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Best car or suv to pull an airstream 26' trailer

am “planning” my retirement and am considering getting a 26’ airstream trailer We are also considering getting a car or truck to haul stuff around My wife is OK with the truck part but has not been informed of the ulterior motive- the airstream So what truck or SUV would serve the dual purpose of short term hauling and eventual towing around the country Ideas?

A 250/2500 series truck or heavier would be needed to handle that much trailer.

How much experience do you have towing significant weight?

Agree. The only thing I would add is that you definitely go with a fifth wheel trailer for something this long, especially if you are not really experienced in towing. 5 the wheel used Airstreams may be hard to come by if that’s what you have in mind (?) but I definitely would go that route in a heart beat !!,!

There isn’t a car out there that will safely pull a 26’ travel trailer. We have friends who recently bought a 30 foot Airstream, and a new Ram 2500 4-door pickup to pull it. He’s happy with the way the truck tows the trailer. But also money isn’t really a factor for them, so I have no idea how much the package cost.

The first thing to do is determine weights. You’ll need the dry weight of the trailer and also the hitch weight. Add to the dry weight the weight of the grey and black holding tanks, fresh water tank and any camping items that are stored in the trailer when being pulled. Knowing this weight you can look at vehicles. You’ll need to know the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the Gross Axle Rating. You’ll need decent truck tires, probably E rated. A weight equalizing hitch is almost mandatory, as are a good set of tow mirrors.
The bottom line is don’t take half measures. Get more tow vehicle than you think you’ll need then set it up right. Pulling a bumper hitch travel trailer can be fun and worry free or it can be a constant frightening nightmare. Do it right at the start.

Lots of good ideas here but make sure you get a 4-Way Sway Bar setup also known as a 4 point sway control. It makes towing life a lot easier.

You are retiring. Selling house? Going mobile? Live in Vegas during winter and mn during summer? Or keeping house and traveling a lot? Keeping car and buying truck? I vote for buying a motor home. Much nicer than camper. I have had both. Why do you need a truck to haul stuff? A truck is usually underutilized by novice owners. You don’t need a truck to haul 50lbs of stuff from the garden center. You get a truck to pull a 8k lb trailer or firewood. Do you mean you want to pull something heavy or haul some empty boxes? Get a minivan

A minivan to pull a 26’ Airstream travel trailer? I just don’t see that working.
Full sized vans such as an Econoline would work very well though. They come in 3/4 or one ton chassis. SUV’s and pickups are very popular right now, meaning high prices on used ones. Full size vans however can be had for a bargain. The cargo area in a full sized van is very accessible with very large side and rear cargo doors.
See this for an example:

A 26 foot RV towing a Fit might make for a more enjoyable ride.

Depending on your intentions when you travel.
As for my parents, an RV, aka motor home, was highly impractical. The trailer met their needs best after a year’s experimentation.
Maintainence on two running vehicles, or without two,needing to batten down the hatches just to go do their activities was nt in the cards.
The trailer could be parked and all manner of side trips accomodated with the truck . They were hikers, had family to visit, and spent weeks in any one stop.
We even sold off the Cessna 172 for the impracticality of their extended stays.

At first they towed with a V8 dodge dakot pickup with a camper shell. Then they got an E150 Ford van. Each a capable puller and activity runner.

Full size van, truck or SUV, doesn’t really matter which one, but if you are going to travel out west, get the larger optional engine. Also get the equalizer hitch and a transmission oil cooler. If you can get a larger radiator, that would be good too.

If this is a used trailer, get the wiring harness inspected very closely, and if it isn’t in top notch shape, replace it. Believe me, the last thing you want is the trailer brakes to not work when going down a long steep grade. When that happens, you will soil your depends.

Maybe the first step is getting the wife on board with what is going to be latched to that truck…

ok4450 put it a little nicer than I was going to. Making plans of this nature and expense without involving your wife is dumb.

My son made the mistake of buying a truck without the imput of his wife.

BIG mistake. She was (rightfully) really steamed at him.

Trust me, he’ll NEVER do that again.

Our pulling truck…IS…my wife’s.
The trailer was her idea too…till she soon found it not her liking. She’s a hotel kinda girl so we sold the trailer…still have the 79 truck !.. ( still have the wife too ! :wink: )

You might want to consider a GM Suburban or Ford Expedition SUV. They will tow an 8000 lb tag trailer without needing a 5th wheel type trailer. The SUV’s are nearly as big as the trailer itself (about 20 feet) which helps stability. Both max out at about 8000 lbs. To give a bigger cushion, you are pretty much resigned to the 2500 series trucks from the big 3 but you can get them with 4 doors and 6 ft beds. You might consider a diesel, the fuel economy will be a bit better and you get to “play” trucker at the Flying J.