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Old 08-21-2021, 08:49 AM   #1
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Buy a Light Weight Tow Vehicle and then Upgrade?

Why is it necessary to Upgrade the Suspension of a light weight tow vehicle when a tougher more powerful tow vehicle is already Standard on the Dealer's Lot?

Yes... budget is tight so the 3/4 ton rides stiffer than a 1/2 ton. So... why stiffen up the 1/2 ton to ride like a 3/4 ton?

Many do not understand that the F250 with an added leaf spring that does not support the suspension UNTIL the trailer and tow vehicle are HEAVY. The leaf springs do nothing without the extra weight, or occupants. I believe the added cost is $200 from the F250 to F350. It is on the MSRP... it is in my F350 and not in front of me.

Sure a Turbo Six with ten speed will tow. My old bicycle with three speeds will haul a 95 pound child AND a 250 pounder with poor eyesight, wearing safety helmet, goggles, knee pads and elbow pads.

If it is a budget issue... get a smaller trailer. Not an expensive Airstream that is heavy.

Gold plated jewelry looks just like 10k, 14k and 20k gold jewelry. Looks just as good and a small percentage of to cost. (I do not wear jewelry or a watch, although I collected watches and have some nice stuff... but for investment.)

Buy an expensive Hitch to make a light weight tow vehicle tow LIKE an appropriate tow vehicle? Just like jewelry. One is for comfort and the other a Work Truck. Ranchers know the difference. Trailer owners... duhhhhh.

Tire inflation? Stiff ride? For what? ...the Airstream. Ride in one while it is moving. It is a TANK and if your vehicle rode like this... you would be very upset. That is what is popping rivets. Airstreams are riveted. Not all rivets are snug in the interior. The fit is not perfect in one or maybe none. Hand made. Lots of rivets to test on the road.

I did not buy my Airstreams to save money. They retain their value longer than boxes on axles. Some after ten years are junk. Airstreams... can be fixed, upgraded and used for decades. Rivet popping? Who cares. That is a cheap fix.

Poor choice of Tow Vehicle needing suspension... 'upgrades'? What....? Do it right the first time. Over kill? Do you carry a Credit Card? Over kill?

We met a new Airstream owner towing a 23 foot Safari 2005. Like new... and had the Marathon Tires (14 inch C Rated) and towing on the ball with a new 1/2 ton pickup. He blew out already two Marathons, under inflated as the Forum was advising Lower the Pressure or you will Damage your Airstream. He already dragged his rear bumper as the hitch on the ball was too high in front, leaving the rear bumper as a Dragger... He took advice OFF the AIR FORUMS.

He also had to replace the two Interstate batterie as the generator was not charging them. More advice on the Forum. I advised to get a Costco 100w solar panel for $99... (we were parked at a Costco).

Please be weary of advice. Mine as well. Statements like "I have towed for fifty years" means little. Maybe two weeks a year and 100 miles round trip.

Take advice from those who do their own work. Not novices who watch videos.

Anything you want to discuss? Lets get to it. It will be entertaining for all.
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Old 08-21-2021, 08:59 AM   #2
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These forums are less about solid factual advise than about personal opinions. This is especially true when discussing tow vehicles and hitches.
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:05 AM   #3
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Very true. Its kind of like science the facts are the facts, even if you don't like them.
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:17 AM   #4
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Like any advise, any subject. Consider the source !
3/4 - 1 Tons, Michelin’s, multi stage converters and if you can, lithium for example Ha !

One thing for sure, you’ll know much more later on.
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:49 AM   #5
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The responses you get will likely reflect the thread title. The words “light weight”come across as pejorative. A different perspective would be why buy an overweight tow vehicle? Same question, different perspective.

There was a recent thread which brought up traditional US sedans in the 80s, noting they were much larger and heavier. My German SUV was called lightweight and inappropriate here, not like the good old Caprice Classic. The presumption about weight and ability to tow was completely wrong. Perspective.

The Ecoboost engine is great for towing. It is available with 450 hp, or over 600 hp in other applications, but is described in the same paragraph with a bicycle. Perspective.

It is claimed that lightweight tow vehicles need expensive hitches compared to appropriate tow vehicles. Actually, they need the same WD hitch. Manufacturers typically call for WD on pickups. Perspective.
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Old 08-21-2021, 10:51 AM   #6
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A pejorative or slur is a word or grammatical form expressing a negative or a disrespectful connotation, a low opinion, or a lack of respect toward someone or something. It is also used to express criticism, hostility, or disregard. Sometimes, a term is regarded as pejorative in some social or ethnic groups but not in others, or may be originally pejorative but later adopt a non-pejorative sense in some or all contexts.

Some call it good advice. Some consider it pejorative.

You cannot fix poor decisions without giving firm advice from experience. Not from a dictionary needing definitions.

Some individuals need to feel good about their decisions. That is fine with me. I tend to be more conservative in my options. Get the best up front and let the other pretend that their choice(s) were better...

Geese fly in large groups, while Eagles tend to soar in pairs. Is one choice better than the other? I prefer to fly among the Eagles. My choice.
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Old 08-21-2021, 12:53 PM   #7
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Hi

All forums ( not just this one ) can become "echo chambers". If the advice being echoed is good / correct then that's great. Here, just like everyplace else, not all the things that are echoed are correct. That's just how the beast works. Sorting the good from the bad is part of using a forum for advice.

Your buddy at Costco could have just as easily sat down next to some guy named Bob at a campground and gotten a raft of bunk that way. That used to be the most common way to head down the wrong rabbit hole.

I do see Airstream and some of the dealers putting up more videos to answer basic questions. Many of them are the same topics covered in a walk through. Anybody who can remember more than half what was presented in those three hours must have a video of the process .

Some (both here and other places) suggest a WIKI is the way to "correct" this problem. The gotcha there is the WIKI simply becomes an image of the popular echo. It is no more or less accurate than this or that thread.

No real answer other than to cast your research net a bit wider than this or that individual thread or source.

The tow vehicle size issue occasionaly becomes an example of "I already bought this and it *must* work in the application". That's a bit different than an echo. It's more a person who has boxed in the situation so there is only one answer. Unfortunately that does not always make the answer correct. Since they are boxed in, the last thing they want to do is realize they made the wrong choice. Tons and tons of threads showing this.

Yes, you can hotrod just about anything, very few folks do that properly on a DIY basis. The discussion of this or that "silver bullet" is fine and worthwhile. Getting people to face up to and understand the number of fiddly details can be exciting. You see a lot of threads where people have gotten this or that part way right and found that this isn't far enough. One would *think* that a forum setup could do better in this regard.

So lots of twists and lots of turns ....

Bob
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Old 08-21-2021, 02:43 PM   #8
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Air Forums is no different than any other web forums when it comes to advice. You get what you pay for. I like to read all the opinions and advice, but I don't treat any of it as the gold standard. I try to listen to many viewpoints and make the best decision possible for me and for my situation. That's the only way to approach it. Something you read online isn't guaranteed to be good advice because some guy on the internet said it was good.
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Old 08-21-2021, 02:54 PM   #9
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I do my own work. Rebuilt my Willy’s L head when I was 17. I’ve bolted expensive things that go boom high performance jets. Take any advice I give about RVing at your own peril.
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Old 08-22-2021, 06:41 AM   #10
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I am relatively certain that EVERY decision I have made concerning tires, inflation, hitches, tow vehicles and trailer sizes has been wrong.

Until now.

Now I am certain they are right.

Until the next time...
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Old 08-22-2021, 07:28 AM   #11
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Hi

Even if you are sitting in a room of highly trained / highly experienced individuals who all very much "know their stuff" .... you will get a range of positions stated. Each will have it's footnotes and support data. None of them will be quite the same. Been there / done that *many* times ....

Unless you also are highly trained in the area and have a lot of experience, sorting out what's being said and the *why* behind each position is darn near impossible. Randomly picking one because the presenter "sounds good" ..... not a good way to make that decision ...

Bob
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:40 AM   #12
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Know what YOU WANT... and listen to other options, too

Quote:
Originally Posted by renderit View Post
I am relatively certain that EVERY decision I have made concerning tires, inflation, hitches, tow vehicles and trailer sizes has been wrong.

Until now.

Now I am certain they are right.

Until the next time...
*****
You're the man!

When my wife agrees with ME... I know I am on track! I let her do the 'dealing' and then my job is to whine, sing and dance. Then WE agree while the salesperson wants to seal the deal before we begin to fist fight in the lobby. (We put on a good show.)

When does a Car Salesman send you to another Brand of Tow Vehicle?
When does an Arctic Fox trailer salesman send you to an Airstream Dealer?
When... hitches, tires, floor mats, propane heaters, wheels, brakes...
When does a Goodyear dealer send you to a Michelin dealer?

Information is like Making Sausage, toss in the ingredients, grind it all up. pick out any hair you missed and force it all into a 'clean inverted intestine'... Yaaaa Hooo. Lean Elk, Beef Fat, added tastes... and grow a beard in three days after eating your first 8 ounce 'dog'.

I have been in business for myself since I was 9 years young. Take what you hear and give it consideration. Who, Why, How Long, When... you have to ask yourself these and other questions. Then 'grind them up'. Doesn't make sense... add the special additives in the drawer... called Common Sense.

Sixteen inch Michelin E rated tires are BAD, while 15 inch Goodyear E Rated tires are GOOD?

Hitches... Make it simple, if it works, find someone who uses one... and give it the Who, Why, How Long.... mental check list.

When does a Good Deal become a Sucker's Choice? More often than you think. Good deals usually go sour fast, when you are ignorant with a fat bank account.

We are all born ignorant. Some grow up and still ignorant and make the same mistakes, repeat them and still do not understand.

When I BUY... I am already SELLING it. Thus Airstream trailer... an excellent choice for all of you reading this. They will sell... price... that is location differences.

Half Ton vehicles are stacked up in used and new car lots... with few 3/4 and 1 tons. Different uses in the WEST. In Brooklyn... a pickup? Not really... Buy a 3/4 truck in the City and sell in the Country. Dealers get theirs no doubt from the Brand and have to take some vehicles, like it or not. Toyota Dealers often do not know what they are getting... found a Land Cruiser just off the Car Hauler in another State... drove to get it after finding NONE... paid more than sticker. Now the asking and take it or leave it price.

Bought the 2019 Airstream when the 2020's were piling up in the back lot and the dealership was pushing hard to sell the new... but year old 2019's. Timing was good and both of us were happppppy.

Smart buyers often know what they want BEFORE looking. I did not like the Airstream prices... but it is all timing your purchase. When you do not like the trailer... advertise it yourself and 'they will come'.

My favorite vehicles... 1956 VW and my 1964 VW, my first two automoibiles, paid by working at Sears Catalog in Kansas City at 16 / 17 $1.15 an hour in the warehouse auto parts orders. While going to High School...

I earned MY choices the hard way... I paid with my labor and being frugal. Also helps to be able to Buy and Sell to others who want something MORE than I do.
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:42 AM   #13
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Ha, Ha, Ha, every ones a clown - the problem is - can't remember guess it's my old brain.
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Old 08-22-2021, 10:09 AM   #14
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Small liteweight differential with heavy springs…makes sense
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Old 08-22-2021, 10:09 AM   #15
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Small liteweight differential with heavy springs…makes sense
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Old 08-22-2021, 10:14 AM   #16
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Oh yes... some on the Forum confuse PRICE of a Tow Vehicle as a better choice.

Higher price, a better tow vehicle? Ford Shelby Cobra F250 / F350 from Las Vegas? Ohhhh weeee, probably. Our F350 truck at that price, got the Airstream for an additional $1 and life time fuel.

A Mercedes. A Jaguar? A... VW Van? Price is for the paint job and nice seats. The VW is practical and you do not need a trailer if the top Pops!
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Old 08-22-2021, 10:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
Small liteweight differential with heavy springs…makes sense
*****
Repeating yourself to get the point across.

A HEAVY Tow Vehicle will give some... constipation.

I suspect that is why many choose the 1/2 ton pickup and SUV's. Having to stop at numerous Rest Areas Stops to... well... unpack the Elk sausage that has lingered for a couple days is tough.

2004 was a very bad year to buy autos and trailers. Just saying... drbrick agrees.
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Old 08-22-2021, 11:43 AM   #18
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tow vehicles

Anytime I read a Ray Eklund post, I say heck yeah! Listen up people.
Thanks Ray!
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Old 08-22-2021, 11:48 AM   #19
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51 years towing Streamlines, SilverStreaks, and Airstreams with AMC Ambassadors, Travelals, Suburban 1/2 and 3/4 tons and GM Duramax 3/4 tons. I have learned a lot of lessons and I am glad to share them with any body. If you know or relate knowledge that I have missed pease let me know. I will never be to proud to learn and use your successful hints and principles. BTW, I'm not about to quite until it is no longer fun.
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Old 08-22-2021, 01:48 PM   #20
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With Fords , a F150 and similarly equipped gas Super Duty are very close in price.
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