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Old 07-07-2016, 11:28 AM   #1
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Options for a family of 6

I have 4 kids, 1 dog, and a wife. We can't do a truck for towing, so we have to go with an SUV. It appears that the Expedition EL is the way to go - 9100lb towing capacity, a payload around 1600lbs, etc.

We're interested in the FC 30 Bunk for obvious reasons, and I believe this vehicle will tow this model. We have looked at the 23D Bunk, but I think with 6 people, it's a touch small.

I'm open to alternatives (not terribly interested in buying a used 2500 Suburban or Excursion).

One question - I found the GVWR of the EL listed as 7500 with a curb weight of 5562, but Ford cites a max payload of 1600lbs. I thought the payload was the difference between GVWR and curb weight.

Can anyone explain this?
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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I would buy the used Excursion. That's what I did with the same trailer and also a family of 6 with a dog.

My tongue wight is 1200lbs, I can't see how a lesser truck can haul this load. But that's just me.

The real challenge is keeping the Excursion going as it is 11 years old.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:08 PM   #3
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Yikes. I was planning for a tongue weight of 888 per the max trailer weight. Given a payload around 1600lbs, I don't think it would work.

We're going to have about 800lbs of people alone and we'd be way over the payload with a tongue weight that high.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:27 PM   #4
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An older Ex is a great choice. Ours is a 2001. It's not as sexy as something brand new but with minimal effort it's very easy to use as a fulltime tow vehicle. You'll want new or additional rear springs and shocks!
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:27 PM   #5
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If you're thinking of new, isn't Ford planning on an aluminum body Expedition in the near future?
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:22 PM   #6
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If they keep the rest of the towing setup and drop a few hundred pounds in the body, the payload might work out.

I'm not buying this year anyway - I think it would be around this time next year before we're ready to pull the trigger.

This really seems to be the best option now that the truly heavy duty SUVs are not longer being produced.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ufmba06 View Post
Yikes. I was planning for a tongue weight of 888 per the max trailer weight. Given a payload around 1600lbs, I don't think it would work.

We're going to have about 800lbs of people alone and we'd be way over the payload with a tongue weight that high.
With a GVWR of 8880, figure on 10%-15% tongue weight for good towing, or 888 at the low end up to about 1332#. I generally use 12.5% and that comes out pretty close. So you are probably looking at something around 1100#. That will leave you about 500# for passengers and cargo. Sounds like you won't have enough capacity for passengers alone, much less any cargo.

To your other question, the relationship between curb weight and GVWR, it varies. Curb weight is just the truck with no accessories and it depends on equipment and may or may not include a full tank of fuel. GVWR is the maximum weight, measured at the ground, that the truck is designed to support.

The spec sheets tell the most favorable story. You have to look at the door sticker on each truck to get the actual capabilities and even then if the truck has aftermarket accessories, like a tonneau or topper, those subtract from payload. Specified towing capacity is "up to" and assumes a particular setup usually with the best towing package and minimal accessories.

Good luck in your search.

Al
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:55 PM   #8
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My 1200lb tongue weight was measured with a Sureline scale, so I know it is accurate, however the 30 FC Bunk specs say 895 lbs, I have a Propride so that is a lot of the difference. So I am just saying you can be lighter than me if you want.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:44 PM   #9
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It's irritating that a trailer made for 8 can't be pulled by a vehicle made for 8.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:42 PM   #10
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I haven't done the research and you said SUV but is a van an option. Ford transit , Chevy express, the new Nissan?
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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consider a 6 seater truck?

We have a 2016 Flying cloud 30 bunk and tow it with an F250 super duty. Ours has the additional seat up front so you can seat 3 in the front and 3 in the back - it never feels cramped! Huge truck bed to fit everything else too.
Happy camping
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:33 PM   #12
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You would not be disappointed with a used Excursion. I too have a family of 6, kids grown now, we travel in a 2003 Excursion with 400, 000 miles, we tow a 28 FC. It is a great setup. I did install air suspension and Helwig stabilizer bars to minimize body roll. If you can find one in good condition and we'll cared for you will get 500k+ miles out of it. I plan to get 8.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:48 PM   #13
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The simple math doesn't work with a weight distribution hitch employed. Our Airstream 835 lbs factory spec hitch weight, ProPride hitch at 180 lbs, and loaded with all or equipment for six months on the road added 820 lbs to the truck weighed at the CAT scale, weighing truck alone and then the combo. We plan to lighten the hitch weight a little more with some trailer modifications.

We don't like the ride of heavy duty truck suspensions or needlessly heavy unsuspended weight and I don't think our Airstream likes it either.

You're on the right path with the Expedition and it's very stable full independent suspension. If Ford adds an 8 or 10 speed transmission to its 3.5 EcoB you will see very smooth power delivery and improved compression braking with little to no effort on your part. The aluminum body on this chassis will lower the center of gravity for even better stability and increase load capacity, making it a remarkable tow vehicle. Not that there's anything wrong with it now.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:11 PM   #14
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...One question - I found the GVWR of the EL listed as 7500 with a curb weight of 5562, but Ford cites a max payload of 1600lbs. I thought the payload was the difference between GVWR and curb weight.

Can anyone explain this?
Payload = GVWR - curb weight. GVWR is fixed. However, the published curb weight/payload is for a bare-bones vehicle with no options and accessories. Any optional equipment (power seats, moon roof, heated seats, etc.) increases the curb weight, hence reduces the payload. The payload of a vehicle (with all the options installed) can be found on the driver side B pillar, on the yellow tire pressure sticker. Its not unusual for the payload specified there to be 200# to 300# less than the published payload number.

I suggest you visit a dealer and look at the payload figure on the B pillar sticker and make plans according to that number, and not based on the (inflated) published number. If I am not mistaken, a loaded Expedition EL I saw had a door sticker payload of 1350#.

The door sticker payload figures are relatively accurate. I weighed my vehicle at a CAT scale and the payload (GVWR - curb weight) was 50# more than what was stated on the door sticker (and 250# less than the number published online).
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