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Old 05-11-2015, 01:23 PM   #15
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"Our 3/4 ton Silverado seems to handle well enough and will probably look for something similar. "

Good plan in my opinion unless you have a reason to want a 1/2 ton and are willing to give up some longevity and payload to get it.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:44 PM   #16
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As CentralAir suggested, 5800lbs. sounds a little light for an '85 34ft. Excella. Maybe that is the DRY weight. Not the GVWR. As others have noted, there are lots of choices. Mine would be... at least a 3/4 ton truck with a long bed. As a solo traveler with a dog, I prefer an extended cab to a crew cab. Even then, these L O N G trucks are a pain to park in tight spaces... BUT... the long wheel base, along with a weight distribution hitch provide much better stability when the 18 wheelers pass you out on the freeway...

And then... do you ever tow in the mountains? My 99 300HP 6.0 liter GMC gasser will do it on the 9% grades here in the West, but it has to work at it (remember to turn off the AC on those hills!) and I only go up at 30-35 MPH on some hills in 2nd gear with tow haul on. The diesel boys just fly by me on those hills... I wish I had gotten one at the time, but GMC was in engine transition back in 99 when I got the truck and... with only 85K on the truck after all these years... I am reluctant to upgrade till I have to...but if I had to trade today... a diesel would be my choice for sure...

So... do your research... pay your money, make your choice...
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:48 PM   #17
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In the past, when working for a boat dock construction company, I had the opportunity to use several HD Ford and Dodge trucks. My personal favorite was the 2002 Ford F250 Superduty Crewcab 4x4. I used it daily to pull building materials, my work barge, all on a 34 ft gooseneck triple axle flatbed. I drove that truck for 5 years and was running great with over 220,000 miles when I left.
Gobs of torque more than sufficient to tow your Airstream. Unless you have to have a new one, there are many great used 3/4 -1 ton fords out there at a great price.
The bottom line, A TV that makes a lot of torque.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:47 PM   #18
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I don't know what axles are under the 34'. It may have a 10,500# GVW (three 3,500# axles) or a 15,000# GVW (three 5,000# axles) or some other possibility, maybe a 13,500# GVW (three 4,500# axles. Only the first possibility should be attempted by a half ton. The other two possibilities would require a 3/4 ton or possibly a 1 ton.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:52 PM   #19
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An '85 34' has an 8,900# GVWR.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:29 PM   #20
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The mid-80's 34' models are really light and a total joy to tow. Beautiful trailers.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
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An '85 34' has an 8,900# GVWR.

I don't get the math on that. Generally trailer GVW is cut and dried- x# axle x 1, 2, or 3.
There are only a few axle weights- 3,500# 5,000#, and 7,000#, etc.
8,900 doesn't divide by 3 and equal a round number.


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Old 05-11-2015, 11:02 PM   #22
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2,966.67# axles?
Hmm...
I would think three 3,500# axles for a GVW of 10,500#, but I wouldn't think those trailers would weigh anything near 8,900 dry weight.


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Old 05-11-2015, 11:09 PM   #23
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We pull our 29" ambassador with my 2006 f150. It has the 4.6 v8, and honestly it feels underpowered. My next truck will be f250/350 or 2500 ram. Used truck prices for 250 or 350 are close so not sure what I'll end up with, I'm still dreaming...
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:27 PM   #24
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Look up the axle weight rating at airstream.com/service/partmanuals. The axles are listed there. My '06 has 3 3800# axles for a gross weight of 11,500#.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I don't get the math on that. Generally trailer GVW is cut and dried- x# axle x 1, 2, or 3.
There are only a few axle weights- 3,500# 5,000#, and 7,000#, etc.
8,900 doesn't divide by 3 and equal a round number.


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I got the GVWR from Airstream specs, not from axle ratings.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:39 PM   #26
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How does Airstream arrive at GVW#?
I thought it was pretty cut and dried-
Axle rating x number of axles.
Some gooseneck trailers are rated differently because they take into consideration the part that is in the truck bed- a gooseneck trailer could be rated 16,000# even though it has two 7,000# axles. Generally bumper pull trailers are cut and dried.
Hmm...


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Old 05-13-2015, 02:44 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
How does Airstream arrive at GVW#?
I thought it was pretty cut and dried-
Axle rating x number of axles.
I think that's a question better asked of Airstream. Don't shoot the messenger.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:06 PM   #28
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Quote:
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I think that's a question better asked of Airstream. Don't shoot the messenger.
..yeah.. and I don't see 10% on hitch tongue weight being a big hit on the overall axle capacity... just look at the ranges they offer....

While the 'weights and balance' is not as 'critical' as with aircraft... but still quite important, I would replace whatever 'stock' is for your AS... then see if you can add a few degrees of 'down' angle on the axles... that would lift the AS just a little... the new axle(s) plus the lift, perhaps requiring a 'recalibration' of your hitch solution, but should be good after that.
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