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Old 04-22-2005, 10:05 AM   #71
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joining the hunt for perfect tow vehicle

With our Ford 150 V6 nearing 200,000 miles and a '68 Overlander/26ft, we are looking for a tow vehicle.
My understanding is the the 150 V6 is really minimum.
Guess my choice would be a diesel 250, but I would rather have the interior space for dogs than a pickup.
I've read all the posts. An Excursion seems like overkill for the vintage trailer, but a midsize SUV would be too light, I understand.
I'm looking forward to reading the responses to what "cars" would tow a vintage airstream.
The Toyota Highlander looks a little too light to tow the 26' overlander, doesn't it?
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Old 04-22-2005, 10:25 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Torpedo Family
I have a friend that wants a 25' Airstream and ONLY wants an automobile to pull with. NO truck NO suv, anyone got a suggestion?
Sure. Go to http://www.canamrv.ca/content.asp?id=17&uid=

By their reckoning you can use a 1994 Dodge Intrepid, or a 2005 Chrysler 300C Hemi.

Go for it!

(postscript: there is some diagreement whether this is a good idea)
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Old 04-22-2005, 10:30 AM   #73
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Car as tow vehicle

Martha,
We also have an Overlander (1976 27') After much study and information from the forum we decided on a 2500 Suburban. With the price of fuel Chevy is making great deals on their Suburban's. I liked the heavy duty features on the 2500, but I am sure the 1500 Suburban would have worked also.
If some one wants to tow with a car it is a personal choice, but by the time you add the hitch, trany cooler, oil cooler, mirrors etc... I am not sure the savings would be worth all the trouble.
Abe
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:20 PM   #74
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Tow vehicle advice needed....

Greetings Martha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
With our Ford 150 V6 nearing 200,000 miles and a '68 Overlander/26ft, we are looking for a tow vehicle. My understanding is the the 150 V6 is really minimum. Guess my choice would be a diesel 250, but I would rather have the interior space for dogs than a pickup.

I've read all the posts. An Excursion seems like overkill for the vintage trailer, but a midsize SUV would be too light, I understand. I'm looking forward to reading the responses to what "cars" would tow a vintage airstream. The Toyota Highlander looks a little too light to tow the 26' overlander, doesn't it?
Based on the information that I have been able to find, you won't find any recent model cars with a trailer tow rating much in excess of 2,500 pounds. It has been several years since the full-size Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis had even a 5,000 pound trailer tow limit; and the 5,000 pound+ trailer tow ratings at GM for full-sized sedans/station wagons died when the Caprice Classic/Buick Roadmaster/Cadillac Fleetwood Broughams with the 5.7 liter V8 were discontinued several years ago.

If you haven't had your Overlander weighed when it is ready for a vacation, try having it weighed before looking at tow vehicles -- you may be surprised -- I know that I was when I had my '64 weighed. Just to verify the factory data, I had mine weighed empty and found that its actual empty weight was 4,440 pounds (factory indicated 3,930 pounds) with an empty hitch weight of 475 pounds (factory indicated 405 pounds) -- the difference can be attributed to several factors including a slightly larger replacement refrigerator, 40 pound rather than 20 pound LP tanks, curbside awning, bathroom window awning, bedroom window awning, air conditioner, and innerspring mattresses rather than foam. When fully loaded for an extended vacation, my Overlander tips the scales at 6,100 pounds gross weight with a tongue weight of around 750 pounds (depends upon how full LP Tanks and fresh water tank happen to be).

My '75 Cadillac with the 8.2 liter V8 has a 6,000 pound trailer tow rating, and is doing all that it can to tow the Overlander when I have pared my packing list to bare minimums -- this is the reason that I rarely tow the Overlander with the Cadillac -- it does work well with the lighter Minuet.

For an Overlander, I agree with Abe, the Suburban in its C/K2500 variant makes a most versatile tow vehicle. At least with the 1999 and earlier, you would be at or above the maximum trailer tow limit with the C/K1500 Suburbans -- when I ordered my '99 K2500 Suburban, the K1500 Suburban had a trailer tow maximum weight rating of 6,000 pounds and the C1500 Suburban had a trailer tow maximum weight rating of 6,500 pounds.

Good luck with your search for the ideal tow vehicle!

Kevin
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:33 PM   #75
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A 2005 Expedition will get you a 5.4L, 3 valve, 300HP engine. Apparantly, towing with the IRS is quite nice also. And an Expedition will fit into your garage nicely!

Our Expedition has proven more than capable of towing the 75 Safari...





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Old 04-22-2005, 08:44 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosemitesam
A year later...is 150lbs a worthy difference? And also 4 inches of wheelbase? I have a cousin with an Armada...thing is falling apart at the seems with 24,000 miles on the clock...been through 4 sets of rotors, 2 front seats, and the dealer can't seem to figure out why roof liner with the DVD player is shaking so badly you can't see the screen...

Great tow vehicle though...they are towing a triple axle boat trailer with a 26' Advantage Boat...pretty heavy I guess...boat and trailer are around 6,500 lbs. Tows real easy.
The biggest thing to keep in mind with the Armada, Titan etc. is the drivetrain and rear end. These parts are not heavy duty, and will not stand up to daily towing abuse the way Ford/Chev/Dodge will. IIRC, the rear end on the Titan is only a 7"...
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:52 AM   #77
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Thanks for the help....I guess the Suburban is a good choice....I have been seeing them for sale alot lately!
Good time to go looking....
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Old 05-05-2005, 01:41 PM   #78
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My 2cents:

Get the biggest, most powerful engine you can find. Get a 4.10 limited-slip rear axle. Get trans and power steering auxillary cooling, get brakefluid cooling and HD engine cooling (some of this stuff may require aftermarket work).

My choice? Ford E-350 6.0L PowerStroke Diesel with aftermarket cooling as mentioned above. Roomy, fuel efficient (relatively speaking), durable, and three-bags full of torque (ok, not as much as the Ram Cummins... but then again, you get more interior room!)
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Old 05-05-2005, 03:33 PM   #79
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Post Big Truck Tow Vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRadio
My 2cents:

Get the biggest, most powerful engine you can find. Get a 4.10 limited-slip rear axle. Get trans and power steering auxillary cooling, get brakefluid cooling and HD engine cooling (some of this stuff may require aftermarket work).

My choice? Ford E-350 6.0L PowerStroke Diesel with aftermarket cooling as mentioned above. Roomy, fuel efficient (relatively speaking), durable, and three-bags full of torque (ok, not as much as the Ram Cummins... but then again, you get more interior room!)
Get the new issue of Truck Trends Magazine International has 3 new tow vehicles for trailers.
I tow a 1975 AS 25 foot trailer with a 2002 F250 4X4 crewcab V10 power gas. Get towing 9.5mpg and no trailer get 12.5mpg. It works for us.
Chuck
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Old 05-05-2005, 03:43 PM   #80
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I tow a 1975 25' AS with my 2000 Chevy 1500 / 5.3 litre V8 (factory equipped tow package) According to the manual I am well within my weight limits. There are certainly times when I wouldn't mind having a stronger truck but most times it performs perfectly. I get 10mpg when towing the airstream and 19mpg when I'm not towing. I had been considering upgrading to a different tow vehicle but with gas prices the way they are I think I'll stay with my current setup.

Anyone else tow with a 1/2 ton? I sense that most are running 3/4 ton or bigger...
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:30 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by T Man
I tow a 1975 25' AS with my 2000 Chevy 1500 / 5.3 litre V8 (factory equipped tow package) According to the manual I am well within my weight limits. There are certainly times when I wouldn't mind having a stronger truck but most times it performs perfectly. I get 10mpg when towing the airstream and 19mpg when I'm not towing. I had been considering upgrading to a different tow vehicle but with gas prices the way they are I think I'll stay with my current setup.

Anyone else tow with a 1/2 ton? I sense that most are running 3/4 ton or bigger...
i
T MAn-- I tow a 05/25' classic with a a Nissan Titan. While not rated as the big three do I would concider it a heavy half at best. Personally I find this more than adequate. Under ideal conditions towing 60-62mph I get 12-13 mpg. Higher speeds, wind, hills,etc 10 mpg. It will cruise at 70 plus but I choose to drive slower for mileage and safty reasons. Non towing hwy mpg is 16-18mpg. Would a Diesel work better? Of course and I would love to have one but my budget won't allow it. The Titan fits both my towing needs and budget.------ Pieman
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:07 AM   #82
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Tow Vehicle

Mike---I too tow our AS with a 1/2 ton truck. We have an F-150 Supercrew with an 5.4 liter engine. With our distribution bars properly adjusted, there is a subtle 'bounce' when the towing combination finds those big dips in the highway. We're getting the same type of mileage as the rest of the posters and the truck still fits in our budget.

PS. Have you looked at the cost of a new 3/4 or 1 ton truck? Ouch.

Mitch
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:40 AM   #83
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In the end, a 25' unit can be towed with a 1/2 ton. A 3/4 ton would be better, but it can be done. I haven't looked at the 1/2 ton ratings in a while, but say if they were about 7500lbs I'd feel OK with it. Of course as Pieman states a diesel has more power (and more cost), but it does get better fuel econ. To be honest, few gassers will get awesome gas mileage towing be it a 5.4L, 5.7L, 6.0L, 7.4L or 8.1L. I've read and found folks getting between 10 and 12mpg. One time I got 12.9mpg towing the Safari with our 6.0L.

Of course, if you're towing a 19' Bambi like the thread starter does, a 1/2 would do the trick without question. IMHO, once you start to get north of 22', you start to fade out of 1/2 ton and start to fade into 3/4 ton. Depending on vintage, what you carry, options, number of passengers, etc, the 25' begins to see areas where a 1/2 might and a 3/4 will.

Personally, I don't think I'd tow a 31' coach with a 1/2 ton, that's just me, I'm sure others would agree and disagree. The cost of new trucks are about $10,000 off where it was a bit over a year ago. There has never been a better time to look at tow vehicles (from the big three), that goes for diesels too. But if it's not in the budget, it's just not in the budget.... but it is a safer bet once you get into the larger coaches.
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Old 07-13-2005, 09:04 AM   #84
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I agree with Silvertwinkie's towing assessment and his view of the TV market.

Diesel pickup's are more affordable than they were a year ago, with an extended cab GM duramax pickup available for less than $30k. So if you want that safety margin of the 3/4 ton diesel, now may be the time to go for it.
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