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Old 10-14-2016, 01:43 PM   #29
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If you don,t mind my asking, what is your average mpg while towing ??
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:09 PM   #30
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Mine is between 9 and 11.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:59 AM   #31
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13-14 with my duramax
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:14 AM   #32
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15.1 yesterday with headwinds, usually expect 15-17 with EcoDiesel. 27-30 highway solo.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:07 PM   #33
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Responding to the original poster: Reportedly, the FC 25 has one of the highest tongue weights of all the Airstreams, typically over 1,000 lbs. notwithstanding the specifications (which may or may not account for full water and waste tanks and full propane bottles) and certainly don't account for stuff stored inside the trailer. The "front bed" design ends up putting most of the storage you use forward of the axles. The larger SUVs (Tahoe,etc.) probably would be satisfactory if you're only carrying 2 people and a modest amount of stuff in the vehicle. Frankly, if you go with a "short box" 1/2 ton pickup you will not feel particularly constrained driving it around town, parking it, etc. A standard box or a 3/4 ton is going to feel a little big and the 3/4 ton will ride "trucky." Another advantage to the pickup is that if you have a generator and need to carry gasoline for it, that's all outside the passenger cabin. Unless you're just weekending or are willing to be limited to "full hookup" campsites, you're going to want at least a small generator. If memory serves, for several years, only the "27" foot Airstreams have a gas oven; the others have only a microwave, which requires AC. In the diesel vs. gasoline debate, don't be overly focused on fuel economy. Do the numbers. In the Eastern US, regular gasoline is cheaper than diesel and there's a purchase price premium for diesel power. My wife and I completed 9 months of full-timing in our FC 27 last June, pulled by a GMC Sierra 1/2 ton with the 6.2 liter gasoline engine. After our recent 10-day trip to New England, we have 46,000 miles on the truck's odometer probably 35,000 of which is pulling the trailer, mostly west of the Rockies. With a self-imposed speed limit of 60, or whatever is posted if lower, our mileage over a 400-mile block ranged from a low of 12 to a high of 13.8. That includes going from DC to LA and back. The Ram 1/2 tons are all a little light on payload, especially if you get the fancier Laramie model and all the bells and whistles. Both Ford and GM offer half tons with adequate payload and power to pull the trailer. 240 hp is still 240 hp no matter how impressive the torque numbers. Fine if you're mostly in the Midwest; probably inadequate in either the Appalachians or the Rockies unless you want to test how long your engine will tolerate running at 100% output before breaking. Both the Ford "Ecoboost" motors and the big V-8 in my truck generate lots of torque at low rpm, just like a diesel, so you won't have a lot of noise. Typically, in rolling countryside, my engine is running at 1800 rpm in 7th gear pulling our trailer at 60 mph. Only on the steepest grades does the engine exceed 3,000 rpm to maintain that speed.
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:32 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Bruce View Post
Responding to the original poster: Reportedly, the FC 25 has one of the highest tongue weights of all the Airstreams, typically over 1,000 lbs. notwithstanding the specifications (which may or may not account for full water and waste tanks and full propane bottles) and certainly don't account for stuff stored inside the trailer. The "front bed" design ends up putting most of the storage you use forward of the axles. The larger SUVs (Tahoe,etc.) probably would be satisfactory if you're only carrying 2 people and a modest amount of stuff in the vehicle. Frankly, if you go with a "short box" 1/2 ton pickup you will not feel particularly constrained driving it around town, parking it, etc. A standard box or a 3/4 ton is going to feel a little big and the 3/4 ton will ride "trucky." Another advantage to the pickup is that if you have a generator and need to carry gasoline for it, that's all outside the passenger cabin. Unless you're just weekending or are willing to be limited to "full hookup" campsites, you're going to want at least a small generator. If memory serves, for several years, only the "27" foot Airstreams have a gas oven; the others have only a microwave, which requires AC. In the diesel vs. gasoline debate, don't be overly focused on fuel economy. Do the numbers. In the Eastern US, regular gasoline is cheaper than diesel and there's a purchase price premium for diesel power. My wife and I completed 9 months of full-timing in our FC 27 last June, pulled by a GMC Sierra 1/2 ton with the 6.2 liter gasoline engine. After our recent 10-day trip to New England, we have 46,000 miles on the truck's odometer probably 35,000 of which is pulling the trailer, mostly west of the Rockies. With a self-imposed speed limit of 60, or whatever is posted if lower, our mileage over a 400-mile block ranged from a low of 12 to a high of 13.8. That includes going from DC to LA and back. The Ram 1/2 tons are all a little light on payload, especially if you get the fancier Laramie model and all the bells and whistles. Both Ford and GM offer half tons with adequate payload and power to pull the trailer. 240 hp is still 240 hp no matter how impressive the torque numbers. Fine if you're mostly in the Midwest; probably inadequate in either the Appalachians or the Rockies unless you want to test how long your engine will tolerate running at 100% output before breaking. Both the Ford "Ecoboost" motors and the big V-8 in my truck generate lots of torque at low rpm, just like a diesel, so you won't have a lot of noise. Typically, in rolling countryside, my engine is running at 1800 rpm in 7th gear pulling our trailer at 60 mph. Only on the steepest grades does the engine exceed 3,000 rpm to maintain that speed.
Some good insight, thank you. 2 things I would disagree with though.

1- the assertion that a 25fb has one of the highest hitch weights is probably not accurate. Yes, you could load it up to be so, but my guess is the stuff in your kitchen is heavier than the blankets you store under your bed. Our FB twin has the external storage that carries mostly lighter weight items (camp chairs, hoses, wheel chocks, etc)

2- a lot of airstream models have an oven as the base option. You can then choose to upgrade to the convection model if desired.
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:45 AM   #35
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DC Bruce, The GMC 1500 6.2 & I presume 8 speed is an excellent match for a 27' AS. But some of your understanding & assumptions are short or incorrect. Nor Cal already covered the 25's tongue weight but additionally, published tongue weights at least on new models put the 25s well below especially the 28s.

This little factoid & explanation often helps people better understand the difference and relationship between HP & TQ; Torque is how much work an engine will do at a given rpm. Horsepower is how fast it will do that work at that rpm.

So for example the 16 & prior 3.5 Ford EB has 420 TQ as does the Ram ED. The ED has superior optional torque multiplying rear end gears at 3.92 but that aside for the moment and saying all things equal. The EB & ED would do the same work or tow the same load up a grade BUT the EB having superior horsepower would do it quicker. And in practical application this has shown to be true. None the less they would tow the same load up the grade one as easy as the other.

What the diesel has superior is the amount of work it can do on the same amount of fuel. So while slower it will tow the same load with a lot less fuel. Normally dramatically more than the difference in fuel price. In your case where you got from 12 to 13.8 the ED would have likely retrieved 15 to 17 mpg saving a lot of fuel cost. Which is best depends on which is most important to the buyer. Either his money or his ability to tow/go fast.

So your assumptions of the ED requiring 100% output to tow OP's 25' AS up the Appalachians or Rockies is false. And before breaking is well established that a diesel generally dramatically outlast a gasoline counterpart so that to is false. Nothing wrong with your truck no reason to push this narrative. One truck is not superior to the other only each has different strengths.

Now since I actually tow AS with an ED. And in fact do it for a living towing all over the US but most commonly WA, OR, & CA. I don't have to assume I can tell you from experience the ED tows all current sizes new dry AS up the western grades. Not the fastest but reliably fuel efficiently confidently & comfortably. To the tune of 232,000 miles well over half with TT in tow & to the tune of a 30'11" AS at 8,013 pounds. Naturally utilizing a scale & no sway WDH for safe stable towing.

My truck does have the 3.92 gear & I generally tow flats at 65 & slow on grades & drop to 5th gear at 55 mph. Not as fast as the 60 you hold to but still passing semis. In fairness & full disclosure I did take a few minutes and put in a tune which brings the torque to about 480. More importantly to me it provided an exhaust brake so it can descend the mountain just as confidently & comfortably as it climbed it. Might be why I still have the original brakes. Anyway no disrespect to your choice in tow vehicle its well matched to your trailer. Just don't spread a false narrative about a different choice then your own.
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:47 AM   #36
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VernD - that is a very good summary between the gas/diesel world.

So how is the rest of your EcoD truck holding up with so many working miles?
Is the suspension still intact? Have you replaced any components? Have the coil springs worn down much or do you run air bags?
Do you carry much other weight in the truck pushing the payload limit?
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:25 AM   #37
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Vern , the 3.92 gears is your biggest asset, it would be a different story with 3.54. My 07 2500 6.7 was 3.73, tranny is double over, my new one is 3.54, 6.7, 2500, big horn ,haven't driven it yet......12.5 mpg coast to coast average ,in Mt. we have hills and long pulls, especially going west..
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:04 AM   #38
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Yes, the 3.92 gears work very smoothly with the 8-spd EcoDoesel on the long and short grades, if it drops a gear it's hardly noticeable. Doesn't skip a gear like our 3.55 axle 6-spd Hemi did, running the rpm's up abruptly. We could avoid that by manual downshifting to 4th and leaving it there, but the Ecodiesel/8-spd/3.92 tales care of itself nicely.

Highly recommend the 3.92 axle for either Ram 1500 EcoD or Hemi towing an Airstream.
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:47 PM   #39
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Repairs to date; a light switch $104 and at 230k a lift pump $158. I do frequently transport motorcycles & snowmobiles in the bed on return trips. Once I had a car dolly disassembled in the bed & a TT and another time I had a Harley in the bed with a decent sized boat in tow but those were the lone exceptions. I do run the large TLC axle to frame airbags and the Andersen hitch.

Certainly the Andersen is not the BEST no sway WDH. But its no sway properties are very good and its light, quiet, reasonably priced, simple to use, and can even be backed. It can also be quickly disconnected so the ball stays on the truck for moving other trailers without the no sway WD part so its very convenient for a WDH.

The WD part of the hitch isn't as critical for me since I use the airbags. Throw out past experience with WDH & air bags knowledge from a HD with leaf springs. The coil sprung half ton is a new and different suspension setup with different dynamics.

The axle to frame bags not only transfer weight back to the steers they also dampen and control the rear suspension. When the too soft for heavy load coil springs hit for example a gravel/dirt road with wheel dips the suspension is dampened and controlled instead of wallowing.(as can 1/2 ton leaf sprung trucks) It also better controls harsh ruts, potholes, or rough road and removes shock, vibration, harmonics and harshness from both you & your truck and also from your AS.

Doug is right about the transmission. The German made ZF 8 speed is very quick shifting & smooth with well thought out & proven gear spacing. To my knowledge this is the first application of it being used in a truck at least here in the states. Heard talk of them using it in the 2500 with the Hemi. Hope they do after my experience it should make for a better setup with improved towing and mileage.

BTW when I tow a grade at 55 mph in 5th gear its not at WOT its at or below 3,000 rpms where the engine tows comfortably. I just don't try to abuse my equipment. Only twice ever has the truck had to drop to 4th at 50 mph both times with a trailer 7,500 plus & on a steep grade.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:13 PM   #40
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We towed a couple hundred miles through some of the very irregular grades of New Mexico today. Set the cruise control at the prescribed (and changing) speed limit and it was remarkable how the engine/trans/differential combination held the speed up and down, very smooth.

I believe the engine braking was much better than our Ram Hemi on this same route in the past.

Does this EcoD have turbine braking assistance? Are the vanes variable? I know little about it, it's new to us early this year, and have seen no such description in the literature.
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Old 10-22-2016, 11:20 AM   #41
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Following up on my previous post. As Howard Cosell used to say:"Let's go to the [video]tape!"
From the Airstream website, the tongue weight of the FC27FB twin (which I own) is 791 lbs.; the tongue weight of the FC 25 FB is 837 lbs. All Airstream weights are specified as dry: empty tanks and empty propane bottles. The FC 27 has 120 gallons of liquid capacity, which will weigh over 1,220 lbs. Granted, few people will or should run around with full tanks. However, unless you plan to camp exclusively at places with full hookups, you will not be running around with empty tanks either. The FC 27 has interior storage under the bed, over the bed and on the bulkheads that separate the bedroom from the galley, all forward of the axles. In addition there are from 1-3 outside storage compartments forward of the axles, depending on whether it's a twin or "queen" layout; and the pull-out food pantry is forward of the axles. In our year, we had all of those interior cabinets filled with clothes for the two of us. We also used containers in the truck bed to carry out of season clothes and shoes (boots). The exterior storage compartment on the street side carries our power cord, 50-30 amp pigtail and two drinking water hoses. The right side carries three sets of leveling blocks, a collapsible foot stool and a folding camp chair. The front compartment carries the cranks for the stabilizing jacks and hitch jack, the breaker bar and socket for the ProPride hitch, the ratchet wrench for the hitch's WD jacks, wheel chocks, pad for the hitch jack foot, garden hose and 2 more camp chairs. While I've never weighed the front of the loaded trailer, 1000 pounds camping weight doesn't seem unreasonable, especially since the back of the truck is carrying the hitch itself. The ProPride is particularly heavy; others are lighter. Sure, the WD hitch transfers some weight back to the trailer axle, but most of the weight transfer is to the front axle of the tow vehicle. The tow vehicle is still carrying the weight, it's just been shifted forward.
Now, let's talk about the Ram ecodiesel truck. According to numerous tests, it is barely faster to 60 than a Prius, carrying only the driver it takes about 9 seconds to hit 60 from a head stop. According to Ram's website, the most capable Ecodiesel has 1,500 lbs. of cargo capacity and is rated to tow 9,300 lbs. That's a stripped, regular cab 2wd truck. Equipped the way most RVers buy a truck (crew cab, 4wd,higher trim), those numbers fall to 1220 lbs cargo and 7650 towing.
Engine braking is accomplished mechanically in both gasoline and Diesel engines. In a gasoline, with the throttle closed, the engine is acting as an air pump against atmospheric pressure, hence the braking effect. Diesel engines have no throttle, so braking has to be done on the exhaust side. The 3/4 ton pickup diesels do this by closing the vanes on the exhaust side of the turbocharger, producing back pressure that the engine has to work against. If there's no physical way of blocking the exhaust flow to the turbo, no software is going to provide engine braking on a small diesel, which is not equipped with a "Jacobs brake"- a separate mechanical device built into the engine. At best, software might manipulate operation of the waste gate, which bypasses some exhaust gas from the turbo to avoid overpressure on the intake side, and produce a small amount of back pressure.
I don't think one person hauling empty trailers is representative of the way most people use their Airstreams. In addition to the stuff I mentioned, we carry a small Honda 2kw generator, a table top grill, and 3 gallons of gasoline in the truck bed, with a folding tonneau cover.

Finally, as an interesting data point, the guys at thefastlanetruck.com took otherwise identical new Nissan Titans up the I-70 grade (about 7%) pulling a 10,000 lbs cargo trailer loaded in a way not to exceed the Titans' cargo capacity. One truck had the Cummins 5 liter diesel; the other had Nissan's 5.9(?) liter DI gas engine (no turbo), rated at 80 hp more than the diesel (at sea level; the difference was probably much less at altitude because the diesel's turbo could compensate for the lower air density). The gas truck was more than a minute faster up the hill, and the margin could have been greater but for the fact that the driver backed off the throttle on the lower part of the climb to stay within the posted speed limit, which is the procedure tfl truck follows. There was a 1 mpg fuel economy difference, the diesel being a 4 mpg. So, horsepower matters.

In my 35k miles of towing our Airstream, I'm not interested in being the fastest guy up the hill or in keeping up with Mustang GTs and other hot foots. However, I have a combination that's nearly 50 feet long; and I am interested in being able to merge into and change lanes in the unavoidable urban freeways where the traffic is rolling at 65 mph and in doing it safely without using the semi driver's technique of just forcing people to get out of the way. That's where the horsepower matters. People who have never done this need to appreciate how different it is from their experience driving a car or SUV.
I would hate to see people make a bad choice in tow vehicles because of a fixation on, say, fuel economy.
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:51 PM   #42
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All that to say again that you prefer acceleration over the economy & longevity of a diesel. Nothing wrong with that. But it seems ridiculous to condemn others to having made a bad choice if they don't choose as you did. Maybe before you condemn them you should tow with one.

My 270 HP 3.92 geared 8 speed has no trouble merging in a timely manner. Never have I had to as you say force people out of the way. Its roughly the same HP as the last years of the Ford 7.3 which was heavier with less gearing and I haven't heard of people complaining that they were to slow/dangerous to merge with.
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