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Old 02-01-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
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Thumbs up what tow vehicle do you use for 2003 19'bambi ?

finally have time to travel and enjoy new bambi purchased 2004 and have towed on occasion with following spec truck:
2003 silverado LS K1500 4WD ext cab. vortec 5300 V8 SFI 4 spd auto trans 3.73.with trailer package.
have camper shell on rear also.

thought tranny was about to bust the rubber bands in west virginia mountains (8% grade near friendsville MD last summer.
AS 19 ft bambi 2003 (very few uses). have had bearings, brakes maintained okay.
GVWR max wt trailer 4500#
UVW 3600#. probably 600# additional propane, spare, battery etc. (dry)
use Reese sway control trunnion style with std spring bar along with friction ball mounted bar.

my question to those with similar unit is what do you tow with?
in the market to buy new pickup for towing unit. in a quander as to which truck to get serious about. close to GMC, Ford, Toyota and Nissan dealers. they all claim they have jest what i need. my wife died 1 1/2 years ago so will be solo camping. it's amazing how difficult it is to get that darn ball under the hitch exactly. getting better though. only takes 6 tries now...

okay guys give me your expert opinions which you use towing similar AS
rolo in kentucky
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:37 PM   #2
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Hi, even though you didn't specifically ask, I can offer a couple of suggestions for your current tow vehicle...
Tow with overdrive off, the engine will be in a better part of its torque and horsepower curve, and it will be less strain on the tiny bearings etc in the transmission.
Camping World sells a mirror that clips to the top of the LP tank, you can look into it from the cab and see if the ball and hitch are lined up. Very handy.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:06 PM   #3
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Any 1/2 ton with a tow package will do it.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:08 PM   #4
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I towed my 2005 Bambi With a 1997 Chevy K1500 5.0L 4WD w/ext. cab and automatic transmission for two years on all kinds of terrain without any issues. I still keep it as a backup TV, and it gets better gas mileage than the F-250.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:23 AM   #5
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I have been extremely happy with my new Tundra. It has plenty of power for pulling up the hills here in the Southwest. With the six speed transmission a downshift on a hill is not as radical a change in gearing as it was with my previous Tundra with a four speed automatic.

As previously stated, a good 1/2 ton with a tow package should be fine.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:44 AM   #6
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It's probably a matter of expectations. An 8% grade is a pretty good hill; it will have you in second gear, if not in first. That's normal for a gas engine. Let it rev, and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
Any 1/2 ton with a tow package will do it.
Yup, mine does just fine, even on the 12% grades we have out here.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:07 AM   #8
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There have been numerous changes to the 1/2 ton vehicles made by GM, Ford Toyota & Nissan over the last several years. I can't really speak for Dodge because I just don't buy Chrysler/Dodge products. A friend of mine just bought an '07 Chevy 1500 4WD with 5.3 engine and 3.73 rear end. It has a 5 speed trans and seems rather nice. He had been towing a 21' SOB Carrylite with a '90's Ford with 300 six cylinder. Towing had been OK until he hit the hills with that combination. I have been trying to get him to make the jump to a better towing combination and he finally did. Was he evere surprised at the difference.

My advice is to get the towing specs for your vehicle, compare them to current towing specs for the '07-'08 Chevy 1500 4WD with 5.3 litre engine, '07-'08 Ford F150 with 5.4 litre engine, '07-'08 Toyota Tundra with 5.7 litre engine, '07-'08 Nissan Titan with 5.6 litre engine and if you want, '07-'08 Dodge 1500. Drive each one and find the one you feel most comfortable in. They all should do quite well if equipped with towing package and correct rear end ratio.

One other option would be to go with a 3/4 ton Chevy with 6 litre engine and 4.10 rear end if you plan on hitting the hills often. This might be overkill but would be more than adequate.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:37 PM   #9
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1986 25' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
There have been numerous changes to the 1/2 ton vehicles made by GM, Ford Toyota & Nissan over the last several years. I can't really speak for Dodge because I just don't buy Chrysler/Dodge products. A friend of mine just bought an '07 Chevy 1500 4WD with 5.3 engine and 3.73 rear end. It has a 5 speed trans and seems rather nice. He had been towing a 21' SOB Carrylite with a '90's Ford with 300 six cylinder. Towing had been OK until he hit the hills with that combination. I have been trying to get him to make the jump to a better towing combination and he finally did. Was he ever surprised at the difference.

My advice is to get the towing specs for your vehicle, compare them to current towing specs for the '07-'08 Chevy 1500 4WD with 5.3 litre engine, '07-'08 Ford F150 with 5.4 litre engine, '07-'08 Toyota Tundra with 5.7 litre engine, '07-'08 Nissan Titan with 5.6 litre engine and if you want, '07-'08 Dodge 1500. Drive each one and find the one you feel most comfortable in. They all should do quite well if equipped with towing package and correct rear end ratio.

One other option would be to go with a 3/4 ton Chevy with 6 litre engine and 4.10 rear end if you plan on hitting the hills often. This might be overkill but would be more than adequate.
Let's make that a 4 speed auto with the Chevy 1500 4WD and 5.3 engine mentioned above. He said he had a 5 sp. auto but it didn't move through the gears 5 times. I just looked the specs over and I was right, no 5 sp. auto. It does ride nicely though.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:20 PM   #10
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2008 19' International CCD
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Anyone see any problems with a Toyota Tacoma, trailer package 6,500 lbs, tongue weight 300-650 lbs, towing a 19" International Ocean Breeze? Auto trannie, not in a hurry.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rss_ty
Anyone see any problems with a Toyota Tacoma, trailer package 6,500 lbs, tongue weight 300-650 lbs, towing a 19" International Ocean Breeze? Auto trannie, not in a hurry.
My hunch from what I've read here on the forums, is that if you keep the weight down, go easy on hills, use a WD hitch with anti-sway, you should be ok.

Some will argue that you need to be careful with the fact that you have a short wheelbase vehicle, but others will argue you'll be fine.

My wife and I are considering to tow the same trailer with our new 2008 Highlander (with tow package, 5000# tow rating). Similar situation, though the weight will have to be watched more carefully than your's.

Anyone else with thoughts?

-Josh
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:23 AM   #12
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Most 1/2 ton will do

I have been using a GMC Sierra 6 cyl. 4.3 ltr with 3.73 rear and weight distribution hitch to tow a 2005 Bambi(3671lbs dry) for a year up and down hills 7-8% grade and 5000'. It slows down a bit or kicks up rpm but it hauls the trailer along. While a bigger engine is nice('cept at the gas pump), it won't be necessary with a Bambi.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:40 AM   #13
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We have been towing our Safari around with a Tahoe, first a 2004 then a 2006; both have/had the Chevy tow package, oil cooler, trans cooler and all that with the 5.3 with the four speed trans. We have traveled over 15K even up the Big Horn and have had no real issues. NEVER use cruise control and we always have it in tow mode and out of OD. Going up the really big grades I have found keeping the speed at 41 MPH in second is the best combination. We may go with a Cummings/Allison next year for a bunch of reasons. We love the Tahoe, the comforts of the loaded interior and the way it handles with and without the AS behind us. Just we would like a seperated cargo area for the gril, extra tank, gen and all that.
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