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Old 03-02-2015, 08:40 PM   #1
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1997 30' Excella
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What should I buy to tow...

Hello everyone.. I am new to the forum.. A few years ago I purchased a 30ft 1997 Excella Classic. I think it is fully loaded with all the wood trim. I haven't weighed it yet but I hope to. Up until now I have begged, borrowed and rented trucks for the little I had to move it around but now I am in the market for a tow vehicle It is tougher then I thought decided what to get.

Just wonder what some of you use..
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:52 PM   #2
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Buy a Tundra 5.7 2WD.


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Old 03-02-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. You have asked a question that will certainly stir up the hornet's nest, as most everyone has their own opinion and desires in a tow vehicle.

I would suggest you find out the GVW of your trailer, and that should be on an aluminum plate on the front road side of the trailer, and then shop for a vehicle that will comfortably tow that much weight, and one that you want to drive.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:10 PM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

For an Airstream of that size, you could get by with just about any half to
pick-up, but if you really plan to travel with the Airstream, a 3/4 might be more appropriate.

You need to get a traveling weight and tongue weight of the Airstream, and then crunch some number on some trucks.

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Old 03-02-2015, 10:13 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard!! Where have you been?

Ok.. time to travel, eh? Do you have the weights of your AS(Airstream)? Expect about 10-15% of the weight to be on the 'tongue'.

You should consider an appropriate 'hitch' which does 3 things.
1- Keeps trailer connected to the TV (obvious, right?)
2- Keeps trailer from developing 'sway'
3- Properly achieves 'weight distribution' which will correctly load the 'tongue weight' onto your TV (tow vehicle)

On a 'side note', I like my TV to be the 'control' point of whatever I tow. A smaller, lighter TV 'may' tow your AS across the street, but what happens when you MUST have a TV that will control the 'tow load'? It is simple physics. This is why we have the 'heavy/strong' guys on the 'LINE' in a football team. The fast, light, nimble guys get to run...but when the physics comes to play, the big guy may squish the little guy...
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:13 AM   #6
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Buy a big block, 3/4 ton Suburban. They are easy to drive, you'll enjoy all the room for extra gear, good brakes, easy to get serviced, and they are hefty enough so the tail won't be wagging the dog. Very versatile vehicle.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:53 AM   #7
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Trailer Life has tow guides with all vehicle ratings in one easy publication.
Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine

for a 30' Excella, I +1 for the Suburban
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:35 AM   #8
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A 3/4 ton Suburban won't tow any better than any other 3/4 ton truck, but if you want a big SUV, they are great, except you can no longer buy a new one from any manufacturer, only 1/2 tons.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:50 AM   #9
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A 3/4 ton Suburban won't tow any better than any other 3/4 ton truck,
The advantage of the Burb is the one piece body structure compared to the two separate body parts on the pick ups is that it firms up the frame. The Burb will have less frame flex which is a good thing.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:06 AM   #10
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The advantage of the Burb is the one piece body structure compared to the two separate body parts on the pick ups is that it firms up the frame. The Burb will have less frame flex which is a good thing.
Modern truck frames are stiff enough that that is no longer an issue, and never was a significant issue.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:12 AM   #11
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Modern truck frames are stiff enough that that is no longer an issue, and never was a significant issue.
Yup. Especially the fully boxed frame ones.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:17 AM   #12
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Bee'

I found it: 1968 Chevrolet Suburban for sale | Hemmings Motor News
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:08 AM   #13
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My local dealer has a new 2014 toyota tundra on special right now. Regular cab 2WD 5.7L with the tow package. So far it is at the top of my list..
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:33 AM   #14
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The advantage of the Burb is the one piece body structure compared to the two separate body parts on the pick ups is that it firms up the frame. The Burb will have less frame flex which is a good thing.
Where is it written that flex in a tow vehicle is a bad thing?
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:20 AM   #15
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At a minimum, you want a 3/4 ton, 8600 lb GVW. That means 8 wheel lugs.

Compared to a half ton, they've got bigger brakes, heavier suspension, heavier frame, and a bigger differential. This is the "foundation" upon which a reliable tow vehicle is built. Half tons may look the same, but they don't work the same, especially under stressful towing conditions.

FYI - As an added bonus, a big block (454) Chevy comes equipped with a "full-floating" 10 inch (ring gear), one ton differential. If you're in the market to buy, it's important to know that.

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Old 03-03-2015, 11:33 AM   #16
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Buy a Tundra 5.7 2WD.


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Tundra gets my vote. Please see my avatar and signature.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:40 AM   #17
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We travel extensively- 20-something trips per year- 10,000 miles per year- in all terrain in the eastern United States with no issues.
People say I should get a 3/4 ton if I ever go to Colorado. I don't think I should purchase a vehicle based upon a trip to Colorado once a year. I think I can just pull the grades at 45 mph one week out of 52.
People are basing which tow vehicle on the ability to pull a grade in the Rockies at 70. I never go 70 anyway to save fuel and because my trailer still has ST tires which are not rated for over 65. I usually go 60, no matter what the speed limit. I have not yet found a hill I can't pull at 65 mph. People get alarmed if the engine revs. That's what it was designed to do- as long as you are not at the red line- I have never been at the red line-
The Tundra does not have an 8,600# GVW or 8-lug tires.
The guy that said that is casting his vote for a GM 3/4 ton. The Duramax/Allison is a fine machine, but the Tundra still has a bigger back seat if that matters-
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeswaxowl View Post
Hello everyone.. I am new to the forum.. A few years ago I purchased a 30ft 1997 Excella Classic. I think it is fully loaded with all the wood trim. I haven't weighed it yet but I hope to. Up until now I have begged, borrowed and rented trucks for the little I had to move it around but now I am in the market for a tow vehicle It is tougher then I thought decided what to get.

Just wonder what some of you use..
I have a 1500 Silverado with a 5.3 engine and the high speed rear end. It works very well and gets good mileage. I had a Toyota Tundra and it was good, but the Chevy gets better mileage and is more comfortable and easier to work on. I went on 5000 mile trip to the Pacific NW and the Chevy did a great job. Yes I have a 30 ft. Classic.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:27 PM   #19
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I'm With CWF

I'm with Channing and the others that are voting for a 3/4 ton vehicle. I like CW's breakdown. My father always told me, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."

While I agree with that, and you could certainly accomplish the mission with a 1/2 ton, I like the other adage he used to tell me as I think it applies to this situation on a level playing field:
"Don't send a boy to do a mans job."

Don't overwork your equipment. You will pay for it in the long run. Like CW says...there is no arguing the physics of the equation. If you argue with math, you WILL LOSE.

Good luck in your decision making progress, and please send a pic of when ya first hook her up.
Sea ya down the road,
Gavin
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:41 PM   #20
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I got my current 1976 31' sovereign in 2000. I had a 1998 Suburban 1500 and used that as a TV. But I told myself next year I am getting a new Suburban 2500. Well it's now 2015 and I still have the 1976 31' Sovereign and I have had 4 new Surburban's since then. Each time I traded up I looked at the 2500 but in the end stayed with the 1500. I have been coast to coast, north and south, good highways bad highways, long Texas roads and crowed city freeways. Never saw a real need to go up to the 2500. As a daily driver and a TV the Chevy Suburban 1500 with tow package fits my needs. I think I will keep my current 2012 for a few more years. Good luck
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