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Old 05-04-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
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buying a 25' Safari in NC and towing with Burb

I am thinking of buying a 25' Safari in NC. I am hoping to use my 96 Suburban to drive it home to TX. Do you think the Suburban will be able to handle it? The maximum towing capacity for the Suburban is 6500 lbs. The sellers don't know how much their trailer weighs.

Thanks, Lory
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:35 AM   #2
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Need more information... Trailer year? Suburban power train details?

The only 25' Safaris listed in the AS weight pdf floating around here began in 1997 to 2003 (maybe my version is not been updated) but the 1997 is considerably lighter than later models..

1997 SAFARI 25 dry weight 4690: Tongue weight 680: GVWR 5500

With the heaviest
2003 SAFARI 25 "SIX SLEEPER" 5220: 750: 6300

Technically 6300 on a 6500 rated TV is legal but narrows the safety margin...
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:08 AM   #3
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I pulled a 1979 31 footer from Wisconsin through the Grand Canyon/Yellowstone Park and back with my 1996 Suburban with a 350 Vortec engine. Went across I 80 at 80MPH in overdrive, not one problem.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:21 AM   #4
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1979 SOVEREIGN 31 REAR BATH TWIN Dry weight 4780: Tongue weight 555: No GVWR listed...

AS weights have crept up over the years as they upgrade fitments - perhaps leveling off now with the fuel prices but doubtful.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:00 PM   #5
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The Suburban can easily handle that trailer -- IF you've got it hitched up properly.

You haven't said anything about the hitch you intend to use, or your experience with hitching and towing. Hitch it up wrong and even a Suburban will be unsafe. Hitch it up right and you can tow that trailer with lots of tow vehicles.

In other words, the question isn't "Can my Suburban handle it?" but rather, "Is your Suburban properly equipped and configured (brake controller, receiver, hitch, weight distribution)?" to manage the load.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rluhr View Post

In other words, the question isn't "Can my Suburban handle it?" but rather, "Is your Suburban properly equipped and configured (brake controller, receiver, hitch, weight distribution)?" to manage the load.
There's gold in those words! Karma to ya Rich!
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:18 PM   #7
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums, Lory. We're glad to have you with us.

The answer to your question is, it depends.

What year is the 25 footer that you are planning to tow? Our 2005 25FB weighs 7,400# ready to camp. A vintage 25 footer may only weigh 5,000# or less.

Is your Suburban a 1500 or a 2500? A 6,500# towing capacity for a 1996 Suburban seems low. Where are you getting this figure?

Do you already have a weight distributing/sway control hitch system? You will need one for the 1000 mile trip that you are planning. This selection will also factor into your towing plans.

You will also need a trailer brake controller installed in your Suburban. This is absolutely necessary. You should not take the trailer out on the street. Without this, the brakes on the trailer will not work.

Please provide more info so that we can help you.

Brian
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses. Let's see if I can come up with the right info: My suburban is a 1500. I came up with that 6500 figure by looking up the specs on the sub on the internet. I have no idea what weight distribution/sway control hitch and brake system the sellers are providing, but rest assured I will buy whatever I need before I make the long treck. I have never towed anything nor has my husband. This whole airstream dream is MY idea, and I'm not getting much help. We need a trailer to live in while we are building our house in the Hill Country and I just can't see myself in a regular trailer/motorhome. I saw an airstream on the road and knew instantly I would love it. I considered buying a vintage to fix up, but came to my senses when my husband reminded me that we are not fixer uppers. The airstream I am interested in is a 2004 Safari. I has been in a garage for a little over a year b/se the owner passed away. The closest AS dealership is 4 hours away, so I am wondering what I need to know to get the AS in driving shape. I am flying out to look at it tonight, but my expertise is limited.
I emailed a gentleman I found thru the forum who is a "volunteer inspector" and lives not far from Gastonia, but have not heard back from him.

Thanks a million for all of your guidance. I really need it!

Lory
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:49 AM   #9
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Hello Lory,

Not sure which volunter inspector you're referring to but Silverhobby is very knowledgable and he's located within 30 miles of Gastonia. He may be willing to assist you.

As for getting it ready to tow. I'd check the tire dates, exterior lights, and do a brake inspection along with wheel bearing service.

Kevin
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:51 AM   #10
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Lory,

You don't necessarily need an Airstream dealer to check out the trailer for you. All of the systems on an Airstream are common to all travel trailer and other RVs. Since you don't have any RV experience, I would get a competent person to check the trailer out for you. It might be wise to have the trailer towed to a competent RV dealership nearby and pay for a complete inspection. This will probably cost you a couple of hundred dollars, but could help avoid a really bad purchase.

As far as your tow vehicle goes, you can probably make it work. You will need a weight distributing/sway control hitch system. If the trailer does not come with one, you will have to get one. As your tow vehicle is marginal for this trailer, a hitch system is a must.

The trailer brake controller is a unit that installs in the tow vehicle. You will need to have one. This is also a must.

A local RV dealer can help you with these things.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:59 AM   #11
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Lory, I just thought of one other possibility. If you decide to buy this Airstream, look into having it shipped to you property in Texas. Since you intend to live in this trailer as opposed to travel in it, this could be a viable alternative. In the future if you want to travel in your Airstream, you can research all of the information on the towing issues and gather the necessary equipment.

Brian
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:55 PM   #12
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Shipping sounds like a better alternative. I sent Silverhobby a message. I hope he can help me.

Do you all know of any shipping companies that specialize in Airstreams?

Thanks again for all your help.

Lory
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