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Old 05-27-2016, 06:43 PM   #57
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2014 27' FB International
Western WA , Washington
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Overall we're quite happy with our RAM 1500 as a TV for our 27FB, though we're right at our truck's GVWR with the trailer attached and loaded for camping.

That said, in retrospect it's clear our dealer knew nothing about using this vehicle for serious towing. Their goal was to sell us a truck. Ironically, if they'd had a deeper understanding of the subject, they probably could have sold us a 2500.

It's also clear that at the time our Airstream dealer knew very little about actual tongue weights for the trailers they sell. They just quoted the literature.

So it's on each of us to do lots of towing homework, which is frustrating because this stuff isn't exactly black magic.

Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 05-27-2016, 07:50 PM   #58
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Well,I guess this clears up everything.

If you are reading this, it means I have made it another day!!!
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:23 PM   #59
Rich and Kat
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
You just talked me out of buying a new Dodge. I was seriously considering it.
So Bill, let me be clear (no disrespect/tone intended). I love my RAM 1500 Crew Cab and 6'4" box! I had a 2011 F150 that I got rid of not too long ago ... My RAM is many times better than my old Ford was in so many regards ... like not even close. I also had a 2001 F250 with a 7.3L Turbo Diesel and it was the hardest thing I did to get rid of it ... a 2 year assignment to Turkey with no place to store it forced me to sell it ... it turns out that it was the best-ever diesel engine Ford ever made. (I'm not trolling ... just spouting personal opinions.)

Don't run away from the RAM. It's an amazing vehicle. I'm mixed on the airbags now ... not sure if they come on the Heavy Duty's ... will have to check ... but if they do, I'll probably consider adding them back on. For example, on the 1500, put 5 sheets of 3/4 plywood in the bed ... pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhht ... and the truck is level. Now add 5 more sheets ... pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhht. Level again. Or empty, get out on the highway and hit 60 mph ... Pshhhhhhhhht and it drops into Aero mode to save gas. Got to let mom out of the truck? Press the button ... you know ... pshhhhhht ... the truck drops down and you cringe because its still not low enough for mom and you realize you should have dropped your cookies to get out and help her so she doesn't face-plant because it's still too high for her because she must have eaten too many cookies when she was my age ...

I didn't mean to create contention with my posts but it seems that this thread has the potential to induce unnecessary conflict. For everyone else, I humbly respect and admire your collective knowledge and experience. I haven't gained the wisdom you have. That said, I have devoured the RAM towing info enough to find silly inconsistencies/caveats and it's clear that RAM employees don't understand towing. I trust the same is true for many dealerships of all brands ... nothing against RAM employees/dealers.

In my case, I want (the wife wants) a Serenity 28 and I'm good with it because I love it too--the layout just works so well for us. Empty, it's 6K lbs with a 950 lb tongue weight. While there are many towing experts out there who may have mastered the loading/weighing thing ... I'm not sure I want to deal with that. The one thing that's clear to me is that my door sticker says 1040 lbs payload and RAM's site clearly states tongue weight consumes payload. I weigh 225; my wife weighs ... well ... I learned my lesson so ... Since the 28 is a rear-bed and I can certainly lighten the tongue weight with weight under the bed... so I would certainly want to learn how to manipulate my tongue weight... Beyond that, I want to be able to load-up without pause for concern. It's just a comfort/reassurance issue ... I think it's reasonable to have a 20% trailer weight safety buffer on max tow capacity. I'd like to load-up the "CREW CAB" with 4 adults and a child or two, and put the generator, chairs and, yes, a couple boxes of cookies, in the truck with me.

Bottom line: In my case, because I don't have the experience, it would appear that it might be more safe to just get a truck with more capacity, like a RAM 2500 or 3500 SRW and just not care how many cookies I bring. No?
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:56 PM   #60
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-rich, I can't help but wonder if, camping with 4 adults and a child or two, their gear, your gear, and all those cookies you should start by asking if a 28' Airstream is a good choice.

I can tell you our 25' Airstream, two feet shorter than a 28, is a good fit for Cheryl and I, a full house. And that our new Ram 1500 was carefully chosen by us, based on plenty of experience and research, as the nearest perfect match to our lifestyle and towing needs.

Maybe you ought to reevaluate the plan by asking about real life Airstream travel trailer capacity, and then consider the tow vehicle. You may find like we did with both truck and trailer that some, not all, manufacturer specifications are better considered as recommendations rather than what the truck or trailer is actually capable of.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 05-28-2016, 06:21 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
I am wondering about how much experience is in the above posts....
From most of the poster, quite a bit. Very experienced people.
1984 Avion 30p 9.1 meter. 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins srw short bed crew cab.
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:33 AM   #62
Rich and Kat
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2017 30' Classic
Annandale , Virginia
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Thanks Doug. Your recommendation is most reasonable but as you wrote in your first post, the gears and air bags are still a concern of mine. I'm assuming I can change the gears to 3.92's ... I'm guesstimating around $2-3K if I have the dealership do it, assuming that would keep me within warranty. I'll eventually inquire. Then paying attention to smart loading and scales ... which would need to be done regardless. I'll check with the wife but I'm sure she fell for the combination of the 28's dedicated dinette, straight-cut sink, and lounge/bed. Given we don't have kids and we'll mostly travel alone (additional adults/kids are for visiting family) ... common sense would dictate the 23 or 25 as a great choice ... but I don't think it's going to happen.

Bottom line: thanks to all of the posters who took time to respond and add value to the discussion. I appreciate the time you all took. I learned a lot about GCVW, GVW, GTW, Curb Weight, Axle Ratio's and Tongue Weights. In the final analysis, I'm most apprehensive about making the 1500 work ... I'd feel a lot more comfortable with a bigger tow vehicle but it makes sense to explore ways to make my existing TV work. I hope you all have a fun, safe holiday weekend. Sincerely, Rich
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:40 AM   #63
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Sometimes dealers can help with matters like this, especially if you are willing to trade. There have been SO MANY posts about this. Most 1/2 tons are fine with the towing capacity. It is the payload capacity that has to be watched and your 950 is probably going to be more. Mine is said to be 840 and is really 990. Your 1300 is really about 300# left for peeps and anything else- not enough. You do not HAVE to get a 2500 though. Just shop and consider your new requirement. With a 2016 truck that dealer should be able to do something. My dealer (not on a truck but on a motorcycle) gave me most all the money back to re-buy when I realized the limitations of the vehicle and needed more. I would try that first.

As far as models of Airstream go, I am geeky on this and have taken a measuring tape to the dealer to compare 25, 27, 28 models. They are VERY similar though with your family I would want the advantage the larger units provide in seating, especially the 28. The extra two feet or two feet one inch afford you about a foot more in the galley- The 27 appears to offer more storage galley/wardrobe while the 28 more seating.
2015 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast 3.55 Lariat
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:36 AM   #64
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It's always difficult to make suggestions, help the o.p. without knowing details. Such as no trailer yet, like a 28 but maybe downsize to a 25; truth is there are only a few hundred pounds difference.

Or two people but maybe 4 adults plus a child to two; not only is the Airstream cramped, also don't worry about truck payload because there are not enough seatbelt positions. The solution is meet your friends at the campground with their car. The Ram 1500 would be excellent for you and wife and the 28 when set up and loaded accordingly.

Airstreams are relatively tiny RV's. Spend some time comparing Airstreams to your travel and camping needs, and consider how many people and how much gear you can actually take along. You may be closer than you think. Or not.

Well, except for the boxes of cookies.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 05-28-2016, 09:42 AM   #65
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I don't think I would worry about it,use a good hitch, hook up and go, you can study this to death, that is why we have no bypass in Billings, Mt. ,the engineers have been studying it since the 1970's....
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:28 AM   #66
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4 adults even in my 30 foot bunkhouse is cramped

One of the big limitations we had when going with another couple (for example) and our kids was fridge room - we quickly learned that any amount of crowding in the fridge will reduce that fridge's ability to stay cool enough - so then we had to bring a big cooler and ice to keep a lot of stuff for the trip.

Clothes storage for 4 adults plus, towels, non perishable foods - etc -

It's doable though I suspect....

But perhaps since this post is about Tow Vehicle I am just creeping away front the main topic

Good luck!
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 05-28-2016, 07:50 PM   #67
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Blacksburg , Virginia
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>"Serenity 28 and I'm good with it because I love it too--the layout just works so well for us. Empty, it's 6K lbs with a 950 lb tongue weight. " <

yeah, that sounds about right. I will tell you its rock solid on towing. You will like that.
You can't man-handle ( push around) the 28' when hitching up to the truck. ( I would guess a 30' is the same way)
I would 'bump' my some other brand trailer if I got the truck close, and let the coupler slide down on the ball. Not the 28' its solid. No pushin it around, LOL
You have to get the 'ball' positioned perfectly.

I liken it to coupling freight cars. 'Ka-chunk', and latch the coupler, attach the pin,
'then connect the airhose.'
I havn't had the wind push it around either, its one with the truck.
We had to get a 28', you would not believe how mush room a Cat can take up !
Have a good one !
Ra, Chelle & Natasha
For my next trick, I will use my new Airstream & Dodge Ram 2500 CTD to make this pile of money disappear.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:53 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by riffin-rich View Post
Hello all. I'm brand new here. My wife and I had a pop-up years ago and decided to start camping again. We just discovered Airstream and visited the dealer yesterday. Our plan is to buy once and not upgrade; we fell in love with the International Serenity 28 Twin. My concern is that I have a new truck - purchased only with the intention of pulling a pop-up camper:
  • 2016 RAM 1500, 5.7L Hemi / 8 Spd Auto Trans, 4x4, Crew Cab, 6'4" Bed, 3:21 gears and four-corner airbag suspension.
I used the RAM online utility to obtain my max tow information and it reports:
  • Max Payload: 1,300 lbs
  • Max Towing: 7,850 lbs
  • Door sticker, "The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed 1040 lbs."
I'm concerned that I don't have enough truck to safely pull the 28':
  • 950 lbs tongue weight
  • 5923 lbs empty
  • 7600 lbs full gvwr plus we'll add the options (not solar)
  1. Does Max Payload of 1300 lbs mean tongue weight, while 1,040 lbs means additional cabin and truck bed contents?
  2. Can we SAFELY proceed with this set-up for a couple of years (we live in VA) if we avoid the Rockies?
  3. Adding anti-sway "stuff" will subtract weight we can carry with us ... pots, pans, plates, chairs ... stuff ...
We'll eventually upgrade the truck to a 2500 or 3500 ... but we just can't do that right now. Thanks so much for your time and assistance and please do weigh in. Thanks so much! Sincerely, Rich
You can read speculation from amateurs and hobbyists including me (or truck and trailer salespeople) about what works and doesn't all day here. Or you can call Andy @ Can-Am and talk to people who've set up 10,000 or more of these things over 40 years.

Properly dialled in I've *heard* the 28 is a dream to tow and it certainly seemed so when I test drove one.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:46 PM   #69
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I've towed our 27 over 20000 miles since last October, beginning with a cross-country trip and thereafter throughout California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada. It tows fine behind my 1/2 ton which has a rated 1940 lb cargo capacity per the door sticker. One thing to look at in choosing between trailer models is where the internal storage is. More than 3/4s of the storage is forward of the wheels. I suspect a model that isn't a front bed (like the 27) will have more storage behind the axles, which means loading the trailer won't drive up the tongue weight so much.
This "cargo capacity" is as important if you're camping exclusively in Kansas or in Colorado. Your truck will do a fine job pulling the trailer up the Rockies. The question is whether you can get the truck reasonably level when the trailer is hitched and you're loaded for camping, and whether your suspension is fully or almost fully compressed when you're hitched and loaded.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:46 PM   #70
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Please help newbie demystify towing ...

Axle and tire limits are the genuine reference numbers. All else is either recommendations or marketing.

Changing the tow vehicle is far easier than changing the trailer.

My folks had their 28' Silver Streak 27-years. Two tow vehicles. Nearer the limits on the first (a luxury car) than the second (a 3/4T Suburban) which was far inferior in all other duties. Carried more weight aboard, granted, but the less capable in handling and braking.

The trailer was a dunk shot. A bit small for a family of five on 3-week trips, but great for two for months at a time.

Too big isn't better in re tow vehicles.

After a period of acquiring and carrying all kinds of stuff I'd venture to say that most pare things down to what is actually used after a few years.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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