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Old 05-16-2016, 08:21 AM   #15
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
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Best mid-size SUV to tow a 30' Airstream

Be careful though in getting advice from a dealer. Most I have run into have no experience or expertise regarding towing requirements. I ordered my van rather than take one off the lot. As I was making choices on the options, the sales person asked me questions about my choices and admitted that they had no one there who was knowledgeable about towing. In some cases the manufacturers actually have brochures that are called towing guides that can give you detailed information regarding vehicles and options. I know Ford had one at one time. Not sure about GM. In many cases again the dealerships don't carry them or their sales people don't even know if they have one. Check with the manufacturer's customer relations and see if they can send you one.


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Old 05-16-2016, 10:30 AM   #16
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SUV Towing a 30' Airstream

Our TV is 2015 GMC Yukon XL 1500 SLT and it pulls our 2016 Airstream International Serenity with a base weight of 6,382 lbs/gross 8,800 lbs beautifully with a Equal-i-zer Weight Distribution System w/ 4-Point Sway Control.

We drag Mitzi a 2016 International Serenity 30, with an Equal-i-zer 1000 yanked around with a 2015 GMC Yukon XL SLT 4x4, 5.3L V8 ECOTEC3, 3.92 axle, 6-speed auto WBCCI #6111 AIR #107335

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Old 05-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #17
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
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I tow my 30' Classic with a 1/2 ton pickup.
I'm not sure any mid size SUV would be up to it.
2013 Classic 30 Limited
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:45 AM   #18
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
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We tow our 2016 30' Classic with a 2015 BMW X5 diesel. We had our hitch receiver installed and reinforced by Can-Am RV (Andy Thomson). We also use a Hensley hitch. It tows great! No problems over 12,000 miles so far including a trip out west up and down in the Rockies. So far we have averaged 15-16 mpg overall while towing. And the shorter wheelbase/shorter turning radius of the X5 lets us do U-turns that were impossible before with our Toyota Tundra. A MUCH better towing experience in every way over our previous Tundra!
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Drcrow View Post
Generally along the same lines, I have just bought a Ford 150 six-cylinder with the EcoBoost and also just purchased and have yet to take delivery of my International 23FB. I'm not concerned about the towing but I am interested to know if anyone has any experience with loading 2 motorcycles (350# each) in the bed with respect to payload capacity. I'm not quite sure how much to figure the 6000 pound fully loaded Airstream into the payload calculation.
You should be able to, especially if towing locally. Your Airstream has a very light hitch weight, you should be able to keep it to 600 lbs which is the recommended 10% of fully loaded Airstream. Then you need a good quality and sufficient weight distribution hitch to distribute your Airstream hitch weight and possibly some of the motorcycle weight evenly among the truck's axles and a potion to the Airstreams axles. We don't know what your truck's weight, GVWR, or GAWR are so it's only guesswork from here.

Get the combo set up for towing and be sure you have a strong enough weight distribution hitch, load your gear in the trailer and bikes on the truck and take it to a truck scale and see what you have. You may be able to adjust trailer loading and the weight distribution system to get a good setup.

Dead weight isn't everything, even though ratings and internet advice seems to think so. Motorcycles in the bed raise the center of gravity of the truck, it will be less stable in turns and may effect braking some. You may be within weight ratings but you ought to drive a little more carefully because of the nature of this type of load.

On the other hand you do have perhaps the most stable trade trailer on the market, streamlined design, low center of gravity, and full independent suspension. The truck's weight ratings don't recognize these advantages either.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 05-16-2016, 11:02 AM   #20
2000 25' Safari
Narvon , Pennsylvania
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Exclamation SUV towed but with a struggle!

I tried towing with full size SUV - Dodge Durango and it towed but with a struggle! I bought the Durango to tow 25 foot airstream and ended up trading it in for RAM 1500 Laramie. My truck drives a lot more comfortable than the Durango. Even though the Durango did better in gas, the Laramie's comfort is like other. At least test drive one - it is worth the extra bucks ion gas and it tows as if nothing is back there. Gotta remember there is something back there and watch going around tight corners.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:11 AM   #21
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The Dodge Durango is classified as a mid-sized SUV.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:13 AM   #22
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I'd suggest...

Toyota Seqouia - Tundras' Sister - 2010 forward. I tow my 34' PanAmerica using a Tundra. You just need the WD hitch & sway bars setup with 1400 pound rated flat bars. There are other SUVs that MAY work, however, I'd recommend you talk to the EXPERT: Andy Thompson at CanAm RV in London Ontario, Canada. He comes to the factory during Alumapalooza at various times! He can really assist you!!
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:23 AM   #23
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My 2012 Armada has been a very stable platform for towing several trailers, including a 33' Streamline (with no WD and occasionally with no brakes). The Driveline is getting old, though, and I lust after a Denali with 6.2L or a Expedition Ecoboost.

I do not think there is or has ever been an SUV rated to tow 10,000lbs. Maybe an older Suburban 2500?

Regardless, in some cases I would tow in excess of what the vehicle is rated. I'd stack the deck in my favor, though. I'd get WD, Sway Control, and probably a Hensley or Propride. I'd also invest in a newer SUV where the integrated trailer brake control integrates with the stability control. Escalades and Navigators do not have this feature, but GM Suburban, GMC Yukons, GMC Denalis, and Ford Expeditions do have this feature. For some reason, the luxury SUVs take out the integrated trailer brake control.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:08 PM   #24
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More internet advice. This is how a mid size SUV performed pulling a much lighter trailer than the Classic. The great thing is that the forum member did not just provide subjective opinions. He also provided numbers/specifics. Mind you this SUV has 420 ft-lb of torque.

Originally Posted by terryg View Post
I have an early build 2014 Overland Ecodiesel I purchased new in 2013. I used it to pull my 6600 lb (actual wt.) 25' FB Classic for over 4000 miles throughout the west. I've since moved on to a 2015 Duramax and here's why:

1. The Jeep was max'ed out weight wise with two adults, no onboard cargo, and a lightly loaded Airstream (again, per the CAT scales). Maybe it's just my aviation background talking, but I've seen the accelerated wear and tear on aircraft brought on by flying at max gross weight. Likewise, if I wanted to bring the generator, the BBQ, the extra lawn chairs, the canopy, etc..., it just wasn't an option.

2. The Jeep handled the trailer beautifully with the ProPride hitch and Direclink setup. I never had sway issues or felt like "the tail was wagging the dog." However, climbing some grades required slowing to 45 mph to keep the coolant temp under control. At times I ended up in the slow lane behind a semi creeping up the hill at 25 mph with traffic in the left lane whizzing by at 75 mph.

3. Hopefully, the emissions issue has been fixed by now (I had to have my system replaced at 38,000 miles). I now have over 58,000 miles on the Jeep with no issues, but at the time I did not want to end up in the middle of nowhere with a Jeep limited to 4 mph due to an emissions system issue.

4. Lastly, related to my first reason, was the potential high cost of maintenance. For example, the ZF transmission, FCA markets it as a "lifetime maintenance free" unit. However, the ZF factory recommends changing the fluid and filter at 60,000 miles if used for towing and/or off-road operations. The filter is integral to the pan and must be changed as a unit. It sells for around $300.00. The ZF uses 8 qts of special fluid that sells for around $40.00 a quart. You're looking at over $600.00 not including labor for a fluid and filter change.

I do like my Ecodiesel as a daily driver. I'm averaging 28 mpg combined city/hwy and hope to put 100,000+ plus on it. I really like my 2015 Duramax for towing. I've since moved on to a 30' Classic and it easily handles it with room and weight to spare.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:30 PM   #25
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How about a Chevy 1 ton passenger van?

I have towed our 31 foot Classic Airstream with a one ton Ford diesel passenger van since 2006. It has seating for seven with five of those removable.

I know it is not be that cool looking but I laugh at all those pickup trucks with inconvenient camper shells on the back. Its that or all your tools and other items are open to the elements and theft. With the seats removed I can load 4 by 8 sheets of plywood easily. I never lack room for all the good things like fishing gear, inflatable boat, etc. etc.

Ford quit building the full size diesel vans but Chevy still has them.

Another advantage is sitting just a little higher than the roofs of cars and pickups with good view of the road ahead.

Happy Motoring.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:48 PM   #26
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Another thing to consider is even the new Classic 30 weighs 7365 lbs with relatively light hitch weight, and can total 10,000 lb maximum when loaded. Will you realistically be carrying 2,345 lbs in the trailer, probably not. The Classic hitch weight is less than our Flying Cloud 25. This is not a difficult trailer to tow, and unless loaded to the gills, not particularly heavy. (Yes, yes I know, Some people load them to the gills.)
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 05-16-2016, 12:51 PM   #27
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2004 28' International CCD
Daphne , Alabama
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Buy a Suburban.

My CCD 28 has a GVWR of 7,300 pounds, and I have loaded it many times with this weight. Has a hitch weight of 900#. I have pulled it for years with two "1500" Suburbans. No problems after some 100,000 miles all over the USA and Canada and Alaska. For sure a "2500" Suburban would pull your rig.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:26 PM   #28
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Union Hall , Virginia
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I tow my 2015 FC 27' with a Sequoia, 5.7L V-8, tow package, and use an Equalizer WD hitch. Does the job quite well, even in the west. Gas mileage sucks, but what can you expect ?

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