View Poll Results: For those towing 25’ or larger;
Have you previously towed your current camper with any ¾ or 1 ton (Dodge, Ford, and GM) and moved to any ½ ton vehicle? 5 29.41%
Moving to a 1/2 ton truck from a 3/4 ton truck was a good move. 14 82.35%
Moving to a 1/2 ton truck from a 3/4 ton truck was the worst thing I did. 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-12-2008, 04:33 AM   #29
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1973 23' Safari
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
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Originally Posted by BillTex
I summed up my towing experience a while back here;

Thnxs for the link. Sounds like you had an uncomfortable experience Bill.

I think the statement you made is a goal everyone is seeking ...

QUOTE by BillTex: Now the TV was in control again, just like in scenario #1 and #2 above. A much more relaxed, safe towing experience. Once again, I felt comfortable and ready to go at a moments notice. No apprehension, no spongy feeling, no up-shifting, etc. This is the way towing should be. QUOTE:

I agree. That is what a properly set up combination should feel like and I wouldn't settle for less.

It sounds like in your case you achieved the goal by switching to a 3/4 ton vehicle.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:32 AM   #30
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2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Siloam Springs , Arkansas
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While I cannot comment on strictly Airstream towing with a ½ ton, I do have considerable experience towing heavy loads, 6000# and above. I have towed livestock and farm equipment many miles on local highways and interstates. For my 31’ International I will keep a ¾ ton vehicle. I have found some folks “feel” comfortable with lighter TVs, but probably have just been lucky. In a sticky panic stop or high wind situation, one would do better with the heavier capacity and increased stability of the ¾ TV. My family had always used ½ pickups for a variety of reasons, but after a few mishaps in near capacity towing situations, we made the switch to heavier trucks. If it is over 5000#s, it needs a ¾ ton truck, for me. Horsepower and torque cannot make up for the heavier frame and suspension of the higher weight capacity vehicles.

Jeff & Cindy
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:02 AM   #31
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1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
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Well here is my story. My wife was driving a 2500 crew cab p/u with the duramax dsl. I sold it and bought her a 1/2 ton suburban cause the diesel was too expensive on fuel / fuel cost per gallon and it did not ride as good either but of course it is a hd truck. But I have not been disappointed at all. The Suburban we have has the 5.3 eng, 2WD, 3.73 axle,autoride, and gets 19-20mpg hwy,16mpg cty,and 10.5-11 mpg towing our 34ft trlr. We do not get to travel over 4 or 5 hrs from where we live since we both still work so I don`t know how its performance would be in the rockies or huge grades, but in the southeast and the north GA mtns I have NO complaints on performance. I do tow in drive (3rd). While traveling the interstates I don`t seem to have any problems with trucks passing or wind gusts and I use a Reese WD hitch with dual cam sway control and one friction bar sway control. And for braking I don`t have any complaints but it is not that of my dually, but if you keep your trailer brakes in good shape there should be no problem . I also would not hesitate to buy another 1/2 ton suburban to tow this same trailer. I do attribute some of the ability for this vehicle to tow this size trailer is due to the airstream design .If it was an 34ft sob then I would not even attempt to tow it with a 1/2 ton. Although I would not want a shorter vehicle than the suburban.Hope this is what you are looking for.
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:27 AM   #32
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1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
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Still not sure the questions are being interpereted correctly. The poll is asking if you have previously towed with a 3/4 ton or 1 ton and MOVED to a 1/2 ton.
As of this time, 4 people have replied "Yes" and 10 people said "it was a good move" ...reminds me of RI politics; vote early and vote often!

Please respond only if you have had this experience. We don't want to know if you have only towed with 1/2 tons.

*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:08 PM   #33
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My brother Uwe missed it.

Originally Posted by BillTex

I thought time went to a gasser 3/4 ton?


You are right, I went from a 2005 Ford F250 PSD 4X4 Crew Cab to a 2008 Dodge 2500 Power Wagon 4X4 Quad Cab w/ a hemi gasser. Both are 3/4 ton, which would be my preference when towing 7000 lbs or more. I looked at the 1/2 tons, most were "rated" to pull our 25' Safari FB/SE, but I felt they were short on payload capacity as well as frame strength and brakes. I didn't vote because there wasn't a proper choice for my situation.

Travel is in my blood, adventure is my passport, aluminum is my favorite construction medium, and therefore, an Airstream was my destiny.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:15 AM   #34
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1979 29' Ambassador
Las Vegas , New Mexico
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I have towed my 1979, 29 foot International with a 2002 chevy, 1/2 ton, 5.2 liter, 4X4 crew cab, short wheel base, Tow package with a transmission cooler, in the mountains with absolutely no problems. I have plenty of power and am very comfortable. Yes, a bigger truck would be nice but why upgrade if you don't have to?
Now if I were to race someone to the top of Pikes Peak I would want more truck but I am not so I won't spend the money.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:20 AM   #35
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Las Vegas , New Mexico
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Oops, I forgot to mention I had a 3/4 ton chevy I pulled a horse trailer with. I did not try the 3/4 on the airstream, however. I went with the 1/2 ton above for pulling the AS because that is the truck I towed it home with when I bought it and felt good, so..........
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:41 AM   #36
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Sidney , Michigan
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Half ton worked fine

I pulled a 30 foot with a 97 Chevy ext cab w/ 350. After 2 really long vacations I put Hellwig progressive weight springs it. Tremendous help. After the transmission went out on it at 140K, I put a towing shift kit in it and medium stall torque converter. Wow what a difference in towing. Across northern ohio, I got 19 mpg towing at 60mph. NO joke! The rear end was going too. Point being, a 1/2 ton could pull your camper, but it will wear it out really quickly. Look at the rear axle between a 3/4 ton and a 1/2 ton, major difference.

My vehicle of choice now? 2500 HD duramax crew cab.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:00 PM   #37
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2005 31' Classic
Gretna , Nebraska
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1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton TV

I have towed with a half ton suburban, and know of a fellow who tows his 34' with a 1500 suburban. I had a whiteknuckle experience with the suburban and a '86 31' AS in a cross wind. We now have a 2500HD GMC crew cab long box, 6.0 liter. The sense of control with the truck is great! The long wheelbase provides a lot of stability. Overall the truck is 5 feet longer than the 'burb. I also need to mention that we now have a heavier trailer 31' Classic (2005). My ideal TV would probably be the Duramax/Allison in a loong version.

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Old 03-01-2008, 05:27 AM   #38
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I traded "up", but even my technically 1/2 ton van "said" it was a 2500. I had a Chevy 2500 van, which up until fairly recently was just a half ton with a (very) few upgrades to get the rating. I did this not because I felt unsafe, or anything else, while towing, but because the van developed rust problems, and the true 3/4 ton truck was made available at an attractive price.
Now that we have our larger trailer, I wouldn't want to tow it with less than a 3/4 ton truck or Suburban.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:55 AM   #39
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We've towed our 25FB over 20,000 miles from coast to coast to coast with a Dodge Durango 5.7 liter Hemi SUV. I have no idea how to classify the Durango by tons, but I do know that we have not had any handling or safety problems doing so. Can't always maintain 60+ mph on the steep grades, but that doesn't matter one iota to us. Ah, the joys of being retired.
Mike Young & Rosemary Nelson

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Old 03-01-2008, 06:08 AM   #40
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. , Illinois
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Here is my saga.

Started RVing as a kid. Had a full size Ford LTD wagon, towing a 24' SOB. It was a 1977 LTD wagon w/ a 400ci engine. Dad said it was way underpowered. So, he went with a 3/4 ton 1985 Suburban. Night and day difference.

Flash forward to winter 2002. My wife and I went to an RV show. Saw the 19' Bambi, and like most, thought it was cute, towable, storable, etc. About the only thing it wasn't -able, was that it was not really livable with the two of us and a 65lb dog at the time. I towed it with my heavily modified Impala SS (which outside of the frame is similar to the Tahoe in terms of driveline, mechanicals, etc), with a lower center of gravity.

So the Bambi was going away as soon as the 2004 25' Safari that we ordered arrived. It arrived in December 2003. In spring of 2004, I made further modifications to the Impala. 3.73 gears, additional trans cooling, driveshaft upgrade, shocks, springs, front and rear police package control arms (lower), exhaust (factory 2" duals to 3.5" w/ H pipe), cold air intake, PCM re-programmig, etc.

Clearly the car has more than enough power on tap to tow the Safari. Yet in strong winds, the Safari would move the Impala around. On the way home from a trip we saw a major accident where someone not doing the right thing towing resulted in a major loss of equipment and personal injury. When we got home, I picked up our current Suburban, a 3/4 ton w/ 4.10s, 6.0L and of course all the 3/4 ton things. It was a night and day difference. Even towing up the highest point in Indiana (about a mile at significant grade) again demonstrated that the Burb was far better up to the task.

Since getting this combo, I have filled the Suburban on a trip and was equally impressed. Three passengers, a full size pinball machine, camping gear in the truck, 3 bikes on the truck, the fully loaded Safari, and let me tell you, it was a pure joy. I suspect, but did not weigh it, that I was around 7900lbs with the RV, gear, fuel, passengers, etc. Did I also mention that a deer jumped out of the woods on the trip and that I was able to safely manuver the loaded truck and the loaded RV like they were both a single piece of steel, from 55mph down to about 35 doing an emerg manuver?

You results and mileage will vary, but that's how what I have today came to be and I would NOT go back.
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:30 AM   #41
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I guess I subscribe to the "too much truck is better than not enough" school of thought. I had an F-150 and got rid of it in favor of my '97 Chevy C3500 crew cab dually. The 1-ton will safely pull just about whatever you want to hitch up to it. The old Ford would pull whatever you wanted, but the suspension always felt as if it were pushing the limits of what it could handle, even with the proper WD hitch.
I've seen a couple of people mention newer half tons making better tow vehicles than older models. I believe that's not necessarily true depending on the truck. I spend a lot of time at work between an '07 Dodge 1500 4x4 and an '07 Chevy Siverado half-ton 4x4. The Dodge, I would consider hitching an AS up to. The Chevy, I wouldn't want to tow my lawnmower across town with it. I'm sure it would pull the AS, but that doesn't mean I would feel comfortable with it. I attempted to pull a small Bobcat skid-steer loader with it one time, and made it less than a mile before I went back and got the Dodge to pull it.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:56 AM   #42
1971 27' Overlander
Pumpkintown , South Carolina
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My TV is a 1/2-ton... sorta. I use an '83 Jeep Full-size Wagoneer with 1-ton running gear and around 300 HP. Pulls like a bulldog, but brakes are not wonderful and handling with a 109" wheelbase demands attention.

I've been accused of running over 100 MPH while pulling a 7,500 LB box trailer -- never claimed to be smart but by gar, I can build a motor! My 27' Overlander tows so sweetlly that it's easy to forget that the thing is back there.



It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
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