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Old 04-23-2009, 11:06 PM   #15
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Thanks for everyones input on what course to pursue. The CX-9 will have to be used to Tow since it was just purchased. I hadn't considered the Airstream life until just recently, but view it as an investment for my kids and to strenghthen my bond with my entire family.
The car will have to haul all of us, our gear and the trailer. Under those parameters, I will be seeking a 22" 1957 Caravanner, 1960 to 1964 Bambii or may be a GlobeTrotter. I'm more than up to the challenge, and a purchase will happen. I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks again for all the replys. No offense to my Canadian neighbors whom I excluded as free spirited campers. Will keep everyone updated

Pat
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:20 PM   #16
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Towing a travel trailer in the winter is challenging. No problem if the roads are dry (other than salt spray corroding the aluminum and steel). But snowy/icy roads will be a problem. Sway control assumes you have some traction... I can imagine big problems on ice.

IMHO you will need a better tow vehicle. I had a 2003 Ford Explorer V8, and would consider that the minimum vehicle for towing any Airstream. Even that should be limited to a 19' or smaller trailer. For a 20-28 foot trailer an F150 will do nicely, and beyond that you need an F250+. All of these assume a properly equipped truck - tow package, proper gearing, etc...

With your family I would think a 25 Six Sleeper would be the minimum. A well kept newer used trailer, preferably having been stored indoors, would do the job. It would save a lot compared to new, while hopefully not being a restoration project that will consume your time.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:56 AM   #17
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I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks again for all the replys. No offense to my Canadian neighbors whom I excluded as free spirited campers. Will keep everyone updated

Pat
Hey there Pat. Free spirited we are. Some of us even sleep in the nude.

I owned a Mazda sedan for many years. It was a great vehicle. When the car was 12 years old it was rear ended by a large truck and the car was totaled. I walked away injury free and not even a headache. Mazda builds a performance oriented vehicle that is big on handling and stability. These are attributes that contribute to a good TV.

The success of any TV is directly related to the choice of connection hardware and set up / adjustment of the hardware and combination as a whole. Marc suggested consulting with a towing professional which I agree with to get the job done right the 1st time. This will avoid going through the trial and error method that so many do it your-self-er folks have tried over the years with limited success and an abundance of failures.

In many cases a poor set up results in the owner needlessly down sizing their trailer or switching to a TV they don't really want or need but for whatever reason they make a costly change.

Good luck with your combination. If you get it connected optimally it may turn out to be an admirable, performing keeper.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:13 AM   #18
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Pat, sounds like you have some hard choices ahead. A lot of preparation and some good luck will help you come up with something that fits your growing (in size if not numbers) family, the tow vehicle, and your desire for an Airstream. A vintage unit may be the best bet. There will probably be a lot of fixes to any older units even if they were well taken care of. Let us know how it works out for you.

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Old 04-24-2009, 10:06 AM   #19
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Welcome to the "great debate" Pat.
I had just a thought to add. It may be a different angle but here it goes. How about a Airstream Motor home? Then you could pull your Mazda with that? It is just something to think about. Mike
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:59 AM   #20
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I'm open to all suggestions.
Let me pitch something else to you: a Trailmanor. I'm currently smitten by these - hard-walled folding trailers. They're very light for their length, seem to be much better engineered than the typical white-box trailer, and their owners generally seem very happy with them. There are some floorplans that offer a lot of roomy sleeping areas, and it looks like you could get an used one that isn't too old (say 2003-2006) for around $16k. They even have a fixed-wall 24' trailer that's under 2500 lbs dry weight (but it won't have enough sleeping areas for your brood.)

It's not shiny and cool like an Airstream (and that does count for a lot), but you won't have to restore it (like the options you've listed), there is more room inside than a vintage Globetrotter or Bambi, and it is closer to the capacities of the CX-9. (BTW, a friend has towed his fairly large boat with one, and it towed pretty well.)

My $0.01...

Tom
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:19 AM   #21
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I think Memgrove's idea may be a solution that the rest of us missed because it's so obvious. It would be a newer vehicle and hopefully have less restoration to deal with.

Tom's idea also is worth considering. A friend just bought a "hybrid" trailer. The kitchen/dinette/bath area is a small hard sided trailer with fold out for a bed on each end. I think the dinette also becomes a bed. He bought it because he couldn't maneuver anything bigger than 19' up his driveway. The fold out parts are soft sided. It's called Trail Cruiser. I haven't seen it yet and don't know what it weighs, but it may be a solution. This would not be a 4 season unit. I would think light weight may in some instances mean poor construction. A well made lightweight trailer will probably have an aluminum frame because it saves a lot of pounds.

But it wouldn't be as cool as an Airstream Moho.

Gene
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:33 PM   #22
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Personally, I like the TrailManor. If my wife and I were choosing a weekend "camping" trailer rather than an "up-to-a-year-full-timing" trailer, we might have bought one. A 27' TrailManor weighs less than 2900 pounds dry and given the "folding" design, it has a much lower profile than a standard "box." While I haven't towed one, I think it would be very well behaved given the low center of gravity and reduced sail area.

Unfortunately, TrailManor still feels a little 70s in its interior design and as noted, it lacks the "cool" of aluminum... but it is does seem to be a good technology.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:25 PM   #23
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For many years we towed a 2,000lb pop up with our 150HP Nissan Van. With that set up we averaged 19MPG towing.

Then we went to the 4,500lb 23' Airstream and the fuel usage only dropped to 16MPG (imp gals). Not a lot of difference in towability between the two trailers.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:50 PM   #24
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Hi-Lo trailers

Well, come to think about it, before we fell in love with Airstream TTs, we were quite taken with Hi-Lo trailers. They are all metal, and have a motorized top half that lifts and lowers at the touch of a button.

This makes a huge difference in overall weight, PLUS gives better (less) tow-resistance than about any other trailer.

And yet, while they are up, they have all the benefits of a square trailer: better headroom and more space, AND they are metal, no canvas.

Here's a link to a used one, a 21'unit that sleeps six, and here is the company website. Only showing the used one for some more "real" photos that it shows.

Here's to open minds....!
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:21 PM   #25
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Fellow Campers

Thank you all for such great feedback. I appreciate everyone's concern given my predicament, and will work with CanAm Rv to find a workable solution for the safety of both my family and the vehicle. If towing modifications let me haul 5000-6000 lbs that would be great

However, after how loud my 2 little girls were screaming tonite; they'll definately be backcountry camping someday. Anyways, baseball going on all day tommorrow, pictures, then practice for 2 with one pink princess in tow. Thanks again for the help will keep everyone updated when I know more.
Pat
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:40 PM   #26
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When I was a kid in the 50's we had a very small teardrop trailer. There were 8 of us. My parents slept in the trailer and the kids slept in tents. We had an umbrella tent for my 4 sisters, and my brother and I shared a pup tent. Most of our cooking was done on a Coleman stove and the campfire, only breakfast was made in the trailer. I rarely went inside the trailer, usually just to load or unload all the camping stuff we brought. We camped for a month each August, all over California and once at Yellowstone. We never camped at commercial RV parks, always at the National Parks, National Forests, and state parks. There was always a restroom nearby. When in rained or a plague of flying sucking insects, we zipped up the tents. Bathing was in the river or lakes (the Merced river is the coldest river in the world, BTW). We never went in the trailer. It was great, and we never even considered getting a larger trailer.

The purpose of autobiography is to emphasize that the size of your trailer depends on what kind of camping you intend to do, where you will camp, and how much "roughing it" you want to experience. My wife and I now share a 25' Classic. No kids or dogs. We still avoid commercial RV parks, and boondock it in National Forest or BLM land. The reason we went with the Classic is the water carrying capacity, as we often times are out for two weeks at a time with only the water we bring with us. We ride our mountain bikes every day, so showers are a must, and long showers are greatly appreciated after a long uphill ride on a hot day. We certainly do not rough it. The 25 footer is larger than we need; we would have been fine with a 19 footer, but the water situation was key for us as we almost always camp in the desert (Utah, AZ, NM, and Mexico). Since we are retired, we camp all summer and into the fall.

I see no problem with buying a small light trailer that your Mazda can tow, and buy a couple of good tents for the kids. They will love it.
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