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Old 07-24-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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Towing - what size vehicle?

Hello all,
I am looking to purchase a airstream in the 25 to 30 ft size and want to get the right tow vehicle prior to purchasing the trailor. I am looking at the Nissan Titan with 5.6L gas V8 with the tow pkg. Anyone have any expiernce with this vehicle or recommendations for alternatives?
Any feedback would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

phil
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:58 PM   #2
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hi phil and welcome to the forums...

2 NEW purchases?

cool!

IF the focus is on recent or brand new trailers and it's not yet clear about the size,

buying a marginal capacity truck first is risky.

a new 25 works fine with a titan or tundra...

just barely.

but a 27, 28, 30 or 31 (same size as a 30) are much easier to tow with a 3/4 ton mule.

sure there are folks towing longer and heavier trailers with marginal trucks or suvs...

and u haven't shared HOW MUCH travel or where towing, gear, people and so on are in the mix...

i've counted 1/2 dozen or so nissan owners here happily pushing the limits with 27+ ft newer streams...

BUT there are MANY MORE documented examples IN THESE FORUMS,

of folks who felt the need to UPGRADE, essentially brand new tow vehicles...

because the trailer purchased turned out to be just a little larger than originally planned.

and their 1sthand feedback while towing a marginal combination wasn't reassuring.

there are piles of info on the towing specs and comparisons between the 2 components (tv/trailer)...

and it's valuable to wade through many of those threads in the tow vehicle forum.

find or buy the trailer u really really want, and THEN get the best sized tv for the task.

and if there is even a remote chance of trading this new trailer for one a bit larger next year,

get MORE truck the first time.

tell us more and have fun with the process of spending so much MONEY!!!

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:47 PM   #3
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Ditto what 2Air sez, Phil.
First look at the weights of the 27' & 30' then look at the tow capacity of the vehicle you're interested in.
Lookin' good, right? Wrong.

You got to look at the additional weight of people, gear for 'camping', pot's, pans, dishes, toaster, blender, crock pot, favorite ADULT beverages, clothes, food, bicycles, toys, generators, dogs, cats ("alternative" family members), fire wood, TV, musical instruments, computer, well, you get the idea.

Then, you need to look at where you're going to be going... if you're going to driving up topography higher than a berm, then you'll need some power, especially with the 30'. Also got to look at being able to keep up with traffic or at least, no keeping them behind you... going up an incline with an underpowered vehicle, well, the folks behind you might not be as interested in the scenery as you'll seem to be...

Especially Joe Sixpack on his way to see his girl...

Settle on the Airstream you want. Check it out well (like as cute as the bathroom looks, can you fit in the shower and especially, toilet without having to fold your knees un-naturally? Does the bed lend itself to daily upkeep and comfortable sleeping for you & yours? Is it what you've always dreamed about? Can y'all move about easily and if you have pets, with them sprawled about? Spend some time in it without the salesman hanging around.

Then get your tow vehicle. Always keep in mind, will it have the power when you need it most... can it handle the 'Stream + additional weights?

As to which one is best... well, Phil, that question is kind of like religion & politics (& best tires for your 'Stream).

You'll find answers to all your questions here on the forums... Good luck and welcome!
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:55 PM   #4
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A few days ago, I ran some numbers through Ford's website, and found some F250's for just over $21K, with diesel powerplants. The Armada is currently about $35K, and the Titan isn't a whole lot cheaper than that. Add to that a 3/4 ton truck will have an easier time towing than the 1/2 ton Titan. The Titan will get about 16 mpg not towing, and around 9 towing. Add at least 3-5 mpg for the bigger diesel, even with the higher cost of the fuel.
I have an F250 with a 5.8, and I have wished I had more under the hood when dragging 7,000 pounds up the side of a hill...
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:29 AM   #5
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I agree with everyone posting previously, and would add I would not go over a 25' trailer with any half ton, especially if you are buying both new at this time.

IMHO, tow vehicles are just like fun....and I've never had too much fun.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:51 AM   #6
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When I was looking at purchasing an airstream I drove my truck to the dealer I purchased it from. I took my Dodge Ram book with the specs and asked the experts. This is what I was told. My Dodge Ram with a 4.6 liter engine could pull up to 7,200 lbs. My Airstream is 4600 dry weight pounds. My goal was not to gross weight my truck and trailer over 6,200 lbs. I know I lightened the load by removing all of the old plumbing, and hot water heater. I used pex and the attwood water heater was much lighter. I downsized my propane tanks and only had one filled. I left my refigerator empty and only brought a few clothes and what I would essentially need. I figured I could get all the rest when I got to my destination. what I did add as far as weight was my generator 110 lbs, spare tire, horticulture tools, fishing gear, my two dogs.
My wife and I were the only people.

My truck pulled the trailer with no problems. 950 miles round trip. We even went through the Tennessee mountains. I never drove faster then 53 miles and hour. I always started out slow. I went through four tanks of gas (26 gallon tank) there and back. I did not include gas used at our destination.

SIU Bound

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Old 07-25-2008, 08:42 AM   #7
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, that we have pulled extensively (32,000 miles+). We pull her with a 3/4 ton Suburban, and the combination works very well. We have also pulled Lucy with our 1/2 ton Tahoe. It worked, but not as nice a towing experience. I would not recommend a half ton, even for a 25. Above that size, 3/4 ton would be the way to go. If your camping style is to go 10 miles to a local campground, you might make a half ton work.

Remember that an insufficient tow vehicle is the primary cause of a perfectly good Airstream becoming a very expensive piece of yard art.

Brian
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:46 PM   #8
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Thumbs up 2004 Titan NOT a problem plenty of power ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by branch54 View Post
Hello all,
I am looking to purchase a airstream in the 25 to 30 ft size and want to get the right tow vehicle prior to purchasing the trailor. I am looking at the Nissan Titan with 5.6L gas V8 with the tow pkg. Anyone have any expiernce with this vehicle or recommendations for alternatives?
Any feedback would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

phil
I tow my sovereign 31 footer no problem ..
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:23 PM   #9
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Please be advised, all responses here on the Forums are PERSONAL opinions.

These have been mine.

1. 85 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, 63 22' Safari. Great trailer, bad TV.
2. 95 3/4 Suburban, same Safari, 03 25' Classic, Sooper TV.
3. 06 3/4 Suburban, even better.

Don't think of the Burbs as a truck, just a great all around TV.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:00 PM   #10
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Go bigger then needed. You might purchase something that is heavy while on vacation. You dont want towing capacity not allowing it. Dont forget safety. You dont want every trip to be " The Maiden Voyage"
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:26 PM   #11
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Take a look at the Ford Excursions with a V10 engine...We did, picked up a 2001 4x4 'Limited' loaded with all the goodies for CHEAP!

There are lots of good deals on these TV's and they are really stout for towing, great handling, lots of stopping power, and real cushy leather inside!

We really like ours, it tows our 28 ft AS with ease...we actually get over 11 MPG on the road when traveling around 55 MPH! Sure the mileage gets down around 9 when you do a lot of stop and go stuff...but we have that V10 power to make it up the hills!

If you get a 4X4 model, you'll have solid type axles front and rear with BIG disc brakes to keep things under control. Check one out...why not tow in heavy duty 'style'!
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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I'd definitely get as big of a truck as possible, you can pull a 25 or 27 with a 1/2 ton but I'd much rather have the 3/4. You get heavier radiator, springs shocks, everything. I love our diesel, that low end torque is fantastic for towing and the mileage is much better than a gasser..
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:24 PM   #13
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If I might make a suggestion, Branch, there's a huge amount of towing "real estate" in your post. You might be talking about a vintage 1965 24' Trade Wind that tips the scales at 3800 pounds dry or you might be talking about a 2003 30' Slide Out Classic weighing 8000 pounds dry. A few of the big truck purists might insist you need a 3/4 ton for the old Trade Wind... but not many. A few Titan fans might suggest you can pull the newer Classic w/ Slide... but not many. While I don't want get shot both coming and going, the most common "break point" for the Titan seems about 25' and 7000 pounds "wet." If you go vintage and keep an eye on the weight, you may be able to add a foot or two. If you go modern era, you might be leaning hard on your GVWR or GCWR. The best advice here (in my opinion) is to make a choice. One, you can figure out what you want to drive and limit yourself to an Airstream that will work. Two, you can figure out what Airstream you want to pull and limit yourself to a truck that will handle it safely. Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:32 PM   #14
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Just returned from a 6500 mile excursion with our 27 ft classic and 04 Titan with aboslutely no problems. Went through Colorado (including Wolf Creek Pass) and the Titan pulled the trailer with no problems. Would suggest that the size of pick up and trailer has to do with rated capacity and experience of driver. Thing to look at is you probably won't need a 3/4 ton pick up for 11 months out of the year.
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
A few days ago, I ran some numbers through Ford's website, and found some F250's for just over $21K, with diesel powerplants. The Armada is currently about $35K, and the Titan isn't a whole lot cheaper than that. Add to that a 3/4 ton truck will have an easier time towing than the 1/2 ton Titan. The Titan will get about 16 mpg not towing, and around 9 towing. Add at least 3-5 mpg for the bigger diesel, even with the higher cost of the fuel.
I have an F250 with a 5.8, and I have wished I had more under the hood when dragging 7,000 pounds up the side of a hill...
This pretty much sums it up nicely. No one ever complains about their tow vehicle being too good.
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:06 AM   #16
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1/2 vs 3/4 ton TV

Phil,

Just to add my.02 worth. I have had both 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks and suspect that either will work - especially with the smaller trailers. But, as has been pointed out there is a big wieght range in what you are considering. My old 1975 TradeWind weighs 4100 dry, the 1986 is about 5300 dry and well over 6000 ready to go. My previous truck was a 1994 K1500 with the underpowered 6.2 diesel (175? hp and 370 torque at 1800). It handled the 75 AS without a problem and gave good fuel economy 13 to 18 towing, hills vs flat Indiana 55 mph highway.

However, I'm not sure that I'd like that truck with the heavier trailer. Newer truck is a K2500HD with the 6.6 diesel (300 hp and 520 torque ath 1800) and it does a great job. With the 75 AS you really did not know it was there, and it handles the heavier trailer just fine. I get about 15 to 16 mpg towing and 20 solo.

Alot depends on where you are going and how you will use the truck when not towing. I like the fact that the 3/4 ton can keep up with traffic and can merge on a freeway, important if you are going to be going through large cities or cover mountainous territory.

I agree with what others have said: Get the trailer first and then get the truck to match. And get the REAL trailer weight ready to go. I'd be more concerned about truck engine torque - especially with a gasoline engine. You want torque at low engine RPM to get the load moving. Axle ratio is also important as it determines towing capacity.

Downside to a heavier truck: more expensive, tires and parts cost more. Also, they tend to sit higher which makes getting in and out and loading more difficult. However, you can get a diesel in the 3/4 ton which is very desireable (IMO) for towing.

Look around - I've heard that there are some great deals on trucks out there. While I like my current vehicle I would not hesitate to buy one of the other brands; they all have strong and weak points. (I bought the current truck after the old one was towed back to the dealer for a failed injection pump, the early elctonic ones were not too reliable. I was ready to buy a used truck and had listings for ones in the area. The salesman gave me a very good trade-in so I went new.)

Spend some time reading other opinions here and elsewhere. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Whit Nash
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:46 AM   #17
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Hi Phil,
And welcome aboard !

Like Robert Cross was saying..... I've also been there, done that.

Had a Dodge 4.7L V8 P/u and towed my 25 ft AS Safari. My truck also can and "did" tow 7200 lbs. BUT, was some degree of effort. Unless you like "sweating the load" on watching your temperature gage and slowly going up hills because your truck bed is full, your AS fridge is full, you've got "stuff" in the trailer for your "2 week" vacation and OH, let's not forget the family or friends that are with you, it's not going to be a nice and relaxing vacation!

The AS dealer also told me when I asked if my truck could pull the AS 25 ft. the dealer said.... "come over here" he points to the "V8" emblem on my truck and said "yes you can tow it". Well yes, he was right to a point but....

The best thing I did was sell my 05 Dodge to my son and bought a Dodge 6.7L Diesel. Yes, fuel (not gas) is more expensive, but mileage is better, I can run the AC, wife is happy (and that's what really counts !), and I now enjoy my trips with my AS without worrying about "weight" and 1/2 full propane tanks. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.


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Old 08-15-2008, 10:45 AM   #18
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Lots of good avice but nothing addressing power AND economy.

I tow with a Dodge RAM 2500 Cummins diesel 12 valve.Lots of power in the mountains towing my 29er and average mpg Seattle to Alberta was 17--and there were lots of mountains in the way!

My 1994 Dodge now has 180k miles on it and is barely broken in! Very reliable.

They used this engine in small logging trucks on Vancouver Island and routinely got 500-700k miles out of them.

I trusted that Cummins to carry a heavy camper to Tambora[South of Mazatlan] from Vancouver Island and back in '03---not a single problem.Done many other long trips since without a single problem.Only motor for me!
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:47 AM   #19
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Sorry SafariRick--missed your last para!
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:40 AM   #20
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Thats is true ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
This pretty much sums it up nicely. No one ever complains about their tow vehicle being too good.
You will allways wish you could have more ...
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