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Old 08-12-2019, 06:22 PM   #1
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2018 25' International
Lewisville , Texas
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Calling All F-250/350/ 25' Airstream Combos

Hi,

Thanks for reading.

I am looking for folks who tow their 25 foot Airstream with an F-250 or F-350, particularly if they used to tow it with an F-150.

When I tow at relatively slow city speeds I get some porpoising.

At highway speeds I either get blown over or sucked into semis. I think it depends on the shape of the semi's nose. Both of these are controllable but can be a nasty surprise when snuck up on.

I'm only talking about these ride qualities, the towing is otherwise pretty good and my 5.0 does okay as well.

I'm thinking of getting a larger pickup (for payload) and want to know if it will still get blown around on the highway.

Thanks,
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:32 PM   #2
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What kind of hitch are you using??? That would help... but...

Matt... I towed our 25 foot with a 2016 F350 Diesel 4x4 and did not know that the trailer was behind me. Had to look in the side mirrors to be certain. You may have your hitch adjusted poorly.

I had a Toyota Tundra with the 2 inch hitch and just purchased the larger 2 1/2 inch shank to fit the F250/350 hitch. Easy to do and had no issues. Any speed. Any cross wind. Any 18 wheeler draft from cross winds. Same hitch, different shank to fit snug.

I used an Equalizer hitch with 1000# bars and five washers. I am sending a photo of my shank, as I shimmed it due to the slop with the 2 1/2 inch hitch that comes with the F250/F350. The shank is pulled out to show the shim I used and length.

OR..... worst case:

I... hope it is not the case... but are you using the F150 shank which is a 2 inch and inserting it into the 2 1/2 inch hitch? That would really get your trailer towing wildly. Measure the hitch to make sure it is 2 1/2 inch... Measure the shank... 2 1/2 inch is what you will need to use.

Larger Fords, maybe F450+, I hear, can have 3 inch hitches.

If so... purchase the larger shank and it mounts to the Equalizer using the same bolts. You will see how I did mine that worked great for me.

Also... if you are using the Ford 'slide in insert' to use your 2 inch shank... also be very careful. The slop is extreme and the fit is poor. I would spend the money and be safe and happy... like me.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:33 PM   #3
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My Serenity 28 tows like it is on rails behind my F250 diesel...
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:48 PM   #4
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I never owned or towed with one but they say a pro pride/hensley hitch will cure the issue you describe. I believe the pro pride owners, just never made the investment in that hitch.

If I were you, unless you are dead set on getting a larger truck, and if you want to keep your current truck, and maybe save the expense of the trade up to the F250, research that pro pride hitch.

I did tow a flying cloud with an F150 using an Equalizer hitch and yes, I did have some of what you describe. Semi's pushing/pulling the truck and fast moving buses were a problem too.

Also, following car carriers seemed to give a wake that caused the F150 to want to get squirrelly.

I also did move to an F250 using the same hitch with the same 25 foot flying cloud and the issue was gone.

I now tow a 30 foot International with the same hitch and the same F250 and have no issues.

I'm convinced the mass of the larger truck makes for a much more comfortable towing experience. Yes, you'll read about towing with all sorts of optional vehicles, but when I'm out and about, I see the majority of folk towing with trucks, and most of them are 3/4 ton, many diesel. I'm a proof in the pudding kind of guy.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:01 PM   #5
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Absolutely no porpoising or other problems with our F350 and 2018 International 25FBT using an Equalizer 1000/10000 hitch.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:49 PM   #6
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Matt, a couple of thoughts come to mind.


First, what sort of hitch setup are you using? You should have a weight-distributing hitch with an anti-sway arrangement. Different brands call those things by different names, but you ought to have both parts.


Second, are you properly loaded? You want 10-15% of the trailer's weight on the hitch. Add to that number the weight of the hitch mechanism and anything you carry in the bed of the truck. Does that still have you below the truck's Rear Axle Weight Rating? If not, you are going to have to shed some weight.


I'd start by seeing if you can find the Escapees Smart Weigh program somewhere. Failing that, load the truck and trailer as your currently do and go to a scale and get your weight information.


I suspect that you are on the right track - you probably do need more truck to safely tow.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:24 PM   #7
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I tow sometimes with an E-350 van.....There is no anything ever, when towing with that van. Its big strong and heavy, and regardless of the crap you hear, a big heavy TV makes all the difference in the world......We also tow with a 2018 Tahoe, and it also is a pleasure to tow with, but if the weather gets nasty, I am wishing I had the big van.....

It is always safe and stress-free, to tow with a vehicle that is oversized.....it is never safe or stress-free to tow with a vehicle that is too light and small.....

You opened the proverbial can of worms with this thread...enjoy, but remember these words......BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER !
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:34 AM   #8
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The 250's have a sloppy hitch. anytime they use a reducer it just never feels solid. This is a good way to solve that problem. Solid as a rock.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Offered in three sizes.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:15 AM   #9
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Hi

I'm *assuming* that right now you are towing with an F-150. If so, how old is it and what kind of shape is it in? Also, which of the many F-150's (options ...) is it? You can go from a pretty light weight truck to something that is effectively an F-250 and still have the 150 badge on it. The 250 is the same way, you can "option it up" to the point that it is essentially an F-350.

As others have mentioned, weight distribution and hitch setup *do* make a difference. Putting a lot of weight (like a bike rack) on the back of the trailer can have a significant impact on things.

One tradeoff with the current crop of Ford trucks: If you go 4x4, they get mighty high off the ground. Yes they dropped them a whopping 1" (yes one inch) in 2020 because people were getting tired of using a fork lift to get in and out of the driver's seat . They also have a fairly soft suspension. All of that is terrific as you drive past the "off road vehicles only" sign on the road the GPS just sent you down. It's maybe not ideal for stability on the highway. It applies to the F-150/250/350 .... No idea about at the 450 in 4x4 "configuration". I've never driven one.

Bob
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:17 AM   #10
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2018 27' International
Eagle , Idaho
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Calling All F250/F350's

Matt,

I don't have a lot of experience yet but think you could benefit from a Blue Ox Sway Pro. In June my wife and I purchased a new International Serenity 27' FBT and a 2019 F-150, Platinum, V-6 Eco-Boost and have no issues like you are describing. That sway pro keeps that trailer in a straight line right behind me regardless of semi traffic. Look into some of the posts regarding anti sway hitches and bars to become more familiar. People in the know seem to prefer the Blue Ox over other brands and models.

Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:28 AM   #11
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I pull a 30' AS with Equal-i-zer 1000# spring bars. My TV is a 2017 Nissan Titan XD, 5.0 V8 Cummins Diesel. No problems what so ever.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:37 AM   #12
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I don 't have an F250 but I do have a Ram 2500. There is zero movements when an 18 wheeler passes. I can steer with one figure with trucks/buses passing but I have been in your boat also with a Chevy 1500 and 28 foot SOB. Our Classic runs between 12 and 13 percent tongue weight and we are using a Blue Ox hitch and well under all my numbers including 400 pounds under GVWR.

I think that it's one thing being within the numbers and another thing is comfortable towing the trailer. Being comfortable towing is personnel while some think some degree of sway is fine and others don't like any sway. I'm in the latter group.


PS I not saying Ram tows better than Ford but I do think the Ram 2500 rides empty better since it has coil springs instead of leafs.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:53 AM   #13
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F250

I bought a 25' 1993 Excella last year; picked it up in Denver and towed it to Lake Tahoe and then home to Los Angeles with our F250 Diesel 4x4. Went with the 250 due to the Sierras here in CA and was not disappointed. Towed like a dream the whole way - even without an equalizer hitch and through 60 mph winds in Wyoming.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:49 AM   #14
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Hold those thoughts....my popcorn is almost done.
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