Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-17-2007, 09:01 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
blueiwahine's Avatar
2009 27' FB International
Silsbee , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 59
Images: 10
Need Advice...Hope to soon be Airstream Owner

Ok here it goes...New to the site...Hubby & I have gained interest in one day obtaining an Airstream...looking at 16-20 ft trailers ...we have 2007 Toyota FJ cruisers (6 cyl.) that would be used as the tow vehicle...really like these vehicles... so do not want to trade for different type of tow vehicle...tow capacity on it is 5000 what would be the biggest trailer, that we could safely tow with them. Of course we are taking in consideration price, amt of use, there is only the two of us and our interested in what would be the best all around purchase for our size of tow vehicle...have read so many articles my head is spinning....we would be first time RV buyers...any advice would be greatly appreciated...
blueiwahine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 09:31 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Melody Ranch's Avatar
1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,971
Images: 78
Send a message via Skype™ to Melody Ranch
FJ Cruiser

Personally, I would go no larger than a Teardrop. Eventhough the weight of the 18 ft. +/- Airstream is within your limit...remember that you will have a longer and much larger side profile "sail" pushing you along. You could be in for the ride......that first downhill run in with a crosswind or passing truck will convince you.
Its only an opinion.
Melody Ranch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 11:54 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
Owings Mills , Maryland
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 58
Images: 8
My tow vehicle is a 2004 4x4 Ford Ranger (6 cyl) with a tow rating of 5000 lbs. I have a 18 ft '61 Caravel. I use a weight distribution hitch with sway control that came with the trailer. I haven't had any problems. I used to live in Colorado at 9000 ft and towed from CO to MD when I moved. The sway control makes a huge difference. I wouldn't want to be on the interstate without it. I think 18 ft would be OK, but I don't know if I would go longer.

Kaye and Lynn
1961 Caravel
kayelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 12:29 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Tarheel's Avatar
2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,010
Images: 21
Go to the airstream website and look at what they have and the weights of each and make an intelligent decision. Make certain you do not exceed the towing capacity of your truck.
Keep the shiny side up.
WBCCI # 348
Past Region 3 President
Past President Tidewater Unit 111
Rick Bell in "Silverbell"
Tarheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 12:41 PM   #5
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hi blue and welcome to the forums...

4 threads to get ya started...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 01:38 PM   #6
Rivet Master
urbanfood's Avatar
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Venice , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 672
2air covered the bases with the links.

the only thing i would add is make sure you understand that the newer trailers are a lot heavier that the older ones.

*by asking the above question,
i verify that i have already used
the search feature to the best of my ability...
urbanfood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 01:53 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Foiled Again's Avatar
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,763

Read all of the links 2Air gave you. He's pointed you to the right stuff. As others have pointed out, vintage units are lighter than new ones.

The best advice I can offer after two years of fulltiming is that you don't just have to TOW your Airstream you have to STOP it. Downhill any trailer will tend to "push" the tow vehicle... and in a panic stop (deer runs in front of you, idiot cuts you off, etc.) you'll have to jam on the brakes and/or swerve... and pray. Your tow vehicle's size and wheelbase have a lot to do with your overall stability especially in tricky situations.

By all means try it out, you can always move up to a more robust tow vehicle, and a lighter duty one will work OK at least for a while, if you are careful about your speed, tire pressures, loads and choice of roads.

You'll also likely have your Airstrea for 20 years or more, so you WILL change tow vehicles eventually.

Have a great time looking, go to dealers and sit in the dinettes, lay on the beds and take a dry run in the bathrooms! You'll want to see a lot of Airstreams before you actually pull the trigger! Also check the "Rally" section below. Everyone at an Airstream Rally wants to show off their rig - they'll REALLY help you pick the right one!

Paula Ford
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 05:46 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Tarheel's Avatar
2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,010
Images: 21
Just got my new TrailerLife today and it shows a 23' safari being towed in the snow with a toyota. Its an interesting article, but he doesn't mention if he carried on board water. It would be nice to know how it worked in the low teens.
Keep the shiny side up.
WBCCI # 348
Past Region 3 President
Past President Tidewater Unit 111
Rick Bell in "Silverbell"
Tarheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
Rivet Master
TBRich's Avatar

2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,624
Images: 64
Welcome to the're in the right place to find the information you will need as you search for the perfect Airstream for yourselves... And there are many many threads and lots of input about tow vehicles, etc... (lots). I know with a FJ Cruiser you are going to want to go small and light... As others have pointed out, the older Airstreams are lighter than the newer ones, so that's a consideration... A good towing situation is critical to getting the most enjoyment and safety out of your make an informed decision...

You might want to check in with forum member CCD4US in a PM (personal message)...he tows a 16' CCD with an FJ Curiser and is happy with the combination... I'm sure he will be happy to share his ecperience with you...

Good luck, and hope you find your Airstream soon!
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair & PastPrez, 4CU/WBCCI
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2007, 12:55 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
pilgrim's Avatar
2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 346
You've gotten some very good information in the above posts. Keep in mind, the old you go, often the lighter the trailer. Get back into the vintage AS's and you'll find them much easier on your TV. Always keep in mind the total weight (trailer + TV), tongue weight, and all the other combinations you can think of. It will make you dizzy trying to remember all of them - check out the threads on weights and learn one of them each day - then, all of a sudden, you've got them. They are worth knowing.
pilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2007, 02:32 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
2005 19' Safari
Duluth , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 102
Greetings from the frozen tundra of Northern Minnesota, and welcome to the forum. I do not have the time to read all of the posts but found your inquiry of great interest! We have a 19' safari (2005) and absolutely love it. The points raised about the "limits" of safe towing are of value... BUT... do keep in mind that the tow vehicle can be either a blessing or a curse regardless of your unit! The TV size & weight considerations lack a common snese approach. While I largely agree with them, the single biggest factor in your ability to tow successfully has more to do with your patience than anything else...

While I drive a large truck, the truth is, that if you can settle for slowing down on long upgrades, then you can tow with some confidence without investing a fortune, or suffering the pain of poor milage for the balance of the year when you are not towing your rig.

Our 19 footer is a joy to camp with and if I had to do it over again, I'd buy it all over again wihtout a hint of apprehension. Don't tow more trailer than you are rated for, but don't hesitate to pull close to your limit either. Just remember... If your on the outside edge of the TV rating... You have to exercise patience or you'll be miserable out on the open road.

Best of luck as you consider your options!!!

Again, welcome to the forum... This is the only place on earth where the strong opinions exceed the number of participants! Everyone is very passionate about their rigs and how to move them!

:-) Bill
skykingpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2007, 02:56 PM   #12
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
Minnie's Mate's Avatar
2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
The generally accepted rule of thumb here is 80-90% of tow vehicle capacity is the maximum you should consider. So whatever trailer length you choose, choose one that weighs no more than 4,000-4,500 lbs. The closer you get to the 4,500 lbs, the smaller your margin for error gets. Bear in mind that the contents of the trailer counts toward that figure. You'll definitely need sway control and a weight distribution hitch. Good luck with your search.
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
Family of Disney Fanatics
WBCCI# 4821
Minnie's Mate is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motorhome owner wannabe needs advice sailhighc Member Introductions 3 09-02-2006 05:36 PM
Owner soon I hope Airhead360 Member Introductions 3 07-08-2006 04:17 PM
Need Hitch Advice for New Owner khollister Hitches, Couplers & Balls 18 04-20-2005 02:13 PM
questions from hope to be owner moisheh Airstream Motorhome Forums 2 03-26-2004 05:48 PM
Bob Hope... canny_banjo_man Off Topic Forum 10 07-30-2003 01:43 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.