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Old 11-07-2013, 01:02 AM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
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TV recommendations for 31-foot '71 "stripped" AS

Hey there!

I've done TONS of searching but I'm not finding exactly what I need, so I figured I'd ask here.

I'm converting a 1971 31-foot AS into a mobile office/recording studio. I *might* keep some freshwater and greywater for a sink but other than that it will be pretty stripped compared to your avg. AS. If adding that water for the sink is going to be a huge deal, I will forget about it.

I will probably have 2 handmade desks (out of 3/4" birch ply), a few chairs, a couch/futon, a small IKEA (cheap, lightweight stuff) kitchenette, and a small propane heater. Musical equipment stored + towed would not exceed 300-500 lbs. Floor will be hardwood. The space will be mostly empty really.

I really wanted to use an SUV to tow but it's looking like that's a terrible idea with a 31 footer. I'd like some recommendations on good possible TVs (new or older). I love good ol' diesel engines and SUVs, as they're a little more practical for me. I don't really want a truck but I also won't say no to that if it's the only option.

I live in the Mountains of Western NC, so I need something to get me through those. Obviously something that is safe to brake as well.

My other idea: I could sell my 31' (I got it for a great price) and wait and look around for a smaller model. What are some good sizes that an SUV such as a VW Touareg (TDI maybe - I love those cars) or a BMW Station wagon could tow?

Thanks so much!
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:29 AM   #2
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A 31 of that vintage is not that heavy and tows well when set up right.

Lots of good reading and ideas in the towing section of the forum. You will see trucks, SUV's, crossovers, and even some cars have the potential to tow your 31.

Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches - Airstream Forums
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:30 AM   #3
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Look at some of these.....bands love van's.

Short rear overhang for towing.

Ck with rural dealers with a lot of "white" on the lot, they have more commercial experience, trucks & what's needed for towing.


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Old 11-07-2013, 08:12 AM   #4
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
A 31 of that vintage is not that heavy and tows well when set up right. Lots of good reading and ideas in the towing section of the forum. You will see trucks, SUV's, crossovers, and even some cars have the potential to tow your 31.
Aahhhh that's what I was hoping to hear. I know the difference in weight is going to make a big difference.So it's more of setup than the actuall TV. What are requirements? Is there a company I can call to get some advice on that?

And Robert, thanks for the advice on a commercial van. That is an option I hadn't considered but seems to be a cost effective one.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:24 AM   #5
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There is a huge commercial lot on Rt 7 outside Troy NY on way to Bennington, Vt. I tow with a 2500 burban, my AS is small, my TV packed heavy with work related things, I even take two rows of seats out of TV.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Aahhhh that's what I was hoping to hear. I know the difference in weight is going to make a big difference.So it's more of setup than the actuall TV. What are requirements? Is there a company I can call to get some advice on that?
Many of us on the forum here have used Can Am Can-Am RV Centre | Your Towing Experts

40 years of experience is
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:46 PM   #7
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@Road Ruler, thanks for the recommendation on Can Am. I called them a little bit ago and got some really good information. Talked to Joe, he was great!

I will lay out some stuff he said below...
1st Thing - you don't need a huge truck to tow a 31foot airstream, especially a lighter one. In fact, the people at Can Am recommend a Van or Crossover SUV due to it's lower center of gravity vs a truck. It can actually give you a bit more maneuverability in emergency situations - as long as it's set up right and has enough power to pull the weight.

2nd Thing - Vehicles Tow Ratings are not accurate. Don't trust just that number. Instead, look at the GVW Rating for each axel. If the Tongue Weight is 900lbs, that will be split over the 3 axels. Front, Rear, and the one(or 2 I guess) on the actual AS.

3rd Thing - use the proper trans fluid like Hayden.

4th Thing - You need a Weight Distribution System (WDS). They will not allow anyone to drive an AS off their lot unless they have one installed.

5th Thing - Factory hitches are not robust enough, you need something that can support your car and AS without damaging anything.

6th Thing - 4 Wheel Independent Suspension is more important than lots of power.

I think that's everything I wrote down. I hope I was listening correctly.

With all this in mind, it looks like I'll probably be getting a Crossover/SUV. Either a Ford Edge or Flex, or what I'll probably get is a V8 VW Touareg TDI. They're awesome. If my car is at a blank state, no hitch, electrical work, or anything, they can outfit it for $2200 - that includes labor for welding on a WDS and electrical (brake controller, wiring), and parts... If I do some of that work myself I can bring it down.

Hope that helps people who have the question in the future!
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