Towing an Airstream Travel Trailer

acehigh1

Member
Going to have a hitch assembly installed on my 2011 modified crew 144" HT. Having a 6000/600 lb towing capacity w/ 10K/1K lb weight-distributed capacity Class III Curt installed. The 20-ft Airstream is 4271 lbs with tongue wt of 631 lbs and GVWR of 5000 lbs. I do plan on having trailer brakes installed. Is this too much weight, though, for the V-6 engine or can the Sprinter actually do 7500 lbs since the factory-installed hitch through MB (at about > 3X the price) is rated for 7500/750 so it can do well over 5000 lbs by the looks - 50% more, in fact. We plan on using the cargo bay for bicycles and overflow of food, clothes, chairs that should not add up to more than 500 lbs. Thx for your thoughts and any experience in this area! :cheers:
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Suggest checking the data plate on the driver's door for GVRW & towing capacity. Or the manual!
 

MillionMileSprinter

Formerly Type2Teach
It will tow it just fine. And you can load up the inside of the van like you want too. You are within the limits.
-you don't specify whether you have the 2500 or 3500, but you hint at the 7500#, so maybe you have the 3500?
The 2500 will safely tow 5000# along with about a ton more in the van. The 3500 goes even higher. So no matter what you have you are within the safety limits. I towed a 4500# camper all over the US with a 2500 and had the inside of the Sprinter filled, too. All with no problems at all.
 
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MillionMileSprinter

Formerly Type2Teach
Says the guy whose profile pic is his Sprinter towing his other Sprinter. :rad:

-Randy
Yeah, well, I did that too, but only for a few hundred miles and never went over 55. I would not recommend it, but I can vouch for the fact that it can be done. Red van pulled the 4500# camper all over the US after that and is still going strong as my wife's daily driver with 375k on the clock. :thumbup:
 

acehigh1

Member
It will tow it just fine. And you can load up the inside of the van like you want too. You are within the limits.
-you don't specify whether you have the 2500 or 3500, but you hint at the 7500#, so maybe you have the 3500?
The 2500 will safely tow 5000# along with about a ton more in the van. The 3500 goes even higher. So no matter what you have you are within the safety limits. I towed a 4500# camper all over the US with a 2500 and had the inside of the Sprinter filled, too. All with no problems at all.
I have the 2500. Thanks for sharing your experience as it helps me feel more confidant approaching a 5000-5500 lb tow. I have driven cross-country twice with 3000 lbs inside the van (well distributed) with no problems at all, but would be closer to twice that total between the tow and inside van items. Thx!
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
Going to have a hitch assembly installed on my 2011 modified crew 144" HT. Having a 6000/600 lb towing capacity w/ 10K/1K lb weight-distributed capacity Class III Curt installed. The 20-ft Airstream is 4271 lbs with tongue wt of 631 lbs and GVWR of 5000 lbs. I do plan on having trailer brakes installed. Is this too much weight, though, for the V-6 engine or can the Sprinter actually do 7500 lbs since the factory-installed hitch through MB (at about > 3X the price) is rated for 7500/750 so it can do well over 5000 lbs by the looks - 50% more, in fact. We plan on using the cargo bay for bicycles and overflow of food, clothes, chairs that should not add up to more than 500 lbs. Thx for your thoughts and any experience in this area! :cheers:

Where are you getting your ratings numbers? I just looked at the 2011 Owners Manual for a 2500 Sprinter the ratings are:
GVWR - 8,550 lbs
GCWR - 13,550 lbs
Trailer GTW - 5,000 lbs
Max nose (tongue) TWR - 500 lbs

Hitch ratings don't apply if the vehicle ratings are less. If you use a weight distributing hitch it should work. But you really need to know the total weight of your combined van&trailer. Your 2500 Sprinter with V-6 has enough power to tow over the GCWR considering the 3500 has a GCWR of 15,250. But the brakes become a limiter. Most vehicles can handle more than their ratings due to engineering margins designed into the vehicle. But if you should be so unfortunate to be involved in a serious accident with an over weight rig you might run into problems with the law or your insurance.


- - Mike
2013 Airstream Interstate from 2012 Sprinter 3500 tall & long
 

israndy

2007 LTV Serenity
I did just get an Airstream myself, but I am instead thinking of having it tow my Sprinter:

c536d53541_640.jpg

Much safer, and then I can use the little RV to go shopping or even for day trips all over the country. Areas it might never see if it wasn't on a grand adventure with us living on the road for a year.

-Randy
 
Since you are so close to the limits, I would get some suspension upgrades. In the Roadtrek subforum, I have a post about towing with my Roadtrek and some links to calculating towing capacity and upgrades from the Sprinter Store in Oregon. This might give you some additional information.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

sailquik

Well-known member
acehigh1,
You wrote:
" or can the Sprinter actually do 7500 lbs since the factory-installed hitch through MB (at about > 3X the price) is rated for 7500/750 so it can do well over 5000 lbs by the looks - 50% more, in fact."
Be aware that the 7500 lbs./750 lbs. rated hitch from ORIS in Germany is only rated on 144" and 170" 3500 USA (516 & 916 series in the rest of the world) with dual rear wheels and the 4-5 ton suspension.
Be very careful with your weight distributing hitch....there is very little engineered "structure" in the back of a Sprinter Van (this is why the extended Sprinters, even the 3500/516/519 series) are down rated to 5,000 lbs./500 lbs. tongue weight..
The Genuine MB towing cross member (from ORIS might be 3 x as expensive, but it's 3x better engineered and the finish is 3x better.
Had both, and will never have a E-Trailer/Curt hitch ever again.
Poor fit/poorly assembled/poorly finished!
Plus, with the aftermarket (cheap) cross member/receiver, and without the OEM factory installed trailer wiring package you cannot
get the TSA (Trailer Stability Assist) safety features.
The TSA cannot be added, even if you buy all the factory retro fit wiring and cross member kits.
Roger
 
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