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Old 08-25-2008, 05:51 AM   #21
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I think you nailed it right on the head. The sway control equipment and calculations are something I've never dealt with. And I can see where you need to do your homework to be able to use an SUV instead of a truck, which would be my choice out of the shoot. Looks like I have a lot to learn.

Why are the newer Airstreams heavier? More equipment? Based on the age most consider vintage to be, I'm assuming they didn't have airconditioning, so I bet that's up to 500 pounds? Maybe allot less? Is the weight all in convenience equipment? I'd like to say I'd go with a vintage model, but I bet where ever that weight is coming from, I'm going to want that addition to my trailer, be it air conditioning, safety equipment or insulation (I doubt there is additional insulation based on the posts I'm reading.) And I'm probably going to want to add a few pieces, like solar, etc.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by reddirt14 View Post
Why are the newer Airstreams heavier? More equipment?
You're exactly correct - the newer ones can weight 800-1000 lbs more than their 20 year old similar model counterparts. There are lots more "comfort" features that modern folks demand, everything from A/C to kitchen cabinets to microwave ovens to bigger holding tanks, even the signature wraparound windows.

The great thing - as you see all over this fine Forum - is Airstreams are so darned re-configurable. You can reasonably customize a classic (or modern) example, or go pretty wild! Folks even swap in newer axles to increase the load range, so you could add some of these features you desire, and still have a fine towing platform.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:53 PM   #23
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Slimp Dolly

Do a search on here on "Slimp" and check those threads out.

A slimp wheel or dolly (also called a "slip dolly") was a common thing in the 50's. Basically it's a small axle with one or two wheels that the tongue of the trailer sits on. That bears the hitch weight of the trailer, so all your car has to do is pull it. I've read some posts and reviews online of guys that have used them and they have nothing but praise for them. Say they basically eliminate sway altogether because you have another set of tires up front. But, they free swivel so you can backup OK.

The biggest negative to them, I think, is that it's possible to pull way more trailer than you ever have any business attempting with a given size tow vehicle.

But, they worked in the 50's, and they still work. As well, there are at least two makers of them out there right now. Do the search and check the links. They're pretty slick.

Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by reddirt14 View Post
I've figure out the search feature and been doing a little research. Sounds like there is a bit of a battle about these "new" SUVs and what they can tow. But the take away I'm getting is that they do "defy" the old rules and can pull a decent load and do a great job of it. In many cases the breaking and handling are far superior to the standard tow trucks. So the only shortfall is the wheelbase and their own weight. Which of course can be a huge benefit to parking and fuel economy. In some respects the advanced technology and design of these vehicles makes up for their only shortfalls.
For sure... Someone suggested the "old rules" were made up buy some guy who was towing a 30' SOB on the bumber of his 59 Chevy Apache (283 / 3 speed auto).

Times have changed and the old rules just don't seem to jive with many current, modern TV offerings especially when mated with the easy tow Airstream.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:51 PM   #25
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Have been reading about the M-B diesel in the Cherokee. Came across some real world numbers (public scale) for those interested:

4,740-lbs, solo

11,740-lbs, GCWR

Looks like the 7,200-lb rating (4WD, not 2WD) for a trailer (given 350-lbs of passenger/driver plus 50-lb misc in TV brings solo weight to


leaving a margin of

6,600-lbs for the trailer.

Fuel mileage ran from about 12.5 in heavy traffic, to 15.5 mpg Interstate towing. 0-60 times with a 5500-pounder was an ideal 19.9 seconds from two different reviews.

No word on what the manual recommends for maximum square-foot frontal area of the trailer.
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