Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-14-2009, 08:17 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
monkeypants's Avatar
2009 27' FB Classic
Smithville , New Jersey
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 162
Images: 1
Towing Question

Hi folks
I'm looking for some input on my towing. We've got a Chrysler Aspen with a tow rating of 8750 lbs pulling my 27' classic. In a perfect world I would trade it in for a diesel F250 or F350, but since it only has 28000 miles, I want to do the best I can with it until I must take the loss on the trade.
After speaking to my mechanic, who also RVs, camping world and my AS dealer, the general opinion is that the TV is fine, but to improve they all suggest 3 things:
1. Better tow rated tires.
2. Better shocks.
3. Load leveling air cushions for the back springs.

Everyone also seems to agree that if I do the first 2, I may not need #3.
The reason I'm looking into this is just the feeling that I'm not in complete control when big rigs pass me on 95. I've gotten better at handling the vehicle and I know that a bigger TV would solve the problem, but this is my situation right now, and I was looking for comment on these 3 suggestions, plus any comment of the specifics of the 3.

monkeypants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 08:44 AM   #2
3 Rivet Member
AZ-JH's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Peoria , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 228
Good luck. The very day we picked up our AS from the seller, on the ride home, the decision was made for us to buy a proper TV. We thought we would get by for a couple more years with our then-tow vehicle after we had the gearing changed, etc. Now we are in complete control and towing is enjoyable. IMO, your heavy Classic is far too much work for that vehicle, no matter what you do to the TV.

AZ-JH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
Chuck's Avatar

1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,476
Images: 260
you need to look at your hitch setup before anything else. I don't know what a "tow rated tire" is; the load rating of your tires isn't going to change anything; having them properly inflated for the load might.
airbags are definitely NOT the way to level a tow vehicle. If you're experiencing poor handling due to the front axle being unloaded, you need to correct that with your weight-distributing hitch; not by jacking up the rear end.
You might want to contact Can-am rv...andyT on the forums; I think he's made some comments about things specific to this particular vehicle...can't remember exactly what they were, but something to do with the rear suspension.
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 08:59 AM   #4
3 Rivet Member
2008 25' Safari
Jasper , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 107
Images: 3
Here's a thread with some pro and con opinions on the Chrysler Aspen as a tow vehicle.
To find more, click on the search menu at the top of the screen (third word in from logout)
What kind of sway control and weight distributing hitch do you have?
With that large a trailer, I would want the Hensley or ProPride.
Paul&Dee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 09:02 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
2004 25' Classic
West Chazy , New York
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 276
Images: 4
Your insecure towing feeling most likely comes from too much trailer for the tow vehicle. Generally too short of a wheelbase relates to the "tail wagging the dog" An acepted rule of thumb for wheelbase vs trailer length is:
For the first 110" of wheelbase, this allows you 20' of trailer.
For each additional 4" of wheelbase, this gets you 1' more of trailer.

Turning that around, for a 27' trailer you would need a tow vehicle wheelbase of 138" (110 + 4x7). I don't know the wheelbase of your Aspen, but I doubt it is anywhere near that long. I would also doubt that the braking capacity of the Aspen is within a safety margin for towing a 27' Classic. Please be safe and considerate of your family and others on the road and consider a more stout tow vehicle.

2004 Classic 25 - The Silver Sausage
2008 Silverado LTZ CC 2500 4x4 Duramax - Brutus
WBCCI 2623
romap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 09:04 AM   #6
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: 10,381
Images: 5
Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Your 27FB is probably weighing out in the 8000# range ready to camp with a tongue weight around 800#.

That's a pretty tall order for a small SUV. When the trailer nears double the weight of the tow vehicle, everything has to be set up properly to have any kind of near pleasant towing experience.

You need a high quality weight distributing/sway control hitch system. This is a case where a Hensley or ProPride is probably in order.

Your small SUV probably has load range C passenger car tires on it. These are not sufficient for the kind of weight that your are towing. I would suggest at least load range D's, or preferably, load range E's. This is a safety issue.

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 11-14-2009, 09:14 AM   #7
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
CanoeStream's Avatar

2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Better tow rated tires? (stiffer sidewalls)
Better shocks? Again ... stiffer?

I don't think the sway from passing trucks is coming from your vehicle suspension. Your Classic's ST tires have stiffened sidewalls and that's not stopping sway from passing trucks.

Your trailer is a big aerodynamic surface -- like fletching on an arrow. The bow wave from a passing or oncoming truck will hit the trailer at different times, resulting in a sequence of lateral reactions depending on the stage of this encounter. It's easier to feel this sequence as a truck overtakes you from behind (let's assume he is passing you on the left):
  1. The wave first hits the trailer behind the wheels, displacing the stern of the trailer to the curbside. The front of the trailer, the hitch area and the aft part of your TV are pushed in a roadside direction.
  2. The truck moves forward and the bow wave pushes more on the trailer forward of the wheels. Absent any wheel skid, the front of the trailer is pushed curbside and the stern now displaces in a roadside direction. The effect on your TV is opposite what it was moments before in stage 1.
Think about it this way and you can feel the specific sway corresponding to those phases. An oncoming truck blasts you quicker but still results in this lateral flexing at the hitch ... probably not in such an ordered sequence. My Reese DualCam antisway does not counteract these effects. I think your only improvement will come from a ProPride or Hensley setup. I shoulda mentioned 'yaw' so that 2air's attention would get drawn to his issue pronto -- hope he chimes in.

You have approximately 1500 pounds payload capacity in you Chrysler Aspen. Per the diagram in the owners manual, have you ever checked your tongue weight with a bathroom scale? This would be a simple and worthwhile exercise. How many people are camping with you? (actually, how much aftermarket weight is the aspen carrying - people, cargo & tongue).

See -- I wrote post #14 there. I'll say it again -- the best authority on towing at the margin of payload ranges is in London, Ontario. And the first thing Andrew Thomson will do is recommend a Hensley or ProPride. Talk to him at least if you aren't interested in driving there.

TomR drew good attention to Andrew T's methods:

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
3 Rivet Member
Rawn77's Avatar
2016 30' Classic
Montreal , Quebec
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 195
Send a message via Skype™ to Rawn77
There's nothing wrong with your Aspen. It's just not hooked up properly; meaning the hitch setup. I bought a regular white box 27' TT last year and was unhappy how my TV was handling. I was miserable. I was real close in buying a new F150. I just happened to be reading some posts on this forum and came across Andrew T at CanAm RV. After calling Andy in London, ON I decided to drive the 8 hours and have him adjust my hitch. You can't believe what a difference. I wrote about my experience in another post. Please check it out.

Needless to say a couple of months later I ordered a new 2010 Flying Cloud 27FB after Andy hooked a similar 27FB International to my TV to demonstrate the difference in towing an Airstream compared to my whitebox. I should get it in January. Can't wait!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG00008-20091003-1229.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	307.5 KB
ID:	90908   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG00009-20091003-1533.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	299.4 KB
ID:	90909  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG00010-20091003-1534.jpg
Views:	73
Size:	304.4 KB
ID:	90910  
Rawn77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:19 AM   #9
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Originally Posted by monkeypants View Post
...The reason I'm looking into this is just the feeling that I'm not in complete control when big rigs pass me on 95...
higher rated tires PROPERLY inflated on the TV will help,

so will properly inflating the trayla tires.

along with dialing in the connector bits...

best BANG for your bucks is the tires.

along with tires,

IF you really wanna stop monkey-ing around with control...

connect aspen2airstream with 1 of these...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 05:57 AM   #10
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
Andrew T's Avatar
2008 34' Classic
1960 17' Pacer
London , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 784
Hi Monkeypants

I am traveling down in Texas at the Moment and did not see this earlier. The Aspen is a very nice vehicle but the suspension has been tuned to ride very smoothly, it is softer than a Cadillac. Ron posted above about his experience with his ML and the 27' Airstream but I wanted to clarify that the ML is a dramically more stable tow vehicle than the Aspen.This is due to ML's independent rear suspension, tighter shocks, firmer springs, better tire and wheel combination, tighter steering feel and shorter rear overhang in relation to the wheelbase.

If you were to reconfigure your hitch in a manner similer to Ron's you would notice a substantial improvement but still not the rock solid stability of the ML. The Aspen has no power issues at all, the Hemi will easily take you anywhere. The easy answer is to install a Hensley or Propride hitch which will solve your handling issues completely. The cost of the Hensley is not much more than doing tires shocks and reworking the conventional hitch but it can be used on your next tow vehicle and be resold at some future date so it the long run it is a less expensive fix.

I hope this helps.


Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot
Andrew T 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
Another towing question ipso_facto Our Community 34 08-28-2010 03:47 PM
Question on Towing??? World Travel Tow Vehicles 44 01-02-2008 08:45 AM
Towing Question Dano57 Tow Vehicles 28 09-08-2007 09:47 PM
OH NO! ...Not another towing question blucloud Off Topic Forum 4 02-11-2006 05:29 AM
Towing Question joshua32064 Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 1 09-27-2003 06:19 AM

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 02:59 AM.

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.