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Old 07-03-2014, 09:30 PM   #15
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As you know and you will find out everyone has an opinion - mine is truck all the way. I have an F250 Diesel to tow a 30' Flying Cloud. Changed to 16" wheels, have Sat dish on and on. Also, everything I own is always for sale, always.
How much for Alice and the Lab?

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Old 07-03-2014, 09:39 PM   #16
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I have a 68 Trade Wind. Only weighs about 4000 lbs., 400 lbs. tongue weight. Was towing with our 06 Saab 97X, basically a rebadged Chevy Trailblazer, with a V8 327 5.3l. Towed it no problem, barely knew it was there. But hard on fuel and the typical GM quality and maintenance issues. Just bought a GL 320. Liking it so far, Diesel engine has a ton of torque. Hopefully we don't run into the MB maintenance issues some people are talking about... Looked at everything that could possibly tow the Airstream, and I like the GL because it gets the best fuel economy hands down of all SUVs and trucks that could tow the trailer. And if you are thinking about a vehicle for all year round not just for the few camping trips a year with the Airstream, that makes a lot of sense.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:37 AM   #17
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Had a 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI diesel when we bought our first trailer, a 2013 25FB International Serenity in October of 2012. After installing the Hensley hitch head (the dealer had already installed the 150 watt solar panel and street side and rear awnings) the tongue weight was 1,150 pounds on the Shureline scale. Towing the 25FB home through the Rockies on I-10 from Los Angeles to Phoenix was fine since it was empty. The CAT scales reported we were within the numbers.

Once loaded for camping, the tongue weight increased to 1,175 pounds, my wife and I were in the car and we had some minor gear in the ML. The Cat scales reported some over weight numbers on the front axle and GVW was exceeded.

The Mercedes was immediately retired from the towing experiment and we acquired a new 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD diesel 4x4. When we upgraded to the Classic, fully loaded we are significantly below any maximum numbers on the CAT scales even with a 1,345 pound tongue weight.

I replaced the factory hitch with a Curt 15049 rated for 2,550 pounds of tongue weight with the added benefit of having a 4" lower receiver opening. The Kelderman level ride air suspension system replaced all the steel springs. Our weak link in the weight capacity are the axle ratings as the original factory installed Michelin tires have greater capacity than the axle ratings.

We crossed the CAT scales at 18,860 pounds and 10,500 pounds were on the truck axles with still excess capacity.

One needs to do the numbers homework as wishful thinking will not do the job safely.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:11 PM   #18
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I think your trailer must be a heck of a lot heavier than mine is. GL is a bigger vehicle than an ML as well - Durango platform, with a real truck frame underneath. Even fully loaded my Tradewind has never exceeded 6000 lbs.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:23 PM   #19
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Although you may not like a truck, it does give you the most payload/towing power. If you are buying a heavy trailer, you need the vehicle to tow it. I test drove used trucks. Never owned a truck always had a sports sedan or, in the last car, TDI sportwagen. I have gone to full time F150 and I find it very roomy, quiet and comfortable. It is NOT a fast handling vehicle by any means but, I did not find the Ford any worse than the other trucks I test drove. At the time, shopping used, the '09 Ford had the best overall towing mechanism- all worked together and, the others did not have that. Ask questions about that too in these other vehicles intelligent braking system balance of wheel correction, etc. I believe all the trucks have this now. There is a great you tube video showing who has what but that was in '09 model year. Check out those differences though in the model year you look at buying. Here is the '09 example:

Old 07-05-2014, 03:53 AM   #20
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The Classic alone scales around 9,100 pounds loaded with all the "necessary" stuff my wife thinks we might need.......
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #21
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An old rule of thumb is that a car is fine up to about 7k, trailer loaded. More than that to the degree of comfort by the owner. For a vacationer only travelling 5k annually the vehicle that best suits solo duties is the one to have. Increasing risk by purchasing a daily driver vehicle that is worse in braking, handling, etc for the majority of miles travelled in order to cover a few miles annually is not smart.

That said, trailer tongue weight becomes the limiting factor (ahead of TV engine cooling capacity). For someone contemplating trailer use that is not full time (months) the above concern, TW, is limited by TV front and rear axle/wheel/tire capacity. Further, for trips not limited to summer US western locales one can come up with plenty of suitable TVs that stay within DD margins: The best TV is the one which suits all miles and can also pull the TT.

The theoretical relationships in re WD are:

Load Transfer to Steer Axle divided by Load Transfer to TT Axles = (Ball Overhang + Ball to TT Axles' Midpoint) / TV Wheelbase

Load Transfer to Drive Axle divided by Load Transfer to TT Axles = (Wheelbase + Ball Overhang + Ball to TT Axles' Midpoint) / Wheelbase

from: http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...ingle/true.cfm

Might be 2:1 (or 3:1) "weight to TV front axle" and "weight transferred to TT axles". Use 2:1 as rule of thumb, overall. 75-80% of TW will likely remain on TV.

A TV bigger than this is for those with IRS-deductible miles, etc. My folks used but two tow vehicles in twenty-seven years of ownership of their 28' Silver Streak and I would put the current Chrysler 300 well above the car my Dad drove for twelve of those years. The high center of gravity 2WD Suburban he replaced it with was somewhat better in regards towing, but not at all for daily driving.

Take your time. If you can live without loading up the TV for vacations (my grandparents somehow covered the US, Canada and Mexico in the 1960s with only aluminum folding chairs in the trunk of a Dodge Monaco pulling their Streamline) you've more vehicles to choose from. I would agree that fully independent suspension and low center of gravity (and highly sophisticated electronic stability control) in a TV trumps concerns over "capacity".

Less is usually more when it comes to gear. One might read around on the amount of stuff (weight) the more experienced get rid of as time goes on.

Read the posts/threads by Andrew_T (Andrew Thomson, of CAN AM RV). He does it the way we all did in the 1960s and '70s, and with a good deal more experience. Much depends on where you live, and where you'll travel as to satisfaction in re some combinations. Try a phone call afterwards.

The order of things is the trailer, first, and TV second. The latter will be replaced more often than the former, but be aware that there are those who go through two, three or more TT's in the first few years (or decade) before settling. My folks compromised on their TT, for as we kids grew older and left they wanted one best suited to retirement and limited income far in the future, a decision that worked extremely well. FWIW I slept most comfortably on the floor on an air mattress, my sisters on the fold-out couch and my parents in the twins just ahead of the rear bath. Weeks at a time.

Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:19 AM   #22
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Just remember one thing, cars are meant to haul people and trucks/SUV's are made to tow things. Yes, you can make a purse out of a pig's ear, but it will always stink.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:01 PM   #23
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Wow - you are really getting some great advice here. Most people are smart enough to only consider vehicles that have a tow rating that meets or exceeds the GVWR of the trailer - that should be a given. Unfortunately for most people it needs to be more complicated than this. I think the TV decision generally boils down to two things: How much payload do you need to carry. and what is the tongue weight of the trailer.

Most adequate tow vehicles have roughly the payload capability of a 1/2 ton pickup truck. When you load your vehicle with people, fuel and gear that 1/2 ton capability disappears in a hurry. For most people a 3/4 ton or higher payload capacity is needed.

The manufacturer's specified tongue weights of AS trailers is meaningless. It does not include your gear, water, waste, options (like those heavy stainless rock guards), propane, etc. My little trailer's tongue weight is close to 250 lbs. higher than the published spec. There is a current thread discussing actual tongue weights that you might want to check out.

What you really need to do is run the numbers for each vehicle. I find this to be the best tool available to calculate all of the variables:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...70138588,d.aWw

My guess is that when you run the numbers you'll find that only the Expedition comes close to meeting your needs.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:42 PM   #24
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An old rule of thumb is that a car is fine up to about 7k, trailer loaded. More than that to the degree of comfort by the owner. For a vacationer only travelling 5k annually the vehicle that best suits solo duties is the one to have. Increasing risk by purchasing a daily driver vehicle that is worse in braking, handling, etc for the majority of miles travelled in order to cover a few miles annually is not smart.
I understand that different thumbs look different. However, I have never heard of this rule of thumb. The rule of thumb, as I have heard it, is that you need a 3/4 ton for anything 7k and above. Using a passenger car for towing a 7k trailer is the risk I would worry about, not a trucks handling, breaking, mpg, etc.

I suggest you speak with a few RV dealers as the opinions on this forum are very polarized. I believe Colonial Airstream in NJ is the largest Airstream dealership in the US. You may want to contact them.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:53 AM   #25
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I have a 2010 F250 Crew Cab Diesel and it's the most comfortable of any vehicle I own... However, it's probably overkill for your needs. I would give the 2014+ Dodge Ram 1500 a serious look, as it has won many recent awards. I would, without hesitation, buy the Ford Expedition and would own one today if it would fit in my garage with the other vehicles.


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Old 07-06-2014, 10:32 AM   #26
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I have a 2010 F250 Crew Cab Diesel and it's the most comfortable of any vehicle I own... However, it's probably overkill for your needs. I would give the 2014+ Dodge Ram 1500 a serious look, as it has won many recent awards. I would, without hesitation, buy the Ford Expedition and would own one today if it would fit in my garage with the other vehicles.


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That's the route we went. Dodge makes a seriously nice truck, and the Ecodesiel they're offering in the 1500 is really looking like a great option for towing.

My personal preference however is to avoid first run engines though. I know the ecoboost had a few issues it's first couple years and Ford is under going a class action lawsuit in regards to it right now.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:24 PM   #27
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I understand that different thumbs look different. However, I have never heard of this rule of thumb. The rule of thumb, as I have heard it, is that you need a 3/4 ton for anything 7k and above. Using a passenger car for towing a 7k trailer is the risk I would worry about, not a trucks handling, breaking, mpg, etc.

I suggest you speak with a few RV dealers as the opinions on this forum are very polarized. I believe Colonial Airstream in NJ is the largest Airstream dealership in the US. You may want to contact them.
Sorry, I forget about you young guys. This dates from the middle 1960's in re this TT type..
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