ton, and you had to spend more money for the 3/4 ton, if it were me, I would go with the 1/2 ton.

One closing thought. Whatever you buy, make sure it come with a towing package. Usually this means heavier duty suspension, shocks, springs, and trailer wiring. It is a bit more than just a receiver hitch.

Best of luck,
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #11
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I have towed my 23' safari with a 07 savanna van and it was nice but to ridgid for my setup. I reaquirerd my 02 4x4 burb 3.73 gear and love it. I just hope my 750# trunnion bars are not to much. I am no expert but if Andy says your fine with a 1/2 ton go with it. Why spend the $ on a 3/4.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btr View Post
Thanks for all the replies everyone, this sure is an active forum!

So if the GVWR on the trailer I'm looking at is 7,400......would using a larger SUV that tows 7,500 (like the new Kia Borrego V8) be a bad idea for any reason? It's not exactly the longest SUV, but meets the weight requirements supposedly.
There are far more important considerations to make, besides the weight requirements, for a vehicle to be a "good" tow vehicle.

Andy
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:11 PM   #13
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There are far more important considerations to make, besides the weight requirements, for a vehicle to be a "good" tow vehicle.

Andy
Agree. Some of the important considerations are....

precise and accurate steering

taunt, quality 4 wheel independent suspension, not soft, not stiff

low centre of gravity

quality 4 wheel antiloc brakes that provide short stopping distances

transmission (the more gears the better, optimal gear ratios)

engine, reliable history, large enough to get the job done and provides good fuel economy

tires that are firm with little side play and provide good traction

frame or uni-body that is firm and flex free

handling and stability.... the vehicle needs to be stable and have the ability to safely perform emergency manpuvers. Vehicles that have electronic stability control and traction control are best.

safety features as in multiple air bags etc get priority

A vehicle you can afford, like, and will enjoy driving whether it is towing or solo.

wheelbase to over hang ratio, the higher the number the better.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:44 PM   #14
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Huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btr View Post
Thanks for all the replies everyone, this sure is an active forum!

So if the GVWR on the trailer I'm looking at is 7,400......would using a larger SUV that tows 7,500 (like the new Kia Borrego V8) be a bad idea for any reason? It's not exactly the longest SUV, but meets the weight requirements supposedly.
Went to the Kia Borrego website and I can't seem to find any towing specs for this vehicle. Can you tell me where it says it can tow 7,500 lbs? Nor does it say what hitch/towing options it has.
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