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Old 05-12-2010, 09:25 AM   #15
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We tow our 2004 30' Classic with a 2001 Ford F350 Dually w/7.3 Diesel and towed our 2000 30' AS Excella with the same TV. The Dually may use a little more fuel but you can't beat the way it tows and holds the road. For my money I would repeat this same TV if I were to buy a 34' Airstream so I am pleased with all the possibilities offered with having a Diesel Dually.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:34 AM   #16
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My vehicle of choice - 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax Diesel:



We tow our 28' Safari with no problems what-so-ever. It was an extremely long process for us to decide on a 3/4 ton diesel, but I would not change one thing about our decision. IMO I would not consider anything less than a 3/4 for your length of trailer. Good luck in your search!

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Old 05-12-2010, 10:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Airstream01 View Post
Any 3/4 ton or larger truck or van should do the job. Some better than others. A 30 footer isn't half ton territory in my opinion. Check out this thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ngs-56634.html to see what I mean.
There are a few Folks that will try to deny/dismiss these events. There are many threads here detailing horrific accidents due to out of control sway incidents...almost always involving a 1/2 ton (or lesser vehicle) with too much trailer behind it. Just because you "can" tow with something...doesn't mean you "should".

Accidents happen to all kinds of Folks in all kinds of situations. I'll put the odds in my Family's favor.
Our Excella weighs in ~ 7000# locked and loaded (full h2O included...we like to hydrate, cook and shower when we camp), about as heavy as AS's get (Excella's, Classics are the heavy weights). throw some kayaks on the roof, some firewood in the bed, some bikes on the front...now you are HEAVY. I don't know too many Folks who travel stripped down.

Our TV weighs in at 8100# with me and a full tank. More than enough to outweigh the heaviest AS and assorted junk most Folks take along. This is how you want to travel; the TV in charge of the trailer.
Period.

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Old 05-12-2010, 12:02 PM   #18
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Our Excella weighs in ~ 7000# locked and loaded. HEAVY.

Our TV weighs in at 8100# with me and a full tank.

Bill
I really enjoy reading and observing what other Airstream's are doing. Lots of variety of needs, wants, vehicles, connection hardware etc.

As Bill has noted towing a 25' Airstream his rig weighs over 15,000lbs. As he reported, that is a lot of weight.

We chose to go down the road with less weight, much less weight. Our Airstream (actually 24') /tv rig, road ready weights less than 9,000lbs.

6,000lbs less weight is a huge difference. Isn't that the weight of a full sized pick up!!!

Different strokes for different folks. We are all happy campers.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:41 PM   #19
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Road Ruler, I should have been more clear. I wasn't knocking Nissan as my point. It was that the lighter vehicles towing at their maximum capacity might not be as safe and certainly wouldn't be much fun pulling grades. Since I live on the west coast, almost any direction I go has to be through some mountain range. My F350 diesel has no problem with that. I looked at the Nissan Armada (nice SUV) but the maximum towing capacity was 9000 lbs. My AS weighs in at 8900 lbs. I think it would have been a strain. And no, they wouldn't let me try towing my trailer. You should have seen the look on their faces when I asked.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:34 PM   #20
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No piece of equipment should be regularly operated at it's maximum rating for an extended period of time. This is as true for tow vehicles as it is for pumps. That said, I have noted that in the race to be "best in class" for towing all of the trucks have been bulking up like they are on steroids! I parked my 2009 F150 next to my friends older F250 the other day. Guess which one was larger......you got it, my newer F150.

When towing my 34' AS with my "half ton" (max payload 17300#), I have an approx 20% margin under my max tow weight of 11,300#.

I don't think the blanket classification of half-ton, three quarter-ton, etc. are very accurate any longer.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:07 PM   #21
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Suburbans have a longer wheelbase than Tahoe, Yukon, and Escalade.
Yukon XL has the same wheel base as a Chevrolet Suburban....it's just the GMC version. The Escalade also comes in two versions, long and short wheel base.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:19 PM   #22
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I tow a 30' Classic....currently, with a GMC Yukon XL with the 8.1 (no longer in production), which I love. However, if I were going to buy a new (or used) vehicle today to tow my silver behemoth, it would be a Chevrolet/GMC 2500 (or 3500) Duramax Diesel.

The convenience of the Suburban/Yukon XL is wonderful, but the Duramax is a superior vehicle for towing.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:33 PM   #23
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No piece of equipment should be regularly operated at it's maximum rating for an extended period of time. This is as true for tow vehicles as it is for pumps. That said, I have noted that in the race to be "best in class" for towing all of the trucks have been bulking up like they are on steroids! I parked my 2009 F150 next to my friends older F250 the other day. Guess which one was larger......you got it, my newer F150.

When towing my 34' AS with my "half ton" (max payload 17300#), I have an approx 20% margin under my max tow weight of 11,300#.

I don't think the blanket classification of half-ton, three quarter-ton, etc. are very accurate any longer.
By "bigger", do you mean the body is bigger? That may be, but the important stuff, like chassis, suspension, brakes, axles, wheels, and tires, are not rated to carry the same weight, or tow the same.

Neither is the 5.4 Liter gasser capable of towing any where near what the Ford 7.3 Diesel will. If you don't believe it, hook that sucker up and give it a tow across the Rockies. THAT will show the weaknesses of the 1/2 ton.

The current towing ratings of the Ford F150 are exactly what I was talking about when I said "manufacturer's engineer bowing to the marketing department". It may sell trucks, but that don't mean they will really do it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:04 PM   #24
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By bigger, I meant in all dimensions. Size of body, as well as larger wheels, beefier suspension, higher horsepower, and torque.

I am NOT trying to say that my 5.4 gas engine will outpull a diesel engine.

What I AM trying to articulate is that the blanket statement of five years ago that a F250 is the smallest truck you would want to tow with has changed. Primarily because today's F150 is equal to or better that the F250 of old. I haven't looked at the numbers, but today's F250 diesel may equal or exceed yesterday's F350 etc.

While it is easy to continue following the wisdom of previous days, one must keep an eye on the current design and engineering which constantly strives to improve the capabilities of the products produced.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:57 PM   #25
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Sounds like you've bought Ford's story hook, line, and sinker.

Just do one thing when you get a chance....compare the GVWR on both trucks. It's on the sticker in the door frame.

Oh, and good luck.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:11 PM   #26
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The Ford line was an example. I haven't studied GM or Dodge, but I expect the same is true since they are following the same playbook. It is very reminiscent of the hp wars in the late 60's.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:17 PM   #27
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Jammer - I must tell you that you clearly didn't check "hitch weight capacity" when you made this list. Half those vehicles won't work when you take this into consideration. I just went through this with my purchase of a 28 foot Serenity a month ago....
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:00 PM   #28
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Here's my .02 cents...

We looked at Ford, Chevy and Dodge as a new tow rig for our 28' Safari, as well as towing our open car trailer when not towing the A/S. After some research we decided to go with a fully loaded 2010 Chevy Duramax 4x4 diesel. The Dodge 2500 would be our second choice. Well, when we went to the Chevy dealer that had what we were looking for in stock, he said it was being held for a repeat customer who was trying to get creative financing? even though good credit got you 0%, ie. us!
So we walked away, and glad we did!

We bought a Dodge 2500 Cummins diesel 4x4. Dodge met the California "new" smog requirements 2 years ago, Chevy Duramax is doing another engine change in 2011 that the dealers could only explain as "looking to meet the new smog req. in Ca." We got a fully loaded Dodge and then some for less then we could neg. on the Chevy.

The 2010 Dodge also has a built in "exhaust brake". Push a button on the dash and a valve closes off the some of the exhaust and helps retard the engine, thus slowing it down on downhills, flat land etc. and saving your brakes. We bought it in Mar. and have logged 3K since then. I've towed our open car trailer with our race car (weighs more than the A/S) and we've taken the A/S to the Calif. coast (Bodega Bay) a few weeks ago, It towes great!

I had a 96 1500 Dodge that I logged 160K in towing another car trailer. I replaced the Alt., 3 sets of brake pads and the tires and batteries both twice. I always did my own maintence, Mobil 1, splitfire plugs etc. and it ran like a champ.

The Dodge replaces our Chevy Tahoe. We also own a Ford another Chevy and a Honda, so were not bias. The Tahoe was not enough for the 28' A/S in the hills. And we were always traveling with empty tanks if any hills were involved, so a change was in store for us. Were leaving tomorrow morning for a 900mi. r/t to Long Beach, Ca. If your on "I-5", you'll see us. We'll wave back!
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