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Old 12-09-2007, 11:55 AM   #1
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1967 17' Caravel
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Vintage AS models under 3000 lbs?

I have a 2005 Honda Pilot AWD (255hp V6) with dealer-installed tow package. It's rated for 3500 lbs max, but I would like to keep it under 3000. I know I can tow a 60s Bambi or Caravel, but there are 4 of us (2 small kids) and I was wondering if there are any vintage options under 22' that would also qualify? I've read that some of the 20-22' 50s trailers are quite lightweight. (We would need one with a bathroom.) Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2007, 12:06 PM   #2
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have a look at this

Have a look at
77ArgosyMin20

The Argosy minuets were specifically designed for the kind of TV you have. They were really designed for the european market. May be a little bight tight for four but with a little togetherness. Nice thing is that there is a shower along with the toilet. With kids, the shower is a real asset

this one is in the classifieds but it doesn't have a dinette... we like the dinette

http://www.airforums.com/classifieds...uct=4543&cat=6
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:37 PM   #3
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This might help. Shows lots of AS weights.
Hopefully I copied it correctly.....I'm a little awkward with these computalator things.
Sam

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...3&d=1189122979
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:11 PM   #4
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hi corraleno,

i saw your reply on your other thread and thought i would respond here.

the general consensus on the forum would say that the caravel is too small for a family of four (doesn't mean it can't be done, but it is a small trailer for four people).

yes, the vintage trailers are lighterweight, but a 21 or 22 footer will come in around 3000 lbs give or take. the problem with anything vintage is it's going to need work.

now with your tow vehicle, you are going to be severelly limited in your airstream choices (a lot of people have trouble facing this fact). plus you want an airstream that will fit 4 people.

some people select there tow vehicle first, some people select their airstream first.

the general consensus on the forum would be to select the size airstream you want, then select the proper tow vehicle. keep in mind, you're going to have the airstream a lot longer than any tow vehicle (generally speaking of course).

here's one last thing to consider. do you want a trailer that will require a lot of work and effort, or do you want to hook up and go. if you want to hook up and go, you'll be looking at a newer, heavier airstream which would mean a different tow vehicle.

searching for the airstream you want is always a process of give and takes. keep reading on the forums and posting questions, this is a fun place.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samb
This might help. Shows lots of AS weights.
Keep in mind, the weights show on the chart are "dry weight" - which means:
  • No water
  • No propane
  • No clothes
  • No food
  • No bedding
  • No options - like remodeled interiors, extra shelves, A/C, awnings, etc
  • No extras - like TV, microwave, BBQ, chairs, ice chests, etc
These "conveniences" make your trip a little more enjoyable ~

Shari
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:40 PM   #6
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Good day Corraleno..

My dad was a teacher back in the 50's and 60's . He luved to travel and always had a trailer. Back then we too were a family of 4. Because of the time he had off in the summer we were on the road a lot racking up 1,000's of miles a year. The TT's we towed at the time were 15 to 17' in length and were connected to the 6 cyl family sedan.

Today the two of us use a 23' Airstream and find it a nice size and very easy to tow and handle with our 6 cyl vehicles. Everyone has there own needs and expectations.

Good luck with your Airstream journey.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Everyone has there own needs and expectations.
So true.
I come from a family of 9. I grew up with an overcab camper/pickup set-up. (1964 - 1980) We took many long distance vacations in it as I was growing up. Granted, our vacations were summer time and we lived in California. But there were those trips to Oregon/Washington or the mid-west where you get rain. Normally the 5 boys would sleep outside in sleeping bags, but if it rained we managed to all squeeze into the camper with one sleeping in the cab of the truck.
My point is, everyone has different needs, expectations or comfort levels. If you need a small trailer, I'm here to tell you it can work. There is however, a lot of validity to the viewpoint that you should purchase the TV based on the trailer that you wind up with.
Don't listen to those who say that vintage means working on it before you can use it. Not so. I paid a bit more, but found one that had been updated and in great shape. They are out there.
Good luck in your search,
Dave
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corraleno
I have a 2005 Honda Pilot...
richL (airstream life mag) started his family full timing adventure towing with a similar 03 honda pilot...

they pulled "vintage thunder" , a double axle argosy with the honda....

so it can be done, but isn't ideal and you really need to know (or learn fast) what you are doing....

the towing figures are largely arbitrary of these vehicles...

but there is no question wear is accelerated whenever you make the mule sweat...

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:27 AM   #9
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I think you should get a full size truck and a full size trailer from the 50's or 60's... you will be happy you did it right. Don't cheat yourself, life is too short, and so is the size of the trailers you are looking at. I have two kids and 26 foot gets real small when everyone is inside and mulling about.
I love all the stories about how it was... a good friend grew up in a family of 6 and they all did it in a slide in pick up camper with a dog. Mom and Dad up front, kids and dog in the back laughing over the effects of last nights chilli... I believe now it illegal to ride in a camper while driving.... could be wrong. A lot has changed... I cannot remember my sister or I ever wearing seat belt as kids. And remember when 80% of the population smoked? Hasn't that done a 180... sorry to bring up the smoking thing, it has been 12 weeks and my coffee would go down nice with a camel.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corraleno
there are 4 of us (2 small kids) and I was wondering if there are any vintage options under 22' that would also qualify?
From our 'What It's Worth Department' I note that our family of 4 loves camping in our 16' Bambi. It all depends on what you want to do with your Airstream.

If you expect to spend your days in and around your Airstream then you definately need a bigger tow vehicle and trailer. But if you just want to enjoy your Airstream as a mobile 'Bed and Breakfast' while you visit the parks, attractions, and/or cities you are visiting then I'm sure you can find a small Airstream to meet your needs.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corraleno
I have a 2005 Honda Pilot AWD (255hp V6) with dealer-installed tow package. It's rated for 3500 lbs max, but I would like to keep it under 3000. I know I can tow a 60s Bambi or Caravel, but there are 4 of us (2 small kids) and I was wondering if there are any vintage options under 22' that would also qualify? I've read that some of the 20-22' 50s trailers are quite lightweight. (We would need one with a bathroom.) Thanks!
We tow a Minuet 6.0 metre with a modified Wrangler and Equal-i-zer. Would be tight for 4 but when we go with more than 2 we take a tent for the over flow. Photos on this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...rip-33652.html
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:09 AM   #12
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Wow, thanks for all the great advice, I really appreciate the input!

A bit more detail about our situation: We will only be using the camper for short trips, probably 4-5 days max. We're in NM and would generally be staying within an 8 hour radius of Albuquerque, we can't be gone too long because we have 9 horses. And generally we'd be travelling in the summer when the kids (5 & 9) are out of school, so we plan to be outside most of the time. We just want the AS as a place to sleep (scorpion-free), and eat if the weather is bad. We've done tent camping, so we're looking at the AS as an alternative to a tent rather than as a home-away-from-home.

I really have my heart set on a vintage AS because, well, I just love them. It isn't a rational or practical thing, it's just pure lust! When we lived in France we rehabbed an old stone farmhouse built in 1786, which had no heat and the most primitive bathroom facitlities. When we lived in England we fixed up a rambling old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. Both times people told us we were crazy (and we probably are!) but we loved it. And our kids are used to living in tiny cramped quarters, like all piled into one bedroom and using a camping stove in the remains of the kitchen when we gutted the English house. Or all crammed into one double bed under a pile of down comforters when the temps in France hit negative numbers one winter, and the only heat we had was the fireplace in the living room. We slept with hats on for days! We're used to roughing it and we love renovating beautiful old properties, so taking on a "project trailer" is part of the fun for us.

We only need rudimentary kitchen facilities (2 burner cooktop, tiny sink, tiny fridge) -- about what they have on the new Bambi's. I'm beginning to think we may even give up the shower and just go with a small composting toilet like the Biolet 30 NE, so our water needs will be minimal. If we put in bunks for the kids I would use air mattresses so they would be very light. Overall, we will probably be lightening the interior load compared to the original specs, although we will make up for that by adding solar panels and batteries.

We also have a 2005 Ford F150 we can tow with, but I'd rather travel with the Pilot because it's much more comfortable, especially for the kids. It's also AWD and the truck isn't. Someday I want a 53 Chevy pickup to go with the trailer (after the kids have left home!), but for now I'll settle for the AS.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:13 AM   #13
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Thnxs for a bit of your history. A vintage Airstream will seem like the Ritz compared to what you are used to. Find a nice one and enjoy.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Don't listen to those who say that vintage means working on it before you can use it. Not so. I paid a bit more, but found one that had been updated and in great shape. They are out there.
good point from dave. in reading your last post corraleno, it sounds like a fixed up vintage may be more suitable to your needs. you need a trailer with a decent axle, brakes, frame and subfloor. you can expect prices to run between $6000 and $15000 or more.

the search for "your" airstream is an exercise in patience BUT it can be a fun and the day you actual find the one you want is most memorable. good luck and keep us posted
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