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Old 03-28-2011, 09:36 AM   #29
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2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 346
No matter what combination you have, someone will tell you it is really good....or they will tell you it isn't good. Learn the difference - find out what you are comfortable with. For three years we towed a 25' International with a Nissan Armada. So do others and they find it to be a very comfortable. The Armada has a shorter wheelbase
and a couple other "almost" good numbers. The more I drove it, the more I was uncomfortable with it and eventually moved to a 2500 Chevy Suburban. What a difference and we're much more comfortable towing with it. (I really like the 39 gal. gasoline tank). It came with EVERY add on available in 2007 so we got a lot more SUV than we would have ever selected but we sure do like it. We used ir for several trips at the end of last summer - Washington DC, Virginia, southern Indiana and found it to be much more than the Nissan. Again, whatever you are comfortable with after learning the differences is what is important. We love the 'burb and NEVER thought we would say that about any American made auto over a Japanene or German made one.

I encourage you to look at MORE than towing capability. Check out wheelbase, brake size, and differential. Tranny is also very important - how many forward gears are available - four, six??? Learn the differences and then, decide what is comfortable for you. Good Luck........enjoy whatever you decided upon.

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Old 03-28-2011, 12:26 PM   #30
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2007 19' Bambi
Avondale Estates , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 10
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towing w/ Titan

Does anyone else out there have experience towing an AS (smallish 19'-20') with a newer model Titan or Armada?
I would love to hear your feedback (both positive and negative)

I think somebody here in Atlanta full times it with an Armada and what looks like a 25'er. Are you out there?

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Old 03-28-2011, 02:22 PM   #31
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1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
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I have experience with the Titan but towing an Overlander (26') and a car hauler. Our Airstream tow beautifully. The Titan pulls it very capably. The biggest problem towing a 19/20 would be forgetting you have a trailer behind you.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:52 AM   #32
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2007 19' Bambi
Avondale Estates , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 10
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Last weekend we did back-to-back test drives in the Titan and the Tundra.
We did not feel the Titan interior "fit and finish" lived up to our hopes/expectations and furthermore it did not seem to have the overall "fortitude" to feel stable pulling the trailer.
We felt that the Tundra was a little better put together (granted, with fewer bells & whistles) and was a significantly more solid vehicle, all the better for the pull.
We have redirected our search to the Tundra, the big 5.7L, probably the SR5 trim.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:55 AM   #33
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2007 19' Bambi
Avondale Estates , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2008
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our last outstanding question for us is 2x4 versus 4x4.
reading the Tundra Transmissions forum it sounds like we should steer away from the 4x4.
any thoughts?
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:13 PM   #34
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Posts: 10,814
I have been a big supporter of Toyotas, but the increasing problems with them are making my wife and I reconsider. I just had some issues with stability control lights flashing when they shouldn't, but cannot replicate it. The dealer put it on the computer and charged me $95 for finding nothing. SRW just had to get his transmission replaced, but he had an extended warranty.

Toyota has been using cheap plastics in recent years and they don't last. We just discovered a crack in the top of the spoiler on the 4Runner. The Tundra and other models use a cheap chrome colored plastic surrounding the grille—it pits quickly and while washing it a hole blew in it last year. Some plastic parts in the interior start looking shabby after several years. I could go on…

We have 4WD because we live in a snowy state, but it also helps when towing on wet grass, mud and up steep grades, especially from a dead stop.

Check Consumer Reports and Edmunds for more information and take a look at what works best for you.

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Old 04-16-2011, 08:47 PM   #35
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
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All it takes is one muddy road or a slick situation and you'd pay double for a 4x4. You'll never lose money on the extra $$ for a 4x4.

2008 F-250 4X4 Lariat V-10
2002 Airstream Classic 30' w/SO #2074
2007 Kubota 900 RTV
1996 Ford Bronco
2007 Lincoln LT
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:46 PM   #36
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1992 21' Sovereign
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 98
From Tacoma to F250

I'd like to chime into this discussion, if I may. Our Sovereign 21' loaded is about 5000 pounds. When we first got it, I towed it with the Tacoma, towing capacity of 6500#. Our first trip was a 400 mile round trip to N NM. The Sovereign has a tongue weight of 700# (over Tacoma's rating). I had to wind up and push on the climbs and wasn't comfortable on those downhills--felt like I was being pushed.

I know a Tacoma is not in your list of vehicles. When we first got the Airstream I thought it could be the 21' TV.

Enter into the household a 1000# bay gelding and a horse trailer. All horse people insist a full-sized truck is a must for safely taking a horse places. So we bought a 2003 F250, 5.4L V-8 with the 3.73 (?) differential, 2x4, limited slip diff. Perfect for towing the new boy, and it became the Airstream tow vehicle.

The towing difference is like night and day! We visited Uwe Salwender in Orange, CA a few weeks ago for an axle replacement (see my thread on Axles at Uwe's). We towed the Sovereign over 1700 miles in 5 days, and it was very windy for the entire trip. We had head winds, tail winds, cross winds, and horrible gusts climbing out of LA, heading towards Barstow. We never were pushed, pulled or moved. Plus the 6% grades on I-40 and I-10 were potential white-knucklers, but we kept up on the ups and never felt pushed on the downs. Often we were surprised when we stopped to get gas, at how windy it was. WOW! Didn't even feel it. Our towing mileage is 10-13mpg with the F250. I must say our comfort and safety in towing the 21' is well worth it. Yes, the F250 sits alot, but after the trip to CA and all the wind and hills, I'm very happy to have it.

I know you are looking at an SUV type vehicle. For comfort and stability, I would recommend more beef upfront. Good luck with your search.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:39 AM   #37
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
redmond , Oregon
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Posts: 68
tow a 27 fb with a tundra which i replaced a 3/4 chevy diesel with and won't go back!
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:11 AM   #38
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2003 22' International
Camp Hill , Pennsylvania
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We have an 2006 4Runner 4.7L 4x4 towing a 2003 22" International AS with a GWV of 5,000 pounds. We never tow with loaded water or holding tanks, generally average 55 mph with an overall mpg of 14.3 on a recent 5000 mile trip to FL. When towing we get 12 mpg. We recently had an accident avoidance induced swerve on a crowded I 95 when some jerk came up the entrance ramp without looking, we were fortunate that my husband was able to swerve to the left enough to get the jerk's attention but the trailer took a fcouple of sways to settle down. Our storage problem for the bikes was solved by having a receiver installed in the rear of the trailer, not on the bumper but welded to the frame. Overall we have been extremely happy with the TV and the trailer.

Hope this information helps
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:14 AM   #39
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2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
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We tow with a Honda Ridgeline and feel very comfortable and safe. Our Sport hovers around 4000# loaded with 420# on the ball. Lots of 10% grades here with no problems. We do a lot of mountain boondocking and the 4WD really helps on wet grass or sand. Summer finds us above 7000'.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:10 AM   #40
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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The point made above about a smaller A/S not needing a full-sized truck is important to consider. Hitch rigging is important on all tow vehicles, but receives a lot less discussion for the majority of RV'ers. So few drive extended towing miles that the "default" choice of truck seems sensible as they have no basis for comparison. For an Airstream it becomes overkill (assuming some weights and sizes are respected).

Todays big sedans or minivans or SUV's are more competent than the big sedans of the 1960s and 1970's in almost all ways. A guy in his fifties in 1965 was born when cars/trucks were to be -- for the majority of his lifetime -- slow, underpowered and with poor brakes. He acquired a larger range of abilities, and respected the efforts of others to meet what road, load and conditions demanded.

Todays owner doesn't understand that towing puts a different set of demands on the driver. Yes, it may run at 3,500-rpm all day. It will do so for years and way well past 100,000 miles. Etc. There is a learning curve. Note that those who move to a big vehicle only speak of "comfort". It's the same sort of comfort that arises from never having learned to read the information offered by mirrors while towing . . . best to run with the pack at 70-mph as a new skill is uncomfortably obtained (seems to be the subtext). Give it time and apply common sense.

For 95% of miles it may not be sensible (solo), as a pickup truck (or big SUV) is really just an operational money pit when compared to a more sensible vehicle for both jobs. I don't see it as being that hard to acquire a stack of weigh scale tickets to ensure best hitch performance, and to keep up with it. No different than time limits on tire life or annual brake maintenance. A tow vehicle that seems to strain is just earning it's paycheck. (Conversely, one that never does is overpowered, which offers exactly zero advantages).

Ascending a grade at 35-mph is part and parcel of a two-duty vehicle. One learns. It isn't that difficult. Shut off the complaining child in the mind (and, by extension, that of other, frustrated drivers).

Believe me that 97% or more of Americans have no clue of how to drive: how to use cruise control; cannot distinguish between passing and overtaking; fail to give adequate distance in nearly all situations, etc. Being criticized, then, by morons is no impediment as I see it. The laws around driving are clear enough. They'll live through your slow ascent. If they don't like it, maybe they'll take a collection to buy and operate a "faster" bigger vehicle for you. The morons all think that someone moving faster has the right-of-way. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As to descending, the tow vehicle controls itself, as the trailer brakes control the trailer. This is a complete non-starter as an issue. Make both vehicles the best possible (all disc). And add that "expensive" [ha!] brake controller.

The single attribute of a larger tow vehicle is it's carry capacity, NOT it's towing ability. Pickups and big SUV's have truly lousy safety records. They are compromised. If the compromise of a big payload is worthwhile then the "answer" is clear enough. For a fulltimer it's easy enough to choose a truck. There are those of us who use trucks for work. Etc. The truck is paying part of it's way in this manner.

Keep asking questions. Hitch rigging is the place to start. If a Pro-Pride set up with your TV is not to your liking, then trade the TV for a bigger one. You already have the hitch you need. A MAXBRAKE controller would be the other item on the list, as well as upgraded electrical for the traier brakes on both TV and TT (no matter the brand or type).

Good luck

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:41 AM   #41
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Boulder , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
Dear RedNax,

I found your latest post remarkable; funny, smart, challenging to default assumptions about towing and driving. Thank you much! You write well. You should do a towing column, although questioning default assumptions is generally unpopular.

I'm still looking for our airstream, but I trust the wisdom of starting with a basic education in hitches and driving expectations. Pro-pride and Maxbrakes, transmission coolers and extension mirrors, possible hitch reenforcement and air bags for rear coils. Learning how to drive with different assumptions and expectation and RPMs. All a brave new world for a neophyte.

I imagine there are many like my wife and myself who do not want to buy a V8 truck or a larger SUV to occasionally tow an airstream. Just receiving affirmation that smaller, daily-drive vehicles can make very adequate, safe T/Vs if properly equipped has been reassuring and liberating. Not to mention $4 (or $5) gas. It would be interesting to know something of the history of tow vehicles. What was used in the 50's and 60's? Station wagons? Sedans? Pick Ups?

I have started correspondence with two A/S owners who use their Sienna as T/V. Both Canadians by the way. One blogged his journey to the Artic Sea and back towing a 30'. I want to send another hearty thanks to Gene who put me in touch with Can-Am RV's of London, Ontario and prepared me to expect a wide range of towing philosophies on the forum. (Whether you agree with it or not, the Can-Am website is a great resource to begin a towing education. American RV dealers should pick up on their educational service.)

Extended cab V8 trucks are no doubt great TV's for many of you, but not for all of us. Many thanks REDNAX for your challenging post. Thinking always begins when we go beyond our default settings in life.

Stan of Boulder
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:52 PM   #42
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Frederickburg , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 175
I'm sure this question has been answered somewhere but thought I would try this thread. I am a wanna-a-be and have been for several years. I stalk the Forum on a regular basis to gain as much knowledge as I can! All of you have so much great info!!!!!
This past weekend I looked at a 2008 Safari 27 FB SE. WOW, my lights lit up it was beautiful.
Question: I have a 2010 Toyota Tundra, 5.7 V8 double cab, 2wd, 8 ft bed. I have read many posts that seem to say yes, it's good for a 27 FB and some say no, stick to the 25FB.
So, I ask the age old question----can I pull this AS with my Tundra? I would love to hear from someone who pulls a 2008 27 FB with a 2010 Tundra or anyone else that has "the answer". THANKS so very much!!!!

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