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Old 07-02-2009, 02:02 PM   #29
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We pull one your size with a Surburban....it's a great way to go!
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:29 PM   #30
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Red face Our price point

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Originally Posted by Maryw164 View Post
What's your price point? We can help keep an eye out for good deals.

Mary
Well, our price point . . . I didn't initially say, because it's embarrassingly low, but since you asked . . .

We are searching on ebay and craigslist for one $10,000 or under. We got out of debt, and we don't want to get back in, so we're planning to sell our current vehicles and only take out a small loan, if we have to, that we can pay back quickly.
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:44 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newroswell View Post
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
Wow, that's a freaky thread. I have come to the conclusion that one should REALLY know what they are doing if they're looking for a CAR with which to tow! I am not that knowledgeable, and I'm not embarrassed to admit it!

- Natasha
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:52 PM   #32
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If I ever get my GT finished,I plan to tow with my 66 GTO,I figure station wagon springs,and WD hitch it should be just fine.Dave
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:24 PM   #33
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Get a late 90's 3/4 ton Suburban 4x4 with the 8.1L V8 and towing package. I would bet most of the big block Suburbans like that came with that engine. It's just the newer iteration of the 454; 8.1 is a 496. It's a good engine.

A friend of mine bought a 2003 Suburban with the 8.1, 4x4, towing package, used with very low miles, for $13K. That was two years ago. You could probably pick that vehicle up right now for $10K. With three kids, I'd want the third row seat.

As for the Ford's with the V-10 gas engines; if you do buy one, make sure it's after 2003. Before that, the Triton engines had a defect (the roof of the combustion chamber was only threaded for about half its depth, so there were only about seven threads holding the spark plugs in) where they would spit spark plugs out of the head taking the threads and the coil pack with them. Ford wouldn't stand behind it either. I had a 2001, it blew the plug out of the head at 36,348 miles and I had a 7 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty that the dealer sold me. Ford wouldn't cover the repair. I heard they fixed the design flaw in 2003. But anyway, don't buy one older than a 2004.

I repaired it myself and traded it off for a Dodge with the Cummins turbodiesel. I've been a happy camper ever since.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:52 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdturn2 View Post
I have come to the conclusion that one should REALLY know what they are doing if they're looking for a CAR with which to tow! I am not that knowledgeable, and I'm not embarrassed to admit it!

- Natasha
Natasha, get a vehicle that came with a towing package with a Class IV hitch. It's towing capacity will be documented in the manual (or online). Never exceed a vehicles stated towing capacity. Go camping.
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:03 PM   #35
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I agree with the the 3rd row seat. With 3 kids, and a friend once in awhile, it's the only way to go. It probably won't cost you any more on a used one. There is still all kinds of storage space behind the 3rd seat.
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:29 PM   #36
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10 months ago when gas was just on the back of $4 a gallon, we picked up a 2004 Expedition, Eddie Bauer, 5.4 V8 with heavy duty towing package, 50k miles, for $15,000 cash, in anticipation of getting a TT, which turned out to be a ragged '79 Sovereign International, 700 miles from home. JUST got back from Kansas, pulled like a dream, got 10.5 mpg on the nose. Had cruise set around 62, never balked at a thing. Now we start rehab of the the AS, now known as "Toto"... I might look for an '05 if I was looking right now, they have a little more power and get a little better mileage.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:27 PM   #37
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I understand there are a few stationwagons that can handle a large TT, but you have to check the ratings always!
As you can see, there are about twice as many TV opinions as there are Airforums members. A lot of people won't tow with anything but the biggest vehicles out there. It probably is overkill in some circumstances. I see you have a 31' AS, so you are limited in what is available as far as size and power that will safely handle your trailer. Have you considered a full size van? You can get the weight and power you need and still have a good all-around vehicle for everyday driving. It also allows for plenty of seating, additional storage, and possibly another bed, if you get a van-conversion.
Good luck,
Rich
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #38
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I'm hitting craigslist and ebay for a TV. Right now we do not have one, and we will need to move our AS soon. We're planning to sell our two current vehicles.

Having the typical female attention span for all things mechanical , could anyone spell it out to me in easy, plain English: are there any family vehicles out there - modern or classic - that could pull (without damage to either) our 31' Sovereign?

We need a vehicle that seats five. We're trying to pass up the hopelessly ugly 20-year-old rusted, cracked trucks (don't want to shame the Airstream name) and the over-the-top insanely expensive new trucks . Is there an all-purpose vehicle out there?

- Natasha
Older Suburbans, crew cabs, station wagons? all good tow vehicles. Find one in the back of the Blue Berret, from an older couple not towing anymore, Local club meets? I stumble on nice older vehicles all the time, with fuel prices so high. DO these Airstream proud pull with American, you dont want to be stuck on the side of the road with a rice burning turd, with smoke bellowing out from under the hood. Then Billy Bob shows up with a tow truck chewing an spitting chew, about your grand mistake, thats on his hook.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:36 PM   #39
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You could look to a 1995 Buick Roadmaster Wagon or Chevy Caprice Wagon. Big Body on Frame vehicles. Make sure set up with the factory tow package. I have great luck towing with mine. It's a long low suburban that rides like a Cadillac.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:05 PM   #40
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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.
No, they weren't body-on-frame; the majority of other-than-casual travelers were using UNIBODY Dodge, Chrysler & Plymouth and one reason they did is that the unibody is/was STRONGER than ANY body-on-frame car. Imperials were banned from demolition derby decades ago because they were indestructible.

And -- of any of the Big Three automaker cars -- the wheelbases ranged from 116" to 130" and weighed up to, or past, 4,000-lbs.

The current Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300 weighs 4,000-lbs, has a 120" wheelbase and is essentially a reworked Mercedes with fully independent suspension, 4-whl disc brakes and engine/transmission controls that any of us would have sold a relative in order to have back then.

Besides, for those who wanted trucks there were plenty of them out there, including Suburban & International.

Those old cars didn't all have giant engines either. Nor did everyone tow at 55 mph even with the "smaller" motors.

Wallys caravans were overseas adventures, were they not? Lots of dirt roads and slow travel where a truck makes more sense.

Airstreams were lightweight, with independent suspension, and DESIGNED to be towed behind a car. Keep the weight down on an older pre-1980 model and there is no reason it can't be done. And better than with a pickup truck which is the LEAST roadworthy vehicle possible. They're handy for the fulltimer carrying too much junk, but they steer, brake and handle terribly.

There is no perfect tow vehicle. No matter the brand of the next aluminum trailer I buy it will have disc brakes fitted and the best possible hitch . . just maybe that will keep my current 7,500-lb truck out of the ditch in those worst situations.

If Chrysler ever releases the 300 in the US with the powerful diesel engine it sells in Europe then that will be the best all-around tow vehicle available for one of these aero trailers (except for those who insist on carrying a snowmobile and Harley everywhere they go).

For a non-fulltimer a car makes perfect sense (as that person may see it), and who cares how much faster it wears? The original owner of few American cars or trucks keeps them long enough for that to matter. It was then, and now, part of the trade-off.

Growing up, we somehow all survived trips across the US and Canada in 4-door sedans and wagons. And they were easy to live with the the other 90% of miles traveled annually. 8-years, 100,000 miles or so and off to another car.

I'll grant that conventional thinking recommends other than a car. I'd look at an independently-suspended FORD Expedition and find the info that makes it a better tow vehicle (wide wheels and lower profile tires with adequate capacity, better shocks, anti-roll bars with poly bushings, BILSTEIN or KONI shocks, etc.). Andy Thomson of CAN AM RV has written extensively on the subject, here, other forums and in online magazines.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:20 PM   #41
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My oh my what do I tow with????

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdturn2 View Post
I'm hitting craigslist and ebay for a TV. Right now we do not have one, and we will need to move our AS soon. We're planning to sell our two current vehicles.
Having the typical female attention span for all things mechanical , could anyone spell it out to me in easy, plain English: are there any family vehicles out there - modern or classic - that could pull (without damage to either) our 31' Sovereign?
We need a vehicle that seats five. We're trying to pass up the hopelessly ugly 20-year-old rusted, cracked trucks (don't want to shame the Airstream name) and the over-the-top insanely expensive new trucks . Is there an all-purpose vehicle out there?
- Natasha
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX
Natasha,
I have had 2 31 footers an Excella & Soveirgn (current), I have used both a 1/2 & 3/4 ton pickups, although a 1/2 ton can do the job if set for towing I feel much safer with the 3/4 ton. With my wife and I taking our 3 grandkids with us it is my experience that even though the extended cab & crew can hold 6 people when you have 3 kids side by side it is not long before they start picking at each other and then evenually fighting. I set my mind to looking for something better and the best thing was the suburban or excursion (both look alike, but one is a chev the other a ford), now me being a ford man I went with the Excursion diesel 6.0 and made sure it had the 3rd row. This way you can separate them saves alot of headaches, and still leaves room in the rear for other things. I get 14-15 towing, takes hills without a problem, get 17-21 in all other driving.
In both vehicles the 3rd row is easily removable with a latch, but you still have it if you need it. We now tow with comfort and no fights, even have the dvd player for the longer drives.
One thing I learned that I did not know on Chev/GMC suburbans is to watch for the LS or LT emblem, both letters mean it is a lite truck and is not made for towing.
As others have said, save yourself some hard lessons and go with a 3/4 ton. Stick with diesel even though it costs a few cents more it pays for itself with mpg's, another thing as time goes on and we go more to different fuels a diesel can be converted to just about anything including natural gas which I believe is just over the horizon as fuel begins to rise again. Many of your city buses and fleet vehicles have already gone to this.

Sarge
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:26 PM   #42
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The current Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300 weighs 4,000-lbs, has a 120" wheelbase and is essentially a reworked Mercedes with fully independent suspension, 4-whl disc brakes and engine/transmission controls that any of us would have sold a relative in order to have back then.
Chrysler's website states a 2009 has a maximum towing capacity of 2000 lbs and a 19 gallon gas tank.
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