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Old 02-21-2009, 06:51 PM   #99
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Hi gang,

I noticed two of you guys are towing with sedans. One a 34 footer with a little Jaguar 4-door, the other a 23 footer with an Infiniti.

Do you need to use any kind of special hitch?

Did you have to do anything special?

I did get the video from Hensley and they show a 4-door Chrysler front drive sedan (like an LHS or a Concorde or something) pulling a 34 footer through a slalom course. Are you using an Arrow?


At any rate, best of luck to all and I hope to see you on the road. I do hope to get my '65 Sport Fury (with 440 Magnum...not the original engine) going again and buy the '58 Traveler off my grand dad some day.

Here's to all you guys pulling with cars!

take care,
Good day Jim. Thnxs for your note of interest.

Back in the 60's friends of ours in a trailer club towed their 27' Airstream with a 1965 Sport Fury with the 383 4v. Conventional WDH. It was a heavy family too. The dad stood 6'3 and his two teenage boys where close to 6' as well. They traveled a lot, a few times to Florida and back. The 65 Fury was also a unibody I believe.

The two vehicles you mentioned are pro set ups by Can Am here in Ontario. These are just two of a variety of interesting combinations here in the area. Air Forum member Andrew T from Can Am has posted a number of times and he would be the man to ask about the technical details, especially when it comes to the custom built and installed receiver, etc.

Our Infiniti is stock but I did replace the rear coil springs ($75.) from a touring (optioned) Infinti which are slightly stiffer. The original coils were sagging slightly after the four years of towing. It got the typical add ons at Can Am. Custom receiver, tranny cooler, Jordan brake controler, McKesh mirrors, and wiring.
We use a Reese dual cam. No need for a Hensley as the combination is very stable. No mechanical issues at all due to towing.

The professional knowledge and technical know how of Andrew T is the key ingredients with a combination like this.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #100
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Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I'm in the market for a TV and am trying to decide between a P/U and an SUV. Any thoughts on which you like better and why?
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:31 PM   #101
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Hi gang,


This makes me wonder if the whole movement to trucks was hokus pokus?
The buying public moved away from station wagons (remember those) to SUV's in the late 80's and early 90's.

Pre-1978 if one wanted to pull 5000's of travel trailer one had a station wagon. Vista Crusier, Colony Park, Ranch Wagon were some of the work horses that did the job.

Enter mini-van in the early 80's and then SUV's in the lastpart of the 80's!! Mini-van got the people moved and were easier to get in and out of plus a little gear. However it didn't get the RV towed. However it was the begining of the end of wagons. Pick up's were starting to come out of the work horse mode and offer options to make the city cowboy happy. Because towing the family boat to the lake or the travel trailer on long trips with out FM didn't get it. Then came PW and PDL. Enter the SUV with all the do dads and pulling power too! Bye bye station wagon, hello F-150.

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Old 02-21-2009, 09:16 PM   #102
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Phil & Sher

We Burb it...but thats only us, and a lot of others.

We carry a lot of "stuff", and like to ride easy.

Whatever you do, do it safely.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:49 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Phil & Sher

We Burb it...but thats only us, and a lot of others.

We carry a lot of "stuff", and like to ride easy.

Whatever you do, do it safely.
I second the recommendation for a Suburban. I took delivery of my 1999 K2500 GMC Suburban on April 21, 1998, and the only thing that I would change on the unit that I special ordered is that I would skip the four wheel drive option (it has cost far more that it has ever saved me). My '99 currently has 200,000 miles and I can't imagine trading it for anything as it still does the job it was intended to do with minimal expense -- and it still looks like new (Ziebarted five days after delivery and annual maintenance ever since).

I have had one pickup as a tow vehicle and two large SUVs. I will never go back to a pickup after having my Suburban -- comfort far superior to its 1995 K1500 Z71 predecessor, better towing fuel economy, the flexibility to have seven of my friends travel along wherever we go -- and in great comfort no less!! -- quiet, smooth ride and tires that last more than 35,000 miles (my pickup was on its 3rd set of tires at 47,500 miles when it was traded on the Suburban). Actually my aesthetic favorite large SUV tow vehicle was my 1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer -- it had some styling flair not present in my Suburban, but it onlly had a 125 mile maximum cruising range when towing my Overlander (not pleasant in the Rocky Mountains). Even if the Suburban is discontinued, I will just have my mechanic keep replacing components as they wear out!

Kevin
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:21 PM   #104
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We've used our 2002 Tundra to pull the 25' Excella nearly 60,000 miles. The Tundra now has about 130,000 miles on it and drives and rides like it has 30,000 miles on it. It's been a much better truck than either the Ford F150 or the GMC 1500 which proceeded it. When the time comes, I'll buy another Tundra.
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:47 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Phil & Sher

We Burb it...but thats only us, and a lot of others.

We carry a lot of "stuff", and like to ride easy.

Whatever you do, do it safely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
I second the recommendation for a Suburban. I took delivery of my 1999 K2500 GMC Suburban on April 21, 1998, and the only thing that I would change on the unit that I special ordered is that I would skip the four wheel drive option
Kevin
I've owned P/U's but never a Burb. It seems large, but I suspect that's one of it's advantages. I'm beginning to lean towards a 'Burb more than a P/U.
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:27 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
Hi gang,

I noticed two of you guys are towing with sedans. One a 34 footer with a little Jaguar 4-door, the other a 23 footer with an Infiniti.

This makes me wonder if the whole movement to trucks was hokus pokus?

Do you need to use any kind of special hitch?

I can almost see the 23 footer behind the Infiniti. But the jag pulling a 34 footer has me wondering. I mean, an F-150 is considered not enough chassis for a bigger trailer (generally anything much over 25 feet), and the unit body jag has way less chassis than a half ton pickup.

What is the tongue weight of a 34 foot Airstream? I have a 34 foot Avion and it's about 900lbs, so I'd imagine the stream is about the same. That's an awful lot for a car. Did you have to do anything special? Surely the OEM air suspension can't compensate for that much can it?

I did get the video from Hensley and they show a 4-door Chrysler front drive sedan (like an LHS or a Concorde or something) pulling a 34 footer through a slalom course. Are you using an Arrow?

Anyway, just seems counter to everything I've ever read. Which makes me question either (A) a little sedan isn't enough (though I towed with a '75 Mercury Marquis and it did great...but it was big, heavy, and had a full perimeter frame and a 460 V8 or (B) everything I've heard about having to have a big ol' truck was complete baloney. In which case I'd be kind of ticked that I spent all the money buying a big diesel truck.

I like my Ram, and it pulls like a dream. But for the 99% of the time that I'm not towing, a half ton gasser would be easier to live with day to day.

At any rate, best of luck to all and I hope to see you on the road. I do hope to get my '65 Sport Fury (with 440 Magnum...not the original engine) going again and buy the '58 Traveler off my grand dad some day.

Here's to all you guys pulling with cars!

take care,
The go to guy for the perfect setup would be Can Am Andy at Can Am RV's in London Ontario. They have set up literally hundreds of minivans and front drive sedans to tow Airstreams and other trailers.

There seem to be a few "secrets" I have picked up off this board that may help clarify things.

1) Tow vehicle. When going this small the right vehicle is critical. Some work better than others. The Chrysler Intrepid was a favorite and more recently the Ford Windstar and Freestar.

Independent rear suspension, low build, long wheelbase, and short rear overhang are all desirable qualities. Most any 3.5 V6 or larger is powerful enough to do the job. Having a good transmission is important, this is part of the original design that can't be changed so it is important to pick the right vehicle.

2) Tow vehicle mods.

A good transmission cooler of course.

Oddly enough, new low profile tires. These in effect, lower your gearing as much as going to the next lower gear set. Also, they are stiffer and reduce side sway. Premium low profile tires grip better and help handling.

A really good, strong hitch receiver custom built or modified stock. Should be as short as possible to keep the hitch ball close to the rear axle centerline.

3) A good hitch properly set up. EZ lift top of the line or if you are a real sport, Hensley Arrow.

4)Top of the line Prodigy brake control.

When set up properly the whole rig drives as one. In other words the trailer is not fighting the tow vehicle. If the trailer is fighting the tow vehicle the bigger one will win which is why some people think you need a dump truck to pull anything bigger than a Radio Flyer.

No doubt there are other details to it. What I give here is a general idea and I am no expert in other words don't try this at home LOL.

If you want the real lowdown here is the CanAm web site. The place to buy your next Airstream.

Can-Am RV > Home
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:32 PM   #107
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"I do hope to get my '65 Sport Fury (with 440 Magnum...not the original engine) going again and buy the '58 Traveler off my grand dad some day."

The Dodge is a good choice. Back in the day the leading tow vehicles were Ford Pontiac and Dodge.

Years ago I asked the guy at the junkyard who runs the crusher what car is the hardest to squash and he said "an old Dodge, definitely".
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:48 PM   #108
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The Dodge is a good choice. Back in the day the leading tow vehicles were Ford Pontiac and Dodge.
Agree Ganska... Back in the 60's my dad towed with a 1964 Dodge Polara with the 313ci (5.2). It was almost identical to this pic except Dad's was stock.

Back then the torsion bar suspension in the front end was highly desirable.

Interesting the 64 Dodge was quite a large car and with the iron V8 had a curb weight of about 3,300lbs.
Our smaller, modern, mid sized Infiniti even with all the aluminum parts (engine, suspension, hood, etc) weighs about the same. The sturdy unibodies of todays vehicles account for much of the weight as well as all the extras like air bags, wiring, electric motors etc.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:01 PM   #109
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TV is a 99 C2500 Suburban, 7.4L engine. A tad of an overkill for the 24' Argosy. But, had the TV long before I found the Argo.
Towing is no effort.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:03 PM   #110
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Naw..this was my favorite tow vehicle of the 60's.

0-60 3 sec flat.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:08 PM   #111
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Are you Happy with your Tow Vehicle ?

This is my '65 Dodge Coronet 500 Convertible towing my 1980 Nomad 1720 Light Weight Special in 1981. I still own this car, and I have towed my '64 Overlander with it several times -- tows the Overlander beautifully with its 383 HP (335 Horespower V8) and Torqueflight transmission -- I haven't towed the Overlander often enough with it to have any photos as I just don't trust the drum brakes with a single-cylinder master cylinder.




The convertible top makes up for no air conditioning!
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:39 PM   #112
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My TV is a 2001 Nissan Frontier, stock, 4wd. I pull our 1968 Overlander with no problems at all. I am very impressed with the trucks ability. Doesn't overheat, doesn't push with the trucks, doesn't get pushed by the trailer either. I also have the weight distributing setup and keep the speed really reasonable. I wasn't sure at first, since we had the truck before the trailer, but I have been amazed with it. Lots of low end torque helps.
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