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Old 02-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
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Newbie - Questions about tow vehicle

Hi all,

I'm totally new to travel trailers. Never having owned any type of travel trailer I need to understand if my 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 truck is adequate for towing. I looked at a 1976 31' Airstream Sovereign yesterday and I'm very interested in buying it but I would like to know if my Dodge will be adequate to tow it. It has a 5.9 liter V8 engine. Also what type of hitch should I purchase?

Thanks,

Pete
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:52 AM   #2
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Pete, here's the info on your trailer from the Airstream weights matrix:

1976 SOVEREIGN INTERNATIONAL LY
31 REAR
BATH
DOUBLE

Curb weight: 5065 lbs Tongue weight: 495 lbs Ball height: 19.5"

Check the towing capacity on your truck. It should be in the owner's manual as well as the maximum tongue weight you can tow. Wheelbase is king when towing, so if it's an extended cab long box, so much the better.

You'll also want a weight distributing/sway control hitch like the Reese Dual-Cam or Equal-i-zer as well as a brake controller like the Prodigy or P3.

Good Luck!

Roger
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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Pete,
A lot will depend on what axle ratio it has.
Your truck will tow the trailer, how well will depend on how it's equipped.
Check the owners manual for spec's. We like to use the 85% rule, keep the combined weight rating 15% below the manufacturer's recomendation. Provides an extra margin of safety.
I know a Chevy Store can supply a build sheet listing how a vehicle is optioned out, check with Chrysler they might be able to do the same.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:09 AM   #4
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Your 4x2 truck was designed to tow 8000 if it has;

automatic transmission
3.55/3.90:1 axle ratio
6400-pound GVWR.

If it is a Club Cab the rating is reduced to 7600 pounds

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Hi Pete,
I'm in Greensboro. The information you will get here is good and it's where I started when we bought our first Airstream in 06. I have a much heavier trailer and went to a 3500 Dogde Diesel and Hensley Hitch which I'm very pleased with.
Stewart
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
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You should be ok but I would recommend a Chevy with a 7.4 or 8.1 Chevy truck is like a AS no matter how old or how much work she needs she still better then anything else out there!
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by shermantic View Post
You should be ok but I would recommend a Chevy with a 7.4 or 8.1 Chevy truck is like a AS no matter how old or how much work she needs she still better then anything else out there!
ah-oh, I'm biased, but I see trouble coming...
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