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Old 12-14-2014, 04:28 PM   #1
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Towing with F-150 - need advice

Has anyone pulled with a new f150 to know how it does? Towing capacity is 9200 and thinking of buying a vintage 29 to 31 foot airstream .

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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Specifications

You'll find that many Airstream owners pull with an F150 however, you may want to be more specific.
Are you referring to 2015 models only or is a 2014 still considered new?

Are you looking at the Ecco Boost or conventional?

What size engine are you interested in?

And if that's not enough to evaluate, you can compare the gear ratios.

I pull a 25 ft. FC with an 2014 F150 5.0 L and so far have been very happy.

Best of luck with your search.

Cheers
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:39 PM   #3
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One of the (often) overlooked issues when pulling an Airstream with a 1/2 ton truck (or other even smaller vehicle) is the total payload capacity of the tow vehicle. You need to determine the payload capacity or the proposed tow vehicle and then determine if the total of the hitch weight of the proposed trailer and any cargo you will be carrying in the tow vehicle (which includes the passengers, gear, fuel, cargo AND hitch weight of the trailer) fall within that limit. If it does, then you are generally good to go. Most contemporary 1/2 ton pickups can pull just about any Airstream, it's the payload capacity that gets most people in trouble. The gear ratios and engine choices generally make the towing experience more pleasant, but even the worst possible combination of these factors will generally not make it impossible to tow your Airstream. Oh, and you will be using a properly set up weight distribution/anti sway hitch setup such as a Reese, ProPride or Hensley, right?
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:46 PM   #4
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I pull a 1975 Sovereign with an F150 with a 4.6 V-8, it is right at the max for that particular truck. As long as you stay within your capacity ratings (the further in the better) you will be fine. The closer you get to the limits the less comfortable things will be.

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Old 12-14-2014, 06:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Most contemporary 1/2 ton pickups can pull just about any Airstream, it's the payload capacity that gets most people in trouble.
In all my research on F150s, Tundras and other 1/2 tons and visiting various forums that specialize in these vehicles I have not read of any reports of engine, drivetrain and suspension failures as a result of towing a travel trailer or 5th wheel. The worse case I've read is some have experienced coolant and transmission temperatures climbing up from normal readings on long grades when its 100F with the AC running. As long as you can't set up the WDH and brake controller correctly, maintain your vehicle/trailer and their tires you should be good to go.

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Old 12-14-2014, 07:04 PM   #6
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Thanks, everybody. It's a 2014 4 wheel drive. Looking at towing charts now. We hope to be airstream owners soon. It's always been my dream! . Your replies are encouraging.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:45 PM   #7
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First year of towing a 2014 25' FC RB twin with a 2013 F150 6 cylinder eco boost in the Pacific Northwest. Plenty of mountain passes to conquer , lots of 2 lane roads. This is the best truck I have driven and I find towing very easy. No power or overheating problems. I put a topper on the short bed so I can haul my generators, chairs, dog crates etc. 9200 lb towing capacity( you must take these numbers with a grain of salt) and axle and total weight capacity way within limits. I think you should allow about 2000 lbs as a buffer for safe towing.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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We pull a 27 foot 1972 Overlander along with a 1200 lb. Yamaha Rhino in the back of our Dodge 1500 pu.. Everything is just fine until we get over 7000 feet pulling a long hill. No heating problems with our Dodge 1500 Hemi,, but sure feel the lack of power from the 98 Dodge Cummins we had before. It was unreal the power it had.. Miss the power but sure enjoy the $1 a gallon discount for fuel....
Flat ground below 6000 feet we have power to spare.

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Old 12-15-2014, 07:44 PM   #9
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I have pulled with my wife's Yukon XL and it was like it wasn't there.... If I want to boondock, I have a F Superduty with a 460 ci and the manual trans and a Dana 80 rear axle (5.38:1), it has a 12 ft x 8 foot steel bed that I could haul just about anything with. My point is bigger IS better when towing. Lower RPMs and engine loading are everything. My favorite TV was a 1983 Chev Suburban with the 6.2L diesel. It wasn't fast over the mountains but 20-23mpg on the road at 65mph was awesome.( Remember when diesel was 80 cents a gallon? ) Gobs of Torque make pulling FUN!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by hsealey1 View Post
Has anyone pulled with a new f150 to know how it does? Towing capacity is 9200 and thinking of buying a vintage 29 to 31 foot airstream .

Thanks!
Tow vehicles provides two functions: they make it go and they make it stop. Not enough people give enough thought to making it stop. The size and capability of brakes in a 150 vs 250 is quite different. I have had three Airstreams over the last 12 years, two 31's and one 25' i have live in full time for the last 6 years.

I use GMC 2500 diesel trucks. I have had two, I put 250,000 miles on the first one and have 150,000 plus on the 06 I have now, a total of 400,000 miles on the two trucks. I have a very large pay load in the bed of the truck. I carry a 30 amp generator, 15 gallons of fuel, etc, etc.

My recommendation is to buy as much truck as you can afford. Just saying.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #11
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My recommendation is to buy as much truck as you can afford. Just saying.
I could afford a 1 ton, maybe more - and it is completely unnecessary to so with my 2012 20 foot Flying Cloud. There are many trade-offs of buying a vehicle that is designed to tow a mansion when you are just towing a small trailer. My recommendation is to buy the right truck - not the biggest truck...

There is such a thing as too big for a given application.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:20 PM   #12
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We are very happy towing our 34' with a 2009 F150 5.4L. There is a very active group of Airstreamers here in GA. Be sure to check us out at secamping.wbcci.net
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:12 PM   #13
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i was a great believer in 1/2 PUs with gas engines. that is until i started towing my boat, 10K. getting 9-10mpg and having the transmission continually shifting over modest undulations convinced me that something else was needed.

got a great deal on a 1 tone F350 diesel, way overkill for an AS i know. but, towing now is 14-15 and unladen 21-22. this is a 4x4 as well, crew cab with a short bed.

as already advised, check the wheel base before you buy. that makes all the difference in maneuverability of the vehicle and the tow. i have had long bed PUs in the past and this truck is shorter in wheelbase than the last on i owned.

i can tell the difference, easily when i back into locations. way easier, with a slightly shorter wheelbase, about 18" shorter in my case.

with all of my 1/2 tons, i added airbags as the suspension in these trucks is not up to this task. if i were doing this again, i would step down a notch and purchase a 3/4 ton but i could not be more pleased with this truck, running gear and performance.

i did drive all the brands but stuck with the Ford as the GM products seem old and tired and the RAM has a bump in the hood that prevented me from finding the right front fender, even with the seat at its highest position. and very noisy as well.

the F150 will more than likely do the job for you but as advised, watch your overall weight very carefully. that axle and running gear will not like it very much if you overload.

and one last thought, check the fuel capacity. the Tundra's i have owned had a paltry 26g tank.
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daTinTeePee View Post
Tow vehicles provides two functions: they make it go and they make it stop. Not enough people give enough thought to making it stop. The size and capability of brakes in a 150 vs 250 is quite different. I have had three Airstreams over the last 12 years, two 31's and one 25' i have live in full time for the last 6 years.
This is incorrect. First, your trailer should always brake itself. If it doesn't, then there is something fundamentally wrong with your towing setup. Never, ever, rely on your towing vehicle, of any size, alone to stop your rig.

Second, larger trucks don't come with extra stopping power built in. Truck brakes are designed to bring the vehicle plus load to a stop, not the vehicle plus an assumed towing load.

In real world comparisons, you might find that a smaller truck, or even SUV, with a more sophisticated suspension setup will come to a stop considerably faster than a heavier truck, especially if it's an older model.
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