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Old 07-10-2020, 02:48 PM   #1
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Airstream Atlas help please

I have an Airstream Atlas on order and have a couple questions. Once is gets here, are there any dealer add on's or modifications I should consider while it is still at the dealer? Is there anything I should be particularly mindful of when I pick it up? Does anyone tow a vehicle with it, it says tow capacity is 5,000 lbs, can it handle that comfortably? I have a Ford F150 and it is right at that limit and I did not know if that was too much.
Thanks in advance,
Greg
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ghaag View Post
I have an Airstream Atlas on order and have a couple questions. Once is gets here, are there any dealer add on's or modifications I should consider while it is still at the dealer? Is there anything I should be particularly mindful of when I pick it up? Does anyone tow a vehicle with it, it says tow capacity is 5,000 lbs, can it handle that comfortably? I have a Ford F150 and it is right at that limit and I did not know if that was too much.
Thanks in advance,
Greg
You want to tow a Ford F150 with your 3500 Sprinter based Atlas? That might not work, depending on the weight of your fully loaded Atlas. The Sprinter towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. is mostly based on the rear frame and hitch limits. However the 3500 Sprinter also has a GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of 15,250 lbs. and a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 11,030 lbs for the chassis. If your Atlas is fully loaded to the GVWR then the towing capacity is reduced to 4,220 lbs. (15,250 - 11,030).
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:35 PM   #3
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If it were me, Id tow the smallest possible vehicle behind an Atlas.
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:45 PM   #4
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Be careful!

I first towed an 1800# smart and I currently tow a 2300# Fiesta behind my AI GT.

The smart barely affected fuel mileage, maybe 1 mpg. The Fiesta costs me 2 to 3 mpg, depending on terrain. Our Texas hill country with constant ups and downs are hard on mileage.

I could just barely know the smart was back there. I definitely feel the Fiesta.

For the smart, I used a surge brake. For the Fiesta, I have (and need) a brake actuator in the tow car.

I would not consider towing anything over about 3000#, and that with a good braking system in the tow car. I could not accept the performance and the fuel mileage with anything heavier. Remember, you only have a 3-liter engine, as fine an engine as it is. The Atlas is enough heavier than my GT that weight will be all the much that more critical.
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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You will make issues for yourself and you'll be a hazard for other vehicles out west on on the mountain passes. There is no free lunch.
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:09 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone for your feedback, that answers my towing question.
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
I first towed an 1800# smart and I currently tow a 2300# Fiesta behind my AI GT.

The smart barely affected fuel mileage, maybe 1 mpg. The Fiesta costs me 2 to 3 mpg, depending on terrain. Our Texas hill country with constant ups and downs are hard on mileage.

I could just barely know the smart was back there. I definitely feel the Fiesta.

For the smart, I used a surge brake. For the Fiesta, I have (and need) a brake actuator in the tow car.

I would not consider towing anything over about 3000#, and that with a good braking system in the tow car. I could not accept the performance and the fuel mileage with anything heavier. Remember, you only have a 3-liter engine, as fine an engine as it is. The Atlas is enough heavier than my GT that weight will be all the much that more critical.
Thank you John, helpful information!
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
You want to tow a Ford F150 with your 3500 Sprinter based Atlas? That might not work, depending on the weight of your fully loaded Atlas. The Sprinter towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. is mostly based on the rear frame and hitch limits. However the 3500 Sprinter also has a GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of 15,250 lbs. and a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 11,030 lbs for the chassis. If your Atlas is fully loaded to the GVWR then the towing capacity is reduced to 4,220 lbs. (15,250 - 11,030).
Thank you Mike, helpful information!
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:11 AM   #9
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Dear Ghaag,

You will love your Atlas. We are camping in ours right now with our 2 poodles. There are no add-ons that I know of but we have added a bunch of small things that make it easier to use such as a soap & shampoo dispenser in the shower stall.

When you pick it up, be sure to check every little thing before driving it out of the dealership. The Atlas has dozens of little electric motors that work everything from the awning to the levelling jacks. Check them all!

Good luck and enjoy.

Krikati
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:16 PM   #10
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Krikati,
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond while on your trip. We will be sure and check everything we can think of. I would like to spend the night nearby and take it in the next morning if there are any issues. I hope y’all have a great trip!
Thanks again,
Greg
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