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Old 06-06-2016, 06:46 AM   #1
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Jonesboro , Arkansas
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Posts: 335
Towing with Ford F150

I have a 30' Airstream Flying Cloud and looking for someone who might have experience towing with Ford F150. It appears that you can configure an F150 with a tow capacity of almost 12,000 lbs towing capacity, does anyone have experience with something like this in the mountains?

Base weight is 6,442 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is 8,880 lbs
Hitch Weight is 885 lbs

Thanks in advance,

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Old 06-06-2016, 08:42 AM   #2
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2016 28' Pendleton
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Scottsdale , Arizona
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Hi from AZ. . . we tow a FC28 with our '11 F150 FX4 supercrew, with Ecoboost V6. . .it's been a great truck ! 14k mile last Summer to Alaska & back, without problems. . . I added Banks cold air box, 4" cat back exhaust, & Ride Rite air bags on rear. It has 90k on the clock, & I'll buy another one day. . .regards, Craig

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Old 06-06-2016, 09:11 AM   #3
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
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Watch for Payload overload on the truck

While the truck may have 12,000# towing capacity, anything you put in the truck takes away from that. Also, be sure the truck you are looking at has that capacity. Manufacturers towing guide list the maximum towing capacity that can be available from a particular truck model, but doesn't take into account things like 4WD, interior options, tonneau cover, etc.

Check the door sticker. There will be a limit for "passengers and cargo". Whatever that number is, subtract the loaded tongue weight of your trailer. In all likelihood this is not the number published by Airstream. In the case you mentioned, the hitch weight is around 10% of the GVWR. That is the lower limit of safe and may not be achievable. 12% to 15% is more like it. I try to run at around 12%.

My older F-150 had a payload of 1242#. Subtracting my hitch weight left me just enough capacity for myself and my wife. No dogs, no luggage, nothing else. The towing capacity was 8900#. I had plenty of reserve on the towing capacity but was limited by payload.


"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:15 AM   #4
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Overland Park , Kansas
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We have a 2016 F 150 with the Ecoboost engine and a flying cloud 27 foot. We just towed all the way through Colorado east to west on I 70 from Denver to Utah and back and it worked great, plenty of power. You really have to worry more about the payload than the towing capacity with that vehicle in my experience .

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Old 06-06-2016, 10:14 AM   #5
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2006 22' International CCD
Estes Park , Colorado
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I tow a 22 footer with an F-150 5.0L 4WD. It struggles here in Colorado, but manages. To be honest though, uphill is less of a problem than downhill. It can scream in 3rd gear at over 5,000 rpm on some of the descents. I don't like the rpm's that high, and I especially don't like riding the brakes to keep the rpm's down. If I ever buy another tow vehicle, I'll probably look closely at the F-250 or something else entirely, and study up on which vehicle handles downhill control best.
Terry P. Rizzuti, "Yertle"

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Old 06-06-2016, 10:24 AM   #6
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2012 30' International
Minneapolis , Minnesota
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We have a 30' International Serenity and started with a Ford F150 Ecoboost, Max Tow with a payload of about 1700. After about 6 months on the road, we finally weighed and we were well over on rear axel weight and payload. The truck towed awesome but since we're full time, we didn't want that strain on the axel and truck for safety.

We bought an F250.

If it were just for weekends or a week here and there, our payload in both the airstream and truck would be way lighter and I would have felt comfortable sticking with the F150.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:29 AM   #7
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2016 30' Flying Cloud
New Caney , Texas
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We have a 2016 F150 King Ranch 4x4 towing a 2016 AS Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk. We recently took a trip to West Texas over to Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains. We had no trouble hauling our trailer in these mountains. They are not the Rockies but I don't anticipate any issues driving in higher mountains.

Mike Allison
Mike & Mary Allison
New Caney, Tx
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:29 AM   #8
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Its pretty easy to stay under the stated towing limit of 12K. But the problem i've had with half tons is exceeding payload. Once you hook the trailer up, the tongue weight, along with my family and belongings put me well over payload capacity on my half ton. The other area where i struggled was rear Axle weight rating. I worked very hard to dial in the WD hitch and i was consistently over the axle weight rating. If total towing figure was the only number to worry about, I would have it licked. I have a 27 and I literally couldn't put anything in the bed of my truck after I hooked up my trailer. I got tired of stressing out about it and went to a 3/4 ton. I am not one of those who thinks bigger is better. But I am one of those who reasonably attempts to follow the stated capabilities of the vehicle I drive and tow with. Most people look at towing capacity and check the box and move on. I wish it were that easy in reality.
2016 Eddie Bauer 27'
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:03 PM   #9
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Tampa , Florida
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Originally Posted by ghaag View Post
I have a 30' Airstream Flying Cloud and looking for someone who might have experience towing with Ford F150. It appears that you can configure an F150 with a tow capacity of almost 12,000 lbs towing capacity, does anyone have experience with something like this in the mountains?

Base weight is 6,442 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is 8,880 lbs
Hitch Weight is 885 lbs

Thanks in advance,
What's the payload capacity of the F150?
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!
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:03 PM   #10
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No issue

We have a 2011 with ecoboost and have pulled our 30' FC to all but 11 states including Seattle, Maine, and Key West plus several trips to the Smokies, all from our home in Alabama. No issues whatsoever and I'm glad I didn't buy the larger diesel I had originally planned to buy.
Only modification is I've added a shell for hauling extra items in the bed...
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:22 PM   #11
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2015 30' Flying Cloud
Berrien Springs , Michigan
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2015 F-150 Eco. I haven't done mountains yet but I have a steep hill kicking out of town. I can go from 20mph up to 50 with 3200 rpm with plenty in reserve. The payload is limited, but with just my wife and me, and a modest amount of tools and equipment it's well within bounds - tongue, GCVW, payload. The new F150 is much lighter and that allows a much greater payload than you might expect. The new Alu F250 is just hitting the market too.

I have a Pro-Pride and the weights balance out well.

Don't be tempted to load up the rear of the trailer just to 'make numbers work'. Rear weight can cause fishtailing. Calculate everything and be sure the numbers really work.

I've just been to a talk by Andy Thompson of CANAM who regularly sets people up with cars smaller than a truck - for the larger Airstreams. He'd go as far to suggest a well set up car will be more nimble than a big truck and can swerve to avoid collisions far better. I'd rather have a 4x4 that can get out of a muddy field and tow a car out of a ditch! (some good videos too).
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:42 PM   #12
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2016 28' Flying Cloud
Queensbury , New York
Join Date: Feb 2016
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I have a 2014 F150 EB extended cab 4x4 6.5'bed . Max tow and 2000# payload.
I have a 2016 28w FC and put 800# 0f motorcycle and lift in the bed.
Have forklift stableloads on the rear springs with EQ 1400 4p hitch.
A very good set up !
I have towed in the mountains and twisties with out any issues, lots of power
And yes I have been to the scales many times to get the set up right.
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:58 PM   #13
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2000 30' Excella
Greeneville , Tennessee
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I used to pull my 25' Safari with an F-150, worked fine. I traded for a 30' and felt the F-150 was just not enough truck. The new F-150 eco boost V-6 is highly rated. I recently bought a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, no pulling yet but I hope it does a good job.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:09 PM   #14
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2008 27' Classic FB
Coppell , Texas
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Rivet The Scales tell the true story.

Same song as many others. I have a 14 F150, Eco-boost, 4x4, 3.73 rear, HD Tow and HD payload (7700# GVWR). With a 27 foot Classic I just weighed in at 13.560# for the combo ~ with the truck EMPTY. AS is 7060# with a tongue weight of 1020#. I am now working on re-setting the WD hitch to transfer more weight to the front. F150 only is 3520 F / 2940 R (full tank/ empty cargo).
W/ AS attached 3360F / 3920 R. Front was unloaded by 160#. Even after WD adjustments I will have a very small payload number to work with.

Motor and trans worked well on our one trip to Colorado. The new 6 speed trans w/ Tow Haul mode controlled the speed well on downhills. Plenty of power for uphills. I was very happy with the set-up....UNTIL I hit the CAT scales and saw the real numbers.

The half ton's are just shy on payload. Like most, I will go to the F250 soon.

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