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Old 08-29-2010, 11:07 PM   #1
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Planning for retirement!

We presently own a a 2005 Gulfstream Vista Cruiser. We love this sprinter van but we are seriously looking into purchasing a Airstream Bambi to tow with our Van when we winter in warmer climates. We think a 16' Airstream would be enough along with the 22' Conversion Van. Anyone else out there doing anything like this????

I am retired and teaching part time at a local college along with a church music director gig. My wife will retire in 6 years and we will then winter in warmer climates. We live in upstate NY where winters are hard to take.

Bruce
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:25 PM   #2
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I towed a 19CCD with an '04 Sprinter for 4 years until I blew thru the turbo, alternator AND transmission in 5 DAYS at a repair cost of $10,000.

The Sprinter is a great vehicle but is drastically over-rated as to it's towing abilities. Check on the Sprinter forums and you'll find many similar postings. I have met other Sprinter owners who have towed with theirs and have replaced transmissions, rear axles, even entire engines!

I still use the Sprinter for my service vehicle and it serves this purpose splendidly, but will never tow ANYTHING with it again!!!
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:37 PM   #3
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We are in a 22', 2006 Interstate and it is all the two of us need for up to 12 weeks out at a time. The more you are pulling, the greater your fuel consumption and the harder it is to find places to stay.

We say, stay small and hit the road.

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Old 08-29-2010, 11:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
I still use the Sprinter for my service vehicle and it serves this purpose splendidly, but will never tow ANYTHING with it again!!!
Hi, Lew. Do you tow the Sprinter with your motorhome now?
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:47 PM   #5
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Hi, Lew. Do you tow the Sprinter with your motorhome now?
Not to hijack this thread, but that will be the final solution. The Sprinter is now set up as a towed (toad) vehicle with front-mounted towing frame and brackets, 10,000 lb tow bar, auxiliary internal braking system, lights wired to the motor home and a drive shaft disconnect system.

PM me if you need the product specifications and manufacturers.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input but we are looking for either a very small Airstream (not heavy) or a hybrid pop-up that we would drive and park the towable for several months and use our van for exploring and and enjoying retirement. I would not want to tow anything for extended periods. Our Sprinter is rated as able to tow up to 5000 lbs. We like the Airstream for obvious reasons and any additional input would be appreciated.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input but we are looking for either a very small Airstream (not heavy) or a hybrid pop-up that we would drive and park the towable for several months and use our van for exploring and and enjoying retirement. I would not want to tow anything for extended periods. Our Sprinter is rated as able to tow up to 5000 lbs. We like the Airstream for obvious reasons and any additional input would be appreciated.
brucec,

Unfortunalely, so was mine (as most Sprinters are rated at 8550 GVW and 13,550 CGVW). The components just are not up to towing/hauling that much weight as they come from the factory.

If you intend to tow ANYTHING, you should add a second transmission cooler, as the OEM unit obviously is not up to the task. There are a couple of quality units out there specifically made for Sprinters. Check out Silver Star Transmissions in Oklahoma or The Sprinter Store in Portland, OR. My transmission was COOKED even though I changed the filters and fluids at half the recommended intervals.

Also, a set of Firestone rear air bags might be a great idea as the mono spring in the rear is prone to sag.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:15 PM   #8
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This is very close to our consideration, our 20' Safari SE towed by a standard wheelbase Sprinter (high roof or pop-top) outfitted only with "weekender" accommodations.

As others have wished, it would be nice to leave the trailer and explore more out-of-the way places for a few days.

Hoping for more comments on the reliability of the Sprinter. Lewster's experience has not been encouraging.

Doug
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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I've been towing with a Roadtrek for 3 years now, (towing capacity 7,500 lbs.), with no problems (knock-on-wood)! The wife absolutely LOVES it (refers to it as "HER" house)! It is truly great for day trips and overnight excursions, but the smartest thing has been to use it to visit the kids: we'll park on their driveway, then as soon as the bratty little grandkids begin their meltdown, we'll politely excuse ourselves for the night. See you at breakfast!!
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