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Old 02-20-2009, 04:33 AM   #1
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towing in general

I am looking for the first time at buying an airstream, 23 footer. I have a Honda Ridgeline and this should pull it without difficulties, but was wondering if anyone can give me an idea on how these tow? Does you mileage go down drastically, or minimally? Do you need a sway bar or stabilizer and can you convert an older model to fit these items. Thanks. Redwolf
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:11 AM   #2
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Last year we camped with a couple that were very happy towing their mid sized Airstream with their Oddy. They used the Hensley Hitch

You might want to check in over at the Honda Oddy owners forum. Hundreds of those folks are towing TT's of various sizes with their vehicles.

The 23' is a great Airstream.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/f...ad.php?t=12327
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:18 AM   #3
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Redwolf,
Welcome to the forums and good luck in your search for an Airstream.

I know the Honda Ridgelines as tow vehicles (TV) have been discussed here. Try using a forum or Google search.

As for hitches and anti-sway devices, you should have one from a safety perspective. Again do a search and you will find just as many opinions on hitches as there are about the correct tow vehicles. If you have the money to spend a Hensley Arrow is supposed to be the top of the line. There are lots of folks out there using Reese Dual Cam set up and Eqaul-I-Zer systems too. Do your research and you will find the right trailer, tow vehicle, and hitch set up for your personal situation.

Again welcome to the forums and good luck on your search. Keep us posted and ask lots and lots of questions.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
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Redwolf, you'll enjoy learning about towing a travel trailer. There are details of setting the hitch rigging correctly (around 10% of the ones you see out on the road are done correctly), and running the highways is more a matter of backing off, mentally, so as to have time and room to maneuver. The Airstream virtue is low center-of-gravity, very aerodynamic shape, and a fully-independent suspension. You'll note that I am not an A/S owner, and what I have mentioned are the differences between the design of mine (an anodized skin and all-aluminum structure) which tows very well, and the next -- or, final -- step which is Airstream.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, you'll find among RV'ers in general a relaxed attitude towards the details of safety in hitch rigging and driving while towing. We all believe we are safe, yet, I would recommend this site to you highly for searching out these two topics. Details, details. A trailer is a lot of fun to play with, moving or not; being upgraded or just maintained. A nice bit of sanity as I see it.

The performance of a towing rig is a good bit different than a solo vehicle. I believe that as you concentrate on the feel of things that you'll know your TV (tow vehicle) better than before and you'll enjoy widening the repetoire you have now. Mainly, one does not "keep up" with traffic anymore. Most people are quite mindless in driving a solo vehicle (large throttle openings right up to a stop versus a long coast, for example), and one learns to take advantage of these predictable behaviors to keep a safe following distance and keep mpg at a good place. You'll use the throttle differently than you have before.

Fuel mileage will be down, but a prudent pace on the highway (I prefer 63 mph) means one can slow to avoid problems more easily and maintain better mpg at a set pace. It is really more a matter of keeping a supply reserve and knowing when to re-fuel, IMO. Fuel cost is relative, and not a determining factor in the cost of travel for most (although $4.00/gl gas took everyones attention).

I prefer to see it as time and distance, that is, how many days I have . . since I also prefer the old dictum of, "300 miles or three o'clock" for daily travel. Really, traveling should be only in daylight hours, and one does want to be set up at camp by or before civil twilight (a bit more than half-hour prior to dusk). It is more pleasant the shorter the day. So . . . if I have a week off, then I want to determine how many days driving "out" and another few driving "in". Fuel is only one cost.

The more you read here, in depth, the more you'll find your thinking wrapping around the subject. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

If you want to safely pull a 23 with a Ridgeline, you're going to need a high quality hitch system. In this situation, weight distribution and sway control are a musts. Without this, you'll end up with the trailer driving the tow vehicle.

As far as gas mileage while towing, you can probably count on a 20% reduction while towing a 5000# trailer.

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Old 02-20-2009, 07:41 AM   #6
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If you are looking for a new(er) 23 foot Airstream, your Ridgeline will not be sufficent to tow it. Your Ridgeline will have a max tow capacity as stated by the manufacturer of 5,000lbs. A 23' new(er) Airstream has a GVWR of 6,000lbs. Dry weight, with no water, LP, food, gear in the RV is 4700lbs. Fuel, passengers and gear and accessories within the truck will reduce the 5000lbs, so before you even put a drop of water, food, LP or anything else, you are at the max manufacturer suggested weight rating. In reality, you'd be pushing it even towing a new(er) 19'. In essense besides body, you basically have a Honda Accord. If you are looking at a non-FB type 23', it has a 700lb hitch weight. Typically, it is known that 10% of the tow rating is anticipated for hitch weight. In your case, that would be about 500lbs. Even though you will not place the full 700lbs on the ball, you have most likely exceeded what the engineers at Honda (not the dealers or mechanics) had anticipated.

If you like the Ridgeline body style, I would consider an Avalanche by Chevy, it has a higher tow rating, and is designed for this kind of weight.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
Last year we camped with a couple that were very happy towing their mid sized Airstream with their Oddy. They used the Hensley Hitch

You might want to check in over at the Honda Oddy owners forum. Hundreds of those folks are towing TT's of various sizes with their vehicles.

The 23' is a great Airstream.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/f...ad.php?t=12327
Shame on me for posting at 7am (half asleep) and misprinting Oddy????. I was thinking Ridgeline but writing Oddy.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
Shame on me for posting at 7am (half asleep) and misprinting Oddy????. I was thinking Ridgeline but writing Oddy.

I'm glad that you clarified that. Based upon your first post, I was assuming that the Ridgeline and the Oddy were the same platform. I had kind of filed that info away in my rather scant knowledge base of Japanese vehicles.

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Old 02-20-2009, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redwolf View Post
I am looking for the first time at buying an airstream, 23 footer. I have a Honda Ridgeline and this should pull it without difficulties, but was wondering if anyone can give me an idea on how these tow? Does you mileage go down drastically, or minimally? Do you need a sway bar or stabilizer and can you convert an older model to fit these items. Thanks. Redwolf
I'll be the second to tell you that's too much for the Ridge. Our 22' tops out at 4200# with 415# on the ball and it's a ideal match. We do not need sway control. Honda does not recommend equalizing hitches. Mileage is influenced by many things. Our worst was a headwind uphill at 9000', 10.8 mpg, our best was 18.3 on the level. We seem to hover around 16.5 under normal conditions.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:58 AM   #10
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We do not need sway control.
I hope the wink was for real.
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