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Old 05-06-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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pyrenees's Avatar
1970 27' Overlander
Kingston , New York
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Images: 9
Tow Vehicle for 27' Overlander

We bought a 27' Overlander and now it is time to get a tow vehicle and put it to use!

It will be me, my husband, and daughter (now 6 years old). Maybe bring the dog sometimes, maybe leave her at home with my brother along with the chickens and cat. We might want to bring a couple of guests sometimes (but they could always bring their own vehicle as we're anticipating trips under 3 hours).

We are in upstate New York and anticipate shorter camping trips in the area. He has a bad back so that will limit us a little.

I only know how to drive automatic transmission, I'm sorry to say.

I think we'd need either an extended cab truck or a SUV. Would primarily use the T.V. for the airstream (currently own a Honda Civic and Honda CRV - maybe we'd trade in the CRV for the tow vehicle). Husband and I both work from home in our rural house in the catskills so we can get rid of the CRV for our tow vehicle, but would occasionally use the towing vehicle for errands and around town.

In general, I feel a towing SUV would make more sense for our household because we already are used to life with an SUV, but I don't want to go that direction if it isn't as safe to use for towing the airstream. Safety and feeling safe while towing are important (keep in mind this isn't the Rocky Mtns).

I have done truck research for my job and know that Dodge owners love their cummins engines. All things equal, I feel some loyalty to Chevy as I do freelance work for them, but I'm still open-minded.

I'm a short woman and feel I can learn how to drive and haul, but it is a little intimidating to me now. Sometimes I'm sure I'll want to get away with the girls and our children if the men of the household stay home, so this needs to be a vehicle I can handle on my own.

I tend to buy used vehicles but could go new or used with this next purchase.

Thanks very much!
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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1971 27' Overlander
Currently In: Skowhegan , ME
Join Date: Jul 2010
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We have the exact same trailer as you, and tow with a 2009 Ford F150 crew cab with the factory tow package -- it is more than enough to cover what is needed for your trailer. Stock (i.e. without any modifications) your trailer should have a gross weight (i.e. max) of 6200 lbs, and our truck in our configuration can tow 9600 lbs.

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Old 05-06-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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If you are partial to Chevys and SUV's, take a look at the Surburbans and Tahoes. Either one with a towing package would do the job nicely.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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Any 1/2 ton pickup with a proper tow package would fit the bill no matter what the brand. Drive them all and see what you like. Trucks will have different engine sizes. Go with the bigger of the V-8's. An example may be: Fords 5.4, GM 6.0 and Dodge is 5.7 (Don't hold me to this).

I prefer the versatility of a pickup with a truck cap over an SUV because it's easier to put bicycles, hitches, generators, etc... that may have grease/dirt in the back of the truck without getting the interior of the SUV dirty.
Steve, Christy, Anna and Phoebe (Border Collie)
1994 Classic 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
Hensley Arrow hitch with adjustable stinger
WBCCI # 3072
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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There's good merit for using the pickup tow vehicle to tow an Airstream trailer unless the trailer will only be used in full hookup campgrounds or short boondock arrangements. The pickup can be used to carry a generator and some gasoline to fuel it. In my opinion, an SUV like a Yukon XL or Suburban isn't friendly for hauling gas inside the passenger compartment.

I also like the pickup to haul the tub containing the sticky slinky, and for hauling bikes and lawn chairs. My .02
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
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I will second the full size (1/2 ton) truck comment above. We tow a 34' with our 2009 F150 with four full size doors. Generally we it's my wife and I up front, two children 10, and 12 plus a dog (60# Weimaraner) in the backseat and everyone is comfortable. If you throw in 4 wheel drive, you are even set for NY winters!
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1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

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Old 05-06-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Tow Vehicle for 27' Overlander

Greetings pyrenees!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

I am something of a dissenter when it comes to pickups as tow vehicles as I have owned two and dislked the most recent more than the first. My two favorite tow vehicles have been large SUVs. My favorite large SUV tow vehicle, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer has been out of production for more than two decades (my last was a 1984 model). I can't fault my current Suburban, other than is deplorable 4 wheel drive reliability and its related matinenance cost.

Most of my towing is long distance for trips lasting several weeks during the summer. The Suburban has been a loyal and trusted companion since April 21, 1998. At more than 190,000 miles, my mechanical problems have been few and far between other than frequent issues with the electronic control module for the four wheel drive system. My vote will always go to the Suburban for its comfort, style, and versatility.

The choice between 1/2 and 3/4 ton chassis is in great part a personal one. A 1/2 ton Suburban with factory trailer towing package and the 6.0 liter motor would definitely be adequate for your Overlander under most conditions. Should your travels take you to the Rocky Mountains with any great regularity, my suggestion would be to consider a late model 3/4 ton Suburban with the now discontinued 8.0 Liter option.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , NC Highlands County, FL
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Welcome to the forum.
I like the 1/2 ton!
I have a 2010 Chevy 1500 crew cab short bed, 5.3L gas, 6speed auto trans, 3.42 gear. It's rated to tow 9500 lbs. It rides more comfortable than my Cadillac. It does well while towing in the mountains or on long trips in the flat lands. 12 mpg towing and 19/20 around town empty. My best mileage was 21.7 mpg average empty on a 1,400 mile trip. I like the truck bed for things that I do not want to ride inside the vehicle (like a fuel can) or do not want in the trailer. It's my opinion, but I could not justify the $10,000 added cost for the 3/4 ton with a disel, since the half ton gasser gets the job done.

Make sure you get a factory tow package in any case and try for the 6 speed auto trans. The 6 speed makes all the difference over a 4 speed auto trans.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:42 PM   #9
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1970 27' Overlander
Kingston , New York
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Images: 9
Thank you for this great feedback, everyone. I really appreciate it.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #10
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2007 19' Safari SE
Laurel , Montana
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Also do check out the new F150 six cylinder Ecoboost. It is a half ton with 11,300# towing capacity. It is twin turboed. Worth a look at least. I purchased one over a month ago and am happy with it. Haven't towed yet, but feel comfortable with the decision.
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27' overlander, chevy, dodge, tow vehicles

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