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Old 05-25-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
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2009 19' International
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dakota tow vehicle

I am a new airstream owner and new to the Forum.
I have a 2001 dodge dakota club cab.
It is equipped w/ a 4.7l magnum v8; multispeed auto trans; w/ anti-spin differential; 3.55 axel ratio; heavy duty engine cooler; transmission cooler
The gross veh. wt. is listed as 5360; the max trailer weight is listed as 5100.
Peak horsepower is 230 hp @ 4800rpw; w 205 lbs torque @ 3200 rpm.

I will tow a 19' bambi w/ an equalizer hitch.
My hitch receiver is a class 3.

Is this an adequate tow vehicle or will i encounter handling and performance problems?
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:57 AM   #2
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Class 3 hitch I believe is not enough and if it is, you are right at the mark. I think you need the next class up because I still think you need weight distribution, even with a 19 footer. You can read about class hitches here:

http://www.reeseprod.com/support/support_faqs.shtml

Second, a 19' will weigh 4500lbs wet. If you don't haul a lot of passengers and cargo, and stay away from the real mountain areas, I think you'll be fine. I think yer at the high water mark though if you haul a lot of gear and passengers or have big mountain trips in your future.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:11 AM   #3
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Silvertwinkie
Thank you!
I will check out the link
The equalizer hitch, per the dealer, is supposed to be a weight distribution and sway control hitch.
You think the 4.7l engine at higher altitudes will be marginal?
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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For a while, I towed a vintage 23' with an '04 Dodge 1/2 ton, short wheelbase pickup with the 4.7 liter V8, auto trans, 3.55 gears. Other than the fact the truck was too short of wheelbase, and did not handle the trailer very well as result, the power was adequate, and I did have the rig in some hills. However, no high altitude mountain passes.

Based on my experience with the 4.7 V8, and the 23', I would think you would be fine.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:57 PM   #5
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I tow a 21 Globetrotter (no interior yet) with a 99 Dakota 5.2, automatic trans, I have forgotten the rear ratio, 4X4, Extended cab. It weighed in at 3400 when I drug it home. I have towed it over several of the Colorado Mountain passes with no problems. On the peaks I,m generally down to 45 mph however. I have never towed the GT below a mile high yet, and am looking forward to the power increase when I do. I do not tow in overdrive in the mountains unless I'm going downhill.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:07 PM   #6
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I think the 4.7 is good enough for a 4500lb RV. I yanked around a 19' with a 5.7L. I just think that in extreme circumstances the 4.7L might show some level of strain. If you pretty much stick to the flatlands (mostly) I think you won't see too many issues.

A lot of folks think, yea, it's just a 19' Bambi, but 4500lbs is a lot of weight. Nothing like a 25 or 30, but it's not a light trailer. Vintage unit would weigh less, but a new(er) one it's got some meat to it.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:43 PM   #7
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Thanks again Silvertwinkie and Aerowood and Steveh!
We will give it a try, and since we are new, maybe some time behind the wheel will lend some insight on what really works for a TV for a 19 foot bambi.
Don't know how long I will be able to stay in the flatland, its a bambi and i want to travel!! NOW!!!
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