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Old 02-09-2023, 10:13 AM   #1
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Any Sprinter Configs that work for a 27' International Serenity

we currently tow with a Ram 2500 and it is fantastic towing machine, but the kids are getting bigger and I'd love to move them to the a Sprinter for sleep so we could use the Airstream for just parents bed and meals/relaxing. Any options for Sprinters or are they all too weak?? thanks in advance
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Old 02-09-2023, 11:32 AM   #2
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we currently tow with a Ram 2500 and it is fantastic towing machine, but the kids are getting bigger and I'd love to move them to the a Sprinter for sleep so we could use the Airstream for just parents bed and meals/relaxing. Any options for Sprinters or are they all too weak?? thanks in advance
If you buy used you can still get the 3.0 V-6 but new the only diesel available in the US will be the 2.0, which claims better power and torque than the 3.0. However, not knowing your trailer's weight and a quick Google shows around 5,700 lbs. it may not be doable as the passenger vans can only tow 5,000 lbs. Also, if you are used to towing with a Ram (you didn't say gas or diesel) you will definitely need to lower your expectations on the hills plus the Sprinters do not offer an exhaust brake. The bright side is the MPG which is phenomenal.
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Old 02-09-2023, 03:16 PM   #3
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Are you thinking a Sprinter camper (Interstate) or a passenger van with a mattress?

From what I read the Interstates barely have any payload left, so can't handle more then a couple hundred pounds of tongue weight, not enough for a 27' Airstream (well maybe with only the driver you could do it, might need to remove some furniture).
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Old 02-14-2023, 05:14 AM   #4
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I have one of these, in a motorhome configuration. Not enough power to tow a trailer of any significant size unless you like slowing down to 30 on grades
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Old 04-10-2024, 07:13 PM   #5
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So... I have a pretty much stock 2.1L diesel 144" passenger, with 2nd and 3rd benches removed (good 200lbs each?)... The spec says "5000lb max with 500lb tongue weight".

A couple of questions, if you don't mind:
1. If I understand correctly, the allowed tongue weight is more about overall capacity that is left? So, is it true that if I remove rear benches that would increase allowable tongue weight, or is that also constrained by the construction of hitch/frame of the vehicle?
2. What could I realistically tow with weight equalizing hitch? Looking for something for 4 people on a long vacation, nothing fancy.

Thx!
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Old 04-11-2024, 06:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by V.R View Post
So... I have a pretty much stock 2.1L diesel 144" passenger, with 2nd and 3rd benches removed (good 200lbs each?)... The spec says "5000lb max with 500lb tongue weight".

A couple of questions, if you don't mind:
1. If I understand correctly, the allowed tongue weight is more about overall capacity that is left? So, is it true that if I remove rear benches that would increase allowable tongue weight, or is that also constrained by the construction of hitch/frame of the vehicle?
2. What could I realistically tow with weight equalizing hitch? Looking for something for 4 people on a long vacation, nothing fancy.

Thx!

1) No, removing bench seats doesn’t increase your tongue load rating. It will, however, yield additional usable payload.

2) Using a weight distribution hitch will not increase your tongue or tow ratings. However, using WD is often required to achieve the max ratings.

As far as what you can tow from the current Airstream line-up, only the single-axle Bambi 16 and Bambi 22 are matches to your tow vehicle. The twin-axle 23 would work when empty, but once you loaded it up you’d be over the rating.
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Old 04-11-2024, 07:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kjbrown1 View Post
we currently tow with a Ram 2500 and it is fantastic towing machine, but the kids are getting bigger and I'd love to move them to the a Sprinter for sleep so we could use the Airstream for just parents bed and meals/relaxing. Any options for Sprinters or are they all too weak?? thanks in advance


Put the children in a tent where they belong. Much cheaper, and just as quiet.
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Old 04-11-2024, 08:38 AM   #8
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I agree with the tent, albeit a hassle sometimes when raining out, to set up/tear down especially. I have seen/talked with a few folks who tow larger AS's with 3/4T vans, like the Nissan, GMC Savana, or Ford Econoline, who have done inexpensive conversions for their needs. I had 3 different "converted" vans years back, for camping plus carrying my Yamaha and other gear. Not expensive to do nice conversion to a van, adding insulation and paneling, plus bed platform with storage, a porta potty, and electric cooler/refer. Or, just a blow up mattress for the kids can work on the van floor. There are some commercial conversions also that can work, but expensive.

Here is but one site on this topic. https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/best-vans-for-towing/
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Old 04-11-2024, 08:56 AM   #9
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I thought Sprinter vans had a rear dual axle option that increased there towing capacity by quite a bit. Maybe still not enough for an 28 footer.
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Old 04-11-2024, 11:09 AM   #10
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1) No, removing bench seats doesn’t increase your tongue load rating. It will, however, yield additional usable payload.

2) Using a weight distribution hitch will not increase your tongue or tow ratings. However, using WD is often required to achieve the max ratings.

As far as what you can tow from the current Airstream line-up, only the single-axle Bambi 16 and Bambi 22 are matches to your tow vehicle. The twin-axle 23 would work when empty, but once you loaded it up you’d be over the rating.
Thank you! Here is my sticker numbers:
- GVWR 9050lb
- GCWR 13930lb
- GAWR Front 4100lb
- GAWR Rear 5360lb
I have a CAT scale nearby, will get actual readings next time I'm passing by...

If I'm correct, that leaves me with 4880lb of maximum loaded trailer weight and 500lb max tongue weight due to frame limitations.

I checked some specs at window stickers:
- Bambi 16 is 3500 GVWR and 450lb TW... leaves me 450lb for "stuff" and 50lb for WD hitch?
- Basecamp 16 is 3500 GVWR with 410lb TW. A contender.
- Bambi 22 is 5000 GVWR and 525lb TW... I am already over for TW... no bueno.
- Flying Cloud 23FBT is 5000 unloaded with 500lb TW... Its above 4880lb I have for trailer according to my sticker.
- Basecamp 20 is 4300 GVWR with 500lb TW... theoretically could fit without WD hitch. Not a fan.

In case of Bambi 16ft, do I really have those 50lb of TW to spare or will those 450lb of "stuff" also increase my TW?

Am I correct with my estimations? If so, that only leaves me with either Bambi 16 or Basecamp 16. Correct?

Well, our main goal is to have a normal bed, toilet and kitchen for 2 adults and 2 girls while we're on a road trip. I like Basecamp's kitchen better, but it only have space for 2 adults, realistically. We could squeeze 2 kids on dinette in Bambi, I think... or furnish a lightweight bunk above it. Would appreciate your thoughts on that.
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Old 04-11-2024, 11:26 AM   #11
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I thought Sprinter vans had a rear dual axle option that increased there towing capacity by quite a bit. Maybe still not enough for an 28 footer.
I have a regular 2500 passenger van. So, 5000/500lb limits.
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Old 04-11-2024, 11:41 AM   #12
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Put the children in a tent where they belong. Much cheaper, and just as quiet.
Doesn't always work. We need some space for everyone while we travel from NE to mid-west. We have space for 4 people in the van, but it really cramped and we do not have a normal toilet for the night, which makes it difficult with 3 girls :/
Also, in some parks the temperature drops to 37F... its rather likely they will move YOU to the tent for the night ))
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Old 04-11-2024, 12:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V.R View Post
Thank you! Here is my sticker numbers:
- GVWR 9050lb
- GCWR 13930lb
- GAWR Front 4100lb
- GAWR Rear 5360lb
I have a CAT scale nearby, will get actual readings next time I'm passing by...

If I'm correct, that leaves me with 4880lb of maximum loaded trailer weight and 500lb max tongue weight due to frame limitations.

I checked some specs at window stickers:
- Bambi 16 is 3500 GVWR and 450lb TW... leaves me 450lb for "stuff" and 50lb for WD hitch?
- Basecamp 16 is 3500 GVWR with 410lb TW. A contender.
- Bambi 22 is 5000 GVWR and 525lb TW... I am already over for TW... no bueno.
- Flying Cloud 23FBT is 5000 unloaded with 500lb TW... Its above 4880lb I have for trailer according to my sticker.
- Basecamp 20 is 4300 GVWR with 500lb TW... theoretically could fit without WD hitch. Not a fan.

In case of Bambi 16ft, do I really have those 50lb of TW to spare or will those 450lb of "stuff" also increase my TW?

Am I correct with my estimations? If so, that only leaves me with either Bambi 16 or Basecamp 16. Correct?

Well, our main goal is to have a normal bed, toilet and kitchen for 2 adults and 2 girls while we're on a road trip. I like Basecamp's kitchen better, but it only have space for 2 adults, realistically. We could squeeze 2 kids on dinette in Bambi, I think... or furnish a lightweight bunk above it. Would appreciate your thoughts on that.
Sorry, I forgot to mention the Basecamp options.

The problem with any of these is that none of the smaller/lighter Airstreams sleeps four very well. Unless your daughters are quite young/small and can double up.

If your primary objective is toileting/cooking, with sleeping accommodations secondary, you might also ad the Nest to your search. (This model has been discontinued and is only available used at this point.) The Nest was available in the roughly 2010-2020 era. It had several different dinette/bed arrangements, so study the various layouts carefully.

Likewise, earlier versions of the 22’ were narrower and lighter. So if you can find a used version from roughly 2015-2019, it should be within the spec for your tow vehicle.

If you had a bit more tongue weight available, the 19’ Flying Cloud from the roughly 2015-2019 era had a bunk bed option that offered more flexibility in sleeping arrangements. Trailer weight is within spec, but tongue weight is 550 lbs. Unfortunately there are not a lot of them with the BB option, but there are usually a couple on the market at any given time.
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Old 04-11-2024, 01:28 PM   #14
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Sorry, I forgot to mention the Basecamp options.

The problem with any of these is that none of the smaller/lighter Airstreams sleeps four very well. Unless your daughters are quite young/small and can double up.

If your primary objective is toileting/cooking, with sleeping accommodations secondary, you might also ad the Nest to your search. (This model has been discontinued and is only available used at this point.) The Nest was available in the roughly 2010-2020 era. It had several different dinette/bed arrangements, so study the various layouts carefully.

Likewise, earlier versions of the 22’ were narrower and lighter. So if you can find a used version from roughly 2015-2019, it should be within the spec for your tow vehicle.

If you had a bit more tongue weight available, the 19’ Flying Cloud from the roughly 2015-2019 era had a bunk bed option that offered more flexibility in sleeping arrangements. Trailer weight is within spec, but tongue weight is 550 lbs. Unfortunately there are not a lot of them with the BB option, but there are usually a couple on the market at any given time.
I understand those are compromise. That said, I believe out of modern Bambi's, 16 offer the largest dinette... and second largest bed size after 22ft one.

Yes, the plan is to survive till they're 13, because after that they're unlikely to spend any time with us anyway ) We can sleep 2 in a van comfortably. If we can sleep 2 in a trailer and also have a bath and kitchen, that's a win, I think. Plus 16'th can be towed with any good SUV, so we can share it with friends if needed...
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Old 04-12-2024, 10:22 AM   #15
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I understand those are compromise. That said, I believe out of modern Bambi's, 16 offer the largest dinette... and second largest bed size after 22ft one.

Yes, the plan is to survive till they're 13, because after that they're unlikely to spend any time with us anyway ) We can sleep 2 in a van comfortably. If we can sleep 2 in a trailer and also have a bath and kitchen, that's a win, I think. Plus 16'th can be towed with any good SUV, so we can share it with friends if needed...
If your "set" on owning an AS, and do not want to get a different/larger TV, than your surely limited on size of the TT. Many folks here make the smaller Bambi series work for their family's and are happy; albeit, a 16' is really tight even for 2, IMHO. Really depends on your camping/traveling needs; few times a year or once a month, and how far you travel. Even an SOB can work for many folks without braking the bank for a few years. What ever you decide, if an AS, suggest you purchase used...AS's can/do keep their value, and if you decide it is not the right size, your not using enough, or what ever and want to sell, likely not going to loose money vs purchasing new. You might even consder a popup...we used it with family of 6 for several years with 6 bikes on top. Provided great fun and functionality without braking the bank.
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Old 04-12-2024, 03:43 PM   #16
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I understand those are compromise. That said, I believe out of modern Bambi's, 16 offer the largest dinette... and second largest bed size after 22ft one.

Yes, the plan is to survive till they're 13, because after that they're unlikely to spend any time with us anyway ) We can sleep 2 in a van comfortably. If we can sleep 2 in a trailer and also have a bath and kitchen, that's a win, I think. Plus 16'th can be towed with any good SUV, so we can share it with friends if needed...
If a trailer under 20 feet would work some of the smaller rounded fiberglass trailers are worth looking at to, such as Oliver and Casita.
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