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Old 01-03-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
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2008 31' Classic / 2008 Silverado 2500 4x4 duramax

Hello to all experienced Airstream owners! We are considering the above combination for two retirees taking several long trips yearly.

Several questions come to mind - one being long box vs. regular box. Longer wheelbase should pull better, but with a crew cab, total length is getting up there-any observations?

Also, what about a generator - has anyone installed a generator in the truck box - any suggestions about this possibility would also be appreciated.

This would be our first Airstream. We have pulled a Holiday Rambler.

Also, recommendations for best hitch for this set-up would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:18 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Your proposed combination will make a very nice towing rig for long and wonderful Airstream adventures.

The long box would make a better tow vehicle with its longer wheel base and would also provide more space to carry stuff, especially with a topper on it. The short box would be easier to deal with in parking lots when not pulling the Airstream. If this truck will spend most of its time towing, I would go with the long box. Just park out by the street in the Wal-Mart lot. I don't know about you, but I could stand the excercise.

Whichever choice you make, you'll have a great rig.

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Old 01-03-2008, 06:00 PM   #3
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Welcome! That looks like a nice combination for long trips.

The only reason I went with the long bed was to get the larger fuel tank.

I don't know if you can specify a larger fuel tank with Chevy, but I couldn't with Ford.

I was initially concerned about manuvering a long bed crew cab but it's not bad at all. And having the larger tank is well worth it.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:35 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums!
That looks like a great combo either way you spec it. It's all personal choice.
The generator will go fine in the truck but needs to be locked/secured or it will walk off. A shell covering it would be a good idea.
Nice to have you,
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:05 PM   #5
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Only one problem. The GMC truck ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddarr2
Several questions come to mind - one being long box vs. regular box. Longer wheelbase should pull better, but with a crew cab, total length is getting up there-any observations?
The longer the better. The room inside is nice however if you do a lot of travelling the room in the box is good for storage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddarr2
Also, what about a generator - has anyone installed a generator in the truck box - any suggestions about this possibility would also be appreciated.
I carry a single Honda eu2000i. That runs everything expect the air conditioner. A second one and a parelleling kit either home made or purchased will run everything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddarr2
Also, recommendations for best hitch for this set-up would be appreciated!
I use a Reese dual cam Weight Distributing/Anti Sway. Set up correctly it works fine.

Good luck, happy hunting.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
I carry a single Honda eu2000i. That runs everything expect the air conditioner. A second one and a parelleling kit either home made or purchased will run everything.
Again, this goes to personal preference. If you want to run A/C, you'll want 2 Honda EU2000's or one EU3000. The EU3000 weighs 145lb so weight is an issue. I have a ramp for loading into my pickup. Yamaha also has similar generators that are quiet.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:41 PM   #7
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Ddarr2: Looks like you will have a nice combination either way. I like the short box quad set-up and I'm able to get most of my stuff in it. But I don't take bikes. Evaluate what you want to take along and time on the road etc. I know someone that put a larger tank on their quad shortbox GMC (aftermarket).
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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Welcome! As you can see from prior posts, you really can't go wrong (personal choice). We pull our Classic 30' with a 05 Duramax crewcab short bed. For us, it handles well while towing and manuvers well around town unhooked. At work I have an extcab duramax. Its performance under many various and demanding conditions prompted me to buy one personally. Your on the right track, live and enjoy the AS lifstyle.
Good luck, Larry
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:10 PM   #9
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Tow Combinations

I think the Chevy is a good tower. Some consideration should be given to the engine.

A diesel will provide the power to pull a 31 ft AS comfortably, If you plan climbing any serious mountians the diesel will earn its keep. There is some serious cost for the diesel upgrade. I have a 2007 Dodge w/Cummins 6.7 ltr diesel 2500 Quad Cab, short bed, 4X4. I tow a 2002, 30 ft AS classic (8000 lbs curb weight, estimated loaded at 10,000 lbs). I had a 2003 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab, Shortbed, w/HEMI, 2X4, it worked hard pulling my Classic. My present diesel under the same conditions pulls with power to spare.

I would recommend the short bed with a shell. The short bed will make backing and handeling the AS much easier, better turning radius and more maneuverable. A shell will provide covered storage and locks on the tail gate and shell will secure your generator, tools and other important items.

Think about a hitch which will be very stable in a serious cross wind. I use a Hensley but many people are concerned about the cost. I have been in serious cross winds (gust over 40 mph) with no problem. Many 18 wheelers try to shake my rig with no affect.

Chevy makes a great truck. The Dura Max with the Allison transmission and 3.73 rear ratio will make a great tower and a good daily driver.

I use a Subaru 3400 wisper quiet generator
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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Congratulations ddarr2!.....for asking for opinions BEFORE buying your dream combo AS/TV. I wish we found this website before we jumped into Airstreaming....these guys and gals really know their stuff! Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:06 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Good choices

ddarr2,
I have 4 months new 2007 2500HD Duramax Ext. cab w/6.5 ' box.
It parks like a regular pickup or large SUV. I am in the process of rebuilding a 1991 34' Classic Limited that will weigh in , loaded, at about 9,000 lbs.

I have towed a friends 30' commercial trailer w/ a gross of over 12,000 lbs across Washington state 3 times now. About 750 miles each trip and over 2 passes each way. Around town I am getting 17.2 miles per gallon.
On the freeway running empty, 19.4 and getting better as it runs in.
On the road with the comm. trailer - 13.3 and the Dura is not run in yet.
Only 5700 miles so far.

I like the availability of the manual mode for the Allison trany. With it you can select the gear you want and then maintain a PRM that puts you at the power curve for more of the time when pulling steaper hills.

have fun .

Claude
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:12 AM   #12
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I'm running an 04 GMC DMax CCSB with a topper, Hensley hitch with an 07 27FBSE.

Great!

With the topper there's tons of storage, (I made a bed slide so easy access to gear in front of bed) and it's reasonably safe and secure. We travel with our five year old so lots of bikes, toys etc.

I'm also looking around at generators. Champion make a cheap one but have to hear one run. I still have plenty of back left so not too concerned with loading and unloading.

The Hensly is a great hitch. I think a lot of people are scared of it because they don't understand it plus the cost. well worth it I say. Better turning characteristics, stable tow and for me easier hookup.

Good choice with the DMax.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:12 AM   #13
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gonna be a very nice rig!
hi and welcome!
lots of great info here..

some things to consider...

no substitute for longer wheelbase to improve handling...
diesel engine option is $$$, but gives you more options, like this:
Real Power Integration
(instead of using a little eu2000i, and worrying about theft, gas, etc...)

don't mess 'round with hitches, save yourself a lot of hassle... just get the hensley... you're gonna drop +$70k for the classic, whats another $3k
(saying this with both reese friction sway and equalizer brand experience)

scale your rig early and often... like voting for the next prez election, i always say

sherline tongue scale is essential for proper loading...
LOADMASTER Scales

just my 2c
i'm sure you'll get lots more..
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:43 AM   #14
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Sounds like a great tt/tv combination.

You will be pleased with the Chevy HD with the Duramax. Make sure you order the integrated brake controller and the towing mirrors with your new truck. We have the short bed with the crew cab, the long bed won't fit in our garage and the extra foot of wheel base make parking more of a challenge. But the long bed does get you 8 more gallons of fuel capacity (26 vs 34).

Lots of nods for the Hensley here, I have had very good performance from my Equal-i-zer, but if you have the resources, the HA is probably a good investment.

We don't have a genset yet, though the Yamaha 2400 sounds like a nice unit, especially with the natural gas/propane kit from US Carbueration in West Virginia. It will run a 13500 AC, but if the 31 foot classic has a 15k unit, you will probably need a 3000 watt genset, both Honda and Yamaha have them. The Yamaha 2400 and the Honda 2000's can be run in parallel (2 hooked together) to get plenty of power to your trailer, plus they will be half the weight of most 3000 watt gensets.
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:21 PM   #15
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A lot of good comments to which I can only add - don't let the long bed and crew cab intimidate you unless you have a specific restriction to deal with - such as the "too short" garage already mentioned. Otherwise, you'll learn to love the stability of that long wheelbase! Note that my TV is the dually version of the long bed crew cab and, like most dually owners, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebee
I think the Chevy is a good tower. Some consideration should be given to the engine.

A diesel will provide the power to pull a 31 ft AS comfortably, If you plan climbing any serious mountians the diesel will earn its keep. There is some serious cost for the diesel upgrade. I have a 2007 Dodge w/Cummins 6.7 ltr diesel 2500 Quad Cab, short bed, 4X4. I tow a 2002, 30 ft AS classic (8000 lbs curb weight, estimated loaded at 10,000 lbs). I had a 2003 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab, Shortbed, w/HEMI, 2X4, it worked hard pulling my Classic. My present diesel under the same conditions pulls with power to spare.

I would recommend the short bed with a shell. The short bed will make backing and handeling the AS much easier, better turning radius and more maneuverable. A shell will provide covered storage and locks on the tail gate and shell will secure your generator, tools and other important items.

Think about a hitch which will be very stable in a serious cross wind. I use a Hensley but many people are concerned about the cost. I have been in serious cross winds (gust over 40 mph) with no problem. Many 18 wheelers try to shake my rig with no affect.

Chevy makes a great truck. The Dura Max with the Allison transmission and 3.73 rear ratio will make a great tower and a good daily driver.

I use a Subaru 3400 wisper quiet generator
How is that Subaru generator????
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIstream'n
How is that Subaru generator????
Could it be a Robin-Subaru?

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Old 02-20-2010, 01:45 PM   #18
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ddarr2,
Welcome to 31 ft club !!. Great advice so far. All depends on if you want to spend now or later down the road. Like FinalcutJoe suggested, get Hensley + backup cheap camera. As for Gen, I have Honda EU 6500 (250LB overkill) bolted to the TV bed (heavy & not easy for lazy thieves). Will advice you go with the EU 3000 so that it can fit under the bed cover but bolt it down or get a cheap Harley H/Duty chain down. Any of the Honda EU series are campground friendly (low 65 dB ). Long or Short bed depends on your needs like 80 gall tank that fits under the bed cover ( I dont like pulling into those small gas stations or forced to buy diessel when I don't feel like)), cooler, portable freezer for additional long trips. It's always better to keep the AS as light as possible, ( below it's total gross Wt as much as possible) . I hate flat tires - not good for the AS wheel well.
I spent upfront and no regrets - 2006 31Ft Classic + Hensley + Honda EU + F450 Harley with bacpup camera ( came standard on 2009s). Please post pictures when you take delivery, can't wait to celebrate with you.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:46 AM   #19
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another option for the generator is to romove the front tow hooks, bolt in 2" recievers in each hold than use 2" square stock and a couple of 2x6s cut to length and run the gen up front and give you total bed space. My old man did this on his f350 psd, we got tons of looks rolling down the vegas strip at night trying to get to the camp ground. A couple of people actually stopped in the crosswalk to look at the set up.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:14 PM   #20
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We are pulling our 2005 31" Classic with a 2005 Chevy HD2500 Duramaz and couldn't be more pleased. Rather than installing a topper, we went with a roll-up to give us more flexibility. We have a standard WD hitch with sway bar installed by our dealer and it works fine. Since we wanted to carry our bikes with us we had a welder build a bike rack support that attaches to the top two empty holes of our WD hitch. The bike rack is a standard Swagman hitch mount with the new extension so that it runs high enough to clear the Airstream. We can still open the rollup bed cover with the bike racks installed to remove gnerators, etc. while on the road. Attached is a photo of that installation.

We also have two Honda EU2000i generators that we run single for general power and dual when we need air conditioning. You will be very satisfied with the 31 foot layout. We often are on the road for 4-5 weeks at a time and the extra space comes in handy for long trips. We travel across the Smokey mountains on our way to South Carolina and we don't even feel a trailer behind us. We pass all truckers on steep inclines with no effort and average nearly 14 miles per gallon pulling our rig. You will really enjoy your new Airstream.
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