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Old 01-14-2012, 10:16 AM   #1
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Questions about towing a 25FB with a F-150

Hi all,

We are ready to get a new 2012 Airstream 25FB with twin beds. We also need a new tow vehicle, since our current one doesn't have enough capacity.

We had decided on a Ford F150 3.5L EcoBoost with the Max Towing package. However, doing some calculations, we are running right up against the GVWR of the F150. The GCVWR and front and rear GAWR seem fine.

For reference, here are the numbers I am using (from Ford and Airstream publications):
F150 GVWR: 7,400 pounds
F150 Curb Weight: 5,501 pounds (includes full tank of gas and all factory options we would get)
Which give us a payload capacity of: 1,899 pounds

For payload we include the 25FB Hitch Weight of 832 pounds, along with us, dogs, and other stuff we know we'll take, which comes to 1,792 pounds. That leaves us with:
1,899 payload capacity - 1,792 payload = 107 pounds under GVWR.

Given that, I was wondering:

1) How much does the 25FB hitch weight vary? What are folks loaded-up and ready to go hitch weights? I know at the 25FB GVWR of 7,300 pounds a 15% hitch weight would be 1,095 pounds, putting us over the F150 GVWR.

2) Is anyone using a F150 3.5L 5.5' (e.g. FX2, Platinum, or short box on XLT or Lariat) to tow a 25FB?

3) Is coming within 107 pounds of GVWR a reasonable thing to do (assuming we are careful to not go over)?

Because of other requirements (like where we can park the truck, and space we need for our two 100-pound dogs), we really need to go with the SuperCrew 5.5' bed. Unfortunately, the Heavy Duty Payload Package is not available on any 5.5' bed models. We also can't move up to a F250 or other 3/4 ton for the same reason.

Any other thoughts or suggestions welcome.

Thanks in advance for any insights,

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:46 AM   #2
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Is the problem with the F250 or 2500HD the length of the truck? I believe a crew cab 2500HD Chevy with a standard bed is one foot longer than a 1500 crew cab Chevy with the 5.5' bed. Is there an issue other than that one foot of length?

It appears that the payload limit will limit you on what you can place in the bed of the truck.

My Safari 25B has a tongue weight that is 100# more than the AS spec sheet after the propane tanks are full and towing gear has been installed. I don't know if that is typical or not.

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
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I would suggest at least an F250 Super crew with an 8 ft bed. There will come a time you will want generators,bikes,grill and heaven knows what else,then you will find you bought to small. I really dont advocate an F350 like we have,but its nice.I bought the truck before I thought "AIRSTREAM". So I would respectfully suggest you BUY BIGGER than you think you need, you will not be sorry. Forget about fuel economy,cause towing it just aint there. So go have fun. FULL SPEED AHEAD.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ridgerunner3 View Post
My Safari 25B has a tongue weight that is 100# more than the AS spec sheet after the propane tanks are full and towing gear has been installed. I don't know if that is typical or not.
All Airstreams built after 2009 have the full LP tanks figured into the trailer base weight and tongue weight.
Patrick Botticelli - Colonial Airstream 1121 Route 88 Lakewood, NJ 08701 - 1-800-265-9019
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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I tow with the 2011 f250 short bed. I also tow a 25fb, but it's a 2010.

Best combo for me....always need a reason to post a picture!


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Old 01-14-2012, 11:36 AM   #6

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You will be surprised how quickly the lbs add up.
Give your self plenty of wiggle room.

POI...our unhitched tongue weight for these tickets was over 1100lbs.
The first,(left) is w/o wd set, the second set for towing.

Sweet Streams.....

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Old 01-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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Assuming that a weight-distributing hitch is set up correctly, isn't only about 60% of the hitch weight transferred forward to the tow vehicle?
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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I tow my 25 Safari FB w/a 2010 F150 5.4 in the rockies w/no problems. And, met a guy towing the identical trailer (except it was a 2012) with the new F150 Eco-boost you reference. Met him in the southern rockies and he claimed it towed w/power to spare. I am a full-timer so carry all I own in the trailer and back of my truck under a tonneau cover and have a canoe on the truck roof.Got lots of input here before buying truck and am delighted I didn't go w/250 as I don't need it and the 250 is way more costly.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fmrcaptevil View Post
Assuming that a weight-distributing hitch is set up correctly, isn't only about 60% of the hitch weight transferred forward to the tow vehicle?
The exact amount can be calculated by a formula I cannot understand, but I've seen it stated the weight distribution to be approximately 2/3 forward to the tow vehicle axles (1/3 each) and 1/3 back to the trailer axles. That would give you 277.3 lbs. more. Putting some more stuff over the trailer axles instead of the truck could help too.

I don't know if the trailer spare tire is counted toward hitch weight, but I think it didn't used to be.

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Old 01-14-2012, 04:13 PM   #10
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I just went to the scales with my combo with the 1/2 ton Chevy. I'll post something on another thread but bottom line is I do not need a 3/4 ton. The Chevy has less capacity than my F-150 but is more than up to the task. I have plenty of wiggle room.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:48 PM   #11
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I'm pulling a 25FB with a Ecoboost w/max tow and it does just fine, especially in the mountains. Hitch weight with a Hensley is close to 900 lbs at the hitch head. Loaded with gear, I'm close to the GVW. But you can load some stuff into the back of the trailer under the dinette to offset a couple of hundred pounds. You can adjust your load by making some trips to the scales to figure out your best loading options to distribute weight. I also bought a Shureline hitch scale to know the "real" weight up front. It can very by a lot of pounds between the actual hitch ball weight and the weight on the jack stand. You can go with a F250, but the trade off is what you drive when not towing.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #12
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Is living on the edge that much fun? I can't for the life of me seem to understand those that wonder every time they hitch up they wonder....should I have put the BBQ in front of the axle or behind it.

Relax. Go large or just stay home!!

Airstreaming..... It's about the enjoyment of it all and if you are concerned about a few hundred pounds here or there then that is a problem that only you can address with yourself
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:33 PM   #13
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Hi from GA. . . I traded my F250 V10 (loved the truck,tired of 10mpg w/NO AS) for a 2011 F150 eco-boost 4 door (same FX4 pkg) I love the 18.5 I'm already getting without the AS & so far so good pulling my Safar1 25. Of course haven't gotten to the mountains yet. I don't think I would want pull much bigger/heavier with the 150 though. You can tell the 25 is back there more so than the 250. Plenty of power, just doesn't feel quite as solid. I'll let you know down the road how this works out for me, Regards, Craig
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
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Greetings Jeff, I am in a similar situation to you and looking at the same model of trailer too!

The only thing I can say is that yes, you are working on a tight payload but you are also using a maxed out trailer weight on the tongue. Aside from people/dog weight, you could put your cargo in the trailer and not travel with loaded water tanks, etc. Just my thoughts. The Ford towing guide 2011 indicates that the truck can more than pull the trailer so, as you have figured out, the challenge is the payload.

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