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Old 10-01-2016, 02:33 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Options for 77 31ft Land Yacht

Ok...first let me apologize as I know this topic is saturated. I'm posting as I made a mistake with my first tow vehicle bc I only looked at engine size and I'm worried about doing the same again.

So my AS is a 31ft Land Yacht with centre bath. It's a 77 and I believe it's 7500lbs.

Last year I purchased a used Lincoln Navigator 5.4 V8 and while it towed ok...not great...I think the combination of air suspension and short wheelbase in the Nav may have contributed to some unnerving sway.. The trailer has original Reese WD hitch, but no anti sway. When I bought the AS I towed it with a F150 (same engine as nav) and didn't even notice it and never experienced any sway despite some skyways and a 4hr drive.

So now I'm hunting for either a Nissan Titan or Toyota Tundra as a better TV option...I prefer the styling and engine ratings in these PUs compared to competition.

My question is this: Is a long wheel base as found in a pick up the key to safe towing and does this explain why the Lincoln was not the best option?

Thanks
Mike
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:18 PM   #2
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Over all the longer wheel base will be an improvement. Less load within the WD hitch to level things out. More natural sway control, but still install a sway control hitch. Less tendency to bounce.

The one disadvantage would be maneuvering while backing up. Not worth the consideration unless you have a very tight space at home.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:11 PM   #3
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1979 31' Sovereign
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If you're needing a tow vehicle with passenger capacity you might want to check out the Nissan NV and Towing with a Van threads. The NV is on the Titan chassis. We bought one back in March and use it to tow our '79 Sovereign.

Do you have someone near you who weighs travel trailers? It might be worth doing if your trailer doesn't have the original tag from the manufacturer. Our trailer's weight, as stated by the manufacturer, is about 5,000 lbs empty and 7,000 loaded.
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:48 AM   #4
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Backing into my driveway is pretty straightforward. In fact when I bought the AS the last trailer I had was a Pop-Up and that took me numerous attempts and lots of swearing to back up..what a pleasant surprize when I backed the long AS in first try!

I'll check out the NV. Max passenger capacity is 4...my Lab passed this summer and he was one of the reasons we'd avoided PUs initially.

I have an eye on a Nissan Titan Pro 4x...but I need to confirm this off road oriented version is as good a tower as the standard Titan.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:14 AM   #5
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There are only two of us, but we do travel with several animals. (Nine on the last trip - 5 dogs and 4 rabbits) That number won't always be the same, since 2 of the Labs belong to our younger daughter. She's planning to have them live with her shortly. Our Cattle Dog will be 9 in the spring and one of my rabbits is a senior at 6.

We liked the flexibility of the NV, and while it's technically a van, it's more like a pickup with a built-in topper. A topper with heat and AC.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:15 AM   #6
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I'll cast my vote for a Tundra.
Owning both Nissans and Toyotas I can say Toyotas hold up slightly better and the dealership experience is a little better at the Toyota place (at least here) on sales and service.
Tundra towing for 6+ years and still happy.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:56 PM   #7
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I towed a '79 a/s 30 sovereign with centre bath for 5 years with a '98 Toyota Sienna. v6 engine 195 hp can't remember the tranny # of gears. But no all wheel drive or even traction control. Must have done at least 30,000 towing miles over 5 years including a trip to the Yukon and Alaska. Only maintenance was normal such as oil changes. Traded the '98 in on a 2004 after 5 years of absolutely no problems. then towed a 1999 30 ft classic for 5 years with no problems. Don't need a Tundra in my opinion. But others may defer.
ps. Always used a Reese dual cam hitch setup.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodytwo View Post
I towed a '79 a/s 30 sovereign with centre bath for 5 years with a '98 Toyota Sienna. v6 engine 195 hp can't remember the tranny # of gears. But no all wheel drive or even traction control. Must have done at least 30,000 towing miles over 5 years including a trip to the Yukon and Alaska. Only maintenance was normal such as oil changes. Traded the '98 in on a 2004 after 5 years of absolutely no problems. then towed a 1999 30 ft classic for 5 years with no problems. Don't need a Tundra in my opinion. But others may defer.
ps. Always used a Reese dual cam hitch setup.
If you had pics of that Sienna set up those would be amazing! Maybe it's simply the need of anti sway but that Lincoln scared me when pulling the LY.

Monday was the day. I narrrowed it down to a Titan pro 4by and slightly older Tundra. Driving the tundra was a different experience.:.amazing engine and transmission. In the end it won. Local trade, well maintained and a matching cap that makes me look like a Granpa (or at least what I remember my own Granpas truck before a moose attacked it)

Anyhow I can't wait to test it out. Thanks for the input all!
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:44 AM   #9
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That cap will be so handy for storing your stuff, though.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:53 PM   #10
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Mike you asked if a long wheelbase was key to safe towing.. and if that explained why the Nav didn't tow that trailer as well as the f-150. In a word.. NO.. while longer wheel base is a contributing factor the answer to safe towing is largely proper weight distribution. I'll bet you never weighed the loaded axle weights of all the axles of both vehicles with the trailer. If you did and you adjusted your WDH & load so that the NAV had similar axle weights to the f-150 it would have towed that same trailer very similarly.

Somewhere on here is a little video of a toy mustang on a belt towing a trailer. Its a good enough demonstration to give you a quick understanding of the importance of proper weight distribution and a common example of what happens. Get a no sway WDH to transfer some weight from the rear TV axle to the steers and also back to the trailer. You compare the numbers at the scale before and after. You can use CAT scales at a truck stop, grain elevator, scrap yard, landfill, DOT scales found on major truck routes near state lines. DOT scales have to be used when they are closed but this is usually about as often as they are open.

Search the forum there is instructions for how to best do this and what is the ideal.
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