Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-31-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Dano57's Avatar
1979 31' Excella 500
Edmond , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 79
Towing Question

Been away a while and need some quick answers as I return to getting the AS up and running. I need a tow vehicle and a friend has a 2005 Silverado 4wd with a 5.3L Vortec engine, 4 speed auto and a 3.42 rear axle he wants to sell me. I will be towing a 1979 31 foot Excella with it, what is your opinions? I think that the Excella has a GVW of 8100 pounds and the specs say that the truck is rated for 8400 pounds. I think it is marginal but don't know if I should make a deal on it? It is loaded and I know he'll make me a good deal, so...?


1979 31' Excella 500
Under Renovation,
As yet to be towed!
Dano57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 08:33 PM   #2
klattu's Avatar
1972 Argosy 24
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Heart of Dixie , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,646
Images: 834
3/4 ton would be better.
4WD will burn more fuel and not be used very much.

klattu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 08:36 PM   #3
Rivet Master
mello mike's Avatar
1958 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,742
Images: 53
8100 lbs seems pretty high. Are you sure of that figure? What is the dry weight of your trailer? My 1972 Sovereign is about 5,300 lbs, I can't see yours weighing that much more than that.
1958 Overlander
2011 Wolf Creek 850N TC
2011 Ford F-250 Crewcab (6.2L), 3.73RE

WBCCI #5661/AIR #5661/TAC # AZ-6
4CU 1st VP

My '58 Overlander Restoration and Travel Blog:
mello mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 08:50 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Ganglin's Avatar
1971 27' Overlander
Central , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,365
Images: 13
My understanding is you should not exceed 80% of the tow vehicles rating. Here's the weight chart for various A/S trailers - looks like your OK.
Ganglin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 08:59 PM   #5
More than one rivet loose
thecatsandi's Avatar

Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,753
Not big enough. The Gas? engine is too small for that load. Especially in the hills.
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 09:02 PM   #6
Rivet Master
wkerfoot's Avatar
1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
Orange , California
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,611
I agree that the 8100 seems high. My 1979 Safari has a dry weight of 3900 and a gross weight of 5800, 1900 higher. Using that for your Sovereign would add 1900 to the dry weight of 4800 to get 6700 not 8100. In 1979 the tow vehicle of choice was a full size car with a large V8.

Bill Kerfoot, WBCCI/VAC/CAC/El Camino Real Unit #5223
Just my personal opinion
1973 Dodge W200 PowerWagon, 1977 Lincoln Continental, 2014 Dodge Durango
1979 23' Safari, and 1954 29' Double Door Liner Orange, CA
wkerfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 09:05 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
bobkelly's Avatar
2003 22' International CCD
Whittier, California , Depoe Bay, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 358
Since you are asking, the truck may be marginal for a 31 footer. Some important truck facts weren't posted initially. The year and model 1500, 2500, 2500D, wheelbase, length of bed, trailering package with heavy duty cooling, etc. The rear axle ratio is not ideal either. Can you hitch it up and give it a test drive?

2003 22ft CCD Int'l
2005 GMC Yukon Denali
WBCCI #2960
bobkelly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 09:16 PM   #8
Rivet Master

2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,239
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, as is, this truck is too marginal; You would have to, at very minimum, change both differentials to 3:73 or 4:10 ratios.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 09:19 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
Dano57's Avatar
1979 31' Excella 500
Edmond , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 79
I'll check on the trailer weight to be sure, if I remember correctly the empty weight was in the mid 4000 pound range and the max weight was 8100. I'll check just to be sure. Yes, I forgot to put it in the original post it is a 1500 crew cab short bed. I think the wheel base is right at 143 inches according to what I have found on the Internet.
1979 31' Excella 500
Under Renovation,
As yet to be towed!
Dano57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 09:45 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
KeithC's Avatar
1994 34' Excella
1978 31' Sovereign
Mansfield , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 261
I tried towing my 1968 24' Tradewind with a Ford F-150, 5.0 gas engine, tow package, auto transmission, and found it was way under powered for even moderate interstate highway grades.

On Interstate steep grades my speed dropped to 50 mph floorboarded, and I averaged less than 11 mpg during the trip.

I bit the bullet and bought a 2006 Ford 3/4 ton, 6.0 turbo diesel, tow package. Geeze Louise, what a difference.
KeithC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 09:59 PM   #11
moosetags's Avatar

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,382
Images: 5
In the long run, you are much more likely to be happy with a 3/4 ton something.

Remember that an insufficient tow vehicle is the primary cause of a perfectly good Airstream becoming a very expensive piece of yard art.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 10:46 PM   #12
USN/LAPD Retired
Safari-Rick's Avatar
2005 25' Safari
North Las Vegas , United States
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 850
Moosetags is right.

Better to have more then you need, then need more then you have because you don't have enough!

And there is nothing more worse then having an engine that over heats as you go up a grade (hill).

2007 Dodge Ram Quadcab 6.7L Diesel w/jakebrake

"Better to have more then you need, then need more then you have because you don't have enough!"
AIR #: 8129
Safari-Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 11:27 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
1977 31' Sovereign
ORD , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32
I must say I agree with the majority of posts here. The 5.3L with 3.42's should give fairly good gas mileage unloaded, but with your trailer not only will it return poor mileage but will do so at much slower than desired speeds. We pull our 31' with an '05 Duramax and love 65 mph getting 14+ mpg.

welld.geo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 07:17 AM   #14
1 Rivet Short
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,546
Images: 3
We had two 5.3l's. One w/ 3:73 one w/4:10. I would not be happy towing a 31' with either of these.
The 3:42 only makes it worse.

As already suggested, you DO want a 3/4 ton for this job...


*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing Mirrors 53flyingcloud Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 8 01-03-2003 04:28 PM
Towing Specs in trailer life 53flyingcloud Link Archive 0 11-16-2002 05:09 AM
towing with Roadmaster/ Fleetwood Cruiser On The Road... 1 09-26-2002 04:14 PM
Towing COArgosy78 1969 Overlander 5 09-05-2002 10:18 AM
Towing cars CBBOB Airstream Motorhome Forums 13 07-24-2002 08:15 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.