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Old 07-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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Airstream President Says Trailers Made to Tow With 1/2 Ton Truck

Bob Wheeler, Airstream President is quoted as saying that Airstream newest trailer, the new 27 foot 6200 pound land Yacht is made to tow behind a 1/2 ton truck ie: Ford F150. See his interview with Jay Leno on Jay Leno's Garage, on YouTube.

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Old 07-24-2013, 07:16 PM   #2
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It sounds like Mr. Wheeler may be leaning towards the 1500(150) as the typical Airstreamer's choice of tow vehicles, with Airstream's blessing. He indicated to Jay that the 2500 (250) might not be necessary for most customers.

This is very encouraging given that so many people who want access to Airstream ownership already own 1/2 ton trucks and may not have the budget for a 3/4 ton gas or diesel rigs.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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About 2004 or so there was ridiculous inflation of tow capacity toward 10K pounds when truck GVWRs didn't change that much. This moved in the wrong direction with tongue weights still needing to be within the 11-13% range of gross trailer weight. I bought my 3/4 ton GMC back then. As much as I love my Duramax diesel and totally am infatuated with my Allison tranny in ALL mountain situations, a buddy's 2009 F150 sure seems like an option I would now consider for my 25' Safari.

I've got to say Bob Wheeler just might have it right.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:47 PM   #4
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A 1/2 ton tow vehicle may be okay for the Land Yacht and shorter models, but the Classic models start at 9,000 pounds GVW for the 27FB and the two 31' long models have 10,000 pound GVWs. The 31' Flying Cloud and International models each have a GVW of 8,800 pounds which could be problematic for a 1/2 ton truck.

So do not throw away the idea of the 3/4 ton tow vehicles with longer and heavier Airstreams.

I acquired a 3/4 ton tow vehicle so I could pull my 25FB legally across the scales and have payload weight and covered storage in reserve and also any Airstream I would get in the future, which I recently ordered.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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I saw that. I know people tow with all sorts of things that I wouldn't. I think the F150 is probably OK for many Airstreams, but we have had so many F250 4wd crew cabs. I wouldn't tow with anything else. We tow other things besides the AS, but I have seen what happens when a small truck (Ford Ranger) loses control with a small (< 20ft) trailer. He almost took him out with us.
Tow with what you want. I have read many, many articles. I have seen lots of "interesting" combos. Guess I don't know where I am going with this. I think I am in camping withdrawal.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:35 PM   #6
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I acquired a 3/4 ton tow vehicle so I could pull my 25FB legally across the scales and have payload weight and covered storage in reserve and also any Airstream I would get in the future, which I recently ordered.
No one will ever ask you to pull your truck and trailer across the scales, unless you're a commercial operator, because it's not a legal matter.

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Old 07-24-2013, 09:56 PM   #7
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Towing our WideBody 34' would be dangerous with 1/2 ton truk.

Luvin that 2500 Dmax and Allison tranny!

BTW, I have only owned our AS since April, but have used the 4x4 already on a couple occasions. Once at a municipal site, once at a boondocking, once at a KOA after big rains.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:54 AM   #8
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Wow, one comment and peeps latch on to make them feel better for their choice of TV? Seriously, I don't quite understand the post and think it can be confusing to those that come to this site looking for answers, especially in regards to tow vehicles and Airstreams...

No doubt the torque available in today's engines supplied by manufacturers in 1500/F-150's is plenty to tow these trailers, perhaps warranting the comment made to Jay, knowing the audience watching and enticing those with said type vehicles to go look at Airstreams...

Reality is max payload of the tow vehicle minus tongue weight of trailer + payload of vehicle to include driver, passenger, vehicle aftermarket options (truck cap, bed liner, aftermarket tanks) and "stuff" loaded up in the cab and bed of TV is the modern limiting factor of the modern truck/SUV. Only freebie is the weight of a full tank of gas does not detract from this max payload value.

The math is easy and the max payload is right on the door jamb. Heck, Ram & Ford even provide clear examples within their owners manual of how to calculate this value (Chevy might too but no experience with their vehicles).

Can't change physics or engineering of these vehicles and the manufactures make it all clear of the weight limitations of the platforms. The rest is up to the TV driver....
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:59 AM   #9
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While there is no legal requirement for private individuals per se to go across the scales, if an incident occurs, an overloaded tow vehicle or trailer or both could be contributing factors to the accident. This information could be determined in the discovery phase of a trial. A plantiff's attorney would just salivate over contributory negligence in a law suit for overloaded vehicles causing the accident.

Thus, I elected to stay within the various weight limitations and verify via the scales I have done so. This is for my family's safety and those around us.

I can live with my decision.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:27 AM   #10
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Thumbs up For me......

.....towing ability and payload are two different animals.

Our Burb tows great, but just as important, carries everything needed without concern..... "honey, where'd you put the sink?"

Disclaimer....DW loves the Burb's, P/U's....not so much. I agree, mostly.

Bob
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:44 AM   #11
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Skip the SUVs and PUs, go get a VAN! An E-150 will do the job nicely

(nobody ever seems to mention the vans )
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #12
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Skip the SUVs and PUs, go get a VAN! An E-150 will do the job nicely

(nobody ever seems to mention the vans )
Way too practical, we want to look cool and trucks do, the bigger the better.

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Old 07-25-2013, 01:59 PM   #13
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I knew it!

Yeah, Pick-up trucks rule! Now what can I tow with a Vintage '60's Tootsie Toy rubber Pick-up? Ed
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
It sounds like Mr. Wheeler may be leaning towards the 1500(150) as the typical Airstreamer's choice of tow vehicles, with Airstream's blessing. He indicated to Jay that the 2500 (250) might not be necessary for most customers.

This is very encouraging given that so many people who want access to Airstream ownership already own 1/2 ton trucks and may not have the budget for a 3/4 ton gas or diesel rigs.
The key point here is that Mr. Wheeler indicated to Jay that the 2500 (250) might not be necessary and that 1500 (150) are the most popular choice for most of their customers. As I mentioned earlier, that is encouraging for many prospective buyers....as long as they get real help in determining the proper TV-trailer combo. I feel that Airstream corporate and their dealers have an obligation to do real hands-on work in this regard.

I don't believe that most customers really delve into the weight capacity issues beyond what their TV's owners manual lists as the max towing capacity. Most don't understand that there is more to determining what is safe. Most glassy-eyed buyers never think of referencing this site or consulting with a 3rd party expert.

As a sub-note. When I purchased my International 19 earlier this year, the primary concern of the AS dealer was that I get the trailer off of their property. There was little attention given to the TV other than with a quick glance "oh yeah that'll tow it".

They installed a weight distribution system that had 1200 pound WD bars.....twice what it needed. I drove away with the front of the trailer an inch higher than the rear. When I pointed this out they said "well it'll settle down once you load up the truck".

The bars were so overcapacity and so tight that rivets popped. The service manager at another of the dealer's branches corrected everything on his own and all is well.
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