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Old 06-04-2019, 09:19 PM   #1
PEN
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Bryant , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 39
“Test drive” before buying AS

We are planning to buy a new TT, probably AS 25’ International or Globetrotter. We previously had a Jayco White Hawk 27’. Will dealers let you actually hook up and pull it down the road for a test drive like they would for a Class A, B , or C? If so, is it common practice? We want to see for ourselves whether ASs are truly that much easier to pull. I wanted to get an idea BEFORE going to the dealership. Thanks for the info in advance!
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:32 PM   #2
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Simple answer is no. More complicated answer works out to no.

Indeed there are outfits (not dealers) that will *rent* you an AS to play with. Finding one that has the same/same trailer you are looking at is unlikely. Finding one local to you is also unlikely. If you *can* find one .... they aren't cheap. On top of that, the only ones I'm aware of want to supply you the whole package. Trailer + hitch + tow vehicle. That makes it a bit tough to evaluate things.

Bob
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:37 PM   #3
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Tucson , Arizona
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I can only speak for our experience, but the dealer we used (Airstream Adventures NW Portland) had an "Airstream Tow Experience" set up. It was an F-150 with a 25' AS they let you test drive to see what it feels like to tow the AS. We didn't use the service and so I don't know if you could use your own tow vehicle. YMMV with the dealer you choose to use but it's worth asking!
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:46 PM   #4
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2017 22' Sport
NCR , Ontario
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give canam RV a call in london , ON

they allow customers to try pulling the trailers

they are the #1 source for towing experience.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:13 PM   #5
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2012 28' International
Prince Edward County , Ontario
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I can't speak for other dealers but Can-Am in London, Ontario has an annual open house in the spring where they have several trailers set up for demonstration towing (mostly Airstreams). No sales pressure either as the demos are handled by volunteers - usually Airstream owners.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:07 PM   #6
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Palm Springs , California
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More importantly, stay in the trailer for the weekend to test all components. The towing experience is well documented and legendary.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:21 AM   #7
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1998 34' Limited
Lawrenceville , Georgia
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Good advice herein on access to test drives etc. I'm addressing the "that much easier to pull" question. They are certainly more aerodynamic, have a lower center of gravity, and if reasonably cared for, will last a long time. They aren't really light in comparable sizes, but they do tow well. I guess what I'm struggling to say is that they are safer to tow because of the attributes mentioned above, but not really any easier to tow.

I hope I haven't confused the issue too much. Wish you a great experience!
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:42 AM   #8
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2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fwjumper View Post
Good advice herein on access to test drives etc. I'm addressing the "that much easier to pull" question. They are certainly more aerodynamic, have a lower center of gravity, and if reasonably cared for, will last a long time. They aren't really light in comparable sizes, but they do tow well. I guess what I'm struggling to say is that they are safer to tow because of the attributes mentioned above, but not really any easier to tow.

I hope I haven't confused the issue too much. Wish you a great experience!

You should have quit after " certainly more aerodynamic, have lower center of gravity ".
All other things being equal these are very important pluses.
The rest is up to the driver.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:09 PM   #9
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2007 31' Classic
Clayton , North Carolina
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We pull a loaded '07 30' Classic with a 2500 Ram and if I didn't look in the rear view mirror, could forget that it's back there. I use a Blue Ox hitch and, even as a novice, had no problems pulling on the road or around town. Enjoy your Airstream!
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:36 PM   #10
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
Midland , MI
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Aerodynamics and CG!

I have to agree with FranklyFrank. Center of gravity and aerodynamics are what matter most and IMHO the biggest reason to buy an AS. We have been camping for 40 years with trailers. Some towed reasonably well but our last one was a beast. Terrible mileage but the worst issue was sway. Below 60 not much of a problem, above 63, uncontrollable. Did all the weight measurements and found the designers messed up - putting the axles too far forward which made the tongue too light. We loaded everything forward and managed to tow it 25,000 miles without incident. But no fun. We bought a 27’ FB a month ago primarily for the tow ability we expect to get. Thus far we have not had much of a chance to try it out on extended trips but the first 500 miles have been great. Center of gravity and aerodynamics are very important and the reason we spent the astronomical money.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #11
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1973 29' Ambassador
Knoxville , Tennessee
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No test drive needed

Mr. Practical here. My testimony that a test drive is not needed. I love all things old. I just pulled my 1973 29' AS from west TN to Charleston, SC with my 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser. Properly set up I hardly noticed it it was behind me - Except pulling up that blasted mountain. We keep our speed under 60, get terrible gas mileage but enjoy proving that if you take care of it, use your brain and enjoy the journey, it is a blast.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:38 PM   #12
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Bryant , Arkansas
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Local dealer said “Of course!”

Thanks for all the responses! I am thrilled to report that our local AS dealer was willing to let us do a test drive. Perhaps the fact that we bought our last TT from them helped, but I do not know. I also had a PM from a dealership on this forum who offered a test drive.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp4571 View Post
We pull a loaded '07 30' Classic with a 2500 Ram and if I didn't look in the rear view mirror, could forget that it's back there. I use a Blue Ox hitch and, even as a novice, had no problems pulling on the road or around town. Enjoy your Airstream!
We have the same setup except our TV is an F-250 Powerstroke.
Many times on long trips daydreaming a bit I forget that I got a 30' , 10 K lbs, trailer behind me. It scares me sometimes thinking one day I might pull something stupid.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:30 AM   #14
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

My observation is that even after dealing with trailers on and off over the years, each one is a bit of a learning curve. Just *what* you learn is very unclear. What I do know is that our rig has not changed at all. No new hitch, no new truck, no major changes. About all that has changed is loading on each trip.

The trailer pulls much smoother now than it used to. It does not do all the alarming things that it once did. There have been *far* fewer near catastrophes in the last 20K miles than in the first 3K.

Part of this is internet driven. You read all the posts about this and that. When there's a twitch or a bump you freak out. That causes you too overreact. Running a lot with the rig gets you used to what's normal. The overreaction no longer occurs. Everything is much less stressful as a result.

After the first month or two my opinion of this hitch and setup was *very* different than it is now. My guess is that if I'd change the hitch, I would now be singing the praises of the new hitch.

Lots of fun !!!

Bob
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:50 AM   #15
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2016 27' International
Anacortes , Washington
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As someone said, the Portland, OR AS dealer has a setup ready for customers to try.

In 2016, we decided to jump in and buy, first - the capable tow vehicle, a few weeks later to buy the 27' Serenity FBT, all new...and we hadn't towed anything but once in awhile a friend's runabout boat. I was very nervous driving to the dealer to go through the hours-long walk through, then, gulp, towing it home a couple hours away. All roads out of the lot were on very busy streets, with first a right turn and within a couple hundred feet cross over into the left hand turn lane. Very nervous-oh, I said that before.

First up was getting a feel of yikes, the tugs and pulls and all those things when towing something new. How is it going to brake at that downhill upcoming red light? Oh, fine! How will it do making that big turn onto the freeway entrance? Fine. Then settle in for traveling 60mph on the freeway, and with increasing confidence...passing a car here, a truck there, with increased speeds. By 1.5 hours later, when taking our exit, I decided to go into more congested city streets to get to that large vacant movie theater parking lot to practice backing. Then home and backed into its designated spot. I was pleasantly surprised, thrilled and excited knowing how comfortable I got with just a couple hours under my belt.

Now, (22k miles later) I sometimes have to remind myself that something is being towed. Since I have no other TT experience to judge, all I can say is the AS tows great.
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