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Old 09-10-2002, 09:04 PM   #1
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tow vehicles

hi everyone ,

I am thinking about buying a 1998 dodge pickup for a tow vehicle it has 4/w/d and a 318 engine my trailor is a 23 foot safari that weighs 5800 lbs empty any one else use this engine and truck combo to tow with my old truck has a 460 and im a little concerned about the 318 not having enough power any input and help would be apprecieated.

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paul
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Old 09-10-2002, 09:39 PM   #2
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You won't have enough power.

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Old 09-11-2002, 12:13 PM   #3
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Um...I have a 2000 ram 4x4 with a 318, and a 23' safari. I just tooks a trip to a fairly mountainous area, and I thought it was fine. (not "stellar", but it does the job). I did go up a couple of really steep hills @40mph in 2nd gear. But I also passed more than one vehicle during the trip. I was definately not the slowest thing on the road. With my rear-end configuration, the max towing capacity is 7200lbs. The 23' safari has an empty weight of 3500lbs. 5800 is the max weight.

Funny: a couple of times, I got stuck behind some old-lady driving at an unreasonably slow speed, and a long line of cars formed behind us...of course, they couldn't see anything but me and my silver trailer in their way.. I just knew they all thought it was me being the slow-poke. I wish I could have put up a sign saying "its not me, really!" LOL!. A couple of them got a big surprise when they tried to pass, and realized they had more to get around than me and my relatively small trailer.
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Old 09-11-2002, 12:30 PM   #4
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paul k,
If you are using a 3.73 or 4.10/4.11 rear end ratio with 3.50-31 inch tires you may do OK as long as you don't get into the mountains. As Chuck said, you won't be passing everything on the road but you won't be at the back of the pack either. You may find that in a number of situations you are wanting more power but the only way to find out is get on the road and see how it works for you. Some of us with big V8 or diesel engines like what we have because they always work for us no matter what terrain we run into. I for one drove a '92 Chevy Z71 4X4 from AZ. to TN. with my 1977 31' Excella 500. With the 5.7 V8, 5 speed manual and a lowly 3.42 rear end ratio, I was hurting on the hills of New Mexico. It was something I only wanted to do once. I now pull that trailer with a '01 Chevy 2500HD with 8.1 (496) and 3.73 rear end. It has been more than sufficient for me.
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Old 09-13-2002, 07:11 AM   #5
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23 foot Safari weight

Hello Paul

As someone else reported the GVW is 5800 as stated on the front plate of my A/S.
Another member has written that the dry weight is 3500.
My manual says the dry weight is 4000 to 4500.
I know that there are some single axle 23 ft Safari's that would weigh 500 lbs less than the dual axle A/S's
Has any one actually weighed a dual axle 70's , 23ft Safari dry? I am confused by the numbers and very interested in the actual weight as we have been successfully towing out trailer with our 3 Litre Nissan Quest and very happy with the performance on expressways and hills ( not mountains ) here in Canada.
confused:

Also.... Is the dry weight with or without propane tanks???
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Old 09-13-2002, 08:41 AM   #6
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Wayne with the Nissan Quest

Hi Wayne I am Toronto and have a 70 Safari.

What kind of engine is in the quest if I towed my trailer with my
chevy venture I think the transmission would implode.

I thinking of getting a used tahoe. I think there is a meeting of the Ontario Chapter (A/S club in Huntsville Ontario on the 27th of September. I am thinking of going up on a parts hunt.

Scotti
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Old 09-13-2002, 10:36 AM   #7
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This is where I got my "weight" information.

http://www.airstream.com/faq/weights.pdf

I think A/S needs to get a bit more "detail oriented" about some of their documentation. One link about weights on their "faq" page says, "we can't tell what's been done to your trailer, so go weigh it". Another link says "here's the weights of all the trailers from 1996 on", and when you open it up, its got the weights going back to the 50's. (?). Most of them don't list the GVW...why not?

My local dealer had listed in their part book the wrong part for the tail-lights. They had what they "thought" was a tail light in stock, but it is NOT a tail light for an early '70's trailer. It is a "porch" light. (the tail-light-like fixture outside the door). This has a flange around it, through which the fixture is riveted to the skin of the trailer....that won't fit in the tail light housing. so the parts person called AS on the phone, and they insisted that this was the correct part. It wasn't....and still isn't.

Why don't they publish their old owner's manuals and service manuals in pdf format, instead of having to make a photocopy everytime someone wants one. Hello? its 2002.....they could still "charge' us for them if they want to make a profit on the transaction. But doing it this way would make for a bigger profit margin. sheesh. scan once...sell many. Plus it would be a whole lot more convenient for many of us.....
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Old 09-13-2002, 01:16 PM   #8
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Need more data

P,

Like Craig alluded too it depends. The variable is axle ratio, transmission and tire size. Not to mention personal preference.

So different people will list their experience with the same truck and same engine, and have different opinions. Good and bad. Why. Cause they most likely had different tucks. And or a different expectation.

So the 3 factors in addition to the engine can make or break your towing experience. --- Bigger engine, auto trans, bigger number rear axle, and smaller diameter tires = bigger tow capacity. Change any one of those factors and the towing capacity is changed. You are dealing with 4 factors. So when some one says there are only 2 engine choices or whatever, just note the combinations become a big dael when all the factors are considered.

Then there is expectation and preference. That can not be measured, however note some people like Bambi's and some people like Excella's. They are both A/S and quite different! The expectation is different with each unit. And so towing with a rig that is marginal for the load (like mine as a matter of fact) is quite different than towing with something that has twice the capacity.

So do your research and a little actual expierence helps too.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 09-13-2002, 04:40 PM   #9
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Hello Scotty;

The 1993 Quest GXE has a 3 litre engine which is 99% a Pathfinder SUV engine. The advantage with the Quest is that it is wider, lower, and is only front wheel drive which means it dosen't have the extra hardware as in the 4 wheel drive Pathfinder. The Pathfinder's tow rating is 4500lbs. which means something or not, depending on ones view of the subject.

My Quest has a factory tow package, is almost 10 years old and has 290,000 klm's ( 200,000 miles) on it. It has the original engine, transmission, CV joints and radiator etc. and all work fine. We go north and use the 400. You know it is a rollercoaster ride and we have no trouble going with the aggresive flow of traffic on that hwy.

Yes many folks have commented on the combination and questioned it but is a very pleasing, and secure feeling ride.
Of course being safety consious the Michelin tires, brakes, quality dual cam Reese hitch, big extra tranny cooler and all other related items need to be in top form and checked regularly.

Sorry, I can't comment on how your Venture would tow as I am not familiar with the vehicle. I did use a 2000 Sierra Z71 to pick up the Safari when I bought it and the truck did a good job. Lots of power! I think the Yukon would be similar. One last item Scotty.. We have been averaging 15 MPG towing the 23 ft Safari.
Not great, but not bad.

Good luck with the Yukon if you should decide to go that route. I'm sure it would get the job done for you. I know there are Yukon owners in this forum that have lots of towing experiance
and hopfully they would have some info for you.
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Old 09-14-2002, 10:31 PM   #10
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Go weigh it ..

I've gotten that advice before and ended up taking it. Back in late '98 I was trying to decide on a tow vehicle rated at 5000# and another more expensive vehicle rated at 6500#. My 1969 Overlander is listed in the sales brochure at around 4500#. So, I took the trailer to a nearby commercial scale and weighed it. With propane, usual dishes, blankets, etc we leave on board, but without water in the tanks or food, clothing and other stuff on board for traveling it weighed in at 5300# It is easily 6000# + loaded to go for a couple of weeks. I went with the Yukon. We have since replaced that and I now tow with a 2002 Yukon XL 1500 with 3.73 real axle. It tows great.

Jim
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Old 09-15-2002, 09:11 AM   #11
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Wink trow vehicles

thanks for all the replies
I have chosen not to get the 318 dodge because most of my travels are in the mountains of colorado. i sure learned a lot about gear ratios from some of you . I knew that I would get an eyefull if asked all of you at airstream forums.com. I think that I will stick to my old 460 ford she has never let me down especialy when it comes to towing.
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Old 09-15-2002, 06:53 PM   #12
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Paul,
Those big blocks have the grunt when they are needed the most. I sure wish my 8.1 had the gas mileage my '92 5.7 had. I guess I was just spoiled.
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Old 09-15-2002, 09:41 PM   #13
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tow vehicles

aint that the truth,

but you know the old saying if you want the horses ya gota feed them
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Old 09-15-2002, 09:52 PM   #14
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Tow vehicles

The other day I drove on to a public scales scales with my '99 Safari, '00 pickup with four people aboard and all our gear, and guess what..... 13,070 pounds. That was 1,000 pounds less than the GMC 2500's max, but more than what I would have thought. The Airstream label reads the trailer weight is 5,400 + or - a little depending on extras (there aren't any except an electric hitch jack). GMC said the curb weight of the pickup is 5,250. No way were we carrying some 2,400 pounds + of stuff...half the storage bins were empty. Go figure!
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