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Old 09-06-2005, 02:24 PM   #1
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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towing with a 16' box truck (cube van)

Hello to all -
I currently have a 6 meter Argosy, but am looking to upgrade. While the old Argosy has taken some of the unfortunate abuse of being a new owner, I'm looking to upgrade to a new 25' International. So...

The main tow vehicle is a 2001 GMC Savanna box truck with a 16' box. I've got the 8.1L engine, and it seems the chassis and weight rating is fine . But: I've already bashed my little Argosy with the corner of the box, due to the width. And - the overhang of the box is fairly big over the back wheels. It seems a number of the sway control/weight distribution hitches would give me the additional clearance, but do you all think this is going to just be too much of a problem? As it is, dips and such (pulling out of gas stations onto roads, etc) is a little anxiety causing (already done damage due to this. ).

I really would love any thoughts or experience on this, before I move up.


I do art and craft shows - we spent 6 months last year full timing, and it looks to be more this year. I'm ready for a bit more comfort...

Thanks!!
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:01 PM   #2
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Two thoughts... First that truck sounds like a 1 ton...from what folks here in the know say, that's too rough for an Airstream.

That said, it will surely tow the 25' yer thinking about fine, but you're gonna have to be VERY careful...unless you take the box off the truck and then it would be a good idea to take one leaf off to soften the ride.
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:21 PM   #3
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It would not be advisable to tow your Argosy with the box truck. First, you would/could damage the trailer with the box, like you already did. Second, you will beat the trailer to death with the stiff truck suspension on the box truck. So,...

Before you get the new 25 footer, look around and pick up a 1/2 or 3/4 ton pickup, van, SUV (suburban-like vehicle, not an Explorer or trailblazer) etc. If not, the 1 ton suspension will beat the new trailer to death, too. Symptoms of the beating will include: Popped rivets in the body, inside and outside. Stuff thrown around inside the trailer, closet doors opened and stuff tossed on the floor, leaking plumbing, etc.
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:15 PM   #4
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hmmm..

This doesn't sound good. It is a one ton, I can't take the box off. What's "in the box" the the reason I travel. If I don't have it, I have neither the reason to travel so much, nor the way to pay for the AS... I make jewlery, and my studio is in the box, as well as my display, etc for selling at art and craft shows.

Hmm. Going to have to do some more research. Guess I should search "one ton" first - somehow that seems odd to me, although I can understand that.

Thanks for the answers, discouraging as they are. I'd love to hear more thoughts from any others, nontheless.
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:53 PM   #5
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Don't give up!

Uh.... a lot of people are towing with one tons if I'm not mistaken (F350's, Dodge 3500), I tow with a 1 ton Dodge van. It may ride harsh unloaded, but using SOFT weight transfer bars (I think you want 500#'s for your Argosy, 750# ones for the 25ft'r - I'd email Andy at Inland for more info) the combo rides very smoothly. If you google "class 8" and "rv" you'll find some Airstreamers who use big semi trucks for their tow vehicles without dire consequences.... talk about the ultimate t.v. There is a member on this site who uses a Chevy Kodiak Topkick for a t.v. Hitching properly is the key.

The "bad" part about the equation is the box... you really don't want to extend the pivot way past the rear wheels to clear the box, but I guess you don't have a choice (bad for sway)... but you do have tow vehicle weight on your side. (My 1 ton van is not the super extended version, so I have minimal hitch to rear wheel distance). Choices would include a $$hensley, as I think that helps extend the ball to box distance, but there are others out there as well.

I wasn't sure if you really wanted to look at other choices, but some come to mind.... the new Sprinter in cargo, 1 ton dually mode would work well with the Argosy and have some room, I'd check the numbers for that 25ft'r though. You could also have maybe a shorter box made for you? I've dreamt about figuring some way to put an extended cab on a IVEO cabover chassis, but haven't figured out the wining combo yet.

Inshort - just tow it!
Marc
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Old 09-06-2005, 11:47 PM   #6
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Matthew & Gigi:
As a fellow art fair victim, though I do only half-a-dozen a year, I would like to say that you are welcome to park in my driveway (and stay in the house) anytime you are doing one of the scads of art fairs near Chicago. I'm directly west of the city, and if you're on the higher end of the market scale it's possible that you do Riverwalk, which is close to me & coming up.
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:10 AM   #7
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Hey summerkid -
Thank you so much. Riverwalk conflicted with something or other - I do a few in Chicago, though. (57th street, Wells Street, and tried the Gold Coast show this year.) Last year, we did 31 shows, this year looks like 25, plus a 10 week long one(yes, really) in Scottsdale. Too many shows, but doing what it takes to make it work with work a bit different from the usual. (www.worksofman.com if you're curious.) Thus, an Airstream. I really do like doing shows, but working on calming the pace of this down...

So - you probably understand the boxtruck thing somewhat. I love the Sprinters, but if I got that too, I'd have to ask Gigi and the animals to stop eating for a year or two...

Hi Marc -
You're right - I'm not sure I have all that much of a choice. I want to be concious about it - if there's something I can do, I'd like to figure that out, or at least be aware of it. If it means I'd beat an Airstream to death, than I really do have to do something else, or find a solution. I hadn't thought of having someone shorten the box for me. Interesting thought ( I had contemplated finding a used ambulance). Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-07-2005, 06:40 AM   #8
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Matthew, I saw a post about air hitches here a couple weeks ago. That's what I am leaning towards to soften the ride for my AS. http://www.airridehitch.com/

-Alden
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Old 09-07-2005, 06:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alden Miller
Matthew, I saw a post about air hitches here a couple weeks ago. That's what I am leaning towards to soften the ride for my AS. http://www.airridehitch.com/

-Alden
I know someone that does carnival/fairs/shows that uses the Air Ride Hitch, they tow a 31' with a BIG box truck. Theirs has been towed many thousands of miles with no noticable damage. In fact I recall one incident when they left early in the moring and left a 1/2 cup of coffee sitting on the counter...it was still there 3 hours later when they stopped for fuel. If I were to upgrade to anything over a 3/4ton truck I would seriously consider the Air Ride. That is what the suspension is in the high end MoHos like the Prevost and Bluebirds...

Aaron
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:29 AM   #10
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Towing with a one-ton

It's WAY better to tow with an overrated TV rather than to tow underrated.

I assume you will usually have at least a few hundred pounds of tools/product while towing, and that added to the tongue weight should soften the rear suspension quite a bit.

I know that on the E-350 dually (pick-up type bed - see avatar), once the tongue weight of the Sovereign is dropped on the hitch, the ride really smooths out. It goes from "beat-your-butt-to-death" to a good car quality ride. I would suggest to try it (the loaded cube plus the trailer on the hitch), and let the ride make the decision for you.

On the rear overhang - the PO of the Sovereign towed with an F-350 flatbed dually, and he dented up the driver side front corner of the trailer while making a right hand turn. Not much you can do except to extend the hitch/tongue distance to get some room between the box and the trailer. Given the size of your trailer that SHOULD not be a problem - any premium hitch (Hen$ley?) would certainly help, but, again, YOU need to make your own determination as to what is safe for your particular Tow Vehicle/Trailer set-up.

Please err on the side of safety.

On edit....ride quality (especially with a trailer) is inversly proportional to speed - slower is better, even more so when towing anything.
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:24 AM   #11
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I agree, to err on the safe side. The question isn't that it can't do it safely, the question to me would be the harsher ride of a 1 ton. The air hitch might be a good solution.
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