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Old 05-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #1
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2015 27' FB International
San Jose , California
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 17
Newbie here looking for best tow vehicle

Recently bought a 2015 27FB and it's clear I'll need to pick up a tow vehicle to get around since my Jeep JK likely can't support. I wondered if anyone has any opinions between newer model Ford F-150's and Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra. I would prefer to stick to the 1500 class. Thanks for the help!

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Old 05-14-2015, 12:59 PM   #2
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2008 25' Classic
Nixa , Missouri
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Lots of info in this forum. Look around and see what people use. Members tow your size trailer anywhere from mini vans to Freightliners.

Given the two choices above the Ford F150 offers one advantage to the GM is you can get it with a larger fuel tank; 35gal vs 26gal in the 1500 series.

Make sure you consider payload when choosing. Your trailer will have at least 1000lbs hitch weight so look for something with 1600lb payload or more. Look at the tire and load sticker on the drivers door to see the available payload.


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Old 05-14-2015, 01:40 PM   #3
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Ditto to the above. And the best tow vehicle is the one you use and enjoy.

And without getting into the debate of GM vs Ford vs Ram vs Toyota vs 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton etc... don't be one of these guys I see over on the truck forums complaining about how they bought a truck that they don't really like because they got such a great deal on it.

I always scratch my head at that one. They probably buy things they don't need just because it was on sale too.

Good hunting.
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:27 PM   #4
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Posts: 231
All the models in this class offer engines and tow equipment that will get the job done nicely if you can manage your payload, and can learn to use the transmission to select the gear needed for the terrain and/or wind conditions as well as downhill engine braking.

Any concerns about stability in all driving conditions will be relieved with a Hensley/ProPride style hitch. Very comfortable driving.

These models ride softly for you and your Airstream. Ram is probably the softest with full coil spring or optional air suspension, but this suspension may limit payload capacity options compared to others. I like the soft ride, our Airstream doesn't shake cabinets and rivets loose, and our gear doesn't move around on rougher roads.

It's a pleasant daily driver when we arrive at our destinations and fuel usage is reasonable.

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Old 05-14-2015, 03:13 PM   #5
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Toronto , Ontario
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If you're open to exploring non-truck options, the Mercedes GL class, Dodge Durango, Jeep GC are all good options. A good full size body on frame SUV would be the Ford Expedition with independent rear suspension.
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Old 05-14-2015, 03:29 PM   #6
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
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Hi Flash44, suggest you don't overlook the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel, it's the one that gets almost 30 MPG highway & mine averages 22.5 total. It's a very impressive half ton truck & thats coming from a guy who always drove GM or Ford.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:18 PM   #7
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
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One thing you didn't mention is how you plan to travel.

If you are a working stiff and will only use the trailer/tow vehicle for weekends and short vacation near home, a smaller tow vehicle with more limited capacity might be just fine. But if you are going to be a road warrior on the road for six to nine months of the year (or a full timer) you may appreciate the added capacity of a larger tow vehicle such as a 3/4 ton truck.

For example, we travel 9 months of the year and could not carry the four bicycles and other gear we need without the 8 foot bed in our Ford F-250.
Bob Martel
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:46 PM   #8
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2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
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My personal preference would be a 1/2 Sierra Denali or 3/4 ton Sierra Denali HD with Duramax/Allison. Great comfort and capability. They are expensive trucks, though, and you can get great truck models for less money, if you don't want to spend for a Denali.

GMC, Chevy, Ford, and Dodge all make good trucks, so you can't really go "wrong" with any of them. Drive them all, carefully compare capabilities and features, and pick what suits you and your budget best.

Today's 1/2 tons drive amazingly like passenger cars. The 1/2 ton will serve you well IF you don't mind edging up close to the limit on carrying capacity. You really should examine that factor very carefully before making your decision, as it is probably the most significant factor with pulling a larger trailer, even an Airstream. Whatever you choose, consider adding towing-style rear view mirrors, if the truck doesn't already come with them.

With our choice of a 30' International Serenity, we decided we wanted plenty of extra capacity in terms of engine braking, carrying capacity, and pulling power, so we went with the Sierra Denali HD, 3/4 ton, 4x4, Duramax engine and Allison transmission. It is also our "daily driver", though we don't commute anywhere, so driving is not done "daily". It makes for a beefy, but luxurious, comfortable, and quiet-running daily driver. We prefer driving larger vehicles and we love it!

This is our truck:

We're still awaiting delivery of our 2016 30' Serenity.

This is a "stock photo" of Denali HD & an Airstream:
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:06 PM   #9
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
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Great input above and as has been stated, there are plenty of tow vehicle debate threads on Airforums for hours of entertainment. Since you asked, I'll share our rig with you. Here are a lot of specs, so if you snore, do it quietly.

The truck came first, so we lucked out and had enough ........... We happily tow our Shiny Pete, a 2014 Flying Cloud 27fb with a 2013 2wd F150 XLT supercrew with a 5.0 v8, 3.55 rear-end, an 8800 lb tow rating, and a 1651 lb payload rating. I think it is a match made in heaven as Pete has a 1651 lb payload rating on his sticker as well, with a wet weight at 6149 as he left the factory. The 27fb has a 7800 lb GVWR and the truck a 7100 lb GVWR, and we use a ProPride hitch with 1400 lb bars.

The already mentioned challenge with any half ton is payload, and the fancier the truck (options), the less payload it will have. I long for a 4wd King Ranch, but they have a laughable payload....... We do have to be careful with what goes in the bed of the truck. Our coach has about 1100 lbs of hitch weight loaded for most any travel we attempt. That leaves about 500 lbs for my bride, one or two grandkids, a couple of totes of stuff, a couple of grandkid bikes, etc. Of course, the argument that always comes up is "yes, but the W/D hitch returns x% of your tongue weight back to the trailer and truck wheels". True, but whatever, we're in spec (yes, wheel and tire loads, axle loads, all of it), and we tow quite nicely at 65 mph in the giant hill country of Florida.

We run what we brung for now and it does the job!
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:04 AM   #10
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I'll add that I tow my 2008 Classic 25fb (heaviest of the 25' AS, 8000lb gvwr) with a 2010 Tundra SR5 Double Cab, 2x4. Payload door sticker is 1465lbs. I added a BakFlip VP tonneau cover and Toyota towing mirrors. My hitch weight is between 1100 and 1200 lbs, I use an Equalizer with 1000lb bars. I'm sure I'm slightly over payload with the two of us with an some of the extras in the bed; 2 recliners, aluminum roll up table, O Grill BBQ and 5lb propane tank, a couple of bins with Lynx levelers and misc goodies, patio mat, inflatable kayak and accessories, 200 watt portable solar panel and a small toolbox and sometimes I carry two bikes on my Arvika A frame bike rack.

I bought the Tundra before the trailer and before I realized and understood about payload specs. RV and car dealers are not a good source of information about which tow vehicle to get.

I prefer a truck with a 6 1/2" bed vs the 5 1/2" beds on most crew cab 1/2 ton pickups. I doubt I could get all the aforementioned stuff with a 5 1/2' bed unless I purchase a camper shell. The recliners lay flat and take up lots of floor space but the wife wanted recliners. Ford F150 offers a 157"wb crew cab with 6 1/2' bed. It's only a foot longer than my Tundra. I did test drive a 2014 in this size but found the turning radius longer than the Tundra probably due to the 4x4 and longer wheelbase. It had a 1745lb payload sticker. I decided to wait for the 2015 F150 but found the payload disappointing because Ford lowered the GVWR for 2015 and they are so expensive. So I'm sticking with the Tundra a while longer.

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Old 05-15-2015, 11:00 AM   #11
2014 30' International
Scarborough , Ontario
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We have a F150 with the Ecoboost motor and the dealership (CanAm RV) tell me this is the gold standard today. That's their opinion. I'm happy with it!
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
RV and car dealers are not a good source of information about which tow vehicle to get.

Yes, CanAm is the exception.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:51 AM   #13
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I was very happy with the f-150 as a tow vehicle but was never comfortable with it as a full time around town drive. For me the Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi was a better fit.

I see that PP got their off topic sponsored plug in once again.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:29 PM   #14
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I just happened to get a great deal on a truck I love back in 2008.
$30,000 for my Tundra back then.
I think the 27' trailers have a higher tongue weight than my 30', so a 1/2 ton might not be enough.

2013 Classic 30 Limited
2007 Silver Toyota Tundra Crew Max Limited 5.7 iForce
2006 Vivid Black Harley-Davidson Road King Classic
1999 Black Nissan Pathfinder LE
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