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Old 04-28-2009, 07:02 PM   #1
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charlotte , North Carolina
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introduction and tow vehicle question

Greetings, all. I don't have an Airstream but I have the bug. I live in Charlotte, NC with my wife, two daughters (ages 6 and 8) and my dog Esther.

I am an avid fly fisherman, concentrating on backcountry wild trout (5 mile hikes in are common) and occasional trips for other fish like salmon (driving to Michigan) or stripers (1.5 to 5 hour trips).

I am looking for a mobile base station that will make these trips more enjoyable in the mtns and elsewhere. My wife does not really care for tent camping and none of the ladies in my family care for campground bathrooms. The kids would love anything that might get them to Disney.

We tent camped with some of my fishing buddies on a kids and dads trip a few weeks ago and that did it. At least half of the group had trailers or at least pop ups. So here I am.

Many of my jumping off points cannot handle large RVs so I think I prefer something in the 20 to 24 foot range. At the moment, I think I want an Argosy that I can paint and customize in a trout theme. However, I am also considering Airstreams.

Question -- generally speaking, what are my length limits for my tow vehicle ('02 Dodge Durango, 4/4, 4.7 engine, towing package)? The manual seems to punt and says contact the dealer for maximum tow weight. I feel certain that I can handle an Argosy (20 - 22 foot) but what about a 25 foot aluminum trailer?

Thanks for you time and thoughts.

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Old 04-28-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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For many years my hobby was doing custom paint jobs on cars and I too looked at many Argo's with a cool paint job in mind. The 22's are light and the rear door model has a very nice open concept design.

In the end the we got bit with the "aluminitis bug" and went with the original. We tow with a 3.5 V6. Lots of power for an "easy tow" Airstream.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:39 PM   #3
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Every year, Trailer Life mag publishes a towing guide that covers pretty darn near everything out there that could possible tow a trailer of any size. You can get tow raings for your vehicle at their web site: I have found it to be an unbiased source for figuring out towing capacity. They have 1999 - 2008 model years directly available on their web site.

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Old 04-28-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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introduction and tow vehicle question

Greetings AMCDeac!

Welcome to the Forums!

I am acquainted with several people who tow Vintage 24 foot Airstreams or Argosys with similar Durangos. From what these friends have told me, they are quite pleased with the overall performance.

With two daughters who will be teenagers before you know it, a 24 foot in either Argosy or Airstream trim would likely be the most versatile for your needs. The 24 foot coaches tend to provide two more defined sleeping areas than are customary with the shorter coaches. Some of the coaches may even have one or more bunk beds as options (most often over the center twin beds).

A 7.3 Metre Minuet might be a great coach for your needs as well. It was offered during the last two years of the first generation of Argosy production (1978-1979). The coach is only 7 feet wide and has essentially the same floorplan as the 7' 8" wide Airstream Tradewind. The narrower width when combined with vinyl-clad aluminum cabinets produce a very weight-conscious coach. This is also the only one of the Minuets to have tandem axles.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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