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Old 07-01-2009, 10:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvia View Post
Two gentlemen from the Canadian unit, passed through here (RI) towing a 34 foot with the Dodge 300, no problem,
Another one word:

Comical
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Another one word:

Comical

Im partial to the smaller vehicles as you can see by my profile.

Ok seriously,

Under normal conditions with a very experienced driver the smaller car will probably do the job although for every one thousand miles you travel you just put five thousand miles of wear on it.

However, If you get yourself into jam its nice to have a vehicle that can tug that trailer around if you have to vs. the alternative

A 31 footer is not a lightweight!

Vin
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:19 PM   #17
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The Suburban is a good choice, or the equivalent Ford if you like Fords.

A 1/2 ton should do the job with the right equipment. If the vehicle does not have a trailer towing package adding a transmission cooler is a good idea and maybe an electric fan if you don't have one.

Another improvement is to install low profile tires. This effectively lowers your gearing and cuts down side sway. If the 1/2 ton seems low on power a set of new tires may fix it.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:41 AM   #18
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I would not advise a vintage tow vehicle, only because you may break down somewhere, and not be able to get parts for it. If you do want one, and can find one, I used to tow a Holiday Rambler all over the midwest with a 1973 Gran Torino station wagon. That was back when the Torino was new...
More modern power would be a truck, only because that is the only thing left with a full frame, and enough heft to move your new trailer. "Truck" could be a full-size van (long wheel base, but not the Maxi-Vans), pickup (extended cab preferred, or at least a long bed), or full-size SUV (Excursion, Expedition, Suburban, even Tahoe), with the larger V8 or V10. 1/2 ton would work, 3/4 ton would probably work better. Proper setup and equipment would be mandatory for any of them.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:02 AM   #19
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Excursion with a V10 or diesel. These days the larger SUV's seem to be easier to find at a lower price point, due to the gas costs. Used of course. Probably 2003 or earlier. We get about 11-12 mpg when towing on the hwy. We have a Excursion V10, 4x4, w/ banks exhaust (this helps on the grades) and it goes along very nicely, with plenty of room for kids and extra supplies. Any 1/2 ton or larger truck type vehicle would work too. This includes a lot of SUV's and full size vans. It's all about the gearing and tow capacity. What's your price point? We can help keep an eye out for good deals.

Good luck. Let us know what you end up with.

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Old 07-02-2009, 08:25 AM   #20
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Apparently some are towing with family cars.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...num-46597.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...1&d=1226074247
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:54 AM   #21
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Many of us on the forum here tow with cars and find it a great experience. In many cases with a professional set up they will be one of the best handling an safest tow vehicles money can buy.
The idea that a professionally setup car makes for a safer tow vehicle than, oh, say, a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton crew cab long bed truck, or an SUV doesn't seem likely. Can a car be a safe tow vehicle, sure, up to a limit. Safest money can buy, no way.

The problem with using a car in this decade is that there are very few capable of, and fewer still of those professionals out there that can, setup a car properly for towing. A quick read of this thread might lead someone to believe they can just bolt some hitch to a unibody car, load the kids, hitch the trailer and go for it. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ign-38897.html

I'll bet the reason Hensley chose to use cars in that video was to show that less capable vehicles will tow better with their hitch.

I understand "everyone towed with cars" then. That's what they had. Let's please proceed carefully with advocating cars as tow vehicles for 31' trailers.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:28 AM   #22
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I understand "everyone towed with cars" then. That's what they had. Let's please proceed carefully with advocating cars as tow vehicles for 31' trailers.
"Everyone towed with cars then" because "everyone had cars then". My grandfather told me to always use the right tool for the job. If all you have is a hammer, you'll treat everything like a nail.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:42 AM   #23
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Yup, and those cars were massive body on frame vehicles build like the 1/2 ton trucks of today, plus a lower center of gravity. I don' think any one makes that kind of car anymore. In Wally's caravan photos, I see lots of trucks being used.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:17 AM   #24
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I, too, would highly recommend a Suburban 2500 or the like. There are plenty of good used ones out there at a decent price.

Vintage automobiles as tow vehicles present a whole new set of potential problems. I own 4 vintage automobiles presently, so I know of what I speak. They need constant attention, and you better be able to do it yourself because there are very few shops out there that can work on them.

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Old 07-02-2009, 12:18 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by newroswell View Post
Yup, and those cars were massive body on frame vehicles build like the 1/2 ton trucks of today, plus a lower center of gravity. I don' think any one makes that kind of car anymore. In Wally's caravan photos, I see lots of trucks being used.
And let us not forget all of the welded-on receiver hitch failures, and sway episode rollovers that happened with all those wonderful tow cars as well.

A modern setup is much more reliable and safer.

Roger
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:22 PM   #26
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Since you mention not wanting to go with "an insanely expensive new truck" I think those who have recommended a Suburban are giving you the best advice. However, not all Suburbans will do the job you want. Check out the gear ratios and make sure you get a 3.73. A large engine will be more satisfactory even though you'll use more fuel. If it doesn't have a tow package be sure to have an auxiliary transmission cooler installed before doing any serious travel. On my last GM truck I had one installed even though it had a tow package and I never had any transmission troubles.

The soft market for SUVs makes it a good time to consider one. I have a friend who tried last fall to sell his extremely clean 3/4 ton with a 454 engine (I think it was a '96). He couldn't get $3000 for it so he gave it to his daughter and son-in-law. It would have made a great TV.

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Old 07-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #27
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The key factor is the frame of the car and it's engine size. You need a body on frame car or truck. Most cars today are uni-body. (the body and frame are one) A 1970's full size car with a heavy frame and big block engine would do fine. You have to use a load leveler hitch to do this.
OK, now the down side. An early 70's Cadillac with a 454 engine will only get about 9 mpg. Towing is worse. There is also the problems of keeping a vintage car on the road and running.
A better choice is a modern truck or SUV with the towing package. They get much better gas milage and parts are available. With a 31 foot trailer, you are still going to need a load leveler hitch.
My wife drives a Mercury Grand Marquis. You would think that would tow a big trailer but you would be wrong. The transmission is electronicaly controlled and is not profiled for towing heavy loads. There is no oil cooler. The engine is only 4.6L. If this car was offered with a tow package and a 7L engine it would be fine.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:51 PM   #28
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I have to vote with the majority here. Although I have a 1ton Crew 8ft bed Diesel it was not the original intent to pull our airstream,rather any trailer I want to pulled with a small dozer or backhoe. Be it has ended up being our # 1 mode of Transport getting 14 around town and 20 on the highway and about 16 /17 towing.
We have friends with a Ford E250 Van that does very well with thier 31 fter. So I think a BURB or 3/4 ton van of any description would do what you want.
The market on New and Used trucks and vans of this size is very soft rite now and its a buyers market.
GOOD LUCK
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