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Old 06-16-2015, 05:36 AM   #15
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1990 29' Excella
Stone Mountain , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 157
Since your TV is a non EcoBoost Flex and you have two boys, and you will eventually have to deal with the Carolina mtns, your situation does get more complex. Your trailer tires will become critical. Go with 10 ply Maxxis or Michelin on the AS. What is the axle ratio on your Flex. I've pulled a loaded 4000 lb TT with a 302 Ford E300 with 205 HP and 3.73 axles, unsmogged and the TV pulled OK but slow, but I went through 3 C-4 transmissions even with a trans cooler. Even if your engine can pull up the I-77 hill from Charlotte to Virginia, your transmission may not last long. When you look for a TV consider the brakes that come with it, the axles ratios, how well it is sprung, as well as hp and torque and coolers for both oil and trans. Shift on the fly 4wd is really helpful, especially if you suddenly get caught in a downpour on the interstate. I've never had a TV where I wished I had less hp or torque, but I have had 2 that I wished had more.


2016 GMC Sierra Crew Cab 2500 HD 4x4
6.6L Duramax + Allison, 3.73 axles
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:57 AM   #16
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2014 30' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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The challenge in non-truck tow vehicles is basically the cars were not originally designed to be a tow vehicle. The smaller vehicles with the 1" square receiver opening are designed for a very modest trailer. Even the 16' Bambi could be a towing challenge.

The driver's door post has a sticker listing the maximum axle loads, what size tires are to be used, the GVW (gross vehicle weight) and the maximum payload.

I suggest filling the car up with gas and driving to a truck stop CAT scales or farm grain elevator and weigh the vehicle. A truck stop report will give you axles loads by axle plus the total weight while a farm scale will usually just weigh the total vehicle. Then load the wife and the kids and cross the scales again. Now you have a complete understanding of the vehicle status and reserve capability to tow a trailer.

If you continue to feed the kids, they will obviously get heavier,. The goodie bag to entertain the kids and all the usual "stuff" we throw in "just in case" uses up payload.

A modification to make the existing hitch receiver stronger adds weight and reduces payload.

When I looked at the F-150 eco-boost Ford pickup, going from the bare bones model to the fully dressed out version added 548 pounds to the empty weight. Then the payload was inadequate for the trailer we had.

As a side note, the Airstream catalog listed the tongue weight for the 2013 25FB International Serenity at 833 pounds. That number was with no gas in the propane tanks or any water in the three tanks. It was a new empty trailer coming right off the production line. After installing a Hensley hitch head, filling the fresh water tank and the two propane tanks, a single 155v watt solar panel on the roof and street side and rear awnings, the scales reported a tongue weight of 1,150 pounds.

I was legal per the scales to tow the 25FB home alone with a hitch modified 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. After loading our stuff to camp and crossing the scales with my wife in the car, we exceeded the GVW and the front axle rating. Thus the search for a new tow vehicle.

Fortunately, we selected a 2012 Ram 2500HD diesel and installed a much higher capacity the receiver (2,550 pound tongue weight and up to a 17,000 pound trailer) as we traded the 25FB in on a 31' Classic, where after modifications, the tongue weight was 1,375 pounds. We recently did a battery change and reduced the tongue weight to just under 1,200 pounds which was the absolute limit of the original Ram factory installed hitch.

We go by the tire and axle weight ratings and the door posted combined towing weight (truck + trailer).

Since the trailer already exists in your life, due diligence and looking at a lot of vehicle door posts will pay dividends. Note that the majority of vehicle sales folks are totally clueless about setting a vehicle up for towing. They only want to sell what is on their lot.

A proper tow vehicle will need at least a transmission oil cooler, extendable rear view mirrors to see around the trailer or added ones such as the McKesh mirrors, integrated brake controller (or retrofitted unit such as a Tekonsha model) and a seven wire plug at the back of the vehicle for the trawler wiring.

Good luck in your research.

WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:05 PM   #17
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Toronto , Ontario
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Originally Posted by SKP46015 View Post
One accident using the Flex as your TV and the likely lawsuit that will result if someone else is hurt will more than balance out the lower MPG the rest of the time that you are using a more capable TV as your daily driver. If you want to be in the TT game, you got to have a vehicle that is more than capable of handling the GROSS (ie loaded with gear and all tanks full) weight of your TT... not only for your safety and that of your family, but also for liability purposes... just my $.02 cents... or... common sense... take it as you will...
There are zero liability issues with the suggested setup. This argument comes up time after time again, yet it is 100% incorrect.

I tow with a vehicle where we are over the stated tow rating by a value of "many", before we decided to go that route I took extensive legal, insurance and engineering advice.

A vehicle like the Flex, with a low centre of gravity and a sophisticated suspension will make a far superior tow vehicle than many a truck with antiquated suspension and a high centre of gravity.
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Old 06-16-2015, 08:58 PM   #18
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Chatham , Ontario
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Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
There are zero liability issues with the suggested setup. This argument comes up time after time again, yet it is 100% incorrect.

I tow with a vehicle where we are over the stated tow rating by a value of "many", before we decided to go that route I took extensive legal, insurance and engineering advice.

A vehicle like the Flex, with a low centre of gravity and a sophisticated suspension will make a far superior tow vehicle than many a truck with antiquated suspension and a high centre of gravity.

I was going to wade in on this one as you have, Andy, but read the earlier thread about the Ford Flex that was referenced in one of the first posts in this one. All the same arguments were hashed and re-hashed then (liability, legality, we're all going to die), and none of them have stopped the Flex from being a fine tow vehicle for those that want it and are prepared to set it up correctly.

Doesn't one of our board moderators tow with a Flex?
Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:07 AM   #19
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1971 23' Safari
Washington , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Thank you to all who responded to my post. I wanted to let you all know that I decided to trade in the Flex and get an older Expedition. We returned yesterday with the trailer! First tow was a little tense.....but overall it was a good 6 hour ride back. I've got some work to do (and a lot of learning;-), but I think we made the right choices so far. I've attached a photo of the new rig. I'm looking forward to it all and really do appreciate the knowledge base in this forum. Thanks again! Dave
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