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Old 01-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #127
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Airstream Europe....

Carscoop: Airstream's Bambi 422 Trailer: For The Deer Hunter in All Of Us
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:45 AM   #128
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~~
2) European sedans/wagons/small SUVs are generally "beefier" than their North American counterparts, hence they have higher tow ratings.
~~
You have mentioned this in the past. Your other points about the difference in tongue weight and allowable speeds for towing in Europe are reasonable, but I don't think the differences you imagine in the cars themselves actually exist.

Let's look at a vehicle you've mentioned in the past, the Subaru Forester. In order to compare apples to apples, I choose the 2014 2.0XT with a turbocharged gasoline engine with the "Lineartronic" (CVT) because it's available in both markets. To avoid translation issues, I'll choose the Subaru UK site.

The US site lists curb weight at 3,624 lb (1647 kg). The UK site lists "kerb weight" at 1607 kg, the heaviest of all the configurations available (due to the CVT most likely) and about 90 lb lighter than the US car, which is probably due to the UK car having less standard equipment or a difference in the way they set a car up to measure curb weight.

UK towing capacity is listed at 2000 kg (4400 lb) while US towing capacity is listed at 1,500 lb (682 kg). This is with the same engine and transmission (though likely running different software). I'm sure some of the difference is from the lower speeds allowed for towing in the UK and differences in tongue weight. Some may be from the mandated surge brakes in the UK vs. the requirement that owners install an aftermarket brake controller to have brakes on most trailers in the US. I just don't think any of it is from the Forester being "beefier" in the UK.

The higher prices for vehicles in Europe are due in large part to taxation... VAT is included in the price, and in the UK it's 20%. Even without VAT the price in dollars is significantly more for the car in the UK compared to the US but I don't it's buying you any more "beef."
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:13 AM   #129
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Interesting. I notice in the photos that the stabilizers run longitudinally, probably because of the narrow footprint of the trailer. No mention of how scary the price is.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:16 AM   #130
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Here's my favorite from last summer's Euro-13 gathering in Weilburg, Germany: a BMW X6. Cool-looking, but a bit pricey.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:40 AM   #131
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I'd like to know where in the UK you can park your trailer on the beach without getting the cops to show up ten minutes later...

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Old 01-14-2014, 09:45 AM   #132
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Interesting. I notice in the photos that the stabilizers run longitudinally, probably because of the narrow footprint of the trailer. No mention of how scary the price is.
Actually DKB, your response in the post links directly to your response to Rostam in your previous post; scary prices are market led and in my view, so are the accompanying tow ratings.

There is no point in the manufacturers attempting to push European buyers to bigger and more "tow-capable" vehicles like they do in North America because there simply isn't the market for them. It's not that folk in Europe wouldn't like a big, manly pick-up truck but they simply will can't cope with a routine, non-towing gas mileage of less than 20 mpg. which seems to be quite acceptable here - you'll have seen the cost of gas over there I'm sure. So, if you can't sell a gas guzzler then you have to sell other stuff, like fuel efficient SUVs and quite capable sedans that will return 30 mpg or more when not towing but will haul reasonably heavy caravans with relative ease.

As you point out, DKB, a lot of the cars sold in the European market are available in North America these days, albeit with slight differences, and if they're good to tow in Europe then they should be good to tow here, despite what the "ratings" might suggest. But on this side of the pond where there is a market for those bigger vehicles, the manufacturers lead us to think that we must have a bigger car because a smaller one will not be up to the task and published tow ratings seem to be one of their biggest marketing tools in this trend. Physics be damned, it seems that it's largely down to the smoke and mirrors of marketing and what the market will stand.

This is a good debate to have because we should question the manufacturers, especially as gas prices go ever higher. There are plenty of North American Airstreamers who can show you a working tow vehicle that goes against the "bigger is better" marketing tide and the OP on this thread is looking to see what's possible; I hope others will do the same when it comes to buying that tow vehicle.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:48 AM   #133
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I'd like to know where in the UK you can park your trailer on the beach without getting the cops to show up ten minutes later...

Or it sinking into the mud!

That'll probably be Pendine Sands in West Wales where not only have land speed records been set but the RAF practice landing C130s! I can't believe that they've used a beach in Cumbria, near the Airsteam Europe base, because it'd be lost to the sinking sands and high speed tides in no time!
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:19 AM   #134
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This is our one and only beach shot. Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park (2008).

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Old 01-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #135
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I kind of speed skimmed but the beefier in the UK does have a bit of history, I think it was an influx of grey/ import Subaru Imprezzas from Japan that starting failing due to lighter duty materials than the UK spec cars a few years back.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:12 PM   #136
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Here's my favorite from last summer's Euro-13 gathering in Weilburg, Germany: a BMW X6. Cool-looking, but a bit pricey.
I have seen some deals on BMW 540i Wagons that made me think about them, but they need Premium gas and don't get great mileage. Would be fun though.

Also a Subaru Forrester would work for me.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:19 PM   #137
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"UK towing capacity is listed at 2000 kg (4400 lb) while US towing capacity is listed at 1,500 lb (682 kg). This is with the same engine and transmission (though likely running different software). I'm sure some of the difference is from the lower speeds allowed for towing in the UK and differences in tongue weight. Some may be from the mandated surge brakes in the UK vs. the requirement that owners install an aftermarket brake controller to have brakes on most trailers in the US. I just don't think any of it is from the Forester being "beefier" in the UK. "

Sounds like a Forrester could be anothe choice to handle my 4000lb Overlander..

Anyone here using this?
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:26 PM   #138
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Personally I would prefer a large tow vehicle. But I think a Toyota FJ cruiser or jeep wrangler would suit my needs. Under 4000 pound trailer and a driver who drives like an old man, under 65 mph. If my current tow vehicle dies before I do, I may look into those options. Any more pictures of FJ orWrangler towing? Jim
Here is a shot of my older Wrangler 'Rubiclone' towing a Minuet.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...tml#post436671

We have replaced this one with a newer 2005 Wrangler Rubicon and still tow the Minuet.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:51 PM   #139
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"UK towing capacity is listed at 2000 kg (4400 lb) while US towing capacity is listed at 1,500 lb (682 kg). This is with the same engine and transmission (though likely running different software). I'm sure some of the difference is from the lower speeds allowed for towing in the UK and differences in tongue weight. Some may be from the mandated surge brakes in the UK vs. the requirement that owners install an aftermarket brake controller to have brakes on most trailers in the US. I just don't think any of it is from the Forester being "beefier" in the UK. "

Sounds like a Forrester could be anothe choice to handle my 4000lb Overlander..

Anyone here using this?
I own an old body style Forester (non-turbo), rated to tow 2400#. I would not tow more than the stated tow capacity. Otherwise, it is an amazing vehicle.

How about Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia/Chevy Traverse? They tow ~5000# and get OK mileage.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:09 PM   #140
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been looking at those GM vehices too. I am also looking at Suzuki XL7 which is the same platform but less expensive. Has really good reviews regarding tow capability.

My list now-

Volvo XC70 or 90 or other Volvo suitable for towing. I would consider older Volvos (if reasonably low miles)
Suzuki XL7 (or similar)
Jetta TDI
Chrysler 300
Dodge Charger or Magnum
Audi A6 Wagon
Jeep Diesel
Acura MDX
Most are 2006 or so - budget is under 10,000
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