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Old 08-14-2007, 02:08 PM   #1
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tow package question for 2002 V-6 Chevy Silverado

hi, i am completely new to all of this but have loved airstremes since i was a kid. i am looking to purchaswe a 2004 international ccd 22' and had a question as to what type of tow package i will need to put on my truck. i have a single cab 2002 chevy silverado, v6 standard transmission. i was told i wouldnt have a problem towing the 22' trailer with this vehicle. any information would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:30 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the V-6 Silverado, but I am pretty sure that it would be under powered for even a 22' International. If it were a Safari, it might be different because they are lighter than the Internationals. But I think you will soon find that you will want more power. Yes, the truck will pull the trailer but you won't be as comfortable as you would with a V-8. I would recommend a bigger engine. Of course, I've been told I have too much truck for my trailer...I disagree.
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:41 PM   #3
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Hello Ryan -- Welcome to the Forums! A V6 might be able to handle a 16' but would it work with a 19'? I really can't speak from experience but it would be very underpowered. And you are at Lake Tahoe too! That's so much more than mere hills out there. Member silverback had a V8 Tundra for a 22' CCD and here is his story: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...esel-6818.html
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:49 PM   #4
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I think that they gave you bad information. Check the towing capacity specs in the owner's manual. Compare the towing capacity to the GVW of the trailer. Remember that anything you have in the truck, including passengers, must be subtracted from towing capacity. I doubt that you will be even close.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:55 PM   #5
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I believe the official towing recommendation for your truck is 5200 lbs. The recommendation is the same for the 4.8 V8, but 7600 lbs for the 5.3, and 8300 for the 5.3 4WD.

GVWR for the 22' CCD is 5600 lbs. So unless you travel very light, you will be over GM's recommendation.

From a torque standpoint, your truck would get the job done. Level highways would be no problem. You would need to have patience on more significant hills, since grades above 5% or so would put you in 2nd gear - 45 mph at 4300 rpm with 3.73:1 rear gearing is my estimate, assuming you have stock tires. Many people might find this unacceptable, but it's very much a function of how you expect your tow vehicle to perform (and how much you want to spend on a truck).

You might consider a 19' Safari, which would put you within all technical parameters, but I wouldn't be surprised if the 22' with the tandem axle would tow better, and you probably wouldn't notice the extra weight. The strain on the vehicle during 90% of driving (level highway cruising) would be equal, since aerodynamic drag would not differ between the two trailers. (They're both 8' wide.)

There's no legal issue here, simply what you're comfortable with. Of course, this all presumes properly set up hitch equipment with sway control.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan b
hi, i am completely new to all of this but have loved airstremes since i was a kid. i am looking to purchaswe a 2004 international ccd 22' and had a question as to what type of tow package i will need to put on my truck. i have a single cab 2002 chevy silverado, v6 standard transmission. i was told i wouldnt have a problem towing the 22' trailer with this vehicle. any information would be greatly appreciated!
By "standard transmission" do you mean a manual one with a clutch? If you have an automatic, you will need a transmission fluid cooler. This is a small radiator added to the cooling lines for the transmission. Next a brake controller with the appopriate wiring to a 7 conductor connector next to the hitch. Finally, a class IV receiver hitch. Any "hitch shop" can set you up with all of these. I would recommend extensions for your side mirrors.

On the trailer, you will need a weight distributing hitch. This attaches to the receiver on the truck. There are many brands and opinions. Pricing ranges from $300 to $3500.

Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:08 PM   #7
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My previous post in no way suggests that you'll need a diesel's pulling power & better high altitude performance to pull a 22' CCD. That was just one member's solution -- and he since has moved on to a 28' Airstream that certainly is in diesel domain. The biggest gas engines can pull a 28-er but are lucky to get 9mpg while towing. New Airstreams are often 1000# heavier than similar lengths of 25-30 years ago.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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Sander17 pretty much covered the basics and all bases for towing equipment. For tow vehicle, a 1/2 ton should do it if there is sufficient torque and horsepower; no need for 3/4 ton as CanoeStream clarified. Again, it is a matter of comfort level and expectations as to whether you will need to upgrade your tow vehicle and how soon.

If you plan to take short weekend trips only or only one or two one week trips per year that involve driving directly to your destination and stopping for a week and driving home, you could probably get by with your V-6 for a couple of years. But if you are planning to full-time or take cross country trips every summer or lots of long trips that involve driving long distances, you will soon want to upgrade to more horsepower and torque so you will have a more relaxed and less tiring drive to get to your camping experiences. You don't want to decide you don't like camping when it's actually the driving you don't like and it's the camping you do like. You'd hate to invest in an Airstream and all the gear to go with it and then decide you don't enjoy it, get rid of it all, and discover you actually liked camping and got out of camping just because you had the wrong tow vehicle.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:45 PM   #9
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We towed several SOB's as well as a car trailer with various cars on it that were very heavy using an Astrovan and 4.3L V6, automatic with a trans cooler, without issue. We weren't in a particular hurry to get to our destinations but we also kept to 55 without issue. We live in the mountains and there were some hills that we did not stay up with the majority of the crowd, but we also were not the slowest on the road either. The van was 7 years old when we sold it and had 140,000 miles on it and a lot of those were with a trailer on the back. It is still running around although I can't say what the new owners have done to it during their ownership but I have seen it several times with a 24' boat on a trailer behind.

I'm just not of the view that bigger is always better - I know that will ruffle feathers, but you should consider trying it and if it works great. If not, then you can look at upgrading your TV. There are a lot of V6 vehicles in use today towing significant commercial loads without issue. One possibility is to rent a trailer for a couple of days, make/model doesn't really matter, but with weight and size approximate to or larger than the Airstream you are looking at. Maybe a friend has an SOB you can try as another option. Tow it around and see how comfortable you are with your TV's capability. An investment of a few hundred dollars in rental will give you an idea pretty quickly.

No one is wrong here - we each have our own comfort zone for what's acceptable to us and thus those we provide coaching to, based on our own experiences. My experience is V6's have a lot more capability than a lot of folks realize.

Good luck with your pursuit.

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Old 08-14-2007, 05:52 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forums. We're glad to ahve you with us.

The V-6 Silverado may be underpowered for the 22' Intl CCD. I'm afraid that this towing combination would be outside my towing comfort zone.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #11
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A quick comment about TV power. My old TV was a ‘’77 Dodge &#190; ton Tradesman (no side windows or back seats) van. It had a 318 and a two-barrel with aftermarket dual exhaust. It was a very good TV, but I bent the gas pedal holding it to the floor. A step up to a four barrel improved things immensely. My towing gas mileage actually went up.

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Old 08-14-2007, 06:22 PM   #12
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Thank You!

Thank You Everybody For All The Feed Back! I Really Appreciate It! This Issue Is Obviously Something I Need To Research More To Decide Which Model I Can Get. If Anyone Out There Is Using A V6 To Tow Please Let Me Know Your Story.
Thanks Again!
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:30 PM   #13
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Listen

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!
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:48 PM   #14
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With the weight of the Airstream you're interested in and the tow limit of the V6 Chevy, you'll do fine... on a long, flat road to no-where... If you decide to go anywhere where there's any topography at all, you'll have some fumin' folks behind you not anywhere as interested in the scenery as they'll think you are (not to mention the wear & tear on the engine/transmission). And some folks can be downright rude when passing on a hill...

Also, think about entering highways, getting on with the flow of traffic and so on. Think also about wet ground/mud... rain sometimes happens when camping and always when you're breaking down camp and taking off. Need traction and power to pull on sometimes slippery ground.

If you decide to keep the Chevy, then get a smaller, lighter Airstream. If "smaller, lighter" isn't good for y'all, then get a bigger truck. We've had both worlds and being undepowered is NOT a good time and sometimes, is dangerous. Best to have what you need when you need it, because that's when it counts.
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