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Old 11-27-2012, 06:44 AM   #1
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Best tow vehicle for 30 ft Classic

We are in the market for a new tow vehicle for our 2006 Airstream 30 foot Classic. We are looking for a 2009 - 2011 truck and was wondering what the pros and cons of a 250/2500 vs 350/3500 are for towing our beloved AS. We also have a Pro-Pride hitch on the AS. Advice please? Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:50 AM   #2
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Boy that's a good one!!

Everybody here has an opinion on that.

For me, I like long and wide. And diesel.

But that' just me.

John
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
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I tow a 30' Classic with an '08 GMC 3/4 ton Diesel, and other than the price of fuel, and the cost of servicing, I couldn't be happier.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kswelsh View Post
We are in the market for a new tow vehicle for our 2006 Airstream 30 foot Classic. We are looking for a 2009 - 2011 truck and was wondering what the pros and cons of a 250/2500 vs 350/3500 are for towing our beloved AS. We also have a Pro-Pride hitch on the AS. Advice please? Thanks!
IMHO - Stay with your 2500 unless you are planning on adding a camper on the bed of the truck. If you go to 3500, you will need to change your Hensley spring bar to a lower Wt rating if you want a softer ride plus preserve your A frame. You will also need to adjust / reduce the springs on the 3500 to achieve soft ride ( if no camper is added) when towing 30 Classic or when just driving solo . Just a friendly disclosure : I used to tow same AS as yours with my "soft" loaded 2010 F450 Harley edition ( with Hensley ) but now, a 2012 2500 with a softer spring bar.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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We went through this same dilemma with our 30' Excella. We had a GMC 1500 Sierra with all the right specs. We found, during the first couple of trips, that she really "worked" to get up hills. Knowing we had to travel West we found a 2500HD on CarMax. This Chevy is a dream. It doesn't even know the Silver Otter is back there. Having been on both sides, we really endorse the 6.6 Duramax/Allison combo.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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Just pick your favorite flavor of any of the big 3 domestic manufacturers - 3/4 ton gas or diesel will work fine. 1 ton truck isn't needed unless your hauling a large load in the bed plus the trailer.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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Ease of Handling

We pull the 2006 Classic with a Ford F250, and it does fine in all conditions. Note that we have the V10 gas engine and I do not believe that this option is currently available in the F250 line.

One factor to consider is the bed length. We opted for the short bed. This shortens the overall rig length a bit, and makes parking (while unhitched) in places like WalMart a bit easier.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:20 PM   #8
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I tow our 1994 30' excella with a 2003 f 150 4X4. We have the "big" tow package and a Reese hitch. 5.4 gas engin. It meets the specs for towing per ford eng. and have np problems. Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #9
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I don't think there's any advantage in towing with a 3500 over the 2500. So far as the Dodge is concerned they are sprung the same with the exception that the 3500 has helper springs that the 2500 doesn't have. Other than that they tell me they are the same truck. Not sure how Ford / Chevy handle the difference. You would have to have a load on the truck to reach the helper springs. I got a good deal on the 3500 when shopping so that's what I have but I was looking for the 2500 at the time. If your budget allows I like the diesel but you can't really justify it with fuel economy savings. I think you will get some of it back in re-sale though. It sure will tow that trailer nicely though.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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I tow our 1994 30' excella with a 2003 f 150 4X4. We have the "big" tow package and a Reese hitch. 5.4 gas engin. It meets the specs for towing per ford eng. and have np problems. Good luck.
Is the '94 a wide body, and how does the F150 do with the trailer in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado?
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:36 PM   #11
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My 2011 F350 rides the exact same as a 2011 F250 - my F350 has helper springs that are not engaged till the extra weight is upon the vehicle.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:44 PM   #12
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We tow our 2004 30' Classic with a 2011 GMC Duramax (diesel). Our previous tow vehicle was a 2002 GMC Yukon XL with the 8.1L gas engine and a 4.10 rear end. The 1-ton Duramax matches up better with the 30' Airstream due to the longer wheel base, and it gets double the fuel economy to the gas engine. Towing uphill, I would say they were close to equal. Either the 2500 or the 3500 Duramax would be the best choice....good luck finding one, though!
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #13
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My 2011 F350 rides the exact same as a 2011 F250 - my F350 has helper springs that are not engaged till the extra weight is upon the vehicle.
Think those are called "overload springs", but anyway I was told by GM that those extra springs are the only difference between a 2500 and a 3500 GM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:20 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the responses! It looks like a 1 ton may be overkill and most feel the 3/4 ton works well. Wish us luck with finding a nice used truck! Happy Camping everyone!
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