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Old 07-01-2009, 03:23 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
San Antonio , Texas
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Question Family Car to Pull 31' AS

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
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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I saw a guy towing a 30' two weeks ago with a mid 70's cutlass and said he had no problems, however I would not do it. Since your AS will outweigh most cars I would not do it. I am sure some will say any large car or van will do but I prefer my f250. You may look for a ford f series with a crew cab as that will seat 5, i know here in florida dealers still have 08's that are really discounted. Mine had a sticker of 46,000+ but was discounted to 33,000.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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An Airstream buddy of ours pulls his '76 31 footer with a Chevy Suburban and it does well on the flats but bogs down a bit in the mountains. Plenty of room for gear and kiddos with the Burb. No doubt you'll get a load more information soon on this Forum. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:38 PM   #4
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In 1976 the tow vehicle of choice would have been a full size car from any one of the manufacturers, Ford, Chevrolet, Mercury, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Lincoln, Cadillac, Dodge or Chrysler. There are a few members of this forum who still use a 1970's full size car with a large engine.

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:47 PM   #5
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A Ford Excursion or Expedition with a v10 or diesel (if you can find one) would do nicely. Probably can get a good deal.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:35 PM   #6
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Depending on your needs, a full size van with a 10k towing capacity, and Excursion, Expedition, or Suburban would all work nicely. You'll find prices on used, low-mileage Club Wagon style vans particularly appealing when compared to SUV prices; although there are some attractively priced SUVs out there right now as well. Whatever you find, the largest engine you can get, low rear end ratio (except maybe in the Excursions where the 3.73 is adequate with the V10) and factory tow package with the 10k lb tow rating is what you'll want to look for.

Happy hunting!

Roger
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:41 PM   #7
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Burb's rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
Depending on your needs, a full size van with a 10k towing capacity, and Excursion, Expedition, or Suburban would all work nicely. You'll find prices on used, low-mileage Club Wagon style vans particularly appealing when compared to SUV prices; although there are some attractively priced SUVs out there right now as well. Whatever you find, the largest engine you can get, low rear end ratio (except maybe in the Excursions where the 3.73 is adequate with the V10) and factory tow package with the 10k lb tow rating is what you'll want to look for.

Happy hunting!

Roger
*** and for a 31, I'd go with a Suburban 2500 (3/4 ton) - Don't pay extra for the third seat. You can get six in the first two and have room for two full sized coffins behind the seats... That from a former funeral director. Alternately dog kennels, cribs, etc fit nicely in the back. The 2500 pretty much has the tow package included, but do note that the hitch on older ones is weaker (pre 2008) - many have replaced them for a couple of hundred bucks. I went from a 'burb to a Silverado. With a family the big honkin' fully air conditioned Silverado is the better choice.

Good luck, Paula FORD (how's that for irony?)
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:52 PM   #8
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Good day Terry and Natasha....

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.

If you check out the Hensley video you will see some samples of cars towing Airstreams..... Trailer Sway Elimination Guaranteed - Hensley® the ONLY trailer hitch guaranteed to totally eliminate trailer sway.

There are some more examples here.... http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...e-46809-6.html

Please note it is important to get the hitch and set up done correctly, but that being said that is important with any Tow Vehicle.

Good luck with your TV search.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:37 PM   #9
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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
One word:

Suburban.

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Old 07-01-2009, 07:05 PM   #10
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MY 68' manual that came with my Soverign only showed pictures of cars pulling them. Back then I believe trucks where for working not taking the family on vacation.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:21 PM   #11
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Previous owner of our 85 31' pulled it with an 80's Olsmobile sedan, then two half ton Suburbans (not at the same time). Used a dual cam and put seveal trips between Cincy and Florida, Arkansas, and other places without bending anything. I'm sort of thinking that a full 3/4 ton might be overkill.
Not sure I have the courage to use an Olds, but I'd sure like to have seen it.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #12
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For sure WCI. This is my service manual.

Hard to believe the cars back then with bias tires, drum brakes, vague steering gear, etc towed Airstreams of all sizes but they did OK.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:48 PM   #13
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TV or not TV

Two gentlemen from the Canadian unit, passed through here (RI) towing a 34 foot with the Dodge 300, no problem,
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:56 PM   #14
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just watch the weight ratings and remember that the little ones will be getting bigger and heavier as time goes on.
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