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Old 05-15-2016, 04:46 PM   #1
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Best mid-size SUV to tow a 30' Airstream

I want a 30' Airstream Classic, but hoping not to have to buy a huge truck to tow. Any SUV options? Based on the weight, which dry is around 7,000 and wet is upwards of 8500 or 10k depending on the model.

Any vintage super SUVs that might be an option?

Thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:12 PM   #2
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I use a diesel Ford Excursion, love it but it's a 2005. They don't make them anymore. Suburbans stopped the 3/4 ton 2500 in 2013 but no diesel option since early 2000s.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:19 PM   #3
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As they say, you can't have your cake and eat it too. There are no mid size SUVs rated to tow a trailer that heavy. I guess you could go up in tow vehicle size or down in trailer size to reach a possible combination.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:42 PM   #4
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I faced a similar dilemma. I was looking at the Classic but the weight was a bit much for my F150. The Flying Cloud/International 30 I could do. In the end, the lighter, more modern looking interior of the Flying Cloud won my wife over, and I didn't have to switch tow vehicles (for that reason). I am now going to tow it with an Escalade.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:15 PM   #5
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I like my dodge 2500 with a 6.7 to tow my 31' classic....
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:53 PM   #6
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Yeah, the Classic 30' or 31' trailers are heavy. I'm a van person and at the time I took the 3/4 ton van with the 6.0 liter engine and 4.10 rear axle. It's rated for 9,900 lbs and personally every time I head down to Branson Mo., I thank my stars for the big engine and tall axle. You can get by with less, dependent upon where you tow. Personally I really wanted that 3/4 ton vehicle due to having the slide out which inflicts a lot of hitch weight. The beefed up suspension also makes the towing combination handle the dips and bumps in the road. I had a half ton van pulling a 27' Safari that weighed in about 2,000 lbs less than the Classic. The half ton van could not use OD when towing (manufacturers recommendation) and bumps and dips on the road were much more noticeable as the Safari dipped up a down a little more due to the softer 1/2 ton suspension and shocks.
My 3/4 ton van allows OD towing per the manufacturer and truly is a heavier duty transmission.

So when looking at engines, don't forget to look at the rear axle ratio's that are available. The taller that rear axle the better towing performance you will get. The converse is that driving without the trailer will be more expensive since that taller rear axle will negatively affect your mpg. Funny thing though is my half ton van which required 3rd gear towing gave me the same mpg when towing, as my 3/4 ton van does with taller axle and larger engine does pulling the 2,000 lb heavier Classic.

If you can find a 6.0 liter GM product with at least a 3.73 or 4.10 rear axle you will get a good towing vehicle with plenty of power. Note that the older 3/4 vehicle will have this engine and axle options. Half ton GM's didn't have the 4.10 and the heavy duty tranny. Now if you tow in the flat lands you won't need something as extreme as mine.

Jack
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:40 PM   #7
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I would look for a basic model Ford Expedition with the Ecoboost engine, and contact these guys for advice on tires, shocks, and chosing and setting up a weight distribution and sway control for it.

http://www.canamrv.ca/towing-expertise/
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:01 PM   #8
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I think there are options if you want to get SUPER pricey:

-- Land Rover
-- Mercedes GL series
-- Porshe Cayenne (maybe, depends on tongue weight)

I'm no expert, but I remember these three sticking out as mid-size vehicles that can haul a ton. If you've got 100k!
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStreamer View Post
I faced a similar dilemma. I was looking at the Classic but the weight was a bit much for my F150. The Flying Cloud/International 30 I could do. In the end, the lighter, more modern looking interior of the Flying Cloud won my wife over, and I didn't have to switch tow vehicles (for that reason). I am now going to tow it with an Escalade.
...and cheaper than switching wives too!
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiel View Post
...and cheaper than switching wives too!
Ain't that the truth!
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:19 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:22 AM   #12
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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.
That may not work. You can figure roughly 15% of your trailer weight will be put on your hitch as payload. So around 900 pounds of your payload goes there. That F150 probably has somewhere around a 1500 pound payload. Check your stickers. 700 pounds of bike on top of that is putting you over the line. You, my friend, should have gotten a F250 or maybe a F350 if you want to carry 700 pounds of bikes with you.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:25 AM   #13
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The largest new SUV is the Ford Expedition. Maybe Chevy suburban too. Depending on model the Expedition can tow close to 10k.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:14 AM   #14
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I tow my 2014 International Signature 25FB with a Nissan Armada LE w/tow pkg option. Maximum towing capacity is 9,100 lbs., maximum hitch weight 910 lbs.
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