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Old 01-03-2016, 04:38 PM   #15
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I'm not sure what kind of trailers your husband pulled before. If they were boat trailers or utility trailers, then it is quite a jump from that to a 28' AS. A year or two of experience towing will increase both your comfort levels significantly, so you should probably focus more now on whether you enjoyed the experience of living for an extended period of time away from home in a trailer, and if that's something you would like to do often enough to justify owning one yourself.

From reading these posts over the past few years since I started out with very little experience myself, I get the idea that there are two schools of thought on tow vehicles: one school wants performance that is as close as possible to what you would get if you were not pulling a trailer; the other school wants the smallest capacity tow vehicle that can do the job. People tend to hang their own moral values on these positions, which I tend to ignore, but it really comes down to what you can afford and what makes you happy.

I had a small block V8 Tundra when I bought my 23' Airstream, and it certainly meets all the minimum requirements to pull it. But I was never happy with that setup, and as soon as I figured out what I really wanted, I traded it in on an F250 turbo diesel, which I have been thrilled with. There are plenty of other people who are thrilled pulling a 23' AS with vehicles much less powerful than my Tundra, who never even dream of getting it up to 45 mph going uphill and could care less.

Trailer brakes are another matter, and they should function well regardless of tow vehicle. Demonstrating trailer brakes and how to adjust them should be a required part of any orientation. You should be able to demonstrate for yourself anytime you want that your trailer brakes are functioning by letting off the gas and moving the lever that manually controls them without putting on the tv brakes. If you're ever unsatisfied that they're working properly, you should be able to drive slowly down a road where there is no traffic or in a vacant parking lot and set them to a high enough level that they lock the trailer brakes so the trailer wheels skid before you come to a complete halt. Then you should be able to back them off a little so they don't lock up before you stop.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:22 PM   #16
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We worry little about "standards" because after towing across country many times we know what our truck can and can't do. Some vehicles are substandard and some are exceptional. Same with trailers, Airstreams are an exceptional tow. Same with hitches and hitch setup.

Most experienced owners know what they have and what they can do, and their level of satisfaction. "Standards" are only a starting point. Study the things that really matter.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:28 PM   #17
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Like a previous poster here mentioned; we also have a 20 foot FC and tow it with a 2008 Tahoe with 4 speeds and 3:73 rear end. Living in So Calif and in the summers having to drive up either the Grapevine or Cajon pass in over 100f outside temperatures to go on vacation, I wouldn't tow anything larger than what we have. I am surprised that AS2G is now using them instead of the Denali's they used to have in their fleets.
I find it interesting that everyone here agrees that you need a more powerful tow vehicle in that size trailer when on the east coast and Canada they use Mini vans to tow this size trailer and larger and claim they have more power than needed.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:34 PM   #18
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Towing and backing up were definitely our own stress points before buying our Airstream. We have since learned that a properly set up rig makes all the difference, and takes the worry out of towing.

We tow our 34' with a Hensley hitch, completely eliminating all sway even in very challenging conditions. Additionally, we had our vehicle set up by an expert in the field.
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:04 PM   #19
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Good to here that you still enjoyed you AS2Go experience. We are planning basically the same route you followed in a couple of months. The heads up on the Yukon is good to know just to limit the surprises on the trip. Did SA2Go have much to say regarding your observations?
I am writing them a letter expressing my concerns. The assistant manager was not onsite when we returned the trailer. We did tell the customer relations person that we were not happy with the tow. We asked about the "brake gain" setting at 6.5. We weren't sure if the brake setting was causing some of the issues. He said they had an "expert" come and adjust their settings. He said that they were previously set at 5.5 and they were adjusted to 6.5. He said at 6.5 it might feel like you were being pulled by the trailer at lower speeds. So I guess we should have just driven faster.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:03 PM   #20
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I can't comment on your driving experience. I have a Bambi towed with a 2013 2500 Suburban. I can welcome you. I hope you enjoyed the parks you went to. I hope to get out that way again. I was there in 69'. I think it was really proactive for you to rent and try, too bad they did not get you help on the road so your trip could have been less stressful.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:58 PM   #21
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We worry little about "standards" because after towing across country many times we know what our truck can and can't do. Some vehicles are substandard and some are exceptional. Same with trailers, Airstreams are an exceptional tow. Same with hitches and hitch setup.

Most experienced owners know what they have and what they can do, and their level of satisfaction. "Standards" are only a starting point. Study the things that really matter.
Having a standard prevents car companies (or individuals) from making subjective and uncorroborated claims. You cannot claim your vehicle can tow 7500# (or vehicle type A is better than vehicle type B) without having objective measures to back up your claim. That is what I like about standards.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:29 PM   #22
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You can compare the towing ratings with the weight statistics for trailers at:
Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:46 PM   #23
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No one really answered the question, so yes, Airstream2Go has picked poor tow vehicles for their Airstreams. Just this year one of their "clients" rolled a Tahoe and Airstream.

I have wondered about this, and others have as well. For a 25fter or smaller, sure. For the 28fter? NO.

I don't understand the logic, but it's their company and their decision. What you do when you purchase your own is up to you.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:15 PM   #24
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I wouldn't consider a Tahoe for that size trailer. Physics are all wrong.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:18 PM   #25
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HUH? B.S. detector going off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCTX View Post
I am writing them a letter expressing my concerns. The assistant manager was not onsite when we returned the trailer. We did tell the customer relations person that we were not happy with the tow. We asked about the "brake gain" setting at 6.5. We weren't sure if the brake setting was causing some of the issues. He said they had an "expert" come and adjust their settings. He said that they were previously set at 5.5 and they were adjusted to 6.5. He said at 6.5 it might feel like you were being pulled by the trailer at lower speeds. So I guess we should have just driven faster.
An expert is a former drip, now under pressure.

BRAKE GAIN - has to do with what happens when you apply the brakes. If you set it really high you can feel your neck snap when you put on the brakes - because the TRAILER brakes are applied harder than the truck's - so the trailer (anchor) stops the truck (ship). If you set the brake gain at 1.0 you'd surely feel the trailer thump against the back of the truck as the truck slowed and the trailer didn't. If you're turning with a too low brake gain your trailer could go into a really bad sway situation. Generally you want your trailer brakes just the tiniest bit grabby compared to the tow vehicle.

IF one is driving without one foot on the brake HOW, pray, tell would brake gain do anything?

One stupid question - did they show you how to engage "tow mode" in the Tahoe? By pushing the button on the end of the gear shift? Every time you restart the engine you have to re-engage that mode. (I also agree with others that the Tahoe wheelbase is questionable, and the powertrain of a 1500 (half ton) is not a made in heaven choice for the Rockies. I had a Ford F-150 Ecoboost paired with my 25' Eddie Bauer... It was fine. And then I drove it through Aspen Colorado, and then Donner Pass... and then a 50 mile stretch east of Salt Lake City.............................................. Oh my goodness gracious me. I admit my 2500 GMC Denali isn't a strict necessity, but for peace of mind it's wunnerful.


Happy Trails, Paula
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:06 PM   #26
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Is it really nearly 10,000 dollars for 11 days renting from Airstream2go? That would go a long way to picking up a nice well cared for AS.
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:48 PM   #27
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Many people tow Airstreams with smaller tow vehicles - often towing heavier trailers that the tow vehicle manufacturer recommends.

It is often a great point of contention on this forum. There are clearly two camps on this issue.

Those that do all seem very happy with the performance - most appear to have had their vehicles especially set up for this purpose.

I have not gone that route and so cannot really comment from experience.

What I have done is the opposite - for my last three tow vehicles I have moved to
longer wheelbase and heavier tow vehicles, I guess that is the camp I have chosem , and with each step up in size I have found the towing experience to be more and more relaxing and enjoyable in every respect.

Just one person's experience, but that is what has worked for me.


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Old 01-04-2016, 06:44 PM   #28
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I wonder if it was the Tahoe with the smaller engine? I think the 6.2L would be PLENTY, but maybe that's only in the Denali?

I disagree with some above that say the wheelbase was too short. I have a Nissan Armada and pull a 33' Streamline. Wheelbase is not an issue. BUT, my Nissan has an independent rear suspension and the Tahoe has leafs. That could make a big difference.

I wonder if the brakes were not set up well.
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