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Old 10-12-2015, 09:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by starstruck08 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll start looking up the GVW for the models of airstream I like, so that I know what towing capacity to look for.

If I get a hold of, let's say a Trade Wind from 1969 - It's weight in the list is 4340 lbs. But that's the dry weight. Typically, how much MORE would it weight loaded? 5000? 6000? I pretty much don't want a vehicle that's more than 27 MAYBE 29 ft. So the ones I consider are all under 5000 lbs, so I thought I was looking for something that can tow 5000 or more.

But I can't find a list of GVWs for the airstreams, so I don't know how much weight life adds to them.

If I'm considering a Chevy Trailblazer LS... is 6200 to 6400 lbs towing capacity enough in my case? Or should I also be looking at 4wd vs 2wd and other factors that effect towing?
Think about all the small boats you see towed around.... an average bass boat weighs in at 4500 lbs easy with the trailer and gear, and they are pulled all day long but all manners of trucks.

And then of course, there's the question no one's asked yet... are you talking about full time? Sometimes? Long trips? Short trips?

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Old 10-12-2015, 09:28 AM   #16
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
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Keeping to 27ft or under puts you in the half ton truck category. If buying an older truck look for a V8 as a 6 cylinder might not have the power needed for a successful tow. Newer trucks like the Ford F-150 Ecoboost a 6 cylinder, is power house and very capable for your needs. Four wheel drive and a factory tow package is something you should definitely look for in a tow vehicle. Good luck!

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Old 10-12-2015, 12:01 PM   #17
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1999 34' Excella
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It is the weight that is the issue, not the length, when deciding which tow vehicle!
Length of trailer has nothing to do with calculating which TV you need. Though, generally the longer the trailer the heavier it is. But, some short trailers are heavier than a longer trailer.
I have a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 1/2 ton pickup.
I haul my 34' Excella (9,800 GVRW) with this 1/2 ton truck. It is rated to do this, calculating it mathematically. The same truck equipped differently (with either a smaller engine or a higher gear ratio) would not be rated tow this trailer.

Generically, saying one type of vehicle will tow a trailer of one length, is not good advice. You may have an unpleasant and costly experience if you take it.

Get the data. Do the math!
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:41 PM   #18
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The RVSEF (RV Safety & Education Foundation) reports that 57% of RVs they check are overweight in at least one parameter. Virtually any pick up truck can be easily pushed beyond its' safe (and legal) towing limits. Even when you're very careful to keep within your tow vehicles published limits, "standard" pick up trucks are often operated very close to their limits (ie: your safety margin is SLIM). I've lost count of the "white knuckle" stories I've heard from pick up drivers who have had harrowing experiences when their trailer starts "driving the truck". Many drivers have decided to upgrade to a "real" truck. They buy a good used Class 7 or Class 8 HDT ~ Heavy Duty Truck and, convert them to non-commercial use, as RV haulers. Excellent resources for information on these conversions can be found on the Escapees RV Club Forums. Gregg Shields is an RV owner who, after doing such a conversion for his personal use, wound up in business doing these conversions for other RVers. Check out Gregg's YouTube channel: "" . LOTS of good information, even you you don't go the HDT route.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:49 PM   #19
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I towed all over FL with a Nissan Xterra. Never had any problem - due to the relatively flat landscape and keeping it under 65mph. At a rally however, someone mentioned that I was being a bit unsafe as it would be tough to stop the rig when heading down the highway. I immediately upgraded to a Suburban. I never did think it was really necessary - but any mention of unsafe, and I'm "on it". The suburban was, however, necessary when I made my cross-country move and needed some real power through the mountain passes.

For FL and an older trailer under 27', it seems overkill to go with a 3/4 ton as some might advise.... but if you've got the $$$ and not a daily driver - go for it!

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Old 10-12-2015, 01:13 PM   #20
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1978 31' Sovereign
Green Valley Lake , California
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Re: selling your used car (or whatever)- not knowing exactly what you have, here's the basics: if you want to get the most cash, and you're only talking 2k I'm assuming at that level of play, Carmax is not your best bet. Also, people have a tendency to over value their vehicles, so in my experience you'd be lucky to get half that (IMHO). But to get the most that you can, first off do a little online research with Kelley Blue or NADA guides to get a ball park for year make model, all options and CONDITION of the vehicle (that's a biggie) anything more than ten years old Carmax wont touch with a ten foot pole, so if you don't want the hassle of Craigslist advertising, then do a google search for "sell my car" or "cash for cars" and start calling all the dealers that show up on the first page of search- the hungry ones (that need cars) will offer more cash for vehicles in really good condition. I'm not familiar with smog laws in FL, but if you don't have smog cert then the offers will be way low, especially if the "check engine" light comes on. Most dealers will pass under those circumstances so you have to do your research and call around, otherwise just put it up in Craigslist or Autotrader and cross your fingers. The dealers will also handle all DMV (make sure you get a release of liability) and pay off your car loan.
How do I know this? I do web marketing for these businesses. (that and Ive bought and sold many vehicles in my lifetime)

and as far as choosing a TV, in the flat land of So FL there's not much problem but when you get to rolling hills of central FL you're gonna need the huevos of a V8 - not to mention the Blue Ridge mountains or if you make it out west to the Rockies or the Sierra Nevadas. The trade off is your gas bill.
The previously suggested vehicles could do you just fine, just get the best one you can for whatever your budget allows. First off, decide on the one you will want to shop for with a couple alternatives just in case you stumble on a good deal. Keep in mind a well cared for vehicle from a private seller is worth its weight in motor oil, but sometimes you can get a killer deal because somebody needs cash real bad.
That is a lot of effort that can pay off big time goin' down the road.
hope this helps
Happy Trails!
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:37 PM   #21
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All of FL is not flat. If one drives the heartland of FL, they might be surprised at some of the slopes along the Lake Wales Ridge. Though the hills are not high, the approach to them from the flat land can be fairly steep. Sufficient pull power and sufficient braking is required.
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:03 PM   #22
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Terra Alta , West Virginia
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I also like the suggestions on early late 90's-early 2000's GM with 5.3 engine and 3.73 rear end ratio and factory tow pkg (most have that). If you find one from the snow/salt belt be careful of rust on frame and elsewhere. Higher mileage usually ok with these. This vehicle would be available in Tahoe - pick up and suburban. Chevy or GMC. Do gas for your budget. And they are cheap for parts and maintenence. Should be comfortable with 6000 +- camper and good hitch. I have a diesel and love it but there is additional purchase and maintenence cost.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:42 PM   #23
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Penokee , Kansas
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1st,, there are no stupid questions with this bunch.. Most of them here,, might think they know everything but someone later on points them in a better direction..

Having a auto trans is not a big issue anymore as every company offers a solid auto trans for any size truck you wish..

I agree that any diesel is by far a better work horse than a gasser.. BUT,, what conditions will you be towing in,, flat plains or mountains? Makes a world of difference of what you might need.. The other fact is some of the larger diesels pull real well,, and if limited mountian use one can get by real well with a gasser..

I was a hard core diesel man,, but found for our use that the limited mountain time I am getting by just fine with a 5.4L gasser.. For me,, paying $20,000 less for a gasser over a diesel was my turning point,.. The first 2 years of having the gasser the price of diesel fuel was 70 cents higher so came out way ahead over all. Now that the price is about equal,, I am still happy with my limited macho TV.. Sodbust
2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Hemi, 4x4, 6 speed

20mpg empty, 14 mpg with 27' Overlander.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:19 PM   #24
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
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I would consider a 4WD suburban either 1/2 or 3/4 ton as a TV. If a 1/2 ton make sure the axle ratio is a good one for towing like a 3.73. 4 low in the transfer case is real handy if you have to back up a hill. As far as I know most automatic transmissions are geared higher in reverse than 1st and you can burn them up backing up a steep hill. And it's better to pull forward onto leveling blocks for the same reason. 3 cents worth

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