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Old 03-04-2007, 08:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the 25 ccd has a tongue mass of 740lb...and that could vary some with packing. So the 25 will need a w/d hitch. vw says the t'rex should NOT be used with w/d...
I stand corrected. I would suggest never towing an Airstream without using weight distribution no matter what tow vehicle you choose. I've towed my 16' Bambi with a Jeep Commander (tow capacity 6500lbs) without w/d and with a Toyota Highlander Hybrid (tow capacity 3500lbs) with w/d and towing with the Highlander was a MUCH nicer ride.

Your tongue weight will also be dramatically increased by water weight should you choose to tow with water. Many tow empty and only camp at parks with water hookup. Others want to boondock and so need to bring their own water. Still others have an attachment to their 'home' water and like to bring it with them when they camp.

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Old 03-04-2007, 08:09 AM   #16
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Technically, I don't need weight dist bars for my 3/4 ton Burb, but I will tell you, towing without them (I tested it around town), there was a lot more nose bounce. Put 'em back on and smooth as silk, or as close as a 3/4 ton can get to silk.

On thing about the 25' and most, if not all larger Airstreams, is that the water tanks are located above the axles, unlike some their smaller counterparts (I know of the 19' for sure). That said, typically a full tank of water won't impact greatly the hitch weight, but I found that a full tank of water does seem to make the trailer tow better than towing with an empty tank. Maybe it has to do with center of gravity with the water in the tank over the axles, I don't know, but the 25' without question tows better with a full tank of water.

My 19' towed the same full tank of water or not, but clearly, my hitch weight went up if I filled it, since the tank was located street side front under the dinette, only a few feet from the "A" frame.

I don't know where the tank may be in 16, 22 or 23 foot units, but maybe some have the same as my 19' Bambi did??
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
On thing about the 25' and most, if not all larger Airstreams, is that the water tanks are located above the axles, unlike some their smaller counterparts (I know of the 19' for sure)....I don't know where the tank may be in 16, 22 or 23 foot units, but maybe some have the same as my 19' Bambi did??
I wondered about that....it is interesting that that 25'er tows better with full tanks.

The 16' Bambi has the tanks in front as the 19' does - and with the light weight of the 16'er water weight is relatively major factor.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:58 AM   #18
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I've heard a number of folks, 30s, 31s, etc say the same thing. Must be something to do with the tanks over the axles.

Good to know for future use that the fresh tank is in front on the 16'.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:36 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone - WOW Airstreamers are great folks!! We are going out to look at a Yukon XL today before we try to drive the AS home from the dealer on Friday....and thanks for not making me feel as stupid as I feel right now. Looks like lots of people have found themselves in the same situationm!!!
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:38 AM   #20
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I will second the trailer tows better with a full water tank. I am currently towing empty tanks all around. She is currently winterized. It is bouncing around a little more than usual. WD setup is the same. It took me three tries to get the anti-sway/WD setup correct. Once we did the trailer towed much better.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:39 AM   #21
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Question Will Canoe wade in?

Hello Ross -- and welcome to the Forums! Mill Valley? I believe there are some threads here about parking on a slope ... It would be good to know more about your traveling companions -- two? more?

You could head up Hwy 101 while lightly loaded and feel within your comfort zone. How about going over the Panoramic Highway to Stinson Beach and back home? (I could invite half our membership to take that test!) The latter is an example of what we come across when voyaging far from home. It would be good to find ourselves in a confidence zone come what may. The Saab may succeed barely in only one of three areas -- that being light towing on steady grades (it'll get the new Airstream home and that's about it). What remains are challenging grades at normal load and emergency avoidance/braking.

Towing up to the 80% rated capacity gives a good margin to keep you from losing control. The automotive industry posts high tow capacity, GCWR and payload numbers -- partly out of marketing interest but also as an artefact of the way they measure these. Tow capacity is measured with a base vehicle without options (no added options weight, no hitch receiver weight*, minimum fuel and one sub-200 pound person behind the steering wheel).

*That's a Catch-22 of sorts, isn't it? The pics on the Saab site do indicate that the base model 9.7x does not come with a standard hitch receiver.
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Tow capacity has been addressed. You'll be towing a lot closer to NCC than you'd believe. And 2air' suggests properly that at times it is impractical to travel without something in your tanks -- some times a lot!

Let's also look at the Saab's payload of 1230 pounds. You will add fuel. Then a 2" hitch receiver + hitch bar/ball (200 pounds?). Then driver/passenger(s). Airstream's hitch weight for an un-optioned trailer (it shows a spare tire as being optional) is 720-740#. You will add weight distribution/antisway gear to the A-frame and put propane in the tanks -- all up front so they add disproportionately to extra hitch weight alone. With a minimum of personal gear in the trailer I would guess a minimum hitch weight of 900-950#. That is an estimate only and the better advice you are reading is to weigh your loads (one example, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/hitch-weight-bathroom-scale-24195.html). The point is that when you add up hitch receiver, tongue weight, gasoline, humans, CDs, kitten, etc in the tow vehicle, you will be vastly over the 1250# payload capacity -- even with weight distribution which does not change gross TV loading (just redistributes it to share with front axle). To say nothing of any ideal effort at not exceeding 80-85% of any spec!

I cut my Airstreaming teeth on this site, so my experience will not go back to wearing bloomers. But hang around the masters here and you'll get a clear sense of what can be done. Really, really, really read through the threads mentioned in this post. Those guys didn't mince their words!

I would probably suggest doing the numbers if you consider any 1/2-ton vehicle for a new (heavier) 25-footer. Not all will be suitable -- whereas any 3/4-ton truck/SUV/van will perform admirably for you. Last word -- make sure to get a minimum of 3.73 rear axle (different topic altogether).

Happy & safe towing! I'll wave to you on the road.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:44 AM   #22
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You are in good company.
When I bought I AS I had a F-250 (a 3/4 ton truck) with a Gas engine. It did alright on the flat parts but struggled up and down the hills. When I wrecked that one. I replaced it with a F-250 Diesel. What an improvement! The frame was good but the powerplant was too small on my original truck. Make sure you get a good Frame/body/Powerplant combination. Reserve power is nice to have.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:47 AM   #23
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3.73 or 4.1 axle. the higher the number the more you can tow. Cuts down on acceleration though.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
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3.73 or 4.1 axle. the higher the number the more you can tow. Cuts down on acceleration though.
Cuts down on acceleration? The 4.1 rear should enable you to accelerate quicker than with the 3.73.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:37 AM   #25
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Quote:
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The 4.1 rear should enable you to accelerate quicker than with the 3.73.
Yes, better application of torque but somewhat higher RPMs at speed -- a slight amount less mpg.

Regarding the Yukon XL: I'd certainly suggest the Vortec 5300 V8. Tow capacities you can see on the website -- vary according to 2WD vs 4WD & 3.73 vs 4.10 axle. Payload of 1776# 4WD, 1835# 2WD.

Note that owners manual for new vehicles tends to suggest a 500 mile engine break-in before towing, then limiting speed for the first 500 miles of actual towing. The latter limit was 50mph for my Duramax -- hard for me to do but I did! I don't think I'd go to the bother of installing a 2" receiver and brake controller in the Saab just to get around this detail.

Best wishes in your pursuit!
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:48 AM   #26
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Yes, better application of torque but somewhat higher RPMs at speed -- a slight amount less mpg.
I'm not sure I'd agree. I did a caravan tow with a Yukon 3/4 ton and 3.73s with me and my 4.10s with a Sub 3/4 ton. There was no noticable difference in MPG between the 4.10s and 3.73s.

I would not suggest the 5.3L for towing a 25 footer. It's not a bad engine, but the 6.0L is the engine to have if you are staying gasser and GM. It's head and shoulders above the 5.3L and when towing, the MPG is going to be fairly similar. With 3.73s or 4.10s at 25' it really doesn't matter all that much as it might if you were towing say 31' or larger.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:10 AM   #27
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Quote:
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There was no noticable difference in MPG between the 4.10s and 3.73s.
Yes, it'd be hard to pick out from normal variation. Not significant enough to bother -- but definitely better tow w the 4.10.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I would not suggest the 5.3L for towing a 25 footer. It's not a bad engine, but the 6.0L is the engine to have if you are staying gasser and GM. It's head and shoulders above the 5.3L and when towing, the MPG is going to be fairly similar. With 3.73s or 4.10s at 25' it really doesn't matter all that much as it might if you were towing say 31' or larger.
I'd put more credit in your firsthand report, Twink. Denis4x4's experience in this thread doesn't say much better about the Navigator's 5.4L. I had a 5.6L Titan with the 5-spd that was most capable -- too bad the rest of that vehicle wasn't up to handling my 25' SE Safari (only 1345 # payload IIRC).
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:32 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
Your tongue weight will also be dramatically increased by water weight should you choose to tow with water.
not on the 25 in question;

again this is only true with very few models...

most have the fresh tank behind the leading axle. mine is over/behind the 3rd axle.

and the waste tanks are even further back.

so adding fresh water or waste water actually lowers my tongue weight.

fresh water and waste water are below the floor/within the frame on most models too, except the argosy line and a few newer bambi models.

tank mass lowers the center of gravity on most airstreams and that is a good thing.

so most folks who notice, report towing improves with fresh or waste water in the tanks.....

cheers
2air'
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