I am 10 days away from pick-up of my first Airstream, which has my entire family SO excited, and now I am scared that my vehicle is not capable of towing it safely. The safety of my family, then the community and fun-factor of our Airstream is most critical. Thank you for the wonderful community here and have been reading all the different threads to decide what to do. I am in information overload and need help.
Here is what got me to this point: I did my due diligence on the LR4 and recognized that there was not consistency in opinion around actual tongue weight capabilities and weight distribution. However, these vehicles are tanks and can tow, stop and handle a lot (note: I am not touching the reliability question here), so assumed with safe driving and enjoying the journey as much as the destination we would be fine. Now I am panicking...that my initial research was not enough. The Airstream is NOT going back, so I need to decide if a vehicle change is in order.
The questions that seemingly will decide the LR4's fate are whether the tongue weight can be ignored (manual states 550 lbs, the International is 770lbs with some threads stating it is actually 800lbs+) through a non OEM hitch receiver (e.g., a welded version or a SWEET Can-AM set-up versus this click in receiver that the dealer sells). The second question is to just ignore some of the discussion on whether an LR4 can handle weight distribution due mainly to the air ride system. I have re-read my owner's manual a dozen times (plus called multiple dealers) and can find no exception to these set-ups, but across multiple forums on this site have heard this is an issue. Candidly, I am more inclined to trust these forums based on the quality and sincerity of people's feedback, then what the dealer says. If there are other questions I should be considering please let me know, but these are the two I am wrestling with.
Here is my ask of the forum: How do I assess, or do you have experience, in evaluating the right hitch receiver set-up for an LR4? Secondly, when is it just time to go buy the truck, even though you would love to make your current vehicle work? Any experience pulling an 25+ ft International with an LR4?
Thank you in advance, and I guess there is one more ask, if you know Andy at Can-Am, let him know I am going to be calling.
I will find a way to make it worth it to his business at some point. I am a business owner and nothing is more important than paying it forward, but want to make that worth it for him too. I look forward to contributing to this community and finding adventures in my Airstream...
Seattle Newbie Airstream Owner