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Old 10-07-2003, 11:40 PM   #1
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Posts: 57
Safari 28W + Chevy 5.3L/4.10 = Love?

Hey, all.

Gotta entertain this scenario prior to settling on a 25C. Been looking at the 2003 Safari 28W for my 2003 Chevy Suburban 5.3L V8, 4wd, 4.10.

Trailer Specs: Safari 28W
TBD... (Anyone know?)

The A/S site has not reported weights for this trailer yet; they do have weights for the 28SO (which doesn't really help as it is likely significantly heavier). The 2002 Safari 27A/B were spec'd at Dry weight (5440), Hitch weight (730), GVWR (7300) but they didn't have a dinette as in the 2003-4. Hmmm...

Towing Vehicle Specs: Chevy Burban 5.3L, V8, 4wd, 4.10
GCWR (14000), GVWR (7200), Max Towing Vehicle for a 4.10 (8200). Will likely upgrade to a 3/4 ton in about 5 years.

Adults (combined 300lbs), baby #1 (20 lbs), puppy#1 (30 lbs, going on 70 lbs), outdoor gear/bikes/kayaks (250 lbs), clothes, etc. We live in western colorado and will likely pass over 10,000 ft mountain passes fairly regularly.

Well, gurus/mathematicians/armchair A/S'ers....what do you think? If we can't do it safely, we'll get the 25C (GVWR 6300) which we feel confident about, but we'd like to buy once and for all (at least as we can forsee). If we can safely tow the 28W, we're all over it!

Thanks ahead of time.

Airstream: 2004 Safari 28W
2005 Chevy Suburban 2500 8.1L
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Old 10-08-2003, 05:14 AM   #2
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Exclamation TRANNY!!!!!!


If you lived on the flats and only spent 5, 10 or 15% of your time climbing those passes, I'd say go for it.

But IMHO your tranny will not hold up. The engine will or may, but you're going to need a beefier 3/4 ton tranny.

But you sound like you have made your final decision and I truly wish you all of the enjoyment that goes along with owning an A/S.

Only time will tell eh!!!!
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Old 10-08-2003, 05:19 AM   #3
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Posts: 122
Hi docbluedevi,

Here is what I was able to find out on the 2004 Safari 28 W:

GVWR - 7300 LBS

The GVWR on the 2004 Safari 28 SO is actually 9100 lbs, not 7300.

The Airstream spec sheet is here:

Hope that helps!
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:10 AM   #4
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Being that the "W" is 7300lbs GVWR and the truck with 4.10s is rated at 8200lbs, I'd say go for it. My father has this same truck except it's a 3/4 ton unit. It pulls an '82 Jayco like it is not even back there. has the tow/haul feature, HD cooling, etc and it is a great tow vehicle!.

If you were going 28' s/o, I'd say no way without an engine bump as you are already a 4.10 gears....

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Old 10-08-2003, 07:07 AM   #5
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1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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my 2 cts.
4.10 rear end makes a big difference in towing capability. However; have an external transmission cooler installed and you will be in good shape. I didn't and paid the price. Now have the external cooler in front of the radiator.

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Old 10-08-2003, 07:22 AM   #6
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1999 25' Safari
Edina , Minnesota
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Posts: 180
Add a K&N cold air intake (FIPK) and Granatelli Mass Airflow Sensor and you will get a little better towing performance. Add a Banks system as well and you should have no problem.

I have no problem with my Yukon (3.73) and 25C fully loaded and can motor past just about anyone.
1999 Safari 25C
2009 Yukon Denali
WBCCI #2369
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Old 10-08-2003, 08:16 AM   #7
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Abe, I have pulled a 25' Safari through the Colorado mountains with a Chevy Silverado 5.3L V8 with 3:73 rear and it did okay but not great. A coworker has the same truck and he does not tow but had to have the transmission rebuilt at 80k miles. The dealer told him that was normal.? I traded mine at 50k miles and had no problems other than the rear end getting very hot when towing in the mountains.
Jerry Sullivan
'01 Limited
'01 Safari
On The Road, USA
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Old 10-08-2003, 09:51 AM   #8
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Exclamation The land of 10,000' passes

I read and agree that his current tow vehicle will pull 7300#'s with no problems, but Abe will be towing regularly over 10,000' passes.

Most of us that are giving opinions live on the flats and only tow these steep passes once or twice a yr and this is where we're drawing our conclusions.

Abe- it would be great if you could rent a trailer that weighs about the same as the A/S that you're interested in and tow it to see how it really handles. I just looked at the map to see where you live and I wouldn't have anything less than a 3/4 ton.

Take a ride on 550 to Durango via Silverton and I think you'll agree. Plus you're also going to be down shifting for those grades too and that's where a lot of heat comes from.
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