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Old 03-03-2007, 08:18 PM   #1
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Can my tow vehicle handle it?

Hi! This is our very first posting. We just bought an Airstream CCD 25.
Our dealer told us that are tow vehicle is more than enough to pull our new baby. After getting home and looking at the numbers, I'm not sure it is. Here are the numbers. Please tell me if we need to replace our car!
UBW 5,145 lbs
NCC withough options, fluids or cargo 1,855 lbs
GVWR 7,000 lbls

Tow vehicle AWD V8 Saab 97X
Max. Trailer Wt. 6,500 lbs
GCWR 11,500 lbs

Thanks!
Ross
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Old 03-03-2007, 08:58 PM   #2
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Hi Ross, and welcome to the forums.
The consensus is to keep the trailer at or below 80% of the tow vehicle's towing capacity, looks like your trailer's GVW exceeds the stated tow capacity. MT you coulod probably tow it, but who is going to go camping without anything in their trailer?
If you go to the search heading in the blue bar near the top of you screen, and enter "tow rating", "tow capacity", you should find many hours' reading pleasure.
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:00 PM   #3
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No, the Saab is a bad choice.

It has a 113" (read very short) wheelbase.

The trailer will under certian conditions, drive the tow vehicle and not the other way around.

It takes a lot more than simply a V8 engine.

Besides, if you filled it, or even came close, you'd exceed what it's rated for given that the 25' has a max GVWR of 7300lbs, not even taking into account, fuel, passengers and any cargo......
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Forums, and congratulations on your new baby.

To answer your question in one word, "YES". You should get a tow vehicle sufficient to handle your new CCD 25'. Towing it with your Saab will probably make you very uncomfortable.

Remember that insufficient tow vehicles are the primary cause of perfectly good Airstreams becoming very expensive pieces of yard art.

The 80% rule stated above is probably a good rule of thumb.
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info

Looks like I will be looking for a new tow vehicle to go with my new Airstream! I was afraid that the dealer was a little optimistic about the SUV's capabilities.....oh well the Airstream is great anyway!!
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:53 PM   #6
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Most dealers, not just Airstream dealers would sell there parents for sale....

If I had a buck for each time I heard, "The dealer said it would work....."

You'll be far better off in the long run.

If you had a 16' or 19', I'd have said sure, but not with a 25'.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:09 PM   #7
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Accident waiting to happen.

Your TV (tow vehicle) is too small.
I tow an 8000 lb trailer with GVW of 10,000 with a truck that weighs around 7500 lbs, GVW 9000. CGVW is 23,000. I am around 15,500lb right now. I have plenty of power(diesel). plenty of weight and a long wheel base (158 inches) to control the trailer, except on ice. ;-)
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:47 PM   #8
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If you don't want to go the truck route, there are some SUVs that will do the job. The 2007 Ford Expedition, for one, will tow 9,000lbs. That should be about right for your trailer.

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Old 03-03-2007, 11:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millvalleyca
We just bought an Airstream CCD 25....
UBW 5,145 lbs
NCC withough options, fluids or cargo 1,855 lbs
The word that is probably going to get you is 'options' If you have your trailer handy, look at the inside of the closet door and you'll find out what YOUR trailer weighs (and what it's NCC really is).

If by some miracle your 25' Airstream really weights somewhere in the neighborhood of 5200lbs, then the SAAB probably will be OK as a tow vehicle - not great, but OK.

5200lbs is 80% of your 6500lbs tow capacity - you're OK there
5200lbs + your SAAB's GVWR of 6001lbs is 11201 - only 300lbs less than your GCWR of 11,500 lbs, but still OK
5200lbs * 12% is 624lbs (your probable tongue weight) which subtracted from your 1230lb payload leaves you with about 600lbs - probably not good enough for the two of you plus your luggage, fuel, etc...but not woefully wrong.

You'ld have to travel without water and without much stuff...but some people do. And upgrading to disc brakes would be a good idea since you'll have to rely on your trailer to stop you - your tow vehicle won't do it.

But all that said...it is extremely unlikely you got a CCD without options. And so it is extremely likely you will need a new tow vehicle. This forum is somewhat pickup-centric but if you desire a mid-sized SUV you might consider the Jeep Grand Cherokee (7400lbs tow capacity) or Touareg (7700lbs). Full-sized SUVs to consider might be the Ford Expedition (8900lbs) or Nissan Armada (9100lbs).

enjoy,
leo
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:43 PM   #10
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Welcome to forums, great group with lots of good information.

We are also proud owners of a 25'CCD and we were pretty sure our Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 Hemi would do the job. We also didn't want to think about buying another TV, but after some small trips around town and a maiden voyage we bid a fond farewell to the (wonderful) Jeep and traded it in for a 3/4 ton truck. The GVWR of 6150 lbs and tow capacity of 7200 lbs was within doable range, but we felt that "trailer in control" feeling with the short wheelbase. After driving the truck we feel much more secure and have a new understanding of what folks on the forums were trying to tell us.

Good Luck and hope to see you out there soon. (Casini??)
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
This forum is somewhat pickup-centric

no offense leo but i don't think the forum is 'pickup centric'

i do think most people posting with towing suggestions are safety minded and mention the 80% rule.

LOTS of suburbans, excursions, yukons and full size vans here too.

with NEW 25ft models 1/2 ton (or more) is really the lower limit for vehicle choices...and body or frame construction.

i'm sure there are many here towing over that figure or over capacity...

they don't post the info, however.

body on frame construction is inherently better for towing and using w/d systems.

the 25 ccd has a tongue mass of 740lb according to airstream (not 624), 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, also the tongue max on the t'rex is at 100% capacity with this trailer.

the saab curb weight is 4800lbs without options. put more than 200lbs of people and gear inside the saab and that reduces the towing capacity below the 6500lbs.

it is also possible the rear axle rating could be exceeded or the stock tires over loaded.

every owner has the responsibility to check all of these issues.

yes the saab has hp/touque enough but the wheel base IS short.

traveling without water is impractical and don't forget the holding tanks.

add toys, food, and most of the BASIC gear needed for camping (cords, chocks, tools, blocks, hoses) and they will be over several limits.

now add a few hills, wind, traffic, bad weather, sudden stops, or a tire blow out...

the point is, cutting it close isn't wise and especially for newbies.

hey ross congrats on the trailer, welcome to the forums and have fun camping.

you need a bigger tow vehicle. truck, van or suv. lots of options available.

1. find the 'curb weight' and add a few hundred pounds for the real weight of the truck/suv/van.

2. find the gcwr and subtract #1. that is closer to the real towing capacity. now shoot for 80% as a safe upper limit.

3. decide how you will use the trailer...empty? or with water, lpgas, food, clothing, tools, toys, kitchen gear and a set of encyclopedias...

4. gwr for the trailer is 7000lb, try not to overload it. how will you know?

5. take the trailer to a scale and weight it! weight the tv too.

one nice result of following the 80% rule...we are less likely to max out any one system (tires, brakes, axles, tranny, frame, hitch...and so on)

cheers
2air'

also ross they are many usefull threads here on towing options, issues, vehicles and so on. read them with caution but they are helpful.
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:40 AM   #12
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Ross,

Here is a URL to towing tips you may find helpful:

RV Towing Tips - Home page
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:52 AM   #13
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Here is a realtime example of towing capability.

We have a 2005 Safari 25' FB named Lucy. Lucy is a little over 7000# ready to go camping. We also tow with a Hensley Arrow Hitch System which adds significantly to the tongue weight.

We have two different tow vehicles. One is a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe (1/2 ton) with the 5.3 liter. The other is a 2005 GMC Yukon XL 2500 (3/4 ton) with the 6.0 liter.

The Tahoe will tow Lucy OK in Florida where there are no hills or grades to speak of. Braking is also OK, but not what I would describe as confidence-inspiring. The Tahoe can handle the tongue weight only because it has "Autoride", a factory installed option which levels the vehicle under heavy load.

The Yukon XL tows Lucy very competently. There is ample power, the brakes work well, The TV length is sufficient for a good TV/TT combination. We have towed Lucy over 10,000 miles with this vehicle, and have never felt uncomfotable.

A 3/4 ton vehicle is just better for towing a heavy trailer. There is a leaf spring rear suspension (even a 1500 Suburban has coil spring rear suspension) to handle the tongue weight. There is an oil cooler, a transmission cooler, and larger brakes. They also come with load range E (10 ply) tires. These are all features that I want when pulling my Lucy.

2air mentioned body-on-frame SUVs. I think that this is an issue of great importance. I don't think that there is a uni-body SUV that can adequately handle a 7000# Airstrteam.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:00 AM   #14
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I agree body on frame is a great platform in which to tow from.

I have a hitch scale and I've weighed many units and most of them exceed, or far exceed what the factory lists. Now it could be that my scale is defective, but I tend to lean toward the hitch weights being more than posted.

It's funny, you hear all of the folks on here that tried to tow with something undersized or underpowered. They go to the correct tool for the job and their eyes are then opened (I'm one of them). As some have said here before, few talk about downgrading their Airstreams because they have too much room or more specifically, their tow vehicles because they have too much capacity.
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