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Old 08-08-2005, 11:03 PM   #1
2005 28 ft. SAFARI
 
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28' Safari and Chevy Tahoe

Hi All

My wife, son and I leave Brooklyn NY in 10 days for Florida in our new 28 ' Safari. We are relatively new to RV travel in general and the Airstream in particular having had only one road trip in a Trailmanor under our belts. Our TV is the 2003 Chevy Tahoe LT until 2006 when the current lease runs its course.

We have invested in the Hensley hitch but are going to be very close to the limit even without fluids. Any thoughts or suggestions on this RV/TV combination? Is there anyone out there who has towed a 28' with a Tahoe? What are we to expect? Your comments will be very helpful to us.

Sandy
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:44 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forums. I can't help you with your particular RV/TV combo but we sometimes tow out TT with a wimpy Explorer at the recommended tow ratings....

Be sure your tires are up to the job and load rated appropriately. Vehicle maintenance - do it! Fluids, filters, belts, tuneup etc... Remember stuff you load in your vehicle gets added into the total weight equation. Try to travel dry - you can almost always fill water close to camping area, and dump asap.

Good luck - stay safe.
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdreamr
Hi All

My wife, son and I leave Brooklyn NY in 10 days for Florida in our new 28 ' Safari. We are relatively new to RV travel in general and the Airstream in particular having had only one road trip in a Trailmanor under our belts. Our TV is the 2003 Chevy Tahoe LT until 2006 when the current lease runs its course.

We have invested in the Hensley hitch but are going to be very close to the limit even without fluids. Any thoughts or suggestions on this RV/TV combination? Is there anyone out there who has towed a 28' with a Tahoe? What are we to expect? Your comments will be very helpful to us.

Sandy
You are going to be very slow in the Blue Ridge mountains. As soon as you start your trip, shut off the Overdrive and leave it off. Forget about your gas mileage.

I would maybe even recommend you have a transmission temperature guage installed so you can keep an eye on it while you travel. Not so much on the flats, but it may tend to heat up in the mountains.

I'm glad to hear that you intend to upgrade in '06. I'm not much of a Chevy guy, but if you must buy a "Shove it or let it lay" , I'd go with the Duramax/Allisson on your next purchase.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:48 AM   #4
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Tow vehicle

Take a look at the thread dealing with tow vehicles. It is lengthy and there is a lot of good information with many diverse opinions. From my research a long wheel base and diesel along with the Hensley is the way to go. As to the gages mentioned, I am having an X-monitor (pyro/boost/tranny temp combo) from BD put in my 05 Excursion tomorrow. With paint to match my dash ($50) it comes to about $715 out the door (3 hours). All of this is from this site's chat.
Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2005, 01:58 PM   #5
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It's not a combo I'd be comfortable with.
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdreamr

We have invested in the Hensley hitch but are going to be very close to the limit even without fluids. Any thoughts or suggestions on this RV/TV combination? Is there anyone out there who has towed a 28' with a Tahoe? What are we to expect? Your comments will be very helpful to us.

Sandy
I wouldn't touch that combo with a 10 foot pole, even if you have the 5.3L Vortec. I towed a 24 footer (4800 lbs dry) with my old 2002 Chevy Tahoe and felt that was the max I would ever go. What is the dry weight of your 28' Airstream? About 7,000 lbs? The Hensley will compensate somewhat for the short wheelbase of the Tahoe (isn't it about 120 inches? ), but weight would be my biggest concern.
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Old 08-11-2005, 06:24 PM   #7
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Let's all be safe out there.... *

* Was that what they said at the start of Hill Street Blues???

Please start at Airstream's FAQs. This isn't unique to airstream. If you read the towing section in your Tahoe manual you will find a maximum weight (GVWR) that should be carried by the Tahoe itself. Period! Everybody you presume to carry in the car owes their life in an emergency avoidance or braking maneuver to you not going over this number. Be sure to include the weight of the people in the tow vehicle, the gasoline in the tow vehicle, luggage in the tow vehicle, tongue weight, and probably the options on the tow vehicle over your model/trim level described in the Tahoe maximum loading chart in your manual.

It's necessary to have a tongue weight of 10-15% of the trailer for a stable tow. Most anybody will probably tend more toward the 15%. Weight distribution principally moves load to the front axle so the rear axle isn't overloaded by the dead tongue weight (not exact, disclaimers galore, small print follows that you can't see). GVWR is important for its own sake -- and does not get forgiven if 'tow capacity' or GCWR seem okay (GCWR is combined loaded tow vehicle + loaded trailer weight -- your ability to load 'light' is limited by the large trailer weight to begin with).

I've never tried what you propose but would disagree with Mello Mike on only one item -- the Hensley won't forgive the short wheelbase, but your problems really begin with the Tahoe's individual GVWR. I would suspect at 28' you wouldn't need the Hensley if you had a Reese Dual Cam and a Tow Vehicle up to the task (and a 1/2-ton truck ain't it!). Family folks do like the higher capacity Suburbans and some very satisfied folks pull with larger capacity full-sized vans.

Please do the math -- I'll let you do chapter and verse on this because you have the info at hand. A Tahoe may be up to handling a 22-footer... I wish you the best and am also in the same boat of needing to upgrade my tow vehicle!!
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Old 08-11-2005, 06:42 PM   #8
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Airdreamr Sandy -- I got time-limited on going back and adding:

Welcome to AirstreamForums. This is a wonderful, welcoming group of folks. There is much info available through the Search function. Knowledgeable & inexperienced questions generally are answered with respect and an interest in helping both you and the broad variety of participants. If they aren't I ask that the moderators smite me down!! Please keep coming 'round. I share your excitement of a new Airstream.
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:25 PM   #9
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Sandy,

Welcome to the forums! And we all wish you the best and the safest travels!!

Seems like many of us will tell you to move up. I started with a 1/2 ton pulling an older 25 foot Excella (not wide body) and can tell you it will help you get home with the new trailer.

After that you will definitely feel the need for both a heavier and longer wheelbase TV usually in the 3/4 ton range - or the HD 1/2 which for some makes is the 3/4 ton look alike.

You can move it Cautiously on FLAT lands. But even in slight hills on the interstate, you will wonder why you have to keep the revs soo high.

Please be safe!

Steve
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:33 PM   #10
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Sandy -- Good news is 2006 is almost here (at least the models are on the lots, nearly only 4 shopping months till.... ). I'm sure Sav'h Steve would tell you to avoid overdrive position on your tranny in all but the coastal flat, flat, flat, flattest parts of your trip -- and even there if it searches between gears.

Live aloha,
Bob
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:57 PM   #11
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Bob - You're very right!

No Overdrive while towing anywhere close to max weight. (OK for a 17 ft runabout.)

Steve
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:18 PM   #12
2005 28 ft. SAFARI
 
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Hello Friends

You have made me feel very welcome indeed. In response to your collective suggestions I made two unsucessful attempts to upgrade but GMC was not interested in negotiating my lease contract and paying $9,000 to surrender an automobile was just too much.

I have noted your suggestions and once I return from Florida I will let you know how the trip went. Thank you all again.

Sandy
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