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Old 06-16-2006, 06:38 AM   #15
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Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
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Agree with Millionairstream

You took the thought right out of my head! I have a friend that has the Toureg V-10 diesel. It is quite a machine. I think it specs at 325 hp and 450 ft/lb of torque. It feels like it will climb walls but does a very nice job for his motorcycle trailer with 2 full dresser Harleys in it. I would assume that he is towing upwards of 3000lb with the bare ball and brake controller and it does not want for power or control.

I would probably have one if I wasn't in to the van thing. I do love my Sprinter though!!

Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
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Old 06-16-2006, 06:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by j54mark
It would be interesting to know if any of the GM diesel sedans are still running after all these years. Few did for long, even when new.

I know of at least one... it's here in Iowa... just saw it a couple of weeks ago, and it belongs to a friend of mine who's a mechanic. It was his grandfather's. It's got 80k on the clock and is on it's third block, this one out of the last run they made. It was junk when it was new, and hasn't improved at all with age.

Silvertwinkie is the "go-to" guy for experience in towing Airstreams with late-model sedans. He towed their 19' Bambi with a Chevy Caprice. He decided that the Caprice just couldn't do a 25' trailer, and moved up to a Suburban, but he has a LOT of experience and answers.

I know Jeep Liberty owners will probably want to filet me, but I've towed only a very light weight tent trailer with both a CJ-7 and a Scrambler. Both were questionable at best. I successfully towed a '61 Bambi with a Chevy Astro which would have been OK had I used appropriate tires and sway control. I had tall, squishy sidewall tires, and no sway control and it was a white-knuckle tow the whole time. IMHO towing ANY Airstream (including the Bambi 16' of ANY vintage) with less than a 120" wheelbase if you have the option to do something else is just plain foolish, regardless of how competent the drivetrain may be.

For comparisons, the Liberty has 104" wheelbase. The CJ-7 had a 93" wheelbase. The early '80s Scrambler had 103". The Chevy Astro has 111" wheelbase. The Chevy Tahoe has a 116" wheelbase. The Suburban has a 130" wheelbase and the Ford Excursion has a 137" wheelbase.

When things go bad while towing, they happen fast. The shorter the wheelbase of the tow vehicle the faster they happen, and the less time you have to respond and recover. Sway control does a good job of masking what's happening until your sway control is overcome, and then it's too late. My advice is always to give yourself as much of an edge as you can. If you're starting from scratch, get something with a longer wheelbase.

The problem with the T-reg, Land Rover and most other European imports is that they're just not built to handle the tongue weights of the U.S. trailers. European spec trailers are seldom spec'd with a tongue weight over 200lbs. Even though the European imports have been rated to tow our weights, if you choose one, make sure that the hitch setup is appropriate for your tongue weight. There was even a discussion here recently about how a Rover hitch setup failed and Rover refused to deal with the problem to the customer's satisfaction.

Not that they're not suited to the job, you just have to be very careful about what job it is that you want them to do that is within their specs.


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Old 06-16-2006, 07:14 AM   #17
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I've had three diesel vehicles, driving them for a total of twenty-three years, and can speak from real-life experience. My present tow vehicle is a Dodge Cummins and I absolutely love it! That being said, with today's diesel prices ($3.10 in Boise yesterday) I see no advantage to a non-truck diesel tow vehicle. There are a lot of significant disadvantages to diesel engines in passenger cars and other light vehicles.

They are significantly higher priced compared to gas engines. Any savings from the superior mpg is insignificant compared to the additional price of the engine. Unless one drives huge miles per year you'll rever recoup the difference.

They cost a lot more to repair.

Diesel costs significantly more per gallon than gasoline (at least out west).

Although I kind of enjoy the diesel clatter, they are a lot more noisy compared to a gas burner.

Both the fuel and the exhaust stink much more than conventional fueled vehicles.

With my 34 foot Limited, I need the power that my Cummins provides, and as I said above, I love my Cummins. However, if I was pulling less weight I would stick with gasoline. Just my opinion.

'92 Limited 34ft (now sold); '96 Dodge Cummins 4X2, 5speed
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:22 AM   #18
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As stated above, Freightliner and Dodge have been selling the Mercedes Benz SPRINTER here for about 3 or 4 years.

This is a proven vehicle sold in 110 countries for over 11 years now.

There may be some on the American used market by now.

These feature small diesel motors with relativly big torque and they can do the job.

Check member LEWSTER's page. He has one pulling a CCD International which will weigh more than the ARGOSY.

The diesel is exceptionally quiet and you will have all the bells and whistles that you won't have in older cars or trucks - like air bags, etc.

Most owners say the Sprinter is car-like in it's handling.

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:26 PM   #19
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Sprinters are nice-

I had driven one way before they came over as a Freightliner, and was shocked at how much better it performed in every way to my Chevy vans.

I also drove the old MB100D and the 207D Mercedes vans, but the one I want to see them bring over is the Sprinters big brother- the Vario 814D

This is an incredible vehicle, its like having the space of 2 Sprinters, or an 18' Ryder Box Truck, but it handles like a Chevy G30 or Ford E350- and it still sees about 22MPG avg. It handles and brakes and accelerates like a Sprinter, and compared to my last G30- turns on a dime. I used to need 4 lanes to make a U Turn.

There are companies that convert these to comfy passenger transport buses, and businesses use them commercially for delivery/service needs. I think this is an excellent platform for a larger RV conversion than the SprintStreams, and its stable enough that you could incorporate a large slide out of either side.

Knowing the gov't crap that Daimler Chrysler would have to go through, and last I checked there was a 25% duty on foreign commercial trucks- Mercedes would have to build these in Mexico, probably alongside the Smart, and would ruin the excellent performance and longevity.

Iveco has a nice Turbo Daily, available with All Wheel Drive that is a proven winner- they drive them in the Dakar routes every season and had one they campaigned in an Around The World Tour.

OK- we're getting away from the subject- I have to get back to work- I have a Ford Focus in the backyard that I'm shoving a 7.3 Powerstroke in and using the suspension out of my F350 to solve this members needs...

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