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Old 10-20-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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Chicken or the Egg

The old question of the chicken or the egg? In our case the Airstream or the TV.
Has anyone ever towed an 23 or 25 ft Airstream with a Lexus RX330 AWD ? We are are leaning towards a 23 or 25 ft and would like to pay off the Airstream with savings. If we do that then we started wondering if we could get along for a while with either our 2005 Lexus RX330 or our very broken 1996 Chev Tahoe as a TV.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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I would be concerned about the durability of a 6-year-old automatic AWD transaxle in what's basically a Camry wagon with a lift kit. (I'm talking about it from an engineering standpoint, not saying it's not a nice comfy luxo crossover.)

With a setup from an expert in alternative TVs like CanAm, it will probably work in flat country. That 3.3l V6 is not too bad at 242 lb-ft of torque, although I don't know what the curve looks like, so it may be howling at high RPM before it's putting out much twist. I also don't know what the final drive ratio is like.

I'd recommend calling CanAm rather than trusting the armchair guesstimates of someone like me.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
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How "broken" is the Tahoe? It might be your better bet as a tow vehicle.
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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The Chev is not broken at all I was more just thinking about its age 15. It does not have a dent or scrap, never been in a traffic collision. If we were to use it I would want to replace the transmission. Runs great, but again its 15 or about 105 in dog years. Since first post the Lexus is out of the running. I found Lexus tow capacity to be only 3500 lbs, not safe. Might have to buy hubby a new Tahoe or suburban.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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what are you going to do with a 15 year old Tahoe if you don't tow with it? Does it have a tow package? I would add a trans cooler and tow with the Tahoe.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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I would install a rebuilt transmission and add a transmission cooler and use the Tahoe as your TV. Does it have the 5.7L motor?

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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The Chev is not broken at all I was more just thinking about its age 15. It does not have a dent or scrap, never been in a traffic collision. If we were to use it I would want to replace the transmission. Runs great, but again its 15 or about 105 in dog years.
Well, let's see, our 1994 Chevy K1500 is 17 years old, or 119 in dog years, and it has towed our Airstream from one end of the country east to west and north to south a couple of times, trouble-free.

We bought a 2009 to tow the Airstream but kept the 1994 for general hauling, and in fact I just drove it this afternoon. Going to pick up a load of firewood with it tomorrow. Trucks seem to be built for the long haul.

If you do get a newer Tahoe it will get better mileage, though. Our '94 got about 10 mpg towing and the '09 gets 12 - 14. Smarter transmission. . .
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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If we do that then we started wondering if we could get along for a while with either our 2005 Lexus RX330 or our very broken 1996 Chev Tahoe as a TV.
We have towed our 23' with a Nissan van with a 3.0V6 and then with the Infiniti sedan 3.5V6. The van was 10 years old when we started towing the Airstream and had 290,000klm's on it. The G35 now has 190,000klm's on it with over 200hrs of towing. No problems related to towing with either vehicle. Note the Infiniti is a pro set up by Can Am.

It was talked about in a previous thread. This Can Am set up Lexus 300 towed a Stream to Alaska and back plus other trips??? with apparently no issues. The Lexus would be my choice but would definately use Can Am to advise/set up.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:55 PM   #9
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Well I guess we should talk to Cam Am, and go from there. The Tahoe has a tow hitch and a heavy duty auxiliary transmission cooling system, with a 5.7L motor. Our window invoice from when we purchased the Chev say, 6300 lb GVW rating. If we do use the Tahoe we will have the transmission and cooling system checked. It seems there are so many things we don't know and are a little fearful we will make a big mistake. I think the way to go is to jump in with an exact choice of AS. Then contact Cam Am and see if our TV will work. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:58 PM   #10
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On the subject of CanAm, I drove a Lexus something or other (SUV - 2011 model) towing a 28' International as part of the Beginners' Seminar that they do there. The Lexus was new, fitted with a Hensley hitch and drove beautifully with the AS in tow. The Lexus belonged to a CanAm customer who had loaned it for the event; I seriously considered stealing it because it was such a lovely combination! I also drove an old V8 Cadillac sedan with a 34' Classic in tow, also with a Hensley. That drove well, too, but I preferred the Lexus.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #11
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Last night we decided to look at new TV(s) trying to make up our mind about TV (s) that are compatible with a 23' international. We looked at at Chev Tahoe and a 2012 Lexus GX460. We fell in love with the Lexus but are still open to a Chev Tahoe if a better based on tow performance. Since we a new to towing and Airstreams are not sure what additional towing equipment we should have installed. We went to the Can Am website, but they are in Canada and we are in USA/California. Can someone recommend a Tow/Hitch vender that could advise us what might be a better TV for a 23' international and what equipment to make sure is on new vehicle. Thanks Shiny Drag-on
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:40 AM   #12
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Chicken or the Egg

Greetings Shiny Dragon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny Dragon View Post
Last night we decided to look at new TV(s) trying to make up our mind about TV (s) that are compatible with a 23' international. We looked at at Chev Tahoe and a 2012 Lexus GX460. We fell in love with the Lexus but are still open to a Chev Tahoe if a better based on tow performance. Since we a new to towing and Airstreams are not sure what additional towing equipment we should have installed. We went to the Can Am website, but they are in Canada and we are in USA/California. Can someone recommend a Tow/Hitch vender that could advise us what might be a better TV for a 23' international and what equipment to make sure is on new vehicle. Thanks Shiny Drag-on
With its 6,000 pound GVWR, your 23' International allows you a rather large number of potential tow vehicles from which your selection may be made. My suggestion would be to start with the manufacturer's recommendations for the tow vehicles that you are considering. New vehicles with trailer towing capabilities are rated by their manufacturers with maximum trailer towing ratings that are accompanied with recommended as well as required options to attain those ratings. Today, most new vehicles with trailer towing packages include a receiver hitch as part of the trailer towing equipment. You will find that many here on the Forums suggest looking at tow vehicles having at least 20% more capacity than the GVWR of the coach to be towed . . . for instance, with a 6,000 GVWR coach, consider tow vehicles having a trailer tow rating of at least 7,500 pounds.

Once you have selected your appropriately rated tow vehicle, your hitch selection is the next choice. There are at least six brands/types of hitches popular with Airstream owners, and each one has its loyal followers as well as those who are not fond of the particular brand/type. There are numerous threads here on the Forums regarding hitches and selecting a hitch for your coach. IMHO, a hitch with some type of built-in anti-sway function is desirable such as Reese Dual Cam, Equal-i-zer, PullRite, Hensley Arrow, or ProPride. Reese Dual Cam has been my choice for more than 20 years, but I realize that each person has his or her own comfort level with such devices and that is a key . . . selecting a hitch in which you have confidence . . . whether based upon extensive reading/research, or upon personal recommendations from persons whom you trust.

Good luck with your research and selections!

Kevin
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