Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (https://www.airforums.com/forums/)
-   Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f238/)
-   -   Smallest Towing car (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f238/smallest-towing-car-124734.html)

Easylife 08-31-2014 09:29 PM

Smallest Towing car
 
Hello,
I'm new to all of this. I want to buy a small trailer, not more than 25 .
I don't like big cars or trucks. What is the smallest towing car that I could buy?
I saw some people have Jeeps. What models would be good for this. What other brands and models?
Thanks!!

Foiled Again 08-31-2014 09:48 PM

woe betide thee!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Easylife (Post 1504171)
Hello,
I'm new to all of this. I want to buy a small trailer, not more than 25 .
I don't like big cars or trucks. What is the smallest towing car that I could buy?
I saw some people have Jeeps. What models would be good for this. What other brands and models?
Thanks!!

You've just asked one of the most charged questions you can ask on this forum. The debate on tow vehicles is endless. Truck vs. SUV can go on forever. Let me suggest first that you learn to use the SEARCH function. Click the dropdown box on SEARCH which is on the top right side, go down and select Google search - it's the best for newcomers - then enter something like "select tow vehicle" and you'll get hundreds of threads starting with the latest ones. Pick one of the top 3 and start to read.

Personal opinion only. I had a Chevy Silverado 2500 diesel and due to a wreck got a new Airstream and Tow Vehicle. I replaced a 25 FB with a newer model Eddie Bauer, but to save a bit on fuel, bought a new Ford F-150 Ecoboost. I wish I could say I love the Ecoboost... and it has many nice features but one very important thing to remember is that you not only have to TOW a trailer you have to STOP it. Any 3/4 ton truck will have much more robust brakes and transmission than any 1/2 ton. Any 1/2 ton truck will work with a 25 footer DEPENDING on how much you tow, how far you tow, and what terrain you're towing on. If I lived in the Rockies, or did a lot of long distance trips, I'd be trading in the EcoBoost for a 3/4 ton truck or perhaps a 3/4 ton Suburban. About Jeeps - don't even think of anything with a short wheel base! Not a happy towing combo. (If I won the lottery, a DuraBurb wouldn't be out of the question. That's a Suburban with a Duramax diesel and Cummins transmission yanked from a 2500 Silverado diesel. Google it.)

Dislike of big vehicles - never had anything but a compact until I got my first Airstream in my mid-50's. I was uncomfortable for less than three weeks. I do cry at gas stations, but ecologically it's more wasteful for one person to have two cars than to have one gas hog. Fulltiming what I spend in gas I save in all other utilities.

Take your time and learn. Or (and I'm doing this frequently) If you want the most innovative quality built vintage unit money can buy and a Mercedes as a tow vehicle go check out Smokeless Joe's Argosy/Sprinter Truck with mounted generator and Mini Cooper on deck. Cheap at twice the price, and hits ALL of your buttons.

Paula

Nuvite-F 08-31-2014 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easylife (Post 1504171)
I'm new to all of this. I want to buy a small trailer, not more than 25 .
I don't like big cars or trucks. What is the smallest towing car that I could buy?

Welcome to the forums!

I'm not going to try to tell you what kind of tow vehicle to buy but maybe I can give you some things to think about.

In general, if you want to tow with a small car, you want a small trailer. Note that new Airstreams are considerably heavier than older (60s & 70s) Airstreams of the same length. You might want to consider a vintage Airstream.

For example our first Airstream was a 1960 Pacer 16-footer with a gross weight under 1800 pounds. The previous owner towed it for many years with a Mercedes 190D sedan--which is a pretty small car.

If you are not particularly committed to an Airstream, some under-2000 pound trailers are currently available, such as the Casita and r-pod.

Casita Travel Trailers - America's favorite customer driven; lightweight travel trailer

r-pod Travel Trailers and Hybrid Trailers by Forest River

If you want to tow a new Airstream (typically 4,000 pounds and up) with a small car, my advice would be to talk to Andy Thomson of Can Am RV in London, Ontario, who is a wizard at putting together such combinations. Can-Am RV Centre | #1 Airstream Dealer in Customer Satisfaction Worldwide | Your Full-Service RV Dealer

Good luck with your search!

wkerfoot 08-31-2014 10:18 PM

I just purchased a Dodge Durango to use as a tow vehicle when I don't want to take the Lincoln. 119" wheelbase and 16.75' overall length compared to the Lincoln 121" wheelbase and 19.5' overall length. I will find out how well it works the end of September when I tow our 1954 29' Liner to the Balloon Fiesta.

I have friends who use a Grand Cherokee with a shorter wheelbase and overall length for 25 footer and they are happy.

Bill

kscherzi 08-31-2014 10:27 PM

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel would be an excellent choice to tow a 25 or smaller trailer.

Larry C 09-01-2014 07:09 AM

If you don't like "big"cars and trucks why not get a Mini Cooper and the smallest Casita?

overlander63 09-01-2014 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuvite-F (Post 1504182)

If you are not particularly committed to an Airstream, some under-2000 pound trailers are currently available, such as the Casita and r-pod.



r-pod Travel Trailers and Hybrid Trailers by Forest River


Good luck with your search!

Sorry, but an R-Pod has an empty weight of 3500 pounds. We had one for sale at the dealership, and not only was I surprised by how heavy it was, the people that bought it had to go buy a bigger tow vehicle, as the one they had couldn't tow it off the lot.

AWCHIEF 09-01-2014 07:41 AM

I have a neighbor with a Fiat 500 and a little teardrop. He and his wife travel all the country with this little combo. They used to tow it with a Honda Motorcycle.

dkottum 09-01-2014 08:07 AM

2012 Ram Express 1500 120" wheelbase
 
1 Attachment(s)
Also not wanting a big tow vehicle, we considered all sizes, price, and maintenance costs of tow vehicles and found this to be the best overall match to our travel, Airstream, and budget (new truck, trailer and modifications, ProPride hitch under $100k). It's paid for up front.

It's taken us coast to coast and border to border three times, 20 months on the road, with no problems.

rostam 09-01-2014 09:43 AM

Going back to what the OP asked for (cars not full size pickups):

There are a couple of pricey options: Porsche Panamera with 4850# tow rating and BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo with 4630# tow rating.

Further down the price range, Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT have 4500# ratings (I am not sure what to call them though, sedan, wagon or what).

Toyota Venza has 3500# tow rating (again something between a sedan and wagon).

There are several Volvos with 3300# rating: S60, S80, and XC70

Subaru Outback (a wagon) has 3000# tow rating.

Hope this helps.

dkottum 09-01-2014 09:54 AM

Which of these cars is rated for a 25' Airstream?

overlander63 09-01-2014 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkottum (Post 1504327)
Which of these cars is rated for a 25' Airstream?

Since a 25' weighs North of 5000 pounds, I would have to say zero.

terryV 09-01-2014 10:33 AM

H3 Hummer with tow package has a 5,000 lb. tow rating. Chevy Traverse, again with tow pkg, also has a 5,000 lb. tow rating.

I have both of these and was looking for a "small" Airstream to tow. However, I fell in love with a '31 Classic. Fortunately, I also owned a Chevy PU.

cory_can 09-01-2014 10:43 AM

Smallest Towing car
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by overlander63 (Post 1504347)
Since a 25' weighs North of 5000 pounds, I would have to say zero.


I wish these threads could just be closed...so frustrating to read. OP, there are plenty of vehicles that make great tow vehicles that are significantly underrated from the manufacturer. Do some searching through the site and you'll see people that are very successful (AND SAFE) with vehicles that aren't pickup trucks.

Easylife 09-01-2014 10:56 AM

Smallest towing vehicle
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kscherzi (Post 1504185)
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel would be an excellent choice to tow a 25 or smaller trailer.

Thanks.
Why do you say the new one? what about older versions?

Bunkroom 09-01-2014 10:57 AM

Where and how far...
 
A big part of the answer is how do you plan to use your Airstream. Are you going 100 miles from home for weekend camping trips or cross country? Are you in mountainous terrain or flatland. Daily towing around the country will be most satisfactory and comfortable in a big towing vehicle.

I am towing my 1968 26' Overlander (~4100 lbs) with a 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350 SUV that has a towing capacity of 7200 lbs. The vehicle has computer controlled stability that is capable of correcting trailer sway and is available with optional air suspension (On/Off road package) that has a trailer mode that will level the vehicle when towing a trailer.

This is not a "car" but rather a mid-sized SUV but is is relatively compact and tows the trailer quite capably on the short trips we take. It is also a very nice daily driver for me.

You asked about "cars" but also mentioned Jeep so I assume SUV's are an option as Jeep does not make sedans or coupes? The only Jeep that works for a 25' plus is the Grand Cherokee.

rostam 09-01-2014 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkottum (Post 1504327)
Which of these cars is rated for a 25' Airstream?

"I want to buy a small trailer, not more than 25 .".

That was the upper bound. Many of the cars can tow 16/19/20/22 Ft Airstreams.

Goal15 09-01-2014 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cory_can (Post 1504354)
I wish these threads could just be closed...so frustrating to read. OP, there are plenty of vehicles that make great tow vehicles that are significantly underrated from the manufacturer. Do some searching through the site and you'll see people that are very successful (AND SAFE) with vehicles that aren't pickup trucks.


With all due respect, if it bothers you for people to ask these questions and get updated feedback, then just pass the thread on by. It's how we learn.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums

terryV 09-01-2014 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cory_can (Post 1504354)
I wish these threads could just be closed...so frustrating to read. OP, there are plenty of vehicles that make great tow vehicles that are significantly underrated from the manufacturer. Do some searching through the site and you'll see people that are very successful (AND SAFE) with vehicles that aren't pickup trucks.

If it's so frustrating for you to read them, why do you torture yourself?

cory_can 09-01-2014 12:00 PM

Smallest Towing car
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Goal15 (Post 1504382)
With all due respect, if it bothers you for people to ask these questions and get updated feedback, then just pass the thread on by. It's how we learn.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums



I'm not sure you're getting the most updated feedback because from what I've read, the people being successful with towing smaller vehicles tend to pass these threads due to the same frustration I'm feeling. Why give your input if you always get into the same disagreements? I've heard it through PM from numerous people in my small time being here. At this point the feedback loop is closed and missing half the information. What is left is people recommending large pickup trucks that seem to think smaller vehicles are only capable of pulling Bambi sized and lower weight "classics". This information is perpetuated and nobody is learning anything...other than "must have long wheelbase", "must have 1/2 tonne pickup", "must obey manufacturer tow ratings" etc etc

Quote:

Originally Posted by terryV (Post 1504386)
If it's so frustrating for you to read them, why do you torture yourself?

...mostly because of the above, trying to keep people's mind open to what the real options are......but, you're right, maybe I should just disregard the "timeline" feature and just stick with the safe categories so I'm oblivious :)

From now on I'll let you guys/gals to it :)


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.