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Old 04-02-2004, 12:13 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Old Toyota V6 Pickup as a Tow Vehicle?

I am looking at getting a small vintage AS to use for remote camping. I have two tow vehicles at my disposal: 2000 Tundra V8 pickup and a tired 1988 Toyota V6 4X4 pickup. I know I can tow a small vintage AS (under 5K lbs) with the Tundra. However, I was wondering if it was worth trying to stay with a small trailer to be able to use the 4X4 as the tow vehicle. The max tow capacity of the 4X4 is 3500 lbs and the max hitch weight is 350 lbs. The original HP was 145 HP, less now after 200K miles. Should I try and stick with something in the 16 to 18 foot range (early 50/60s trailers: Bubble, Caravel, Bambi, etc), or are even these trailers going to be too long and heavy to use the little truck. I have been checking out the table of trailer weights from the airstream site. I am looking for a reality check from some people with experience.

Thanks,
Geokid1
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:40 AM   #2
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Thumbs down Nope...

When we first got our 1964 19' GlobeTrotter (2890 empty weight), we had an older Jeep Cherokee that we thought would do fine...wrong! Theoretically, it was rated to tow 5000+ lbs. In reality, it labored with our trailer on the flatlands...forget about going into the mountians!

Generally speaking, you shouldn't max out your towing capacity beyond 75-85%, but you have to take where you will be driving into consideration also. You don't say where you are located, but altitude plays a big factor in determining towing capacities. The fact that your truck is older and less effecient due to it's age doesn't help. Not to mention the short wheel base and how narrow it is.

Bottomline, it's not an acceptable tow vehicle...sorry!

Why don't you want to use the Tundra? You may want to perform a search of the archives for keyword "Tundra" and see what folks have said about it's towing capacity...you would have a much better time with it, guaranteed!

Shari
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:35 AM   #3
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Thumbs down Concur

I have a '92 Toyota 4x4 4cyl with the same 3500lb towing limit. I tow a 13' UHaul 1300lb fiberglass camper with it, and even here in the flatlands of Iowa, it's all that the poor thing can do to keep the speed limits.

You could do a Bambi or Bubble, 16' Scamp, Casita or similar with your V6, but that's the top of your truck's abilities. For reference, according to the Airstream weight tables, the bubble weighs 1750lbs dry and the '61-'63 Bambis were 1850 dry. The fiberglass trailers weigh in at about 1600-1900 lbs depending on equipment. I did tow my '61 Bambi 16' on two occasions with a standard two-wheel drive 4cyl auto '85 Toyota pickup for 250mi. on the flatlands, and it did 'OK', but I only did it out of necessity. I certainly wouldn't choose that combo for travelling. It's tow rating with the auto was 5000lbs BTW.

I towed my Bambi regularly with an AWD Astro with the V6, and while it did OK, a V8 would have been a much better choice. IMHO, it would not have done well even with a Caravel or GT.

Roger
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:28 AM   #4
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Me too.

BTW, Roger...driving a GM vehicle.....there is hope for you yet.

Eric
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Old 04-02-2004, 02:05 PM   #5
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I was hoping to be able to use the small 4X4 truck because that is what I usually take camping when we go exploring out in the deserts. We are located in Southern California and we would be taking the trailer out to the locale desert (Anza-Borrego State Park) and up to Death Valley. So we will not be doing any real mountain driving, but there are still some pretty good grades out there! You have confirmed what I was afraid of....the small truck is not going to be up to the task, even if we stay as small as we can with the trailer. I can use the Tundra as the TW, we just will not be able to go exploring as many places when we get to where we are staying. Therefore, I guess we can start looking for some bigger trailers. Thanks for the reality check.

Geokid1
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Old 04-02-2004, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geokid1
I was hoping to be able to use the small 4X4 truck because that is what I usually take camping when we go exploring out in the deserts. We are located in Southern California and we would be taking the trailer out to the locale desert (Anza-Borrego State Park) and up to Death Valley. So we will not be doing any real mountain driving, but there are still some pretty good grades out there! You have confirmed what I was afraid of....the small truck is not going to be up to the task, even if we stay as small as we can with the trailer. I can use the Tundra as the TW, we just will not be able to go exploring as many places when we get to where we are staying. Therefore, I guess we can start looking for some bigger trailers. Thanks for the reality check.

Geokid1
Good call. I don't think I'd care to pull anything over to Anza Borrego behind your '88 Toy. Neither Banner Grade on 79 nor S2 into Borrego Springs would be particularly my cup of tea. I had a 13' Scamp years ago that I pulled to Anza Borrego regularly with a CJ-7 with a 258ci 6 cyl. I was young and foolish then...

About the only place you won't be able to go with the Tundra will be "the sqeeze" and maybe the trail from Borrego Springs to Anza. Other than that, I've explored most of A-B in two-wheel drive! As anytime you're out exploring, just be judicious about your approaches and when the going gets scary, walk your trail first.

Roger
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Old 04-02-2004, 03:39 PM   #7
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I agree, I have been thinking that I should be able to take the Tundra lots of places in Anza-Borrego. I will be keeping (and rebuilding) the 4x4 truck for the more radical trails. I will be adding an ARB rear locker to the Tundra for traveling around Anza Borrego. I already have one in the 4x4 and it is great. I have already upgraded the suspension and tires on the Tundra, so it should do OK. I will be very careful with the Tundra offroad. I kept the 4X4 to be a play truck and the Tundra is my daily driver.

I have been running around Anza-Borrego since 1983 and I still find new places to go! BTW My friends once saw a full size truck stuck in the squeeze! Evidently, it was night, they had been drinking, driving too fast, and they smashed right into in. They had been stuck there for a day and half before my friends showed up. They had been attacking the sides of the truck with a pick ax in an attempt to free the truck! My friends winched them out and sent them home with their tails between their legs.

Geokid1
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Old 04-02-2004, 05:02 PM   #8
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Lightbulb Geokid1

You could also consider getting an A/S motorhome and using the '88 Toyota as a toad...

Shari
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:40 PM   #9
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MotorHome?!?!? I am not ready for that yet! I know that it does make a lot of practical sense, but it does not have any of the cool factor or warm feel of a vintage trailer I got into this because my fiancee freezes when we go camping in the winter. Then we saw an ad for the new CCD Bambi. They are nice, but too pricey for us right now. So I started looking at used AS and got hooked on the vintage AS. Now I have to have one

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Old 04-02-2004, 06:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geokid1
MotorHome?!?!? I am not ready for that yet! I know that it does make a lot of practical sense, but it does not have any of the cool factor or warm feel of a vintage trailer I got into this because my fiancee freezes when we go camping in the winter. Then we saw an ad for the new CCD Bambi. They are nice, but too pricey for us right now. So I started looking at used AS and got hooked on the vintage AS. Now I have to have one

Geokid1
Hey now... have you ever looked at an Argosy 20' motorhome? They are the definition of cool! Look in the dictionary under cool, you'll find the Argosy 20 M/H! I think Shari's idea is great! What more could you ask for, Airstream cool, AND your Toy 4x4!

Roger
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:44 PM   #11
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Any trailer 25 years or older is considered vintage...

You can always strip & polish the Argosy to expose the cool aluminum exterior as shown here

Shari
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