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Old 08-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #15
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At a minimum I'd get a F250, I know a lot of people will disagree with me and that is fine, but personally I don't drive anything less than a 1 ton. but then again I also don't tow with trucks that are not dualies.

I know that people tow with half tons all the time, I have also seen half ton's wrecked all to heck because they were overpowered by a trailer that the owner had been towing.

If you have something happen that is beyond your control, like say having some idiot change lanes into your trailer, the truck you are towing it with may very well mean the difference between you experiencing some discomfort and an elevated heart rate and having a terrible wreck.

My dualie will tow your trailer with out a weight distribution hitch, it is going to be rock solid and stable doing it. I learned about this when I was in high school driving my dads dualie, I had an idiot change lanes into the 25' equipment trailer I was towing, the result was the trailer began to fishtail violently but the truck's suspension was stiff enough that it stayed planted and even though it scared the snot out of me, I was able to stay stable long enough to grab the brake controller and stop the sway.

I had towed the same trailer with my 3/4 & 1/2 ton several times in hard wind, with the way the trailer got pushed around the road I shudder to think what would have happened had I been driving it that day.

That being said I have over a million miles driving experience in everything from a 1/4 ton jeep up to a 8 axle heavy haul semi weighing 120,000 lbs. You won't see me pulling anything more than a small single axle 16' trailer with a 1/2 ton because I do not feel it is safe.

My advice to you is buy the most truck you feel comfortable driving. The F-250 will probably do you just find and serve you proud, but remember the 1 ton is going to have just a little bit more stout suspension and possibly brakes too. I am unsure with ford, but I know in Chevrolet there is a difference.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MrBeast View Post

I had towed the same trailer with my 3/4 & 1/2 ton several times in hard wind, with the way the trailer got pushed around the road I shudder to think what would have happened had I been driving it that day.
I've towed our trailer with 40 mph crosswinds on a very slick, snow covered I-70 without any sway. We had an Equalizer hitch. At more than 3 tons, the 1/2 ton Tundra is rock solid also.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:21 AM   #17
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I've towed our trailer with 40 mph crosswinds on a very slick, snow covered I-70 without any sway. We had an Equalizer hitch. At more than 3 tons, the 1/2 ton Tundra is rock solid also.

Gene
Gene, I have no doubt that people do it all the time, many with out wrecking.

Personally having made my living since I was 15 years old with the exception of the 4 years I was in the Navy has been in businesses where trailers were used. I have towed over 800,000 miles.

To me towing with a half ton is playing Russian Roulette.

There are things people do not think about such as what if you are coming off a grade and your trailer brakes fail? I really don't want to be in that situation period. But I really don't want to be in it in a half ton.

I had that happen to me when I was in high school too, I was working for my dad, driving his 83 Chevy K30 dually crew cab, towing a 32' Goose Neck with a bobcat and several attachments on it. I lost the brakes coming down a steep mountain grade on a gravel road going to a job site. I was able to use the truck to keep the whole works under control.

I do understand this is an extreme situation, but I'd frequently tow that trailer with my 71 K20, In fact most people thought the trailer was mine because my truck was the same color brown as the trailer. If I had been driving my truck that morning instead of dad's dualie, I might not be here today. This is because I have no doubt that I'd have had a catastrophic wreck.

Granted that trailer was about 12,000 lbs that morning, but still, it was within the capacity of what my truck "could" pull. In fact the day before I used my truck to bring that trailer 300 miles back to town from another job site. That morning had I not had a flat tire on my truck, I would have been driving it, and I would have been in a world of hurt.

On another note, with an equalizer hitch, it does give you sway control, it does put weight up on your front wheels. Setup properly that hitch will help you tackle a big payload like that.

I personally do not like towing with them, I have, but it is more of a process getting hooked up, and thus more things capable of going wrong. I know more than a few folks have been on a the receiving end of a wild ride when one of the bars on their equalizer hitch failed.

It really does boil down to opinions, but on that note, My duallie will pull your trailer with out the equalizer hitch and if you don't check your mirrors, you won't know you are towing a trailer.

Of course my tags are also for 26,000 lbs.

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Old 08-20-2012, 08:37 AM   #18
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I think it is possible to get over-the-road hauling business needs and recreational trailer needs confused.

The Airstream has a low profile design, fully independent suspension, aerodynamic shape, and low center-of-gravity. Ideally it's tow vehicle would have similar design features or it's wasted money. Might as well be doing fifth wheel, would look more appropriate as well.

And in most recreational trailer use the trailer is parked while the tow vehicle is used as a daily driver. On trips we use the tow vehicle to sight-see, get a loaf of bread, visit friends. The big truck not needed, and in fact pretty poor choice. Unless you have a business use or some other heavy hauling needs.

Just-in-case scenarios can be posed all day long but the truth is there is no real advantage to an over-sized truck in front of an Airstream. Drive what you want or need, but there are many choices for an Airstream travel trailer that are more suitable to recreational use, with no additional risk involved.

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:05 AM   #19
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On sort of a related note...we are contemplating an Excella 34. I used to be in the horse show biz and had an F350 dually, diesel/manual. I towed a 6 horse gooseneck, as well as a 35 fifth wheel Terry camper. Also used it to tow lots of boats etc around. Am I wrong in assuming that the dually, with a properly rated hitch can forgo the Hensley hitch, bars etc? I plan to get another F350, and I know it is overkill, but I never had a lick of trouble with the old one, and I pulled lots of stuff around. I have to buy a TV anyway...and I plan to put couple of small motorcycles in the box anyway.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #20
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On sort of a related note...we are contemplating an Excella 34. I used to be in the horse show biz and had an F350 dually, diesel/manual. I towed a 6 horse gooseneck, as well as a 35 fifth wheel Terry camper. Also used it to tow lots of boats etc around. Am I wrong in assuming that the dually, with a properly rated hitch can forgo the Hensley hitch, bars etc? I plan to get another F350, and I know it is overkill, but I never had a lick of trouble with the old one, and I pulled lots of stuff around. I have to buy a TV anyway...and I plan to put couple of small motorcycles in the box anyway.
As long as your trailer is properly loaded with that truck you should be fine. The issue is not getting too much or too little tongue weight. Too much and your front tires will not have enough weight on them, too little tongue weight and the trailer will fish tail and try to lift the back axle of the truck.

When you hook up to your trailer and start towing you are going to know whether or not you need the equalizer hitch.

You can most likely get around needing that hitch by changing how your trailer is loaded out.

If it fish tails, it is too heavy in the back, if the steering is spongy and the back of the truck squats really hard, you are too heavy on the tongue.

Think of the trailer as a pendulum, the ball being a pivot. If your weight is towards the rear of the trailer the inertia of that pendulum is going to be great because the length of the lever is going to be very long.

Where as if the weight is towards the pivot the lever will be very short.

If you are spending the money on an F-350 dually already, save the 600 bucks you would spend on the equalizer hitch and instead I'd invest it in 16" wheels and a good set of Michelin tires. Granted that is going to cost more than 600.00

But that set of good tires will make the trailer more stable and steady going down the road.

Also if your torqflex axles are getting wore out, they can get spongy, replacing them if they are can also give the trailer better controlability.

Airstreams were built with some awesome technology, the torqflex axles, shocks on the suspension. The light weight design, that is why they are so amazing. If not all of that equipment is in proper working order however it can cause problems that would cause the "need" for a weight distribution hitch, when in all actuality it is just the age of the components to blame.

Like you I am fixing to buy a Excella 34 sometime next year. I am hoping when I do to have the funds to also buy a brand new set of the torqflex air ride axles to go with it, with disc brakes and an Electric over hydraulic actuator for those brakes.

Each axle will be on its own air circuit, and each axle will have its own adjustable leveling valve.

Along with the air ride 4 link I am putting on my truck, I think this is going to be a smooth sailing setup.

Also once my 454 bites the dust I am going to stuff a P-pumped 24 valve between the fenders with an Allison 1000, and I am also considering setting the truck on a 3500HD chasis which will give the truck along a 26,000 GVWR (the same as an F-450) and it will then run 19.5's But that is a pile of money, and overkill for what I am doing right now.

But you know what they say, there is no kill like over kill!

My main reason for wanting the 3500 HD chasis is simply because I have owned 3 of them and they have been great trucks. the 94 I had especially, with over half a million miles on it I was still running around towing cars and working it very hard. It is still out there somewhere today still making a guy a living.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #21
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Here is a post I did comparing towing with a 2011 F250 diesel with a 2010 F150 eco on a 7,000 mile round trip from Portland, OR to Alaska this year. It was a non scientific posting of observations in all kinds of roads and conditions. Included, of course, are the opinions of several of the "experts" on our board.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...son-92945.html

One thing to place close attention to if you go with the F250 is the hitch. After reading many informative posts here about the stiff suspension of the F250, I switched to lighter rated bars on my hitch and the ride for both the trailer and the truck improved dramatically.

Another interesting note was that my diesel finally "broke in" and the mileage improved after 20,000+ miles. I've had that happen before with previous diesels, but usually after 5K to 10K miles. Go with the diesel. You will never look back and say "I wish I had less power."
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I think it is possible to get over-the-road hauling business needs and recreational trailer needs confused.

The Airstream has a low profile design, fully independent suspension, aerodynamic shape, and low center-of-gravity. Ideally it's tow vehicle would have similar design features or it's wasted money. Might as well be doing fifth wheel, would look more appropriate as well.

And in most recreational trailer use the trailer is parked while the tow vehicle is used as a daily driver. On trips we use the tow vehicle to sight-see, get a loaf of bread, visit friends. The big truck not needed, and in fact pretty poor choice. Unless you have a business use or some other heavy hauling needs.

Just-in-case scenarios can be posed all day long but the truth is there is no real advantage to an over-sized truck in front of an Airstream. Drive what you want or need, but there are many choices for an Airstream travel trailer that are more suitable to recreational use, with no additional risk involved.

doug k
Doug

I completely agree with your assessment.

Dan
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:24 PM   #23
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A 3/4 ton or 250 (or 2500 if not a Ford) is the minimum in the diesel variety I would go. The 7.3 diesel engine so definitely look at those. A one ton is my preference, that is a 350 for more gutsy suspension and get up and go. I have an E-350 Ford diesel powerstroke. Having the muscle is definitely a plus when it comes putting a rig together. Also an equilizer hitch will make sure the weight is properly distributed and equal on all axles which is important for the long haul and long-term use. The van is my choice as there's living area in there for family and animals.

A diesel will last years longer than a gas engine. They're designed for longevity whereas gas is not. That's why the big rigs are diesel.

A diesel is just breaking in at 100k miles and can easily log 600-900k or more. So a diesel is a better deal in that you get more bang for the buck and more payload.

Rule of thumb is when it comes to putting together a travel rig, the more heavy duty the vehicle you can afford, go with that. You'll have less trouble all things considered as time goes on. And that's the name of the game, eh?
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #24
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One thing I like about my diesel is that I don't have to worry about pulling into tight spots around some gas pumps. If needed you can "be a trucker" and use the easy in / easy out truck diesel pumps.

I use my truck to tow a 31' classic and a boat trailer that is 39'.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:36 PM   #25
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Mr. Beast, gee....what a great letter YOU wrote. Love it when you 'talk that way'.
Knowing how things work and making things work better is the Spice of Life, yes?
Well put, ALL! Windy
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:10 PM   #26
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It all comes down to one thing. Power/stability/level when hauling. Just look out your window when going down the road. How many gas tv's hauling a trailer that is low riding on the hitch vs the diesels solidly cruising down the road at constant speed up or down, windy/windy/curvy. Grade up or down.
Pass these people and see them on the other side everyday. 30 ft trailer or 5th wheel on a 150, 1500 gas loaded improperly with family in front low riding their hitch. I say a silent prayer of hoping the make it to where they are going and back home safe.
Diesels are made to tow. It is an option with gas.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:50 PM   #27
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Mr. Beast, gee....what a great letter YOU wrote. Love it when you 'talk that way'.
Knowing how things work and making things work better is the Spice of Life, yes?
Well put, ALL! Windy
STAND BACK, I'M ABOUT TO TRY SCIENCE!!!
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:56 PM   #28
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A 3/4 ton or 250 (or 2500 if not a Ford) is the minimum in the diesel variety I would go. The 7.3 diesel engine so definitely look at those. A one ton is my preference, that is a 350 for more gutsy suspension and get up and go. I have an E-350 Ford diesel powerstroke. Having the muscle is definitely a plus when it comes putting a rig together. Also an equilizer hitch will make sure the weight is properly distributed and equal on all axles which is important for the long haul and long-term use. The van is my choice as there's living area in there for family and animals.

A diesel will last years longer than a gas engine. They're designed for longevity whereas gas is not. That's why the big rigs are diesel.

A diesel is just breaking in at 100k miles and can easily log 600-900k or more. So a diesel is a better deal in that you get more bang for the buck and more payload.

Rule of thumb is when it comes to putting together a travel rig, the more heavy duty the vehicle you can afford, go with that. You'll have less trouble all things considered as time goes on. And that's the name of the game, eh?
Ford messed up bad when they quit making the 7.3, the motor that followed it was junk. And to repair it when the studs holding the heads down break they have to lift the cab off the truck.

I don't mind though, I made literally thousands of dollars towing these trucks back to the dealer to get this fixed.

It was a really bad problem, I'd pull one into the shop over at Sames Crow in corpus, and there would be 5-7 of them on the lifts all the time with the cab up in the air, and you always knew what they were fixing.

The new power stroke supposedly is a better motor, I am sure with the money ford has spent warrantying the 6.0's they were a little more careful in designing it.
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