Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-23-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
New Member
 
1998 25' Safari
Redding , Connecticut
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Images: 5
New Member looking to purchase an Airstream

Hi, I am looking for a vintage trailer. Just retired and don't need a second mortgage.
I have a 2008 Silverado with a z71 package which includes the HD towing package. It has a 5.3 liter v8 and a 3.73 rear axle. I am looking for a tandem axle trailer. If my calculations are correct the upper limit would be a 28 ft Argosy or Airstream. Although I would prefer a something less but with tandem axles.
The above of course is an approximation. Looking at the vintage floor plans and specifications I have noticed that tongue wait on some shorter models are heavier than on some longer models of the same year.

Has anyone accurately calculated what a tow vehicle like mine can comfortable tow? When I bought it the biggest thing I planned to tow would have been a 17 foot Boston Whaler. I am concerned for long extend hauling through the Rockies the tow vehicle maybe a little under gunned.
__________________

__________________
samwise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,401
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
The standard advice is to find the trailer you love and sort out the tow vehicle later. There are lots and lots of tow vehicle options, and "back east" I'm guessing your Silverado will do fine with an older trailer in the size range you're talking about. (Older trailers are generally lighter for a given length than the current ones.)

Think for a while about how often you'll be towing in the Rockies, and how long it may be before you get there. If you spend a few years exploring east of the Continental Divide before you plan to motor west, you may be ready for a new tow vehicle by then anyway regardless of the Silverado's mountain-climbing abilities.

I tow a 24' Argosy with a 5.4l F150 with a 3.55 diff and haven't found anyplace the truck isn't happy to go, but the mountains I've towed in so far are in AR, not CO.
__________________

__________________
ó David

Zero Gravitas ó 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto ó 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. ó Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
New Member looking to purchase an Airstream

Greetings samwise!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by samwise View Post
Hi, I am looking for a vintage trailer. Just retired and don't need a second mortgage.
I have a 2008 Silverado with a z71 package which includes the HD towing package. It has a 5.3 liter v8 and a 3.73 rear axle. I am looking for a tandem axle trailer. If my calculations are correct the upper limit would be a 28 ft Argosy or Airstream. Although I would prefer a something less but with tandem axles.
One of the first things that you need to determine IMHO is the trailer tow rating for your truck. There is something of a consensus among some of us on the Forums that it is best to take 80% of the factory trailer tow rating of the tow vehicle as a target GVWR for the coach to be selected. There will be a large number of Vintage Airstreams and Argosys within the trailer tow capabilities of your truck, but there will be a modest reduction of the selection with the tandem axle requirement.

With the first generation Argosy coaches (1972-1979), the Argosy 20 was the only single axle coach through the introduction of the Minuet series in 1977. When Argosy introduced the Minuets, the 6.0 Metre Minuet (20') and the 6.7 Metre Minuet (22') were both single axle coaches.

With Vintage Airstreams the lengths where tandem axle coaches began varied with Vintage, and often the same coach could be ordered with either single or tandem axles . . . there were periods of time when both the Overlander (26') and the Tradewind (24') could be had as either a single or tandem axle coach in the same year. Beginning in 1965, the Tradewind adopted standard tandems as had the Overlander several years earlier . . . this made the Safari 22' the largest single axle. Sometime in the 1970s, the 22-foot Airstreams adopted tandem axles making the Globetrotter (20' or 21') the largest single axle. These are generalizations for Vintage Airstreams and I am sure that I have probably overlooked one or two exceptions to the general rule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samwise View Post
The above of course is an approximation. Looking at the vintage floor plans and specifications I have noticed that tongue wait on some shorter models are heavier than on some longer models of the same year.
The tongue weights as published can vary for a number of reasons, but one thing that is consistent among nearly all of the Airstreams is that they were well-balanced from the factory. Part of the excellent towing manners of an Airstream can be attributed this balance and the fact that at least 12% of the coach weight is carried on the hitch . . . and on some models this can approach 15%. My '64 Overlander has a loaded ready to vacation weight is 6,100 pounds with a hitch weight of 745 pounds while my Minuet has a ready to travel weight of 3,100 pounds with a hitch weight of 525 pounds. My Overlander hovers around 12% of the coach weight on the hitch while the Minuet has a little less than 17% of the coach weight on the hitch. Generally, I believe that you will find that most Airstreams will fall somewhere between 12% and 15% of the coach weight on the hitch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samwise View Post
Has anyone accurately calculated what a tow vehicle like mine can comfortable tow? When I bought it the biggest thing I planned to tow would have been a 17 foot Boston Whaler. I am concerned for long extend hauling through the Rockies the tow vehicle maybe a little under gunned.
The best starting point that I can recommend is the factory trailer tow rating for your vehicle. If this isn't stated in the papers that you have for the truck, your Chevrolet/GMC dealer should be able to assist in deciphering options to determine the factory trailer tow rating. You will find that there are a number of us here on the Forums who suggest staying about 20% below your tow vehicles maximum trailer tow rating when looking at the GVWR rating of coaches that you are considering. The closer that you are to the maximum trailer tow rating, the more compromises you are likely to uncover in your tow vehicle.

Good luck with your investigation and search!

Kevin

P.S.: If you are looking at a Vintage Airstream and want to learn more about its configuration, you might want to check this link on the Airstream website.
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
tradewindtom's Avatar
 
1974 25' Tradewind
Magnolia , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10
Images: 1
Welcome. I actually have a 74 Tradewind for sale on the classified ads. I tow it with my F150 without any problems. I have also towed it with a suburban without issues as well.
__________________
tradewindtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 01:33 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
Your Silverado will handle most of the mountain passes with up to a vintage 28 footer. You may have to slow down a little but that's ok, you are on vacation. If your truck has a full size bed and a crew cab, it will have a longer wheelbase and be more stable when you are travelling 65 and some big truck rushes by at 75 and tries to push you off the road. If you have the shorter wheelbase do not try rushing down the mountains at 75 to keep up with the trucks. More accidents happen on the downgrade or construction zones than anywhere else.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,568
Welcome Samwise,

Depends on which Silverado 1500 you have and which trailer you might get.

My 2010 Silverado 1500 crew Z71 with a 6 speed automatic with a tow package, equipped similarly to yours, is really close to exceeding the tow vehicle's maximum payload (cargo carrying capacity) with just 2 passengers and my 25' Safari, due to tongue weight, and a few things in the truck bed. The truck is rated for a combined weight of about 15,000 pounds, about 3,000 pounds more than the actual combined weight. The payload of the truck is the issue to keep an eye on.

I briefly had another 2010 Silverado 1500 4x4 crew cab with the Towmax package, towing a 30' 1999 Excello. Only towed a few hundred miles till I wrecked, broadsided by a semi truck (total loss on both), so no comments on this one.

My prior truck was a 2000 Silverado extended cab Z71 with the 4 speed automatic with tow package. With this truck I towed two different 30' Excellas, a 70's and a 80's. That truck was rated for the combined weight, but I never actually weighed it to see how close I was on the tow vehicle's gross weight. I tried it in the mountains a few times (which I would not recommend) The transmission would get hot on the uphill runs. The brakes would occasionally heat up and my rear end almost bit a hole in the seat a few times on the downhill runs.
__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
New Member
 
1998 25' Safari
Redding , Connecticut
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Images: 5
Thnaks All for the advice and shared experiences. I do want to avoid Alan's experiences.

Well I sorted out what the owner's manual was trying to tell me about the gross tow weight. My confusion came from GM's paragraph that gave half an explanation on how they calculated tow weight and tongue weight. I decoded it by going back to the specifications in the glossy sells brochure for the truck. I determined the truck weighs 5500 lbs. It's Gross Combined Weight Rating is 13000 lbs..
The table in the owner's manual gives a tow weight of 7500 lbs. This is true if one weighs nothing. The 7500 lbs is as you all know the net payload, people, trailer, and stuff. To account for the people and stuff you target a tow weight 80% of the 7500 lbs. or 6000 lbs. trailer weight.

Now to determine a sage dry or curb weight of the trailer I took 80% of the 6000 lbs trailer Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or 4800 lbs as the the maximum dry weight of the trailer.
I know this errs to the side of under rating my tow capacity, however, on this formula I can tow a 28ft '61 Ambassador or more likely an Overlander or Tradewind from the 60's or 70's. Now to find one at a price that fits the budget.
__________________
samwise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 08:00 AM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
Sodbust's Avatar
 
1972 27' Overlander
Penokee , Kansas
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 339
Good advice,, and looks like you have a good handle of what you need to understand.. But it all comes down to common sense.. A little slower tow speed in a tight spot is always better than to fast and then trying to shut it all down..

Welcome and keep reading the years of wisdom found here..

Sodbust
__________________

__________________
2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Hemi, 4x4, 6 speed

20mpg empty, 14 mpg with 27' Overlander.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
Sodbust is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.