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Old 06-25-2002, 10:48 AM   #1
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1964 22' Safari
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Towing my 1964 Safari - what tow vehicle do I use

Hi Everyone,

I am currently renovating a 1964 Safari and plan to use it as a mobile office around town. But I would also like to use it to take trips - and potentially a long one all around the US.

Right now, I don't have a towing vehicle, and since I'd like to just own one car which is currently an acura legend, I need to sell the acura and buy something that can tow the airstream. Since I would be using this is my primary car and not just to tow the airstream, I would rather it not be an SUVs or a truck.

Is there any other option? Is there a station wagon that would tow the airstream or am I delusional? Any input would be great. Thanks so much!

Nina
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:53 AM   #2
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There are only 2 newer cars I know of that are still a chassis on frame style, and are large enough. One would be the new Mercury Maurder/Marquis or the Ford Crown Vic. The other is the Chevy impala, but it would have to be bought used as the new impala is a FWD unibody.
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Old 06-25-2002, 11:05 AM   #3
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1966 26' Overlander
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Towing

N,

Most cars are not designed to tow much more than 2000 #'s at best. Some cars towing is not recommended at all. Since the frame of most cars went the direction of front wheel drive and unibody towing is not much of a consideration. Fuel economy is the focus.

My guess at the weight of your trailer is at about 3500 to 4000 #'s. That is a guess and your trailer is 38 years old. So many things could have been done to it to add weight. My recommendation is to get it weighed! If the tanks are empty calculate the weight of the water in the tanks. (Black and supply water) Water weighs about 8 #'s a gallon. Take that number and add 10% for safety. That is your pulled load!

From there find out vehicles that will take that load. Gussing or approximates do not cut it in the trailering world! If there is a car that will pull it, my guess is that it will be a rear wheel drive full frame car. Maybe a Ford Crown Victoria. However, I personnally would prefer a SUV or a full size truck. I tow my 26' Overlander with a full size van.

Remember it is safety that we are talking here and ignorance or misinformation can get one into a lot of trouble very quick.

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Old 06-25-2002, 03:40 PM   #4
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fwiw: the previous owners of my 73 safari 23' (3500lbs empty) did pull it for a while with a crown victoria. I don't know what year, though, or what the experience was like.....They switched to an F-250 at some point.

funny, though....the pictures in the original owner's manual depict fairly "vanilla" looking sedans pulling rather large A/Ss. times have changed.....
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Old 06-25-2002, 05:32 PM   #5
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The times ~ they have changed!

C,

Exactly! Back in the 60's and early 70's cars were very much different than now. They were built with heavy frames and big V-8's. And most people towed with them on vacation because they were very comfortable and carried the family. If you needed to haul anything you had a pickup truck that had a rough ride, no accessories, and could take only 2 of your best friends.

Along came emmission standards, 2 fuel shortages, and a consumer demand for safety, comfort, fuel economy. (the good old days)

Anyway, the car makers changed to fuel efficent, clean burning cars that really didn't haul much except people. The design that worked was front wheel drive, and unibody construction. Neither one of those features is very good for towing. -- (I used to work for Ford Motor Company. And in early 1980's the company came out with a F150 that was extremely light to advertise better mileage. The problem was that the only possible use of the truck was a commuter vehicle to work.) -- Then the birth of SUV's!! SUV's have taken the niche between cars that can not tow and pick up trucks that are limited on people capacity. And most SUV's do not fall under the fuel economy guidelines that cars do. In addition SUV's were loaded up with comfort features. Things like A/C, power windows, locks, seat and .......

So the times have changed! Compare the basic Jeep of the 60's to the Jeep of today. The box Bronco of the 70's to the Expedition of today. When was the last time you saw leather seats in a vehicle built in the 60's? Oh yeah the times did change.

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Old 06-28-2002, 05:11 PM   #6
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1964 22' Safari
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Thanks all for the great suggestions. I guess I was delusional. I'm not really a crown victoria kind of girl, so I guess I will have to bit the bullet and buy a truck or an SUV. I'm single so its seems like a waste to be driving around town (in this case the SF Bay Area) by myself in a big car - but I definitely understand how important it is to have an adequate towing vehicle. My other challenge will be finding something that's compact enough to fit into my garage in SF. It has a tight opening and low ceiling height in places due to some steal beams - but some friends got a pathfinder in there once, so I should be able to find something. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 06-28-2002, 05:26 PM   #7
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Bullet

Speaking of biting the "bullet", where do you store your silver bullet when not in use? If there is space you might have a cheaper option to buying a new SUV and that would be buying an older truck, van, or SUV.
My tow vehicle is a 1990 full size van that tows my boat and my trailer. I paid 5 g's and put 3 to 5 thousand miles every year. (It's not used much) My daily driver is a 2 door coupe. May be better than a new $25K SUV. - Space permitting.
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