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Old 05-28-2007, 03:02 PM   #1
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2008 23' Safari SE
White Rock , British Columbia
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Towing a Safari 23

We have just ordered a 23 foot Safari after dreaming about it for 20 years. Now I need the right truck. I have read the posts on tow vehicles and it looks like a 3/4 ton is what I need (trailer GVWR6000# according to AS). Recommendations? We live in the mountainous pacific northwest, so that is likely an important consideration.

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Old 05-28-2007, 04:04 PM   #2
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Lady Lake , Florida
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Welcome to the Airforums! I am sure that you will get several replies to your question.

We have an 07 Safari 23' and tow with an 05 Avalanche 2500 8.1. Works very well. We had the same thing in a Suburban that also was great. We did change to the Avalanche so that we can put a generator in the bed and run it from the bed, without taking it out.

It will also pull a 25' very well, should we decide to go longer.

Many happy miles in your new AS!!!


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Old 05-28-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Blaine , Washington
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We live in Blaine and are now at Yosemite. Just came up a 5 mile 8% to 10% grade with a Safari 25. The Expedition had no problem.

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Old 05-28-2007, 04:59 PM   #4
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Hello Monty -- welcome to the Forums! In my opinion the usual break point for requiring 3/4-tonners is with new, heavier 25' Airstreams (almost 1000# more than similar Airstreams of 25-30 years ago -- modern amenities, matching up with other products on the market, etc.). Look at specs for 1/2-ton trucks -- tow capacity & payload capacity too. Be sure and equip for Class III hitch, umbilical, tow package -- tranny cooler as an option within the tow package. You will see that the 23' should fit within those specs very nicely. Avoid the smallest of the V-8s. Come back here with more questions on what you're considering -- and I'm sure you'll find some good opinions. There are precious few SUVs for 25' and above new Airstreams -- at 23' foot you might consider some of these if they have numbers and engine size close to 1/2-ton truck numbers.

Tongue weight for an empty trailer with weight distribution gear installed, LP in the tanks and a spare tire will probably be 150-200# higher than what Airstream lists. The Airstream website of course doesn't list UBW for the 23' Safari... supposed to be updating the website with the kickoff of the 2008 model year. Any day now... [foot tapping...]. A double axle trailer like the 23' can be pulled on 3 tires at low speed to repair a flat. I feel there is a lot to say for the LS package with the spare tire and the electric hitch jack -- better value for the user and resale.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 05-28-2007, 07:53 PM   #5
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We towed a 25 Safari with a 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 with great success. Now, with the hemi, it should be even better. I think that the tow rating has gone from 6500 on mine to 7000 on the new ones.
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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2005 19' Safari
Duluth , Minnesota
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You're likely ot receive more advise on this topic than you'll ever really want. I drive a F-350 Super Duty with deisel. I personally love the deisel and will never return to gas. When I pull my rig (all 19 feet) you can't even feel it... Better stll, the milage is great. Just drove this weekend w/o the rig and got 19MPG at over 70MPH. With the trailer, more like 15.5 (ish). The new Toy might be worth checking into if you're a "gas" kinda guy. For me, the 350 has been a delight. Now have 60K on it and never had it in the shop for anything but routine maint... It's at least worth checking out...

Nice to have you on board! Enjoy!
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:56 PM   #7
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Mount Pleasant , South Carolina
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Hi Monty, six months ago I was askind the same questions. We got the tow vehcile first and then found a great 28 foot Intl on consignment.

If you count the number of responses, it seems about 8 out of 10 will tell you go with the 3/4 ton. I agree, we went with the Chevy 2500 HD. It is a great truck, we chose Diesel too. We are set and it feels very secure.

Good luck. I think Chevy is having a 0% APR for 5 year deal if that matters.

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Old 05-28-2007, 09:15 PM   #8
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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Monty, I agree with you in that a 3/4 would be the right size.

Next choice is gas or diesel. This is a debate without end. Both sides have valid arguments and it really comes down to what you prefer in conjunction with your needs. Since you pointed out you are in the mountains I'd lean toward the diesel for the extra torque and diesels don't care about altitude.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 05-28-2007, 10:35 PM   #9
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No additional advice on a tow vehicle, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum. I'm just up the road in North Vancouver.
Cameron & the Labradors
Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
AIR #11529
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:03 PM   #10
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1977 23' Safari
Hillsboro , Oregon
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Originally Posted by WhatisHip
We have just ordered a 23 foot Safari after dreaming about it for 20 years. Now I need the right truck. I have read the posts on tow vehicles and it looks like a 3/4 ton is what I need (trailer GVWR6000# according to AS). Recommendations? We live in the mountainous pacific northwest, so that is likely an important consideration.

Hello WhatisHip, grats on the great trailer.

Well, I tow my 23' with a 2005 F-150 4x4. It performs excellently. I have yet to encounter a hill that was a tough climb for my loaded truck and trailer. Oregon has its fair share of steep inclines and is part of that same mountainous PacNW. I am sure my '73 is lighter than your new one but i too would love to own a new 23'-25' and would not hesitate for a minute to tow it with my truck. Of course i would take the normal precautions of a weight distribution and anti-sway set up.

Sure that extra tow capacity of a 3/4 would be a benefit but keep in mind that you are also going to get a bit less gas mileage than with a lighter truck, if that is a concern.

Good luck!
2009 F-350 FX4 Crewcab 4x4 6.4l
former '78 Argosy 20' Minuet owner
former '77 23' Safari owner
former 25' Fun Finder X-250BHS SOB owner
current 26' Komfort Trailblazer 262BSLE SOB owner
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:19 PM   #11
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Hi, a half ton pickup or an Expedition / Suburban if you want inclosed vehicle will do just fine with a 23' Airstream. Now on the other hand, If you are an impulse buyer, like some people I have read about you better buy a big Diesel. [start with a 23' Safari this year, trade in for a 25' front bedroom next year, and go for the gusto and trade in for a 34' Classic in the following year.]

2005 Safari 25-B
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:48 PM   #12
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Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

I believe that a 1/2 ton truck or SUV would probably handle a 23' Airstream, but a 3/4 ton would just be more comfortable.

We tow a 25' airstream with a 3/4 ton suburban, and it works.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:25 PM   #13
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2008 23' Safari SE
White Rock , British Columbia
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Posts: 20
Re: Towing a 23ft Safari

Thanks all, for the welcome and input. Here is where I'm leaning - I have an a friend thats a Dodge dealer - so I'm thinking a 1500 4x4 with a tow package. They make a combo rated to tow 8500 pounds and it may make a better everyday truck than some of the bigger ones. I like the sounds of a diesel but maybe thats my next truck > I will do a bit more research before I finally decide. I know I need to consider the weight of the truck, trailer, hitch weight, payload etc etc to make the actual decision. Wow I thought picking the trailer was the hard part...
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:42 AM   #14
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Viera , Florida
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Welcome WhatisHip,

My truck (essentially an F-150) has the factory installed HD towing package and pulls my 23' just fine. It's rated at 9,000 lbs. towing capacity. We're costal flatlanders, but recently pulled a couple of long grades with no difficulity. We're very happy with our tow vehicle/trailer set-up.

I probably would have bought an F-250 just for the integrated brake controller and other towing features, but I couldn't get it into my garage, which is a requirement in my neighborhood. The F-250 would have also given us the power headroom to upgrade to a 25' down the road, but we have no plans for that at this time.


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