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Old 03-26-2006, 10:18 AM   #1
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Bambi towed by 02 Erovan?

Hello

Am going to purchase a 16' Bambi...ready for some fun in life.
Can I tow with my beloved 2002 Erovan...Airstream says yes...any
thoughts?
Thank you for you input!

julie
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jane
Hello

Am going to purchase a 16' Bambi...ready for some fun in life.
Can I tow with my beloved 2002 Erovan...Airstream says yes...any
thoughts?
Thank you for you input!

julie
Julie,

One of our forum members ( crazylev) tows with a Eurovan, I believe he tows a 19ft CCD Bambi. Apparently it works well for him. He lives near Chicago, i believe.
I don't think that it is an Ideal tow vehicle for the long run, but it will definitely get you around with the 16ft Bambi in tow.
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:41 AM   #3
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Julie-

We live in So. Cal and thought because we are just into the local camping thing that we could pull our 19' Bambi with my beloved 1987 FJ 60 Toyota Land Cruiser. In spite of all the modifications that I had made to the object of my obsession (past tense,) I found that tow package to be a little stressful. Grades, my speed was limited to 35 mph. Every where else we could run at 55 mph, no problem. Even though the weight of our Bambi is only 3500lbs we picked up a 1/2 ton Suburban and it is very reassuring when towing, and we still don't go faster than 55 mph. But, we can tow up grades, mostly the mounains of So. Cal., comfortably.

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Old 03-26-2006, 10:41 AM   #4
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Erovan

Thank you UWE
Helpful. I love my Erovan...would like to keep.
Need to figure out how to change my profile...I do not own a 25 fter...
julie
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geosouth
Julie-

We live in So. Cal and thought because we are just into the local camping thing that we could pull our 19' Bambi with my beloved 1987 FJ 60 Toyota Land Cruiser. In spite of all the modifications that I had made to the object of my obsession (past tense,) I found that tow package to be a little stressful. Grades, my speed was limited to 35 mph. Every where else we could run at 55 mph, no problem. Even though the weight of our Bambi is only 3500lbs we picked up a 1/2 ton Suburban and it is very reassuring when towing, and we still don't go faster than 55 mph. But, we can tow up grades, mostly the mounains of So. Cal., comfortably.

George
Thank you George. Good to know...
julie
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jane
Thank you UWE
Helpful. I love my Erovan...would like to keep.
Need to figure out how to change my profile...I do not own a 25 fter...
julie
Go to user CP and peruse the option on the left side. You will find a place in your profile to select the right trailer on a scrolling list.
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Go to user CP and peruse the option on the left side. You will find a place in your profile to select the right trailer on a scrolling list.
Thank you
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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We tow with our beloved Badonkadonk.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...=UTF8&v=glance
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:11 AM   #9
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Airstream sold me a hat with a bicycle pulling a Bambi but I would not try it. What does Volkswagen say?
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Old 03-27-2006, 01:13 PM   #10
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Exclamation Pushing the Limit

Hi Jane. Just checked the towing capacity of the Eurovan, 4400 lbs. While I'm not certain of the dry weight of the Bambi I would imagine that once it's loaded you will be very close to limit.
I did meet a Eurovan Camper owner at a rally, could have been crazylev, and asked him how it went. Said it wasn't bad and was able to maintain 45 mph on the hills. Not bad but this rally was in Illinois and our towering mountains here are meer knolls in Califoria.
You didn't mention if the van is an automatic or manual. Having worked on VWs for 30+ years I can tell you that the automatic trans. used in that vehicle is not the most robust. While it will pull the van around for a 100k without too much trouble I think that once you start getting it good and toasty the clutches will break down in a hurry. Adapting an additional trans cooler will be a major undertaking if at all possible.
Just my opinion but I think you could be asking for trouble.
Good Luck, Tom.
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Old 03-27-2006, 01:20 PM   #11
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It's true that CrazyLev tows a 19' CCD with a Eurovan. He also is looking to get better tow vehicle, even though the Eurovan can move the 19', I think he saw the limitations.

If you are thinking about a 16', and if what Tom said is true about the tow rating, I too would think that you'd be pushing it with a Eurovan. I seem to recall that the 16' units weight about 3500lbs. Add passengers, fuel and gear and yer pretty close to maxing it out. A lot of us like to go no further than 80% of the listed tow rating. I think you'd have surpassed that percentage and most folks level of comfort (including mine).
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Old 03-27-2006, 02:56 PM   #12
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Jane.

I just saw this thread. My wife and I were actually out with our 19' and the Euro last week. We made a week-long trip to Mammoth Cave, KY from Chicago. This was by far the most hilly and winding road trip trip I have done with the Euro and the AS. Both performed like champs!!! I am begining to wonder if my Euro is better than all the vehicles in the whole world!!!

I've posted this before:

Everything you read here and probably elsewhere about towing with the EV will state that EV is not the best tow vehicle for an AS. It's been written alot that bigger is better: more HP, torque, wheelbase, transmision cooler, etc. The wheelbase isn't terrible on the EV. 115"

You must have a weight distribution hitch with sway control and a good brake controller for the AS. For the hitch we use an Equilizer and the controller is a Tekonsha Prodigy.

The EV is rated to pull 4500#. The dry weight of our 19' is around 3900#

Our reason for using the EV to tow for now is economic, just can't afford the Yukon, Toureg, whatever, right now. We bought the AS AFTER we had been camping in the EV. Eventually, we will get a beefier tow vehicle.

Given this, I have to say that I am so far impressed with the towing abilites of our Euro, but there are special considerations when using this set up.

1) We still pack VERY light. We do not carry water in any of the holding tanks. Just the stuff we need for our trip and nothing more. We don't carry much firewood. Maybe a few logs for a night or two and plan to buy that when at camp site. So it's basically our food (beer) small bag of clothes, ipod, guitar, books (paperback), art supplies. A few gallons of drinking water. Two pair of underwear. That's pretty much it. If we think there might be decent biking, we will throw our Dahon folding bikes in the van, addding about 55#.

1a) Take out anything from the van that you are not using. If you have the weekender like us, I took both rear facing seats, and the stupid cooler box out. Those alone must weight 125#!!! I also removed the shelf in the back, about 30#, the upper bunk bed has another "shelf" that you could take out buying you another 50#. And if you want to get real anal, I suppose you could remove the rear bench seat which weighs about 200#. We left ours in. Another way to cut down on some weight, is to not fill up the gas tank any more than a little over half way. The EV has a 20 gallon tank! If I had to guess how much cargo including human weight I'd say we carry around 700 pounds plus 15 gallons of gas in van. Maybe one of the weight geniuses can help me figure how badly over loaded I am.

2) Zero to Sixty in three miles!!!! I mean it. I really try to go easy on acceleration heading onto any express way. The world will zip right past you, but baby that Euro. And I never go over 60-63MPH. I stay in the right lane when possible. When I see that a light or stop sign is ahead, I sort of coast to that, trying to spare the wear and tear on the breaks. Never tow in overdrive (D). We stay in 3. I know I must be nuts, but I also fill up with Premium gas (93).

3) Your EV is so new I would not install a trans cooler on it. It will void the warrenty on the van. An oil and filter change every 3000 miles would be reccomended, depending on you towing usage. I also intend to change the transmission fluid at 40,000 miles, flush radiator, maybe new shocks, and rear brakes.

4) Always check your tires for proper presure and wear.

5) We would not consider this set up to go through the Rocky Mountains. Or any mountains. In fact just driving the van through the west one summer by itself was a strain. You live in CA, so the terrain must be taken in to consideration. If money was an issue and we were planning on a trip out west for any lenghth of time, I might consider even renting a giant SUV, and set it up to tow for a vacation. Cheaper than buying a new GMC.

6) Keep an eye out for weather. I would not want to be driving when it is raining to much or definately when it is sleeting or snowing. We dodged two bullets this past week. I wouldn't want to do this even if we had a Yukon, Tahoe or Suburban.

Keep an eye on the radiator fluid level. We did not have any problems on our trip to Kentucky, but it was also real cold out (can you say fricken' cold), so that may have helped out.

You are also towing a 16', so that sheds some additional weight too.

There is stuff I probably forgot, but if you have any more ???, I'd love to help a fellow EV'er. Or you can PM me. There's not alot of us out there, and even less towing anything as significant as a Airstream.

You can do it, just be very carefull.

Best.

Jonathan
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:12 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Flashback

Oh Oh. One of the old synapses fired and I realized my fate was set 30 years ago when I was pulling streamlined aluminum with a VW.
OK. It was 17 foot aluminum canoe, on a small boat trailer, crammed full of camping gear pulled by a VW Camper Bus (Type 2). 60 HP and a top speed of 70, but, we made it up to the U.P. and down to Florida.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:34 PM   #14
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2002 Eurovan/16'bambi

Jonathan

Wow! just checked the forum. Thank you for your helpful and very funny suggestions. Who needs to go camping with you around .

Based on all the inlightning input especially yours...I need to make some hard
decisions with regard to the EV. I am a very cautious driver (I will be the driver) and would not feel comfortable pulling the AS with my precious cargo (dogs) as passengers with this info...I LOVE this vehicle. Brings me so much joy just looking at it...but I want to get going in the serious fun department. If not now... then when? is my motto.

I can not imagine myself in a huge SUV on a daily basis.
Maybe a pick-up. Tundra maybe?
Will start researching and playing the lottery

Thank you again for your help...
What a great group of people
jane
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:10 PM   #15
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Revisit..

I ended up as the "chosen one" to bring some friends to LAX this morning in a very late model ( last US production year) Eurovan with barely 30k on the Odometer. I am now convinced that this is a very marginal tow vehicle at best, especially with the automatic. It is a low torque/high rpm engine, that seems taxed just moving the van itself at any brisk pace, let alone a trailer of the size of a Bambi.
I am not sure if California emissions have anything to do with it, but this one is definitely underpowered.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:31 AM   #16
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Again, this is not for everyone. And given the choice, a bigger vehicle would be preferable.

BTW- We just got back from 10 days and 1200 miles from Chicago to Porcupine Mt. SP in beautiful UP of Michigan. The Euro towed like a champ, but we took it real easy....

When the time comes, it's gonna be hard to part from this vehicle. maybe if I win the lottery or something, I can moth-ball it and give it an occasional waxxing and kiss.

Jonathan
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:44 AM   #17
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One thing on the 16' Bambi - the 3500# quoted in this thread is the loaded weight, not the dry weight.

With all of our stuff and full tank of H2O, we weigh in at just about 3450. Our max tow weight with our Honda Ridgeline is 5000, not that much higher than yours, Jane. We successfully towed in the Rockies, even up to 9000 feet, with this combo.

So, while those who say your van is not the ideal tow vehicle are undoubtedly correct, the combination isn't IMO as bad as you may think, and may in fact be acceptable depending on just how much towing you plan to do, where you plan to do it, and at what speeds.

Many of us who have to use our TV's as daily transportation are forced to forgo the "ideal" part of "ideal TV."

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Old 06-19-2006, 06:39 PM   #18
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I now tow with a 1998 2500 Chevrolet 454 4.10 with factory tow package so I do not have to be defensive about tow vehicles. The best and most enjoyable trip we have ever made was a 6000 mile tour of Western states with 4 cyl. 1997 Nissan Frontier towing 17 foot SOB travel trailer. The Frontiers GCWR was 7000 lbs. and we weighed 7100 lbs. fully loaded and on the road. We traveled mostly secondary mountain roads crossed continental divide numerous times, survived Marathon and many other passes and had a great time. On the scenic mountain roads the big rigs were nowhere to be found but drop down on the hectic Interstates and they were sometimes lined up like ants,
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:02 PM   #19
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A little Taureg Music?

Jane-

If you are still loyal to VW and economy, you might search threads here for Taureg owners who tow Bambi's with them.. You might get away with V-6 version for that weight, and get good mileage. They are much smaller and easier to drive than a big American SUV...

John McG
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:04 PM   #20
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We just got back from a weekend trip north with our 19' Bambi and my "marginal" tow vehicle. All was perfect with a full load, the trailer towed at 65mph without a problem, even on the steep climbs.

The point missing with many of these discussions, mine (early in the year) inculded, is that opinions are given without first-hand knowledge or experience behind the wheel of the tow vehicle in question. We had ourselves starting to look at new tow vehicles after posting here. I gave my head a shake and decided to try it and see how it goes. It turns out that stress was competely unnecessary.

Opinions like Jonathan's, who has towed a bambi with his Eurovan, are valuable. Opinions by others are hypothetically valuable. There's a difference. I can see cautioning people based on the numbers in an effort to keep unsafe combos off the road. IMHO though, if someone has the humility to ask if they're ok, chances are they have plans on being cautious.

We wouldn't consider the expense of changing our vehicle now, as it tows my trailer as well as anything else could. A grain of salt must be kept handy for the recommendation that a hensley and a diesel would be "safest for your combo". If by the books you are within your limits, tow it, make sure you're comfortable. Then you know.

my 0.02 on the subject.
b.
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