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Old 10-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #15
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Depending on the engine, Dodge recommends a towing weight of 1000 pounds maximum (when properly equipped) or "not recommended" for the Dodge Charger. Due to this low weight rating, I personally would not tow ANY Airstream with this vehicle.

Besides the obvious towing shortcomings of an inadequate braking system, drivetrain stress/overheating and probable early failure, one would very likely be dissatisfied with towing performance.

If you like Dodge vehicles, I am sure you can find one with the appropriate ratings that will make towing a safer, less stressful and (hopefully) more enjoyable experience.
The mistake you have made is a common one and many folks go down the same road.

The assumption of relating the tow rating with the vehicles ability to tow safely, handle well, stop, and travel in comfort has no merit.

There are many examples in the real world where folks are doing it and when the set up is right, it works.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #16
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Hi all, back on the subject of towing a 31' A/S with a 300 or Charger, I have read several posts about the legalities of towing over the tow rating, my question is are there any members that have had issues with being stopped and checked as well with the proper hitch (hensley) and modification to the mounted hitch on the tow vehicle is the vehicle considered legal to tow the 31' A/S?
I've towed a 27' Overlander with a Volvo S60 for the past six years. I've towed at least 15 thousand miles in about 20 different states (in addition to about 10 thousand miles in five Canadian provinces), and never garnered more than a second glance from a police officer - including an Illinois trooper who clocked me with a lidar gun at 60 in a 50 mph zone but never bothered to come after me.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:13 PM   #17
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I flew airplanes for a living and for about five years flew for a very large company with deep pockets and a whole building full of lawyers.

We had a flight department of 15 pilots, once a year we had to attend a lecture from the lawyers on the subject of liability specifically implied liability. We were taught to think about sitting on the witness stand after the accident and answering questions about things you'd never normally think of.

If I were you I'd consider what you'd say in the event the worse possible thing you can imagine happens. Perhaps the trailer breaking loose, the break-a-way switch not working and the trailer taking out a school bus full of pre-schoolers.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxy View Post
Hi all, back on the subject of towing a 31' A/S with a 300 or Charger, I have read several posts about the legalities of towing over the tow rating, my question is are there any members that have had issues with being stopped and checked as well with the proper hitch (hensley) and modification to the mounted hitch on the tow vehicle is the vehicle considered legal to tow the 31' A/S?
Hi-
What is the specific reason you chose that vehicle?
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:35 PM   #19
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Hi currently have a 2008 Suburban 2500 6.0L engine towing a 34' travel trailer, (with a Hensley hitch) and needless to say the Sub is very hard on gas when just used as an every day vehicle, so the Chrysler 300 would work well as an every day vehicle, I have read several posts on people towing with sedans, small vans, Suv's Etc, as well read Andys ( Can-Am RV) reports on sedans he has used and tested and the 300 comes highly recommended. I have never been a truck lover for several reasons, so we are hoping to make the switch to an A/S and smaller tow vehicle in the next year or so, hoping to here from owners using sedans to tow in order to make an informed decision.

Thanks all for your comments!
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #20
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I don't think you can ignore the physics and engineering of a passenger car versus a pickup or other heavy duty vehicle designed for towing. I would not want to be driving a passenger car with brakes designed only to stop that vehicle alone, going down I-70 either way from the Eisenhower tunnel, and have the trailer brakes fail.

Similarly, one can't ignore the difference in size of the roller bearings in the u-joints of a pickup truck, versus those in a passenger car. Towing an Airstream that weighs 8,000-10,000 pounds (sorry, I don't know the exact weight of a 31-foot Airstream) undoubtedly puts more stress than was intended on the passenger car u-joints. The same applies to the engine and transmission.

I would ask your Dodge dealer if your new car warranty will be honored if you have problems caused by towing your Airstream.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxy View Post
I have read several posts on people towing with sedans, small vans, Suv's Etc, as well read Andys ( Can-Am RV) reports on sedans he has used and tested and the 300 comes highly recommended. I have never been a truck lover for several reasons, so we are hoping to make the switch to an A/S and smaller tow vehicle in the next year or so, hoping to here from owners using sedans to tow in order to make an informed decision.

Thanks all for your comments!
We have been very happy with our mid sized sedan/Can Am set up. No problems worth talking about in 200hrs/seven years of towing. Our G35 has 210,000 klm's on it and it still drives like a new car.

PS.... on Tuesday it will be getting a rear wheel bearing replaced. No need to set off any alarm bells though. The Infiniti line of vehicles has been hard on rear wheel bearing since the get go whether used as a TV or not.

The bearing will cost $200. but the money we have saved by driving and towing with a vehicle that gets over 25 IMP MPG solo has saved us 1,000's of $$$'s in the 7 years we have had the car.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #22
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With physics and common sense aside, a county deputy in WI told me they dont look at vehicles and towing from a weight perspective... they dont have the equipment to weigh said vehicles...apparently WI has 'Motor Vehicle Inspection' officers..most of whom are looking for tractor/trailers who are over weight...thats where revenue id generated.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:58 AM   #23
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I would not want to be driving a passenger car with brakes designed only to stop that vehicle alone, going down I-70 either way from the Eisenhower tunnel, and have the trailer brakes fail.
Braking efficiency can be a complex subject. There is no doubt in my mind that our modern car's high tech braking system (with trailer in tow) would out perform the brakes/braking system on lets say these 70's/80's Chev Impala's....

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:06 PM   #24
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neat old stuff for sure.. I remember my mom had a impala just like that one. We used it to pull a coleman popup camper for several years. If i remember that car had a 350 engine aka 5.7L and built like a tank.

I was wondering about a chev s-10 blazer or the GMC jimmy for a tow vehicle of something in the 29 to 31 ft range.

I was on the hensley website and ordered the DVD they send out.. its a classic, and was showing a '97? Lincoln towncar pulling a 3 axle AS i suspect was the 34 ft unit. also there was chev astro van, which is same frame etc as s-10, that was used for pulling a SOB type unit not sure the brand.


SO my question is any one using these type vehicles, 4.3L s-10/jimmy to pull SOB or AS of what size, weight and how is it working out.. any issues or problems you have experienced.??
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:28 PM   #25
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It would be great to have sensible sedans available for towing again. Airstream designed its trailers to be towed easily by the family sedan, and they built a big reputation on that. But to hear many people talk, they don't believe the Airstream design, and instead insist that a massive truck is needed to safely tow an Airstream. I think the company knew what it was talking about in spite of the naysayers.

Big trucks are far more profitable than any sedans. Selling more trucks is the key goal of all the big car companies because of this much better profit. Maybe they reduce tow ratings on sedans to help move more trucks?

As to safety, it would be interesting to look at all the breakdown. I know there certainly are plenty of accidents involving big trucks, just like there are involving cars. I see a lot of comments that warn people wanting to tow with a sedan (like Airstream used to recommend) being 'painted' as irresponsible people risking the lives of everyone. I think it's a bit of a reach. Looking at that picture of the blue Impala hauling a three axle Airstream is delightful.

Super big, super high, monster-style big wheel trucks are popular as pizza and the country is hooked on them. People get them to just drive to work. That's cool - to each his own. But I don't think that fad or style should be conflated with, "how to tow an Airstream." I'm glad people are spending more time looking into how to tow with sedans. People like Andy Thompson. I think it just might lead to an economical way to tow.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
It would be great to have sensible sedans available for towing again. Airstream designed its trailers to be towed easily by the family sedan, and they built a big reputation on that. But to hear many people talk, they don't believe the Airstream design, and instead insist that a massive truck is needed to safely tow an Airstream. I think the company knew what it was talking about in spite of the naysayers.

Big trucks are far more profitable than any sedans. Selling more trucks is the key goal of all the big car companies because of this much better profit. Maybe they reduce tow ratings on sedans to help move more trucks?

As to safety, it would be interesting to look at all the breakdown. I know there certainly are plenty of accidents involving big trucks, just like there are involving cars. I see a lot of comments that warn people wanting to tow with a sedan (like Airstream used to recommend) being 'painted' as irresponsible people risking the lives of everyone. I think it's a bit of a reach. Looking at that picture of the blue Impala hauling a three axle Airstream is delightful.

Super big, super high, monster-style big wheel trucks are popular as pizza and the country is hooked on them. People get them to just drive to work. That's cool - to each his own. But I don't think that fad or style should be conflated with, "how to tow an Airstream." I'm glad people are spending more time looking into how to tow with sedans. People like Andy Thompson. I think it just might lead to an economical way to tow.

Spot on. I wish I'd written that.

I've seen both the 300 and the Charger hooked up to some big Airstreams and they really do work. If I didn't have my Sienna, I'd have gone for a Charger myself because not only do they work, they look good out in front. It'll be a few years before I need to replace the Sienna but I'll be looking at sedans when the time comes.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:31 PM   #27
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Not to put myself into the middle of this debate but I would like to make a comment on the new sedans vs. the older ones regarding towing. The older sedans, like shown in the Hensley video, were based on a structural chassis. New designs are based on the
uni-body construction. Multiple layers of sheet metal welded and shaped with suspension parts attached front & rear. Trailer hitches used to be attached to the chassis now they are attached to layered sheet metal. So older designs using the heavy steel chassis with the body bolted down to it were able to tow with the stresses distributed throughout the frame. Newer designs may be re-inforced to handle the stress of hitches bolted on but I find it useless to compare todays mid & larger sedans to what was seen in those older advertisements. They are, simply put, not the same. The engineers can argue the safety/structural, issues I am not going there but just look at each for what it is.

See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #28
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Not to put myself into the middle of this debate but I would like to make a comment on the new sedans vs. the older ones regarding towing. The older sedans, like shown in the Hensley video, were based on a structural chassis. New designs are based on the
uni-body construction. Multiple layers of sheet metal welded and shaped with suspension parts attached front & rear. Trailer hitches used to be attached to the chassis now they are attached to layered sheet metal. So older designs using the heavy steel chassis with the body bolted down to it were able to tow with the stresses distributed throughout the frame. Newer designs may be re-inforced to handle the stress of hitches bolted on but I find it useless to compare todays mid & larger sedans to what was seen in those older advertisements. They are, simply put, not the same. The engineers can argue the safety/structural, issues I am not going there but just look at each for what it is.

See ya on the road sometime.
I agree. The older sedans have more in common with trucks than today's sedans.
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