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Old 05-19-2014, 12:22 AM   #1
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A good tow vehicle for a 1960 Overlander single axle

Hello !

In an other thread, I've asked you if a Jeep cherokee was a good vehicule to tow the Airstream but it seems a little too small.

I see some classified in France, a rare Jeep GC LX with the 5.9L in clean condition at a good price.

But I've seen too classic cars... :
Chevy Caprice 70' or 80'

For you is it ok to tow a 26' in single axle ?

Many thanks,
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:32 AM   #2
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I wonder what engine the 1970 or 80 Caprice would have in France? I think the Jeep has too short a wheelbase. I'd love to see a Citroen CX Break towing a your Airstream....
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:04 AM   #3
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Yes we find easily US cars in France,

We find Caprice with the 400ci (or other) for 70' or 305ci for the 80'

The CX break is too light... ! And in France, it isn't a special car, it's an old car not wanted... ;-)
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:15 AM   #4
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Are you going to use a weight distribution hitch and electric brakes?
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:04 AM   #5
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Yes, I have all systems :

Electric brakes and complete system to tow it :

Weight distributor and sway control.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
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The 1980 will handle a lot better than the '70, but the '70 is more fun to look at. I had some experience with these in the late 70s, driving and working on them in a gas station where I worked through high school, but I'm not a Chevy guy. I would imagine the 400 would be better for torque, we had a lot of smog equipment on the 305 and it was really gutless. It may have been different in France. You could also have a later engine put in the car, better reliability, which you'd want pulling a trailer.

Too bad about the CX.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:23 AM   #7
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Oh, yes if I take a too oldest car, I wouldn't be worried by the unreliability of the car... it's the problem and most of US car in France are in fair condition...
Too many people buy US car only to be seen... ! pfffff...

With the weight distributor and sway control, this US car is usfficient ? Chevy Caprice 80' or the same type ?

About the CX, I thought you spoke of this one :



The pics you show it's a CitroŽn Ami 6 I think... and it's ok for light european rtailer as the photo...
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:00 AM   #8
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A good tow vehicle for a 1960 Overlander single axle

I doubt that a 60 single axle trailer is that heavy, I think a Cherokee would be fine, and I think that either of the two cars mentioned would pull the trailer.

The 305 if stock will be a slug, the 400 small block will pull, but it was the most unreliable of Chevy small blocks due to its oversize bore. ( but wait, if the 400 is really a 402 big block, which it could be, in the 70, there are no reliability issues inherent to the 402. Both engines were badged "400" on the exterior of the car.

I think the Cherokee is the most common sense of the vehicles mentioned..... But the 70 would look pretty cool...
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:02 PM   #9
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Yes you're right, it isn't very heavy but I have to buy a car at least with the same weight to tow correctly and safety.

The Cherokee (XJ type) is too small, I understand,
The Grand Cherokee (ZJ or later) seems to be the minimum to tow my trailer.

So, in order to give you examples :
1 euros = 1.35 USD

Cherokee XJ 4.0Litre : around 3.000 € ($4000)
Cherokee ZJ 5.2L (5.9 is very rare) : around 4.000 € ($5.400)
Dodge Ram 5.2L (end of 90') : around 13.000 € ($17.500)
Dodge Ram 5.7L (2000 and same later models) : around 17.000 € ($23.000)
Chevy Caprice or similar (station wagon too) : around 6.000 € ($8100)
Cadillac Escalade (2000 and same later models) : around 17.000 € ($23.000)

My great doubt is to choice a car who goes very well with the Airstream but reliable...

It's very difficult...

Thank you very much for your opinions
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #10
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The Ford Mondeo is rated for 4,500lbs. Should work fine assuming you get the connection right.

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Old 05-21-2014, 01:43 AM   #11
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The Cherokee I don't think would be good- they're twitchy from a shorter wheelbase, and top heavy. We had both a Cherokee and a Grand Cherokee for many years. The Chevy would be a lot more comfortable and capable tow car.

yes, I posted the Ami6 because I had an Ami. The CX is unheard of here, but the early ones were so cool. As you say, it's just an old car. It's strange to my ears that someone is excited about a 1980 Caprice! Please post photos of your camping in Europe, I think it would be easier to boondock there than in the US.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:30 AM   #12
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I looked under a Mondeo last time I was in Europe. It would be a fairly simple receiver to build, it is a much better car than a Caprice or Jeep. There are lots of Volvo, BMW models as well. However you need to be able to weld together a receiver.

If welding is not something you can do you obviously need to stick to vehicles with bolt in receivers. In that case what about an older Mercedes ML, touareg or X5.

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Old 05-21-2014, 03:17 AM   #13
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Yes, Mondeo, We have many models here but it's a car where you have at each corner road, it's a good car but I prefer to choice a more atypical car

Ohhh ! You have an Ami6, in France, it doen't have many on road and I think that in USA, it's very very rare ! Like "2cv" or "Diane"
Good choice and very very very reliable car...!! But you had not you have ? You sold it ?

I think too a chevy is little more comfortable, I forgot an other model : Chevrolet Tahoe that we can find easily for 9.000 Ä with around 130.000 miles.

yes a chevy caprice in USA is a old car that people doesn't want but in France it's an american car big size and for me, very practical !
I agree, some people prefer Ford mustang, Chevy Camaro, Corvette etc...

Yes, I'll post photos from Europe camping as soon as I go to campings with the Airstream.

To Andrew, yes you're reason, BMW, Volvo, VW Transporter are good to tow but it isn't very accompanied with the caravan, it's the only reason that I prefer choice a US Car. An X5, ML, Q7 or Cayenne are too expensive for me and I don't to be a victim of homejacking...

I steer of my list the Cherokee, I keep the Grand Cherokee and Tahoe.
But I'm ever interrested about the Caprice...

I have some time in front of me before deciding on me.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:46 AM   #14
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Remember, with older U.S. cars as tow vehicles especially carburetor equipped, engine cubic inches is important. More C.I.D.'s (cubic inch displacement), the better. I towed my '70 Overlander years ago with a 1980 Chevy 1/2t truck with a 305 V-8. Horsepower for that motor was weak-135 bhp. Spent many hours in second gear traveling at 45 mph on Interstate 80 in Wyoming which isn't mountainous, just big hills. How about a late '70's early '80's cadillac with the 425. I would stay away from the anemic 305 V-8. (5 liter)
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