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Old 09-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #21
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Since you are shopping for both a trailer AND a tow vehicle, perhaps you should look at the tow rating specs of vehicles first to find what you will be happiest with as far as what you consider a small tow vehicle. After you see the tow ratings, you can then determine what your limitations would be on a particular length trailer. A 25' trailer leans more to the larger and heavier load so it becomes a marginal compromise finding an SUV over a truck. I tow a 25' with a VW Touareg with a 7700 lb. tow rating but am at the max with the hitch weight. That's why I also have a pickup truck. Check these ratings. Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:24 PM   #22
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Yes, this is definitely an interesting topic, one I don't want closed because how else are the newbies going to learn without using trial and error.
I drove semi trucks (PIE) in mountains years before the big fleets used engine compression brakes. White knuckle descents, applying and then letting the brakes cool, taught me how to come down those passes as safe as possible in those days.
Buy what you want to tow your trailer, but please read all the posts here with an open mind, and get advice before you come off a mountain pass in a vehicle with "car" brakes pulling a trailer that weights over 5,000 pounds.
I pull my 23FB with a 6.7 diesel because of the engine compression brake. I can descend a 12,000 foot pass without touching the brakes. I still grin, and remember my truck driving days every time. I also like that it will take me up the mountain going the speed limit.
Not saying what's right for me is right for you, but get advice before you drive in mountains with a small tow vehicle. Learn how to conserve those brakes.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:34 PM   #23
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Whatever you do please use the factory ratings to determine what TV best meets your needs. Those numbers should be treated as the gospel. Other forum members may try to convince you that you can safely and legally tow a large trailer with a grossly-undersized TV if it has been "massaged" properly. Ultimately you'll have to decide whether you want to do the job the "right way" or the "other way."

Even if you find a TV that is capable of handling the GVWR of your trailer, you really need to check your payload ratings. Most smaller vehicles just can't carry the massive tongue weights of AS trailers, plus passengers, plus cargo without exceeding the factory's payload rating.

There are a number of vehicles that aren't pickup trucks that have the capability to pull the larger trailers safely and legally.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:41 PM   #24
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Gospel? The right way and the other way? Ha ha ha.My point exactly.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:57 PM   #25
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I tow my airstream when my 2006 4 runner 4x4. It had the 4.0L V6. The airstream weighs about 4500 lbs. I normally set the Cruise control at 55 to 60 mph. I sometimes get passed by semi trucks but that's ok. I picked the 4runner up for $15,000. Being a young guy (29). I couldn't afford a 3/4 ton diesel. Without the trailer it's gets about 22 mpg. With trailer it's about 12 mpg. It has a good sized fuel tank so I still have good range with trailer. I have towed trailers for work with the 3/4 diesels from the big three (Chevy, Ford, and dodge). And they all do a great job. However in I really enjoy the 4runner. The short wheel base allows us to back into tight spots. It's easier to pull up to the gas stations. And does not come with the heavy price tag of bigger trucks. Plus makes a great practical daily driver. Of course a diesel would be great, but a lot can be done with a smaller budget and vehicle. If you would like some more advise PM me I would be happy to help.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:35 PM   #26
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Factory tow ratings Gospel?

I don't think so. That's been discussed to death and proven wrong daily. But it's a starting point.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:44 PM   #27
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Most advice given on the forum will be slanted towards caution. Yes, you can tow a trailer with a much smaller vehicle than it is rated for. But, should you do that?

When I had the boat store, I towed boats as big as 13,000 lbs. (with surge brakes) with a short WB 1/2 ton Chevy PU with a 5 speed manual transmission.

Was that enough truck? Absolutely not. Why did I do it, then?

It was the truck I had, and I was delivering the boat to the lake 7 miles away. No big hills, very little traffic, and I knew what I was doing. Many years of truck driving under my belt. Did I ever have a problem? No, not once.

I would never advise anyone else to do that because I don't know what skills they have, how far they want to go, and what the terrain and traffic will be.

If you are not planning to tow your AS farther than the campground a few miles away, you could, conceivably, get by with an undersized TV. However, I would never recommend it.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #28
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I guess somebody has to trot out the liability post, and this time it might as well be me. CANADA has much different liability laws than the UNITED STATES, since they are, in fact, different countries. So, while some advice, and some attitudes, and posts, are coming from a different country with different laws, you should give careful consideration to the advice given by those persons that live in, and are subject to, the laws of the country you reside in. Even if a car could safely tow a larger trailer than it is officially rated for, if you get into any kind of accident, a sharp lawyer will take you to the cleaners, and you will end up spending many times more than the price of a properly rated tow vehicle, even if you end up winning in court.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:23 PM   #29
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Once in a while, the tail will try to wag the dog. I've had it happen towing something as light as a single snowmobile on a trailer. Tow vehicle was a 69 Chevy van. Scary enough thank you. Total towed weight of that was less than 1000 lb. vs van weight of 4500+ lb. Big dog / small tail, the dog wins. Small dog / huge tail? I won't be betting on the dog.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:43 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Easylife View Post
Hello,
I'm new to all of this. I want to buy a small trailer, not more than 25 .
I don't like big cars or trucks. What is the smallest towing car that I could buy?
I saw some people have Jeeps. What models would be good for this. What other brands and models?
Thanks!!
Good day Easylife. There are lots of good examples of smaller vehicles towing Airstreams within the forum. Do a search in the towing chapters and do some reading.

Many of these rigs actually tow and handle better than some of the larger, heavier TV's. That is the main reason we tow with a mid sized sedan.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:44 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
I guess somebody has to trot out the liability post, and this time it might as well be me. CANADA has much different liability laws than the UNITED STATES, since they are, in fact, different countries. So, while some advice, and some attitudes, and posts, are coming from a different country with different laws, you should give careful consideration to the advice given by those persons that live in, and are subject to, the laws of the country you reside in. Even if a car could safely tow a larger trailer than it is officially rated for, if you get into any kind of accident, a sharp lawyer will take you to the cleaners, and you will end up spending many times more than the price of a properly rated tow vehicle, even if you end up winning in court.
Good point. It would be worthwhile to call your insurance company, tell them you are modifying a sedan and plan to tow thousands of pounds more than the manufacturer recommends and ask if you would still have coverage if you are in an accident.
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:07 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easylife View Post
Hello,
I'm new to all of this. I want to buy a small trailer, not more than 25 .
I don't like big cars or trucks. What is the smallest towing car that I could buy?
I saw some people have Jeeps. What models would be good for this. What other brands and models?
Thanks!!
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-114513-5.html

Post number 64 offers a couple of examples of cars that might suit your needs.
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:14 PM   #33
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Sorry, but an R-Pod has an empty weight of 3500 pounds. We had one for sale at the dealership, and not only was I surprised by how heavy it was, the people that bought it had to go buy a bigger tow vehicle, as the one they had couldn't tow it off the lot.
Don't know what model r-pod you're talking about, but if you go to the link I included in my post and look under "specifications" you will see that none of the first four models listed (RP-171 through RP-177) exceed 2,500 pounds empty weight. (By Airstream reckoning--measuring "from bumper to ball"--those are 19 foot trailers.) None of the models listed exceed 2,800 pounds.

r-pod Travel Trailer Specifications by Forest River
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:38 PM   #34
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Don't know what model r-pod you're talking about, but if you go to the link I included in my post and look under "specifications" you will see that none of the first four models listed (RP-171 through RP-177) exceed 2,500 pounds empty weight. (By Airstream reckoning--measuring "from bumper to ball"--those are 19 foot trailers.) None of the models listed exceed 2,800 pounds.

r-pod Travel Trailer Specifications by Forest River
For whatever reason, the model we had shows a different "official" weight than what is listed in this brochure. The UVW shown on the sticker on the trailer was 3477 pounds, with a 960 pound CCC. r-pod Travel Trailer by Forest River
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:16 PM   #35
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From your link,


Dry Hitch Weight 319 lbs. (145 kg)
Unloaded Vehicle Weight 2,775 lbs. (1,259 kg)
GVWR TBA (TBA)
Cargo Carrying Capacity 1,027 lbs. (466 kg)
Exterior Length 20' 0" (6.1 m)
Exterior Height 9' 7" (2.9 m)
Exterior Width 96" (2.4 m)
Fresh Water Capacity 36 gal. (136 L)
Gray Water Capacity 30 gal. (114 L)
Black Water Capacity 30 gal. (114 L)
Awning Size Opt. R-dome
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:23 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
I guess somebody has to trot out the liability post, and this time it might as well be me. CANADA has much different liability laws than the UNITED STATES, since they are, in fact, different countries. So, while some advice, and some attitudes, and posts, are coming from a different country with different laws, you should give careful consideration to the advice given by those persons that live in, and are subject to, the laws of the country you reside in. Even if a car could safely tow a larger trailer than it is officially rated for, if you get into any kind of accident, a sharp lawyer will take you to the cleaners, and you will end up spending many times more than the price of a properly rated tow vehicle, even if you end up winning in court.
And somebody has to ask you to substantiate the opinion. I've never seen this as a law, violation, or anyone being held legally accountable when towing a camper for recreation, not commercially.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:40 PM   #37
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Please remember:

Arguments do not gain strength from repetition nor from increased rhetoric. If anything they are weakened by drawing attention to the personality rather than the point.

When the tone of posts becomes overly personal, sarcastic, offensive or defensive, it is very off-putting to others, especially new, and potential new, members.

Turning off new members is not the name of the game.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:36 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
From your link,


Dry Hitch Weight 319 lbs. (145 kg)
Unloaded Vehicle Weight 2,775 lbs. (1,259 kg)
GVWR TBA (TBA)
Cargo Carrying Capacity 1,027 lbs. (466 kg)
Exterior Length 20' 0" (6.1 m)
Exterior Height 9' 7" (2.9 m)
Exterior Width 96" (2.4 m)
Fresh Water Capacity 36 gal. (136 L)
Gray Water Capacity 30 gal. (114 L)
Black Water Capacity 30 gal. (114 L)
Awning Size Opt. R-dome
Exactly. In this case, reality was more than the .pdf
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:25 AM   #39
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Once in a while, the tail will try to wag the dog. I've had it happen towing something as light as a single snowmobile on a trailer. Tow vehicle was a 69 Chevy van. Scary enough thank you. Total towed weight of that was less than 1000 lb. vs van weight of 4500+ lb. Big dog / small tail, the dog wins. Small dog / huge tail? I won't be betting on the dog.
Thanks. I was going to mention "Tail wagging the dog" but you beat me to it. When the tail weighs as much or more than the dog, the dog looses. Just because you can pull it doesn't always mean you can stop it. Keep that in mind, especially when the discussion gets really deep and heated.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:58 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Since you are shopping for both a trailer AND a tow vehicle, perhaps you should look at the tow rating specs of vehicles first to find what you will be happiest with as far as what you consider a small tow vehicle. After you see the tow ratings, you can then determine what your limitations would be on a particular length trailer. A 25' trailer leans more to the larger and heavier load so it becomes a marginal compromise finding an SUV over a truck. I tow a 25' with a VW Touareg with a 7700 lb. tow rating but am at the max with the hitch weight. That's why I also have a pickup truck. Check these ratings. Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
Mojo makes an excellent point. We were serious about towing with a Touareg until the service manager explained that they would not honor the warranty if anything went wrong with the suspension or drive train * due to the hitch weight and tow rating (check also the Touareg forums). They have offered to allow us to actually hook up and pull with the VW; so, it is not eliminated from consideration just yet. Fortunately, we also have a pickup truck.
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