Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-05-2017, 11:00 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2018 30' Classic
Grass Valley , California
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 12
Towing 2018 33' Classic

I have a question for you all. We are picking our new 2018 33' Classic in two weeks and would like some help on tow vehicle. We currently have a 2013 Ford F150 with a V8 and have been towing a 27' international signature FB. I am sure we need to upgrade but would like some input on gas vs diesel and do we need to upgrade to a 1 ton or just a 3?4 ton?

Thank you all for your help in this matter
Gary & Tina :-)

gbstats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:02 AM   #2
Rivet Master
FCStreamer's Avatar
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,364
Blog Entries: 1
Well, figure the tongue weight of your new trailer, and compare that to the payload rating of your tow vehicle. That would be a great place to start.


2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 30 Recliner - WBCCI #4850 - AIR #110821
2018 Nissan Armada SL Tow Vehicle, Equal-i-zer Hitch
Visit Our Flying Cloud blog for my latest adventure!
FCStreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:13 AM   #3
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6,527

If you are uncomfortable towing the 33 with a F-150, a new F-250 is a pretty big step up. The difference between the F-250 with tow package(s) and F-350 with the same packages is almost all in the springs. There also isn't a lot of cost difference bumping from a 250 up to a 350.

I have a 30' Classic. There's not a lot of weight or size difference between the 30 and the 33 despite what you would guess from the model designations. So far towing in the "mountains" in the east, gas on an F-250 has not been an issue at all. If I regularly ran back and forth over Independence Pass .... who knows.

uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:14 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
2016 30' International
Florence , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 475
You're going to get a lot of varying opinions when you ask a question like this! Not only do you have the 1/2 ton vs 3/4; but you've also opened the Diesel vs Gas can of worms!

I believe your current truck would safely pull your new trailer, but you would feel the additional weight and length for sure.

I bought a 3/4 Diesel RAM 2500 long before even considering an AS. As others have said in other threads; I am very happy with having a heavier truck and having a Diesel at that. I got over 15MPG on my last tow, and I fell like I have plenty of excess capacity to load up the bed of the truck (took my grill, kayaks, lawn chairs, etc this time) without worrying about it. The exhaust brake is fantastic for coming down out of the mountains.
joshjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:23 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Milton , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 68
We have a Dodge Ram 2500 diesel and have been on the road three years between Canada and the US with no problems.
Norrie46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:27 AM   #6
Rivet Master
kdickinson's Avatar
1969 23' Safari
Taos , New Mexico
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 567
Rule of thumb is bigger is better and diesel engines just sound cool!
kdickinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:37 AM   #7
1 Rivet Member
2018 30' Classic
Grass Valley , California
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 12
I really appreciate all of your help.
gbstats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:37 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
Santa Rosa , California
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 17
Everything in this comment is exactly what I have experienced with my Diesel 2500 HD Silverado. No stress towing, great gas mileage, no loading issues. I only pull a 23FB, but the 33FB Classic has a tongue weight of 1175 lbs which is no prob for a diesel 3/4 ton. There is no need for a 1 Ton, it only adds stiffer springs which will not really add value to your tow unless of course you are really loading the bed heavy with stuff.
JohnCaliAS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:58 AM   #9
1 Rivet Member
Ponte Vedra , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 17
One more reason for diesel power

One of the many reasons I prefer diesel is not often mentioned; the ability to fuel in the truck lanes at truck stops as opposed to gas lanes at gas stations. Much more swing/maneuver room and more lanes, faster flow pumps.

Just my two cents
Paratus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 12:05 PM   #10
Reads a lot
2017 30' Classic
Titusville , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,110
Images: 1
I have the 2017 30 Classic and towing with my RAM 2500 has not been a problem at all. I don't think the 2500 would have any problems with the 33 footer. I would NOT want to tow with anything less than 250/2500 but that's just me. The 350/3500 might actually be more truck than you really need.
I don't know what hitch you plan to use but remember that the weakest link in the configuration is the hitch. If you don't already have a really good hitch ( by really good I mean, Hensley, Pro-Pride, etc. ) please think about that part. I prefer the Hensley and cost had nothing to do with it, I just think they have the best in class.
Congratulations on your new purchase, be safe, enjoy and many happy years of traveling. Cheers!

She Believed She Could so She Did.
kendrick.l.j is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 12:22 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
Urbanologist's Avatar
2009 34' Panamerica
2008 22' Safari
Metro Detroit Area & Metro Dallas Area , Michigan & Texas
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 221
2010 Tundra CrewMax + 34' Panamerica

Towed all over the USA - Hills and Valleys! Correct WD hitch and sway controls + wireless brake controller. Go to F-250 if you feel you must. However, I suggest you find a way to RENT and TRY one first!
Urbanologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 12:40 PM   #12
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6,527

One assumption in a lot of the comments is that you are only changing the trailer. The next one is that the F-150 is not overloaded. You don't add a *lot* going from 27' to 33', but you most certainly do add some weight. If the 150 is already at / over limits due to other "stuff" then a 250 (or 2500) is indeed called for. If you are adding a couple of 500 lb off road vehicles to the bed of the truck ... same issue.

uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 01:01 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
Rgentum's Avatar
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Woodinville , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 499
When I was shopping for a TV, my Ram dealer told me that the only difference between identical models of their 2500 & 3500 is that the 2500 has coil rear springs & the 3500 has leaf springs & costs approx. $400 more. I settled on a 2500 (diesel), which I now regret & wish i had gotten a 3500.

Since towing my 27 FB & talking in RV parks with lots of 1-ton owners (primarily of Rams & Fords) pulling trailers, including ASs, their uniform comments have been "I'm glad I paid the few $100 & got a 1-ton --- it just tows better. If I had to do it all over again, I'd still buy a 1-ton." I have yet to talk with a 1-ton owner who wants to downgrade. So when my warranty gets close to running out, I'll look to trading in for a 3500.

Another reason, specific to Ram trucks, for getting a 3500 is that their Aisin transmission, I believe, is only available in 3500s, ie, not in 2500s, and the optional Aisin transmission has the reputation for being significantly superior to Ram's stock transmission.

Admittedly, I only use my 2500 for towing the AS (for which it does an admirable job; no complaints) & getting building supplies from places like Home Depot. It's big, heavy, & clumsy, and I would not want to use it as a daily driver.
Alta & Richard, Seattle area --- WBCCI 8873
"Aurum": 2018 Ram/Cummins 3500
"Argentum": 2016 AS FC 27 FB
"BigDog": M Harlequin Great Dane, 150 lb
WL7Z --- NAUI --- WSBA
Rgentum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 01:14 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
Plan-B's Avatar
2016 26' Flying Cloud
2016 25' Flying Cloud
1997 21' Excella
Watervliet , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by gbstats View Post
I have a question for you all. We are picking our new 2018 33' Classic in two weeks and would like some help on tow vehicle. We currently have a 2013 Ford F150 with a V8 and have been towing a 27' international signature FB. I am sure we need to upgrade but would like some input on gas vs diesel and do we need to upgrade to a 1 ton or just a 3?4 ton?

Thank you all for your help in this matter
Gary & Tina :-)
It has been a long time since I have replied to a tow vehicle question, this or that brand, model, motor etc.. There is just too much emotion and not enough data-fact and experience across the spectrum of 1/2 vs 3/4 ton and diesel vs gas by most of the responders. Most importantly, and the dealers are the worse, people really don't understand how to accurately calculate your vehicles weight restrictions (gross, hitch, axles, tires etc). And if you do, and you make your measurements to the best of your ability..then you take it to the CAT scales you will typically find out your calculations are off and not in a favorable way. Before I get started, just because the dealer says or someone on the forum says, 'I do and or I have customers that does', does not make it the best decision for you or is the 'right-safest' thing to do. Also, most people consider it all about pulling. More importantly, they don't consider the most important parts: stopping and stopping when it gets nasty. This is where the difference between a 1/2 and 3/4 ton are like night and day. Todays half tons are nothing more than an SUV with an open bed in it. 3/4 tons are made specifically for loads, pulling and 'stopping'. Yet, personally, new 3/4 tons ride is preferable even when unloaded for my taste. But don't get me wrong, modern 1/2 tons are amazing versatile, I own one too. But like any tool, you have to use the right tool for the job at hand. A truck is not a truck is not a truck!

My background: I have pulled ASs for 22 years. Owned three ASs. I have used many 1/2 tons and on my third 3/4 ton diesel for pulling.

First question you have to ask yourself is how often and where do you intend to pull the 33? If you live in Kansas and drive 100 miles to your local park a couple of times a year...then you can probably use anything, a little exaggeration. If you really plan on putting on some miles, going out west on curvy roads, heavy cross winds, 5-7% grades and not have white knuckles going down hill fearing for your life, if you are going to do this and be relaxed at the end of the day... then the answer is easy pulling that 33...stick with a 3/4 ton (no, absolutely no need for a 1 ton with AS). People focus on tongue weight, yes you must, but tongues typically don't fail. Brakes, torque converters, axles, wheel bearings, rear ends, SUV type tires, over heating, over worked and over heated turbo chargers, over stressing moving parts at or past their max, these should be your concern.

If you plan on doing more than little jaunts, then I highly recommend you switch to a 3/4 ton. All the modern models are excellent..owned them all. I have owned all the modern diesels too and currently pulling with a 2016 RAM 2500, Cummins. But have had Powerstroke and Duramax too. Any of the current 3/4 models with gas motors are fine too. Many of the 3/4 gas motors offer the same motor offered in their 1/2 tons (not Ford). But the same gas motor in a 3/4 ton not the same pulling experience in the 1/2 ton. The way they will gear the towing configs on the 3/4 gas and the transmission they marry it to are not 1/2 configurations and components.

I am lucky, I typically have a 3/4 ton and a 1/2 ton because I live on a farm but am retired from all that work stuff. I always travel from Michigan to the NW US every summer. Usually put on 6-8,000 miles. Summer before last my son needed my 3/4 ton. So I pulled my 25' AS with my 2015 1/2 5.7L 8 speed auto and rear assist air bags. I did the math, yep I was going to be a little over on Gross Weight, and it was just me going , but the CAT scales told a different story..front axle very over loaded, rear axle a little overloaded and of course all the tires all over max. So, I knew what I was up against and adjusted my driving etc. accordingly. I have to say, I was pretty impressed how well the RAM 1/2 ton did but I will never do that gain. I was exhausted at the end of the day. I could never relax and have the stability and safety margins the 3/4 ton will offer. It just was not fun pulling and on a couple of occasions just down right scary with out the proven diesel exhaust brake to do all the work slowing down hills.

As far as diesel vs gas. Again, there is no 3/4 ton gasser that can't do anything you are wanting to do pulling your 33. If you don't pull a lot, my recommendation is stay away from the modern diesels, all of them. They want to work, be hot and pull a load. If you pull a lot and go up steep grades and especially down them..there is no comparison between these two engine technologies. If you want to go up a steep grade at 5,000 rpm and your foot to the floor, if you want to have your foot on the brakes constantly going down hill, if you don't want to pass the tractor on the two lane back roads, if you don't want to get gas every 150 miles vs. going going up hill at 1,700 rpm with 850 pounds of torque, never having to use your brakes going down hill with diesel exhaust brakes, passing people even uphill at 9,000 feet with realitive ease, 40% better towing mileage, not worrying about blow outs on those extremely hot days, not worrying about transmission engine overheating..ever. Then you might consider a diesel.

Last note.. I learned this from a friend about 10 years ago with a 5th wheel who had a claim denied, yep most of them doing too much with too little. Almost, if not all, insurance policies have buried in it legal ease about operating under normal operating conditions. That is code saying if you get in an accident, where a major claim will happen or worse there is an injury, you will be at fault and/or your insurance provider will legally void your policy and refuse coverage. Reason, you were over spec somewhere on those manufacture gross specifications.WARNING: you can not go off the specs for towing from the vehicle web sites or catalogs. You MUST use the one stamped inside the driver door panel. These are much less than what they post in the catalogs and towing charts and sometimes a giant difference.

So, its not that you can, its if you should and also will you be legal in an unfortuante circumstance.

Conclusion, why not error on the safe side?

I took my 26U I purchased last year to the factory this spring for warranty work. Had an opportunity to walk through one of the first 33' off the line. All I have to say is,"WOW"!!! That I like. I would take that over a 30' for my personal needs. But, I would never pull it with a 1/2 ton:-(

Good luck!


2016 RAM 2500 6.7L Cummins, 4WD, Crew, Rear Air
Plan-B is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Canopener 2018 Noggin The Rally Zone 583 08-27-2018 06:34 PM
2018 Classic 30 and my experience Paratus 2016 - Current Classic (all lengths) 34 07-09-2017 08:58 AM
When to order a new Classic 30 (2017 or 2018) cetanorak 2016 - Current Classic (all lengths) 10 06-19-2017 07:56 PM
Redesigned 2018 International Signature phil1ben 2016 - Current International 9 12-09-2016 05:21 AM
Checking Interest - "Caravan to Yucatan 2018" IanPoulin Forum Rallies & Meet Ups 9 10-08-2014 05:17 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.