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Old 08-04-2009, 05:05 PM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
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2008 Jeep Wrangler Sahara <-> 1973 Airstream 25' Trade Wind Land Yacht GVWR: 5800Lbs.

Jeep: Currently has a OEM Class II Receiver.
Airstream: Currently has it's Original Hitch Mount and Sway Bars.

What type of Hitch will I require?
Class III IV or V

Is there anything else I should consider?
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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I believe that you would require at least a Class III receiver. Even with that you may be somewhat light in the towing capacity of your Wrangler. This coupled with the short wheelbase of the Wrangler may put you in very marginal territory.

Brian
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
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A Class III hitch should work, but I would suggest a longer wheel base TV as well. Just curious, what is the tow capacity of the Jeep?

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
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Consider a better tow vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sysgenss View Post
Jeep: Currently has a OEM Class II Receiver.
Airstream: Currently has it's Original Hitch Mount and Sway Bars.

What type of Hitch will I require?
Class III IV or V

Is there anything else I should consider?
This is straight from Jeep's website, tow capacity isn't even close:

Towing Capability
Wrangler can tow a healthy 2,000 lb when properly equipped.


http://www.jeep.com/en/2009/wrangler/capability/towing/
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:13 PM   #5
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Sysgenss...: Absolutely insane to try and tow this Tradewind with a Jeep Wrangler... not only because of the weight but consider the size of the Wrangler... then again, let's talk about going downhill with 5800 lbs. behind that Wrangler... What, the Jeep is about 15' long... Tradewind 25'????

Does indeed bring new meaning to the concept of getting Wrangled....Wrangeled... whatever. Just make sure we got this event on video....
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:40 PM   #6
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I'm really assuming the owner has one of the four door Sahara's.. which really would be a nice tow vehicle (long wheelbase, short overhang), but is just pretty gutless. The website states 3500 pounds for the 4 door Unlimited...

Engine wise, I'd stick to the flats.. the Jeep isn't the most aerodynamic (like a brick), so pushing that through the air, plus the weight of the trailer.. might be a strain for the engine. If you have aftermarket big tires, that just makes it worse.
Marc
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I'm really assuming the owner has one of the four door Sahara's.. which really would be a nice tow vehicle
Marc


Huh? 4-door Wrangler a good tow vehicle for a 5800lb. Airstream? Maybe for a 1500lb. pop-up camper by Fleetwood... I'm sorrry, but the Airstream is just not a safe configuration nor combination of weights for a Jeep Wrangler to tow. Maybe from your cousine's house in Ellsworth, Kansas to your place in Ponca City, Ok... at night... in the summer with the wind behind you... I doubt very seriously that the Jeep could handle the 'Stream in emergency maneuvers... as a matter of fact, I'll bet the Airstream would 'maneuver' the Jeep instead and create a whole new host of problems...
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:21 PM   #8
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I have a Jeep Commander with the 4.7l 305hp and 334lbs of torque. It has a tow capacity of 6500lbs. I tow a 2008 Bambi and have had no problems towing, just got back from Durango and Mesa Verde and planing a trip to Salt Lake City and Yellowstone next month. Averaged 15mph and was pulling between 65 and 70, a couple of time I would look down and see 80 and tell my self I was pulling a single axel trailer and slow back down. I have since started to use the cruise and set between 65 and 68. I have an older 93 jeep with the 4.0l straight six some where south of 200 hp. I would not pull anything with it. A Friend would pull his small boat with his later model Wrangler and ended up pulling the transmission apart. The mechnic stated that the jeep has a light frame and towing heavy loads even if the engine has the power, the frame is not stressed for the weight you will be towing.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:38 PM   #9
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I agree with c177tx.

1) I imagine the frame of stock Wrangler is not as heavy-duty as other typical full-size trucks.
2) Its stock Dana 35 (or even with 44) won't be able to support the weight. It will bow, the differential pumpkin is too small IMHO. There may be excessive wear and troubles after a few trips. You better have at least Dana 60.
3) Wrangler has cushy soft coil springs...
4) Strength of transmission...

4-door wrangler has a wheelbase of 116 inches (BTW current Ford Expedition has 119 inches), not so bad. Wrangler's short overhang (compared to suburban or expeditions) should lessen greatly the effect of swaying trailer.

Good thing is that Wrangler is easily modified and customizable. You can have the welders reenforce the frame with additional members and braces. Also have the hitch welded and strengthened. Insert airbags in its rear coils and pump them when towing. You can find examples where people upgraded them with nice axles, transmission, and transfer case (Atlas II?)

It'll be a money pit, but can be a nice good project for a Jeep enthusiast.

Oh, don't forget Hensley.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:39 PM   #10
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Jeep publishes guidelines for weight, length and frontal area in square footage. The 1984-2001 Cherokee (XJ) was rated for 5,000-lbs, 25-feet and about 64 sg/ft f/a.

Engine and drivetrain and chassis are not really a problem for a reasonable load. But engine cooling is another matter. Jeeps are built for ground clearance so radiators are rather small to what they might be in another vehicle.

Plus, if it is a Wrangler JK that vehicle is already rather heavy with just driver, passenger and fuel. Has it been weighed with this minimum load? The tow capacity must be reduced. Etc.

An ordinary half-ton truck is the easy, default solution (though not necessarily the best). If it has to be a Jeep (I've had three) then maybe a Grand or a Commander is a better choice. A short wheelbase vehicle demands careful attention to weight-distribution (hitch rigging) to maximize an otherwise minimally stable vehicle.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:19 AM   #11
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Hi All,

Thanks for the advise to-date.

Just to clarify the TV is the Unlimited 4 Door model, which I believe has a towing capacity of 3500Lbs. Therefore it sounds like I may be euchred on this one.

Does anyone know what the dry weight of the 1973 Airstream 25' Trade Wind Land Yacht would be?
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:05 AM   #12
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Dry weight is 4100 for the twin bed layout and 4180 for the double bed. Add any options such as awnings and Air Conditioner to that.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #13
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I spent some time with the figures above quoted on the Cherokee [XJ] (granted, a lighter vehicle with shorter wheelbase than the JK) and "found" that were I to use it for a travel trailer my choice would be a 15" HI-LO brand trailer with a GVWR of 3900-lbs. This is assuming all the numbers have been carefully worked per hitch rigging (weight distribution) to maximize stability and, preferably, the trailer kept to a lower weight than gross.

With that, it might be chore to drive in a number of scenarios. With others, it might be ideal . . basically short distance, short duration trips.

If it is any consolation to the OP the received wisdom around here is to choose the trailer first and make the best choice of TV thereby. The biggest divisor of which TV to buy is easiest to distinguish by full-time versus part-time. If the trailer is only pulled 5,000-miles per year then look to what can do the job but is easy to live with otherwise. A big truck or SUV is not necessarily the best choice in that case.
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