Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-08-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
New Member
1971 23' Safari
london , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4
lincoln town car tow car


Anybody know anything about towing with a Lincoln Town as a tow-vehicle? Last year, I pulled a 24' Argosy and this year it'll be matched to a 71' Safari. My main question is re the airsuspension and hooking the trailer up.

Rick WBCCI 13454

rick myer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2010, 10:35 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Jim Foster's Avatar
1965 17' Caravel
1983 27' Excella
Walnut Grove/Laguna Woods , California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,598
Send a message via Yahoo to Jim Foster
Bill Kerfoot tows with a 1977 Lincoln. He may be of some help.
Airstream Forums - View Profile: wkerfoot

Past President, El Camino Real Unit WBCCI#6620
Street Rod Builder (see avatar)
Kite flier (check out links below)
Jim Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Road Ruler's Avatar
1973 23' Safari
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,336
Images: 39
Hey there Rick. My sis had a the 2 door Lincoln with the air suspension. She didn't tow with the car but spent thousands on repairs with regards to the air susp,

There is a company that builds a kit that replaces the air suspension with I believe coil overs. Apparently an inexpensive way of getting around the high cost air susp repairs.

I once read that the air suspension on the older Expeditions was very difficult to set up with the use of a WDH and they found the only way to get it working right was to use a Hensley. This was info from Can Am. By the way you are in London. Why not venture over there and see what they have to say. I would guess they have set up a number of Lincolns for towing Airstreams.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2010, 11:28 AM   #4
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
rluhr's Avatar
1968 17' Caravel
2005 30' Safari
Somewhere , roaming America
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,090
Images: 39
I can't speak about the Lincoln air suspension, but can give you some info about hitching up with the air suspension we have (on a MB GL320). Ours is fully automatic, meaning that the computer will try to level up the vehicle no matter what load is in it, and it cannot be turned off.

We started by weighing the tow vehicle with our normal passenger and fuel load (full tank, three passengers). This gave us a baseline weight for each axle.

Initial hitch setting is done with the engine off and the suspension in the normal driving position. We measured the corners of the vehicle before and after hitching, and adjusted the hitch until the vehicle "drop" was approximately equal. This is standard practice for weight-distributing hitches.

Then we started the car and let the air suspension level the vehicle. Next step was to take the rig to the truck scale again to get new weights for the axles. These were compared to the Gross Axle Weight Ratings and the "normal" weight ratings taken earlier. We adjusted the hitch again slightly to optimize the axle balance, and then we were done.

Later we took the vehicle to Can-Am RV to have the hitch strengthened (I've seen too many cracked OEM hitches!) and optimize the Hensley a little further.

There is a myth out there that air suspensions "destroy" the weight distributing ability of a hitch. That is untrue in regards to a modern computer-controlled 4-wheel air suspension. It may be historical knowledge from the days when people would put stiff air bags on the rear suspension, to "level the vehicle." That practice can disguise an unbalanced load and potential handling problems.

With any air suspension, you need to weigh the setup to know for sure what load you are putting on the tow vehicle axles, since you can't just "eyeball" or measure the way the vehicle sits. A modern air suspension will level up the vehicle regardless of how unbalanced the load is, and this can lead to a false sense of security.

A '71 Safari or any 1970's Argosy 24 have about the same tongue weight. Expect at least 600 lbs, and possibly as much as 800 lbs. That's a significant amount of tongue weight, so take your time and set your hitch correctly.

You should definitely read the article in the Spring 2010 issue of Airstream Life by Andy Thomson about hitching. In my travels I see more incorrectly hitched vehicles than correctly hitched vehicles, and for that reason we're running a series of articles on this very topic.
Former full-timer | AIRSTREAM LIFE magazine | Tour of America (old blog) | Man In The Maze (current blog)

rluhr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
Andrew T's Avatar
2008 34' Classic
1960 17' Pacer
London , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 784
Hi Rick

The Town Car suspension can work fine. With any larger Airstream you definitely want a Hensley. If you change the tires sometime a stiffer sidewall works quite a bit better.

Once you get hooked up bring it by and I can let you know pretty quickly if it is set up right and I can show you how to preload the air suspension before you connect.

Andrew T
Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot
Andrew T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2010, 03:42 PM   #6
New Member
1971 23' Safari
london , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4
lincoln town car tow car


Need info re using Lincoln Town Car @ Lincoln Tow Car. It's a '99 with touring sedan option and air suspension.

rick myer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2010, 06:33 PM   #7
Rivet Master
wkerfoot's Avatar
1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
Orange , California
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by rick myer View Post

Need info re using Lincoln Town Car @ Lincoln Tow Car. It's a '99 with touring sedan option and air suspension.


Then my information would not be of any use to you. I have a 1977 Town Car or as a friend of mine says "Townhouse". I have air shocks to start with a level vehicle and a Reese trunnion style hitch with 1000 bars.

Bill Kerfoot, WBCCI/VAC/CAC/El Camino Real Unit #5223
Just my personal opinion
1973 Dodge W200 PowerWagon, 1977 Lincoln Continental, 2014 Dodge Durango
1979 23' Safari, and 1954 29' Double Door Liner Orange, CA
wkerfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 04:26 AM   #8
New Member
1971 23' Safari
london , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4
I've towed a 24'Argosy last summer. I hooked it up with the bags full and the car seemed to compensate. Some of the responses have been more to mechanical for me, So far so good. (I hope it stays that way.)

rick myer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 04:40 PM   #9
Vintage Kin
slowmover's Avatar
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6,277
Images: 1
The rear overhang is quite long (measurement from drive axle center to hitch ball), the motor has to wind up a good ways in rpm to get the weight moving, and, a '99 does not have the improved brakes, steering and suspension of 2003 and later models.

That said, the platform should work out. I second or third or thirtieth going over to Can Am to set it up. I'd follow the recommendations on tires/wheels and shocks that'll be provided. IMO, a sway-eliminating hitch is always best.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2010, 05:01 AM   #10
New Member
1971 23' Safari
london , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4
town car/tow car


It's has the optional touring package, (i.e. heavy duty suspension, computer, larger rims and factory dual exhaust.) On the road the three times I've towed, (approximately 800 miles) it pulled like a locomotive and only downshifted once. (It's got o/d as well.). Modular engine with 220hp but almost 300 foot pounds of torque.

rick myer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2010, 05:30 AM   #11
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
Minnie's Mate's Avatar
2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
If your Lincoln has uni-body construction (IIRC, it does if current body style) it will need a special hitch or hitch modification. The factory tow capacity, again IIRC, is about 800#. I'd venture over to Can-Am and get it set up so that there would be no damage to the body/under body or accidents involving hitch separation/trailer separation. That wouldn't be much fun at all.

2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
Family of Disney Fanatics
WBCCI# 4821
Minnie's Mate is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What car do you tow? classic310 Classic Motorhomes 14 12-30-2008 07:47 AM
Car Will Not Fit On Car Dolly! Chaplain Kent General Motorhome Topics 7 11-08-2006 04:46 PM
Need info on a 1978 Lincoln Town Car Davis Tow Vehicles 11 09-23-2006 10:55 AM
'69 deville tow car fermante Tow Vehicles 14 01-21-2005 10:49 AM
Perfect tow car ALANSD Airstream Motorhome Forums 3 10-11-2002 01:04 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.