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Old 12-08-2008, 07:44 PM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
SALUDA , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2008
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'97 Aerostar to tow 65 safari

Has anyone towed with an Aerostar? Mine is a 4.0L with a towing package. I'm planning to tow a 1965 Safari.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:58 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.
I wouldn't tow the Safari with the Aerostar, unless you don't mind slogging up the hills at 15 mph... I towed a comparably sized trailer with a 4.0L Ranger, and the results were dismal. I had better luck with an Astro, but still didn't set the world on fire, towing-wise.

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Old 12-09-2008, 04:15 AM   #3
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Personally I would not tow any airstream with any front drive vehicle.

But I did tow a love bug many moons ago with my saab 99 and it worked just fine. I did have to replace a bearing in the tranny after a year or so though.

My observation about the front drive minivans is the automatic trannies don't seem particularly long lived even without the stress of towing.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Saluda Guy View Post
Has anyone towed with an Aerostar? Mine is a 4.0L with a towing package. I'm planning to tow a 1965 Safari.
Saluda: I had an 1991 Aerostar with 4.0 liter, extended van, all-wheel drive. As you know, the Aerostar back then was either rear wheel drive or AWD. I towed at 23' and then a 27' Award which is shaped somewhat like an Airstream and pretty light weight. I'd say around 4,000 lbs. We made many trips from the Midwest to the SE states. The 4.0 liter had pretty good torque but the stability was always borderline. I blame it partially on the Award being light on the hitch. But I would never do it again having now experienced the better towing setup.

I don't remember the tow rating. What is the weight of your 65'? l
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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We initially towed our '66 Globe Trotter with an '87 Aerostar. It pulled fine, and tracked well because of the long wheelbase, but it was the braking that made us switch to a heavier tow vehicle. Possibly your '97 Aerostar has better brakes, but the problem really was the 14" wheels. The rotor size is limited by the small wheels. If you do tow with your Aerostar make absolutely certain that the brakes are in tip top shape and use a synthetic brake fluid to keep moisture out of the lines. The brakes have to work harder and the rotors will heat up to the point of vaporizing any moisture in the lines. When that happens you'll have no brakes at all.

In addition, use a weight distribution hitch and weigh the tongue weight of your Safari. Just off the top of my head, I think the unloaded (no propane, no water) tongue weight of your Safari is about 390 lbs. With propane and water you can easily add another 300 lbs. for a hitch weight of nearly 700 lbs. Your Aerostar likely has a 500 lb. maximum weight capacity without an equalizer hitch, and 800 lb. capacity with an equalizer hitch.

The Aerostar does not have a body on frame chassis. It is a unibody setup, so it can be damaged easily if the hitch is overloaded. Your Safari will push the limit of the Aerostar's capacity even when only partly loaded, so be careful and get the entire rig weighed while empty and again when loaded.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:51 PM   #6
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1965 22' Safari
SALUDA , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 6
Thanks for responses. Looks like I won't be towing with the Aerostar. Had a problem with misfire when warmed up and rough idle in gear. The local ford guru thinks I have blown head gaskets. Repair cost far exceed the value of the van and I don't have the time now to do the repair myself. So a quart of Alumaseal in radiator and we shall see. But I won't be towing, don't need to put that much strain on it. Now I am looking into another TV or a transport service. Just bought the Safari and need to get it home.
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:15 PM   #7
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Phoenix , Arizona
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1997 Ford Aerostar Extended Wagon 4X2 with 4.0l V6 was designed to tow up to 4400 #'s. To achive this rating the axle ratio must be 3:55 to 1 and have an automatic transmission.


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