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Old 03-24-2005, 09:07 PM   #1
allen
 
2005 25' Safari
gainesville , Georgia
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help deciding on new or used AS

I have a 2002 Tahoe with tow package.the transmission is 3.23 ,7000 lb tow limit.what lengh of Safari or Classic can I safely pull.

I want a trailer with 2 axels (I think) I am single, will spend 10 to 14 days at the most while traveling. 6Ft, 220 lbs.
Really will appreciate all replies.

PS What ply tires?
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:52 PM   #2
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help deciding on new or used Airstream

Greetings allen waters!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by allen waters
I have a 2002 Tahoe with tow package.the transmission is 3.23 ,7000 lb tow limit.what lengh of Safari or Classic can I safely pull.

I want a trailer with 2 axels (I think) I am single, will spend 10 to 14 days at the most while traveling. 6Ft, 220 lbs.
Really will appreciate all replies.

PS What ply tires?
Probably more important that length is examining the likely GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) of the coach you might consider. Several of us on the Forum have found that the best towing experience is when the GVW of the trailer is no more than between 75% and 80% of the tow vehicle's maximum trailer tow rating. To get an idea of what might fit within GVW parameters for your tow vehicle, you can consult the following links:

For 2005 Classic Airstream Coaches:
http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...ssic_spec.html

For 2005 Safari Airstream Coaches:
http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...fari_spec.html

For earlier model Airstream Coaches:
http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p.../weights-1.pdf

The thing to remember when looking at these charts is that empty or unladen weight is for the basic coach and does not include optional equipment, fluids (water/LP gas), nor personal possessions - - the combination can easily represent as much as an additional 1,000 to 1,500 pounds (or more depending upon how heavily you pack). The net carrying capacity represents that maximum amount that can be added to the coach between fluids, options, and personal possessions without violating the GVWR for the coach.

So far as the tires on your tow vehicle, the general consensus is that LT (light truck) rated tires help to improve the towing experience. If your Tahoe is similar to most that I have seen on my dealer's lot, it came equipped with LT tires - - and with factory trailer towing equipment the tires should be of sufficient capacity to support the factory trailer tow ratings.

I am single as well, and travel from six to eight weeks each summer. While I had a few reservations prior to acquiring my single axle Argosy Minuet, it has quickly changed many of my preconceptions about single axle coaches - - it is extremely stable and no more prone to sway than my tandem axle coach. The biggest differnce between the Minuet 6.0 Metre (20') and my Overlander (26') is that the Minuet doesn't have a permanent bed which means that the lounge (sofa) must be converted between purposes; while the Overlander has permanent twin beds in a separate sleeping area - - for longer trips the Overlander's separate bedroom certainly has its advantages, but the Minuet's towability makes for streamlined travel.

Good luck wtih your search for the ideal coach!

Kevin
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Old 03-25-2005, 07:05 AM   #3
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From the previous link you will see that the newer Safari 25 has a GVWR of 6300, about 10% less than the tow rating of your truck. This would may be your maximum trailer length for a newer unit.

It's too bad your gearing is numerically so low, it would do better on hills with 3.73 gears. You could have the gears changed ($$$) or trade for a higher rated tow vehicle.

Older trailers weigh less - so look at them too.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:13 AM   #4
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We love our vintage '30 ft Sovereign trailer. We were able to get a great deal on a usable trailer that just needs some love, which was around $65,000 less than a new classic model. That difference certainly paid for our 2001 suburban, and gives us years of upgrades/repairs and a lot of camping expenses. Even if we spend $4500-$6000 to give it a mirror finish, we won't come close. BTW - new trailers aren't this shiny.

Just one example of a '78 (thank you startrekker2001):

We could afford a new trailer, but with both of us working full-time, we just wouldn't camp enough to justify the depreciation on a new trailer. Let alone, the lost investment revenue of buying vintage, and investing the remainder until it is needed.

I took my wife to look at new trailers after we brought our's home. After hearing the price difference and seeing the trailers first hand, the trip made her love our's even more. She felt that ours was in good enough shape that it compared well in functionality and look.

I just thought I would offer some of our perception on new vs. vintage.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:34 AM   #5
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I would say that a vintage unit weighing less would be optimal for a larger coach with that truck. I am not sure the wheelbase of the Tahoe is up to a 30' coach, but in regard to power it does have the power needed to move one.

If you go with a new coach, I would say that 25' is about all you should do (not can do) and even then the wheelbase might bring up some issues. I know that the coaches now have upgraded axles so the GVWR of the new Airstreams coming off the line is higher...for example, last version had a 6,300lb GVWR, this new one has 7,300lbs. Now will you fill the coach to 7,300 even though the base weight is still the same? The answer is most likely you won't fill a 25' Safari to 7,300, but I could see you hitting 6,500 very easily if you pack a bunch of stuff and/or have a family along with you.

The bottom line is that for new you are right up near the max of that truck (what I feel it should do-- not what it can do). If you decide on a vintage model, the weight issue goes down, but be careful on size of coach with the wheelbase that the Tahoe has.

As for tires, I'm very pleased with our Marathons that came with our '04 Safari. I am unsure what ply or rating they have, but they are well under the max load they can do in our case. One suggestion I've read here is that RV tires, unlike car tires should be replaced a bit more regularly, but that is just what I've read in one or two threads here....I'd like to hear what others think about that.....

Happy hunting.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:24 AM   #6
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It comes down to the measurement criteria used to determine replacement of the tire. Most people use mileage or tread depth on a tire for a replacement guide on cars and trucks. That will NOT work for all but the heavy mileage RVs and trailers.

Most RV/trailer tires will break down due to the elements long before they have enough miles to wear down the tread. That is why we have tire covers to protect RV/trailer tires from the sun, and we don't bother using them on our cars. If you have a car that doesn't get regular use, its tires should be treated like an RV/trailer, in that it should be covered.

I think when you were told they need to be replaced more regularly than a car or truck, the person was measuring using tread wear or mileage. There usually isn't any reason that you need to change them more regularly just based on time alone.
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:27 AM   #7
allen
 
2005 25' Safari
gainesville , Georgia
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dan. thanks for your reply. just checked with dealer with my vin and was told that indeed i do have a 3.75 transmission. I misunderstood the first time. thanks for your help. allen
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Old 03-25-2005, 12:10 PM   #8
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Mark, How did you get it that shiny??
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Old 03-25-2005, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HURST
Mark, How did you get it that shiny??
I didn't mean to pass startrekker2001's trailer off as my own. I now realize that it looks that way, but note the Thank you above the picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sovereignrwe
Just one example of a '78 (thank you startrekker2001):
To answer your question, there are many threads that talk about the labor of love that you can take on to polish a trailer. There are also professional shops that do the work for you. The latter was the basis for the dollar estimate of $4500-$6000. Which is calculated by taking $150-$200 times the 31 foot of our trailer.

Just to be clear, startrekker2001 either did the work or paid for the trailer picture I posted and deserves all of the credit. I was just using it as an example.
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:06 PM   #10
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It's also about wheelbase...

Having several years experience (mostly scary..) pulling 24' trailer behind fuill-size Ford Bronco, pulling long trailer behind shorter wheelbase truck (like Tahoe) is going to be challenge as well. This phenomenon explains why most owners of Airstreams from 29' to 34' use Suburbans or long-wheelbase 3/4 ton trucks or vans...

I'd agree you could probably pull 25' Safari (new or late model) but if you wanted upgraded interior of Classics or Excellas or ??, then 22-23' might be the limit.. For single traveler, finding one with full time bed is an advantage, since you don't have to make up and tear down each day, and there are several in that size range, or 22' Safari that would work well..

Good luck, and take a long tape measure as well, since not all are measured using same convention (hitch ball to bumper is "std"), and variations can be up to a foot or two..

John McG
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:31 PM   #11
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Airstream is making a 28' safari that you might want to look at. Tires should be in the D range 225x75x15 rated at 2500 lbs. I'm getting ready to by 6 of them. Don't get the C range which is rated at 2150 there is little if any difference in cost and the safety margin is much greater.
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