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Old 10-28-2014, 04:45 PM   #15
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eric' do you plan to carry 7 or 8 passengers and the Airstream as well? I doubt the Armada has the payload capacity for both at the same time, but maybe that's not what you need.
Speaking of payload, given that both Touareg and Grand Cherokee Diesel have payloads of around 1100#, I am guessing that both vehicles pictured are exceeding their payloads (on top of possibly exceeding their tow ratings, GCVWR, hitch rating, and axle ratings). But, a CAT scale ticket would prove me wrong.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:45 PM   #16
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Also - Great to see these pics of Touaregs and Jeep GC's towing 30' Airstreams. This gives me confidence that my Armada (heavier, longer wheelbase) will handle it just fine, when the time comes. (Don't worry, I am a card-carrying member of the WD and SC Fan Club)
Definitely, Armada is a fine SUV for towing and carrying cargo. With either ProPride or Hensley, you can tow it up to 30' Internationals. Not sure about Classic, but possible if you keep your SUV very light (i.e. nothing in the back, and just you and your wife).

I really don't understand why Dodge has not put in their V6 diesels in Durango despite they do it in GL350 and in Ram 1500 trucks. MB went further by putting in 2.1 liter diesels in ML250 but I expect it to have less towing capability than the ML350 but not by much. The V6 diesel SUVs and 1500 Ram trucks are selling like hot cakes right now.
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:03 PM   #17
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All that was left was MB. And I don't need to be seen driving a MB. Wrong image.

We'll see. Oddly enough, if I could get a diesel in an Escalade, I might do it.
Funny thing. My view is that being seen in an Escalade is just wrong. The wing nut blonde next door to us drives one. not
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:58 PM   #18
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To answer a few questions:
Yes, I have had 7 passengers in my Armada, with towing the SOB trailer I have now. I have small kids. If I upgrade to a 30' airstream, I'll have to check my payload, go to the scales.

I have a sales job where driving around a 'Benz will broadcast the wrong image. It's just my opinion, and also my impression of MB. I live in a town where flashy cars are not received well.

My thinking with the Escalade comment: If an Escalade came with a honkin' big diesel, I could overlook the flashiness, and could possibly justify it more easily because of the reduced service costs over a MB.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:56 PM   #19
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Definitely, Armada is a fine SUV for towing and carrying cargo. With either ProPride or Hensley, you can tow it up to 30' Internationals. Not sure about Classic, but possible if you keep your SUV very light (i.e. nothing in the back, and just you and your wife).

I really don't understand why Dodge has not put in their V6 diesels in Durango despite they do it in GL350 and in Ram 1500 trucks. MB went further by putting in 2.1 liter diesels in ML250 but I expect it to have less towing capability than the ML350 but not by much. The V6 diesel SUVs and 1500 Ram trucks are selling like hot cakes right now.
The Toyota Tundra will be coming out with the Cummins 5.0L V8 diesel in the 2016 model year. The Cummins 5.0L v8 diesel is the same one to be used in the Nissan.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:59 PM   #20
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I was thinking over the same things you were this summer.....and chose not to go diesel.

I needed 7 or 8 passenger space, so that rules out the Touareg, Porsche and Jeep. The Audi can carry 7, but it's tight and there's no storage space when carrying 7. Audi's out.

All that was left was MB. And I don't need to be seen driving a MB. Wrong image. Also, I've had German cars, and have loved driving them. I have not loved repairing them.

Furthermore, I computed that the benefits of the diesel were only going to kick in if I was towing A LOT each year. Maybe a fulltimer would see significant savings, I was not.


So I got a used 2012 Nissan Armada for reasonable money. I do pine for a diesel in a full-sized non-german SUV, though......I'm excited to hear that Nissan has a diesel ready to go in the next Titan truck, which is like an Armada. We'll see. Oddly enough, if I could get a diesel in an Escalade, I might do it.
The Toyota Tundra will be coming out with the Cummins 5.0L V8 diesel in the 2016 model year. The Cummins 5.0L v8 diesel is the same one to be used in the Nissan.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:12 PM   #21
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Speaking of payload, given that both Touareg and Grand Cherokee Diesel have payloads of around 1100#, I am guessing that both vehicles pictured are exceeding their payloads (on top of possibly exceeding their tow ratings, GCVWR, hitch rating, and axle ratings). But, a CAT scale ticket would prove me wrong.
Well you're guessing and no one has to prove you wrong, but you ought to get an Airstream and then you could speak from experience.
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:38 AM   #22
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I too am looking at tow vehicle for a 23-27 ' airstream model

Those diesel SUVs are cool, but whatabout outside storage space. can you fit all the outside gear. I usually throw in my truck bed in the rear of an suv. Kayaks?, generators, extra fuel and lighter fluid. Gets a bit more touchy if it is to be carried inside instead of out in the bed.

Can one of these diesel SUVs tow a a fully wet loaded pull a 25' flying cloud over california mountAin passes at 65 mph without redlining or doing damage to axles, trannies, or prematurely eat you engines lifespan

I have no doubts about hauling such a load with an 8 cylinder diesel in a pick up, but an SUV being adequate to this task seems to require a certain amount of disbelief that they are equal or better than our beloved ton and half tons gas engines we traditionally use for tough loads.

First would miss the lost storage space
Two, would be worried about high maintenance and repair costs from pushing this relatively small engine to tow such weight, over such heights.

Solve the first two issues for me and I might become a believer. Must admit it would be lots of fun to have Mercedes tow rig, and nice car too when off tow, compared to a silverado, sierra, ram, or f-150.

Why don't ford and gm put diesels into their SUVs. Euros ahead of us her
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:27 AM   #23
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I really don't understand why Dodge has not put in their V6 diesels in Durango.

According to Wall Street, the Durango is slated to be discontinued, again. This might explain why this great SUV has not inherited the Motori diesel.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:50 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
To answer a few questions:

I have a sales job where driving around a 'Benz will broadcast the wrong image. It's just my opinion, and also my impression of MB. I live in a town where flashy cars are not received well.
eric... Understand! Back in the 80's I bought a 5 year old Mercedes 450SEL. I had a service job and every week I had to go to the head office/manufacturing plant of a major North American auto maker. It didn't go well. I heard the CEO of the plant location new about it and was not happy.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:01 AM   #25
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Well you're guessing and no one has to prove you wrong, but you ought to get an Airstream and then you could speak from experience.
Factory tongue weight is 880# (excludes options and liquids)
Add optional equipment and some water => 1000#
Add a top of the line hitch => 1200#
Forget about occupants and gear you put in the TV for now. Since those vehicles have around 1100# of payload, they are overloaded already (even if you move some weight to the trailer axles).

Doug, in your vast experience, what am I getting wrong here?
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:08 AM   #26
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- That would be too bad that Durango gets discontinued, there are a market for it. My friend bought one recently and loves it.

- Payload on the VW Touareg is confusing, I understand. It's sibling, Porsche Cayenne Diesel, has a payload of 1,676#. I've worked with Andy at Can-Am and he is comfortable with my set up and I trust him. He was the one done the hitch reinforcement on my VW and reinforced ProPride hitch to eliminate weak spots. I keep my 30' FC empty of water when towing. I carry nothing but myself, wife, and one kid in my VW when towing (besides immediate effects, such as toys, electronics, and snacks). It worked well for us so far. The biggest pluses are that it got anti-sway system, great braking system (13" discs with 4 pot calipers all around that none but Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 are equipped with). Also, the tongue of the trailer is set one foot from the hitch, it effectively cancels some tongue weight out as it gives more leverage to the tow vehicle adding more stress to the hitch system (which is why I had it reinforced by Andy). To sum it up, I feel real good with my set up and yes VW diesel is blast to drive every day with 500+ miles per tank with only city driving.

- As for towing through mountains and the stress it can do with small motor. I would say, I don't have an answer to it, but time will prevail and I WILL be honest and share my experience with my SUV here to help others to make an informed decisions. The hills (in West Austin and in south Missouri) I've towed my 30' FC through did not give VW any problems nor pushing it to redline. Most of my travels are limited to flat or hills for now.

- As for outside storage. With SUVs, one got to be creative. Some people would put canoes or kayaks in AS through the front or rear window depending on the layout of your AS. For my 30' FC, I have a twin bed set up in rear which will allow me to store canoes/kayaks/fishing poles in the rear without preventing us to use bathroom, kitchen, or seating areas while on the road. For the lighter fluid or any gaseous liquids, I would put them in the bumper storage in AS and I would not bother putting it anywhere else and definitely not inside. For the bikes, there are two options, add bike rack on the back of AS or on top of the SUV on the roof rack. They weight so little and should not affect much in terms of payload. For the generators, if you don't need to run A/C, you can just rely on battery power and add solar -- I plan on adding in near future, and with 27' and 30' you have a lot of room for solar panels. Few put Honda 2000i generators on top of the battery box between propane tank and the front of AS -- the downside is that this will increase tongue weight (I'm guessing by 50# more). There is usually a solution for any limitations you want to take down to be safe and enjoy camping.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:37 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
Factory tongue weight is 880# (excludes options and liquids)
Add optional equipment and some water => 1000#
Add a top of the line hitch => 1200#
Forget about occupants and gear you put in the TV for now. Since those vehicles have around 1100# of payload, they are overloaded already (even if you move some weight to the trailer axles).

Doug, in your vast experience, what am I getting wrong here?
What you have wrong here is a sweeping disregard of perhaps half of Airstream owners who tow with 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's that in your over-simplified math, that you are calling unsafe and wrong.

What you are also doing wrong here is constantly cruising these tow vehicle threads to start and carry on arguments against these successful combinations, not backing any of it up with any Airstream experience of your own.

You clearly have some things to learn about towing Airstreams. These folks on this thread can help if you would set your charts aside and listen what they are doing, and apparently doing successfully if not right.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:20 AM   #28
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There is good information on the GC Diesel in several threads on this forum. Search posts by Jim Flower, myself and other owners for real world towing experience.

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