Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-05-2014, 07:33 AM   #1
Pam
Rivet Master
 
Pam's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
1968 24' Tradewind
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,060
MHO to Trailer Quest for a Tow Vehicle

We've made the change from the motorhome to the travel trailers. We are working on the '68 Tradewind with an ETA on completion in April. The '67 Caravel will follow. I have never towed before! This seems a bit daunting, but I am sure I can learn.

I am on a quest for a used tow vehicle. Towing capacity should be about 6,000lbs to cover our needs. Should it be vintage, or 10 year old vehicle? Any suggestions for what I should look at? Suburban, Denali, Durango, Sierra, Silverado?

All suggestions will be helpful.
__________________

__________________
Planning the next trip....



New England Unit....in Fun, Fellowship and Adventure.
Pam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 07:46 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
Airstream's are very easy to tow.

Do you currently own a vehicle now? If so what is it?
__________________

__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 07:54 AM   #3
Pam
Rivet Master
 
Pam's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
1968 24' Tradewind
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,060
Current cars can't tow.

Hi, our current cars are BMW 3 Series. I sold my Jeep Wrangler a few months ago in preparation to getting something heavier.

2001 330 CIC convertible
2009 335D Diesel
__________________
Planning the next trip....



New England Unit....in Fun, Fellowship and Adventure.
Pam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 08:08 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
andreasduess's Avatar
 
1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,496
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 1
A 1968 Tradewind weighs less than 4000lbs. Many vehicles will safely tow that, including many SUVs and even sedans.

Have you looked as the Ford Flex? Spacious, and excellent towing manners.
__________________
andreasduess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 08:43 AM   #5
Pam
Rivet Master
 
Pam's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
1968 24' Tradewind
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,060
Tradewind weight

I will have to check on the weight. I thought the Tradewind is under 4K lbs. We have modified and added tanks, which could add 350lbs if the tanks were full for some reason and couldn't dump. We also tend to be the "over packers". We rounded up to 5K just in case. Does that make any sense.

The Ford Flex sounds like an option. I would love to have it with the wood detail siding....ala Woodie.
__________________
Planning the next trip....



New England Unit....in Fun, Fellowship and Adventure.
Pam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
Top
Always learning
 
Top's Avatar
 
1972 29' Ambassador
1962 19' Globetrotter
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Central , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,779
Images: 24
Blog Entries: 2
Send a message via Yahoo to Top
Vintage, of course! But don't count out the BMW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam View Post
We've made the change from the motorhome to the travel trailers. We are working on the '68 Tradewind with an ETA on completion in April. The '67 Caravel will follow. I have never towed before! This seems a bit daunting, but I am sure I can learn.

I am on a quest for a used tow vehicle. Towing capacity should be about 6,000lbs to cover our needs. Should it be vintage, or 10 year old vehicle? Any suggestions for what I should look at? Suburban, Denali, Durango, Sierra, Silverado?

All suggestions will be helpful.
Hi Pam,
Late sixties Airstreams are very light. Even after modifications to make them more useful, like gray tanks etc. To know exactly what your trailers weigh, you must weigh them at a scale. Either a truck stop or farmer's CO-OP. It is possible to estimate the weight, but nothing replaces a scale ticket.
Everyone here will tell you what THEY would do if THEY were you. You have to temper that with what you feel most comfortable with. There are many things to consider when choosing a tow vehicle. Things like, how much "stuff" do you take camping normally. Things like, bikes, generators, firewood, lanterns, groceries, pets, people and on and on. The more "stuff" you take increases the necessary towing/payload requirements. Consider other things like cost, vehicle use when not towing, seating capacity etc.
If I were you, I'd tow the Caravel with the 335d. They are regularly used for towing in Europe. (the smaller 320d more so) For some reason, on this side of the pond we seem to have lost sight of practical use of cars for towing. You can read about small sedan towing, and the endless argument about it, on many threads here, as well as on the BMW forums. Since I'm a BMW guy, I'd look for a nice, slightly used 5er touring with a manual, gas or diesel, to tow and use as a daily driver. Also, the X5 is a capable tow vehicle.
The TW is a bit bigger, so if you want a vintage TV, I'd recommend a nice 66-70 station wagon, Suburban or pick-up. That won't be a very good towing experience, however. I tow a 72 Ambassador with a Chevy C20 pickup. It is not a comfortable ride, but everything has tradeoffs. Towing safely with a vintage TV will require modifications and updates, like power disc brakes, better tire/rim selection, suspension mods and on and on.
There are plenty of 10 year old SUVs and pick up trucks that will more than suit your needs. The Suburban is very popular for towing. Our normal tow vehicle is a 2002 Toyota Sequoia. Great vehicle. Used Sequoias are pretty inexpensive.
Since you have never towed before, I'd recommend that you read every thing you can about towing a trailer. There are many articles on towing written by Andrew Thomson of CanAm RV in Ontario over the last few years of Airstream Life magazine. Read all of them. Ask your fellow WBCCI unit members for advice at the next rally. Maybe go for a ride along while towing. There are lots of towing miles of experience there.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
__________________
Lance

Work is never done, so take time to play!
Top is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 10:02 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam View Post
Hi, our current cars are BMW 3 Series. I sold my Jeep Wrangler a few months ago in preparation to getting something heavier.

2001 330 CIC convertible
2009 335D Diesel
Sweet! Years ago I intended to trade our Nissan Van for a Burb but after talking with Andy at Can Am we saved a pile of money and used the V6 Van as a TV. Worked great. Then 7 years ago he set up our Infiniti G35 sedan which also works well. Check out all options. You will enjoy towing an Airstream when the set up is right.

PS, The weight or size of the vehicle is not that important when it comes to a being used as a TV.
__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
Pam
Rivet Master
 
Pam's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
1968 24' Tradewind
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,060
Our cars are both low to the ground. My 330 CI has the sport package and is a standard. The other has an after market adaptation equivalent to the sport package. I just found a X5 that could be very good. If we go that way my husband wants a certified pre-owned, which wasn't what I found.
__________________
Planning the next trip....



New England Unit....in Fun, Fellowship and Adventure.
Pam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
jcl
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,048
My non-Airstream towing experience with an X5 was very good. I had an E53 (2000-2006), not the E70 (2007-2013). I have an E83 now. It tows well, but doesn't have the capacity of the E53. The E53 was rated 5000 lbs with the 3.0 automatic up through 2003; all other E53s were rated to tow 6000 lbs. Very capable vehicle. Search on poster withidl here and on BMW forums for good experience. If you go with the E53, I strongly recommend the original BMW hitch, which was a dealer or owner installed item, not factory. It included strengtheners where it mounted to the unibody. Plus the BMW wiring kit which integrates to the vehicle electronics, but which still needs an electric brake controller.

On the E53, the 3.0 is from the same engine family as your 3 series. There is a V8 as well. On the E70, which is heavier, the 3.0 is a little underpowered IMO. The diesel is available on that platform, same 3.0 d as your vehicle. or the thirstier V8.

Good luck

Jeff
__________________
jcl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 04:03 PM   #10
Pam
Rivet Master
 
Pam's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
1968 24' Tradewind
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,060
Great input. thank you
__________________
Planning the next trip....



New England Unit....in Fun, Fellowship and Adventure.
Pam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 05:25 PM   #11
NO HUMBLE OPINION
 
ALUMINUMINUM's Avatar

 
1968 20' Globetrotter
ANN ARBOR , THE GREAT LAKES
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 374
You mentioned “Vintage” in your original post, so... IMAO

Do you have a vintage image or style in mind?? You have very cool trailers.


What's nice about 1967/68, is that you can find a wicked C10 pick-up or Suburban. '67 to '72 is a highly prized series for GMC/Chevy. Tons of these beauties in various conditions all over eBay. I've seen 4cyl diesels + Allison 6-speeds, I6 292 turbos + 700R, some wild builds out there, and still plenty of fairly original plain-janes. There is an abundance of parts and support. You can just about build the whole truck from current after-market catalogs.


Would it be the best TV?? Certainly not, but you could build a very capable TV on that platform.


I'm dedicated to a vintage rig, so looking every day for the just right ½ ton Suburban. Cargo doors don't interfere with the AS tongue/jack like some tail-gates. Can run the same 15” Michelins on the trailer as the Chevy. The bolt circles match, so AS spare will fit truck. I have a long list of reasoning. I sometimes fantasize about stuffing a 5cyl MB TD Sprinter drive-train in it. Other days, an RV tuned SB, 700R, posi, will work.


But then, In that era, I like the Suicide Lincoln, Pontiac Safari, Vista Cruiser, Big-block Dodge station wagons... If Vintage 4WD is considered, then I'd turn to a ¾T '68 Dodge Power Wagon.


1968 dodge power wagon in swimming hole - YouTube


A trailer matching vintage tow vehicle is a compromise that doesn't fit everyone, but it is do-able and dependable with today's re-engineering.


It'll be fun if you do.
__________________
ALUMINUMINUM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 07:58 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
withidl's Avatar
 
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 440
Images: 1
JCL referenced my logon ID so I figure a quick post showing my avatar might be in order. Search on "withidl" for all the info you need on the X5.
__________________
withidl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2014, 05:14 AM   #13
Pam
Rivet Master
 
Pam's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
1968 24' Tradewind
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,060
Thaks for all the input. I hadn't really considered the BMW's for towing. The 335d could do it but that's my husbands baby and with it being about an inch lower than the sport package, it's more modification than he wants to do. He likes his daily ride.

The x5 is an option. Vintage is my dream, but for a later date. I need something that doesn't require any work for the Spring. I have found several good options on line.
__________________
Planning the next trip....



New England Unit....in Fun, Fellowship and Adventure.
Pam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 06:17 AM   #14
Pam
Rivet Master
 
Pam's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
1968 24' Tradewind
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,060
Moving toward a 6 cylinder diesel or 8 cylinder gas extended cab truck with a short bed.
__________________

__________________
Planning the next trip....



New England Unit....in Fun, Fellowship and Adventure.
Pam is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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