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Old 01-28-2010, 08:35 AM   #57
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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.

Any up-date since this post?
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:26 AM   #58
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We pulled ours with a 1996 Suburban 1500 with a 350 engine. If you get a used Suburban make sure it's a 1996 or newer as they increased the horse power by 50 HP in 1996 with the 350 Vortec engine.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:54 PM   #59
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more info on a Buick Wagon

If you choose a Buick or Caprice Wagon, these are my suggestions for that particular vehicle....others might disagree, but this is what I have found that works for me. *I've towed with a Ford 3/4 ton diesel, Suburbans and other vehicles but my favorite is the Buick wagon, you can pass those diesels going up hill easily (it kills them) while they are smoking along, and pass the Suburbans at the gas pumps.

1) I installed the coil over rear shocks my self they are easy to do and I found then on the internet. You will have to have rear coil over shocks and/or rear air bags because the tongue weight will drop the rear. I spent maybe $100 on rear coil over shocks. (Do an internet search for parts.)

3) You will need a Class 3 (4) frame hitch, (it might have one by previous owner) $125-$200.00. I put mine on my self. Buy a purpose fit hitch, don't buy a universal or you will have to drill holes.

4) Trailer wiring harness can be bought on ebay or TSC (tractor Suppply) easy to do. $40.00/$60.00. I think the cheaper ones are easier and work better from TSC.

5) Electric brake box, a MUST have for your trailer (make sure your electric brakes work on your trailer). $60.00 at TSC simple to install, buy one that uses the brake switch wire to activate it for easy installation with 1 wire back to the trailer/light/brake connector.

6) Tranny cooler, a MUST HAVE! Easy and cheap to install, i ordered the biggest one that would fit in front of my radiator for less than $50.00 from ebay. I can't stress enough about the tranny cooler, I use LUCAS in my tranny and engine. (Be wary of towing with any vehicle in Overdrive on hills and hard driving)

7) You must have a "Weight Distribution Hitch" to help with the tongue weight, regardless of the tow vehicle about $150-$250 (you may have one already or the trailer might).

7-A) You will need to have anti-sway bar for the weight distribution hitch, about $40.00 on ebay. (I use just 1, but the hitch is capable of 2)

8) If I had my choice I would buy a 1994-1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, this will get you a Corvette (style) LT1 V8, and probably a factory rear leveling system (install the coil overs for a safety back up) and you get the rear moon-roof for the kids. Anything with 100,000 miles or less thats been taken care of should be ok.

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Old 01-28-2010, 11:55 PM   #60
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I agree on the Buick Roadmaster if you can find one and wouldn't hesitate on any model Lincoln with a big block 400 CI or more, get a good hitch shop to set up a class 3 dual cam Reese and air bags and hit the road with lots of power, good milage, truck like brakes and very comfy.
When testing a Lincoln against the Mercedes line on the race tracks around the country the Ford product did exceptionally well on handling, brake realiability and stopping power. We were changing brakes and boiling brake fluid out of the Benz's.
The footprint of the vehicle (4 tires down, length and width) makes the difference not the sheet metal that makes it look bigger.

Being debt free is a winner every time, good for you.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:39 AM   #61
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Hi Andy Thompson at Can-Am RV ( outside of London Canada).I consider to be an expert on tow- vehicles in particular cars or vans.Andy and his staff are very wellmannered. I strongly recommend a phone call or email to Andy at Can -Am.Google his web site. Good Luck Jim Anderson/ Mi Silver
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:42 AM   #62
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Yup, and those cars were massive body on frame vehicles build like the 1/2 ton trucks of today
That could be a scary thought.....

YouTube - 2009 Chevy Malibu vs 1959 Bel Air Crash Test
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:46 PM   #63
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Here is the tow package on my 95 Fleetwood.

I added the hitch, brake controller and 7 way plug.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:26 PM   #64
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I must admit, I have always liked the Buick Road Master

Hello Natasha,

Tow vehicles always bring up the opinions in all.

Most V-8 engine equipped full size sedans and trucks will pull a trailer, however, stopping one, even with trailer brakes, is just as important.

How much does a 1976, 31' airstream weigh when full? Is it 7000 - 8000#? I would want a 3/4 ton truck/van type vehicle. This would provide a factory transmission and brake system which is up to the task of pulling and stopping the rig up and down the hills without scaring the occupants. My father pulled a 26' airstream argosy with a 1970 chevy impala with a 400ci engine and transmission cooler across the country in 1976 without any trouble. Later in 1980, my parents purchased a 1975 25 airstream and pulled it for the next twenty-five years, including a trip to Alaska, with a ton suburban. I have a 1986 31' airstream I pull with a 2001 3/4 ton chevy crew cab diesel, and in over 24,000 miles of traveling across the country in the last seven years, I have never subjected my family of four to any scary events. I also own a 1/2 ton suburban. I have, at times, pulled my trailer empty, (Im guessing 7000#), with the suburban, but only locally for several miles. I installed a transmission oil temp gauge on the suburban and I can confirm the trans temp rose high and stayed there as I drove up and down the moderate hills in the Cincinnati, OH area.

As for ride comfort, I can only say that my experience is that the Chevy truck types ride smoother than the Fords. I have been told that the Dodge trucks have more room in the cab at the driver seat, but I cannot confirm this.

So all this being said, I can only recommend that you get a vehicle which when it is loaded with family and gear, will pull and stop your loaded 31 trailer, without exceeding any weight limitations. Personally, I would only consider a 3/4 ton, or heavier truck/panel truck/van. Speaking of vans, I believe they would pull better than a pickup or suburban as the rear axle is typically closer to the hitch, which reduces the ability/force of the trailer to push the rear of the vehicle sideways when in a downhill or slowing turn. Also for stability, the longer the wheel base of the tow vehicle, the more stable the tow. My crew cab has a six foot/short bed. I would rather have an eight foot bed, but I owned the truck before I owned the trailer.

Good luck and happy camping. Oh yes, and don't forget or skimp on a good hitch and brake controller.

Please post what vehicle you finally choose.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:37 PM   #65
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We're also contemplating a new TV. we have a 31' sovereign (1975) and currently have a lexus gx470. afraid the tow capacity is a tad over so thinking of changing.

looked at the 2010 ram 1500 with 3:55 axle ratio, but as most on forum seem to think bigger is better, i'm going to look at ram 2500. problem is this is mainly going to be used as my regular vehicle, and im not crazy about driving a beast in the parking lots. plus i'll miss my interior space with the lexus storage!

P/U trucks have an interesting advantage over SUV's - the open space between the tv and the trailer allow airflow when on interstate and big trucks pass. that's main reason for me to not consider the suburban. Any comments on that?

Also, if people are recommending a burb or van to this poster, wouldn't a 1500 be just fine instead of the bigger brother 2500?
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:11 PM   #66
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TV options to consider

Quote:
Originally Posted by ingrid View Post
We're also contemplating a new TV. we have a 31' sovereign (1975) and currently have a lexus gx470. afraid the tow capacity is a tad over so thinking of changing.

looked at the 2010 ram 1500 with 3:55 axle ratio, but as most on forum seem to think bigger is better, i'm going to look at ram 2500. problem is this is mainly going to be used as my regular vehicle, and im not crazy about driving a beast in the parking lots. plus i'll miss my interior space with the lexus storage!

P/U trucks have an interesting advantage over SUV's - the open space between the tv and the trailer allow airflow when on interstate and big trucks pass. that's main reason for me to not consider the suburban. Any comments on that?

Also, if people are recommending a burb or van to this poster, wouldn't a 1500 be just fine instead of the bigger brother 2500?
One of the most important aspects for your TV is the towing capacity. Next consider where you'll be traveling to. For example if you are going to be driving a lot of mountainous roads then having an engine to handle the grades is also important. You don't want to be the person at the side of the road because you've overheated. We have towed with a 2000 V10 Ford Excursion, 4x4 (w/Banks exhaust), and it performed pretty well in all conditions; no issues with large trucks passing by on the highway. I agree having the interior storage is a plus. We have since upgraded to a TV that could tow the Queen Mary , as some like to call it on these forums. A 2003 Dodge Ram 3500, diesel, dually, 4x4; which is definitely overkill, but the hubby loves the torque for towing on the grades, and the dually provides great stability. In addition to towing capacity, rear end gearing is also an important aspect to consider. While a 3:73 will do the job, a 4:10 is usually better for towing; the lower the ratio, the better the mileage, the higher the ratio, the better for towing and torque. Then there's the weight distribution & sway control; this too needs to be appropriate for your TV, trailer combo. Also the longer the wheel base, the better. All these collectively make for safer and overall better performance.

Ultimately, you have to choose what suits your needs best on a whole.

I hope this helps.

Mary
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:24 PM   #67
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Quote:
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P/U trucks have an interesting advantage over SUV's - the open space between the tv and the trailer allow airflow when on interstate and big trucks pass. that's main reason for me to not consider the suburban. Any comments on that?
I've not convinced by that theory. I've towed my small single-axle trailers with a van and haven't encountered turbulence-induced sway when passed by trucks. Anyway, not having the airflow drop into the bed improves the aerodynamics of the whole SUV + trailer combo, which would aid fuel economy (a bit.). Having a properly set-up hitch and sway control would make a much larger difference than the profile of the tow vehicle.

Tom
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:54 PM   #68
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Just something we saw at the Sarasota Rally. Buick visa cruiser as a TV Cool!
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:29 PM   #69
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A discussion on TV's can really open a can of worms. I can relate my experience though and you can go from there. I have owned, driven and towed many combinations of vehicles from heavy trucks to compact cars with a small utility trailer. for two years we orginally towed our 31' A/S with a Dodge B1500 conversion van with a 5.2 litre V8 and 3.55 rear end. Put on about 10K miles towing from the midwest Canadian border area to Florida and then to the west coast and back with out a problem. It was a dog on hills but ran well. Now we tow with overkill a Ford F350 Diesel long wheel base crew cab running 3.73 differential gears. Love it! Miss the van storage but the handling of the P/U is great. It's intimidating in shopping center parking lots but you get over it. If you like a SUV feel consider a Suburban/Clone with enough towing capacity and trailer package. The A/S profile behind an enclosed vehicle actually runs very smoothly with very little turbulence from passing Semi's. We get more of a bow wave from large Motorhomes but its really not a problem.
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