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Old 09-13-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
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Older 25' Models and Their Weights?

As you can tell I am new to the Forum. Over the past 26 years I have had various trailers and tow vehicle setups. Currently I own a TADA trailer which is carried by Thor and is loosely based on a vintage Airstream style. I used to Full time and I thought that it was behind me. But the economy and a greedy city land grab that will cause my eviction from my home with no compensation will require me to get on the road again. So the TADA is too small and I do not want to give up my current TV (FJ Cruiser 5,000 Lbs max tow) I have a friend that has restored older airstreams and said that if I decided to get one he would help me. As long as the basic structure is there I will not be too choosy. However the weight will be a factor. I know that I will need at least 25' but while I searched the forum the Internet where I am at kept crashing and time became a factor in that search. So any info on older models and dry weights would be greatly appreciated so at least I would know what models to keep an eye out for.

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Old 09-13-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
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1975 Argosy 24
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
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I found a lot of good info about older trailers here:

Airstream, Inc :: Travel Trailer Specifications

You say a "greedy city land grab" that involves them taking your home without compensation... are you renting? Or did they somehow manage eminent domain without somehow purchasing the land?

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Old 09-13-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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Here you go...the following is a .pdf with all the vintage trailer weights.

Keep in mind, "dry weight" means more than just "no water", it means no accessories like awnings, personal effects, food, propane, etc. Even when your tanks are "dry" there is most likely a couple of gallons in the lines and your water heater is full - unless you are winterized. For example, our '64 GT "dry weight' is supposed to be 2890 and the tongue weight is 385...but in reality, when ours is loaded for a trip with the black tank empty and the fresh water only about 1/4 full, the weight is actually 3450-3500 and the tongue is about 405.

Also, tow ratings are oftentimes over rated. If the vehicle is not tuned & working perfectly, you really can be stressing out your engine at less that the rating. It also depends on where you plan to travel - mountain air loses efficiency. Our first tow vehicle was rated for 5000 lbs but we were not able to tow our GlobeTrotter successfully with it - it would overheat with the smallest grade or warm temperatures no matter what we did.

BTW...welcome to the forums!

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Air Stream Weight Table.pdf (154.5 KB, 28 views)
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:26 PM   #4
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Hi Artizen ~

First off, welcome to the forums. So good to see another Phoenix area signer-onner. Secondly, I have a '59 TradeWind that left the factory at just over 3000 pounds. The tongue weight is right around 290 pounds. Now, mind you, I have done some restoration work like adding a newer fridge, water heater and removing all of the cast iron waste water lines but I think the weight is still about the same. I would be comfortable full-timing in my trailer if it came to that, if I was doing by myself. Two would be a bit crowded. I live in NW Phx and you're welcome to come and check it out for size, if you're interested.

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Old 09-13-2010, 06:23 PM   #5
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1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
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I have a tandem axle 61 24 ft tradewind.
Road ready, full propane and water and everything else puts it right at 5000lbs
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:52 PM   #6
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1975 25' Tradewind
Hanover , Pennsylvania
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I have a '75 Tradewind (25') which has a dry weight of ~4,500lbs, and a GVWR of ~5,800lbs. What concerns me more about my trailer is its tongue weight, versus the overall weight.

According to my manual, our 25' Tradewind...
1) has a dry tongue weight (with options, AC, awning, etc) of ~700-750Lbs, which means after the trailer is loaded the tongue weight is probably pushing 900lbs. That is a lot of weight for a half ton truck with a W/D setup, let alone something smaller. I would refer to your FJ's hitch rating, I imagine you may find it is sporting a class III hitch, which probably has a ~500lb tongue weight limit.
2) has a tongue weight that is actually heavier than some of the longer/heavier length models. This is good for rear separation concerns, but bad for tongue weight concerns.

I tow with a '05 5.3L Tahoe, and feel comfortable with it as a TV, but I would not recommend anything smaller with our '75 Tradwind. I had a '02 Grand Cherokee (V8 with 6,500 lbs tow capacity) with our previous TT, but after getting the AS last year I replaced it with the Tahoe. The GC had decent power, my concerns were more based on the small size (weight, width, etc) of the GC. I only towed the AS on 4 short trips with the GC, but I felt that if had I used it on longer trips (highway speeds), wet roads, steep grades, etc the tail would be wagging the dog, which is exactly why I replaced the GC as our TV.

From my short time as an AS'er, I've read from comments here on the forums that each decade the AS trailers tended to gain about 1,000lbs. So if you need something 25' or longer, you may want to look at trailers earlier than the 70's era. One caution there though is it wasn't until the early to mid 70's ('74 I think) before AS started to include grey tanks (as an option, not standard). In your situation, that maybe something you will want/need to consider.

Good luck,
Eric, Stacey, Easton, Annabelle, Gretzky (boxer), & George Bailey (basset hound)
1975 Tradewind - Family owned and operated since 1975
2005 Chevy Tahoe Z71
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:25 AM   #7
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Thank you for all the info and the advice! My FJ is beefed up and the hitch weight would not be a problem. And as I have towed around the country with 5 different rig configurations I am aware that what the manufacturer says and what is the real case can be vastly different. Especially with the introduction of car trannies in the newer trucks. I had a few trade-ins on newer vehicles because they did not even come close to their specs. But you gave me great info on the variation in weights which I needed. Because my business takes me on the road almost every week I bring along all the animals and pretty much always pulled a rig. Unfortunately the economy has not been kind to most of us. The FJ is almost paid off and of the many vehicles I had over the years it is hands down my favorite and I had hoped to use it the rest of my life. But I had a suspicion that it would not do as a tow vehicle for a larger trailer. It is surprisingly a good puller. My trailer is dry rated at 2,500 lbs and the FJ bombs up the mountain inclines easily at 65 mph. My Dodge V8 nor my older Yukon did not pull a similar trailer I had at the time as well. But the FJ can be squirrelly at times and if I go to a larger trailer I would prefer a longer wheelbase. The info you gave me though is a great start for some heavy duty consideration. Airstreams are definitely wonderful trailers and their owners are equally as nice. I just wish it was not a forced decision. I do not really want to get into the circumstances behind it however it is really involves dirty political deals and my land is sitting square in the middle of it. My problem is that after 3years of fighting it has become clear that not only the city but state officials are involved and the local media is in their back pocket. Now to get us off and not pay restitution they have announced this week that they are condeming the land. I have been on the road for the last three months but am racing back tomorrow to see what I can do. This involves about 300 people being thrown out of their homes of many years. The majority are 75 plus and have no family to go to or any money as backup. As they have been good neighbors of mine for over 20 years and we were a small rural community I worry about them. At 53 I am the youngest and the go getter and it seems that they elected me to part of a committee to see if we get the truth out of this mess to others who will listen. Our lawyers seem not to be doing their jobs. So while I would love to be active in the Airstream community just not this way.

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