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Old 11-10-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
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1960 26' Overlander
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Camper van tow vehicle

Hi,

I'm always looking for a tow vehicle for my Airstream and what do you think and know about camper van, is it possible ?

Max : 7500 lbs, no more.

For example :



Or argosy motorhome but they are too heavy... no ?

Thank you !
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:27 PM   #2
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I towed a nineteen foot AS with an Interstate with no problems so that should work.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:27 PM   #3
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That van is already carrying a lot of extra weight in the body, and it has a very long overhang in the rear, which I have been told is bad for stability of the trailer. You would need to weigh it, find out what it's axle capacities are, what the weight of your trailer is, to determine if it could be a good tow vehicle.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:48 PM   #4
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The B190 had a GCVW of ~15,000 lbs, but the van alone was ~9,000 lbs, leaving ~6,000 lbs for people, stuff, trailer, etc. If you want to stay in the weight limits, you're pushing it with a motorhome.

That said, I've seen B190s towing Airstreams, and I've heard of them towing ones up to 34' long, which would clearly be over the weight limit, and I've never heard of anyone having an accident as a result of towing an Airstream with one.

I have no idea what the chassis of that motorhome is; I was giving numbers I do know on a similar platform. As others said you'd have to check its ratings and go from there.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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You need to see how much GVW is left for towing and let that be your guide. Long overhangs are bad but with a good hitch like Hensley or Propride that won't be as big of an issue. I have seen pickups with lightweight campers in the bed towing trailers.

Perry
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:28 AM   #6
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Thank you for the answers.

The weight of the trailer is 4525 lbs.

It looks like nice to have a little motorhome (camper van) who tows an Airstream.

For the tow vehicle, the maximum GVWR must be 7500 lbs max but this tow vehicle must be capable of towing 4525 lbs.
And this vehicule must be aged of 30 years or more.

I'm looking for the GVWR for an Argosy 20' motorhome but I don't find the answer exactly, for example a year 75'... do you know ?

I haven't a perfect knowledge about the US camper van.

I know :

Chevrolet G20 type
Dodge Ram Van
Ford E series.

What else ? Can you tell me few website for classified please ?

Thank you for your help.
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:10 AM   #7
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1984 or earlier means a non-fuel injected engine as well as a three speed automatic transmission without overdrive.

A seven liter V8 is necessary (GM = 454; Ford = 460 and maybe only in Class A is Dodge = 440 cubic inches of displacement.) The 5.7 and 5.9 liter engines would not at all be acceptable (350, 351, and 360 respectively). The "big block" engines can be built to be good performers.

The transmissions (GM Turbohydramatic 400, Ford C6 and Dodge T727 Torqueflite ) must also be built to high standard.

Final drive gear ratio would need to be 3.3 or numerically higher.

The vans of this type did not change much circa 1973 to 1999. Emissions regulations tightened in this period though many US states grant exemptions to age 25 years and later.

The van cutaway shown is of a type favored by churches, airport services, etc. Not ever likely to have been kept under cover. And prone to high miles and very high engine hours. And a fiberglass body with deterioration.

A one ton van (350 or 3500 series) was available from the three manufacturers with pax seating for up to 12-15. I would be inclined to use these and modify appropriately.

SPORTSMOBILE is an aftermarket upfitter of this van type. I would start my search with their products. The larger engines/transmission spec can be retrofitted if need be. The rear axle may also need to be swapped (DANA 80 for DANA 60, for example.).

Rust and vehicle electrical are the biggest impediments. Vehicles from the American Southwest are likeliest best candidates for fewest body problems, but heat will have had significant effects.

I would tend to favor FORD at the outset due to few changes and parts availability ( what there is).

Good luck



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Old 11-11-2014, 07:20 AM   #8
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Very interesting answer, thank you for your time.

You said 454 cid or around (big block) and don't choose small block, I think the power is not enough.

I have to choose a car aged at least 30 years old to homologate here.

Thank you for all details.

But... I read that the consumption is very high... around 6-8 mpg... ?

I believe it exists a Isuzu Diesel engine but perhaps it appear after 1984 ?

I confess I'm afraid to make the wrong choice because I saw so many beautiful vehicles that I like...

I have as much fun with a camper than with an oldies (60' or 70') or than with a Tahoe serie 1...

So hard to choose... that's why I learn the most possible on each possibility.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:36 AM   #9
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Yes, fuel consumption is high on those. My parents had a TT of this sort very close to mine and with that engine size saw 6-8 mpg towing. With the same TT slightly larger I see 13-16 with my turbodiesel pickup truck.


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