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Old 02-09-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
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To Tow or not to Tow, that is my question

Don't want to beat a dead horse here, and I know it's been asked over and over, but the older I get the more cautious I get! I'm no rookie to camping or towing, been doing it for years and learned the hard way by making mistakes. Many a white knuckle experience before I learned how to pack a trailer correctly and set up my w/d hitch. Nothing like feeling the back of the trailer start to fish tale and not a whole lot you can do about it right then. I currently own a 27 foot Sunnybrook and have towed it all over the south east, mountains to the beaches. I tow it with my 2004 Nissan Titan with the big tow package. I have also done several things to enhance the towing, PML transmission pan which gives it 3 more quarts of fluid and also PML differential cover that gives an extra quart of synthetic rear end dope. I even ran a differential temp gauge to the cock pit to monitor the axle temp.( never seen it over 220 even with a/c on and outside temp @ 95 ) Roadmaster active suspension torsion springs to aid in load carry ability. I use the tow mode switch when I tow and only tow in 4the gear. The titan is set very well to down shift with only the flip of a toggle switch on the gear selector. I mention all this because after years of wanting an Airstream the wife and I have decided we are not getting any younger so why not go ahead and look for one. Issue is I want at least a 28-31 footer with the north south sleeping arrangements and you can't get that in a 25. Everything I've read on my truck I know I can't haul combinded weight of more that 14,600 lbs and the 31 weighs 8300 maxed out, so the way I figure it I would be maxing out the Titan at that weight. I'm no lead foot, like to be very conservitive when I tow, not like a lot of young people who tell me they tow at 70 and 80 mph. I do plan on installing a Banks CAI and running true duel exhaust to allow for a few more hp and let the engine breath better. So saying all this, would I be foolish to think I could tow a 31 Classic Ltd safely?
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:47 PM   #2
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Well, I have towed my 31' Sovereign about 65000 miles now over the past 11 years with a 2004 Titan SE. No failures, no "white knuckle" moments. About $4000 in repairs/updates over all those years (not including tires, hoses, oil changes...).

As it approaches 200,000 miles total, it still starts every time, has no squeaks or rattles. The suspension is tight, steering precise.

The clearcoat is shot and it is ugly but that is universal with old Nissans in Florida...

You might try your Titan with your dream Airstream. Before you do anything drastic. I believe you will be surprised at how easy the Airstream tows.

Mike
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:55 AM   #3
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Thanks!

Thanks so much for the information! That does make me feel better. Ever had any issues with your rear axle? Both of my rear seals were leaking (drivers side, passenger side ) before I bought it so the former owner had Nissan replace both, which is one of the reasons I bought it. 14 months later the drivers side started leaking again, so I filed a claim with Nissan USA and believe it or not they fixed it! I did a little axle vent mod the bloggers recommend and hopefully that fixed the leak issue. Thanks again.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:25 AM   #4
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The newer wide body 31' AS Flying Cloud tops out at 8,800 pounds. The Classic I believe at 10,000 pounds.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:04 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

......"So saying all this, would I be foolish to think I could tow a 31 Classic Ltd safely?"



Try it....if you need to up-grade....do it.

You can only be proved foolish if you don't do it and what you didn't do would have proved doable had you done it in the first place.

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Old 02-10-2016, 08:31 AM   #6
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I had to do both seals at about 175k. Also the exhaust manifolds. Those were the only two big ticket repairs. I do have slotted/dimpled brake rotors, though.

Mike
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:59 AM   #7
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I tow my 2015 classic with a 3500 gmc denali and love it

I would think the titan would be on the small side of the safety scale but I am sure some folks would tow it with a VW lol

the choice is yours

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Old 02-10-2016, 12:46 PM   #8
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Actual combined weight of my Tundra and Classic 30 is 14,400#.
You can do it.
Go get you that shiny new silver trailer.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paiceman View Post
The newer wide body 31' AS Flying Cloud tops out at 8,800 pounds. The Classic I believe at 10,000 pounds.
To get up to that max weight you would have to have all your holding tanks full and all your wifes stuff from the house loaded on to the trailer.
I pull a 30' International tops out at 8,800 pounds also and never had it heavier than 7,300 lbs. Most of the time we are at about 6,900 lbs.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:35 PM   #10
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Hello in Florida!

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Actual combined weight of my Tundra and Classic 30 is 14,400#.
You can do it.
Go get you that shiny new silver trailer.
I second that e-motion! And I note you say you live in FLORIDA. Is there a flatter place in the USA to test drive with your current tow vehicle? NO way. So we look forward to meeting you somewhere down the road.

You didn't ask, but may I suggest this - There are a lot of Airstreamer rallies around, and right now if there is one coming up it is in a warm weather area ... kinda like FLORIDA. So go to the bottom of the portal page and see if you can find one in your area... Contact them and see if they are "open" to Airstream wannabes. Generally all FORUM rallies are, but WBCCI - only some are. If you can find a rally and/or an Airstream only park that's within driving distance you can meet a lot of people with practical experience in their models - who'll be a big help assuring that you don't buy one model, then six months later fall in love with another. (Do I know anyone who ever did that?... only 60% of current forum members maybe?).

Finally - the happy hunting ground for gently used Airstreams can be a rally or Airstream only campground. MY current Airstream was originally bought by a doctor in Florida who let it sit in his yard for 9 months before selling it back to Colonial Airstream in New Jersey. Why? I don't actually care, because I ended up with an Airstream that was unused except for the tire wear back and forth and probably saved $15K or more vs. buying one new.

If you find a deal like that in the hands of a private seller, you're digging him out of a hole and saving big bucks for something else you might want... It's called doing GOOD and doing WELL!

There are a lot of nice people who age out of traveling due to bad health, and they're delighted to see their aluminum babies go to loving adoptive homes. Your obvious benefit is saving money, but it also makes trading up to some obscenely attractive Airstream that will be released in 2017 a lot less painful.

Oh, and it's a long trek, and you might even want to fly - but a visit to Colonial Airstream will let you see virtually every model, length and trim level Airstream offers. Most other dealers have a skimpy inventory. If you buy something from a video, floorplan and brochure description it is just not the same. Plus as far as dealer reputation is concerned - you're not going to find their equal anywhere on this coast. www.colonialairstream.com


Welcome to Aluminitis.

Resistance is Futile.

Paula
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:36 PM   #11
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8,800# is the weight of my 2013 Classic 30 on the trailer axles ready to camp at the Cat scales.
Approximately 880# is on the tongue. I neglected to drop the trailer and get tongue weight.
So let's say tongue weight is pushing 1,000#.
My trailer alone weighs approximately 9,700-9,800#.
I need to find those Cat scale tickets.


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Old 02-10-2016, 01:42 PM   #12
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Scratch that entire post.
Found Cat scale ticket.
7,440# on the trailer axles ready to camp-
So 8,800# approximate total trailer weight- 1,600# inside maximum trailer towing capacity of 10,400#, but maxing payload-
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The last photo of course is the door placard on my pickup.
I am very close to the front axle GVWR and the rear axle GVWR.
It don't want no more...


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Old 02-10-2016, 04:03 PM   #13
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Please don't try it in Colorado! lol
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:51 PM   #14
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Why not?
It's been in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee-
Not mile high, but the rig performed beautifully.
Don't think I'm ready to try the Ike gauntlet?
I don't mind going 45 uphill.
It's the going downhill that concerns me.


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