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Old 06-16-2009, 02:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Remember that years ago, most large size cars, pulled 31 foot Airstreams, all over the world.

To buy a truck that has the ability to tow the Queen Mary, is a waste of money, and if it has rigid suspension, such as a 4 X 4 then many times it all by itself, will induce damages to the trailer.

Excessive torsion bars ratings, also contribute to trailer damages.

Andy
Andy,

Not in any way disputing your word, but I would state that in the 70's, a 31' Airstream weighed around 5000 pounds, dry. In 2003 (the lasted data I have on file) a 31 footer weighed 7600 pounds dry. I would say that would be a very significant load for any "large car", even of yesteryear.

A current 25 footer weighs around 6000 pounds dry. By the time you load everything in the tow vehicle you are going to take, and everything in the trailer, this is a weight that requires at a minimum, at tow package equipped 1/2 ton truck. But, this is only my opinion.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:13 PM   #30
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Steve, Have been trying to pull the 25 ft. classic with a f150 with a low 3 something rear and towing pkg. with a reese eq. hitch.
It is not where it is at... Airperson
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:22 PM   #31
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Airperson,

If you want to tow in the mountains quite a bit then get a diesel with an exhaust brake. The new Dodge comes with a 6 spd auto that is built to tow and has an integrated exhaust brake as part of the turbocharger. Your fuel mileage will be better than any gas rig and you won't wear it out (my '01 Dodge has 747,xxx miles, mostly towing something). There is no need to change the oil until the 10k mile mark unless it is used as a commuter, then I would go 5k.

If you want to buy used, find an '07 Dodge 5.9 Cummins.

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Trent
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:54 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airperson View Post
Steve, Have been trying to pull the 25 ft. classic with a f150 with a low 3 something rear and towing pkg. with a reese eq. hitch.
It is not where it is at... Airperson
Ah, but you've been using an older 150 with the 5.0 engine. The newer bigger engines have much better power, and the newer 1/2 ton trucks have much better capacities. And, you will note I said "at a minimum".

I currently tow a very simular trailer to yours (an '01 25' Excella, 6200 lbs) with an '07 GMC 1/2 ton, Extended cab, tow package equipped, with good results. Do I have to gear down on the steep grades? Sure, as do even the Diesels.

You will not buy a reasonably sized tow vehicle that will run up all the passes in the Rockies pulling that trailer at highway speeds in high gear.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:04 PM   #33
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Simular thread, pretty much the same topic:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-as-52641.html
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:30 PM   #34
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A'person, you are finding there are strong opinions about tow vehicles. If you do a search you will find many identical threads about this.

I'm the guy purman mentioned. We have taken our Safari over 12,000' passes here in Colorado with no problem with our 2nd generation 2007 Tundra with 5.7L engine, tow and TRD packages. If you want to go over the passes at 65 you can, but you will use a lot of gas. The Tundra is 375 HP and 401 lbs. of torque. It has massive disc brakes on all 4 wheels, 6 speed transmission. It has no problem matching any 3/4 ton in power. It is rated as a 1/2 ton, though it seems to be built to be easily converted to a 3/4 ton truck when Toyota decides to market one with few changes. It is not true that only a diesel can cope with mountains. I think late model American trucks have comparable gas engines as well.

Your Classic weighs 5,700 empty according to what you posted and probably about 7,000-7,400 when loaded to maximum rating. Check on the inside of the wardrobe door for more info on that. Tongue weight is probably around 780.

The thing about half ton trucks is they have less payload than 3/4 ton trucks. The newer ones have plenty of power and can tow big heavy trailers, but the payload can be the stopper. CanoeStream was saying that some posts ago. You can find threads on how to calculate payload and how weight distributing hitches affect tongue weight. You also need to check various truck manufacturer's method of calculating payload. For ex., Toyota gives numbers with the gas tank full and the coolant full. Other companies may not do that. Check everything carefully. Different trim lines can have different payloads. It takes some reading and calculating to feel comfortable about this. Take your time to figure this out.

You will find people recommending to leave a safety margin and if payload is 1500 lbs., take about 85% (some say 80%, some say 90%), of that and don't calculate your probable payload to be more than that.

From my experience, you could probably tow your Classic with a Tundra. The Limited trim line and Crew Cab has lower payload than the SR5 Double Cab and standard cab. 4wd is necessary if you live in Colorado and some will say it's necessary when towing if you get on wet grass, sandy soil or other slippery places, but it does lower payload also. We have the 4wd, SR 5, Double Cab—lots of room in the cab, more payload, cheaper price.

Gene
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:07 PM   #35
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Gene, I'd agree with you that diesel is not necessary at all in the mountains. If my TV was going to be an every day commuter I think the engine warmups with diesel would be a pain. And parking a diesel for weeks isn't great for the fuel. Grades are usually pretty fair on interstates in the mountains with the few steeper sections unavoidable. There's nothing wrong with going 45 up the steep interstate inclines east of Seattle, west of Denver or wherever. I'd sure not power my diesel to be passing all the RVs in the right lane. Get in the wagon train y'all and don't be blowin' so much fuel out the tailpipe.

2airishuman's cat scale thread pointed out that loading on the trailer axles remains exactly the same with WD gear engaged. The corollary of this is that WD does not change tongue weight. The pounds just don't disappear.

Off-road packages on 1/2 ton trucks tend to have harsher springing and knobby noisy tires -- you don't want either of those IMO. 4WD definitely is useful. Full tow package with installed brake controller is getting to be the norm. A buddy just got that in an F-150 and I'm jealous. Payload capacities can be higher in Club Cab models -- just do the homework.
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:05 PM   #36
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First I would figure out if you want Diesel or Gas.

What does your trailer weigh dry? 6500 lbs? or less

Then 1/2 ton or 3/4

The 2 half tons most use are the tundra and new f150
They both tow over 10,000lbs

3/4 ton will work great also and you may get a good deal on one with dodge closing stores...

But don't forget the fords... I don't care for GMC or Chevy but thats just me...
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:23 PM   #37
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I pull a 2005 AS Classic 25 with a 2007 F250SD Crew Cab 6.0L PowerStroke 4X4, 5 Spd Auto Trans, 4.10 gears and get between 11 and 14 MPG towing. Towing in the mountains is a breeze with the 6.0L PS Diesel. Previously I towed with a 2002 F250SD Extended Cab 5.4L Gas 2X4 4 Spd Auto Trans, 3.73 gears. There is no comparison between the two. The 5.4 did not have the torque to get over the slightest hill without downshifting 2 gears. In the mountains it was a nightmare, just crawling up the steep grades. Previous to the 2002 F250, I had a 1998 F250 standard cab long bed with the 4.6L engine, auto trans and 3.73 gears. The step up to the F250SD from the F250 made a real difference in how it handled the trailer, which at that time was around 4000 Lbs loaded. With the 98 F250, I always felt like the trailer was in control, but with the F250SD trucks, the truck is in control. I feel like a 1/2 ton truck would be scary in the mountains, especially with a 25' Classic. You will be much more relaxed towing with a 3/4 Ton truck and safer too. Unless you are doing a lot of mountain driving, the 3.73 axle and 2 wheel drive will give you better mileage.
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:49 PM   #38
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Some thoughts about the price of diesel fuel. Historically it has been cheaper than gasoline and the engines got better mileage. But last year diesel was substantially higher in price and that wiped out the mileage advantage.

Why? Because there aren't enough refineries in the US to easily supply the diesel we use. We import gas from Europe, but Europe uses all their diesel and doesn't export it. Thus, a diesel shortage raising prices. Last winter US refineries started producing a larger proportion of diesel and prices dropped below that of gas again.

As more vehicles use diesel fuel because of better mileage, and US refineries may shift back to a greater proportion of gas production, and the recovery takes hold, prices of both fuels rise and diesel may again become more expensive than gas. You can add to cost that maintenance with a diesel engine is more expensive than a gas one.

Predicting the future is risky, but I think diesel shortages may occur in the future, and an engine that can run on gas and E-85 may be the best bet.

Getting further afield is the question whether we will be able to afford the fuel, no matter what it is, to tow a big heavy trailer around the country.

Other thought: different people have different stories about what feels right, what is safe, what is powerful enough, and so on. Some people say you can tow a 34' trailer with a big car, others that you need a 3/4 ton diesel truck to tow a 20' trailer. You have to decide what is best for you. For us, reliability was very important and since we've bought Toyotas, they have been as near flawless as any production truck can be. Since reliability is not the strong point of Airstreams, I want one vehicle that I don't have to fix on the road.

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Old 06-16-2009, 06:34 PM   #39
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Don't know how true it is, but I heard on the radio the other day that the reason Diesel fuel has come down in price is because the economic recession has hit other countries worse than the USA. And since the "other countries" use mostly Diesel, the price has come down due to lower demand. For the same reason they were predicting Diesel fuel would go up much higher than gasoline at such time as the world recovers from the recession/depression, if/when it does.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:50 PM   #40
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Airperson,


Are you sorry you asked yet???

Godspeed,
Trent
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:57 PM   #41
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Because of the high cost of fuel does it make since to run with empty tanks? Has anyone noticed a reduction in fuel or better "pulling power" running empty. I don’t know for sure what is the wt. of water or waste water but it must be heavy. Is it worth the hassle of refilling? Airperson
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:09 PM   #42
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Water is 8.345404 pounds per gallon, or 40 gallons in the tank is over 333 pounds. Yes, it is noticable.
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