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Old 02-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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My Expedition has a tongue weight rating of 890 lbs. This is higher than most other vehicles (except most trucks) yet is just barely enough for my 27FB. According to Airstream the 27FB tongue weight is 770 lbs. Add to that the Andersen weight distribution hitch of 60 lbs and I'm getting uncomfortably close to the upper limit. I'm well under tow vehicle payload and way way under its towing capacity.

I think this hitch tongue weight could well be the most overlooked and most likely to be overloaded item.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:28 PM   #16
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Why not just get comfortable driving a truck?
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:00 PM   #17
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Are the 2013 Ford Explorer's able to tow a 25' International 2007?
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:31 PM   #18
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No on the 2013 Explorer towing 2007 25 footer. It only has a class 3 hitch. Max 5,000 lb towing, 500 lb hitch weight. It might just rip the hitch right of the rear of Explorer.

This said, there are some who subscribe to this guy in Canada who, by making frame modifications, profess's to use economy cars and minivans to pull 30 footers. There is a link in an earlier post in this thread. Though some will question the logic and travelling safety of such arrangements.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:34 PM   #19
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rhigley,

This is a nightmare topic if you're new to it and you'll get a ton of conflicting views. It is perfectly feasible to tow pretty much any Airstream with an SUV or mid-range sedan, so long as it's set up properly. Have a look at the videos on the following site, just to prove that your choice of tow vehicle is wider than you think.

Can-Am RV Centre | #1 Airstream Dealer in Customer Satisfaction Worldwide | Your Full-Service RV Dealer

Call Andy at Can Am and he'll be happy to provide you with professional advice.
Mid-Range sedan? Camry, Accord, Altima???
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:42 PM   #20
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Mid-Range sedan? Camry, Accord, Altima???
Well, I've seen Jettas and Golfs and tow vehicles, even a mini!
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:55 PM   #21
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Are you saying I can safely tow a 27 foot Classic with a Jetta if it is set up properly? And please define 'set up properly'.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:56 PM   #22
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There is a huge difference between getting the load moving and stopping it or handling evasive maneuvers. The published tongue weight typically does not include gas in the cylinders and a spare tire nor does it include any hitch equipment which can run from around 60 to 150 pounds.

My Airstream trailer is a 25FB (front bedroom) International where the biggest storage area is under the front bed five feet from the hitch. So all the usual power cords, water hoses, miscellaneous tools etc are in this location since it has an external access door. After mounting road side and rear awnings, 150 watt solar panel, Hensley hitch head and the stuff just mentioned, the factory literature tongue weight migrated from 833 pounds to 1,175 pounds. After filling the water tank and loading most of our stuff, the tongue weight went up to 1,175 pounds.

I was looking for a vehicle that had a hitch that could handle a 1,200 pound tongue weight and still carry full fuel and fresh water tanks on the trailer and the vehicle, me, my wife and perhaps generator sets, ladder, jack etc. I did not want to overload the rear axle of the tow vehicle either.

Do NOT rely on the "integrity" of the sales person or dealer staff to make correct towing recommendations. In many cases, they are hard pressed to quote even the correct price of the equipped vehicle let alone properly create a build sheet appropriate for the mission in mind. They are typically concerned about their commission or dealership profit, not your safety.

When the chips hit the fan, the driver is the ultimate responsible party for whatever happens to the rig going down the road. Overloaded weights, wrong tire sizes on either vehicle, wrong hitch setup, the list is long and the driver has to have the facts in hand and act accordingly.

With a clean slate of paper, I would start with the "dream trailer" and nail down that specification for tongue weight, GVW etc. Then research the tow vehicles that can handle the realistic tongue weight plus payload of people and their gear and tow the combination weight of the loaded trailer and loaded vehicle.

The choices start to become much fewer for a safe tow vehicle as the weights of the trailer increase.

YMMV
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:38 PM   #23
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With a Jetta, maybe a small pop-up.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:36 PM   #24
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I just typed in "Ford towing capacity" and was brought to a page that
Listed all the vehicles. Touch each vehicle by name and I was taken to that particular stat sheet ... Not only did it list the engine size options, but also, the axel ratio options and more... Very helpful, but I will need an expert to explain the finer details.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Are you saying I can safely tow a 27 foot Classic with a Jetta if it is set up properly? And please define 'set up properly'.
No, not a 27', I'm yanking your chain a little.

Jettas will tow smaller Airstreams, though as the following items will show. Firstly is a video of a David Suzuki programme on CBC. In this episode he travels to Canadian cities in a Jetta towing an Airstream:

CBC -The Nature of Things with David Suzuki - - Suzuki Diaries: Future City

There's some good footage at 12 minutes, and elsewhere on the video.

Also, here's a photo of a Jetta and 19' Airstream Safari belonging to Air Forums member Zlee:



By all accounts the Jetta, the diesel anyway, tows very well.

Setting up properly means using a TV with good suspension and a low rear overhang to wheelbase ratio, having a bespoke or strengthened hitch receiver that handle a good tongue weight and will adequately transfer weight to both axles of the TV, using an effective weight distribution system and sway control and using a good quality brake controller.

Many people dismiss the idea of a car like a Jetta or a Golf towing an Airstream without really looking at what such a vehicle is capable of, and that's fine because everyone is entitled to their own view. However, those that actually tow with them know otherwise.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:53 PM   #26
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With a Jetta, maybe a small pop-up.
See post #25, they'll tow more than a pop up.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:08 PM   #27
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The idea that you need a truck to pull an Airstream discounts weight distribution hitches, proper loading of the rig, and good driving sense.

If you are without these, you may need a big truck. Otherwise there are SUVs with advantages over trucks such as fully independent suspension, lower center of gravity. better emergency maneuverability, power more closely related to the task, excellent braking, and a good, lower cost daily driver when not towing, which is a lot for most people.

The latest generation Dodge Durango is a good example, and this year will probably be available with a capable diesel engine and 8-speed transmission.

doug k
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:20 AM   #28
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With a Jetta, maybe a small pop-up.
I recall a number of years ago when the new mid sized, unibodied VW T-Reg came out. Folks were guess-timating, saying the same thing about it being able to tow just a pop up.

The reality..... it was a much stronger vehicle than they ever imagined.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...eg-100371.html
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