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Old 11-21-2011, 04:40 PM   #29
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Yeah, it's important for us to have the bed in the back for a lot of reasons. And yes, CanAm does have some used Bambis on the lot! I think all 19'.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #30
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Jeep Wrangler Tow Vehicle; Bad Idea

Having owned (and loved) Jeeps, and having owned (and loved) Airstreams for many years, Jeeps are not suitable tow vehicles for anything over a ton. Their wheel base is just too short, their engines too small, and their, drive trains too weak. They are, afterall, 1/4 ton light, utility, vehicles.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:33 PM   #31
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goal15 View Post
I had the smaller Jeep Wrangler for several years and loved it, but aside from the power, wheelbase and tow capacity, I never was a big fan of driving it anywhere that it was going to take more than 2 hours because it is just not meant to be a long distance travel vehicle from a comfort standpoint in my humble opinion.

We still covet Wranglers when we see them but very happy with our Tundra/AS combination.
Goal whacked the rite rivet there....

You 'wanna go place's, hopefully more than 200mi away, and the trip should be part of the fun. I have driven a few late model Jeep W's, maybe they could tow, but IMO wouldn't be very pleasant over the long haul.
Our first TV was a GW, solid axles frt and rear, and even that big'un wasn't very comfortable towing, just barely, a 22' Safari.

PS...good advice given above. Decide on the AS first, it just may be around a lot longer than the TV.

Bob
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:39 PM   #32
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I have towed my 20' Argosy (weight about 4000# as loaded to travel) with several different Jeeps, all Grand Cherokee rigs. The 1993 had the straight 6, the 1994, a V8, the 1998 another 6, the 2001, a V8, and now the 2012 V8 hemi.

All did the job. The 6's were a bit slower, and worked a bit harder. The 94 V8 was not a lot better than the 93 six. The 98 six was fine, the 2001 V8 was great. The new 2012 is fantastic, in all ways, but I think the new Pentastar Six would also be a fine vehicle to tow with.

BTW, the milage towing the Argosy has been the close to the same for every one of them, in the range of 13 to 14.5 mpg. All had full time 4 WD.

What is enough vehicle for one person seems to be a personal decision, once the basics of manufactures tow rating is not exceeded. I do think you might be happy with the new Grand Cherokee with the six. The simple ones go for under $30k, the fully loaded ones up to $44k. In used, I loved my 4.7 L V8, in the 2001, and that engine was available for most of the 2000's years up to 2010. Factory tow package is mandatory in my opinion, on any Jeep.

Remember these are all personal opinions on what has worked for us, or me in this case.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:49 PM   #33
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Thanks.

I should have been more clear -- she wants a Bambi if at all possible. The Wrangler towing capacity is listed as 3,500 lbs.
I won't try to tell you what to buy, only our experience with our first Airstream.

We were looking for something we could tow with our 1947 Chevy Street Rod. Car has 117" wheelbase and weighs 3,600 lbs. All of the running gear is late model, 345 hp V8, modern suspension etc.

We got a 1965 17' Airstream Caravel. Smallest airstream in which all have a full bath with shower. It weighs 2,300 empty, and about 3,000 fully loaded, cloths, TV, bedding, food etc., etc.

We have towed it over 60,000 miles with the Chevy, back and forth across the country and more. We have towed it many miles with our Silverado 1500.

It is a great trailer for two people. Probably the best use of space of any Airstream ever built.

Ours is not for sale (sorry flynmike), but they are out there to be had if you look, and are patient.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:01 PM   #34
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Good info here but not clear on the Jeep. Do you already own the Jeep? If so, you would probably find that it is not an enjoyable experience towing a late model 16' or 19' Bambi. If you do not already own a Jeep, there are other alternative SUV's that can compete with a stock jeep off-road, if that is your intent. If you don't plan to off-road, than you don't need a jeep.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:37 AM   #35
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I want to thank everyone who has contributed comments and answers. You've all given us valuable information for those evenings when we sit around the kitchen table and dream of a future in an Airstream.

All the best!
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:08 AM   #36
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No. No, and NO!!!!

The Jeep is NOT the right vehicle for the job!!!
The wheelbase is far too short. It's too light, and the drivetrain and power plant is undersized.
That said, you could tow a Bambi with a motorscooter, on level ground and no head wind. The real question is; SHOULD YOU? Of course not!!!
It isn't whether the Jeep has sufficient power to pull the trailer, the question is can you STOP in an emergency?!? NO YOU CAN'T!!!
In an ideal world, you can drive forever without some idiot pulling right in front of you, making you perform a panic stop. In the real world, you WILL have to panic stop sooner or later, and in less than ideal conditions, like when you're going downhill through the mountains at 60 mph.
It WILL happen sooner or later. Count on it. Ask any AS owner how many times it's happened to them.
The Jeep will NOT stop a 4,000 lb trailer at 60mph in an emergency. The trailer WILL take the little Jeep for a cruel ride.
If you doubt me, borrow someone's yard trailer, fill it with 4,000 lbs of dirt and debris, hitch it up to the Jeep, and go out to a vacant parking lot: Get up to about 30 mph and SLAM on the brakes!!! (Make sure you have next of kin standing by, with a cell phone to call 911. Take videos, too.)
You'll find out that there is NO WAY the Jeep is safe at high speed with a heavy trailer.
You'll also need a clean pair of underwear.
Please don't do it!
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:18 PM   #37
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The trailer brakes help a lot in slowing down the whole rig.jim
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #38
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With that short wheel base, if you have to make a quick maneuver or hit a big side wind blast you may find yourself jack knifed on your side sliding/tumbling in the general direction that you were traveling. Not how I want to wake up in the morning.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:56 PM   #39
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BTW, Airstream produced a sales video with single axle 19' AS being towed thru an obsticle course by a Porsche Cayanne. Powerful albeit short wheelbase.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:07 PM   #40
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Not an Airstream, and not as heavy, but I've actually towed a few trailers with a Jeep Wrangler, and it was the short one, not the long wheelbase version the OP is considering. It actually did a good job of "handling" the trailer, and IMHO it's because it has a very short overhang in the rear which again IMHO negates any of the problems created by the short wheelbase.

Think of the very short single rear axle truck-tractors that are used to tow large mobile homes. They do a great job of handling those huge trailers, and it's because the rear overhang is virtually nonexistant.

The problems with the Jeep Wrangler are the brakes are too small, the drive train (engine, trans, rearend) is too weak, and the frame is actually rather weak. Other than those things, it's a great tow vehicle.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:20 PM   #41
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Correction. That was a 23' double axle AS being towed by the Porsche Cayenne. See YouTube Airstream Performance.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:04 PM   #42
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Don't kid yourself. Those shanty shakers (trade jargon for mobile home pullers) flip over all the time in NM and west Texas winds. One big side gust is all it takes to start a death wobble that leads to metal and fiberboard showers. I pulled 'em there with a full size tandem axle Peterbilt for that very reason.
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