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Old 03-31-2017, 07:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mergatroyd View Post
I don't think even a hitch salesman would tell you that you should have most of the TV's weight on the front axle.
What part of that post led you to believe that he said you should have most of the weight on the front axle?

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Old 03-31-2017, 07:32 PM   #22
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30" FC, Ford f-150, 3.5L Ecoboost, Ezy-Lift hitch: works for me quite fine.

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Old 03-31-2017, 07:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dasams View Post
What part of that post led you to believe that he said you should have most of the weight on the from axle?
Obviously if your tongue load doesn't even out your front-heavy distribution, and then you crank up your weight distribution hitch to unbalance the distribution even more, then that must be what he's saying to do.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:35 PM   #24
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BTW, this isn't the best place to look for unbiased opinions.
There's a lot of technical knowledge, but there are people all across the spectrum. Those who trade every other year, those who full time, those who visit the west often, those who keep a vehicle for 10 years. Each has an opinion and defends that opinion with passion.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:41 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
BTW, this isn't the best place to look for unbiased opinions.
There's a lot of technical knowledge, but there are people all across the spectrum. Those who trade every other year, those who full time, those who visit the west often, those who keep a vehicle for 10 years. Each has an opinion and defends that opinion with passion.
This is clearly your opinion.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:50 PM   #26
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You might find a new 3/4 diesel pickup at a reasonable price at the dealers. Heard they still have 2016s. Got mine at a very nice price. Have to look back to see if my 30' w/slide is still back there.

Hills? What hills...

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Old 03-31-2017, 09:05 PM   #27
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A brand new Nissan Titan XD with a Cummins Diesel can be had right now for around $45k with 5 year/100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.

I love mine...
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Mergatroyd View Post
Sway control won't hurt you, but to be honest, Airstreams loaded with 10-15% tongue weight won't sway much, and I doubt they'll toss the back end of a 3/4 ton truck around if it has a decent load on its rear axle.
What are the weights on your setup? Been over the scales? You throw percentages around, but never talked about FALR. Are you not concerned with it?

But hey, you're welcome to believe whatever you want.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:45 PM   #29
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Welcome! You've unknowingly asked the two questions guaranteed to start a donnybrook: best tow vehicle and best hitch. Lot's of good advice posted above based on the personal preferences and what worked well for the poster. In that vein, I'll tell you what I am using and would recommend:

IMHO, the best thing to tow an Airstream is a big Cummins straight 6 diesel. It comes wrapped in a Ram 2500 or 3500. As there was only around $400 difference between those two, and the latter gave me 2,000# more payload and Hotchkiss rear leaf springs, I went with 3500 full-testosterone model; specifically a 2015 Ram 3500 4x4 crewcab Laramie with full 8' box and a Highway Products "pickup pack". Tows and rides like a dream while giving me 14 - 15 mpg with a GCVW of around 17,000 lbs.

As for hitches - I use two. I have an Equalizer WD/AS hitch combined with a Class VI AirSafe. The first gives me weight distribution and anti-sway, and the latter keeps my $60k TV and $90k TT from beating the snot out of each other. Again, combo works like a charm, and has for 2 years and 12,000 miles.

That's what works for me.

As soon as the dust dies down, ask what size wheels and type of tires you should put on your Airstream... ;-)

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Old 04-01-2017, 02:16 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
What are the weights on your setup? Been over the scales? You throw percentages around, but never talked about FALR. Are you not concerned with it?

But hey, you're welcome to believe whatever you want.
As are you. Just to be clear, the whole purpose of a WD hitch is to take the trailer's tongue weight and redistribute some or most of it between the front axle of the TV and the trailer's axle(s). Keep in mind, also, that any pickup has a fairly large forward weight bias already; some more than others. The rear axle GAWR allows hundreds of pounds more to be placed on it, which tends to even out the weight bias and gives the truck better and more stable handling characteristics. Obviously you don't want to attempt towing a trailer that exceeds your truck's tow capacity or causes the truck's rear suspension to be overloaded. If you haven't exceeded the rear GAWR, any back end drop can be corrected easily enough with helper springs or inflatable air bags. The latter gives you the ability to tweak the lift until your truck and trailer are exactly level without shifting excess weight to the front axle.
A WD hitch is not designed to prevent sway. But as Mergatroyd points out, an AS is not prone to sway anyway when it is properly matched to a TV. Simple rule: if you have a small TV, stick with a smaller trailer. Bigger trailers require bigger TV's. Don't push the tow limits.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:02 PM   #31
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Drive a half ton and then drive a 3/4 ton, empty and without a trailer. If you plan to use the truck at all as a daily driver, consider what it's like to park and maneuver around suburban streets. Also, if you plan to use your big diesel as a short trip grocery-getter, understand that the complicated emission suppression system will not be happy in that kind of service. And servicing your diesel will be more expensive. The diesel fuel economy will be be 2-3 mpg better, but be sure and look at the price difference between gas and diesel fuel.
There are two modern 1/2 tons that are at least the equal of the 3/4 diesels in performance. The F-150 Ecoboost is available with a rated cargo capacity of about a ton--100 lbs less than the Ram 2500 diesel. Being turbocharged, it has a fat torque curve that looks like a diesel and has the same horsepower as the Cummins. See the fast lane truck test this vehicle pulling a 9,000 lb trailer up the steepest and longest Interstate grade in America--at the speed limit and still not using full throttle. That's 1400 lbs heavier than the GVWR of your Airstream. GM/ Chevy makes a 1/2 ton with a 6.2 liter gas engine rated almost a ton that has an 8-speed transmission. It develops 420 hp. And 460 lb-feet of torque. It pulled the 9,000 lb trailer up the big hill at the speed limit, albeit wide open. Without turbocharging, it loses power at the high altitude of that grade. At sea level, it is 2 seconds faster to 60 than a Duramax diesel, both empty.
So, why buy the diesel to tow a 7600 lb Airstream (as opposed to a big 5th wheel): the diesel exhaust brake provides better engine braking than the gas engines and the bigger fuel tank gives it more range. Noise? Most of the time these engines are turning under 2,000 rpm at cruising speed. They will be quieter than a diesel. In those very few instances where max power is needed, they will spoil up higher than a diesel and make more noise. Merging onto a freeway in Los Angeles, I never exceeded 3,000 rpm in my GMC 6.2. My 2015 GMC has been absolutely trouble-free in 51,000 miles, about 35,000 of those pulling my FC 27 all over the West, cross-country and back and through the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. You will need a good weight distribution hitch with a half ton. I have a ProPride and it performs as advertised. The trailer is rock solid behind my truck in all kinds of winds and getting passed by semis doing 80 when I'm at my personal speed limit of 63. ((Be advised that the tires that come with your Airstream are speed limited to 65; they will blow out at higher sustained speeds).
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:40 AM   #32
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I had a 2010 Toyota Tundra 2x4 DC for a couple of years towing my 2008 Classic 25fb. While it has the power the posted door sticker load/capacity was rated at only 1365lbs. My Classic 25fb has about 1000 to 1100lb tongue weight. Used a 1000lb Equalizer hitch. Our trip from Missouri to Florida in 2013 was uneventful towing-wise. With the 26 gallon tank on leg we got 280 miles on a tank driving mainly 60-62mph.

On my trip from Missouri to Utah and back via Colorado I discovered the week link, the brakes. First observed brake shudder coming down the steep downhill to Hurricane, UT traveling from North Rim GC. Despite shifting down when I had to apply the brakes they must have over heated and experienced brake shudder. Once the brakes had cooled they were back to normal. Experienced it on the I70 coming down into Denver. While shifted down had to slow down from 50mph to 25mph due to a truck and couldn't pass due to heavy traffic in the other lane.

Since we wanted a 4x4 we decided to switch trucks. My criteria was 4x4, at least 2000lbs of door sticker payload, trailer towing mirrors (preferably electric folding), fuel tank larger than 30gal, integrated brake controller and at least 6' bed. Most F150 in my area are 5 1/2 bed and no towing mirror. We didn't like the suicide door F150 Supercab models and no towing mirrors. We didn't like the interior of the F250s and thought the 6.2L engine was not enough power in a chassis that weighs a lot more than the Tundra. The Ram 1500s payload was about the same as the Tundra. Started to look at diesel and ended up with a mid trim 2015 Ram 2500 crew cab, 4x4, 31 gallon tank and 6ft bed. Slight longer than the Tundra its similar when parking.

The Cummins engine is definitely more powerful than the Tundras. The tow haul is better than the Tundras. The integrated brake controller is much better than the Prodigy 2 controller I had in the Tundra. The exhaust brake controller is an added feature that cuts down the braking while towing. Combined with tow haul the truck slows down while towing with much less braking required.

The Ram 2500 is a tall truck, even with the side step its a climb, I'm 5'10. I carry a folding step in the back of the truck so I can climb on the tail gate.

The mileage I'm seeing is not much better than the Tundra although I find I'm cruising at 65mph rather than the 60mph in the Tundra and the Ram handles power on the hills better. Diesel is not much higher than regular unleaded and is cheaper than premium unleaded currently. Premium is recommended for towing on the F150 EB but many members just use regular but experience a little worse fuel economy.

Buying diesel, while its plentiful, is not as easy as gas. Often the only islands with auto diesel are on the outside islands, which is good because it allows better maneuvering while towing, but is often blocked while gas vehicles fueling up from the combo pump so you have to wait. Truck islands use the large pump nozzle. I've used them a few times but sometimes even at the lowest handle setting the flow is too high and diesel will overflow. At one fuel stop I had to give up after putting in only a couple of gallons and find another place to fuel up.

Most diesel pump handles are pretty greasy. I use disposable gloves so not to get diesel on my hands then transfer to my interior; steering wheel, grab handle etc. Unlike gasoline the diesel stays on your hand longer.

Maintenance: So far I've only got 13k miles. I had a couple of oil changes and they cost more than gas engines. The Cummins uses more oil and it costs about $85 at my local dealer. The oil interval is typically 15k miles or six months so I change it by the time not mileage. I have 2 fuel filters on my Ram and they must be changed ever 15k miles. I looked online for the two Mopar fuel filters and they are about $85. The dealer will charge more and will charge for labor. I'm expecting about a $250 bill to change the fuel filters. They don't look hard to change from looking at youTube videos but you have to dispose of the diesel that is drained.

The other maintenance item is DEF. I had the dealer refill at the first oil change and that was a shock to the wallet. Tried the 2 1/2 gallon containers, $15. I tried the bulk DEF at a truck stop and that is like pumping gas and most economical. While towing expect about a gallon of DEF per 1000 miles. My DEF tank is about 5 1/2 gallons.

Then you read about the stories of owners pumping bad diesel or using bad DEF and the damage it can do to a diesel emissions system or diesel engine pump. So far so good with me.

This brings up the topic with biodiesel. Many stations show on their pump a sticker where the diesel can be 5% to 20% biodiesel. Owners with diesels that are restricted to B5 cannot tell if the pump has B5 or B20. My Ram is B20 compatible. I've used several tanks of biodiesel traveling through the Midwest and no issues observed. My hometown are sells straight diesel.

On bumpy roads while towing its not that comfortable maybe on par with the Tundra. Probably the same with any truck towing.

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Old 04-02-2017, 09:13 AM   #33
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My Tundra has 1455# payload on the door placard.
Marginal, but we gonna run what we brung.

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