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Old 03-22-2007, 11:23 AM   #1
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Powhatan , Virginia
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2007 Ford Explorer

We just got a Ford Explorer and are going to look into getting an Airstream. I see from reading a few posts that the first thing I need to find out is how big an Airstream we can pull comfortably and safely. From the manual and sales sheet, I have the following information:

2007 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition (all this fanciness is because it was a demo car)
6 cylinder, fuel injection
5 speed automatic transmisssion
Engine: 4.0L SOHC
Class II/IV trailer tow package
Rear Axle Ratio: 3.73
Max GCWR: 10,000 lb
Trailer Weight: 0-5200 lb

Is this enough information for you guys to give me an idea of how big an Airstream we can get? I realize that interior options and what we personally load in the trailer will make a difference in weight, but we just need somewhere to start. I think we can say that the max body weight would be around 500 lb if we take the grandchildren along. We'll be looking for a used but not too old trailer (4 yrs old or so, maybe newer, maybe a little older)

Linda in Powhatan, VA

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Old 03-22-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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Welcome, you will find lots of good Folk and lots of advice here.

I believe most 16' Bambis have a GVWR of around 4500# so you would be best to start there...

Good luck,

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Old 03-22-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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There are different opinions on this subject (do a search) but I think I'd stick to a pop-up trailer with an Explorer.

Granted we tow a much larger unit (31') with an E-350 15 passenger van (7.3 TBD), I'd be real hesitant to tow more than about 3500 lbs with your vehicle, regardless of manufacturer's specs. I think a full-sized anything is preferable to a midsized SUV.

Probably not what you want to hear, but I'm sure there are other opinions out there.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:11 PM   #4
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Welcome to forum and the world of Airstreams. You will find tons of new friends and information here on the forum and the best place to start is by using the search function above. With an Explorer you are limiting yourself with towing capacities but you may be able to tow and STOP a 16' Bambi. Check it out. I would be the wrong person to ask because I always lean to the safer side. But if you go to Aistreams website you will find a screen saver or a wallpaper for your PC with an Explorer towing a 16' Bambi!
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:18 PM   #5
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Thanks to all of you. Obviously we considered a travel trailer *after* we got the car. Looks like road trips will continue to involve hotels. <g> We're into comfort way too much to get a small trailer.

You're a great bunch of folks. I've learned a lot just reading threads today. Live and learn.....

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Old 03-22-2007, 01:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lrbaldwin
We just got a Ford Explorer and are going to look into getting an Airstream..Max Trailer Weight: 5200lbs..if we take the grandchildren along....We'll be looking for a used but not too old trailer (4 yrs old or so, maybe newer, maybe a little older)
Used, up to 4 years old, you are limited to the 16' CCD and 16' Safari - both have a GVWR of 3500lbs. Ideally, you'ld be able to find a local dealer with CCD and a Safari (of any length) to compare the interiors.

You mentioned that you were considering taking your grandchildren. We love to take our kids with us in our 16' Bambi...but it isn't for everyone. On the plus side, the 16' Bambi gives you a nice bed in the rear that you can upgrade with a custom mattress if you so wish. It also has a folding door/curtain that separates the front from the back at night.

However, sleeping the kids means unfolding the dinette into a 40" x 7' 7" bed - fine for our kids but I don't know how old/big your grandchildren are. You may also grow tired of setting up and taking down the dinette every day. Lastly, if you are thinking of your Airstream as a place to hang around in with your grandkids - do NOT buy the 16'er. It is really just a mobile bed and breakfast.

More information about the advantages and disadvantages of the 16' Bambi (and other Airstreams) can be found by browsing or searching in the appropriate subforums.

As for the Explorer, its 6 cyl engine isn't really great for towing but you should be fine as long as you stay east of the Rockies. Not great, but fine - just don't expect to be zipping up hills.


PS All that usual advice when someone asks these sorts of questions is 'figure out what you want to do with your airstream, THEN go to a dealer to feel what is like to be inside each size/model, THEN pick your airstream, THEN pick your tow vehicle.' It is just hard advice to give to someone who just bought a new tow vehicle.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:54 PM   #7
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Leo, your advice is right on the money. However we weren't even thinking of a tow vehicle at all when we got it, the trailer idea was an afterthought. Not gonna work. And no, we would not consider taking The Boys with us towing such a small trailer. It wouldn't even be big enough for Frank and me.

We got this Explorer for regular ole road trips for a comfortable ride, ability to get over hills in the Blue Ridge Mountains on gravel roads, and to haul around my camera gear. And that's just what we'll do.

Maybe we'll see you guys at an Airstream event another year.

Thanks for saving us a lot of time and frustration,
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:33 PM   #8
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Oh come on we need more Virginians!

I'm here in Virginia Beach, and I keep finding more and more Airstreamers around. I'd urge you to take a trip to the one Airstream dealer in Virginia and look at what they have in stock. Just outside of Fredericksburg, on the east side of I-95.

Camping isn't about spending that much time IN the trailer, it's about meeting people and seeing beautiful country. If you're planning on being a summer weekend camper, smaller IS better. (You never have to sleep in a hotel room and find critter bites on yourself the next morning. You always know how clean the restroom is... no more gas stations! You CAN get in out of the rain and you do sleep in air conditioned comfort.) A shorty like the 16 can fit into almost any gas station, while even with a 25' I have to look for the BIG Wawa's etc.

That said, a big trailer of any kind needs a big honkin truck to tow it and to stop it. I fulltime in a 25' Safari FB SE and it's good for me. A lot of people want a 30' or 34' if they are carrying many people or spending most of their time in camp. There are many, many happy people who regard a 16 or 19' trailer as perfect for trips up to 2 or 3 weeks long - a few who've gone for months. The little ones are certainly easier to wash, clean, hitch and unhitch... tho they are squirrelly as hell to back up.

Don't say no until you've looked at some small ones. Look for "Abe" Lincoln or R Seagle on these forums, they both have 22ft CCD's with families.

You'd be surprised.

Paula Ford
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:40 PM   #9
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You might want to consider going with a fixed up "vintage" Airstream. The older ones are considerably lighter.

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