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Old 06-04-2009, 06:10 AM   #1
slk
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Elk River , Minnesota
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Need advice for tow vehicle

I am interested in a 31' Airstream Excella. I have a 1999 1/2 ton 1500 Suburban 4X4. Is this vehical suitable for towing this big trailer. I live in Minnesota and will not be going to the mountains. I only plan to tow it maybe 200/300 miles at a time to some lakes up north. I was looking at the 25' models as well and was thinking the smaller trailer my be a better choice.

Thanks in advance
Steve
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:04 AM   #2
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Steve, there is some information that would help evaluate what you need... first what year and model is your 31' Airstream? The curb and tongue weights have varied dramatically over the years. Second, it would really be helpful to know what the drivetrain specs are on your Suburban; engine, trans, and rear-end. Third, your owner's manual should give you some guidelines about Gross Combined Vehicle Weight rating, maximum tow rating, maximum tongue weight, and the curb weight of your Suburban.

If you can provide those, it'll be much easier for someone to give you an informed opinion about how well your Suburban would do with your 31' trailer.

Roger
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:58 AM   #3
slk
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Ok My suburban has the:
350 5.7 liter engine
373 gear
4L60E transmission
My owners manual says max trailer weight should not excede 6000lbs
The trailer in question is a 1978 Excella
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:49 AM   #4
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Greetings slk!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slk View Post
Ok My suburban has the:
350 5.7 liter engine
373 gear
4L60E transmission
My owners manual says max trailer weight should not excede 6000lbs
The trailer in question is a 1978 Excella
While you may be within the 6,000 pound maximum with the Sovereign, it would be a case of just barely. I traded up from a K1500 pickup with the drivetrain that your Suburban has so that I could have the additional power of the 7400 VORTEC in my K2500 Suburban.

With conservative loading, the Excella/Sovereign would likely be at least 5,500 pounds. See the Airstream weights and measures in the pdf file linked below. The empty weight of the Sovereign is at least 4,800 pounds and likely more with installed options that aren't accounted for in the base weight figure.

Good luck with your deliberations!

Kevin
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AS Trailer Weights.pdf (100.7 KB, 60 views)
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
slk
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I am not set on the 31 foot trailer. How would a 25' be with my suburban?? Something in the mid 1970's.

Steve
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:19 PM   #6
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Need advice for tow vehicle

Greetings Steve!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slk View Post
I am not set on the 31 foot trailer. How would a 25' be with my suburban?? Something in the mid 1970's.

Steve
A Tradewind or Caravanner would be a much more comfortable match for your Suburban. Either of the two 25' coaches in a 1970s model should be about 80% of your Suburban's tow rating which would give you a nice safety margin.

I have attached a link to the Airstream weights and measures table that will help give you an idea of the dry or empty weight of the various coaches.

Good luck with your search!

Kevin
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AS Trailer Weights.pdf (100.7 KB, 41 views)
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slk View Post
I am not set on the 31 foot trailer. How would a 25' be with my suburban?? Something in the mid 1970's.

Steve
Hi Steve and welcome: With the 25 ft you and your 4x4 you shouldn't run into any problems. Once again, it will depend on which 25 ft you get. If you get the classic, it's the heaviest. I'm sure some of the guys/gals will give additional "tech" input. R/

Safari-Rick
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:24 PM   #8
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My 1977 25' weighs in at about 4200 lbs and I tow it with a 1999 F150 with a 4.6 litre V8. Truck is rated at 6600 lbs towing, but the 4.6 just handles the load on average terrain. I would not tow this unit through the mountains with my 4.6. In a stiff headwind it's working hard and I have to go to a lower gear sometimes.

I suspect your 5.7 litre would be just fine for a trailer like I have.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:31 PM   #9
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You will be fine. Plenty of T/V. You would be surprised at the goffballs towing with Toyota's and Nissans on here. You will be fine with a good solid Truck like that.
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