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Old 11-14-2006, 09:46 AM   #1
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Mazda B4000

I am looking for a 25' trailer either Safari or International. I am wondered if my Mazda B4000, 4x4 with manual shift is capable to tow it. Anybody has experience with Mazda B4000 or Ford Range? I have searched www.airstream.com but could not find any related article. Please help. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:02 AM   #2
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Welcome Ron-

If you go to the Mazda website they state that the max. tow rating of the B4000 is 3100#. A Safari 25 or the International 25FB average 5210#. That pretty much puts the Mazda B4000 out of the running. In addition to tow weights, there are a lot of other things to consider when selecting a TV. There is some really great information under the towing treads of this forum.

Welcome to the group and keep us posted.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:40 AM   #3
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I am interested in Airstream after viewing a video. It is about to compare between a 30' Airstream with another camp trailer for handling. They both towed by a Chrysler Interprid. Also in the RV show, they demostrate a Hemi Charger with a 34' Classic. Both vehicles have less towing capacity than my B4000. I am pretty confused now. Please help.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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The place with the Intrepids is in Canada. One reason not to go this route is, at least in our state, the tow vehicle is required to be able to stop the entire rig without using trailer brakes. I cannot in my wildest dreams envision an Intrepid stopping a 34' Excella in anything shorter than a city block or more.
I towed an Argosy 20 (3500 pounds) with a Ford Ranger, 4.0 V6, and a 5 speed manual tranmsmission. It struggled mightily to keep up anything like a highway speed (53-55 mph was about it), and was not a fun experience.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:03 PM   #5
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Confussed

Ron-

I did not see the show you are refering to, but trust me, what they showed was not a good test in real life. I personaly can't imagine a Classic 34' being towed by a hemi charger. They must have been trying to make a point with smoke and morrors! the height of the car, weight of the car, suspension of the car etc. are NOT up to the challenge. Give the setup 10 miles in NE and it would be scrape! Ron, numbers don't lie.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:36 PM   #6
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Thank's a lot. Since my Mazda is leased and will be expired soon. In the situation, I prefer looking for something bigger to buy the B4000 back.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:51 PM   #7
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Oh, yeah, that guy has been setting people up like this for years. His position on such matters is not "warmly embraced", (shall we say?) by most posters here.
I don't claim to support his ideas, either, but I think the basic idea is this: those cars are much more powerfull than they look. They're aerodynamic, and light, so they don't have to expend 3/4 of their power just to move themselves, so they have more available power for towing the load. They have long wheelbases. (for a car, anyway). They're rigged with Hensley arrow hitches, which eliminate sway, which overcomes the problem of the trailer being so much heavier than the tow vehicle. The trailer can stop itself with its own brakes.
(I will add, from my own experience driving heavy trucks, that nothing is going to stop a 10K lb towed load on its own in a "safe" distance...short of a Mack tractor. I've carried >10k lb payload in straight trucks, and the difference in braking empty vs. loaded is huge).

Seeing the Intrepid hauling the 34 footer around does look like a magic trick. But the Charger makes a whole lot more sense to me; its got a hugely powerful engine...the same they put in their trucks.

what I don't get: to what does one attach a receiver, on a unibody automobile? there ain't nuthin' under there but sheet metal. That, too, must be a lot stronger than it looks. I imagine hooking up, and stepping on the gas...the weight of the trailer would be pulling aft on those bolts, and it would just peel the underside of the car open like a can opener.

anyway, both of those vehicles probably have a lot more power than a B4000, "ratings" aside.

They have a lot less problem with this sort of thing "north of the border". for one thing, I bet that attitudes change drastically when gas is 4 or 5 bucks/gallon. But I suspect that many of our Canadian friends just quietly go on about their business, towing happily with "more economical" vehicles, and just don't bring it up much around here. Kinda like Arnold having Thanksgiving dinner with the Kennedys...
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:56 PM   #8
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PT Barnum said it best........

I agree...do yourself a favor and put that video straight out of your mind, as if it never existed. Following best practices would mean that a minimum of a *real* 1/2 ton pickup, with a good wheelbase. Of course, I'd opt for and did opt for a 3/4 ton which upgrades typically the hubs, the trans and engine.

I barely know our 25' is back there.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:59 PM   #9
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There are tons of post on this forum about under sized tow vehicles and questions about new or potential owner's existing tow vehicles being adequate to tow an Airstream and they all end up the same. You need enough tow vehicle to properly handle an Airstream or you won't be happy until you get one that is. Just because some one video tapes a smallish vehicle towing a large trailer doesn't mean it is a good thing...for the vehicle, trailer, or, more importantly, the occupants of the tow vehicle in an emergency. Either wait until you turn your Mazda B4000 in to get a proper tow vehicle to get an Airstream or, on the few occassions you might go camping until then, rent one for the duration of the trip.
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Old 11-14-2006, 06:34 PM   #10
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Anything can pull a trailer...sort of...
http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/sports/Trailer_Pull/
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:42 PM   #11
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Overlander63, I've looked for that video every time I see questions about too small of a tow vehicle! Now I have it bookmarked in my Favorites.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronhon
I am interested in Airstream after viewing a video. It is about to compare between a 30' Airstream with another camp trailer for handling. They both towed by a Chrysler Interprid. Also in the RV show, they demostrate a Hemi Charger with a 34' Classic. Both vehicles have less towing capacity than my B4000. I am pretty confused now. Please help.
That display would have belonged to Can Am RV. If you are interested in a new Airstream, you need to contact Andy Thomson at Can Am, since that's the closest Airstream dealer anyway. You might want to visit. He will help you assess your B4000 (aka Ford Ranger). I expect he will give you much the same answer as you've already gotten here, albeit for slightly different reasons (high centre of gravity, general lack of stability, etc.) You can test drive a combination if you want. A 300C with a trailer (usually an Airstream) is generally parked out front. If a 34' is connected, it will have a Hensley Arrow hitch. However, I've seen a substantial Forest River Surveyor connected with a conventional hitch.

Hensleys are recommended for combinations that would be unstable without them. SUVs are more likely to receive this recommendation. I'd guess Hensleys are also an easy sell to someone buying a high-end new Airstream, because the extra cost becomes a minor issue.

If you decide that towing with a car is not for you, and you want to tow within manufacturer's recommendations, he will help you with that too. He knows trucks as well as cars (they sell plenty of fifth wheels too). From my experience with him, he's not going to debate your choice but work to ensure that it's going to be the best that it can be. He (or his brother) test drives every combination that leaves their yard. These runs include quick lane changes at 60 mph plus.

The video of the Renault R5 (LeCar) towing the caravan is always good for a chuckle. The main problems - a failing (overheating? blown head gasket?) engine combined with surge brakes on the trailer that were useless going backwards, plus a driver who obviously panicked. That car, even with a 1.4 litre engine, should have had enough torque in 1st gear to pull a 2500 to 3000 lb trailer up a 7 or 8% grade.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:42 PM   #13
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I suppose you can bolt on all kinds of hitches and equipment to tow with just about any absurd vehical you want ,granted that someone will help you to do it .The hensely hitch wasn't designed to make an unsafe TV safe or to cover
up a poorley matched TV and thats what is being done .The hitch is to provide good safe towing all around ,to make towing easier without the white knuckles .The Renault has no business towing anything .the smoking engine ,
lack of power by nature ,and the fact it can't stop the trailer from pulling it
down the hill and the fact that sombody will be killed is just stupid .There is more to towing a load and gear ratio isn't the whole thing .the engine needs
to make enough torque to provide the power thats needed .In addition to the fact that the whole drivetrain is not capable of the extreme load on it .The gears in the transmission and the cooling system and axles ,bearings are all
severly overloaded ,overheated and clearly are not designed for any kind
of loads such as this. The driver is not to blame except he was stupid to even try this and put others lives at risk ,yeah, he panicked alright as he was
on his way to the promised land.

Scott
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:25 AM   #14
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A comparable new Renault with a 1.2 litre engine (check out the UK website) has a tow rating (a legal limit in the EU) of 1200 kg (about 2,650 lbs). These tow ratings are typically based on startability on a 12% grade. You can imagine that an engine that size would only be good for 50 mph or so, but for some people in Europe, that's OK. I really don't know about highway stability, though.

That European caravan might look large, it was probably under 3,000 lbs.

The car in the video was a neglected, worn out piece of junk, perhaps with defective brakes. The engine quit, the driver couldn't re-start it, and in the process neglected to use the brakes (clutch, gas, brake . . . and only two feet). That appears to be the sequence of events that led to the accident. To compound the problem, the European surge brake system on the trailer would have been entirely useless going backward.
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