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Old 07-06-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
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22' Sport & towing

Hi All,
Went to Alumipaloosa and saw the 22' Sport; love the look & layout..just right for the 2 of us and our Tonk cat. We live in central NY and plan to camp locally and up to the 1,000 islands for a start, then head to Mississippi & N. Florida coast for month to 6 weeks this winter. The Syracuse grey winter skies got to me last winter.
Well, we currently drive an "89 Civic hatchback (has trailer hitch for sailboats), don't plan to pull 22' with Civic but point is that we are used to tight little cars and don't want to buy a truck or monster SUV to pull our Airstream, so our choice is a Mustang (test drove it and it was great) but every car dealer we have talked to threatens liability if in an accident, because of no tow capacity and the sky is going to fall in; so we are also looking at a Ford Flex with tow pkg and rated to pull 4,500, so would also have a warrantee; no idea how it pulls....any thoughts?
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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A properly equipped and configured Flex with the EcoBoost engine would tow a '22 Sport without breaking a sweat, and a normally-aspirated one would probably do a decent job of it. (I'd buy the EcoBoost, personally... I've never wanted LESS horsepower in any street vehicle I've driven.)

The wizard of smaller tow-vehicle setup seems to be Andy at CanAm RV.

That said, the Flex isn't exactly a small vehicle... it's probably 2x your Civic in volume and weight (and more than 2x in torque and horsepower!) It should be a good cross-country machine if you don't overload it, though.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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A lot of folks that like to tow with less conventional tow vehicles like Andy at CanAm RV. He will sell you an Airstream, suggest a tow vehicle, and install a hitch on about anything.

I listened to his talk at Aluma. He makes some interesting points.

Best Regards,
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:39 AM   #4
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Thanks, stil looking

Hi Guys,
Thanks so much for the reply...we are still looking.
Yes, the Ford Flex is BIG, especially to us with the little Honda Civic, but looks like we will have to get used to it. No decision yet, still need to look at more models. We did drive the Flex with the Eco Boost, seems cool.

There is so much information in the Forums; seems like I need to spend a day reading through everything before we move on.

Maybe no one discusses it but seems to be a lot of difference between various dealers and their service and support, and general knowledge...is there a thread for recommending best dealers. I do understand that this could be touchy but sure seems relevant since we are trying to decide on where to purchase an Airstream and want to consider more than just price.

Thanks for your help and responses.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:47 AM   #5
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Our Ridgeline is rated at 5000#. Our 22' SS weighs just over 4000# with out filling the watertank to the top and we are carefull to keep other weights down. You can easily go over another 500# which puts you over the max with the Flex. We like the Ridge because we carry a generator and firewood in the back when boondocking.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rlewis View Post
Hi All,
Went to Alumipaloosa and saw the 22' Sport; we are used to tight little cars and don't want to buy a truck or monster SUV to pull our Airstream, so our choice is a Mustang (test drove it and it was great)
We are on the same page and have a car set up by Andy Thomson (Can Am). He has set up and wrote about Mustangs for towing and suggest you get in touch with him for appropriate advice/suggestions.

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Old 07-09-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Thanks all,
Yes, we met Andy Thompson at Alum. and then drove up from Syracuse to Ontario to test drive the Mustang & 22' Sport...drove great and Andy & Canam RV people were all great! Andy so knowledgable and a great guy!

We currently don't have a towing vehicle and when we started looking around at vehicles not rated to tow, service departments told us they would cancel warrantee if we pulled with a vehicle not rated to tow. So that left us with getting an older car w/o warrantee. That's why we started looking at Ford Flex and stuff rated to pull 4,500 lbs.

We loved service and knowledge of people at Canam RV; anyone else found Airstream dealers they love? Some dealers that we talked to on phone, seem to indicate that they just plop trailer on vehicle without any towing adaptation. Sounds a little scary.

DKB SATX ...is that a bull terrier you have in your picture? Really cute!
Thanks,
Robbie
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rlewis View Post
Thanks all,
Yes, we met Andy Thompson at Alum. and then drove up from Syracuse to Ontario to test drive the Mustang & 22' Sport...drove great and Andy & Canam RV people were all great! Andy so knowledgable and a great guy!

We currently don't have a towing vehicle and when we started looking around at vehicles not rated to tow, service departments told us they would cancel warrantee if we pulled with a vehicle not rated to tow. So that left us with getting an older car w/o warrantee. That's why we started looking at Ford Flex and stuff rated to pull 4,500 lbs.

We loved service and knowledge of people at Canam RV;
Robbie
Sounds to me like you already found the perfect dealer and the perfect rig! Airstreams are light weight and aerodynamic. Anyway...life is too short not to drive your dream setup - IMHO.

From my experiences with all sorts of conventional and unconventional towing configurations, here are some things you may want to consider......

- Given the question you asked the dealer, they had no choice but to answer you as they did. I have never had a service department ask me what or how much I have been towing for a warranty claim.

- A big factor in up'ing towing capacity and easing the engine/tranny load is the differential gear ratio. There is a wide range of super tough race proven gearing for the Mustang. (I shudder to think what it would cost to upgrade the gearing on a FWD or AWD Flex)

- The Mustang's rear wheel drive solid axle and V8, put it heads above the front wheel drive Flex chassis for towing.

- Redline fluids and simple cooling upgrades on the Mustang will give you far better engine/tranny life than a stock Flex using stock cooling and factory fluids.

- Upgrading to racing and other high quality aftermarket parts that won't break, is a better investment than extended warranties on stock OEM parts that will break. Availability and choices for the Mustang could not be better.

- There are a wide range of power and handling upgrades for the Mustang's drivetrain, cooling and suspension that would easily make it super capable tow vehicle platform far exceeding a stock Flex. Canam or any reputable local speed shop would be happy to help you bullet proof your Mustang.

- Consider a low mileage used Mustang. No worries about the warranty. You will save a bundle and have more than enough money left over to turn it into a very serious tow vehicle with Canam's advice.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:59 AM   #9
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~~

DKB SATX ...is that a bull terrier you have in your picture? Really cute!
Thanks,
Robbie
Indeed, Trudy is a 55-lb bull terrier. All muscle except for her bone head!
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:44 AM   #10
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Thanks all!
Looked at Ford Flex but still considering a Mustang (the one we test drove at Canam RV all set to go). I can live without the space, just want something that will work with the 22' Sport.

Hi Wayward!
Sounds like you really like the Mustang; I do too! Sort of hate to buy a new car (Ford Flex) much more money and depreciation, etc.

The Mustang is 4.0 V6, 5 speed automatic convertible.
How does that sound?
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:34 AM   #11
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I've towed my Argosy Minuet, a very similar trailer to a Sport 22, extensively with a Flex Ecoboost and a Lincoln MKT Ecoboost (they share the same platform and powertrain.) Both are probably the best overall tow vehicles I've towed with (and I get to tow with quite a few vehicles.) Easy and generous power, great stability with their long wheelbase and short rear overhang. The independent rear suspension aids towing stability too.

I'm a client of CanAm (they outfitted my Honda Odyssey) and am pleased and impressed by Andy's work and knowledge. No doubt he can get the Mustang to work pretty well. (Heck, given the variety of lousy hitch set-ups, having something dialed in by CanAm will tow better than 95% of the rigs out there by default.)

That said, the Flex will tow better than a Mustang and there's less warranty hassle. (You'd likely get an AWD Flex, negating the fairly minor front-wheel-drive issues, and there's no need to worry about changing gearing with its six-speed automatic and strong engine.) The question is if it's worth the added expense and bulk for you. Let's face it - it would be cool to tow with a Mustang. (I'd want a 2011 Mustang GT personally, but that's more money.) For what it's worth, Andy's keen on towing with the Ford Edge too - that's smaller and a bit cheaper than a Flex.

I would also try and stick to a newer Mustang - they made some really nice improvements to the chassis for 2010 (including stability control) and to the drivetrains for 2011.

Tom
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:26 AM   #12
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Thanks all!

Sounds like you really like the Mustang; I do too! Sort of hate to buy a new car (Ford Flex) much more money and depreciation, etc.

The Mustang is 4.0 V6, 5 speed automatic convertible.
How does that sound?
I guess I just like unconventional rigs and believe they can be fun and safe if set up right.

I pull a 25' Safari with a 1/2 ton truck and Ford's 4.2L and 5 speed manual that I upgraded with the stuff I mentioned, as well as higher load range tires for stiffness. I started towing with it stock, and just added things as I went along. The 4.2L is the same motor as the 3.8L Mustang with a longer stroke for torque. The power is fine for most towing and adequate on steeper grades for a heavy pickup and the Safari, but think it would lose a bit with an automatic.

I am partial to a stick shift when towing because it lets me take full advantage of the motor's power curve and engine braking. It also removes a huge source of heat build up. That said, the automatic tranny and its electronic controller in my newer truck is amazing - seems to always be in the right gear at the right time.

If you go with an automatic, heat will be your biggest nemeses so tackle that first with an upgraded cooler and Redline tranny fluid.

Ford V6's have good power and many simple significant power upgrades available like chips, intakes, exhausts and pulleys. For towing, look at the torque numbers rather than horsepower. If you are shopping for a Mustang, you might be happier in the long run with a V8's torque, especially if you lean toward an automatic. Not much downside to a V8 except up front cost. Big V8 options sometimes come with upgraded automatic transmission which, if it is the case for the Mustang, is reason enough to spring for a V8. Also, I think Mustang uses Tremec manual trannys, which are very tough.

Ford Racing has many choices in gearing for the 8.8 rear end which I use along with their super tough racing limited slip differential in my F150. This lower gearing was the single best upgrade I made to the ole F150. Less strain on the motor, more fun towing and improved fuel mileage with a load.

I cannot add much about setting a Mustang up for towing but it seems that Canam is the expert everyone around here trusts.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:47 PM   #13
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I'm going to tow mine with a 2005 Toyota Tundra

I'm going to tow mine with a 2005 Toyota Tundra. The 05 didn't have the big engine like the new ones, but still. The Tundra isn't very big, but it should tow the Sport 22 pretty easily, without putting a strain on the vehicle. A loaded truck and trailer, I'm still underweight by 1500-2000 pounds. You can't say that for a Mustang.

I believe in overkill anyway. My things tend to last a long time...........
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