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Old 01-09-2016, 03:05 PM   #1
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oKLAHOMA cITY , Oklahoma
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Question from a newbie...

So, we have the opportunity to take ownership of a, Airstream, something we have been wanting to do for quite a few years now. One hitch so to speak, is can we tow it?

So, it would be a 23' dual axle trailer.
Our 2 vehicles,
#1 is a 2004 Suburban LT AWD, 5.3l V8, 8,200-8,400lbs listed towing capacity.
#2 is a 2004 Dodge Durango, 4.7L V8, 3,700 to 5,750lbs listed towing capacity

After doing some research online, I feel that either of these vehicles are able to comfortable tow an Airstream, the Suburban in particular. However, i am looking for real world experience.

For those of you who tow a similiar size trailer and do not use an f350, Ram 3500, or other heavy duty vehicle, are you comfortable towing? More importantly, are you comfortable stopping?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:15 PM   #2
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I've been a fan of Chevy & GMC. We have towed 30ft, to 20ft trailers with no problems. Our last Airstream was a 25ft and we towed from Fort Pierce ,FL to Oh. Only problem was the 2004 Suburban did not have a tow system.
2006 we upgraded to 2500 Diesel .

Not sure about the Dodge, The Suburban will do the job.

Dave
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #3
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Your suburban is very capable of towing a 23ft Airstream or even bigger. I tow my 25ft with a RAM 1500 & I also use a Equalizer WD hitch.
Hope it works out for you.
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
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2010 23' FB Flying Cloud
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You will be fine with either of your vehicles. I'm pulling the 23' with a diesel because I can, not because my F-150 didn't do the job.
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:19 PM   #5
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1973 Argosy 24
Los Alamos , New Mexico
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2004 Suburban Tow vehicle

I tow my "73 24' Argosy (probably about 4000 #) with a 2004 Z71 Suburban with the 5.3l engine and 4:11 rear end ratio. It does an excellent job in the mountains of Northern New Mexico.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:27 PM   #6
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I tow my 1977 23' Safari with a 2005 Toyota Tundra with a 4.7 V8 and couldn't be happier. We've been through mountains and towed on very hot days with no problems.

I've also towed my enclosed car trailer with my '54 woody wagon in it and had no issues. The woody probably weighs as much as the Airstream.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:31 PM   #7
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I have a Nissan Armada V8 AWD. I have been towing a 25' Airstream for several years now. I agonized for quite a while before buying it as I was considering 23 and 25 - I was concerned with the 7000 GW of the 25. In the end I went with the 25 and my Armada did a fine job. I do have elect brakes on the AS. I just upgraded to a 28' International with 7600 GW.

I highly recommend a weight distributing sway control hitch.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:22 AM   #8
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Hilltop Lakes , Texas
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I tow with an older Ram 1500. Your Suburban should work just fine. Post some pictures of your trailer when you get it.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:03 AM   #9
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Tow our 2015 23D International Serenity with our 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. It is a perfect match for both power, braking and axle ratings. Use a Hensley Arrow hitch. Cruise 55 mph. Handles 6% grades east of Phoenix fine up and at 35mph in second gear will hold speed due to Diesel engine back pressure when going down.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:38 AM   #10
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We tow with a 1997 Tahoe with the 350 V8 and a tow package on it. No issues
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:07 PM   #11
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Pine , Colorado
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Tow Vehicle

Hi Jay,

I have towed a 25' Flying Cloud for several years with a 2011 GMC Yukon XL with no problems. I live in Colorado so hills are the norm.

Tomsos
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:25 PM   #12
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We towed our 7309 max (6980 real world weight) 2010 international 28' for years with our 2000 Suburban 2509 with the 5.3 liter and 3.73 rear end (Equalizr.) with no problem, even at higher speeds in Texas on the straightaways. We replaced it with a new Sprinter 3500 (rated for 7500 towing and with a massive payload safety margin.) the small 3 liter diesel, mated with the with the 4.1 rear end generates the same torque as the Suburban, but less hp, so it's more challenged holding high speeds but otherwise just fine. We've slowed down a bit.

You'll have no problem with your GMC product, but spend some time weighing the parts of your rig and tuning your WD hitch--that will really pay off in excellent handling.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:06 PM   #13
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2016 27' International
Clackamas , garyburke
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Interested in your experience - we have a recently purchased 2015 25' Serenity. We have an opportunity to purchase a 2007 MB ML320 Cdi which my wife LOVES. Have read elsewhere that late 2007 models were rated at 7000lbs towing capacity. Would love to hear feedback on this choice.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:01 PM   #14
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I have pulled two 25 ft AS with my 03 Dakota for 13 years now. ( 4.7 Quad Cab 2WD Auto, 3.55 rear end) Your 23 should be a walk in the park. The Durango will need to have a Tranny cooler, and you tow with OD off!
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:13 PM   #15
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Given safe suspension, brakes, hitch, and overall mechanical condition, #1 should tow a 23 with headroom.

The type of tires on the TV can make a big difference in stability. Switching from passenger P rated to light truck LT rated tires is reported to help. There is a video on the CanAm site that illustrates the difference.

Be aware that the 23 originally came with 14 in tires. An upgrade to 15 in tires might be appropriate. Also, note that the tandem axle tires do not pivot. They skid on turns and stress the tires considerably. Even if they have significant tread, they may be damaged or aged out. See the tire threads.

Hope this works out for you. Lots of folks smile when they see an AS. Pat
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:00 PM   #16
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
Naples , Florida
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Which tow vehicle

I pull my 23' dual axle FC with my 5.7 Hemi Grand Cherokee Overland. On flat stretches or moderate inclines, it is an excellent TV. However, we spend half the year in the Rockies at elevations between 9,000 and 11,000 feet. In this range, my Jeep struggles a bit, even though I load light and drive dry. If you think you might tow at altitude, you probably would be happier with the higher tow capacity.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:18 PM   #17
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My only complaint with pulling my 25" with my VW is the 10 mpg in the mountains.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:20 AM   #18
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Your Suburban will be a great TV for you trailer. If you do not have a transmission cooler you may want to be a little careful on long steep grades. Just slow down a little going up.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:44 AM   #19
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More details to add to prior post.

The Mercedes dealer service chap in Scottsdale has always said our 2007 ML320 CDI was actually rated 5,000, pounds tailer weight. Andy at CanAm said the upgrade to 7,000 pounds was pencil whipped on newer models as no components were changed.

Our 2013 25FB International Serenity had a literature tongue weight of 833 pounds. The dealer installed street and rear awnings and a single 155 watt solar panel on the roof (could not recharge the batteries after a night of furnace use so a generator was necessary to top of the battery every day) and a factory 600 watt inverter was also installed. We put the Hensley Arrow hitch onto the trailer and with full fresh water tanks and full propane tanks, the tongue weight was 1,150 pounds.

I was alone with no stuff in the car when I drove the car and trailer at 55 mph to Phoenix from Los Angles and had no issues in the climb out of Palm Springs. The engine did end up in 5th gear at 2,200 rpm to maintain 55 on the steepest part of the climb.

Crossing the CAT scales when in Arizona after switching to the 15" Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires with Centramatic wheel balancers, all the axle ratings were within limits in that configuration.

However, after loading all our camping stuff into the trailer and a few items in the back of the car, my wife and I crossed the sales. This time the front axle ratings was exceeded and the rear was nearly maxed out. The trailer weighed about 6,860 pounds and the drive train was making new noises on very slight grades.

The Mercedes was retired from towing the trailer and replaced with our 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD Cummins which now tows our 31' Classic with a ProPride hitch.

We acquired a 2015 23D International Serenity and fitted our old Hensley Arrow to it. Fully loaded for camping, some gear in the back of the 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI and the wife and I in it, the scales numbers were not exceeded and the car has no issues even towing in the mountains. Towing at 55 mph, we sometimes see over 16 mpg on the flats depending on the number of starts and stops.

The Hensley Arrow stinger was also modified by CanAm in October 2012 when I drove to their location in London, Ontario from Phoenix (4,400 mile round trip driven in seven days with one day there) to have the (repaired due to a recall) factory receiver reinforced for weight distribution hitches. They cut about 5" off the stinger of the end that goes into the car receiver and slightly bent it downwards to help preload the weight distribution hitch.

Since I converted the 23D to the same 15" Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires, the elevation of both the 25FB and the 23D is the same and thus the same hitch settings were used. This rig drives like a dream.

My car was made in October of 2006 and it was not until January 2007 production that they actually connected the wires from the driver's foot well to the rear off the car for a brake system to be connected. Thus we had to use a Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake system. A permanent issue is that the turn signals will cause the applied brakes to pulsate at the same frequency the bulbs blink.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:53 AM   #20
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The Dodge real weak point is their transmission, so between these 2 choices, take the Chevy.
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