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Old 07-10-2017, 08:03 PM   #1
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Towing Pendleton/Tommy/Eddie/28 with a 2015+ F150

So we've fully caught the bug and after trading in both our prior vehicle and 16 Sport for a new F150 and 2017 23D Bunk we've found we love it. We love it so much we want to trade up again for either the Tommy or a '28 Serenity.

Is anyone towing a Pendleton/Tommy/Eddie or 2015+ 28' with a 2015+ F150 and how do you find it? What is your setup? Etc.

I find the 23D tows pretty darn heavy on the F150 with a basic Pro Series 1000lb weight distribution setup. The springs / shocks in particular seem near their max on large road abnormalities, and just OK the rest of the time. Often I'm not comfortable going much above 60-63MPH on anything but a perfect road surface (which is rare to even find in the Northeast).

The trailers we are looking at all run about 200lbs more TW than our current 23D. I *think* we should be OK with air bags, an equal-i-zer, and perhaps some new LRC tires. I was wondering if other people are doing it and what their impressions are. Fine? To Dicey? Somewhere in the middle?
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:12 PM   #2
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Hi

Welcome to the Airstream disease club We all suffer from the same affliction ....

The 28's will also be heavier to tow than the 23'. That matters in terms of braking (to me the biggest thing to consider on any tow) and in terms of acceleration / hill climbing.

A *lot* depends on the packages you have on your F-150 and where you will be traveling. Loading in both the trailer and the truck matter as well. Thee big motorcycles in the truck bed make a difference. Four tandem kayaks in the Tommy matter as well. Lots of variables.

For reference, I have no real problems with a 30' on an F-250.

Bob
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:10 PM   #3
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What type and size weight distribution hitch are you using, and are you sure it is set up properly. Most surely that is the reason your F-150 is uncomfortable towing your 23D. You don't need air bags, you need a better w.d. setup.

Unless your loading in the truck/trailer is extreme and/or poorly placed (heavy weight in the rear bed of the truck and/or heavy weight in the rear of the Airstream, for example).

Use the new truck you have if at all possible, frequent trading of trailers and trucks can break the bank.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:55 AM   #4
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Hi

One of the wonders of the modern truck market is that they "stretch" a model number to cover a *lot* of variations. For most of us, when you say this or that model, the fully loaded version, big bed, with tow options is what pops into our mind. An F-150 Raptor 4x4 with a 2.7L engine is rarely the image we are thinking of. As correctly mentioned above, fully loaded trucks can break the bank.

Which F-150 do you have?

Bob
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:09 AM   #5
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Hi,

Concerning the breaking bank metaphore, a new moderately equipped diesel pickup is still about half the cost of the new Airstream in conciderarion, so I am going to assume that the credit and bank roll isn't the biggest limiting factor.

To the OP you would be pretty happy pulling that load with a full size diesel truck. Certainly other rigs are capable, but all three full size diesels are more than capable.

Happy trails!
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:36 AM   #6
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As uncle bob points out, there are different configurations of the F150 (though there's no 2.7-liter Raptor, it only gets a special high-output 3.5.)

My "Max Tow" Lariat that does NOT have the "HD Payload" package isn't having any suspension travel or damping with a 26U that the CAT scales indicate is running around 950 lb tongue weight, and with various camping "necessities" in the bed. Have you been to a CAT scale to see how the weights look with and without the WD hitch set, and with the trailer disconnected? That tells a lot, and I've read many stories of hitches being imperfectly configured at dealerships.

An HD pickup will certainly have an easier time towing your 23 or a bigger someday-trailer like a Tommy Bahama just because it has greater capacity, but a) getting weight data is not very expensive and b) you'd want that data for an HD pickup too, and c) if getting the hitch set right makes you satisfied with your current truck, you save the cost of trading vehicles.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:19 PM   #7
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I tow 27' with F150

I have towed a 2016 27 fb AS with a 2015 Ford F150 (3.5L Eco Boost)with Tow package. 16,000 miles in past 18 months. It has performed without any problems. I have towed thru the Rockies, Arizona, Florida. GVW on my trailer is 7600#. Tow capacity on the F150 is 10,600. I use an equalizer hitch. I upgraded the wheel and tires on the AS to 16 inch LT Michelins.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:19 PM   #8
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I have a 2015 F-150, 3.5.Eco-boost w/ heavy duty tow package. 3.55 final drive, crew cab. 4 wheel drive.
I pull a 30' FC, gross wt. 8800#, avg. tow wt. 8000-/+ a little.
Hitch is an Ezy lift, with friction bars, and 1400# round spring bars. Tongue wt. avg. 950-1000#. Measured by Surelight scale.
Set up by Andy Thompson at CanAm in London.
15" wheels w/Michelin as supplied by Andy.
No complaints! It works.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:20 PM   #9
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"Most" F150's will tow a 30'...
Depends on tow package and rear end gears...
Pulling a 30' with a Tundra, but the Tundra has 4:30 rear end gears.
Seems like any rear end gears from 3:55 to 3:83 to 4:10 would toe just fine.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:27 PM   #10
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which TV and AS?

Couple of comments here; we have towed 2- 25' FC's over past 5 years with a 2012 F150 4X4 Echoboost short bed with no problems. The torque and HP on the Echoboost are plenty for many configurations of AS. I see many folks on this forum also towing 28'-30' with this configuration of F150 with the EB. The new EB is even better with 10 speed and almost 500lbs of torque. So, I should think if you get the right "payload" configuration, you should be fine if you stay within your limits. That's the issue with the TV for sure..."payload". It's not the HP or torque with this truck. Most of them today, hover around 1400-1600 lbs; add your 900+ lbs tongue weight, camping load in bed, and passengers; you could easily reach the limit.
We just moved to a new 28'; we also went up to a new F250 6.7 Powerstroke. I am a now happy camper for sure; power, payload, torque, compression engine breaking--no issues. Piece of mind is important and anything above a 25', I would recommend looking at this piece of the solution closely, if you have that option yet.

Now, another comment on AS choice: the Twin configurations offer significantly more storage outside than queen bed configurations, if that is important. Also, the Flying Cloud 28' offers more inside storage above the dinette with 2 more cupboards not offered on the 28' international. Something else to consider as storage in these wonderful units is important. Looking forward to hearing what you end up with!
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:58 PM   #11
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How much truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattskav View Post
So we've fully caught the bug and after trading in both our prior vehicle and 16 Sport for a new F150 and 2017 23D Bunk we've found we love it. We love it so much we want to trade up again for either the Tommy or a '28 Serenity.

Is anyone towing a Pendleton/Tommy/Eddie or 2015+ 28' with a 2015+ F150 and how do you find it? What is your setup? Etc.

I find the 23D tows pretty darn heavy on the F150 with a basic Pro Series 1000lb weight distribution setup. The springs / shocks in particular seem near their max on large road abnormalities, and just OK the rest of the time. Often I'm not comfortable going much above 60-63MPH on anything but a perfect road surface (which is rare to even find in the Northeast).

The trailers we are looking at all run about 200lbs more TW than our current 23D. I *think* we should be OK with air bags, an equal-i-zer, and perhaps some new LRC tires. I was wondering if other people are doing it and what their impressions are. Fine? To Dicey? Somewhere in the middle?
So this is right in my wheelhouse!!! Started with a 2016 Sport 22FB. Had a great time, towing it with our 2015 F-150 Lariat, Supercrew, Short box, 5.0L V-8 gasser. Factory tow package, 501A equipment group, moonroof, leather seats and Sync system... all the bells and whistles. We had the Sport for about 6 months before they announced the Pendleton (EB platform). Fell in LOVE with it and ordered ours the first week of Feb. 2016. It was built in March and I spent a week at the factory watching the process from beginning to end. Fun.
We set this trailer up, Max. 7500 lbs./1000 lb. Tongue weight with the Hensley Arrow w/ 1400 lb. bars. Heavy. Pricey. But so many people that I met along the my journey used that hitch. A very nice Airstreamer (aren't they all nice?) I met at the factory let me drive his FC 30 with his F-250 and the HAHA. He'd been using the Hensley for over 10 years. Ditto with an oldtimer also camped at the Terraport. He delivers busses for a living and had driven over a million miles. His diesel Ford van (an 80's I believe) had been his TV for over 20 years. At the time he and his wife had a 34 ft. (if I remember correctly) triple axel also equipped with a Hensley. I was impressed enough to just order one, and installed it myself. Not too awfully hard but definitely a challenge if you have never done it before.
So we've hauled Silver Grace, the Pendleton, about 15K miles and with the exception of the failure of the tow controller (on a trip no less) everything has worked flawlessly. As an aside, I did install the Air Lift 5000 system and besides being kind of cool it is totally unnecessary.
Have 43,000 miles on the F-150 and just had it serviced today at the dealership. It's a great truck. If I were to recommend an F-150 today it would be with the 3.5L V6 EcoBoostฎ High Output Engine and 10 speed automatic. New this year.
That being said, while I was at Ford today, in Austin, I test drove an F-250 6.7L Turbo Diesel and just might go back and buy it this afternoon. You can't beat it for torque.
One last thing... the Pendleton came with Michelin's, 16" LT's (light truck). If you have something like the Goodyear Marathon's or any tire designated "ST" you don't want to go over 60ish MPH anyway. That's their rated max speed.
Good luck! Have fun. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:07 PM   #12
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One small tweak to what MarkFinATX has to say about the Ecoboost: The HO Ecoboost is only available in the Raptor so far, which is not really a towing-focused truck. The 2nd-gen 3.5 Ecoboost is what's available in all the other F150 configurations, and it's upgraded from the 2016 and older with 10 extra hp and 50 ft-lb more torque, and dual-mode fuel injection to make it more flexible throughout the operating range.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattskav View Post
So we've fully caught the bug and after trading in both our prior vehicle and 16 Sport for a new F150 and 2017 23D Bunk we've found we love it. We love it so much we want to trade up again for either the Tommy or a '28 Serenity.

Is anyone towing a Pendleton/Tommy/Eddie or 2015+ 28' with a 2015+ F150 and how do you find it? What is your setup? Etc.

I find the 23D tows pretty darn heavy on the F150 with a basic Pro Series 1000lb weight distribution setup. The springs / shocks in particular seem near their max on large road abnormalities, and just OK the rest of the time. Often I'm not comfortable going much above 60-63MPH on anything but a perfect road surface (which is rare to even find in the Northeast).

The trailers we are looking at all run about 200lbs more TW than our current 23D. I *think* we should be OK with air bags, an equal-i-zer, and perhaps some new LRC tires. I was wondering if other people are doing it and what their impressions are. Fine? To Dicey? Somewhere in the middle?
Air bags don't work very well on a F-150. I tried and ended up having to remove them. There isn't enough travel in the suspension to properly accommodate them. I also tried Roadmaster Helper springs. That leveled the truck but also threw of the how the suspension reacted.
My experience towing a 30' Airstream with a F-150 Ecoboost was not enough Payload.
Our 2012 came with HD tow package and 1550 lbs payload. Of which 1000 lbs was eaten up by the tongue weight. Had to really get aggressive with WD and even with that we were over loaded most of the time. Two adults a couple of dogs and stuff you need for extended trip. As a result the tail was always wagging the dog so eventually we traded up to a F-250.
So even with a Pickup truck it always comes down to payload, that in my experience is the most crucial issue to consider in a TV. Airbags, helper springs, hitches can't make up for it.
I could have saved myself a lot of experimentation and grief going with the larger truck when we upgraded to the 30' trailer.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:00 PM   #14
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For us it's all about comfort, convenience, lack of concern and confidence. If you can afford the cost of a 3/4 ton truck with a big turbo diesel engine get one. The truck will cost more to buy and operate and will be less comfortable until loaded and towing something but will be a towing wonder. You will never know the 25-30' trailer is behind you. Yes a lesser vehicle will work but always compromised at some function. Perhaps simply "running hot" or transferring a feeling that you are towing a trailer.....or gets worrisome climbing really steep hills. Whatever. I like 3/4 ton with loads of torque and power. We tow a 2014 International Serenity 23D with a Ford 250 with 6.7L TD. LOVE it.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkFinATX View Post
So this is right in my wheelhouse!!! Started with a 2016 Sport 22FB. Had a great time, towing it with our 2015 F-150 Lariat, Supercrew, Short box, 5.0L V-8 gasser. Factory tow package, 501A equipment group, moonroof, leather seats and Sync system... all the bells and whistles.
Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. What is the payload on your truck (on the door sticker)? Mine is about 1450 lbs. We probably have 675 lbs. in the truck between us, the two smaller kids, and some bikes and chairs.

I can't really move up to a 250, it's a daily driver and I'm in Boston and Cambridge several times a week. This truck is literally ALL that will fit into those old garages. The most I could do is another F150 w/ the payload package, which is why I was just considering creating one.

Sounds like the air springs are a no-go.

Yikes...
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:05 PM   #16
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The HD Payload Pkg on an F150 might also be a problem in tight garages... it requires the 157" wheelbase. I'm still betting on there being an issue w/ your WD setup if the 23' is really taxing the truck's suspension. What tire pressure do you run in the truck tires when towing?
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:10 PM   #17
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Towing Pendleton/Tommy/Eddie/28 with a 2015+ F150

We started out pulling our 28ft International with a F150 max tow ,1700lbs + payload sticker and a properly fitted and sorted Wd hitch.Traded after 1 year to a F350 6.7 Turbo diesel and have never looked back.Currently sitting in Taylor Park Colorado on the maiden voyage with our 2017 F350 6.7 Turbo Diesel Platinum.You don't even know there is a Airstream trailer attached.The 28ft has a heavy actual tongue weight.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
The HD Payload Pkg on an F150 might also be a problem in tight garages... it requires the 157" wheelbase. I'm still betting on there being an issue w/ your WD setup if the 23' is really taxing the truck's suspension. What tire pressure do you run in the truck tires when towing?
I'm running 37lbs. at the moment.

I think the hitch is ok, I did revisit the setup with the dealer and we moved the brackets aft some. The original guy took the lazy way out and left the long bolts in which hit the battery box.

It sits level doing the standard test for the WD setup where, after the bars are snapped in there is no load on the foot. I can try out the CAT scales, they are 20-40 miles away so not real convenient...

I mean it might be that I-95 is an unmitigated disaster of a highway, I'm just getting at least one full big bounce and a half over bad abutments where the suspension is clearly traveling +4" to -4" and back even at 50MPH. I just wanted to know what others are pulling with their F150's

I'm also probably unfairly comparing it to a Honda Odyssey towing the 16 which was a dream. Embarrassingly in retrospect the Odyssey had a much higher payload than the F150, something I didn't pay much attention to I just assumed the Ford towing a dual axle airstream would bury the van in the towing department.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:01 PM   #19
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I tow my 30' Classic with a F150 3.5 ecoboost (10 speed, 3.55 rear axle) and it works fine. I have to keep my eyes on the odometer to keep it under the legal speed limit.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:32 PM   #20
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matt, your f-150 is far more than adequate for your Airstream 23, thousands of them are successfully towing larger travel trailers.. The problem is in the weight distribution set up or excessively unbalanced loading. Maybe both.

You can do before and after hitching wheel well measurements to see if the w.d. is returning the truck's front axle to it's unhitched height. That it's level don't mean much, if anything. To really know what's going on, take it to the CAT scale and get before and after hitching axle weights. You need to compare axle loads and ratings.

Payload is of little value when towing with a w.d. setup. It is axle weights compared to ratings (GAWR printed on the door placard) that will provide the best towing experience, as well as keeping your steering axle planted and balancing the trailer and truck load across the truck and trailer axles.
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