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Old 04-15-2013, 08:24 PM   #1
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1973 23' Safari
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2 wd vs 4x4 6cyl or 8?. 23 ft safari 1973

Just sold my 94 yj wrangler which was my first toy to restore this summer. Had to sell it to offset the cost of the as. (p.s.) only had the jeep for a few weeks. No I wasn't even considering towing the as with it. it was a 4 cyl. 5speed. I do have a 94 mazda B4000 v6 5spd tranny. all it has right now is a small bumper ball hitch. I understand that the bumper hitch does need to be replaced with a reese or an undermount hitch rated for the camper. Mazda has 180,000 plus miles runs good new brakes etc up keep has been fix as need it has new leafspring mounts, brakes and most the major repairs for a truck this old. The safari falls under my tow guidelines for this truck. But being disabled I am thinking about selling or trading the mazda and have very limited funds to replace. Most my life Iv'e been partial to chevy's gmc vs fords or dodges. So here it is after selling the jeep and contemplating selling the mazda I'm gonna maybe have 2 2 2500bcs for a tow vehicle. No long hauls no major hills. mostly campgrounds or state parks. Should I retrofit the mazda b4000 or look 4 a amall v8 2wd or 4x4 just to be safe. Ps I'm not in a real big hurry I do have friends that have big trucks that could or would help or loan to me to move the as. But I hate being a Burden to others. chevy dodge or ford what do you reccomend v6 or v8?. 2wd or 4x4. ty rdnse
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
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Something between a one ton diesel dually and a smart car (that guy in Canada). There's lots of opinions. Probably a V6 with automatic might he a sensible starting point.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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We used to have a '75 23' Airstream, and when we got it I had a Dodge 1500 pickup, 2WD, auto, with the 4.6L V8, and although it would pull the trailer OK, I was dissatisfied with the overall performance, especially on any kind of a grade.

So, I traded the truck for a GMC 1500 pickup, 2WD, 3.73 rear end, with the 5.3L V8, and it was a vast improvement. Towed the trailer to Alaska and back with that truck, no problems.

2 vs 4WD is a case of what you need, IMHO.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:29 PM   #4
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There are a lot of searchable threads here (see "search" tab above and type in key words like tow vehicle or which truck and see a LOT of opinions brought forth..). As noted above, many believe a small light vehicle will work, others are adamant that big, heavy and powerful is mandatory.. That aid, what's the fun in not sharing opinions...

- 2 WD or 4 WD really depends on usage and where/when you'll be towing. Towing on snow or on ice no fun, even with chains, but if you are planning to, or planning to slither through mud to secret fishing holes in rainy season, 4WD is better. Not needed for towing on regular wet or dry pavement.
- Engine choice often more critical around condition than cylinders, and very dependent on trailer weight and hp.. New Ford EcoBoost V6 has more pulling power than their former Triton V8, and better mileage. Ignore seller opinions, and find GVWR Tow ratings for tow vehicle (look up with actual engine and transmission and rear differential codes) and assume a small safety margin above heaviest loading of your trailer you intend.. Not all Ford F-150's or Expeditions are the same, and similarly there are variations of Chevy and other trucks. Tow Packages from factory help with cooling and gear ratios, though a 23' older Airstream is going to be lighter than new long models..
- If you are going to make short trips on flat ground at low altitude, less power and torque will work.. If you are going to cross mountain passes fully loaded a lot, go larger.
- The Chevy/Ford/Dodge/VW Taureg/Toyota/Nissan argument could take all day.. Really more about your preferences, comfort levels, condition and price... There are Airstreams hitched up to all of them every day, and they all seem to work...
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:03 AM   #5
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" . . No long hauls no major hills. mostly campgrounds or state parks."

With an Airstream TT that size plenty of cars would suffice. A V6 Dodge Charger, for instance. Think of it as the high-tech Fury . . but much better. I am not the only one who saw 27-mpg solo without trying. All kinds of Mercedes-original underpinnings.

IOW, pick the vehicle that is best for your needs while not towing, but that can also tow the TT. Note the order. Most seem to put things the other way round and pay a very high cost for it.

Your solo needs should dominate, and the purchase + operating price be consistent with your budget. The fuel price to move the TT around is nothing compared to the solo miles cost (so a bike or scooter might also be good).

A truck should be the last choice in this. Poor record on safety and fuel economy no matter the type, brand or specification.

And, yes, so a search. The threads and posts by Andrew_T [Thomson], of CAN AM RV would be a good place to start. See also HITCH HINTS online. Andy does what we all did for the first fifty years . . but better. Trucks are late-comers to the towing scene for TT's of this type. Do your reading and contact him, he is known to be generous with time & advice.

Good luck

.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:47 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forums. You have asked a question that always seems to stir up lots of comments.

You might try a short trip with your current vehicle and see if it suits you.

If you are not happy, look for something better.

As pictures prove, one can tow an Airstream with a bicycle, but why would you?

If you use 4WD when not towing or plan to camp where it might be useful, certainly look for a vehicle so equipped.




I can and choose to afford a truck.

Some who suggest a sedan seem to forget to account for the items one might chose to take with them while on a trip.

Charcoal grills and supplies, chairs, camp stoves, generators and fuel. These things all come to mind. Certainly there are more items that may be handy.

I don't want any of these items in my trailer, in the trunk of a car, or strapped to the roof of a sedan in the style of Jed Clampett.

Some here say the engineers and marketing departments of the auto companies issue GVWs for reasons other than safety and capability, some which may be true, but certainly there is a limit to what a vehicle and trailer can carry safely and comfortably.

Personally, I choose a vehicle designed to carry a load and tow a trailer.

Dozens of trucking firms seem to agree.

Happy travels, in what ever rig you choose.


Regards,

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Old 04-18-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
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Just a thought on primary use versus towing uses.. Our Excursion (for when a Suburban just isn't big enough..) lives under a cover in the driveway, and only fires up to tow something heavy or haul a minimum of 7 passengers.. Cars or small SUV's can't do that.. You can buy a lot of trucks or heavy-duty SUV's that make great dedicated tow vehicles for $5K or less, and not have to worry about "double duty" vehicles...
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:10 AM   #8
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Sorry! But I am a dinosaur. I like something with a REAL frame and big brakes and tires and some weight for towing. Especially anything over 20'.
I get 18-20 mpg in my Tundra with daily use. 12-14 mpg when towing.
I only drive about 6K miles per year including traveling. So the fuel costs are not that great. About $130 a month on the year around average.
The Tundra is invaluable on my farm.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:24 AM   #9
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My 2 cents....

"But being disabled I am thinking about selling or trading the mazda and have very limited funds to replace. Most my life Iv'e been partial to chevy's gmc vs fords or dodges."

In my experience...a 4wd TV would be a definite advantage for you.
A 1500 anything listed would do fine. With all towing options and a quality receiver along with properly rated TV and trailer tires, WD hitch with sway control and brake controller.

Good luck.

Bob
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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1973 23' Safari
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thank you all!. I found a good start for this summer.

Everybody's feed back was much heeded and apprieciated. I was able to turn up a high milage ford f150 xlt etra cab ( 3 Door) 8' bed 139 wb 4x4 3.73 rear auto. for real short bucs 4.6 v8. rusty rockers but still plenty of oomphf under the hood to do exactly what I intend to do this summer. Short local trips. and in the mean while i'm looking for a cheap plow set up for it so I might recoup my investment come this fall. Thank you one and all!. Rednose
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:31 PM   #11
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Good luck!!
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