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Old 11-21-2011, 12:42 PM   #1
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Please help settle this!

My wife and I plan on purchasing a small (used) Airstream in the next year or so -- my wife is in love with the Bambi, but she's not locked in on one. What she is fixed on is the idea that we will be able to tow it with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited once the Jeep is properly equiped for towing.

I'm extremely doubtful, but nothing I've shown her to date has changed her mind. Maybe she's right.

Please help -- this forum is much cheaper than marriage counseling.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
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At reasonable speeds and loads it should work OK
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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OK, just to make sure the issue is understood: you both want a small Airstream, but you want it bigger than a Bambi? Do I have that right? What size do you want?

Regarding the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, what does it's manufacturer say it will tow (in terms of weight)?
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mr Wemmick View Post
My wife and I plan on purchasing a small (used) Airstream in the next year or so -- my wife is in love with the Bambi, but she's not locked in on one. What she is fixed on is the idea that we will be able to tow it with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited once the Jeep is properly equiped for towing.

I'm extremely doubtful, but nothing I've shown her to date has changed her mind. Maybe she's right.

Please help -- this forum is much cheaper than marriage counseling.
That is not a good tow vehicle because of it's short wheel base.

Andy
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:52 PM   #5
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It depends on your Jeep....is it the four door, long wheelbase model? If so, I believe they have a 5000lb towing capacity, and would do OK with a 16 footer.

If it's the two door version, Jeep doesn't recommend towing anything with it. I don't know, maybe it's capable of towing a small boat, or 1000lb utility.

Have you considered a Toyota FJ Cruiser? Much more capable vehicle (towing 5000lbs.), and much bettter creature comforts.

And, welcome to the forum.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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"Jeep® Wrangler allows you to conquer any terrain, but it also has a healthy 2,000-pound towing capacity when properly equipped." (Quote from Jeep Web site.)

You didn't mention which Airstream model, length and year you are interested in towing. However, with only 2,000 pounds towing capacity, I think most Airstreams will be out of the question.

We have a 2005, 19-foot Bambi, which is fairly small, and I think it weighs about 4,400 or 4,500 pounds. The 16-foot model is lighter, but I suspect it is still much more than 2,000 pounds.

The Jeep site lists possible towed items as "folding camping trailers, small boats, motorcycles and snowmobiles"; so, sorry, but I don't think an Airstream is in your future, unless you get a larger tow vehicle.

===============

Sorry, wrong Jeep model; that should be 3,500 pounds, single axle trailers up to 18-feet.

The 16-foot Bambi is 3,500 pounds, but that would put you right at the max for the Jeep. Just my personal opinion, but I'd rather err on side of safety and get a larger tow vehicle. I think you'll be much happier in the long run, with less wear and tear on engine, brakes, etc., and probably better fuel economy, too.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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It's not the towing you have to worry about, it's the stopping or sudden maneuvering in traffic. I have a '76 CJ-5 (not an Unlimited, I know, but still a small Jeep), and I wouldn't think about towing with it, even though Jeep says I can tow 2,000lbs. The wheelbase is too short.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GetOutDoors View Post
OK, just to make sure the issue is understood: you both want a small Airstream, but you want it bigger than a Bambi? Do I have that right? What size do you want?

Regarding the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, what does it's manufacturer say it will tow (in terms of weight)?
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.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:18 PM   #9
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So you want us to talk you out of buying an Airstream (you don't want one at all)?
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:20 PM   #10
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Check in at CanAmRV.ca - they've been running tests on towing with all kinds of vehicles for many years and many miles. My favorite vid on their website is the Mini towing an Airstream.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:41 PM   #11
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So you want us to talk you out of buying an Airstream (you don't want one at all)?
Far from it. I need hard evidence that the Jeep is just not the tow vehicle we need. Everytime I bring up the Wrangler's lack of sufficient power, my wife refers to a tow system dealer in Canada who -- she says -- can solve the problem.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #12
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LOL - call CanAmRV and ask. If they say it won't work, you get to buy a new toy. If they say it will work, you save a lot of money.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:57 PM   #13
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Have you considered a Toyota FJ Cruiser? Much more capable vehicle (towing 5000lbs.), and much bettter creature comforts.

And, welcome to the forum.
x2 on both.

Then again, I might be biased on the FJ. I can only compare it to a 2-door Wrangler, a Suburban, and a Tacoma for towing, but out of those it won (for various reasons). Just one man's opinion.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:58 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum!

You've also just stepped on this particular sub-forum's land mine! To sum it up: car and truck manufacturers rate the towing abilities of their vehicles, then people on this forum argue over the value of those numbers. It seems to me like there are three camps: 1) the max towing weight is THE MAX and, just to be safe, you should try to stay about 10%-15% under it, 2) the max towing weight is THE MAX, don't go over it but you're fine up to that amount, 3) when properly equipped and modified, many vehicles can safely tow over the max weight, it's all a matter of power, gearing, cooling, wheelbase, rear overhang, etc.. All of the groups assume that you're properly equipped to tow although there is some disagreement as to what "properly equipped" means, especially in regards to your hitch setup.

Basically, you will get a lot of good advice and opinions here but you are very unlikely to get the final word on anything.

My $.02$ That Wrangler's not going to be a comfortable tow vehicle and I wouldn't feel safe towing with its short wheel base. That said, don't let anyone here convince you to get a 3/4ton diesel to tow a Bambi. You'll do just fine with an SUV and, given the Wrangler's so-so fuel economy, you'll probably use less gas.
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