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Old 08-20-2006, 08:15 PM   #1
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providence , Utah
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Will my TV work towing a 28' 1968 Ambassador

Hi,

I am looking at a 28' 1968 airstream ambassador and am trying to figure out if my 1999 V8 chevrolet truck will do the job. My wife pulls two horse trailer with two horses and no problems..will it also work for the airstream?? thanks in advance..jerry
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:06 PM   #2
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I do not see you having a problem. I tow a 1968 Overlander (26 foot vs 28 foot and about 200 lbs.) with no problems. The drive line in my 93 caprice is about the same. Just make sure the brakes work on the trailer and that you have a equilizing hitch. Also make sure you have a trans cooler too.
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:41 PM   #3
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Hi hazhoni--To successfully tow an Airstream you need the horsepower in front of the trailer, rather than in the trailer. For a 28' A/S you really need a 3/4 ton truck with a 6.0 ltr, and a 4.10 rear, or 8.1 ltr and a 3.73 rear, or a diesel. There are a few mountains in Utah, and you will not be satisfied, or safe, with anything lighter, or smaller. I tow a 1973 27' Overlander with a 2001 Suburban with a 5.3 ltr and 4.10 rear, with a loaded weight of 6200 lbs with a minimum of mountain travel, and it works OK. I would really need something heavier if I did much mountain towing. Transmissions are the weak link with lighter rigs, and a high numerical rear is important. I never tow in OD, only Drive which is 3rd gear at 65mph, and 3000rpm, in the torque sweet spot with my engine --Frank S
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank S
Hi hazhoni--To successfully tow an Airstream you need the horsepower in front of the trailer, rather than in the trailer. For a 28' A/S you really need a 3/4 ton truck with a 6.0 ltr, and a 4.10 rear, or 8.1 ltr and a 3.73 rear, or a diesel. There are a few mountains in Utah, and you will not be satisfied, or safe, with anything lighter, or smaller. I tow a 1973 27' Overlander with a 2001 Suburban with a 5.3 ltr and 4.10 rear, with a loaded weight of 6200 lbs with a minimum of mountain travel, and it works OK. I would really need something heavier if I did much mountain towing. Transmissions are the weak link with lighter rigs, and a high numerical rear is important. I never tow in OD, only Drive which is 3rd gear at 65mph, and 3000rpm, in the torque sweet spot with my engine --Frank S
Or a nice vintage rig to match the vintage trailer.

Bill
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:37 PM   #5
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Hi wkerfoot--A nice vintage rig is about as hard to find as a nice vintage A/S. Looks like you have two vintage beauties that could do the job.--Frank S
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Old 08-22-2006, 09:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Frank S
Hi wkerfoot--A nice vintage rig is about as hard to find as a nice vintage A/S. Looks like you have two vintage beauties that could do the job.--Frank S
Frank,

Thanks, the PowerWagon we bought new in 1972, the Lincoln only three years ago. The PowerWagon will take the Safari anywhere, just don't get in a hurry. There are several pictures of the Lincoln in various picture sets from the International in Salem.

Bill
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:04 AM   #7
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Hi, Jerry,

Welcome to the forums!

Well, let's look at your question.

Airstream says that the trailer weighs 4245 lbs with a 425 lb tongue weight. To this, we can add (according to the VAC FAQ) 800-1100 lbs for STUFF you tote along including the propane tanks and hitch weight. This trailer, I'm guessing, could easily end up at 5500 lbs with a hitch weight of 600 lbs.

You haven't mentioned how your truck is equipped. The '99 Chevy (according to theautochannel.com) can have a 4.8, 5.3, or 6.0 liter engine. HP ratings were 200, 255, and 270.

The maximum tow rating is 8200 lbs and the vehicle's maximum gross weight rating is 6200 lbs. This is how much weight can rest on the vehicle's wheels.

I was unable to find out what the gross combined weight rating (the whole ball of wax - everything going down the highway included) is for the truck, but you can find it either on the door or in the dash placard, I'd hope.

I also don't know if your truck has the factory tow package, which would be very desirable, as well as things like heavy duty shocks, etc. Is a long wheelbase model? Does it have a class IV hitch?

Anyway, let's say that you have the trailer loaded, and it's around 5500 lbs. If your truck is properly equipped, you have the 8200 lb tow capacity, so it's okay there. Your owner's manual will tell you what the allowable maximum hitch weight is. (You might find one number for weight distributing and another for plain hitching.)

Then figure that you transfer 1/3 of the tongue weight to the tow vehicle.

Add that to all the STUFF, both warm and cuddly and inanimate that you plan to carry in the truck itself.

If you come out in the range of 75 - 85% of your truck's capacities, you should be good to go from a legal standpoint. Go above that, and you enter the discomfort zone (white-knuckle time). Exceed your numbers, and you can be a hazard on the highway.

With all that said, there be mountains out there.

Some wag said long ago that there's no substitute for cubic inches. That's still true. Joy in hill climbing requires a big engine.

Is this a lot to think about? Well, yes, but if you figure these things out now, you won't be sorry or disappointed later.

Lamar
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:07 AM   #8
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Assuming that your truck is not a 2500, you are probably near the truck's limit. We tow our 25' with two different vrhicles. Our primary is a 2500 Suburban (6 liter gas); this works very well. Our secondary is a Tahoe (half ton/5.3 liter gas); this works OK. I guess a lot depends on how far you are planning to tow. If you plan to camp pretty close to home, your current rig will be more than acceptable. If you are planning cross country trips, you will most likely want something more heavy duty.
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Old 08-25-2006, 02:33 PM   #9
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Hi moosetags--From what you said about the performance of your Suburban vs your Tahoe, I think you probably have a lower numerical rear in the Tahoe, which magnifies the difference in towing performance. I have a 1/2 ton Suburban 5.3ltr with a 4.10 rear, which is a marked improvement over similiar Suburbans I have had with 3.73 rear.--Frank S
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