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Old 12-28-2008, 02:29 PM   #1
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Finding the right trailer for Tow Vehicle?

So hi guys.

I've got my little pickup, it's a quarter-ton '02 Sonoma 4x4, and due to my ...odd... employment schedule and having to state-hop a lot for work, I've been looking around for a 2-person trailer.

I really like the look of those little 22' Airstream Sports, and the layout looks nice for what I need it for, which is ~30 day to as much as ~200 day live-in's.

Would my truck be able to handle pulling one of these?

The rated max tow weight in the manual is something like 5500 pounds.

The only thing we've pulled with it that's anywhere near that weight class was pulling around a car trailer with a 1936 Studebaker on it, that came out to something around 3400 pounds total. Naturally, my gas mileage suffered, but not as much as I thought it would have. (Down from about 20 MPG normally to about 14-15 MPG with the trailer. Didn't seem to bother the truck that much at all, even with the snow.)
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:47 PM   #2
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Airstream's site says that the 22 ft sport's GVRW is 4,500, so sounds like you can. Here is the link: Airstream, Inc :: Specifications Specifications
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:16 PM   #3
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Okay, cool.

Should I take any sort of precautionary measures before I go hook one up?

I know there's a ball hitch on the bumper but it's only rated for something like 1500 pounds.

Is there like, a guide somewhere that explains how all these different weights work together?

I know me old man said something about having a pair of bars that attach to the frame rails on the truck or something and let you tow an extra ton of weight. Or something.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:19 PM   #4
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Wink see If This Will Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkedOne View Post
Okay, cool.

Should I take any sort of precautionary measures before I go hook one up?

I know there's a ball hitch on the bumper but it's only rated for something like 1500 pounds.

Is there like, a guide somewhere that explains how all these different weights work together?

I know me old man said something about having a pair of bars that attach to the frame rails on the truck or something and let you tow an extra ton of weight. Or something.

Perhaps this link will be helpful.

U.S. Department of Transportation - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - Towing A Trailer, Being Equipped for Safety - Title Page and Table of Contents - DOT HS 809 433 - April 2002
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:51 AM   #5
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Enjoy the 22' SS, you shouldn't have any problem towing it. We don't with ours.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:05 AM   #6
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The dry weight of the 22' Sports that we have in stock is 3,625 lbs. You should be able to handle that just fine.

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Old 12-29-2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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I must admit that the title of your thread is most apporpriate. Many of us buy a AS not giving much thought to the TV. Your approach, planned, or not is a smart way to go. Listen to the advice given on this forum and research the subject through other sources as well and hopefully you willl have a great AS experience.

Don't forget to invest in to a brake controller too. Keep us posted as to your progress.

Good Luck,

Kevin
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkedOne View Post
I know there's a ball hitch on the bumper but it's only rated for something like 1500 pounds.
You will probably have to have an aftermarket receiver installed on your truck. See the chart at Receiver Hitch Selection Guide. For ball discussion see the end of this post.

Is there a trailer plugin back there already? If it is a 4 pin it will not be compatible with the trailer 7 pin umbilical. This allows the trailer brakes to work -- which is vital! You'll also need a brake controller. An Airstream dealer (or any RV shop) can set you up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkedOne View Post
I know me old man said something about having a pair of bars that attach to the frame rails on the truck or something and let you tow an extra ton of weight. Or something.
The bars are part of a weight distribution/antisway setup that is an add-on to the tongue of the trailer. Weight distribution improves handling & safety of your truck by transferring some of the tongue weight off the rear axle and sharing that with the front axle. Antisway is ... well antisway is just vital. Fortunately both functions are accomplished by just this one piece of equipment. Good brands are Equal-I-Zer and Reese Dual Cam.

The hitch bar that goes into the truck receiver is part of the weight distribution/antisway package and you don't have to purchase a separate one. That hitch bar will take a ball with a high capacity, large diameter shank (10,000 pound rating is common). Balls for any Airstream in the last 40 years would be 2 5/16".
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:12 PM   #9
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A 2002 GMC Sonoma Ext cab 4X4
with a 4.3 V6 and automatic tranny will get you a 5500 #'s tow rating.

Crew cab, 4 cylinder, manual tranny, different axle ratio will change the above tow ratings.

Do not use the bumper hitch except for the smallest of small trailers.

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Old 12-31-2008, 08:35 AM   #10
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Good stuff to know!

Maybe I ought to be a little more specific; I'm looking for a lightweight trailer that can be used in lieu of having to stay at a hotel.

Since I'm working at a lot of out-of-state power plants, when they shut down for refit/refuel cycles, and paying $1500 a month for a torn-up hotel room on the ass end of Orange County CA was NOT cutting it, I decided I'd need a trailer.

We work usually 6-12 hour days a week, so it'll mostly be used for crashing out after work for a couple hours of sleep.

When I was but a babe we (Mum and da and us three kids) all lived in a little 17' trailer we pulled behind an 1981 Oldsmobile 88.

As for trailer weight, there won't be much; we go from job site to job site and almost all of these plants have a campground / trailer parking area thing within 30 minutes or less of drive time, and 95% of those places have full hookups, so there won't be a huge need for a big water tank or such.
Really, it's just the two people, our work clothes and my laptop. No grill or stuff like that. I'd say very likely less than 120lbs of stuff each, probably much more like 75lbs / person.

Dad always had a special place in his heart for airstream trailers, and I think he and mom had one decades ago before they had kids.


Anyways, it looks like I'll have to install a class 3 hitch, which shouldn't be a problem. Also, the trailer cable is a 4-pin, so I'll have to fix that, and get a brake controler.

Airhog I see you're in Arkansas, are you terribly far away from Russleville? I was out that way this last March.

Also, do you have a number or something where I could talk to a somebody down there and get some suggestions or help with this project, and possibly a price quote?
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