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Old 09-02-2014, 10:39 PM   #61
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World's cheapest tow vehicle

I have a woman friend whose medical condition severely limits her mobility.

She only goes camping about 3 times a year - usually for several weeks at a time - and those campgrounds are usually less than 100 miles from Virginia Beach. I or one of three other people tow her trailer to the campsite of her choice. She rents a golf cart to get around locally when she's camping.

She has offered to pay each of us $500 for the tow and return journey which is usually 5 hours max. All three of us accept only gas money... and some very good cookies!

Marie pointed out that even $1500 to $2500 per year is DIRT CHEAP compared to the cost of owning a tow vehicle. (And most car/truck rental companies don't want you to tow anything with their vehicles, unless it's a big box truck.)

This wouldn't work for 80% of us on a long term basis - but think about this as a way to get started. You can get the CART before the horsepower. Do you have a friend or relative with a decent driving record and a big tow vehicle? Then make him an offer he can't refuse! Start camping. Several campgrounds around here will let you pay $5 to $10 per day to leave the camper on site - you pay full rate only on days you are actually in residence.

Just a thought for those who might benefit from it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:04 AM   #62
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I repeat.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...ml#post1503532
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:27 AM   #63
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A lot of new posters come and go after seeing what a zoo this place is.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:47 AM   #64
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So the reality is; new folks come for generic advice, but there is no generic one size fits all advice. Reason; everyones towing expectations & configuration will be different.

Is that what I'm getting here?
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:58 AM   #65
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These discussions range far beyond the OP, and they can be useful to many. I have benefitted greatly from various subjects on Airforums and appreciate all who contribute.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:02 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
So the reality is; new folks come for generic advice, but there is no generic one size fits all advice. Reason; everyones towing expectations & configuration will be different.

Is that what I'm getting here?
Yes and no. There's rarely a one size fits all solution, but you can learn from reading what others have to say.

I try to avoid offering specific advice, but I am happy to share my experiences. Whether readers agree or disagree is immaterial, it's just the way that I did it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:03 AM   #67
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These discussions range far beyond the OP, and they can be useful to many. I have benefitted greatly from various subjects on Airforums and appreciate all who contribute.
You're right, Doug; I really enjoy reading what my fellow Airstreamers want to share, even when it gets fractious, and I've learned much since joining.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:14 PM   #68
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I'm going to bury this deeper in the trash basket than the "80% rule".
Oddly enough, you are only 20lbs over the 80% range by doing the math. If I guess your setup right using source in link: http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/201...ammlup1500.pdf

And based on the GVWR for the 2012 Flying Cloud.

And somehow I seem to be skating both the 80% and the wheelbase rule of thumb, even though I didn't set out to do either of those.

My truck is rated to 9650lbs towing. 80% of that is 7720 or 120lbs to spare. As my sticker on the Airstream lists the GVWR at 7600lbs.

A matter of fact, subtracting my GCWR 15500 - 7600GVWR AS - 6800GVWR TRUCK = 1100lbs

And the wheelbase math puts me at 27.5 for a 140.5ft of wheel base. But I tell ya, I didn't plan any of that. But I thought it was funny.



This is probably useless information in regards to the thread at hand. Since we've already discounted it all. But I figured it was funny how that worked out. If you leave the kitchen sink at home you don't need a semi truck.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:01 PM   #69
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Heck, Andy says you can tow a 34' Classic with a Chrysler 300, no problem.....just don't try to stop going down a steep hill, or tow up Grape Vine when it's 100 degrees.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:27 PM   #70
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It is sort of fun after a while to PREDICT the responses :-)

If you can predict not only WHAT will be said but WHO will say it, then you're a REAL rivet master :-)

I'll try to be a good boy now.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:04 AM   #71
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I just wish that the mods would let me get away with repeatedly using the term fairy dust!
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:13 AM   #72
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We're not allowed to repeatedly use the term "fairy dust"? Crud... I guess I've got nothing to say then.

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Old 09-04-2014, 07:08 AM   #73
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Observation: Many Americans recommend go big with TV. Canadians seem to prefure smaller vehicles. Both agree on one thing. There recommendation is perfect and how dare any one disagree. Canadians do this more tact and courtesy.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:56 AM   #74
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Let me try to learn something comparing two different vehicles with similar spec's.

New Dodge Ram Express reg cab pickup 120" wheelbase, 5.7 V8, 8-speed trans, 20" wheels, full coil spring suspension. Body on frame construction, live rear axle.

Compared to new Dodge Durango R/T SUV, same spec's mentioned above, but unibody construction, full independent suspension.

Which would make a better Airstream FC 25' tow vehicle and why?
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:39 AM   #75
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I owned one of the original Ford Expeditions with a live real axle. I later traded it in for a newer model with full independent suspension. The difference in ride quality was huge. No more skittering over bumps, joincing over RR tracks. The truck is so much more planted than the old live axle model. My Expedition has 1,600 lbs of payload so that doesn't have to be a limiter. I wish the half ton trucks would dump that archaic design.

So for this reason I'd lean to the Durango. Reason to go with the truck is to be able to haul more stuff in the bed.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:09 PM   #76
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Which would make a better Airstream FC 25' tow vehicle and why?
Just based on what you listed (I don't know the details of the two vehicles) the unibody would be stiffer, which is better for handling. It also may be more difficult to attach a heavy duty hitch to it than a body on frame vehicle, depending on what is available and the configuration of the rear of the SUV.

If it was straightforward to attach a heavy duty receiver hitch, the Durango would be preferable to me due to both the independent suspension and handling. Also seats more people. Unless you are carrying spare gas and a generator. In which case the pickup has the edge. Unless you are a traditionalist, in which case a 3500 diesel seems to be a frequent choice.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:31 PM   #77
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To the OP:

Not a car, but I'm very happy with my V6 SUV (Chevy Traverse) towing my 25SS Safari. Keep in mind that it was professionally set-up by an expert (see sig) and I spent the big bucks on a Hensley hitch. Although you can tow safely with smaller vehicles (to a point) you also have to do your homework. In many ways it's just easier to go with a larger tow vehicle than absolutely needed for the job, but either way you'll still have to educate yourself on the art and science of towing.

Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:31 PM   #78
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It won't be a 3500 diesel.

But the Ram and Durango spec almost identical. The difference is body, frame, and suspension. And it's a big difference in construction. If you use only the numbers, they should tow and handle alike. I don't think they do, so it's interesting to learn why.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #79
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As I stated early in this thread, I have a 2014 Durango, AWD, 5.7 Hemi and tow package to use as a tow vehicle for my two Airstreams, 1979 Safari and 1954 Liner. As Rich Luhr found it necessary to reinforce the factory hitch on his ML 320 and the Durango is based on the same platform, I asked Andy Thompson whether or not the hitch on the Durango needed reinforcement. He stated that because of the hitch weight for my trailers, he did not believe that reinforcement was necessary, but if I went to a trailer with higher hitch weight, reinforcement would be necessary. I don't know the hitch weight on a 25' Flying Cloud.

I expect the Durango to perform well and will find out in a couple of weeks when we depart for the Balloon Fiesta.

The Durango is lower to the ground and probably has shorter rear overhang as compared to the Ram. Both of these items vote for the Durango.

Bill

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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Let me try to learn something comparing two different vehicles with similar spec's.

New Dodge Ram Express reg cab pickup 120" wheelbase, 5.7 V8, 8-speed trans, 20" wheels, full coil spring suspension. Body on frame construction, live rear axle.

Compared to new Dodge Durango R/T SUV, same spec's mentioned above, but unibody construction, full independent suspension.

Which would make a better Airstream FC 25' tow vehicle and why?
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:12 PM   #80
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Heck, Andy says you can tow a 34' Classic with a Chrysler 300, no problem.....just don't try to stop going down a steep hill, or tow up Grape Vine when it's 100 degrees.
The 300 has some very impressive stopping distances. The 34' Airstream has a half dozen 12" brakes. Something to consider.
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