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Old 04-05-2016, 04:53 PM   #21
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A 28' Airstream is a very stable and not much of a towing challenge as long as it is connected properly. We took 28' to California last fall, really enjoyed it and hardly noticed the smaller size. There are several 3 Row SUV's that will not have any difficulty taking you anywhere you want to travel. They can all be much more stable than your motorhome was.

The Ford Expedition EL with 20" wheels and the 3.73:1 axle ratio is the roomiest of the vehicles I would suggest. It has the echo boost 3.5 litre and a very robust chassis with lots of over capacity.

If you can live with a less space but still 3 rows of seats the Dodge Durango with either the 3.6 litre or Hemi will do the job very nicely. The 3.6 litre is easier on fuel the Hemi will give you substantial performance. It performs much better in the Durango than it does in a 1/2 ton where it needs more power to push the truck along. The Durango handles more precisely than the Expedition and has a lower centre of gravity.

If the budget will handle it a Mercedes GLS with the diesel engine and 9 speed is a wonderful vehicle. The Audi Q7 is as smooth and quite and precise handling as the Mercedes but alas no diesel for now.

The Mercedes and Audi should have their hitches strengthened for the Airstream. It is not a bad idea for the Expedition and Durango as well but it is not mandatory.

I would suggest an Eaz-Lift brand weight distribution system. The Elite model with 1400 bars and two friction sway controls. If you send me an email I can send you back some sheets on how to set it all up properly. Only about 5% of trailers on the road are properly configured so you really want to know how to do it yourself and it is not rocket science.

I hope this helps
Andrew T
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
A 28' Airstream is a very stable and not much of a towing challenge as long as it is connected properly. We took 28' to California last fall, really enjoyed it and hardly noticed the smaller size. There are several 3 Row SUV's that will not have any difficulty taking you anywhere you want to travel. They can all be much more stable than your motorhome was.

The Ford Expedition EL with 20" wheels and the 3.73:1 axle ratio is the roomiest of the vehicles I would suggest. It has the echo boost 3.5 litre and a very robust chassis with lots of over capacity.

If you can live with a less space but still 3 rows of seats the Dodge Durango with either the 3.6 litre or Hemi will do the job very nicely. The 3.6 litre is easier on fuel the Hemi will give you substantial performance. It performs much better in the Durango than it does in a 1/2 ton where it needs more power to push the truck along. The Durango handles more precisely than the Expedition and has a lower centre of gravity.

If the budget will handle it a Mercedes GLS with the diesel engine and 9 speed is a wonderful vehicle. The Audi Q7 is as smooth and quite and precise handling as the Mercedes but alas no diesel for now.

The Mercedes and Audi should have their hitches strengthened for the Airstream. It is not a bad idea for the Expedition and Durango as well but it is not mandatory.

I would suggest an Eaz-Lift brand weight distribution system. The Elite model with 1400 bars and two friction sway controls. If you send me an email I can send you back some sheets on how to set it all up properly. Only about 5% of trailers on the road are properly configured so you really want to know how to do it yourself and it is not rocket science.

I hope this helps
Andrew T
I've never known Andrew to give bad advice--he is the expert on towing Airstreams. I recall that he particularly like the Ford because of its independent rear wheel suspension, and many of us like the Ford 3.5l Ecoboost engine. Personally, we found the Ford a bit mushy I'm handling when we drove it. Andrew is way more current than most of us, and has given you an excellent answer.

Armed with this info, it's time for you to set aside some time and do some test driving! Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:39 PM   #23
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I agree with Ford being mushy. It was the best of the lot of the big SUVs I test drove, due to the independent rear suspension, but it was still no match for the GL or Durango, both of which are sporting a far more sophisticated suspension and drivetrain setup.

I was very tempted to go for the GL series, but in the end we got such a great deal on a Durango that our decision was pretty much made for us.

It'll be at Andy's shop next week Friday, to get the hitch reinforced.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:26 PM   #24
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I have been all over the country for the last 2 years, with my 2008 4.7L Tundra 4x4. Towing my 1976 tradewinds and hauling my vtx1300 in the bed of the truck. I just passed 174k miles and get approx 250 miles per tank.

That being said.

I HIGHLY recommend the Toyota Sequioa 5.7L. Its the same as the tundra with a roof. Get the tow package the tow capacity is 10k
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:29 PM   #25
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We are finishing a Month long trip with our 30' international Serenity from Bellingham Wa to San Francisco to Reno, back through Bend and soon back home. We have 2015 1500 RAM 5.7 4WD crew cab 6'5" box with a canopy with the 8 speed transmission. With a front bench seat it will ride 6 and the big space under the canopy will hold lots of stuff. I have been very happy with our Blue Ox hitch, no sway and a very even weight distribution. We obviously crossed some high passes and on other trips have been at 9000'. I just put the cruise control on 65 and it has never failed to keep that speed. Just checked my mileage in this trip and I'm at 11 mpg. I get around 20 mpg unloaded mostly freeway miles. I like our set up a lot and unlike my other truck (Duramax 3500 Dually) the ride of this truck is just like our car!
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:17 AM   #26
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Congrats!
We found ourselves in much the same situation! My husband surprised me with an Airstream and we just brought her home. We have a 27fb International Signature, bought a GMC 3/4 ton deisel truck and an Equalizer hitch. My hisband said he couldn't hardly tell we were puling the trailer when we hauled her home. We wanted a 3/4 Suburban but they are no longer making them. Since we live in Colorado and will be pulling in the mountains, a 3/4 was our vehicle of choice since our Yukon was so close to the load capacity numbers. Hubby upgraded our hitch to the heavy duty one that fits the truck without a sleeve and the only drawback is the weight. I can bately lift it! We just finished an addition to the back of our garage and made the door larger to accomodate the AS so we can park her here at home in a heated garage. All this and my husband has never camped in a trailer! Hope he loves it as much as I so!
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:41 AM   #27
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I own a 2015 Flying Cloud 28 which I recently took to Colorado and Utah through the Rockies. At the time, my tow vehicle was a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi. The Dodge did a great job towing until I started going over the Rockies. I made it over some pretty steep peaks. A lot of the driving was in 1st gear at 40 MPH. Not fun or good for the truck. Going down the mountains was another challenge. The tow setting offered automatic downshifting when braking, but I felt the momentum down the mountains was too much and I often was propelled downhill like a missile. Conclusion: This is a great tow vehicle if you can avoid the Rockies altogether. Also, I would recommend rear airbag suspension with the Dodge 1500. The AS tongue weight is a little too much for the stock spring suspension and challenges the weight distribution hitch to the max.

If you someday want to tackle the Rockies or other similar mountains, I would recommend doing what I did and that is to buy a 2016 Dodge 2500 Cummins Turbo Diesel. I got it with the full bed so I can bring my motorcycle. I've had this truck for four months now and I would highly recommend it. I got it with the Big Horn trim. This truck gets superb mileage, has power to spare, a suspension to match and an exhaust brake!. If you get a whimpy tow vehicle, you will not be happy (or safe).
Wow - I can only imagine what RPM the engine was at - 1st gear at 40 MPH?!? That had to lead to some heat build up in the engine too...
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:37 PM   #28
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Tow Vehicle

2016 Dodge 6.7 Diesel 2500 A/T
Blue Ox W/D
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:10 AM   #29
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Wow - I can only imagine what RPM the engine was at - 1st gear at 40 MPH?!? That had to lead to some heat build up in the engine too...
Heading into Taos, NM from the West, it felt like I was going to blow the engine on my 2012 Dodge Ram Hemi 5.7. Even the tow setting stopped downshifting properly. Heading into Town, the engine sounded like it was running faster than indicated on the tachometer. Fortunately, it truck recovered when it cooled down. Also, not enough attention is given to the benefits of an exhaust brake. If you have difficulty going up hill, you just destroy your engine. Difficulty going down hill, can be much worse, especially in the Rockies. :-)
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:12 AM   #30
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Diesels Stink.
The fuel stinks and the exhaust stinks.
Get some fuel on your shoes or clothes and you will smell it all day.
I have both diesel and gas tractors and don't mind the smell so much when I'm out mowing or some such but I would never want a diesel for my daily driver or when I'm trying to stay clean. My gas tractors are far more pleasant to operate.
And diesel exhaust stinks. Let the engine idle while you go back and check your hitch and it will make you choke. Plus diesels leave a greasy black smear on everything behind them. Look at trailers that are pulled by a diesel.
Diesels are Noisy too. Outside and inside the cab they are far Noisier than a gasser.
Diesels cost a lot more than a gasser and cost more to maintain. Yes they have greater longevity than a gasser. But are you willing to drive a 20 year old truck to use that extra longevity? I am not.
I suggest you buy a 3/4 ton gasser in your favorite flavor.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:17 AM   #31
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Difficulty going down hill, can be much worse, especially in the Rockies. :-)
We had a brief glimpse of this yesterday, heading from Kerville TX to Fort Stockton on I-10 where we had a short 7% grade.

The automatic diesel brake on my 2016 Ram worked very well. The Cummins might be expensive, but for those of us with little or no towing skills, it adds a measure of safety while we slowly gain experience.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:59 PM   #32
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We started RVing in 1978 with a truck slide in on a 1976 F-250 Custom with a 360 CID, 4 speed standard 410 rear end... been through Tiffin class C, Tiffin Allegro Bus, Safari Trek, Monaco Diplomat and 3, 5th wheels (all high end garbage). We got rid of our last 5th wheel and kept the TV when we bought our 23FB Flying Cloud. The TV is a Tundra TRD 4X4 SR5 with tow package: Firestone air bags on the rear, 48 gallon fuel tank. We have pulled this rig from Florida to Vermont multiple times, through the Application Mountains from North Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolina's into the Poconos, then down to the hill country in Texas... Nothing scary, no issues with big rigs, wind or tire failures on the GYM 14" factory set up with ball only, no WDH or anti sway other than the features the Tundra TRD package adds to the mix. We keep it at 65 MPH and just smile when others towing at 80 blow by us. (we often see them down the road with a blow out or overheated vehicle). FYI we load with common sense and carry our 60 pound American Bulldog, our 35 pound Wheaten Terrier, my 185 pounds and my wife's XXXX pounds (I'm not crazy). In my humble opinion, you can save a lot of money by maintaining your equipment and using it with care and respect.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:28 AM   #33
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We finally joined the ranks and purchased a 2016 Flying Cloud 28'. But this was the cart before the horse purchase, so now I am looking for the horse (tow vehicle and hitch configuration). We live in Florida, and often travel to the NC Mountains to visit family, so I need something beefy and safe enough for our family of five. I'd prefer an SUV instead over a Pick-up so we would have the third row seating and storage capabilities. We also enjoy long (two week) summer trips and are were use to traveling in a motorhome; not cramped in a car.

The GVW of the trailer is 7,600 lbs with a Hitch Weight of 976 lbs.

Important Considerations for me:
  1. Least amount of sway & full control from passing Semi's
  2. Able to travel in the mountains
  3. Room for the family & dog
  4. Fuel Efficiency
  5. Overall price and affordability
  6. Tow Package requirements, Transmissions Speeds/Coolers, Break Packages, Etc.
  7. Low stress traveling
  8. Dependability
Let the opinions roll... Don't hold back. I am looking for all the Pros and Cons. The last thing I want is an great trailer that it too stressful to tow.
The problem you will have in towing a 28 with an SUV is the tongue weight. For example, a Ford Expedition has a max allowable tongue weight of 920 lbs using a weight distribution hitch (600 lbs without the WD hitch). That said, I know there are people who happily tow 30 footers with smaller SUV's. The problem as I see it is that if you have a wreck and the plaintiff's attorney finds out you've exceeded the manufacturer's rating, you're toast.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:56 AM   #34
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The problem you will have in towing a 28 with an SUV is the tongue weight. For example, a Ford Expedition has a max allowable tongue weight of 920 lbs using a weight distribution hitch (600 lbs without the WD hitch). That said, I know there are people who happily tow 30 footers with smaller SUV's. The problem as I see it is that if you have a wreck and the plaintiff's attorney finds out you've exceeded the manufacturer's rating, you're toast.
This stuff gets tiring, but if your receiver hitch is too light for the trailer (and I'm not sure his one is), do what Airstreamers have been doing for generations and what many on this forum are doing today, replace it with a stronger receiver hitch or have it reinforced as needed.

The Expedition is a large SUV, more stable than a pickup truck with it's full independent suspension and has a strong Ecoboost engine. A versatile and capable tow vehicle. It would be unfortunate to disregard it because of it's receiver hitch (for crying out loud!).

As for supporting the argument with another legal warning, it's used frequently and never supported. Waste of time.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:32 PM   #35
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This stuff gets tiring, but if your receiver hitch is too light for the trailer (and I'm not sure his one is), do what Airstreamers have been doing for generations and what many on this forum are doing today, replace it with a stronger receiver hitch or have it reinforced as needed.

The Expedition is a large SUV, more stable than a pickup truck with it's full independent suspension and has a strong Ecoboost engine. A versatile and capable tow vehicle. It would be unfortunate to disregard it because of it's receiver hitch (for crying out loud!).

As for supporting the argument with another legal warning, it's used frequently and never supported. Waste of time.
The hitch weight limitation has more to do with the axle capacity than with the hitch strength. You can strengthen the hitch attachment but you can't easily beef up the axles and the suspension.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:43 PM   #36
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The hitch weight limitation has more to do with the axle capacity than with the hitch strength. You can strengthen the hitch attachment but you can't easily beef up the axles and the suspension.
Fortunately, we have manufacturer's ratings for vehicle weight and axle capacities, and scales to verify that vehicles are operating within those weight ratings.

An artificially low tow and tongue weight rating that isn't substantiated by a limited axle capacity has everything to do with the strength of the receiver.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:14 PM   #37
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Fortunately, we have manufacturer's ratings for vehicle weight and axle capacities, and scales to verify that vehicles are operating within those weight ratings.

An artificially low tow and tongue weight rating that isn't substantiated by a limited axle capacity has everything to do with the strength of the receiver.
But I would say that by using an Expedition to tow a 28 you are overloading the axles. You have almost a 1000 tongue weight plus 1000 worth of passengers plus luggage.
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