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Old 10-13-2015, 09:59 AM   #1
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Virginia beach , Virginia
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What capacity tow vehicle will I need?!

Complete Newbie here!!!

I have heard from different people that it is best to buy your towing vehicle first and from others that it's best to buy your trailer first. I am looking at purchasing a 30' Airstream Safari and have nothing to tow it with!

What tow vehicle would you recommend? I currently have a 2013 Honda Crosstour that just aint gonna cut it!

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Old 10-13-2015, 10:16 AM   #2
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2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
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You'll need a 3/4 ton or larger diesel truck.

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Old 10-13-2015, 10:20 AM   #3
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1969 29' Ambassador
brooksville , Florida
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Well this is always a hot discussion!

This is how I like to look at it.

1. What kind of TV do you want, a truck, SUV, Van, or some thing else.

2. What is going to be the weight of the trailer, plus gear and water?

3. Start looking for a TV that is the kind you want and is rated for towing the weight.

4. Will your TV be your daily driver?
Not all those who wonder are lost.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:46 AM   #4
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2016 28' Flying Cloud
Kennesaw , Georgia
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Choosing a Tow Vehicle

Most forum members seem to advise on getting the AS first and the TV secondarily. Rationale is that the TV will change more frequently than the trailer. I have ordered a new 28 foot Flying Cloud and just completed purchase of Chevy 2500 diesel.
There is a lot of wisdom on these forums. I have carefully studied advice and calculations for several months regarding payload, weight distribution and towing capacity for half ton trucks. After studying variables till I went nearly blind, I solved the problem by bypassing it with the purchase of a larger diesel truck. As a result, I can go wherever I want and take whatever I want along. At 67 years, it made sense for me to do it right because I do not anticipate ever trading for a different AS.
Am I glad that I spent the time with all the calculations? You bet! I learned a lot in the process and would advise any newbie to do the same.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:52 AM   #5
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Good Ol' , USA
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x2 for 3/4-ton truck. Diesel or gas, your choice

I'll 2nd the suggestion of a 3/4-ton pickup. Diesel or gas is your choice, but I prefer diesel.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:58 AM   #6

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....


Carefully consider all info presented here....

Then....find a dealer,(rural may be best), with a lot white on the lot. White is the favorite color for commercial customers.


The sales staff will have a much better grasp of what your needs will be.
Gather as much info on your trailer as you can, weight, length etc. The actual spec sheet would help a lot. Add 250-350lbs to the tongue weight and at least 800-1000lbs to the loaded trailer weight.

Have a plan of action based on what you've learned and present it with authority.
ASK questions, take notes. Take a portfolio, (could even be empty ), refer to it frequently.

Don't be intimidated, the more info you have, the less likely you'll get the wool pulled over your eyes.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:56 PM   #7
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2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
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I'm pulling a 30' Classic with a RAM 2500. The Cummings diesel has probably the best torque specs in the industry and the optional air suspension delivers a comfortable ride. Combine this with a ProPride hitch and I think you have an extremely good, reliable and safe TV that can handle just about anything you throw at it.
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:47 AM   #8
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St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
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Originally Posted by StreaminSal View Post
What tow vehicle would you recommend? I currently have a 2013 Honda Crosstour that just aint gonna cut it!
Now that's a nice vehicle! Going to an HD pickup after driving the HCT is not much to look forward to. We are looking into an Acura ZDX as our next TV.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:43 AM   #9
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Round Rock , Texas
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Howdy.. What follows is just a goofy statement.. like all of my words... but, here goes..

aw, shucks, hook that AS to the HONDA! You will have a ride you will never forget!

OF course you can see I am NOT recommending the above...

My questions begin.. do you plan to tow in the 'Hills'/mountains or just 'flat ground'? How far and how often? Will this TV(tow vehicle) be your 'only' / daily driver vehicle?

These are just the first questions....
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:06 PM   #10
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Just a cautionary note to the OP: You have to carefully sift through the opinions you get here. There are forum members who seriously believe a Mini cooper can be turned into a towing beast by just reinforcing the hitch and adding a transmission cooler. If you search the forum, you will see many threads where experiments with these "alternate" tow vehicles have failed, forcing the owners to change tow vehicles with much financial loss.

Be Careful!
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:07 PM   #11
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2014 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vero Beach , Florida
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I second dougster in answer to your question "which comes first"... It's the trailer. That said, if you are buying both you may want to iterate a bit and consider different combinations. Every combination of tow vehicle and trailer has its pros and cons. You have a chance to consider those as a package and pick the one that works best for you.

The 30' trailer is large and heavy. Most (but not all!) people here would say it is best towed with a pretty big truck. If you are comfortable driving a big set up, or you are full timing or if you won't move around much that may be perfect for you. If you are not planning to travel a lot and want to use your tow vehicle as your "daily driver" when not traveling you may find a big honking diesel truck be more than you want to use to go to the grocery store 11 months of the year while the 30' trailer you bought sits waiting for its next adventure.

Either way, there is lots of great perspective available here. Fire away with questions and you will tap that perceive.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:31 PM   #12
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1977 31' Sovereign
Harrison , Arkansas
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We have a 31 Sovereign and a Ram 1500 TV with the WD hitch and sway bars its not bad might look to a 3/4 ton if we decide to travel more we had truck first
The Angels
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:35 PM   #13
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2016 30' International
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Quartz Hill , California
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I have towed with a GMC 1500 Sierra. I traded it finally for a 2500 Sierra diesel for my 25' AI and was never sorry. I now have a 30' AI and the combination is sweet. I never lack for power especially in the mountains.
Go for a 3/4 ton truck from any of the big three.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:20 PM   #14
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2004 25' Safari
1968 17' Caravel
Fountain Valley , California
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I definitely recommend a 3/4 ton.

I started with a 17' Airstream, so I bought a 1/2 ton pickup.

I later added a 27' Airstream, but the truck was low mileage so I kept it.

I subsequently rolled the 27' Airstream, but not the truck, so I kept the truck.

I then downsized to a 25' Airstream, and still have the low mileage 1/2 ton pickup. The 1/2 ton is "adequate" for the 25', but a 3/4 ton would be better.
I was towing the 25' when I had almost 50,000 miles on my Chevy 1/2 ton when the transmission went out on the truck. Now I have a new transmission.

In hind-sight on the 27-footer, with the trailer loaded and the truck loaded, it wasn't as stable as I would have liked it to be.

A MAJOR improvement on my 1/2 ton was I replaced all the tires with higher pressure tires, the same as is on the 3/4 and the 1-ton pickups. That additional tire sidewall rigidity made a major improvement in the feel of towing going down the road. (I might even say it could have possibly saved the 27' Airstream). I can't emphasize enough how much difference the tires make when towing (I replaced Michelin 40 psi tires with Michelin 70 psi tires - pressures approximate).

If you don't already have a tow vehicle then get the 3/4 ton! It will allow for any future trailer choices you might make.

(I still use my 1/2 ton to pull both the 17' Airstream and the 25' Airstream.

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