Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-17-2013, 05:38 PM   #21
Peapod
 
KenSanLan's Avatar
 
1985 31' Excella
Dade City , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 124
Blog Entries: 1
We tow our 1976 31' Sovereign with an older Suburban. Works great. I've read that burbs are good because they have a longer wheelbase than some tow vehicles.
KenSanLan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2013, 06:02 PM   #22
1 Rivet Member
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Images: 4
Hey all -

Thanks for the nice words and advice. Yes, basically - I think I'm leaning toward purchasing my own TV, even though my long-term goal is to find a place to park the trailer and then stay there. I'd like to find a place I enjoy in a community of folks in a similar age and interest range, and plant some roots there.

That said, one of the main reasons a gal like me might want to live in a trailer is so that if "she doesn't like it, she can leave." That access to freedom is important to me, so I'll probably want to buy my own.

Does anyone know if any classic cars can do the job? Like say, a 57 Chevy, or an older American car with a heavy frame....? I'm really curious to see what all of the options are in regard to a good TV.

There are a lot of leads here. I'm going to do some research on the vehicles everyone mentioned. I'm also going to contact CanAm and see what they think of this whole thing.

You are all so helpful!
Thank you,
Jenn
jennthevexer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2013, 06:33 PM   #23
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,484
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Need best tow vehicle for my Airstream

Greetings Jenn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennthevexer View Post
Hey all -

Thanks for the nice words and advice. Yes, basically - I think I'm leaning toward purchasing my own TV, even though my long-term goal is to find a place to park the trailer and then stay there. I'd like to find a place I enjoy in a community of folks in a similar age and interest range, and plant some roots there.

That said, one of the main reasons a gal like me might want to live in a trailer is so that if "she doesn't like it, she can leave." That access to freedom is important to me, so I'll probably want to buy my own.

Does anyone know if any classic cars can do the job? Like say, a 57 Chevy, or an older American car with a heavy frame....? I'm really curious to see what all of the options are in regard to a good TV.

There are a lot of leads here. I'm going to do some research on the vehicles everyone mentioned. I'm also going to contact CanAm and see what they think of this whole thing.

You are all so helpful!
Thank you,
Jenn
There are a number of "Vintage" automobiles that can tow your Sovereign . . . in fact they would have been the tow vehicle of choice when your Sovereign was new. Among those that would be possibilities:
  • Pre-1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic/Impala with 454 V8
  • Pre-1975 Pontiac Grandville Brougham/Bommeville with 455 V8
  • Pre-1975 Buick LeSabre/Electra 225 with 455 V8
  • Pre-1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88/98 with 455 V8
  • Pre-1975 Cadillac DeVille/Fleetwood Brougham with 501 V8
  • Pre-1998 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser (LT1 -- 5.7 liter V8), Buick Roadmaster/Roadmaster Estate (LT1 -- 5.7 Liter V8), Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance (LT1 -- 5.7 Liter V8), Chevrolet Caprice Classic Estate (LT 1 -- 5.7 Liter V8)
  • Pre-1978 Ford Crown Victoria/LTD with 460 V8 -- Mercury Grand Marquis vith 460 V8 -- Lincoln Continental Towncar with 460 V8
  • Pre-1975 Chrsler New Yorker/Newport/Town and Country with 440 V8 -- Dodge Royal Monaco with 440 V8 -- Plymouth Grand Fury with 440 V8.
I am not certain of the last season for the 440 V8 in the full size MOPARs, but believe that it was around 1985 and most of those full size cars like Chryser New Yorker/New Port, Dodge Royal Monaco, and Plymouth Grand Fury would have been capable of towing. I am also not absolutely certain of the last year for the 460 V8 in the Lincoln Continental Towncar/Mercury Grand Marquis/Ford Crown Victoria LTD but when equipped with the 460 V8 they were often used as tow vehicles for Airstreams of similar vintage.

I utilize a 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible as a tow vehicle for both my Minuet and Overlander, but it isn't ideally suited to tow vheicle service as it is limited to a maximum of 6,000 pounds and with a 2.70 final drive that rating is a bit optimistic for towing in the mountains. I had no problems towing the Minuet with the Cadillac anywhere I wanted to go in the Rocky Mountains, but I wouldn't attempt the grades that I towed the Minuet on with the Overlander behind the Cadillac. With the GM cars mentioned above that have rear wheel drive, you have the ability to change the differential gearing rather easily so that they may be better prepared to tow anywhere in the continental US . . . or North America for that matter.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: A down-side to utilizing a pre-1972 automobile for towing is that the OEM heads on the motors wouldn't have the hardened valve seats that are necessary to safely run unleaded fuels - - without hardened valve seats, a motor utilized for heavy duty service such as towing is going to quickly develop valve seat recision requiring major head machining (this machining can be done as part of a rebuild, but this is a process that must be requested by the customer in many machine shops). Having hardened valve seat inserts machined into the heads of my 1965 Dodge 383 cubic inch V8 cost in the vicinty of $1,500 in 1980. You will also find that convertibles and station wagons of the period were often chosen as they were often factory equipped with heavier frames.
__________________
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)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2013, 09:59 PM   #24
1 Rivet Member
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Images: 4
Kevin -

Wow. Thank you so much. That is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for.

I found some info on the classic car dot com forum - basically a person was looking for advice on how to pull an Airstream with a 1950s Hornet.

It seemed like the general consensus was that in the original era, they used an extended hitch with a long trailer tongue that went all the way under the car and fastened to the center of the rear axel housing, which reduced the load due to the long arm lever, and also served to keep the load off of the chassis and springs, (though I believe it did attach to the chassis somewhere). Braces attached to the hitch bar to keep it firmly in place. I'm going to add a picture of a sketch (if I can figure out how.)

The main problem with the system was drift, epecially from passing semi trucks. I understand there was some kind of an attachment made later on that was meant to stop this kind of sway, but I don't know much about that.

Do you have any thoughts? Also - know anything about the 1959 AMC Rambler Americans?

The information you've given me is fantastic. You cut my research time down considerably.

Thanks,
Jenn
Attached Images
 
jennthevexer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 06:13 AM   #25
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar
 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,861
Jenn

I like vintage Airstreams. There is really not much difference between a new Airstream and a vintage Airstream, except that the new Airstreams are new. Particularly, in terms of towing them they are the same- same suspension and same brakes.

The same can not be said about tow vehicles. There is a world of difference between a 70's TV and a new TV- safety, reliability, handling, comfort, economy. The only advantage to the 70's vehicles is that they are easier to work on. Vintage TV are only for a select few. If you drive a modern car, then I don't believe you would be happy with a vintage TV. If your car is vintage, then you may actually prefer a vintage TV.

I tow my 66 Tradewind with a 2008 Tundra and am quite happy with the combo; each to his own though.

Good luck, Dan
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 11:11 AM   #26
1 Rivet Member
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Images: 4
Hey Dan,

Yes, I'm a bit of a vintage enthusiast.... and I have the Victory Rolls to show for it. My goal is ultimately earth friendly, though - once I get my Airstream to where I want it to be, I'll look into converting the classic car into a grease car. I had some old roommates in Philly who did this with varying degrees of success. I've been really interested in a new project I've been hearing a lot about - converting a 1950s Lincoln Continental into a hybrid.

But either way, if I have to buy a modern truck or SUV to tow the Airstream, I'll do what needs to be done, of course. I'm just looking for other options. If I can ultimately do what I WANT to do, (which is tow it with a classic car), I will.

I think the next step is trying to figure out if there are any vintage mechanics and fabricators around who are doing or have done the same thing I have in mind, or know how I should go about doing it, and which exact cars are best suited for the job and the easiest to work with or modify.

Know anyone?

Thanks!
Jenn
jennthevexer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 01:26 PM   #27
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,484
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Need best tow vehicle for my Airstream

Greetings Jenn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennthevexer View Post
It seemed like the general consensus was that in the original era, they used an extended hitch with a long trailer tongue that went all the way under the car and fastened to the center of the rear axel housing, which reduced the load due to the long arm lever, and also served to keep the load off of the chassis and springs, (though I believe it did attach to the chassis somewhere). Braces attached to the hitch bar to keep it firmly in place. I'm going to add a picture of a sketch (if I can figure out how.)

The main problem with the system was drift, epecially from passing semi trucks. I understand there was some kind of an attachment made later on that was meant to stop this kind of sway, but I don't know much about that.
Drift and/or sway weren't the only problems with the early axle mount trailer hitches . . . they also over-stressed the axle resulting in fractured housings and broken axles with damaged differential gears. The outgrowth of these problems was the modern frame mounted weight distributing hitches and eventually products like the Reese Dual Cam Sway Control. Today, most of us who to with Vintage automobiles utilize something like the Reese Strait-Line Hitch that includes the Reese Dual Cam Sway Control . . . this hitch provides the needed weight distribution to the tow vehicle's front and rear suspension as well as transferring some of the hitch weight back to the trailer's axles. I am attaching a pdf of a diagram that illustrates a weld-up Reese-type hitch designed for 1960s era Chrysler Product automobiles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennthevexer View Post
Do you have any thoughts? Also - know anything about the 1959 AMC Rambler Americans?
While some would object to the Rambler Americans due to the unit body construction, I have not encountered any issues with utilizing my 1960s era Chrysler products with unit bodies as tow vehicles. My concern with the Rambler Americans from the late 1950s through the 1960s would be with their modest horsepower and torque -- most were six cylinders that would not be capable of handling and Airstream the size of a Sovereign . . . and even when equipped with a V8, the largest was typically 327 cubic inches which would be very underpowered for duty towing a Sovereign. The wheelbase on the American series would also be much too short for a large Airstream. An Ambassador would come closer to meeting requirements but would still be somewhat short on wheelbase and horsepower/torque.

With a Vintage automobile for a tow vehicle, you need to focus on what would have been considered full-sized vehicles with big-block V8s and in most cases a heavy duty 3-speed Automatic such as the GM Turbohydramatic 400 series transmission, Ford C-6 Automatic Transmission, or the MOPAR TorqueFlight 727 series automatic transmission. In many cases, the rear differential gearing also needs to be changed to something between 3.73 and 4.10 for towing duty . . . my 1965 Dodge with 383 cubic inch V8 had 3.90 differential gears.

To give you an idea of what may need to be done to prepare a Vintage automobile for trailer towing duty, this is what was required on my 1975 Cadillac Eldorado:
  • Custom dual exhaust including dual low-restriction catalytic converters and dual low restriction mufflers.
  • Custom four-row-core radiator with auxilliary transmission fluid, motor oil, and power steering fluid coolers.
  • Heavy duty alternator with heavy duty voltage regulator.
  • Rebuilt 4-barrel carbuertor with RV performance enhancement kit.
  • New heavy-duty Cargo Coil rear springs.
  • Complete Major Service and Tuneup on Automatic Transmission including RV-shift improvement kit.
  • Complete Major Service and Tune-Up on motor including compression test and cylinder leak-down tests to determine health of motor. A new timing gear and chain set may be suggested with some motors depending upon mileage and/or performance indicators.
  • New heavy duty electronic ignition distributor with spark advance module.
  • New heavy duty shock absorbers at all four corners.
  • Rebuilt front suspension including heavy duty uppper ball joints, heavy duty lower ball joints, heavy duty pitman arm, heavy duty drag links, heavy duty sway bar links, heavy duty bushings, new springs or properly adjusted torsion bars.
  • Differential serviced with fresh synthetic grease (for greater resistance to high operating temperatures).
  • Custom fabricated class III/IV receiver type trailer hitch.
  • Electronic trailer brake controller and Bargman trailer connector installation with heavy duty turn signal flasher.
  • Clamp-on trailer towing mirrors (McKesh or something similar)
  • Heavy Duty tires . . . often something in the range of P235 75 R 15, and some go so far as to utilize light truck tires rather than passenger car tires. It is also wise to be aware that some of the option factory styled wheels as well as some of the aftermarket wheels that may be found on some Vintage automobiles are not suitable for use when towing a trailer due to weight carrying limitations.
My longest trip with my 1975 Cadillac Eldorad as tow vehicle was in 2008. My vacation in 2008 included 8,000 miles towing my 1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre (3,100 pounds). The only mechanical issue that I had was the failure of a remanufactured heavy duty alternator that failed 200 miles from the start of the trip. Beyond that one parts related issue the trip was trouble-free. The Cadillac averaged 8.5 MPG for the entire trip (170 miles per tank of premium fuel). Overall, the trip was every bit as relaxing as when my Suburban is the tow vehicle, but the Suburban achieves better fuel economy when towing the Minuet at 10.5 to 12.0 MPG with at least 450 miles per tank of premium fuel.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: Something else to keep in mind is that parts availability while traveling can also be a concern. GM and Ford products hold some advantage in this respect closely followed by MOPAR.
__________________
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)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 01:58 PM   #28
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,008
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
If I were to tow with a vintage TV. I would pick one of the 9 passenger station wagons. They were equipped with heavier suspension, both front and rear.
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #29
1 Rivet Member
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Images: 4
Hi Kevin,

This hitch diagram is really similar to one that I had custom fabricated in order to haul my 72 Triumph Tiger suspended 3 feet from the ground and flush to the back of my old Ford Econoline Van during a move from Philly to Nashville back in 2009.

I'm going to take a close look at this. I really appreciate the info! I'm also going to print these threads out and take them to a vintage car club meeting that's taking place in town a few weeks from now and open this up for a discussion there. Your info is informative and realistic. If you think of anything else, just keep it coming!

Thanks!
Jenn
jennthevexer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 01:24 PM   #30
1 Rivet Member
 
trlrqueen's Avatar
 
2012 25' International
New Iberia , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 8
As someone said earlier, THE man to talk to about tow vehicles is Andy Thompson @ CanAm in Toronto. He writes a monthly column in Airstream Life on all there is to know about towing. He specializes in matching trailer to TV-- and unconventional TVs like cars & minivans, too! If we had known this sooner, we might have driven up from Louisiana & let him do his magic BEFORE buying our 2012 International 25. As it happened, we bought a 2012 Tundra Crew Max (our first pickup ever), THEN drove it to Oregon to pick up our AS. Trucks with a tonneau or cap do have advantages in being able to store generators, BBQs, gas cans, and other things with vapors outside of the passenger compartment.

Bottom line: Anything you end up with is a trade-off! There is no ONE grand solution. Just keep doing your homework, then jump!
trlrqueen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 09:28 AM   #31
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar
 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,861
Quote:
Originally Posted by trlrqueen View Post

Bottom line: Anything you end up with is a trade-off! There is no ONE grand solution. Just keep doing your homework, then jump!
trlrqueen

Truer words were never spoken.

Dan
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
towing


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best color for Airstream tow vehicle cbgenrich Tow Vehicles 201 06-04-2019 04:51 PM
Airstream Tow Vehicle?? Ultradog Tow Vehicles 4 05-29-2006 03:18 PM
2003 Expedition as tow vehicle for 25' Airstream Kistler Our Community 18 04-20-2003 10:40 AM
Matching Airstream & Tow Vehicle elpasodon Our Community 10 03-11-2003 07:57 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.