Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-31-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Severna Park , Maryland
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Newbie with TV question

Been lurking a bit on the forum, so I guess I now know enough to be dangerous. We have not purchased a TT yet, but do have a TV. It is a Chevy Express 3500 conversion van with 6.0L gas. With the stock 3.73 rear axle ratio, max towing capacity is 7,700 lbs according to the owner's manual. We like the 30' Excella but late 90's to early 2000's models dry weight out from 6,800 to 7,300 lbs, respectively. This leaves little margin for cargo. Frankly, I was surprised at how much heavier these models were over their comparable late 80's to early 90's cousins. I was also surprised to find that a 4.10 rear axle ratio would boost my towing capacity to 9,700 lbs. I know that the engine and transmission would be under less load running at higher RPMs, but that is a huge difference. Ok, here are the questions:
1. Notwithstanding the approx $1,000 cost to switch to a 4.10 gear, is this a good option?
2. If #1 is a no, do you agree that the better option is get a smaller TT?
3. Never having owned an Airstream before, I was curious as to what sets Airstream apart from all other TTs? It appears that there is Airstream and - everything else.

Thank you for indulging a newbie. Be gentle with me. :-)
__________________

__________________
Sandy Swede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,814
Images: 12
I had to change my 3.42 to a 3.73 in my 1987 1/2 ton 6.2 diesel Suburban to pull my 34. Beyond that I installed a Gear Vendor overdrive. The combination gave me 7 forward speeds and allowed me to tow in 3rd gear over. Did it that way because the Transmission in that truck could not be used in OD while towing. Combined that with a manual convertor lock up and I could tow a 10%+ grade in second with the convertor locked all day long.

If you really want a tow vehicle consider installing the Gear vendors and stay with the 3.73. You will have some gears to ply with.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
mstephens's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Cat City , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 854
Welcome. Fear not, people here are utterly helpful. I'd go very cautiously on changing to a 4:10 gear. When I bought my Suburban many people (not here) told me that 3:73 was bad, and I should only buy one with 4:10. I did. What I discovered is that it yields very poor gas mileage and for travel trailers is probably not necessary. Most of the people I met with 'Burbs had 3:73.

Maybe boat towing needs a 4:10, but I really don't see it for travel trailers. I would have preferred the 3:73, now that I have had the 4:10 for two years.

Tow ratings---well, there's a lot of opinion about how to use those ratings. One might say that with a WD hitch, you'd be fine with the trailer you mentioned even with the 3:73 gear. Ask more questions, read more of our towing threads! You'll get to the info you need!

Airstreams have a lower CG than most other similar size trailers, better slip through the wind, very good balance, and they handle really well. The rest of the mystique has to do with the timeless classic design that never ages. Go look at a 10 year old white box trailer (called an "SOB") and then look at a 10 year old Airstream. Let's just hope they never resort to gobbing swooopy stripes all over the exterior!
__________________
mstephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
m.hony's Avatar
 
2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 11,833
That van should tow any Airstream made as is and do an excellent job. The 1 ton frame feels really stable on the road. We had one with the 5.7- it was really slow, but really sure-footed and confident and comfortable.
__________________
2013 Classic 30 Limited
2007 Silver Toyota Tundra Crew Max Limited 5.7 iForce
2006 Vivid Black Harley-Davidson Road King Classic
1999 Black Nissan Pathfinder LE
TAC #MS-10
WBCCI #1811, Region 6, Unit 56
Airforums #70955
m.hony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
mariusg78's Avatar
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Covington , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 60
Images: 21
I tow with a 2012 Ford E-350 5.4L (1977 31'). It pulls just fine over the passes in Western WA. You do end up going slower, but its sturdy and handles well. Be sure to add a good Weight Distribution System and sway bars and you should be good to go. Also be sure to have a transmission cooler installed if you don't already have one. Enjoy!
__________________
mariusg78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 04:30 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
Severna Park , Maryland
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Thanks much

Thanks to all of you who responded to my questions. Your comments were very helpful and informative. What a great forum. Another reason to buy an Airstream.
__________________
Sandy Swede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 04:55 PM   #7
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11,153
Images: 1
Welcome Aboard....

The only 3500 van I would be leery of is the extended version with the longer rear overhang. (12 pass version I tink)

Good Luck

Bob
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	9bf2436bea3d3e1a485abe1fb1de40fex.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	130.6 KB
ID:	202724   Click image for larger version

Name:	zg_640.jpg
Views:	55
Size:	81.9 KB
ID:	202725  

__________________
PFC.....

“After all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.”
RLC

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
RLC
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 05:42 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
Bbelk's Avatar
 
2010 27' FB Classic
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 118
I live at the top of a big honker hill. I can drive all over Colorado and the hardest pull I have to make is the last 500 yards up to my house.

I had a 1989 Airstream 190 van for 13 years and loved it till I sold it this year. The van weighted about 8,000# About ten years ago, I bought a new 5,000 pound boat. The hill in front of my house brought the whole rig to a halt. It had a 3xx rear end (357 rings a bell, but I don't remember). I switched it to a 410 and my towing problems were solved. You get used to driving at 55 with the speedometer reading 65, but its hard to get used to 5 MPG. I was pulling something for the vast majority of the 1xx,000 miles I put in that rig, so I didn't really mind it.

Unless you have an extream situation like I have in front of my house, I think 410 is probably lower than you want. The new 6L motor is way better than the 454 I had.

__________________
2010 27FB Classic
1989 190 Class B (Sold)
1977 29 Ambassador Land Yacht (Sold)
Bbelk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 06:10 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
m.hony's Avatar
 
2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 11,833
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
The only 3500 van I would be leery of is the extended version with the longer rear overhang. (12 pass version I tink)

Good Luck

Bob
Only the now defunct Ford Econoline had the longer overhang on the rear of the long wheel base version.
The GM models move the rear axle back towards the rear on the long version- a true long wheel base, not just 18" more van welded on the back...
__________________
2013 Classic 30 Limited
2007 Silver Toyota Tundra Crew Max Limited 5.7 iForce
2006 Vivid Black Harley-Davidson Road King Classic
1999 Black Nissan Pathfinder LE
TAC #MS-10
WBCCI #1811, Region 6, Unit 56
Airforums #70955
m.hony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 07:01 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
2014 16' Sport
Route 66 , Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 157
Images: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Swede View Post
3. Never having owned an Airstream before, I was curious as to what sets Airstream apart from all other TTs? It appears that there is Airstream and - everything else.
Wow...the quality. We just traded our "everything else" trailer for a new Bambi 16. For starters, you can lean against an interior wall in the AS without the sound of paneling cracking. The wetbath floor doesn't seem to have voids underneath. The whole trailer doesn't shake everytime the furnace or A/C cycles. The list goes on. Not only is build quality amazing, the components used (TV, stereo, fridge, etc.) are far superior to what was in our other trailer.
__________________
Skooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 08:49 PM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
Severna Park , Maryland
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Thank you

Thanks Robert Cross and others who mentioned potential problems with a long wheelbase van. Ours is the standard wheelbase of 135", not the stretch version.

Also, thanks skooter for your take on Airstream quality vs. the 'others.'
__________________
Sandy Swede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 09:10 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
albert's Avatar
 
1970 29' Ambassador
1959 22' Flying Cloud
1957 26' Overlander
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 233
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via AIM to albert Send a message via Yahoo to albert
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusg78 View Post
I tow with a 2012 Ford E-350 5.4L (1977 31'). It pulls just fine over the passes in Western WA. You do end up going slower, but its sturdy and handles well. Be sure to add a good Weight Distribution System and sway bars and you should be good to go. Also be sure to have a transmission cooler installed if you don't already have one. Enjoy!

I have the same engine on a f250, what transmission cooler do you use? I have never thought of that but sounds like a good idea! Any advise on huh at would be great, as the rpms run quite high when pulling uphill with the 5.4L
__________________
albert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 10:24 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
mariusg78's Avatar
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Covington , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 60
Images: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by albert View Post
I have the same engine on a f250, what transmission cooler do you use? I have never thought of that but sounds like a good idea! Any advise on huh at would be great, as the rpms run quite high when pulling uphill with the 5.4L

The transmission cooler comes standard in the Super Duty package on the E-350, so I'm assuming its just the stock Ford one. I asked about adding an extra fan in front of it, but Ford said it was not necessary.
__________________

__________________
mariusg78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.