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Old 03-10-2003, 10:37 PM   #1
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What to tow a minuet with?

Ok, I've been reading about tow vehicles here until I'm cross-eyed. I've been calculating how much wheelbase I need, how much weight I think I will be pulling, and reading up on tow capacities, etc until I can't even think straight. So I need some help...

I'm planning on getting an Argosy Minute, I don't know how soon, but I know that's what I really want, so that's what I'll try and hold out for.

Our minivan is due for replacement, so if we end up replacing it, it will be with something that will be able to tow our minuet-to-be, and be the family car for us and our two dogs.

If anyone here who has a Minuet (or had one) can give me some info on how much theirs actually weighs with stuff in it, and what they tow it with, what kind of hitch they use, and how well it all works together, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks much!
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Old 03-10-2003, 10:48 PM   #2
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I had a 22 foot Minuet but pulled it with an F-250 Powerstroke Diesel. Overkill yes. No equalizer hitch. No friction sway. One thing I must say is on one occasion when there were some rather stiff crosswinds it did start to sway a bit. I was going downhill on a freeway at the time. It had a single axle. Whatever you get be sure to at least have a good friction sway control device. There are few other Minuet owners around here so if they don't pipe in just pm them, you can find them in the Argosy section.

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Old 03-11-2003, 08:04 AM   #3
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Stephanie,

Take a look at almost any GM V8 rear wheel drive passenger car out there and you should be on the right path. Most V8s w/ the the right cooling, gearing and hitch setups can easily pull at least 5,000lbs, maybe upwards of 5,500- 5,800.

Trucks ususally with similar specs can pull anywhere from 6,500lbs to 14,000lbs depending on several variables.

If you have a car in mind that you like, you should post it and I am positive you will get several opinions here that can help you down the right path.

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:13 AM   #4
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I have an Argosy 6 meter and I pull it with a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer and I use the weight distributing bars and it tows like a dream. It is just me and my dogs right now but I can easily still have room for more guests. Chevy will come out with a V-8 for the Trailblazer and the make an extended version now. I can pull without the weight bars. I have a 5600lbs tongue weight without and a 7700lbs tongue with the weight bars.
Chris
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:15 AM   #5
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Greetings Stephanie!

Depending upon whether the Minuet that you find is a 20' (6.0 metre), a 22' (6.7 Metre), or a 24' (7.4 Metre); you will need a tow vehicle capable of handling at least 3,500 pounds for the 6.0 Metre, 4,000 pounds for the 7.4 Metre, or 4,500 pounds for the 7.4 Metre. The weights that I am mentioning are GVWR for the 6.0 Metre and an estimate of GVWR for the 6.7 and 7.4 Metre versions as my literature does not mention the two larger Minuet weights.

I have towed my Minuet with my '64 Dodge Coronet 500 (4,000 pound trailer tow package); '99 GMC K2500 Suburban (10,000 pound trailer tow package); and will be towing it this summer to the WBCCI International Rally with my '75 Cadillac Eldorado (6,000 pound Trailer Tow Package). All three vehicles have handled the trailer with ease - - the smallest motor in either of my three tow vehicles is a 383 cubic inch (335 horse power) V8, and the largest is the 501 cubic inch V8 (350 horse power) V8 in the Cadillac. I think that you will find any vehicle with a factory trailer tow rating of at least 5,000 pounds a suitable match for the Minuet regardless of which of the three sizes you ultimately find.

Kevin
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Argosy-1
I have a 5600lbs tongue weight without and a 7700lbs tongue with the weight bars.
Chris
Chris,

I think you mean gross weight here. A tongue weight of 5 or 7k would break most rearends in half. For examply my Bambi loaded should weigh about 5,000 (gross). The tongue weight is about 500lbs.

Also Chevy does have the V8 avail in the Trailblazer currently and GMC also has it in the Envoy both ext version of the bodystyle.

Kevin, those weights seem prettly low. Was that trailer made of super light weight materials. The reason I ask is that the 19' Bambi is approx 5,000lbs gross and your ratings seem kind of low even for gross. In one case you could almost pull the Minuet with a class 2 hitch.

Empty the Bambi 19' is still in the 3600lb range. Are you talking empty weights or loaded weights?

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Eric
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:55 AM   #7
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Greetings Chris!

The Minuet was a special light-weight trailer designed to meet the needs of the trailering public at the time of the 1970s fuel crisis. It is 6" narrower than its standard Argsoy and Airstream brothers and sisters; and every option came with a definitive statement of how much it added to total weight, hitch weight, and axle weight so the original purchaser could tailor the coach to his/her tow vehicle. In addition, there were weight saving measures such as Acrylite windows; and at least on one Minuet it has been identified that an aluminum composite material was used for the floor. The empty weight of my '78 Minuet 6.0 Metre is near 2,500 pounds.

Kevin
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:04 AM   #8
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Sorry my mistake I ment to say pull wieght. also my 76 owners manual tells me my dry weight is 3200 pounds
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Old 03-11-2003, 12:13 PM   #9
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22' Minuet

My husband towed our 22' Argosy from eastern area of Canada back across US to Colorado with a 95 V8 Chevy Tahoe. No sway bars/stabalizers or special tow packages. We have added the Tecumsha Voyager brake controller since that time and are looking into sway controller (for safety), but at that time he had none of that and had absolutely no problems on the road. He said it towed like "a dream" big rigs and all. Leigh
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Old 03-11-2003, 12:50 PM   #10
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We have not really narrowed it down to what kind of vehicle to get yet. My husband would kind of like a car/station wagon/minivan, something that gets as good a milage as possible. That kind of eliminates the big SUVs from consideration, though smaller ones might get acceptable milage. We're pretty sure we don't want a pickup, as it would have to be a crew cab to get the whole family inside - I wouldn't let the dogs ride in the bed, even with a canopy, I'm a little paranoid about that.

So I guess what I really needed to know was how much a Minuet realistically weighs (since I don't have one to weigh yet). I appreciate finding out there are different lengths, I thought they were all 20ft. I want something 20ft or smaller because a few state parks, forest campgrounds around here that I know I want to go to have a 20 ft limit. Also, I had read about the Minuet being super light-weight, which I think gives us a greater choice of tow vehicles.

As for a hitch I think we really might get a Hensley, just because I'm impressed with what I've heard about it's anti-sway features, and I really DONT want any lane-crossing adventures. We've been in some very bad car accidents (non-trailer related) in the past, and I can tell you right now, if our trailer started wagging our tow vehicle and dragged us across the road, even if we recover without an accident, my husband would have a for sale sign on it as soon as we got it back to the house! So whatever we can do to make it as safe and easy to drive combo as possible right from the get-go, will be worth it. After all, this is supposed to be fun.

So with all that said, my tow vehicle options are still pretty open to suggestion, which is why I wanted to hear what kind of rigs people had success towing one of these with before.
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Old 03-11-2003, 12:56 PM   #11
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WOW! That is one light trailer! That weighs as much as my boat!

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-11-2003, 02:08 PM   #12
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Safety First

Ok, these are some things that have been mentioned in previous posts:

The weight/length of the tow vehicle can have quite an effect on the pleasure/anxiety of the trip.
The tow vehicle can get burned up/exhausted by weight of TT over period of time if tow vehicle is not matched carefully with TT.
There don't seem to be a lot of options re: tow vehicle when all is taken into consideration. They are USUALLY the SUVs or heavy duty trucks.
Where TT is being hauled MAY make some difference?? Lots of hills/mtns.

I have put this in my language, the other posts are more technical, BUT well worth the time spent in reading them. The overall message is SAFETY with the addecd pleasure of owning an Airstream. No sense spending money on something that will ultimately not do the best job. Hope this helps. Leigh

PS:Here are Weights/Ratings from our Owner Manual

6.0 GVWR = 3500
6.0 Factory Wt w/o options/variable wt = 2450
6.0 Allowable add't wt. incl. personal cargo = 945

6.7 GVWR = 3800
6.7 Factory Wt w/o options/variable wt = 2725
6.7 Allowable add't wt. incl. personal cargo = 824

One other story: Quite some time ago, I was spelling my husband on a trip. He had just nodded out from a long driving period. We were moving all our belongings here to Colo. from NM. We had a little (5' long) covered trailer that had all our belongings in it. On a dry stretch of 2 lane road, I suddenly hit a small patch of wet pavement and immediately it felt like the steering wheel had separated from the vehicle (NO CONTROL). The next thing I knew that little trailer had swung around and was backwards next to me pulling our vehicle across the opposing lane of traffic and down an embankment. The vehicle was a Toyota Landcruiser Stationwagon (heavy duty steel frame), a pretty heavy car/truck. We were extremely lucky that we were not hurt and that no one was coming from the opposite direction at the time. I will remember that forever, and will not drive a trailer without being 100% sure we are safe.
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Old 03-11-2003, 03:14 PM   #13
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What do you attribute that little bit of excitement to? Incorrect hitch setup? Poor weight distribution? Obviously the wheelbase should have been more than adequate for the small trailer.

I can see how a small trailer can exert a lot of force on a vehicle, so I am very concerned about making the right choice the first time with our tow vehicle. Obviously there's a lot of vehicles, but since thousands of people tow trailers around the country every year without incident, I'm sure this is something we can do safely with a little planning and thought (I hope). Some of thes towing posts make it sound like it's rocket science and a lot of luck to avoid killing yourself and destroying your trailer on every trip.
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Old 03-11-2003, 03:42 PM   #14
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We aren't trying to scare you, really!

Anything related to towing, what works for some, not for others, is an area that is open for much discussion and highly subjective. There are so many variables!! Unfortunately for most of us it has been somewhat a trial and error approach. Nothing like the school of hard knocks!
I feel you are on the right path. With a proper sway control and weight distributing hitch just about any vehicle with a decent wheelbase and a small V8 should be just fine for a 20' Minuet.

Chas
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