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Old 07-18-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
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Can we tow with our current truck?

We are looking to purchase our first Airstream - a 1972 Globetrotter (owner says it is a 19', but maybe it is a 21'?).

We plan on buying a new V8 tow vehicle for traveling with the trailer, but for now just need to pick it up (5 hr drive from us) and bring it home. The owner states the weight of the trailer is 4500lbs. It does not have sway bars.

We are confused about our current truck's towing capacity.
Our truck is a 1995 Nissan XT Pickup - V6 4x4.

Here are the specs:
GVWR - 5200lb
GAWR FR - 2500 lb
GAWR RR - 2800 lb
Maximum Trailer Weight - 3500
Maximum Tongue Load - 350
Gross Combined Weight Rating - 8000

Our truck has a Hidden Hitch towing package installed with the following specs: "Max Rating Gross Weight 6000 lbs. Tongue Wt 600lbs"

Can we make the tow safely with this truck? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your towing question, you might be biting off more than the little truck can handle. If your figures are accurate, you would be 1000# over on your truck's maximum towing capacity, and probably at least 150# over the truck's maximum tongue weight capacity.

Without a weight distribution/sway control hitch system, you may encounter significant problems. Add to this your mountainous location, and you may have a really bad towing experience.

I'm not going to tell you that it can't be done, but it is significantly out of my comfort zone. I would suggest finding a friend or relative with a full size half ton pick-up to help you get your new Airstream home.

Brian
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:52 PM   #3
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Really nothing to be confused about in your truck/trailer specs.

Your truck has a MAX tow rating of 3500 pounds, with a max tongue weight of 350 ponds.

The trailer you want to tow is 4500 pounds with a probable tongue weight of at least 450 pounds.

No confusion at all. the trailer is not towable with your truck. The fact that your hitch has a high enough rating is mute, because it is attached to the truck that does not meet the rating, and well the truck does the towing.

Has it been done? probably. Will it endanger you, your family, any innocent other users of the highway around you, you vehicle and your new trailer?? YES.

If you crash or the vehicle is damaged will your insurance cover it? maybe, just before they cancel your coverage.

Borrow or rent a truck until you can get one capable of doing what you need. I swear if I was closer, I would tow it for you, rather then know you embarked on the journey with your current vehicle.

I know some of the above may sound harsh to some, but, well the truth is like that sometimes.

Oh, and welcome to the forums and the airstream mindset..
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:18 PM   #4
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72 Globetrotter Weight

After poking around at this site and others it appears the dry weight of a 72 Globetrotter is actually 3380lbs assuming there are no modifications. We'll check with the seller who quoted the weight originally at the 4500 lbs specified previously. Not sure if that was an estimate or if he's put it on a scale. But can anyone confirm the 3380 figure for a 72 globetrotter? I assume that would put the tongue weight at roughly 340lbs.

Thanks again for the prompt response. If the weight of the trailer as previously specified is indeed accurate we will definately follow the recommendation not to tow as previously posted..
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Thats what I come up with also from this site.. airstreamguy.com - ** Airstream Lengths, Weights and Tongue Weight

Your tongue weight is a little more.

You could tow with your truck if you wished.
I would definitely hook up trailer brakes and get the equalizing hitch a a sway control on it. and stay under 50 mph.

It could be an interesting ride your truck will be to it's limit or a little beyond on tongue weight.

Be safe...
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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Tongue Weight

According to that site tongue weight of the 72 Globetrotter 420. The 350 my wife quoted earlier is on the bumper. I assume the 350 is a result of how the bumper is secured to the vehicle? IE the bumper is secured to a bracket that is secured to the frame of the vehicle (and horizontally no less). The hidden hitch on the other hand is secured directly the frame with no intervening bracket and is done so vertically. The hidden hitch claims a tongue weight of 600lbs.

Any thoughts? And again, many thanks, this is a fantastic resource.

Martin
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:06 PM   #7
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What type of trailer brake controller is installed in your truck?

Brian
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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Trailer Brake Controller

Don't have one currently but would install. The only large trailer I've towed previously was a tandem axle boat trailer. It had breaks but I believe the controller was integrated into the tongue of the trailer.
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:07 PM   #9
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Any trailer that has brakes would need a trailer brake controller in stalled in the tow vehicle.

Please don't even consider towing a trailer that heavy with a mini-truck without any trailer brakes. You would be courting disaster.

Brian
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Any trailer that has brakes would need a trailer brake controller in stalled in the tow vehicle.

Please don't even consider towing a trailer that heavy with a mini-truck without any trailer brakes. You would be courting disaster.

Brian
I think he's talking about a boat trailer with inertia brakes.
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekrugs View Post
According to that site tongue weight of the 72 Globetrotter 420. The 350 my wife quoted earlier is on the bumper. I assume the 350 is a result of how the bumper is secured to the vehicle? IE the bumper is secured to a bracket that is secured to the frame of the vehicle (and horizontally no less). The hidden hitch on the other hand is secured directly the frame with no intervening bracket and is done so vertically. The hidden hitch claims a tongue weight of 600lbs.

Any thoughts? And again, many thanks, this is a fantastic resource.

Martin
Welcome Martin,

Not to jump on the "You Shouldn't Do This" bandwagon, but your TV appears to be underated for this task. If you have to pull any significant grades you may encounter serious problems.

My last two pulls around the Asheville area involved some 8% and 9% grades of the 3 and 4 mile long variety. The last one was this past Thursday pulling a 25' Avion, and it was a struggle with my V8.

If you can avoid the significant grades you may "Get By", but I would consider it very risky. By all means get yourself a brake controller and WD hitch before attempting, or better yet find a friend with a suitably rated TV and buy him a case of beer and a steak dinner for helping you out.

Regards,

Kevin
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