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Old 11-16-2008, 08:27 PM   #29
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No disrespect to you, either, just thought I'd share my thoughts.

In my experience, your 31-footer is likely significantly lighter than the modern 31-footer. So your braking system may be perfectly fine for your trailer, but not for others.

The Tetons, Rockies and Wasatch Mountains tested the braking on our Ford F-250, which performed well. If we had been pulling any more trailer than that, I would have been more nervous than I was.

All I can say to anyone looking into tow vehicles is this…

Run the numbers on your trailer (loaded) and be realistic about the rating of your tow vehicle.

On our way home, we passed a 1/2-ton pickup which had rolled multiple times, destroyed the car it impacted and the trailer the truck had been towing, and (likely) resulted in the death of at least one person. Now, it's impossible to ascribe cause to an accident when you pass the scene at 50 mph, but seeing it made my hear sink for those involved, and made me glad I chose a 3/4-ton pickup.

It's tempting (and it tempted me) to try to tow with the smallest vehicle you possibly can. But a few less mpg is a small price for me to pay for the peace of mind to know that my truck can control my trailer (as much as any TV can truly be "in control"), and can stop my trailer when I need it to, on any road, in any conditions (with trailer brakes).

However you decide to pull your Airstream, good luck, and be safe.

--SM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gael79 View Post
Just a quick comment - no disrespect intended...

After reading through this thread, I recall a couple of references to getting the bigger truck (3/4, 1 ton vs. 1/2) for better braking. If your trailer is set up correctly, shouldn't the trailer brakes be employed to stop the trailer, and the truck brakes be used to stop the truck?

Now keep in mind I live in flat, prarie Illinois, but have had my 31 footer out of the state before on some rather steep grades, and have never found myself screaming uncontrollably toward the bottom of the hill chanting loudly "I wish I spent the extra money for the 3/4 ton truck!! (Ha-Ha).

Once agin, no disrespect intended here, but for my needs, the 1/2 ton truck with a factory towing package is plenty of truck for my Airstream towing needs.

Regards,
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:58 PM   #30
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choosing a lighter weight vehicle on a large trailer like this is not going to get you much longevity out of the components.the transmission i had in my navigator would never be able to withstand the weight of the 31 classic that i have now.that is why i upgraded the truck to a dsl excursion. a 31 is a heavy tow.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:15 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by xonvldz View Post
choosing a lighter weight vehicle on a large trailer like this is not going to get you much longevity out of the components.the transmission i had in my navigator would never be able to withstand the weight of the 31 classic that i have now.that is why i upgraded the truck to a dsl excursion. a 31 is a heavy tow.
Depending on year, the Navigator used the same transmission as the Excursion, basically the E4OD. There were some differences as the models progressed, and I've forgotten what the current nomenclature for the transmission is. The big difference between the two transmissions is the torque converter, which is slightly different for the diesel.
The biggest difference in the two trucks themselves is gear ratio, transmission cooling, and the computer controls.
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:32 AM   #32
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"On our way home, we passed a 1/2-ton pickup which had rolled multiple times, destroyed the car it impacted and the trailer the truck had been towing, and (likely) resulted in the death of at least one person. Now, it's impossible to ascribe cause to an accident when you pass the scene at 50 mph, but seeing it made my hear sink for those involved, and made me glad I chose a 3/4-ton pickup."

Please forgive me, I don't know how to properly highlight the previous posts in my own yet.

You say you were traveling 50 MPH, yet could distinguish a 1/2 ton from a 3/4 ton truck. My hat is off to you sir, I could not do that at 25 M.P.H., espically if it had been rolled multiple times, let alone determine that the cause of the crash was. Once again, no disrespect intended. You were there - I was NOT.

Yes, your point ( and others) is right on the mark. Go talk to someone who KNOWS and buy something your are comfortable with. Please know that 3/4 and 1 ton trucks can roll and get you killed just as fast as 1/2 tons, if you are driving reckless, impaired, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let me wrap up my comments with the following: I purches the cheapest, lowest octane gasoline out there - always have. I keep my vehicles tuned well, do the work myself, so I know it was done correctly. I don't believe that BP gas is better Shell (or whatever)because they add some laim additive with a made up name (Inviger-whatever) that is claimed by a cute cartoon professor to clean the internal workings of my engine. I don't trade my vehicles in - I drive them till it is not economically feasable, usually over 200,000 miles, and reliability is compromised, then I junk them. I ALWAYS buy the lowest octane available, and make sure the timing is set (or computer command) to factory specs.

I have an Aunt, sweet woman, who is on a fixed income, who religously buys the most expensive, highest octane gas she can get her hands on, because she has been sold on the idea that more is better, and that if she pays more blindly, she gets more. What a shame.

Regards,
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:49 AM   #33
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good point overlander 63,the navigator was a 1998,which started to have tranny problems after towing my 1st airstream which was a 28 safari.this 2005 has the 5 speed torqshift which is the same tranny used in all the superduty trucks.difference between these two trucks for towing is like night and day.the cooling capacity on the 2005 is much more substantial in the "tow/haul mode" which should lead to a longer service life.i read that this tranny circulates an additional 7 gallons of fluid per minute through the tranny in the towing mode.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:25 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gael79 View Post
Just a quick comment - no disrespect intended...

After reading through this thread, I recall a couple of references to getting the bigger truck (3/4, 1 ton vs. 1/2) for better braking. If your trailer is set up correctly, shouldn't the trailer brakes be employed to stop the trailer, and the truck brakes be used to stop the truck?

Now keep in mind I live in flat, prarie Illinois, but have had my 31 footer out of the state before on some rather steep grades, and have never found myself screaming uncontrollably toward the bottom of the hill chanting loudly "I wish I spent the extra money for the 3/4 ton truck!! (Ha-Ha).

Once agin, no disrespect intended here, but for my needs, the 1/2 ton truck with a factory towing package is plenty of truck for my Airstream towing needs.

Regards,
But don't forget that your 31 footer is probably about half the weight of today's models!

Also, the comment about the value of the much beefier brakes on a 3/4 or one ton truck are really just an added safety bonus.

you are right of course about your understanding of trailer brakes - but what if your trailer brakes should fail? Then you are relying totally on your tow vehicle's brakes to come to a safe stop.

The trailer brakes can fail for numerous reasons - mine have!

Brian.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:20 AM   #35
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Specifically, it was a Dodge RAM 1500 pickup. I could tell because a friend has one and I've spent quite a bit of time in and around it.

A quick search tells me a 1970 31' Sovereign weighs (empty) around 5000#. A 2009 31' Classic weighs (empty) over 7000#. Towing your '70 with a 1/2-ton truck should be fine. But I wouldn't want to be behind the wheel (or behind) a 1/2-ton truck pulling an '09 31-footer.

Point being…length is (more or less) irrelevant. Weight is everything.
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