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The Right Tow Rig Makes All the Difference

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In this week’s episode of the 101, Bryan Rogala talks to part-time Airstreamers Aaron Gulley and Jen Judge about picking the right tow rig for your trailer. They’ve gone through two trucks and have found that it comes down to more than just the manufacturer’s listed towing capacity. If you want to see the full tour of their Airstream, check it out here.

Video Transcript

BRYAN ROGALA: Hey, guys. Bryan Rogala here for Outside. This is The 101. Last episode, we met Aaron and Jen. We talked about their airstream. We got a full tour. Now, we're going to talk about tow rig. This is important because when you're buying a trailer, you have to think about what you're going to tow the trailer with. You, obviously, need a vehicle to pull the trailer, whether it's an airstream, whether it's a little pop up, whatever you've got. So you guys started out with a different truck, and then you upgraded to this truck. 

AARON GULLEY: Yeah, we had a Chevy Colorado and then we bought the trailer. And it worked fine. We had not towed before, so we didn't know any better. We had some issues where we'd get a little bit sketchy on the highway at high speeds. Above 65 was not possible. And then, we were going into the back country, and take three running starts to get out. That happened a few times and we were like, I think we need a bigger truck. 

JEN JUDGE: It was just a matter of upgrading to something, and making us feel a little bit more comfortable. 

BRYAN ROGALA: Sure. 

JEN JUDGE: A little bit more capable to get into the back country, and go to places that we couldn't necessarily go before. 

AARON GULLEY: They always rate trucks for their tow ratings. And [INAUDIBLE] trailer does, I think, 4,600 pounds dry. I think the Colorado was rated to 7,000 or 7,200, so we're like, oh it's fine. What we didn't think about was how much stuff you're putting in the trailer. 

When we started adding all of that up, a roof box and bikes and you're just like, oh we're well over the capacity. So we decided let's trade the Chevy back in and get another Chevy. So we got a Silverado 2,500 HD with diesel, and it actually has been life changing because we often will hook up and drive away and be like, oh, did we forget the trailer? 

High winds, which we get a lot in the southwest, steep gravel dirt roads that we don't ever worry about it. We can use this as a camper, too. And also, just being able to shove everything in the back of the truck. 

BRYAN ROGALA: Have you done any other modifications to the truck? 

AARON GULLEY: We got to tall cap, a little bit taller tires. We went to BF Goodrich KO2a. We have gotten better gas mileage since we got those. 

BRYAN ROGALA: So your tips-- if somebody is looking to buy a trailer, consider the total weight when it's fully loaded with water and all that kind of stuff, and then what you're going to bring. 

AARON GULLEY: Exactly. 

JEN JUDGE: Exactly it. 

BRYAN ROGALA: Perfect. All right. Well, if you guys like this video and want to see more like it, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Otherwise, we'll see you next time. 

Car Camping