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Old 05-29-2008, 09:50 PM   #1
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new safari seeking older gent to hook up with

We have a new 07 Safari Limited with a max GVR of 7600. We're so excited we can hardly stand it, but we're tow-vehicleless. Since were fans of Dave Ramsey, we'd like to pay cash for a truck. And since our commuter is a gas friendly go-cart, we will only be using the truck on weekends. So, here's the box. $8-10k max. 1999 or up? What we would really love is to find an oldie like a 60-something Bronco etc. Wishful thinking? Throw in towel and finance a hybrid? Come on you guys, we're counting on you!
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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I would focus on a TV with a longer wheel base. I dont know the specs on a Bronco but I think the shorter wheelbase may make towing a little squirrely
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:18 PM   #3
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I just took a quick tour through ebay and looked at Ford & Chevy trucks.

I found a boatload of trucks from the '70's and into the '90's for your price and well below. I looked at 3/4 tons for the extra suspension, brakes and springs. Also 1/2 tons were running a little more $ wise.

There were diesel and gas models availible. Diesel lasts longer but costs more to maintain and repair. If you choose a Chevy gasser the advantage there is if you blow the engine a brand new in the crate 350 with a factory warranty can be had for $1,100.00 and up depending on how much factory horsepower you want. Installation is of course more and the big ticket items are the engine and trans.

Really because of the current gas prices you can lay your hands a nice truck for a lot less coin than you would have paid a year ago.

Just remember that a longer wheelbase reduces sway and the trailer driving the truck. Sway is bad...Really bad.

Good luck.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:04 AM   #4
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Re: Short Wheelbase Sway

I've read on here many times about how short wheelbase vehicles are bad for tow vehicles because of sway. However, I have not found this to be true. In the past I towed a 24 ft Argosy a lot with a Dodge Ramcharger 2 WD, very simular vehicle to the old Ford Bronco, or the old Chevy Blazer, and had no issues at all with sway. I did have a decent weight distributing hitch, but nothing exotic like a Hensley, and as I remember (it was in the 80's), didn't even have a friction sway devise. Maybe I was just lucky?
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:07 AM   #5
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Thanks Goin'...we did get a Hensley with the Airstream because of that very reason. Not sure how much this affects the TV from a purchase standpoint. I understand it should practically eliminate sway. Any particular gear axle ratio on those Chevy's? I'm a gal learning, be gentle.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:27 AM   #6
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Welcome stowaway!
3:73 or 4:10 for towing...and do stick with a longer wheelbase. With that GVWR I would also go with a 3/4 ton...gas or diesel doesn't matter, advantages/disadvantages of both...more personal preference. But as noted diesels go much longer.

We do the same; save the truck for tow duty, bike to work. This works out well for us, have not really felt too much pain with cost of fuel. Of course, it will hit us soon as our camping season is just starting!

Good luck,
Bill
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:55 AM   #7
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I just wandered through Craigslist, and saw several F250 diesels there for less than $5000. One of them would surely work.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stowaways
Thanks Goin'...we did get a Hensley with the Airstream because of that very reason. Not sure how much this affects the TV from a purchase standpoint. I understand it should practically eliminate sway. Any particular gear axle ratio on those Chevy's? I'm a gal learning, be gentle.
You clearly have the hitch end well covered.

What I for got to mention is no matter which truck you choose be sure it has the tow package on it allready. A tow package includes reliability gizmo's like a class 3 hitch, Trans cooler (very important) bigger radiator and often an oil cooler. Everything but the hitch is to keep your system running cooler. Heat kills engines and transmissions. Fortunately most 3/4 trucks come with this but not all so be sure to ask.

I know you can set up and tow that A/S anywhere you want to go.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:40 AM   #9
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I'm missing something about 'Safari Limited' denoting any length. At least Airstream, Inc :: Specifications Specifications suggests this is a 27-footer? Now, some people will tow a 25-er with an 8 cylinder SUV or 1/2-ton truck. Others (moi for instance) made a decision to dedicate garage space to a 3/4-ton for home utility and traveling use. That's almost another discussion. A 27-er is a BIGGER load and you can either throw muscle (3/4 ton truck) or sophistication at the problem. Muscle certainly is as reliable as you can get in an 'Oh S***' moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH
I've read on here many times about how short wheelbase vehicles are bad for tow vehicles because of sway. However, I have not found this to be true. In the past I towed a 24 ft Argosy a lot with a Dodge Ramcharger 2 WD, very simular vehicle to the old Ford Bronco, or the old Chevy Blazer, and had no issues at all with sway.
He may get gunshy about posting now and then, but Andrew T suggests a shorter distance between rear wheels and bumper is an advantage. Dodge Ram? Maybe this falls within his parameters? I don't think what he does can be reduced to cookbook where we could write down a set of guidelines. I know he advocates Hensleys and decreasing sidewall flex by going with larger wheels on the TV. As an Airstream dealer he does highly tuned setups particular to each and every tow vehicle. He has the experience and many successful customers -- who also participate on AIR Forums.

Don't overlook the fact that 11-13% of trailer weight must rest on the hitch. Balancing for a too-light tongue weight results in an extremely dangerous tow. Imagine throwing an arrow feathers first -- a trailer with light hitch weight will try to switch ends with disastrous consequences. Listed hitch weight for a 27-er is 790# -- that is not at rigged out weight nor anything approaching trailer GVWR. Figure a minimum of 950-1000# hitch weight by the time you install weight distribution gear & full propane tanks on the tongue, minimal cooking gear and a few skivvies on the trailer. Where does this take you? Please consider more than TV tow capacity. Also look at the TV payload capacity (TV GVWR minus TV empty weight) -- it'll be in the TV manual. Be sure to have enough tow vehicle to carry a driver and passenger or two after you hitch up.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #10
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One comment: If you go with an older diesel be prepared for smoke from the exhaust to enter the coach. I had an old Ford diesel that lasted me 23 years of towing but the smoke got in there no matter what I tried. Caulking, moving the exhaust from one side of the truck to the other, exhaust tip extentions, etc. With my newer model truck there is no smoke in my coach. Just something to keep in mind.
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