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Old 09-04-2017, 10:11 AM   #43
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We pulled our FC 27 cross-country twice and all over the mountain west, including the full length of the PCH and more than a few roads posted with signs like "RVs and trailers not recommended " (we checked with locals first). We've also camped Skyline Drive and driven just about the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also through the Green Mountains of Vermont and White Mountains of NH. Originally, I wanted to get a 3/4 ton but agreed with my wife that a 1/2 ton was much more usable for non-towing activities. So, after much effort we found a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab with the 6.2 liter engine (420 hp) and the max trailer tow package (bigger differential; stiffer springs). This gave as a rated payload (per the door sticker) of 1940 lbs. That's only a few hundred pounds less than a similarly equipped Ram 2500 with the Cummins diesel. This combination served us very well and we were happy with the choice. The diesel with the exhaust brake probably provides more engine braking than our gas engine. But with "grade logic" and an 8-speed it does pretty well. It is a fallacy to say that the service brakes on a 3/4 or 1 ton are better than those on a half ton. To the contrary, the extra weight of the empty vehicle alone (1,000-1,500 lbs.) more than uses up any increased size of the brakes, not to mention the weight of the additional payload you will be carrying. Regarding, the OPs question: trick hitch setups or not, if you're exceeding the gross vehicle weight of your truck, you're gonna pay in driveline failure and/or engine failure. You can find in the archives what happened to a guy who towed his Airstream with a Pentastar V-6 Chrysler 300. My guess is that you will find your rig a bit underpowered. If you're not going in the Rockies or similar high mountains it probably won't matter. If you are, you may not be able to keep up with traffic at 60 mph, or your engine will make a lot of noise, spinning around 4,000 rpm, doing it. In my case, we observed a personal speed limit of about 60, or as posted if lower. The 6.2 (460 lb-ft of torque) typically lived around 2,000 rpm and very rarely spun over 3,000. And, yes we had a ProPride hitch, competently installed by our dealer, Colonial Airstream.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:24 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by DC Bruce View Post
We pulled our FC 27 cross-country twice and all over the mountain west, including the full length of the PCH and more than a few roads posted with signs like "RVs and trailers not recommended " (we checked with locals first). We've also camped Skyline Drive and driven just about the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also through the Green Mountains of Vermont and White Mountains of NH. Originally, I wanted to get a 3/4 ton but agreed with my wife that a 1/2 ton was much more usable for non-towing activities. So, after much effort we found a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab with the 6.2 liter engine (420 hp) and the max trailer tow package (bigger differential; stiffer springs). This gave as a rated payload (per the door sticker) of 1940 lbs. That's only a few hundred pounds less than a similarly equipped Ram 2500 with the Cummins diesel. This combination served us very well and we were happy with the choice. The diesel with the exhaust brake probably provides more engine braking than our gas engine. But with "grade logic" and an 8-speed it does pretty well. It is a fallacy to say that the service brakes on a 3/4 or 1 ton are better than those on a half ton. To the contrary, the extra weight of the empty vehicle alone (1,000-1,500 lbs.) more than uses up any increased size of the brakes, not to mention the weight of the additional payload you will be carrying. Regarding, the OPs question: trick hitch setups or not, if you're exceeding the gross vehicle weight of your truck, you're gonna pay in driveline failure and/or engine failure. You can find in the archives what happened to a guy who towed his Airstream with a Pentastar V-6 Chrysler 300. My guess is that you will find your rig a bit underpowered. If you're not going in the Rockies or similar high mountains it probably won't matter. If you are, you may not be able to keep up with traffic at 60 mph, or your engine will make a lot of noise, spinning around 4,000 rpm, doing it. In my case, we observed a personal speed limit of about 60, or as posted if lower. The 6.2 (460 lb-ft of torque) typically lived around 2,000 rpm and very rarely spun over 3,000. And, yes we had a ProPride hitch, competently installed by our dealer, Colonial Airstream.

Since you are not now nor in the past towed with a 3/4 ton diesel your assertions are simply that and nothing more.
I also sense that they did a good sales job on you selling you an expensive complicated hitch by reassuring you that that is a better choice than a heavier and more powerful TV.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:15 AM   #45
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F-Frank, just leave alone what don't/won't/can't understand.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:37 AM   #46
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F-Frank, just leave alone what don't/won't/can't understand.
Dude,
You are an insufferable pontificating bore.
In case you haven't noticed I do not wish to discourse with you so please ignore my uninformed stupid comments and I advise you to do the same.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:44 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
Dude,
You are an insufferable pontificating bore.
In case you haven't noticed I do not wish to discourse with you so please ignore my uninformed stupid comments and I advise you to do the same.
You mean I can quote that when you offer advice to newcomers? Thanks!!
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:39 PM   #48
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When I was searching for a truck to pull the 28' AS I discussed with a very knowledgeable dealer salesman. His point: If you are going to be a leisure puller and basically drive the truck around 90% of the time without towing then don't get a beefed up 3/4 ton. You'll hate it. And when I drove the 3/4 ton I hated it. If I had to drive that for regular driving for 15,000 miles it would be horrendous. Yes, I could have bought a 3/4 ton diesel. But that would have been over kill for most of my driving. So it's a trade off. If you are going to tow a lot. Then go with a heavier truck. If you are going to tow occasionally then think differently. It will save you quite a bit of dollars.

So I bought the F150 with the max tow package. Is it the best for pulling? No. Is it adequate? Yes. But it rides wonderfully when I'm driving around 90% of the time without the AS on the back.

So the "best" vehicle may simply be an adequate vehicle while towing, but be a better vehicle when not towing.

Also remember that 1/2 tons today are way better than 1/2 tons of the past. They have more payload and pulling than yester year.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:14 AM   #49
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Simply stated, the best and the safest towing hitch for your Airstream will be a ProPride or Hensley. This just is.

Now folks who tow at 55 or 60 might disagree for lack of being often challenged by trailer sway, but I prefer "cant sway" and "almost like riding on rails" myself.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:16 PM   #50
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Thanks for all the thoughtful replies, I appreciate the input.

Since my initial post I have learned that I do NOT have the Max tow package as I thought but only have towing features such as the in-cab trailer break controller, trailer-mode on the transmission and the appropriate electrical connector for the trailer. During my thought process, although CanAm says they can set up my Silverado 1500 to tow a 30 Classic, and I certainly don't doubt it for a minute, I am just not comfortable with that setup.

Then my wife and I gave serious consideration to the International Serenity 27. I continued to try to collect data on my truck, spoke with my dealer and Chevrolet. Nobody could seem to tell me what my truck weighed as I was concerned about the payload. The sticker on the door said 1640# which I thought was low. So I went to my local CAT scale, with just me in the truck and a full tank of gas, and my truck weighed in at 5,940#. This was to my surprise since this was about 500# heavier than the highest weight range I could find on-line. So it turns out that my 7200# GVWR truck minus the curb weight of 5940# leaves me with a payload of a measly 1260#. I guess the difference between the door sticker and reality is the tonneau cover, subwoofer and I dont know what else.

So now with a payload of 1260#, after subtracting the tongue weight, there's not much left for passenger(s) and cargo. I'd rather be safe and not sluggish on the road and don't want to replace my truck for a few years so we decided on the Serenity 23 FB and should take delivery in a few weeks.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:01 PM   #51
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As a family of two, sometimes three, plus a minimum of four smallish doggies, we can be quite comfortable in our similar 23' International. It's also easy to tow and park, since it has dual axles...we tow wth a Toyota Tacoma, but plan to go to a Tundra next year.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:32 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Chris0408 View Post
Thanks for all the thoughtful replies, I appreciate the input.

Since my initial post I have learned that I do NOT have the Max tow package as I thought but only have towing features such as the in-cab trailer break controller, trailer-mode on the transmission and the appropriate electrical connector for the trailer. During my thought process, although CanAm says they can set up my Silverado 1500 to tow a 30 Classic, and I certainly don't doubt it for a minute, I am just not comfortable with that setup.

Then my wife and I gave serious consideration to the International Serenity 27. I continued to try to collect data on my truck, spoke with my dealer and Chevrolet. Nobody could seem to tell me what my truck weighed as I was concerned about the payload. The sticker on the door said 1640# which I thought was low. So I went to my local CAT scale, with just me in the truck and a full tank of gas, and my truck weighed in at 5,940#. This was to my surprise since this was about 500# heavier than the highest weight range I could find on-line. So it turns out that my 7200# GVWR truck minus the curb weight of 5940# leaves me with a payload of a measly 1260#. I guess the difference between the door sticker and reality is the tonneau cover, subwoofer and I dont know what else.

So now with a payload of 1260#, after subtracting the tongue weight, there's not much left for passenger(s) and cargo. I'd rather be safe and not sluggish on the road and don't want to replace my truck for a few years so we decided on the Serenity 23 FB and should take delivery in a few weeks.
What was the exact weight of front and rear axle each from your scale ticket?

And what is the axle weight limit for each as posted on the doorframe?

A WD hitch leaves 75-80% of TW on the tow vehicle once properly tensioned. It isn't specifically understood as cargo capacity in the first place. It's a lever that -- only at rest -- weigh X-amount. Spreading that force is the key.

With my one ton loaded as per norm I don't have "enough cargo capacity" for my tandem axle 35' Silver Streak TW. So? A one ton is already overkill for these trailers. It's that mine is always loaded 12-1400/lbs above factory ship weight that it's been a business necessity (when purchased ten years ago).

The real limits are tire/axle/wheel. In that I'm more than fine. Were I to upgrade tires/wheels I'd be able to do more should need arise. This upgrade wasn't so easy forty or more years ago. But we didn't worry over a few pounds, either. USA, Canada and Mexico all by car with a trailer of this type. Two to five persons.

Playing cargo capacity spreadsheet games won't get you a good TV.

And

The TT is a more important choice than the TV. Be sure you are clear on compromises as to water storage, bath and bed accommodations.

Good luck.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:36 PM   #53
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The real issue for towing capacity, etc. is whether the tow vehicle is adequately robust for what you're asking it to do. That is not a matter of horsepower, torque or braking ability. With today's 6+ speed transmissions every vehicle (within reason) has enough power and torque to pull an Airstream at 60 mph on reasonable terrain. No matter what you're driving, your tow vehicle-trailer combination will take much longer to stop than your vehicle alone. Relative to the weight of your trailer, the trailer brakes, even if you get an after market disc setup, are puny. Certainly, trick hitch setups like those promoted by CanA, can distribute the load between front and rear axles. However, it's your engine, transmission and differential that really take the punishment. "Trailering packages," or "max towing" packages should include a larger radiator, a larger transmission fluid cooler and perhaps an engine oil cooler to address these issues. Automotive engines are not designed to produce a high percentage of rated output for sustained periods. They will overheat and potentially fail. In some cases even a larger radiator will not solve the problem; the coolant flow through the engine is not great enough to remove the heat the engine is generating. "Making do" may be fine for the occasional traveler in non-mountainous country. But it may not work so well in the mountainous west, and southwest where ambient temperatures can be high. Unfortunately Ford offers 2 "towing packages" in its half tons. IIRC the first is nothing more than a trailer power outlet and a trailer brake control. What you want is the "max tow" which gives you all that and additional cooling and a higher rear axle ratio. I have not shopped GM since 2015, but I believe they had a similar deal. The "max trailer tow package"(which my truck has) includes the power outlet, receiver, TBC, different (higher capacity) rear springs and shocks, bigger radiator and tranny cooler, and a different rear axle with a higher ratio and a larger ring gear. So, you have to think about the kind of trailering you're going to do when choosing a tow vehicle as well as "the numbers." Unlike some, I'm not saying a 3/4 ton diesel is always the answer. It wasn't for me and my wife who did an 8-month 30,000 mile adventure. But I'd be wary of hooking up a 7500 lb. trailer to a Chrysler minivan with a Pentastar V-6 engine and a wife, two kids and a dog inside with expectation of taking a grand tour of the North American West.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:06 PM   #54
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I stopped reading that last post where lack of experience states that the combination vehicle takes longer to stop than the TV while solo.

Nope

It's possible (though not easy) for it to stop faster. It isn't difficult -- it's a norm -- to set brakes and controller and WD to test for same stopping distance.

Above 65, though, all bets are off.

.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:12 PM   #55
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My rig stops as easy or better with classic attached. Fwiw.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:23 AM   #56
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Gotta say, I rarely agree with Slow but on this one, like James my truck stops as easy and maybe better, faster when I am towing than when I am not towing. I think this is because of proper trailer brake control and set up. Also could mean I might have the trailer brake gain too high but it seems to work. However, I also drive slower and allow much more space between me and the guy in front of me when towing.
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