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Old 03-19-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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Which Airstream for 4Runner

Hi!

New to the Airstream forum but lots of great information. We are looking at used late model Airstreams and are trying to work out which model(s) to focus on. We have two kids 1 & 2 and we are both tall 6'4. We want to tow with our 2007 4Runner V8 max tow 7,000lb. Seems like the largest model would be 25'.

Thoughts on which model(s) we should focus on?

Thanks is advance!!!!
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damerel View Post
Hi!

New to the Airstream forum but lots of great information. We are looking at used late model Airstreams and are trying to work out which model(s) to focus on. We have two kids 1 & 2 and we are both tall 6'4. We want to tow with our 2007 4Runner V8 max tow 7,000lb. Seems like the largest model would be 25'.

Thoughts on which model(s) we should focus on?

Thanks is advance!!!!
Go Vintage & you could tow a 50's era 30'er totally restored & upgraded. They weighed 3900 lbs when new & about 4500 lbs when all the bells & whistles are added...........................plus you've got the cool factor
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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6'4" -- you'll be much better off looking at something with a twin bed. Those are on the order of single-tall sheets that are the norm in dorm rooms. The sideways queen beds feel smaller than they are due to constricted space around them.

I won't be switching but I'd sure think about the 27' FB International with the fore-and-aft queen if I had to do it all over again.

The twin bed recommendation will give you the most generous individual space in any event.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 25FB, Named Lucy. We have used Lucy quite a bit (812 nights/70,000 miles), and have been quite comfortable. Y'all's heights may be a little tight. The bed is an RV queen, which is 60" wide by 76" tall. The dinette make into a bed and so does the couch.

Lucy weighs 7400# ready to camp. This may be too much for your your 4Runner. It might be best to stay in the 20 foot and below area to keep within the weight that you can comfortably tow.

Brian
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:25 PM   #5
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Good point Brian. An additional comment - the side couches on the 2005 & beyond front-bed models have unlimited length. You could be an NBA center and still fit there without having to go through the inconvenience of setting down the dinette (under which sits a dog crate in ours anyway!).
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great suggestions! Keep them coming!! . We are going out tomorrow again to look.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:40 PM   #7
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You can go with a longer trailer if you are careful about the year. Our '74 Sovereign weighs ~5,000 lbs dry, for example. The challenge will be finding a '70s trailer that's in good shape. Most of the ones you will see may require a body-off frame restoration to be completely reliable, and that is not easy or cheap work to do.

The new ones are gorgeous but can be a couple thousand lbs more for the same size when compared to the older TTs (travel trailers).

The real key is to get out there and look at them. Lots of them. Sit on the furniture, lay in the beds; you will figure it out. Don't be in a hurry...
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that the tow rating on your tow vehicle includes the weight of the trailer, including, food, clothing, water, gas, etc., the weight of the hitch, and more than likely the weight of every thing in the tow vehicle, including passengers.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:59 PM   #9
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Just my 2 cents worth:
It's pretty important to get the right trailer as it will most likely outlast any tow vehicle. So get the trailer to suit your needs and comfort level.
I mean, I wouldn't size my trailer by the size of my tow vehicle. I'd do it the other way 'round.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:54 AM   #10
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When we bought our 25' International new in '07, our Nissan Armada was more than enought TV to pull it anywhere - according to the weight factors. But, having towed it through 8-9 states in the three years we've had it, there is more , to it than it's ability to pull the weight. Brakes, differential, overall length of the TV, how comfortable are you with towing, etc....all play into the towing capabilities. Last summer, returning from three weeks in northern Michigan, I mentioned to my wife that I wasn't happy towing the AS with the Armada and she suggested we look at what else is available. The next day we purchased an '07 Suburban, 2500 with every bell and whistle Chev. put on them (they are not an easy vehicle to find). We've since towed the AS through five or six states and absolutely love it. So much difference it is difficult to imagine. (Both vehicles are V-8s). We've been twenty years of purchasing German or Japanese automobiles but for towing the trailer, give me Yankee
know how! Be careful just using the towing numbers associated with your TV as there is more to it than just the numbers. Whatever you decide, ENJOY.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:51 AM   #11
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Hello Damere. We have set up a lot of 4Runners over the years. It is not a vehicle we would recomend for towing but a lot of people come in that already own them. The drivetrain works very well, there are no power issues with it.

They are one of the least stable tow vehicles you can choose however. Many of the design elements that give it great off road capabilities reduce its on highway stability when towing. Modifying them for towing is relatively simple. If you have the factory Toyota receiver it is too weak and the length of the receiver tube is too short so remove it (6 bolts) and add an aftermarket class three receiver. When you add the reciever it is pretty simple to weld a piece of steel in bettween the mountin points of the factory receiver and the aftermarket one to strengthen it even more. I would bet that Andy at Inland RV would know someone to do this for you if he could not do it himself.

Once you have a solid hitch receiver you want to use a Hensley style hitch on the Airstream. The Hensley is the only hitch that will give you stable towing with this vehicle.

One other change we usually make to the 4Runner is we install smaller tires with firmer sidewalls. You will notice a big improvement in solo driving as well with this change. If you have 17" rims we change to P235/65R x 17" XL tires. If you have 18's We use a 235/60R x 18" XL (extra load) tires. The computer can be recalibrated so the speedometer still reads properly. These tires also give you more power and a litte better fuel economy.

With these changes you can tow a 27 or 28' as easily as the 25'. In fact I think the 28 may be a touch more stable than the 25. When you are speaking with Andy he could likely install one of the Airstream bunk beds from the 70's for you. If you put it over sofa you can leave the dinette set up all the time and have the queen bed for yourselves. During the day the bunk just stores on the bed in the back. They are very light and easy to move. You can modify them for extra length again something I am sure Andy can do easily.

Andrew T
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:01 PM   #12
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Thanks again for all the great info. We have a 40K max budget so that kinda kills getting a new tow vehicle. With are kids being so young we can get away with something smaller and then upgrade as our needs develop. Just our thinking at the moment.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:40 PM   #13
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After owning an '09 25FB Classic - in hindsight I would have gone with the 27FB Classic - same towing behavior, tad more expensive, more room (the bed being sideways drove me nuts) - just my two cents...
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:06 PM   #14
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JFS-
I just noticed the new avatar and profile notes. How is the new 30?

I've had 30 CL on order since the last week of January - was supposed to be here last week - parts are backordered and the dealership's AS rep is not sure when they'll have them in. I am guessing Japan might have something to do with the uncertaintity. I understand that 2012's are now coming off the line/or are the next in production planning, so I am interested to see what model year I end up with.

-Chris
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