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Old 08-12-2002, 09:09 PM   #29
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Jack,
You hit the nail on the head. A car salesman will talk you into a car that you may not even need because, like all of us, he has to eat. Not all car salesmen are like this but some are. An Airstream dealer has a sale that is even tougher. He has to sell you the Airstream you want and match it to your car/truck. He has the choice of either talking you into a smaller Airstream appropriate to your current vehicle or selling what you want and telling you that you will need a larger/better equipped vehicle. How many of us want to go in to buy our dream and find that we have to upgrade our vehicle? I've known some happy and helpful car salesmen but then on the other hand I have seen some who looked like they have missed a few meals. I'm not trying to stereo here but look at human nature as some do.
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Old 08-13-2002, 01:11 PM   #30
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Exclamation Towing 23ft Safari

Can anyone tell me a good vehicle to tow this safari
I have a chevy venture but its only rated for 2000lbs

I wouldnt tow a crab line let alone a trailer.

the weight is 3500llbs tongue weight i think around 300lbs.

I was thinking of a safari van or astro?

Scotti
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Old 08-13-2002, 02:05 PM   #31
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Question Safari weight?

Is that the empty weight or the maximum loaded weight of the trailer? Base your tow vehicle choice on the gross weight of the trailer.

IMHO, you should take the maximum weight of the trailer times 4 divided by 3 and look for a tow vehicle with a tow rating of at least that number. This is known as the 75% rule of thumb and it assures decent performance at any altitude or grade.

You can tow with less than that, but trailering is supposed to be fun and I'll personally vouch for the fact that an insufficient tow vehicle is not fun.
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Old 08-13-2002, 02:16 PM   #32
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towing

Thanks Pakasha

I think I will go with the astro or an old surburban.

I towed the safari for 10 hours on friday in a ford e-150 cargo van
I am thankful the weather was good and no wind.
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Old 08-13-2002, 02:39 PM   #33
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Scotti,

I have a 1973 23ft. Safari and a 96 Astro Van. I would never let the two near each other. My Astro brakes get overworked with a full load of 8 people. It has a strong V6 but I would not feel comfortable using it for towing anything bigger than a tent trailer. My friend just bought a used 24' trailer and towed it with a 318 Dodge Dakota. He is already talking about getting a bigger rig. He says he has a hard time seeing around the trailer with his smaller pickup. I don't know why people (and I'm including myself) are so fixed on engine size. Every RV accident I have come across has been due to the inability to control the trailer and rig in an emergency situation (the 75% rule sounds reasonable to me). As far as dealers vs. experienced Airstreamers go, I would always side with the advise from people who have been through it all and have learned the hard way. They have nothing to gain but knowing their families will be safe on the road. Keep up the good work guys, this forum is great.

Larry
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Old 08-13-2002, 04:51 PM   #34
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Larry,
Just to chime in I had a '91 Astro EXT that was a real stump puller. It had a premium gas V6 and a 4.10 rear end. Towing capacity was 6,000 lbs. I pulled a 28' travel trailer with it for about 4 years.

The stability was marginal and even though I had good sway equipment and great towing power, it was a chore... Watching for semi's, dealing with wind gusts. As far as I was concerned that trailer was a big sail. I never felt out of control but I disliked the way I felt after driving 300-400 miles...just whipped.

I traded the Astro for a full sized Chevy Express van. Funny thing I only gained 500 lbs. towing capacity over the Astro but I couldn't get over how much stability I gained.

I gained another level of towing comfort by moving to the Airstream. It just sits back there and follows along. There is a difference.

I'll echo the comments even though it will pull it, you can't substitute capacity for wheel base and tow vehicle weight.

Jack
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Old 08-13-2002, 08:48 PM   #35
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Red face Towing with windstar

GAD,Sounda like WW111 out there.
Met a Canadian couple in Texas Last year towing a 35 foot!!!!!! AS with a Winstar outfitted with a humungis hitch installed for $900 by, you guessed it Can-Am. [Not the first one, either] Featured them in their quarterly AD. Would I do it?? NEVER. Obviously for all the reasons given here. And I'll add one more. What will you tell the Court when you are sued for negligent homicide for that accident waiting to happen. You are fault. It's like driving without a licence. Ford says that vehicle can tow only so much and no more. I planned 2 years ago to tow a heavier trailer than my pop-up. My friends in Texas all have F250 diesels and tow heavy 5th wheelers. I wanted a truck that would pull either a 5th wheel or a trailer or a slide in and get good mileage!!! And not have to trade up later to pull heavy loads. Actually the SRW drive can't handle a large slide in!! Some weigh 5000#. You need a daully. Waited and found a nearly new F-250 SD, SC long bed. The price was right. I pull a 27' Int. Overkill??? Yes. Will I need it in the future. We'll see. Now I can pull 10k or a 20k 5th wheel. Try FORD DIESEL.COM for one if so inclined. Got mine elsewhere. Good luck. [ You are right jcanevara: wheel base makes a big difference!!] .
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Old 08-14-2002, 01:09 PM   #36
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niftypkg,
I don't have a single problem towing my '77 Excella 31' that weighs over 6000 lbs. and max wt. of 8100 lbs with my '01 Chevy 2500hd. It does not wander over the road and is actually rated a Single wheel 1 ton rather than a 3/4 ton. I had a Ford F-350 SRW pass me the other day and I don't think he would have any problem pulling my trailer either. Yes, they say that dual rear wheel add more weight carrying ability and add stability but it is not a problem in my case.
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Old 08-14-2002, 09:19 PM   #37
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Windstar

Davidz71, 0nly mentioning that the cargo capacity of the Diesel F250 SWD is less than the weight of many big slide in campers, some weigh in at over 4000# I would have to go to DRW to carry that. The F250 is rated to pull a trailer 10000#. I believe the reason CAN-AM is recommending these mini vans is because the heavier trucks are hard to get in Canada and tres' expensive.
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Old 08-15-2002, 06:37 PM   #38
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niftypkg,
When you mentioned slide-in campers I was thinking of some of the new Airstreams and other makers which are offering slide-outs. I guess I got the optical nerve to my brain twisted. Yes, I have seen the advertisements on RV Today of Lance campers. A tall slide-in that was heavy would definately be sturdier with dual rear wheels. Thanks for setting me straight. I'm going back into my Airstream now.
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Old 08-15-2002, 09:00 PM   #39
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Talking Winstar

davidz, The cargo capacity of the F250 SWD is only about 3500#. The diesel weighs alot. Only way to increase cargo capacity is to go daully. An 11' lance can weigh in about 50OO#. YOU WILL NEED A DAULLY FOR THAT OR BE OVERLOADED!!! But daullys can cause problems in the snow. Seems snow builds up in between the tires. Catch 22!! Can't win.
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Old 08-16-2002, 07:26 AM   #40
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windstar

There is a lot of good info here in this thread about tow capacities, it is too bad it is listed under the pitfalls of a windstar as a tow vehicle.
I understand about how vehicle weight, engine size and rear end ratios make a difference in tow capacity. All of seem to be compiled by the manufacturer to determine a published max tow weight. My question is; where is a chart that will show the effects of wheel base as it applies to tow capaity? Maybe one does not exist. My problem is, I will need a new tow vehicle in a couple of years. I will need to research what is the max tow weight verses wheel base. I can't get too extreme in length just to increase tow capacity. I need to comprimise someplace. I brought home a great looking truck with all the features I desired, but it was too long to fit in my garage. Any help would be appreciated.

Brian
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Old 08-16-2002, 08:35 AM   #41
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Questionable

fdx753

I doubt whether the wheelbase vs tow capacity chart that you request exists or is even feasible. There are so many other factors that affect towing stability such as:

the weight distribution of the tow vehicle without trailer

the overhang from the rear wheels to the hitch ball

the tread width of the tow vehicle

the comparitive weights of tow vehicle and trailer

the trailer length

the tongue weight percentage of the trailer

dual vs single axle trailer

the sail area of the trailer

the sail area of the trailer in relation to trailer wheel placement

the hitch

sway equipment

and on and on.

In general extended cab pickups, Suburbans, Excursions, and the like have been adequate for the largest Airstreams given proper towing equipment and will fit in most any garage.
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Old 08-20-2002, 10:28 PM   #42
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Smile V6 front wheel drive

Bottom Line

Can Am the large "Airstream" dealer in Canada has been testing successfully and recommending front wheel drive V6, V8 tow vehicles for almost 20 years. They have set up hundreds and they have gone mega miles. Technology, materials, and quality now advanced in the vehicles of the 21st century have surely surpassed the "old school thinking" that weight and horsepower is the only consideration when selecting a tow vehicle. In fact many big heavy mamouth vehicles do not make a good tow vehicle even though the "factory tow rating" is high.

I have a 1973, 23ft Safari and pull it with a 1993 Nissan Quest mini van. The van weighs 4200 lbs. The combination is a dream to drive and very stable on any road or weather condition here in Canada. Before you "knock" the new age way of thinking TRY IT! You may be surprised.

Oh yes... Can Am does support the idea of Windstars pulling 34 ft Airstreams.
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