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Old 09-08-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
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St. Louis , Missouri
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Talking 10 Months Later - Still No Airstream

Hi Everyone,

I joined this website about 10 months ago, telling about my history with the airstream and my desire to purchase my first one. Unfortunately, I have not been on here on a regular basis, and have failed to find the airstream of my dreams.

However, I have done a lot of research in the meantime, and I have narrowed down my search to the following: Early 70's Globetrotter(21'), early 70's Caravel(18',20'21'), 1980 Caravelle(20',22'), and a 1981 Excella II(20',22').

Most of my criteria is determined by monetary funds, the type of vehicle I have to tow it, and the visual styles that appeal to me.

The real reason for my post has to do with adding a towing package to my existing vehicle. For whatever reason, I did not have the thought about a towing package when I purchased my truck, but now I have to deal with the situation I am in. I own a 2006 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner SR5 TRD Sport. It is a 4 door, V6, 4.0 liter, full 6' bed. I have investigated all of the requirements such as a transmission cooler, and engine oil cooler, upgrade on some wiring/fuses, enhancement on the braking system, and the hitch of course.

I would like to know of anyone who has had to add a towing package to their vehicle, did they add all the components that I mentioned, what was the approx. cost, does it work as well as a factory installed towing package, etc.

I apologize in advance for not posting this on the "Towing & Hitch" thread, but since I am fairly new, I wanted to reach as many members as possible.

As far as my Airstream, I am being patient and continuing to search almost everyday. Thank you in advance for any tips, comments, and suggestions.

GACStreamer
St. Louis, MO
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:14 PM   #2
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St. Louis , Missouri
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One more thing I wanted to add were the weight requirements of my truck: 5,000 pounds dry weight, 500 pounds tongue weight. This is because of the V6 status, I have been told.

Please advise.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:34 PM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
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It cost me about $8500.00 to upgrade a similar sized vehicle.

I upgraded my non-tow package 2006 Nissan Xterra. It came with stock/small trany cooler. I added the following: hitch, 7-pin connector and brake controller: installed price $340.13. Nissan wire harness: $58.94.

Months later it was *suggested* that I might be exceeding 80% tow capacity of the Xterra. So, after all that, I ended up buying a 2000 Yukon XL for $7500 + TTT. Soon thereafter I took my 27' Overlander to the scales (loaded with most of my camping supplies, less water) and found that I weighed a bit more than expected at 5860 lbs! Just a tad more than the expect 4570 lbs (dry weight). I still have a few friends that maintain the Xterra was *truck enough* and it did feel okay towing the trailer but ..... better safe than sorry. Hey, I have an Xterra for sale!

Laura
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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Talking

Thanks for replying, Laura. I appreciate your information. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to buy a new truck and an Airstream. I kick myself for not getting the towing package with my truck.

Jeff
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 Argosy 28
1978 Argosy 24
Travelers Rest , South Carolina
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I just went through the same process of buying an older Airstream & using my 2006 Tacoma extracab (crewcab or 4 door) Prerunner, V6, 5 foot bed, 5 speed automatic tranny, but no towing package. So, I added the Reece brand receiver from the Toyota dealer to be sure of the right match up (could have purchased the very same hitch for a little less elsewhere rated at 5,000 pounds towing & 500 tongue wait). The dealer assured me that this hitch was the same one from the Toyota towing package although they rate their towing package at 6,500 lbs. & 500 lbs. tongue weight. I added the oversized tranny cooler kit ($55.00 from Advanced Auto) because it had a much larger tranny cooler than Toyota's cooler for $200+. The tranny is a sealed system which means no filler pipe. That's no big deal although Toyota wanted to make it a big deal $$$$$$$$. I filled the extra large cooler and lines with tranny fluid & then cut the rubber hose lines up near the radiator and remade my connections. Easy! Then I bought the $100 relay from Toyota because they said my trailer lights connections would not work without it. Wrong! It wasn't needed. You do add 2 fuses to the under hood fuse box. Cheap fuses. (They got me again as electrical parts are non-returnable.) Then I paid a trailer shop to wire my 7 way round plug connector. This forum has a step-by-step guide on how to do this, but I don't do electrical well. The shop ran a new heavy duty wire all the way from the hitch plug to my Tacoma's battery so that the truck would keep my Airstream's battery charged while it was connected to my truck. I have not done an oil cooler yet, but was thinking about it. Now for the true test. I pulled my (loaded weight between 5.000 & 5,600 lbs.) 24 foot 1978 Argosy Airstream from Little Rock, AK to Greenville, SC through the mountains with this set up & had no problem. Engine temp, etc, etc, sayed normal at their usual gauge settings. Of course, I used a weight distribution hitch connection with bars + the anti-sway bar. Don't try it without these or you will regret passing near tractor-trailer trucks. Good luck.
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Richard and Linda,

Thanks for the information. The most accurate info I received was from an automotive place that actually does all the towing package installation for the Toyota dealership that I purchased my truck from. I have received some feedback from people who have done the installation themselves, but I am not comfortable enough doing it myself. My biggest concern is that I get all the "required" components and that I don't have to pay an inflated price for it.

Jeff
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:28 PM   #7
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1986 31' Sovereign
Naples , Florida
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I drove a Toyota 4x4 4cyl w/ the tow package, much older than yours, and I towed everything with it, regardless of weight. The truck preformed flawlessly. Did I need the pricy Toyota package, was "it" just so good... no, the truck was good. Maybe you could find a mechanic familiar with this upgrade and get components that do the job just as well but not at Toyota prices. (check the mechanics background "Google" them if you are not familiar with them before you drop more $) Just a thought.

Matt
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:03 PM   #8
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GACStreamer was since "load Activity: 09-13-2009 05:09 PM" not more here on the forum. I think if he has not died he still looks.....
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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1969 18' Caravel
Bee Cave , Texas
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Hi , we have a 1969 Caravel and the dry weight is 3200 lbs. We pull it with a Honda Ridgeline and the towing capacity is 5000 lbs with no problem. Hope that will help you.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:03 PM   #10
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1986 31' Sovereign
Naples , Florida
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Hope he finds the right AS! We quit waiting and just jumped in. Still have some things to do before she is 'camp ready'.
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