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Old 01-22-2006, 03:25 PM   #1
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Towing Airstream International 16ftr or 19ftr

I own a 2002 eurovan 2.8ltr, 201hp, FWD and was looking to tow a 16ft or 19ft Airstream International with it...I am looking for people who have in fact towed with this vehicle...Anyone?
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:53 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forums. Seem to me that we have a member with this tow vehicle. You might use the search tool on the upper tool bar and search for Euro-van or similar....
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:00 PM   #3
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seems crazy lev has a eurovan......not sure if he's towed with it.

i would not do this with anything heavier than a vintage bambi or a small popup trailer but let us know how it works out.....

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:11 PM   #4
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We are a rare breed, indeed.

My wife and I tow our 19' ccd with the exact rig as yours, except ours is a 2001. These are my opinions only.

Everything you read here and probably elsewhere about towing with the EV will state that EV is not the best tow vehicle for an AS. It's been written alot that bigger is better: more HP, torque, wheelbase, transmision cooler, etc. The wheelbase isn't terrible on the EV. 115"

You must have a weight distribution hitch with sway control and a good brake controller for the AS. For the hitch we use an Equilizer and the controller is a Tekonsha Prodigy.

The EV is rated to pull 4500#. The dry weight of our 19' is around 3900#

Our reason for using the EV to tow for now is economic, just can't afford the Yukon, Toureg, whatever, right now. We bought the AS AFTER we had been camping in the EV.

Given this, I have to say that I am so far impressed with the towing abilites of our Euro, but we have made special considerations when using this set up.

1) We still pack VERY light. We do not carry water in any of the holding tanks. Just the stuff we need for our trip and nothing more. We don't carry much firewood. Maybe a few logs for a night or two and plan to buy that when at camp site. So it's basically our food (beer) small bag of clothes, ipod, guitar, books (paperback), art supplies. That's pretty much it.

1a) Take out anything from the van that you are not using. If you have the weekender like us, I took both rear facing seats, and the stupid cooler out. Those alone must weight 125#!!! I also removed the shelf in the back, about 30#, the upper bunk bed has another "shelf" that you could take out buying you another 50#. And if you want to get real anal, I suppose you could remove the rear bench seat which weighs about 200#. We left ours in.

2) Zero to Sixty in three miles!!!! I really try to go easy on acceleration heading onto any express way. The world will zip past you, but baby the Euro. And I never go over 60-63MPH. I stay in the right lane when possible. When I see that a light or stop sign is ahead, I sort of coast to that, trying to spare the wear and tear on the breaks.

3) Your EV is so new I would not install a trans cooler on it. It will void the warrenty on the van. An oil and filter change every 3000 miles would be reccomended, depending on you towing usage.

4) Always check your tires for presure and wear.

5) We would not consider this set up go through the Rocky Mountains. Or any mountains. In fact just driving the van through the west one summer by itself was a strain.

You live in flat Ill. like us, and if you use some of the above as guidelines, this should help you until you buy thaat TD Toureg!!!

There is stuff I probably forgot, but if you have any more ???, I'd love to help a fellow EV'er. Or you can PM me. There's not alot of us out there, and even less towing anything as significant as a Airstream.

You can do it, just be carefull.

Best

Jonathan
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:16 PM   #5
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I have to admit that even if I had the Treg or some other monster mobile, I would probably continue driving with the extreme caution that I take in the above post.

I like the idea that nothing real scary has happen yet, and my wife and I are still among the living.

So a toast to Zero to Sixty in 3(miles).

Just don't tail gate.

Jonathan
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
We are a rare breed, indeed.
.........

You live in flat Ill. like us
Just for the record, here in the far southern end of the state we do indeed have hills....................
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:24 PM   #7
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and like magic........info appears!!

the winnie rialta was built on the vw platform......so info from the rialta group on yahoo might be usefull too. or just web rialta. of course the wheel base was longer and duallies? on the rear but the drivetrain info could be useful....the gcwr was around 9000lbs on these babies.

i really wanted to buy one but realized the only place i could stand upright was under the skylight/dome....

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:07 AM   #8
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2air.

Yeah. We looked into one of those as well. The bath was this crazy folding acordian thing, and yes, for someone like me who is 6 foot, the only place I would not be dragging my knuckles on the floor was that dome thing.

I think the Winnebego Vista also uses the Eurovan front end.

A mechanic and family friend who works on M-Benz at Autohaus said that the Eurovan was used pretty much used as a workhorse around Europe, including towing and hauling.

Jonathan
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:45 AM   #9
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The Rialta.

http://garagepartner.com/rialta/story1.htm

You'd be better off with a V8 trailblazer than the Eurovan.
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Old 01-23-2006, 11:21 AM   #10
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Twink.

Interesting read.

VW did change engines, at least in the regular EV in 2001. I think there was a bump in horsepower.

Maybe I've been real lucky, but even with pulling the AS, I have not had a moment of trouble with this vehicle, or my '99 Passat, which I traded to get the Euro.

Autobarn in Mt. Prospect services Rialtas. The issue is whether or not the lifts in the shop can handle the height and weight of the Rialta.

I've read tons about the reliabilty issues with VW, but mercifully I've so far had none. (KNOCKING REALLY HARD ON WOOD!!!!)

My wife had a GTI Golf, early 90's(?) that we kept a supply of radiators and heater cores, because it seemed like those were going bad sooner than their they should have.

Still hoping to be maintainence free in Chicago...

Jonathan
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Old 01-23-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
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I personally think VW makes some good stuff. No issue with VW in my book, other than it's not a great TV, but you and I have talked about it....just sharing my thoughts to the thread creator.
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Old 01-23-2006, 12:46 PM   #12
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crazeylev and others

that vr6 engine platform was/is extremely versatile.....was/is used widely in europe as you note.

of course sticking 2 of 'em together is the w12.....pretty cool

vw hasn't worried much that customers don't know the difference between the narrow v6 and wide v6 designs they also use..... they have mixed/matched vw, audi, skoda models with either.

hated it when they killed the new retro microbus concept.....since i used to freeze each winter in my own air cooled vdub....i was looking forward to a new version.

it has been announced now,
that the next vw minivan/delivery van/bus platform will be based on and built in partnership with the

daimler chrysler dodge mercedes benz freightliner spinter van chassis.......

and will come in diesel flavor, with a larger displacement than the current 5 piston version airstream and others now use.....of course it will be greener cleaner and leaner too.....using that new mercedes blue tooth diesel technology.......so i guess it will be wireless also....

cheers
2air'
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