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Old 02-21-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle for Airstream travel trailer

As a complete novice, newbe is an understatement, I am lost about what I will require to safely tow a new Airstream in my upcoming retirement. I am not comfortable driving a truck -- no way will I consider that alternative driving alone throughout the country; I have sought out info in the 2012 Trailer Towing Guide and learned that the Toyota Land Cruiser has a towing capacity of 8,000 lbs. Although not far removed from being a truck, it is a little more comfortable to drive. Can anyone suggest which is the largest model 2013 Airstream Travel trailers I can buy to match with an SUV (so far the Land Cruiser has the largest towing capacity I could find and has a trailer towing package available)?

I realize the Airstream weight cannot equal maximum towing weight of the SUV. I have a feeling my plans to travel the USA are all but caput, with a safe and manageable set up (including the best trailer hitch for the weight, towing vehicle and Airstream trailer). I need a decent size model with all amenities, including bath, kitchen, A/C, solar charging and inverter, etc. The Classic Ltd. are not possible due to weight, but I can have a smaller unit customized, if not by Airstream, elsewhere. Any advice would be much appreciated. Anyone believes that towing with an SUV is not wise, no matter the size?

Thank you.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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I'm towing a 27FB with a SUV, a Ford Expedition. However I gather from your note you seem a bit unconfortable with a larger rig. I suggest sticking to the 19', 20', or 23FB. The rest of the trailers have heavy hitch weights that start to need higher capacity tow vehicles.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:21 PM   #3
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We use an Infiniti QX56 2006 towing a 25 Classic. The new QX's I believe have a towing capacity of 8,500 lbs. This combination has been very good for us with no problems. Power is very good, but gas milage sucks, averaging about 10 mpg I do have a lead foot though.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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I think a 25' Airstream, a Propride hitch, and a newly-announced 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with diesel engine and eight-speed auto transmission would be a dream setup for you, and probably many retirees like us.

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:13 AM   #5
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There are many Mid sized vehicles including SUV's that will habdle the Airstream that you desire. Realize the tow rating is not an accurate performance indicator and does not always relate to towing prowess.

Research the forums for much info.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:17 AM   #6
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Talk to Andy Thomson at Can-Am RV in London, Ontario.

He can set you up with a custom hitch for a Chrysler 300 or other fullsize sedan of your choice and you can pull any Airstream you want.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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Actually, the tow rating is probably the least important factor. Hitch weight rating and vehicle payload limits are almost always are reached prior to tow rating.

Bottom line: Stick to the smaller trailers (23 and under). Their lighter weight allows a greater variety of tow vehicle options. The medium trailers (25 & 27's) can be towed by some of the largest SUV's, but larger trailers start needing full size trucks.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
I'm towing a 27FB with a SUV, a Ford Expedition. However I gather from your note you seem a bit unconfortable with a larger rig. I suggest sticking to the 19', 20', or 23FB. The rest of the trailers have heavy hitch weights that start to need higher capacity tow vehicles.
I was told by the Airstream a dealer in my area that the classic limited 27 FB can be towed by a large SUV such as the Land Cruiser or Lincoln navigator. If true, that is good news.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RLS View Post
We use an Infiniti QX56 2006 towing a 25 Classic. The new QX's I believe have a towing capacity of 8,500 lbs. This combination has been very good for us with no problems. Power is very good, but gas milage sucks, averaging about 10 mpg I do have a lead foot though.
The local Airstream dealer in the area advised that the Classic Limited 27 FB can be towed with a large SUV such as a Land Cruiser or Lincoln navigator both of which have towing packages available. If true, that is really good news. I think I might be able to handle that.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
Actually, the tow rating is probably the least important factor. Hitch weight rating and vehicle payload limits are almost always are reached prior to tow rating.

Bottom line: Stick to the smaller trailers (23 and under). Their lighter weight allows a greater variety of tow vehicle options. The medium trailers (25 & 27's) can be towed by some of the largest SUV's, but larger trailers start needing full size trucks.
The local airstream dealer has advised that the Classic Limited 27 FB can be towed with a large SUV, such as the Land Cruiser or Lincoln navigator, both of which have special tow packages available. If true that is really good news. I think I could handle that.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
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Payload and hitch weight are important. Our 2007 Durango has more load capacity than many Dodge Ram 1500 trucks.

We have been happy with the performance of our Durango - it has a 5.7 Hemi and a heavy duty tow package. We have used it for the last 6 years with our 2006 25 Safari. We have been Rving for the last 20 years and the Durango has been the best (light truck) tow vehicle we have ever had.

We have purchased a new trailer - a 2013 27 Classic. We plan on using our 2007 Durango for another 5 years or so. It is rated at 8950 lbs towing capacity and 900 lb hitch weight with a WD hitch. The 2007 is the last of the Durangos on a truck frame. The Durango weighs in at 4619 lbs and has a GVW OF 6399 lbs. And a max payload of 1780 lbs.

The New diesel Jeep may be able to pull a mid sized Airstream, but I am not sure if payload or hitch weight would be adequate.

I am very interested in the new Dodge 1500 diesel and believe it could be properly configured to safely do the job.

I don't want to stir things up here but the Ontario crowd that thinks it is safe to pull an Airstream with a passenger car, van or small SUV with a 3000 - 5000 capacity are putting the lives of others at risk.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rhigley View Post
The local airstream dealer has advised that the Classic Limited 27 FB can be towed with a large SUV, such as the Land Cruiser or Lincoln navigator, both of which have special tow packages available. If true that is really good news. I think I could handle that.
The land cruiser would work, the navigator would be another good choice. The Chevy Suburban has a 2500 configuration that is an option as well.

Good luck hunting and hope to see you down the road.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:30 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhigley View Post
As a complete novice, newbe is an understatement, I am lost about what I will require to safely tow a new Airstream in my upcoming retirement. I am not comfortable driving a truck -- no way will I consider that alternative driving alone throughout the country; I have sought out info in the 2012 Trailer Towing Guide and learned that the Toyota Land Cruiser has a towing capacity of 8,000 lbs. Although not far removed from being a truck, it is a little more comfortable to drive. Can anyone suggest which is the largest model 2013 Airstream Travel trailers I can buy to match with an SUV (so far the Land Cruiser has the largest towing capacity I could find and has a trailer towing package available)?

I realize the Airstream weight cannot equal maximum towing weight of the SUV. I have a feeling my plans to travel the USA are all but caput, with a safe and manageable set up (including the best trailer hitch for the weight, towing vehicle and Airstream trailer). I need a decent size model with all amenities, including bath, kitchen, A/C, solar charging and inverter, etc. The Classic Ltd. are not possible due to weight, but I can have a smaller unit customized, if not by Airstream, elsewhere. Any advice would be much appreciated. Anyone believes that towing with an SUV is not wise, no matter the size?

Thank you.
Reading the post I kind of got mixed signals on what you want or feel you need in the total package. Are you saying your not 'comfortable" with a truck based on ride quality or size? If ride quality ok, if your intimidated a little by the size you won't notice much difference with the Navigator, a std navigator with a 27FB is over 46 feet long when you figure in a hitch and the L model is pushing 48 feet. Also you're looking at rig that is right about 13,000 lbs empty weight before you pack anything for the trip.

Also your comment about needing all the amenities, bath, kitchen, A/C solar and inverter, these are either standard or optional on pretty much all Airstreams regardless of the series. Your don't need large and classic for those.

I'm not being critical just pointing out a couple things you may or may not have all ready considered.
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