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Old 08-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
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An Eclectic Group of Airstreams

We took a trip with some friends last week along the north shore of the St Laurence river to Tadoussac Quebec for some amazing whale watching. It is beautiful country with great twisty roads with 10-19% grades.

This group of Airstreams and tow vehicles sure attracted a lot of attention every time you turned around someone else was taking pictures. I said not only were we visiting tourist attractions we were one.

Andrew T
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:38 PM   #2
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Great photos!
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:03 PM   #3
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Those are great photos but I am more fascinated by the fact that you are pulling 34' Airstreams through 10-19% grades with a Chrysler minivan and a Jaguar!!
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:09 PM   #4
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Now I feel like Im guilty of over kill. I drive a 1ton Dodge and I pull a 22' CCD. I can say the truck never leaves overdrive, its like the trailer isn,t there. I dont know if I would want to see that in person
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:11 PM   #5
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Andrew...great pictures!

Did you do the "set-up" on the Wrangler JK? If so...what did you do to the JK and what is it towing? What were the JK owner's tow observations? Hensley? Tom R in Two Harbors, MN
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:44 PM   #6
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Hi Tom

Our friends with the Jeep have an tract of land up north that is pretty rough to get the Airstream into so they need a capable 4x4. We looked at a lot of possibilities but the Rubicon speced out quite well the 4 door version has a very short overhang to wheel base ratio, good shocks and light truck tires, this one has a 3.8 Litre and 6 speed manual.

They tow a 2005 25' International. We reinforced the Jeep hitch so that we would get good weight transfer. The hitch is a 1000 lb. Eaz-lift with friction sway controls. It is a very stable combination that will go anywhere. What surprizes me most about it is that it got a tiny bit better mileage than the Town & Country did towing the 34. I am sure the manual transmission helps with this. An other interesting thing about the manual transmission is that after going down a long 18% grade the brake temps on the Jeep were as cool as the much larger brakes on the Jag. The 25' Airstream's brakes were 35 degrees cooler than the other units. The 25' is about 2800 lbs. lighter but it only has 4 brakes so the I think the Jeep was doing a much better job of engine braking thanks to the manual tranny.

Andrew T
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:50 PM   #7
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Big time impressive!
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:52 PM   #8
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Andy, I know you told me about your trip, but seeing the pics of the XJ towing that big trailer - sweet!

Tom
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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Hey, next time tell me about the trip before you go! Looks like it was great fun.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:34 PM   #10
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Great pics....at first I thought the Jag was sitting in front of an unhitched AS as a joke...but it really was attached! What a head-turning convoy!

What kind of mirrors do you recommend? Many of the mirrors in the pics look like they are attached to the door. We tow our 23' CCD with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Everything is great except we can't see much with the tow mirrors because the Jeep is so narrow. We want better tow mirrors than the slip-ons we have.

Thanks in advance,
Lisa
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:03 AM   #11
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Confused on the ups & downs.

Hi, I have been up and down many mountains, but I think 10% was the steepest. This was in Montana and had very sharp turns with speed limits of 20 to 25 MPH. [trans manually in first gear] I don't think my Lincoln could pull a 19% grade. Are the grades rated different in Canada? I think 19% means 19' difference in elevation per 100 feet in length. Do I have this right? How did all these set-ups make it up these grades, First gear with 4:88 ring and pinion? I need to know before we make our trip to Canada.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
.. Are the grades rated different in Canada? ...
It's a metric conversion...
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:09 PM   #13
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Wow, I'm so impressed with those tow vehicles. I tow my 34 foot AS with a 3/4 ton diesel Ford 250. The Jag would be a much nicer ride. Would love to know more about that,even the Chrysler van, I thought could only tow a hybrid or ultra lite. I guess my bad.
Tim
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:27 AM   #14
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If you look closely you can see the mirrors on the Van in one shot and the Jag in another. They are McKesh and they work well on Grand Cherokee's.

18% grades are actually quite common on side roads in the east from North Carolina right through to the Maritimes. However unlike Montana the air is usually denser with high humidity so cooling brakes and engines in much easier. As well you are rarely very far from sea level so you have more power. Though the grades are steep you rarely find one more than a mile long and most are less than that.

The Navigator will have no problems with a 25' Airstream. You will get well aquainted with low gear both going up and coming down the important thing is to keep the revs in the engines powerband about 3500 RPM on the 5.4. At these higher rpms everything actually runs cooler than lugging up the hill at 2000 RPM.

The other fun thing you will find is that there is often a small town with a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. You usually have a few hundred feet and then you start climbing. The technique is to get rolling slightly and then mat it so you build your revs on the level before you start climbing. You can start on a steep grade but it takes a long time to build into the rev range.

The new Town & Country, Dodge Caravan and VW Routan all have available the same 24 valve 4.0 Litre V/6 a 6 speed automatic. It has a nice wide powerband which combined with the 6 speeds always gives you the right ratio. It is geared quite low so the 10-12% grades were climbed in second gear and the 18% were climbed at partial throttle in low gear. Highway driving is done in 5th with fourth and third available for moderate to steep climbs still at highway speed. A very nice drivetrain we have equiped about 30 so far.

Andy

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