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Old 05-07-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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1985 25' Sovereign
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Newby looking for best suv tv

Hello, Im looking to buy an suv for a (2000-2005) 25-28ft airstream (that we also dont have yet!) I decided its better to get the TV first.... I have been looking online at Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi, chevy suburban 1500/2500, and a Nissan Armada. We are looking at a 2004-2005. My questions are.
1. any opinions on these suv's
2. any other suggestions.
3. We will be traveling with 2 german shepherds

Thanks for any info ... gail
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormywx View Post
Hello, Im looking to buy an suv for a (2000-2005) 25-28ft airstream (that we also dont have yet!) I decided its better to get the TV first.... I have been looking online at Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi, chevy suburban 1500/2500, and a Nissan Armada. We are looking at a 2004-2005. My questions are.
1. any opinions on these suv's
2. any other suggestions.
3. We will be traveling with 2 german shepherds

Thanks for any info ... gail
This subject has been discussed many times. In summary 25-28 is the change over from 1/2 ton to a true 3/4 ton Tow Vehicle. The longer your trailer the longer your wheel base should be. This is a safety of control issue. If you are going to do a lot of travelling with the a "28". You may want to consider a diesel. The age will determine weight. The weight will determine gas vs diesel.
I tow a 06 Classic 31, usually 8,000 lbs towing, with a Ford F-250 Powerstoke 6.0L Diesel. Usually loaded to around 9,000-10,000(max weight) when towing and hitch weight transferred.
Confused?
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:58 AM   #3
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A Ford Excursion (pref with a Diesel) or a Suburban 2500. Having a 3/4 ton vehicle will make the towing trips much more pleasurable. Of course, if you don't need the third seat, you could get a 3/4 ton extended or crew cab pickup with a cap/topper (like I have). I like transporting cargo such as my bikes, generator, gas etc in a different compartment not open to the passenger area. Also works out better when hauling items to the dump or in other messy situations. But then a pickup might not work out for you.

Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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We've towed our 31' Sovereign almost 40,000 miles over the past four years with a 2004 Nissan Titan (essentially the same frame/powertrain as the Armada) with no problems.

Ran today from near Kayenta, AZ to Moab, UT through some beautiful country with lots of 6-8% grades with nary a white knuckle.

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:15 PM   #5
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I'm with soyboy....I have an 04 Suburban 2500 and it is a phenomenal tow vehicle. Perfect for what you are looking at bringing with you.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:16 PM   #6
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I run a '99 durango with the 5.9 pulling a 23' 1970 safari. I've had good luck so far! Don't know what the 5.7 hemi difference might make.

I really would have to think about it before stepping up to a 28'. Thats got to be approaching the 7,000 capacity of a durango.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:28 AM   #7
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1985 25' Sovereign
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Thanks for the info everyone... hoping to find something in the next week or so. So , is a Hemi is as stong as a 3/4 ton? I had a conversation with an Armada owner who said his 4x4 could pull 9100 lbs but would not be good at stopping that kind of weight behind it???? guess thats why you get trailer brakes??? opinions on that?
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormywx View Post
Thanks for the info everyone... hoping to find something in the next week or so. So , is a Hemi is as stong as a 3/4 ton? I had a conversation with an Armada owner who said his 4x4 could pull 9100 lbs but would not be good at stopping that kind of weight behind it???? guess thats why you get trailer brakes??? opinions on that?
Welcome....oh boy do you have a LOT of reading to do.

Or; just get yourself a 3/4ton Burb (or Excursion) and save yourself some trouble...

Welcome, again, proceed cautiously.

Bill
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:39 AM   #9
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Do yourself a favor and listen to the folks who have posted already. Forget the idea of a Durango pulling a late model 28ft Airstream. Sure it may pull it, but not safely. For someone new to towing, loading a vehicle at or close to its maximum capacity is a recipe for disaster. Go find yourself a 2500 suburban or an Excursion and you will be ready to go and buy that first Airstream.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:56 AM   #10
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We enjoy our Dodge 2500 Cummins Mega Cab. The huge cab is far roomier than our old SUV. A pickup with a large cab is like having an SUV and a pickup all in one. Tows like a dream and gets great mileage.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:01 AM   #11
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We pulled our 27 FB with a 3/4 ton Suburban with the 454 and it was fine. We went with the new Ford F250 Superduty Super Cab and it did make a lot of difference in the towing experience. 50% better mileage also. We added the Pace Edwards power retracting bed cover so I basically have a 6 1/2 foot trunk that is lockable. I store the generator and all sorts of other things I don't want prying eyes to see. The back seat is great for our one large dog or two very comfortable guests as that area is huge.

The dealer told me that I probably don't even need the load leveling hitch or the sway control but I use them anyway. Better safe than sorry.

Welcome and good luck.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:16 AM   #12
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At the risk of opening up an oft-argued point, a 5.7 litre Hemi Durango would appear to be able to safely pull a 28' airstream.

The towing capacity of an 06 Durango hemi 4X2 is 8,950 pounds, 200 less for 4X4. http://www.fowlerdodge.com/quickQuot...de/durango.pdf.

The GVWR for a 28' airstream is 7,300 max. (5,440 base weight plus 1,860 NCC). (from the weights and measures page of Airstream: Airstream Weights)

8,950 minus 7,300 = 1,600 pounds. This is the maximum allowable poundage for passengers plus whatever you're carrying in the pickup bed. That's assuming the 7,300 pound limit has been reached on the trailer.

The hemi has 335 HP and 370 ft/lb of torque. Is it really unsafe to be towing a 28' airstream with a Durango Hemi? I'd do it in a heartbeat, after hitching up the weight distribution bars, anti-sway controls, and brake controller.

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Old 05-08-2009, 11:45 AM   #13
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Dodge and the 25-footers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormywx View Post
Hello, Im looking to buy an suv for a (2000-2005) 25-28ft airstream (that we also dont have yet!) I decided its better to get the TV first.... I have been looking online at Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi, chevy suburban 1500/2500, and a Nissan Armada. We are looking at a 2004-2005. My questions are.
1. any opinions on these suv's
2. any other suggestions.
3. We will be traveling with 2 german shepherds

Thanks for any info ... gail
We've had what we consider a successful experience with a 2005 Dodge Durango Hemi and a 2006 Safari FB. Mileage over more than 30,000 miles of towing has been north of 13 mpg and on the flat we commonly get 15. We seldom exceed 60 mph, which accounts for the good mileage--on regular gas, I should add. Braking isn't an issue when the controller is set up properly to let the trailer take the proper amount of the load otherwise you could overburden the Dodge on steep downhills. We make of practice of hitting the downhills at below the speed limit anyway to minimize the potential drama. With the Equal-i-zer hitch there is no issue with passing trucks, cars, or buses. The Airstream is a dream to tow relative to SOBs.

Good luck with your search. Remember that the hp and torque specs vary by year. Our Durango has all the tow package goodies including all-wheel, 4-wheel drive and the standard rear axle ratio (the lower ratio option gives you the higher towing capacity but hurts gas mileage--be sure to get this info and decide what is best for you). If I had it to do over, I'd opt for the 2-wheel drive version to save the extra weight and complications that just make maintenance, routine and otherwise, a bit more expensive. I can't recall a single instance where the 4-wheel drive was needed.

If you want other info on this combination, search for other postings of ours and others.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:59 PM   #14
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brakes

Something that you might want to consider is braking.

The diesel powered trucks all have HUGE twin caliper pistons with lots of stopping power. These trucks are designed by the manufacturer to pull loads of 15,000 lbs or more. Would that not add a considerable safety factor?

The Durango and Nissan will not have nearly the braking power.

Woody
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