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Old 09-25-2008, 08:02 PM   #15
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The F250 I drive is my work vehicle, so I can't sell that. My thought was that if I could get a very small light trailer that I could tow behind a four cylinder then that would open up taking cross country trips. I drove from Michigan to the Smokey Mountains last spring break and paid $550 in gas to get there and back.

As far as axles go...I've taken them apart and inspected the spindles/bearings etc. regreased them and put new tires on. What's the harm in using an older axle? If it's sagging, then wouldn't that be a leaf spring issue. None of them are cracked.

Advice?
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:24 AM   #16
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Hi Doug

When it comes to a trailer that is easy to tow it just does not get much better than your 62 22'. It is only 7'6" wide and that earlier profile was very streamlined. Weight is only a factor as you accellerate from a stop or when you are climbing steep hills. For the vast majority of your driving it is air drag that really counts. For example with a V/6 sedan we get better mileage towing a 9000 lb. 34' Airstream than we do towing a 21' 2700 lb. flat wall fiberglas lite trailer.

It is interesting in Europe you see thousands of trailers being towed by Jetta's and similar cars. In Europe the Jetta has a 3,300 lb. tow rating and that is with the primative mechanical brakes and simple weight carrying hitches on European trailers. Though their trailers only weight about 2500 lbs. for a 24' they have more air drag than an Airstream and with the flat walls and poor hitches they do not handle nearly as well as an Airstream connected with an equalizing hitch.

The Jetta since 2006 is a much larger car with independent rear suspension we have had ours for two years now and have 55,000 miles on it a substantial portion of that is towing. Keeping the back end up is just a matter of proper hitching. It tows Airstreams in 5th gear and the Lite trailers in 4th.

Ours has a manual transmission so there is not a lot to go wrong there. They now have an interesting six speed automatic transmission. It is a automatic manual in that it has a clutch and manual transmission but it is electrically operated so you have the effiecency of a manual with automatic operation.

The 2006 Jetta has 100 hp and 180 torque but the new one has 138 hp and 248 torque which is more than the 6.2 Litre V/8's we towed with in the 80's. I think these smaller diesels are going to be the future of towing but you probably have to drive it to believe it.

Andrew T
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crdouger View Post
The F250 I drive is my work vehicle, so I can't sell that. My thought was that if I could get a very small light trailer that I could tow behind a four cylinder then that would open up taking cross country trips. I drove from Michigan to the Smokey Mountains last spring break and paid $550 in gas to get there and back.

As far as axles go...I've taken them apart and inspected the spindles/bearings etc. regreased them and put new tires on. What's the harm in using an older axle? If it's sagging, then wouldn't that be a leaf spring issue. None of them are cracked.

Advice?
Advice? Ask AndrewT about equipping a Ford Escape as a tow vehicle for your Tradewind, they are available in 4 and 6 cylinder, as well as a hybrid version. If you're going to downsize, think about getting an american brand, it may help with the cuurent auto market woes. (one of our local Ford dealers is closing their doors tomorrow)
For the axle, you have a leaf spring system, so you would not have to worry so much about the sagging. There is an issue with older single axle Airstreams that lose wheel/hub assemblies, or have spindles shear off, because many of those parts are kind of undersize for what is required.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:30 AM   #18
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Interesting thoughts Andrew T. Thanks for sharing. I'll look into equalizing hitches.
Doug
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:55 AM   #19
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Advice? Ask AndrewT about equipping a Ford Escape as a tow vehicle for your Tradewind, they are available in 4 and 6 cylinder, as well as a hybrid version. If you're going to downsize, think about getting an american brand, it may help with the cuurent auto market woes.
Over the years, and currently we have seen many North American TV's recommended by Andrew T.

Wondering if a hybrid Ford Escape would be in the same performance/economy class as the Jetta??? Probably not.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:35 AM   #20
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Over the years, and currently we have seen many North American TV's recommended by Andrew T.

Wondering if a hybrid Ford Escape would be in the same performance/economy class as the Jetta??? Probably not.
Probably not, but it is fun to consider--a "green" tow vehicle.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:38 AM   #21
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The Escape Hybrid likely approaches the Jetta for city fuel economy but highway would be far lower as well as towing mileage.

All of the big three produce thousands of excellent diesel vehicles in Europe. I think we will see plenty of domestic diesels in the future but at the moment the Jetta is the only one available to play with.

The big three have legitimate concerns about being hasty bringing diesels to market even VW had to take a year off to wait for the Clean Diesel to get into the distribution system and for the final decisions on emmission standards.

I would love to have the Mercedes Blue Tec Diesel in the 300. They build them here in Ontario but they all go to Europe.

Andrew T
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:10 AM   #22
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Over the years, and currently we have seen many North American TV's recommended by Andrew T.

Wondering if a hybrid Ford Escape would be in the same performance/economy class as the Jetta??? Probably not.
I'm starting to look at the Ford Flex. Interesting cross-over vehicle with a decent tow rating.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:54 AM   #23
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We traded in our Yukon for a smaller, lighter, less-thirsty Ford Explorer V8 since it is both our TV and a daily (almost) driver. Mileage is much better around town...and it has plenty of power for towing our small trailers.

Shari
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:47 AM   #24
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I'm starting to look at the Ford Flex. Interesting cross-over vehicle with a decent tow rating.
I agree cameront. Dynamically the Flex looks like a very promising TV. Long wheel base, low wide stance, IRS, and very rooming inside.

Wondering if Andrew T has set one up yet for towing or would comment on the potential of this vehicle.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:57 AM   #25
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I don't even worry about what I pay for gas or keep track... Just going camping to have fun... it's what it costs,,, 2-4 more mpg isn't gonna break it for me....
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:20 PM   #26
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I agree cameront. Dynamically the Flex looks like a very promising TV. Long wheel base, low wide stance, IRS, and very rooming inside.

Wondering if Andrew T has set one up yet for towing or would comment on the potential of this vehicle.
I've PM'ed him aboutit several days ago and he says they've set one up for one customer who replaced their Suburban with the Flex. Andrew says there will be a turbo charged powerplant available next year that will benefit those of us in mountainous areas. I look forward to seeing how the Flex evolves as a potential tow vehicle. I really think that Ford might have something here. I saw one just the other day and it has a nice wide, low stance. Pretty sharp looking vehicle.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:43 PM   #27
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Interesting, thnxs cameron. The Flex may work (??) and the Ford 500/Taurus is a possibility too. Saw a 500 in a Provincial Park last week with a Hensley and Airstream.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:35 AM   #28
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I've driven the Flex quite a bit, but haven't towed with one. Lovely road trip vehicle. Quiet and roomy inside. I'd also be tempted to wait for the EcoBoost version (direct injection + turbo) that will be out next year.

I've been thinking about this topic a lot, given that I'm shopping for a trailer and own a 05 Honda Odyssey that I (and my wife) adore. Probably going to wind up with a T@B or a Caravelle/Minuet....

Tom
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