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Old 04-28-2015, 08:10 AM   #1
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2015 27' FB International
Dallas , Texas
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23D or 25' Twin with Tahoe or Expedition?

Hi everyone,

We are new to the forums, but truly appreciate all of the great information shared here!

Hoping you all can share your insight on the following:

- We are about to purchase our first Airstream & we have narrowed it down to either the 23D or the 25 Twin (TBD FB or RB).
- We currently have a 2005 Tahoe LT with towing package, but we are considering purchasing a 2015 Tahoe or 2015 Expedition
- We have considered trucks, but for our situation, a large SUV would really suit our needs better overall

Our major question is tongue weight capacity!! I think that the actual towing capacity of either the Tahoe or Expedition would be ok, but from the factory they have a tongue weight capacity of ~500lbs or so. The 23D has a 720 tongue weight & the 25Twin has >800 tongue weight. Supposedly there is an option to order an Expedition with a weight distribution hitch from Ford that would take the tongue weight capacity to 920lbs, but Chevy does not seem to have that option.

Our main question is IF we purchase one of these SUV's and add a weight distribution hitch such as the E4, Reese, or other - do you know what that would take the tongue weight capacity to and do you think we could safely and easily tow either the 23D or 25 Twin with either of these SUV's?? Of course the dealers all tell you whatever you want to hear, but sometimes "CAN" does not mean that you should. And everything we've read online has very mixed information.

We would love and appreciate your insight before we proceed! Thank you so much in advance!

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Old 04-28-2015, 09:04 AM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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Posts: 539
If either the Tahoe or Expedition has a class III receiver I would upgrade it to a class IV receiver and then add a WDH.

Also on the Tahoe get the 6.0 or 6.2L engine and Towing Package.

The Expedition only comes with a 3.5L EcoBoost v-6 you will need the 202A option package to get the HD Towing Package with a class IV receiver.

We have a '98 Tahoe 2 door 5.7L and I feel that the wheel base is to short for our '69 25' Tradewind that weighs under 5000# with less then 500# tongue weight.

So I went shopping for a TV and found the Nissan NV to be a good choice for us unfortunately the dealer wasn't dealing so we bought a Tundra instead.

BTW we tow without a WDH.

Glen & Jane 1969 Airstream 25' Trade Wind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe
2001 Casita 13' Patriot Deluxe
2004 Chevy SSR+ 4 other trailers & 6 other Cars & Trucks
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:43 AM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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The 23 is largest of the small Airstreams and the 25 is the smallest of the large. Choose the 25 for the wider body and extra space, better bed(s), larger tires and brakes, and more storage tank capacity.

There is no end to tow vehicle advice but 25' Airstreams are routinely pulled by these large SUV's. The shorter wheelbase is wonderful for daily driving and maneuverability with the trailer. There is somewhat less resistance to side winds and trucks passing, but that can be completely eliminated with a Hensley or ProPride style hitch. Engine power is managed with the transmission, always selecting the gear needed for the task at hand, whether in headwinds, small or large hills, or climbing or descending mountains using the engine in combination with brakes to hold speed down.

As for weight concerns, light trucks require load management. Not difficult to load a truck and trailer properly with essential gear. In our case I load the trailer, he loads the truck and sets the weight distribution.

Get a professional hitch shop to set up your truck receiver and weight distribution hitch, but learn the basics of weight distribution and truck/trailer loading.

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Old 04-28-2015, 09:58 AM   #4
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El Dorado Hills , California
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I pull my 27FB with a 12 year old Ford Expedition. At the CAT scales it's under its payload rating. My Expedition came with a class IV receiver (tow package). The 2015 Expeditions have a much superior and more powerful engine and transmission than my old model. With its 4 wheel independent suspension it rides and tracks better than the the old live axle models.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:12 AM   #5
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Portland , Oregon
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We use out 2013 Expedition EL Limited 4x4 5.4L V8 with the tow package (8700lbs/890lbs - the values are higher for the non EL version). We use an Equil-I-zer (SP?) brand WD hitch.

Tracks straight as an arrow, I forget it is there until we take sharp turns and then the hitch "talks" to us!

We tow at 55-60mph over the cascades and coastal range regularly, the tow/haul mode is amazing at keeping us going up hill with out searching for gears and then on the downside it really helps keep you going slow enough you don't melt the brakes. We get between 10-12.5MPG.

Hope this helps you.
Mad Astrophysicist turned sales guy that works to fund his dirty snowbaording habbit, mwah-ha-ha . . .
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:53 AM   #6
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GILBERT , Arizona
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Tahoe LTZ

We have a 2015 twins bed and tow with a 2013 Tahoe LTZ which has the Trailer tow setting w/brake switch will level out the Tahoe you hook-up. THE Trans when put in M-5 does the shifting for you. The new 2015 LTZ run around $ 75,000 loaded.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:35 PM   #7
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
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We are very happy with our 2012 Yukon and 2014 23D Bunk. But I do have a ProPride.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:51 PM   #8
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Dallas , Texas
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Thanks so much everyone! Keep the feedback coming!!

IF we decided to proceed with the 23D-25 Twin Airstream and wait on the new tow vehicle, it sounds like we'd likely even be ok with our current 2005 Tahoe LT with tow package, assuming we add a weight distribution hitch?
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:04 PM   #9
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Little Rock , Arkansas
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We have a 25fb and a Sequoia with the 4.6l (probably similar to a Tahoe). Works fine for us. But we weekend camp in the state with maybe one long summer trip and we pack very light. If we were traveling often in the mountains or we packed heavy I would want something with more capacity (payload and power).
You didn't mention how you will be traveling which could make a difference (and whether you like to bring lots of stuff). It's not a bad idea to start off with the Tahoe and see what you think, but you will likely be limited on your cargo capacity.

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Old 04-28-2015, 08:01 PM   #10
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1969 27' Overlander
Demorest , Georgia
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We pull our 1969 Overlander 27 ft twin beds with our 2008 Tahoe LTZ with towing package. We have traveled often in the mountains such as the Smokies in NC, Blueridge Parkway, and Shenandoah. We do use a WD hitch and have not had any problems. Love my Tahoe when not hooked up also. Happy streaming.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:00 PM   #11
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Portland , Oregon
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Look up the tow capacity of your rig, if it can handle the new trailer give it a whirl!

I would go 25ft over the 23ft if you want space - the 25ft is a wide body and it makes a big difference!

Also, if you have the money, do the hitch right - A PPP WD like propride or something...
Mad Astrophysicist turned sales guy that works to fund his dirty snowbaording habbit, mwah-ha-ha . . .
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:09 PM   #12
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Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
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Personally I would be choosing the Trailer we want first. There are all sorts of tow vehicles out there, but if you are not happy lining in what you are towing, then what's the point.

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Old 04-28-2015, 09:16 PM   #13
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1993 29' Excella
Oshawa , Ontario
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23D or 25 Twin with Tahoe or Expedition?

I've put about 20,000 miles on our unit over the last 5 years. It's seen Nova Scotia and P.E.I. and Quebec on the east coast as well as B.C., Yukon and Alaska. Much of it has been highway travel, some has been on rough secondary roads as our trailer rock guards will attest to. Consists of 1993 30' Excella w/Hensley Arrow WD hitch, 15" steel wheels w/Michelin LTX MS2 rubber, Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller, 2006 Ford Explorer EB 4.7 V8.
I'm not denying there were times on steep uphills that I wished for some big honkin' pwoerplant to get to the top but for the most part hardly dropped below 45mph using 2nd gear. Fuel consumption averages 14.7 mpg unhooked, 9.5 mpg towing. When highway towing I'm usually around 55 to 60 mph in the right lane, even when the speed limit is higher. The TV behaves as comfortable as a car when not hitched up.
The Hensley really makes it seem that there's nothing in back of the tow vehicle and I, for one, would not be without it. Part of this feeling I'm sure is due to the independent rear suspension combined with the exceptional AS handling in stressed situations. I'm sure white knuckle driving isn't fun and so far this combination has been a pleasure.
My only hiccups have been a blown wheel bearing on the Ford in Quebec and a torn off mudflap/rockguard thingy and busted front window guard in Yukon. Other than that its been pretty good sailing.
Beyond keeping a close eye on the Airstream axles which will probably need replacing sooner than later, I'm pretty happy with the set-up.
Just my experience. Happy travels with your rig.
Hans Grim
1993 29' Excella
2011 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 6.0L
Hensley Arrow
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:35 PM   #14
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2015 25' FB International
Longmont , Colorado
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We have the 23D. We love it.Ease of towing, and it fits our desires for the two of us...However we look back now and I think that if we were doing it over, we would have purchased the 25.
Reasons...larger holding tanks, and ease of making the corner bed.. I cannot address the hitch issues...but hindsight is 20 20, and we would have gone with the 25.

Good luck with your decision. You will LOVE the Airstream community and the places and ease of travel that it affords you.

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