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Old 02-10-2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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Hi all, Newby here and wanted to know if anyone can give me an idea of what size Airstream I can pull with a Toyota Tundra thats rated at 7200 lbs. We are looking into the possibility of upgrading from a 17' Casita. Thanks in advance, Bill

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Old 02-10-2006, 02:01 PM   #2
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ok, seriously, most conservatives here say "no more than 80%" of the tow vehicle's rating. which would equate to "any vintage" AS. probably limited to 25 footer for a new(er) model. Airstream lists the gvw's of all their models right on their website.

keep in mind that the "tow rating" applies to an empty tow vehicle; anything you're carrying in the vehicle should be subtracted from that number, as it is derived from the vehicle's "gcwr", which is the total allowed weight of the combined tow vehicle, towed item, and all cargo. the tow rating is usually the gcwr - empty weight of the tow vehicle. it may allow for a 150lb driver and a tank of gas. or not. check the owner's manual.

dont forget to consider the weight of all the passengers, stuff, and all the stuff in the trailer, including propane, water, etc. and what the trailer says on its tag may not include optional accessories, like awnings, spare tires, and air conditioners. it all adds up fast.

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Old 02-10-2006, 02:09 PM   #3
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The Factory Experts Set Limits For A Reason...

Originally Posted by Inn exisle
...wanted to know if anyone can give me an idea of what size Airstream I can pull with a Toyota Tundra thats rated at 7200 lbs.
Greetings, Bill, and welcome to the Forums....

Thanks for asking for opinions - you will find some pretty conservative voices here...and some not so conservative.

To start to answer your question, please consult this list published on the Airstream Factory Website:

Remember, this is just a start, be advised that many here on the Forums have weighed their units and have reported that the list is a bit on the "skinny" side - that is to say that most units weigh in several hundred pounds more than listed.

You must also add propane, water, food, clothing, gear, toys, etc. to the total...for most that runs between 1,000 and 1,500 lbs. - That weight can vary considerably on both ends. The important thing is to realisticly estimate the total - "things" add up in a hurry.

On top of the above total (empty trailer tare and added items) most of us here advocate a 10% to 20% safety factor - add that to the total...

Then back into what trailer is appropriate for your Tundra.

Next, budget a good weight distributing hitch and anti sway device. Finally, and, most importantly, after you get everything loaded and hitched up, visit a CAT or similar scale and weigh each axle individually, preferably each wheel - a total weigh WITH additional weighs for adjusting the weight distribution bars should not be more than twenty bucks. Also check the GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating) - the total of the combined weight of the trailer and the Tow Vehicle - this is frequently a limiting factor. The weigh in at the scales is money well spent and GREAT insurance.

Now, let's not forget the pucker factor....keep in mind that the trick of safely pulling a trailer is not how fast you can go up a mountain, but how safely you can stop and manuever in a critical situation (as in an emergency downhill stop starting from a too fast downhill speed)...the life you save by using an appropriate Tow Vehicle (TV) may be one of us on the Forum!

Happy Airstreaming and Safe Towing!

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 02-10-2006, 03:49 PM   #4
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Does anyone know how the manufactures come up with these ratings? Are the manufacturers conservative in their ratings and then we are conservative again? Who came up with this 80% of manfacturer rating to be absolutely sure. Do all manufacturers use the same formula? You would think that modifications to suspension, engine, brakes etc... would increase the rating over the posted rating for the vehicle. Could you modify your TV to increase capacity and then have it re-rated? Gee, you can change tires and this could add hundreds of pounds of extra cap. I think if it says the TV is rated for 7200lbs you should be able to go the limit safely as long as your vehicle has been maintained properly.
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments, we went to the Airstream rally at Robarts arena in Sarasota today and its quite interesting talking to the salesmen there from our local Airstream dealer. There opinion was that I could tow a 28'er and when I looked at the weight of a 28' it was over 9000 lbs. Then we looked at a 25' Safari and the dry weight was 7200 which would be well over by the time your loaded and ready to go. Basically after spending 45 years in manufacturing I have to agree with basecamp. We are safe by using the manufacturers numbers as they also include a 10% manufacturing margin. The conservative folks are still not wrong in that a lot of folks want to take everthing in the house with them when the load these things up to go camping for a weekend. At any rate I'm going to have to rethink this thing and maybe upgrade the tow to a 3/4 ton, but boy,I love that tundra
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