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Old 08-24-2005, 11:48 AM   #1
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Tow vehicle advice needed!

Hello all. I am BRAND spanking new to this husband and I are seriously looking at a 25' AS International. Now, I know this question has probably been asked a thousand times, but we are curious to know what current 25' trailer owners are towing thier trailers with. We live on the west coast with high altitude, steep grades, and hot temperatures.... and while we understand the "rated" tow capacities of the trucks available, we aren't sure how much reserve power we need to consider. For example, a Tundra has 7500 lb tow capacity, which is enough in weightr terms to tow the trailer, but is it enough to handle it for the long haul?? We don't want to be doing 30mph up the mountain roads, or on long uphill freeways. Should we be looking at the domestic mid-size trucks, like the F-250, Ram 2500, etc.?

We would really appreciate any input you all have....THANKS alot!

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Old 08-24-2005, 11:57 AM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
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Welcome to the forums. Use the search tool or go to the towing subforum for multiple discussions on this topic.

My advice? Don't wimp out on a tow vehicle - you will regret it. We live in Washington and regularly tow over the cascades. Think diesel! Consider a Chevy 2500...duramax/allison
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Old 08-24-2005, 01:06 PM   #3
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
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Yucca Valley , California
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I live near you, so I have similar conditions. I have also towed a 25ft trailer for several years, however, it was sub-6000lb 1971 Tradewind.
My previous tow vehicle was a Dodge B350 full size van ( my business van) with a 5.9l V8 and a 3.90 rear axle ratio. It did fine, never slowed below 50 on our hills around here, and handled well. It's biggest plus was the available space inside the van. On the downside, it was a boring ride, and ate gas like it was a contest.
After the van reached 200000+ miles, I sold it and purchased a 1997 Suburban with factory tow package, ( 5.7l Vortech, 3:73 axle ratio) which I am still using today. I have towed across the Rockies, and also across the Cascades etc, and am very pleased with it. It delivers up to 18mpg hwy when solo, and between 10mpg and 12.5 mpg towing the Tradewind. ( about 5500-6000lbs) It's around town mileage hovers around 14mpg.
I am very pleased wit the reliability and peformance of the Chevrolet product. Too me it represents a good compromise between towing performance and daily driving. I have only wished for more power above 7500 feet altitude, which happens not that often where I like to go. My Suburban has the necessary wheel base and stability for a trailer in the 6000lb range. If I had a heavier trailer, I would purchase a 3/4 ton Suburban with the larger engine and transmission, or perhaps change the gearing to a 4:10 in the rear end.
It currently has a 3:73 with limited slip. Again, I am quite pleased by it's overall day to day and towing performance.
I believe a similar new vehicle is the Suburban half ton with the 5.3l V8. It has more power on paper, but I have not towed with one. New Suburbans have a much upgraded suspension system as well, which makes solo driveng more enjoyable. Mine is riding somewhat rough. Well, it's a truck, after all.
If any of the numbers confuse you, do a search for keywords like axle ratio, tow package, torque, tow vehicle, and you'll be busy for days perusing the information.
janet's recommendation of buying a Diesel is a wise one, as either the F250 Diesel or the 2500 Duramax have become favorites among trailer owners, and surely for a good reason.
Consider the amount of towing you will be doing, and justify it towards your purchase. You want to get adequate safety for occasional towing, overkill if you're fulltiming or will be towing very far and very often. Take a look at your lifestyle, and make a reasonable choice to meet your needs with a good safety margin.
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Old 08-24-2005, 01:17 PM   #4
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
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Well, I bought my 25' AS while I still had my Tahoe, and thought that would be sufficient. Tow package, cooler, 350 engine. Lost my tranny on my first trip, up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. $2500 to repair.

I never had faith in the vehicle after that trip and bought a Chevy 2500HD with Duramax and Allison. Wonderful combination. I can't tell you how good it feels not to have to worry about the truck no matter where I go.

I'd say stretch for the good stuff if at all possible.

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Old 08-24-2005, 02:17 PM   #5
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1976 25' Tradewind
. , Maine to Arizona
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80% of Towing Capacity

On this website I see 80% of towing or load capacity a lot.

Transmission cooler, load leveling hitch, good tires and reasonable speeds go a long way to enjoyable traveling.

We have a 4.8l GMC w/3.73 rear end and it tows our 25' just fine. I am not sure about going to the Rockies with this setup but here we are fine.
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Old 08-24-2005, 02:31 PM   #6
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I drive a Chevy 2500 HD with the Duramax diesel and in my opinion it is overkill for my '85 25' Sovereign (which is close to the weight of your putative 25' International), at least here in the midwest. However, one oft overlooked atribute of all the late model diesels is turbocharging. Turbocharging will allow your tow vehicle to more nearly retain its full power at high altitude.

'85 Sovereign, 25'
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:41 PM   #7
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Hi and welcome. The best advice I can give you is to use the search button on this issue. It's been covered more times than there are Airstreams on the road.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:08 PM   #8
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I tow a 25' classic with a 2001 Suburban 2500 4x4 with the 8.1 L engine with the 3.73 rear end. It's an excellent combination. I wish it were diesel but for some reason it's not offered in the Suburban.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:40 PM   #9
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1977 23' Safari
Hillsboro , Oregon
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This is a topic often discussed.

My personal motto when towing is that the more truck you have for the job, the safer you will be. Keep in mind that truck makers love to pad the capabilities of their trucks and most RV dealers would tell you that you could tow a 25' trailer with a Subaru outback if they think they could get away with it.

If i was in your position i would be keeping away from the Imported trucks like the Tundra and Titan. I would be looking at the 3/4 ton trucks from Ford, Chevy or Dodge.

Why? because i want to know that when im creeping down an incline with a loaded trailer i have enough truck to handle the weight and stress of a trailer pushing me down the hill. I want. I want the beefier transmission and stronger frame and suspension. Plus i know that i have lots of cushion in my tow allowance and im not riding up near the limits.
2009 F-350 FX4 Crewcab 4x4 6.4l
former '78 Argosy 20' Minuet owner
former '77 23' Safari owner
former 25' Fun Finder X-250BHS SOB owner
current 26' Komfort Trailblazer 262BSLE SOB owner
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:52 PM   #10
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Leavenworth , Kansas
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Post We did our research

After much research, and the good advice of this forum, we recently purchased our Dodge 2500 Hemi to pull our 1967 30' Sovereign. Like it has been said, you want enough truck to turn when you need to turn, pull when you need to pull, and especially stop when you need to stop. We did not get a diesel, because word had it that there would be new rules and regs regarding formulation and consequently the "old" diesel formulation would cost much more than the "new". I think if you check the Energy bill recently passed by Congress, those new laws will come into force in the near future.

Happy pulling.....
Beth and/or David

67 Sovereign, double bed, rear bath-"Moby"
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Hemi, Quad Cab-"Ahab"
"Vintage trailer, vintage owners"
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