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Old 08-14-2007, 07:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by millvalleyca
Hey Ryan
Listen to these guys...they know what they're talking about!
Our dealer told us we could tow our 25 footer with our Saab 97!
After purchasing we found this sight.
In a rush we bought a brand new 97 GMC YukonXL.....WRONG
We now tow with a Ford F250! A very costly mistake.
Do your reasearch here and don't listen to a salesman wanting to make a sale.
Good luck!
Just out of curiosity how did the Saab do when you first towed the 25??

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:41 PM   #16
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2005 19' Safari
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FWIW: I just returned from a two week trip cross-country... Went across Iowa and Nebraska... Anyone think that's FLAT??? NOT! Don't kid yourself. The terrain we all attribute to being the "flat" lands out there are still "hilly". Even the interstate has rolling hills that eat up your speed. If you're under powered you're going to be "shifting" continually all the way across the country. No problem if you have the patience and time to relax and take your time, but if you have any sense of time constraint (actual or percieved) you might find the experience just a bit too frustrating.

Something to consider... If you do have the patience and are NOT on a schedule... Vehicles are expensive and unless you're a full-timer, let's face it... we don't tow enough to really justify the cost. This really boils down to this... Do you really have time issues/patience which require a new vehicle? - or - Are you willing to make the investment regardless? You can probably tow with just about anything close to your truck, it just comes down to if it's important to you to keep up with traffic. To me... it is. I love my F-350 Diesel! 13-14 MPG at 70MPH while towing my 19'. Don't even have to think about how hard I am pushing the truck... it just doesn't care... You've no doubt thought of all of this already... Just some additional pointless advise.

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:07 PM   #17
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2008 27' International CCD FB
Mill Valley , California
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Hey Road Ruler
We actually had the good sense not to even try towing with the Saab. Realized how ridiculous it was to believe the dealer and went out and bought the Yukon. After taking the Binki2 out a couple of times and up some steep climbs traded the Yukon in for the F250. Now we LOVE camping!
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:42 AM   #18
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Grand Island , Nebraska
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I agree with most of what has been said. I note that you live in a mountainous area. You'll quickly sour on towing if you go with your combo. Having too little TV can also scare the daylights out of you and might intimidate you from continuing with your Airstream life. That would be sad!

'92 Limited 34ft (now sold); '96 Dodge Cummins 4X2, 5speed
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:56 PM   #19
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Central Part , Maryland
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I am towing the 19 ft Bambi with a 4.0 liter V-6 rated at 207 horsepower (Ford Ranger 4x4) with 5-speed automatic transmission and 4.11 rear ends. Factory spec says 5,600 lbs towing capacity for this combo.

With the 19 ft, plus all my junk, 2 people, and the topper on the truck (that alone is 250 lbs) I figure I am right around 5,000 lbs when I hit the road. On the level it is just fine and here on the East coast there is really no problem with the "mountains" around here because they are only 3,000 feet high.

But last year we made a run out to Colorado/Wyoming and the problem comes in once you get up to 5 or 6,000 feet altitude and the horsepower starts to drop in the engine. That is where I started to notice (and wish) that I had some more ponies under the hood. Yes we made it up all the Interstate hills just fine, but there were times we were over in the slow lane with the flashers on at 40 mph when I would have normally been running 60 with the rest of the traffic.

I have been on the highway from Sacramento up to Tahoe (not with the Airstream though) and that is a pretty steep run and not one I would enjoy pulling my 19 footer up. It would do it, but it wouldn't be a pleasant, enjoyable trip.

I do like my Ranger, but once it has passed its prime the replacement tow vehicle will be 3/4 ton with either a whopper V-8 or a diesel.

best regards.
Dave&Shari Wagner
2006 Bambi SE,
2008 Ford F350 Diesel 4x4
" I am lost and have gone Airstreaming to find myself, If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait..."
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:07 AM   #20
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Central Part , Maryland
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Hi again, one other thought I had this morning was that if your tow vehicle is just a 2-wheel drive then there are times when there might be more of an issue than just horsepower.

Case in point is last summer I was at a National Park here in Maryland (Catoctin Mountain - which I know would just be a small hill out west) but anyway, they call it a mountain out here. It has windy roads thru the park with numberous tight switch-backs, so tight in fact that they have signs limiting park entry to a max trailer length of 22 feet (but I have seen some 30's in there).

Anyway, I was heading thru there for a weekend of camping, towing my 19 ft with full fresh water tank and normal stuff so I had a good 5,000+ lb boat anchor on the back of my 3,500 pound Ranger. The problem came in as I was rounding one of the tight switch-backs at about 10 mph and then had to immediately go up a steep grade -- I guess 10~15+ percent grade for maybe 200 yards or so. I stepped down on the gas but with the trailer weight, the grade and the lite weight of the rear end of a mid-size pickup truck what happened was the tires just broke loose and started spinning (this was on blacktop with some leaves and loose gravel etc on top). So I ended up coming to a stop and then starting back out, but I could not get started out in two wheel drive because the tires would break loose and spin before I could get the trailer to start rolling. So, luckily my truck is a 4x4 so by engaging 4-wheel drive so the front axle of the pickup was also pulling I had enough traction to get back going again. If I would have only had two wheel drive I might still be there.

I guess that is a little rambly, but my point is in additional to just the horsepower issue there are times when the lighter weight of a small/mid-size truck can also be a dissadvantage especially if just 2-wheel drive.

regards, Dave.
Dave&Shari Wagner
2006 Bambi SE,
2008 Ford F350 Diesel 4x4
" I am lost and have gone Airstreaming to find myself, If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait..."
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:33 PM   #21
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San Luis Obispo , California
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We own a 2002 22' CCD... so have experience with that AS. We tow it with a 5.9L V-8 Dodge Ram with a 4:10 rear end. We've done a lot of towing with this combination out west, including the Sierras. From my experience, no way would a V-6 be up to the challenge of western mountains with a 22' CCD.
2002 22' CCD
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:29 AM   #22
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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I don't think 4X4 is necessary unless you plan on doing a lot of boon docking in areas where you think you will need it specifically for that purpose. In the scenario that wagnerda described, you could always stop, release the weight distribution system (disengage the spring bars) and put all of the tongue weight on the rear axle for the extra traction you need. Not convenient, but you would get better mileage the rest of the time when you don't need the 4X4 traction. The 4X4 system also takes away from the GVWR and the amount you can tow.

The Tahoe/Suburban and the Expedition are heavy vehicles. I know from experience the Expeditions are heavier than their 1/2 ton pickup counterparts. They are wider and have a slightly longer wheel base and are more stable than the trucks and because of the extra cabin, third row seats, second air conditioner, and extra glass they weigh more. I don't think traction will be the same issue as with the Ranger truck.

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