Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #15
Rivet Master
 
1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,352
Hello Bradk , point taken on part of your post. I have been in a couple of sticky situations with my tv and trailer .Thank goodness that I did
have a setup that could handle the situations .You are right as there is no
real limit to really know when you can get out of control ,but I have a combo
that is matched well .i can go down donner summit as I have with the travelall in 3rd gear ,not having to use the brakes much at all .it is a long
steep grade going down the mountain for many miles. My tv is a heavy
1/2 ton ,not an f250 diesel crewcab either ,runs a 392 gas engine.I think
anyone that is posting a message on the merits of a well matched tv is
only considering safety first and really the combination of the vehical
and the trailer and the ability of the setup to be as safe as can be
in any situation .I am more concerned with that than factor overall.
I disagree with you on your last paragraph ,I am looking at the situation
correctly as many here are ,the tv needs to be capable in many ways
possible to handle the trailer .I don't see towing an airstream having anything
to do with flying an airplane in the sky. a matched towing setup is the point
thats is why many say a bigger tv ,but you don't need an f250 to tow a bambi either, I think for a 23ft trailer the frontier is at the limit right off the bat ,the larger size of the tv definately helps in the handling and stability .


Scott
__________________

__________________
scottanlily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 12:15 PM   #16
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Very well said. I found out myself that towing near the 85% rule does not make for happpy towing.
Can it be done? Yes!
Is it for me? NO!
I refuse to compromise my families safety. If we are going to RV, then we will do it safely (and in style!).
Matching your TV to your camper is fine; a 1/2 ton and a Bambi is cool. Pushing the limits with a longer, heavier trailer is not.
I have yet to see anyone complain about having too much TV.

And to the original poster; beware of "bias opinions". It is very easy to research someones profile and get a good idea of how long they have been towing and a good idea of how many miles they have under their tires...not just someone trying to defend their choice of TV.
There is a wealth of info from some experienced folks on this board-I am trying to learn some of it!
__________________

__________________
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 12:29 PM   #17
3 Rivet Member
 
bradk's Avatar
 
2006 19' International CCD
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 187
Images: 14
Well, I knew I was going to take heat for it.

Scott, on the last paragraph, there is no relationship between flying and towing nor did I infer any. What I said was, in flying we always have a back door plan if trouble arises. With towing, if you're coming to a narrow bridge, a semi-truck on one side of it oncoming and you're going to pass them on that bridge, the back door is that you slow to let the truck across to avoid the potential for problems. My original post mentioned that the length of the trailer may be an issue for the Frontier but from a safety perspective on weights, it's relatively well matched based on my experience. I don't have 25 years of towing under my belt but I do understand the relationship between my vehicle and my trailer better than anyone I would suggest.

Bill, a biased opinion is seldom seperable from an informed one on an internet chat board. The warning is meant to to be aware that you will get both. I certainly wouldn't point the finger at anyone here, but we both know they're out there, regardless of motivation. I definitely don't disagree that you can't have too much tow vehicle but there is a point of diminishing returns. The original poster asked if the stated combo would work.

brad.
__________________
Team Ironcops for Cancer 2006
Raced! Ironman Canada in support of the Canadian Cancer Society
www.ironcopsforcancer.com

We raised over 1.3 Million dollars for Cancer Reseach this year. Great job team!!
bradk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 01:03 PM   #18
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradk
I definitely don't disagree that you can't have too much tow vehicle but there is a point of diminishing returns. The original poster asked if the stated combo would work.

brad.
Not so sure about diminishing returns. We are talking about facts; stated vehicle tow ratings, wheel base, trailer weights and lengths.

"Would it work"?
If he means; can his vehicle get that load to move? Yes I am sure it can move it.
Do you want to put your family, your camper, and much other stuff in a vehicle, loaded up to its max capacity and drive all over the country?
And enjoy it?
And not endanger your family and others on the road?

I think the answer is clear...
__________________
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 01:23 PM   #19
Round on both ends
 
SafeHarbor's Avatar
 
1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 783
Images: 39
The PO of my Excella had it wieghed a few years ago. With fuel fuel and water tank only and their stuff, it was 5,550 lbs. I towed it from Grand Rapids, to Cleveland, to Jacksonville, FL. with a '93 Dodge Dakota. The truck had the 235 hp V8 engine, 4.10 rear, and trailer towing package (trans and power steering coolers, upgraded transmission, 5-bladed fan, upgraded shocks, steel wheels, HD shocks) and a 1-ton payload. The towing limits were 7200 lbs and 750 with a WD hitch. The truck weighed 4,350 lbs with full fuel.

The trailer pulled fine as long as it was level. Climibing hills in Appalachia was grueling - 3500 rpm at 50 mph in third with everybody zooming by.

The braking power of the truck wasn't great either. I once seriously thought I was going to rear-end another motorist in Cleveland. I actually managed to skid all four wheels before I got it stopped - inches away from the guy that pulled out in front of me and then stopped to make a left-hand turn. (I guess he didn't see me coming, or he looked and it just didn't compute to him.)

I was towing at 77% of the truck's advertised capacity.

I also had trouble with a very unpleasant effect of the "tail wagging the dog" when big trucks passed, and I wished for a bigger, heavier truck.

And this was a midsized truck ordered for the specific purpose of towing my Argosy.

Now how much of my experience may be like towing with a Frontier?

You have already crunched the numbers, but will it have the stance, tire contact area, wheelbase, and pure old mass to control the trailer? Will it have the BRAKES to haul the combo down in an emergency situation?

If any hill climbing is to be done, you might also look at the speed in gears. My Dakota really needed another gear between third and overdrive. In third, it was WAY up in the powerband - too high.

If you're over the truck's stated capacities starting out, that can be only be described as dangerous. I'd say don't do it. Get a full sized truck instead.

As BillTex said above, nobody ever complains about having too much TV.

Lamar
__________________
1975 Argosy 28 "Argosy"
1979 Excella 500 31 "Betsy"
1992 Lincoln Mk 7 LSC
2003 Dodge 2500 Cummins "TowHog"
"Lucy Loosehair" the cat - Airstream mascot
Klaatu barada nikto
SafeHarbor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 05:17 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,313
Images: 4
My fundamental concern about the manufacturer's recommended maximum trailer weight is simply that it is the "manufacturer's" figure.

Now let me see....... out of all the billions of human beings on this planet, who is the one deperate for the latest 2007 model to have "the highest towing capability of any in its class"?? Could it be the CEO of the manufacturing company?? Hmmmmm..........

Can we imagine the conversations that take place between the Vice-President of marketing and the Vice-President of engineering and the CEO when the capabilities of the 2007 model are discussed?

Are these figures subject to independent audit in the USA? I don't know. I hope they are. I suspect thay may not be.

I can only say that I have tried to drive one USA vehicle while towing a trailer at its maximum permitted load, complete with WD bars properly adjusted, and a sway control friction device. This was a Jeep Cherokee 4.0 towing a 5000 pound Airstream for one mile on a flat highway. I could not travel safely at over 25 mph. It was a death trap, but it was rated for 5000 pounds. The Jeep was just overwhelmed. The suspension was too soft, the steering axle too light.

The last time I checked, my Land Rover Discovery was rated at 5000 pounds for towing in the USA. Much as I love my Discovery, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

So I don't take much notice of these figures, other than to ensure I comply with the law. So what's the alternative? Well, I listened to the cumulative wisdom of experienced people on this forum over the years, and then bought a tow vehicle that no-one doubted was the right tool for the job. I also have 40 years of towing experience to bring to bear on the choice of tow vehicle.

I'm not sure whether that amounts to an opinion, or whether it is biased, but I do know I've done the best I can to care for the precious people I transport.
Nick.
__________________
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
nickcrowhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 07:49 PM   #21
Rivet Master
 
1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,352
Boy Nick ,thats says it all ,and your so right .The manafactures really inflate
the tow ratings ,some smaller suvs are rated to tow more than a suburban .
How can that be I ask ? This bias thing as i said ,i don't like the inference
in the word ,that someone is just a one way person towards somthing or some vehical .Most find that a certain tow vehical does the best job ,so
they will express that ,as the original poster has asked for input on his
choice he might be making ,as he does not have a tv yet.Im not biased
towards my travelall ,and I really like it .I recommended the titan after all.
I have traveled to minnesota ,colorado ,nevada ,utah,wyoming,arizona etc.
and encountered the big rigs doing 90 passing me at night in nebraska!!
I know first hand how those trucks can suck you over at that speed ,had one
blast me in the tunnel somewhere west of utah .Had a semi cross the line
into my lane on 166 east of highway 101 on a bridge no less ,talk about white knuckles ,I had control but it was dicy at best ,anyway I recommend to
anyone to get the right tv ,match it to the trailer and look beyond the
tow rating as the only factor in a tv decision. It only takes one harrowing
experience to realize that your vehical may not be up to the task.

Scott
__________________
scottanlily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 08:13 PM   #22
Rivet Master
 
1976 25' Caravanner
Vintage Kin Owner
Campton , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,113
Wotocho , I would suggest that you use the gross weight of the trailer when doing your calculations . I think you will find that you will be very close to it when ready to travel. The dry weight is only usefull for estimating how much cargo you can carry ( gross wt. - dry wt. ) . The ONLY way to know for sure is to have it weighed. There are several good threads that outline the procedure for figuring all of this out. Try a search , and good luck
__________________
ticki2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 09:11 PM   #23
3 Rivet Member
 
bradk's Avatar
 
2006 19' International CCD
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 187
Images: 14
Good thoughts Nick on mfr's ratings, bang on I believe. That said, what are people left with, without having towed the specific combo? Opinion and guesswork.

It's amazing how defensive people get when a non-specific inference of advise bias is thrown out there. I'm certainly not going to dispute years of research that shows that any opinion is inherently biased. It's impossible for a human to be completely objective...but perhaps that's wrong. I'm biased toward my opinion which I put out there regarding the original question posed, which was asking about a specific tow vehicle combination (Frontier and Safari). It's too bad this thread may turn into another muddled "A big TV is better" thread as there are hundreds already.

Back to the original question.


brad.
__________________
Team Ironcops for Cancer 2006
Raced! Ironman Canada in support of the Canadian Cancer Society
www.ironcopsforcancer.com

We raised over 1.3 Million dollars for Cancer Reseach this year. Great job team!!
bradk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 09:30 PM   #24
Rivet Master
 
JimGolden's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Images: 7
For what it's worth...

I had a 2001 Ford Excursion (the big Kahoona) and it towed a 26' Terry with double insulated walls and a big slide (9000 lbs) with ease. The X has a long wheelbase, short overhang, a decent engine, and did very well.

I've now got a Dodge with the turbo diesel, four doors, and a long bed. It tows even better than the X did. There's a definite relationship between length of tow vehicle and stability. The Ram won't turn on a dime, but it does pull well. And it gets better mileage than the gas V-10 did while making more power and way more torque.

Count me in the Pro-Turbo-Diesel fan club.
__________________
- Jim
JimGolden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 10:17 PM   #25
Rivet Master
 
SteSpot's Avatar
 
1968 28' Ambassador
1982 24' Airstream 240
Ventura , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,641
Images: 17
Smile Toyota Tundra 2006 4x4, Access cab V8

We bought our tow vehicle before deciding to purchase an Airstream and have received conflicting advice from the dealers about how large a trailer we can safely tow. The Tundra has the Tow Package that says it is rated for 6900 pounds max tow capacity...it has heavy duty 130A alternator, transmission oil cooler and 7 pin connector with converter. It has 271 HP 4.7 liter 4 cam sfi v8 w/vvt-i engine 5 speed automatic transmission with all weather guard (heavy duty battery, starter, heater and heated side mirrors) no heated seats-

We were told by one dealer that we should not tow more than the 22' or 23' (5200' empty) but another dealer told us we could safely tow the 27' Safari that is rated empty at about 5900 pounds. I am beginning to think after reading your posts that we should maybe stick with a Bambi. Does anyone have experience with this vehicle and what the maximun trailer size we can SAFELY tow? Thanks, paula
__________________
SteSpot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2006, 01:06 AM   #26
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hi wotocho and welcome to the forums....
congrats on the trailer and a great series of questions...
you have done some homework before posting. appreciate that....

here are some thoughts on your post/questions...


Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
We're taking the plunge and possibly buying a twin axel 1975 23ft Safari (dry weight 3465 lbs, tongue weight 570lb).
i see these as the figures reported on the a/s home page...
are you sure these are correct for the specific trailer in question?
it is 35 years old...any mods, additions or changes? do you plan any. i'd like to know exactly what the trailer weights now....
does it have the original axles/what is their condition? newer ones/same rating?
is there a spare tire somewhere. bigger lp bottles or batteries. solar? and so on....
assume dry weight of 3500...tongue could be as low as 350 and still tow safely...so some repositioning of stored good and gear can reduce or increase the tongue load..this matters because the frontier is rated for 600lbs approx.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
We currently have a 2000 manual transmission Xterra which we like so we're looking at the Nissan Frontier 4x4 crew cab to satisfy our day to day needs as well as a tow vehicle.


so the frontier needs to serve as a daily driver along with t.v.? how often and how far are you gonna tow? could u keep the exterra and buy and older but higher capacity t.v.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
Reading the forum, most recommend a 15-20% leeway in tow capacity.


these are margins i've seen and try to follow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
A few questions in trying to determine if the Frontier fits the bill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
The Gross Combined Vehicle weight is 11,000 lbs and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rate is 5600 lbs. The tow capacity is 6100 lb. The wheel base of the Frontier is 126 inches.
finding these figures is a good start. capacity and wheel base are useful. another issue is 'towing reputation'...which is subjective...but track records are still useful. the frontier is a new model...it may be that a nissan forum has more info from current users on this issue....

my reading suggests the frontier is built on the same/modified frame as the titan/armada....which are known to be pretty solid...and much better than the last frontier...for towing.

frontier has pretty good power figures...(over 250/290 for hp/torque) and 4 disc brakes...but no tranny cooler or enlarged oil reserve.

i would not opt for the titan...too expensive for not much more capacity.
a used truck with proper drivetrain would be a better option than a new titan imo...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
What is your typical weight of your trailer's contents (water, food, accessories etc) for a family of three? We've been told about 1000 lbs.
seems like a reasonable estimate.....
how big is the freshwater tank and lp gas...what is the actual weight for these...
what size holding...i like to figure my contents to include FULL holding tanks, yes grey and black if it has 'em...it just adds to the safety margin.

and do you really want to weight everything closely every trip? most people do carry more than they expect, still it is possilbe to travel lightly...as bradk does...so too do others here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
What is the typical tongue weight? We have read between 10 % & 15% of the loaded trailer weight and information on older model Airstreams indicate the tongue weight is 570 lbs, they are both similar figures but which is "more" accurate?


accurate only comes from a measurement. tongue load can be reduced some. loading over the axle and center is ideal for handling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
Considering toys, people, options on the vehicle, tongue weight and a trailer payload of 750 lbs we would exceed the tow vehicle payload by approximately 100lb, the GVWR by 100 lbs but not the GCWR.


well i asked here last week and no one answered...
"if one had to exceed a limit...gcwr or gvwr....which would one choose...no one offered a reply.

going over gvwr for the tv isn't wise. brakes, tires, bearings, axles and suspension are packaged for this figure...so increased wear, braking distance and slower accleration are expected....also handling may be worse... exceeding gcwr or trailer limits isn't wise either. brakes, suspension, frame and shell will suffer.

will it all stop safely going down hill or with a blowout or panic event? that is always in my thinking....

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
Does the weight distribution hitch help reduce the effective vehicle payload by distributing hitch load over all axels in the combined unit?


no. w/d improved distribution of tongue mass to the front axle and trailer axle. it does not allow one to exceed rated limits...

also did you figure hitch mass into the payload? many forget this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
Our reserve tow capacity would be about 9% or 500 lbs. Is that cutting it too fine?


yes. but many are closer or over limit. they don't post much. it is an invite for attacks. i'd want more margin...but it depends some on travel expectations...2-3 short trips a year, taken slowly on the flats? or 30k miles a year, and a trip weekly. mountains, snow and desert....? like to drive fast?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
Any feedback from experienced travelers is appreciated.


so far not a lot of frontier posters here. i have seen favorable comparios of the the frontier to the new durango...there are some durango users here..

Quote:
Originally Posted by wotocho
Yeah! Putting the horse ahead of the cart since we don't have a tow vehicle capable of pulling the trailer.
well at least you've admitted this, started doing the leg work, and asked some good questions.

IF i already owned a frontier, and then purchased the trailer...i might try the combo. i would also want fresh suspension on the trailer, new tires and new brake bits...with good stopping power, and a great hitch...i like the haha. might have to limit cargo and toys. travel without water....and so on.

IF i hadn't purchased the frontier yet...i would likely look for a used tv with better towing capacity. get the safety margin higher. sacrifice 1-3 mpg for towing capacity. most people tweak their vintage trailers which doesn't make them lighter...also you may quickly move to a larger or new unit...and again be back to tv limitations...

hope this helps. thanks for asking for opinions...post again soon.

cheers

2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2006, 07:39 AM   #27
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
pjpoll ~ First of all, I have a 2003 Tundra and I love the truck. It is a very good TV for me. My 75 Trade Wind is rated at around 4200 pounds dry. That was 31 years ago and like me, it has put on a few pounds over the years. On the flats I can go faster then I want, but on steep grades I could use a few more ponies under the hood. As far as the numbers you are looking at, 5900 pounds dry is really pushing the limit. After you add food, water, propane, pots & pans, cloths and other stuff you would be at or above the max tow weight for the truck. The other number you need to consider is the GCWR (Weight of the TV and trailer together). The Tundra is rated at 11,800 pounds and the empty truck weights 4500. That leaves you with 7300 for the trailer and everything you put in the truck. If you add the weight of people, pets, gas and other items in the truck and subtract it from the 7300 pound limit, you will see that the 6900 pound tow capasity is not real. I think the 27 foot 5900 pound trailer is too much. The smaller trailer is much closer to the limits of the trailer. The 2007 Tundra would be a much better match with the 5.7 engine and 10,000 lb towing limit.
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2006, 10:39 AM   #28
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
One comment I wanted to add to this post; upgrading to a ¾ ton chassis, in my opinion, is what really makes the difference in towing. Whether you go gas, diesel, etc the motor is not what opened my eyes. Any of the motors in the big trucks can move a huge load. Going from a ½ ton to a heavy duty chassis makes all the difference in control. When we acquired our Excella we had the ½ ton Suburban (no slouch!), and were still within safe tow ratings (7700#), but getting closer to the max, I could feel us getting pushed around. Not like our previous 21’ camper, where the Suburban was way more TV than camper. One trip like that was enough. Now that we have a ¾ ton, the TV is in control again. My experience is it is much better to have an over matched tow vehicle (there’s that 85% rule again!). We find ourselves camping more and more, I like hitching up and not having to worry about a white knuckle ride, will my tranny over heat, etc., etc. If you start with a “white knuckle” express, you may think this is normal. It would be hard to know the difference in towing experiences if you have never experienced both. I am fortunate to be able to say I have done so.
We went diesel because of the perceived economy versus gas. The verdict is still out on that (I am getting 15mpg towing, about what I got not towing with the Suburban) so I guess it is a little better. Only 2500 miles on the truck now, time will tell how good that gets.
In summary, my experience has been; when you start to get over 6000# or so, you should really be looking at ¾ ton vehicles. Match your TV to your load; the 85% makes a lot of sense.
__________________

__________________
BillTex 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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which is best tow vehicle Van or Sedan? Mr Jody Hudson Tow Vehicles 10 10-06-2016 10:14 PM
F250 tow vehicle or flatbed? Cheryl Tow Vehicles 19 08-23-2007 02:58 PM
Tow Vehicle Options wlanford Tow Vehicles 10 05-23-2005 01:18 PM
1975 Cadillac Eldorado as Tow Vehicle overlander64 Tow Vehicles 9 11-04-2002 08:04 AM
4x4 tow vehicle... or not? Cheryl Tow Vehicles 11 08-23-2002 12:00 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:05 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.