RV Life | How To Choose A Tow Vehicle

Now that we have started our search for a vintage Airstream, we need to start thinking about choosing a Tow Vehicle. The most important thing in choosing tow vehicle is knowing what we will be towing behind us. Since we don’t know the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Ratio) of the Airstream we will be towing, I am going to go off of a new 2018 Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk model. 

Red Dodge Ram Truck with the Rocky Mountains in the background. Text over lay RV Life - Choosing a Tow Vehicle.  What is the GVWR and GAWR?

Knowing these numbers will help with a “baseline” vehicle you need to tow your trailer. As we said the GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Ratio, and it means this is the heavest your trailer is rated to be. For the 2018 Airstream, the GVWR is 8,800 lbs, and is the heaviest the frame can handle. 

What does all this mean? The truck needs to be able to tow at-least 8,800 lbs. 

What if you are looking at a 5th Wheel? You will also need to look at the GAWR, Gross Axle Weight Ratio, especially the rear axle of the truck. Why? You will be putting more weight on the rear axle of your tow vehicle. This way you are not putting too much weight on that rear axle. 

Do you plan on upgrading your trailer later down the road? Choosing a vehicle that surpasses your current trailers numbers is a good idea also and what we plan to do. 

Truck VS Van

The next thing you need to choose between is a truck or a van. If you find a van that is able to tow your trailer, this gives you more storage space (Airstreams don’t have much) and you can have more room for your family. The advantage of  choosing a truck, is you have a bed. Don’t forget that you are able to put a truck bed cap on the bed and provide more storage and a secure place to store your things. 

Gas Vs Diesel

A diesel truck is normally a lot larger than a gas truck. If you are pulling a 5th wheel you may need a diesel truck due to the GAWR as these trucks can handle a larger RV than the Gas Trucks can. This also gives you more towing capacity. Diesel trucks also have an easier time going up hills and mountains. Another advantage of a diesel truck is the engine life. These trucks can go for 100’s of thousand of miles. 

Four Wheel Drive

This isn’t important to everyone, but if you are planning to boondock, four wheel drive can be your friend. This can help you get into or out of your spots. If you are only planning on campground camping and don’t think you will be off road, four wheel drive may not be necessary for you. 

Seating Capacity

Who and how many will be going along with you? This is important to think about since it will determine your comfort. Is it just you or maybe your significant other? A single cab truck might be preferable. If you are like our family, we have two kids that will be with us full-time, and one more when we have him. So having the seating capacity for our family is VERY important to us. 

So what are we choosing to go with? 

I have been a Dodge fan for years. So the truck that we want to get is the Dodge Ram 2500 with the 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine. If we can afford it, I would like the limited edition below.  

Dodge Ram 2500 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine

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