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Old 09-12-2019, 10:50 AM   #21
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IMHO there are two areas of importance to consider: 1) Payload and 2) max towing capacity.

While our AS is 1000lb lighter than the 27 (we are max 6500lb but load about 6000lb) our F-150 eco-boost with max tow package (11,300lb) has handled our rig in all conditions including mountains in BC. We also have 1600lb payload capacity which is more than adequate for our "stuff" (generator, LP tanks, BBQ, Chairs etc:
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:14 AM   #22
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Yes, a dry 27fb is around 7700 lbs, so add your things, water, waste, you'll need more than 8500 lbs tow capacity. Also, in higher elevations, your 8500 lbs tow capacity is reduced.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:23 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by stef0597 View Post
My husband is way too excited about getting a truck to tow our new Airstream. We are considering a 27fb Flying Cloud. He says we need more tow capacity than 8500. Is that true?
We went through the same process this May when we purchased a new International Serenity 27FB Twin (which is actually 28 feet). We really did our research and after having been strictly Toyota owners for 45 years, we opted for a new Ford F150, 4x4 Supercrew Platinum with the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost and Max Tow Package. 157" Wheelbase. This truck beat out all other 1/2 ton trucks by a mile and we couldn't be happier. If had to do it it again we'd do the exact same thing. Love our trailer, love our truck. Be sure to buy the Blue Ox Sway Pro to insure that trailer stays straight behind your truck. Let the Airstream dealer install it and pay special attention to their instructions on how to hook and unhook. This device can be a little scary when unhooking but doesn't have to be if you follow competent instructions.
Happy travels from someone that used to live in Marblehead.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:37 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by bryanjhill View Post
Yes, a dry 27fb is around 7700 lbs, so add your things, water, waste, you'll need more than 8500 lbs tow capacity. Also, in higher elevations, your 8500 lbs tow capacity is reduced.
No, the dry weight is under 5900 lbs. 7600 lbs is the GVWR if it is loaded to the maximum, something that is not likely to be reached.

Power reduction at higher elevations is an issue for naturally aspirated engines, not so much turbocharged engines.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:38 AM   #25
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As many others have said, consider payload and tongue-weight capacities at least as seriously as towing capacity in this decision. My experience (YMMV) is that our F150 5.0 V8 does pretty well towing our 25FB, BUT we easily run up against the payload limits of the truck and this worries me vis-a-vis safety.


Good luck and ENJOY!!!
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:42 AM   #26
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My husband is way too excited about getting a truck to tow our new Airstream. We are considering a 27fb Flying Cloud. He says we need more tow capacity than 8500. Is that true?
First question to ask is how will you use the truck? Will it be used solo, eg for other than towing the FB27? Will it be a dedicated tow vehicle? Do you plan to carry a lot of additional cargo when you tow? Things like firewood, generators, boats, motors, etc all impact payload, as others have noted.

If it is just a tow question, not considering payload, then a properly spec'd half ton (150 or 1500) is plenty. That is even assuming you want a pickup, as there are many vehicles other than pickups that can tow an FB27, and which have other advantages. My preference would be an SUV, not a pickup. If you want a pickup for other reasons than just towing, great, but focus on more than tow rating.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:20 PM   #27
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Larger truck and tires

If you don't already have a pickup I would strongly recommend either a 3/4 ton or a 1 ton. I rolled a 27' towing with a 1/2 ton, and even though I had anti-sway bars, etc., I still lost it on a 6 % downgrade with gusting winds.
Not only do the 3/4+ trucks have greater towing power, they also have the higher pressure tires such that with higher pressure they have more rigid sidewalls and tend to decrease any sway tendencies.
I kept my 1/2 ton pickup and bought a replacement 25' Airstream. A few months later I replaced my tires on the pickup and went to the same higher pressure tires as is used on the 3/4+ trucks. With the tire replacement I was amazed at the increase in stability while towing.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:29 PM   #28
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Hi. just returned from our first long (2600 mile) trip including Denver and Black Hills in our new to us 2017 fb 25FC. gross wt 7300#. Our 2017 F150, EB, 10 sp tran,max tow 14000, payload 1800 as equipped( Larriet with all the goodies) long wheelbase,4x4 crew cab for the big dog. With trailer loaded, full fresh tank, a few gallons in the black to slosh around, bikes behind the cab above the tonneau, generator& fuel, ice chest full in the bed. The CAT scales said we were balanced well on the blue ox but with 200# left . is that enough for you??
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:13 PM   #29
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Tow Vehicle

You can never be too safe,,,,,,Go Big or Go Home

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Old 09-12-2019, 03:06 PM   #30
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I towed a 23 foot Safari with a 2006 4.7L Tundra with shell. Not bad and would do it again if I needed. Loved the Toyota. Never needed repairs. Sold it for top dollar as it was the last of the 'small' Tundra's.

I towed a 25 foot International with a 2014 5.7L Tundra Crew Max with shell. Not bad and was OK, but braking down a Colorado steep pass was a little tougher. Never had mechanical issues.

Towed the 25 foot International with a 6.7L Diesel F350 4x4 double cab King's Ranch with shell. I did not know it was behind me. Higher gas mileage than expected if I did not exceed 65mph. Traveling at 70/75mph the mileage was better than the 5.7L Tundra.

Today... a 27 foot International front bed Signature with 16" wheels, 3" Dexter Lift Kit and pulling with the 6.7L F350 Diesel... I CAN tell there is extra weight being pulled. Not THINK, but there is a bit more to pull. So far, no mechanical issues, other than put another set of Michelins onto it as the factory Michelins were 50% worn. Just a safety measure for my kind of towing into the back country at elevations above 2500 feet and below 11,000 feet.

Some math genius may be able to compute the horsepower lost on a gas engine above 5,200 Denver Mile High to some Colorado passes in the 11,000... and down steep grades.

If you are on a tighter budget than a retired guy with loose cash of Casino Nickel Video Poker Winnings , I would go with the Tundra 5.7L at a minimum. The F150 turbo six is quick and powerful engine but over the long term towing... probably going to get some serious wear and tear.

If someone lined up these vehicles and you could buy any one for the same price, which would you choose? You pay more for a Airstream and a Tow Vehicle than most people would like to earn in a YEAR. But... also consider Resale.

For a daily driver a Diesel F350 is a bit much. But, if you have one daily driver, you drive the... F250/F350 Rivet Popper to keep it lubed and from getting stale.

These are my opinions, only. I do not need numbers coming out of my eye balls. I hook up and can tell you immediately which I want. I would have liked a gas F250/F350... but I got a sweet deal on the 2014 Tundra Crew Max as a trade in and this pre aluminum bed 2016 F350 Diesel 4x4 King Ranch.

The only better options was... if someone else paid for it.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:09 PM   #31
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Goodyear Endurance ST tires are speed rated for 87 mph. One of the reasons I was willing to buy them.

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Old 09-12-2019, 03:18 PM   #32
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I tow our 27FB with a 2015 Ram 1500 with the 5.7 V8 and the 3.95 rear axle. I live in Colorado, and I'm definitely not flying up the highway in the mountains, but it works just fine . 55-60mph up I70 at ~10,000 feet elevation.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:25 PM   #33
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Here's my experience, for what it's worth.

I have a 2017 International 27FB. I started off towing with a 2017 F150 SuperCrew EcoBoost 3.5 (gas) with max payload and towing packages. The truck had plenty of straight-line pulling power. However, it had very little engine braking even in tow/haul mode, so on downgrades I found myself using my brakes way more than I should have.

But the F150's real problem was lack of rear axle capacity. I had serious porpoising problems from the beginning, and no amount of tweaking my ProPride hitch's settings was able to eliminate it. The reason was tongue weight. Airstream's specs said the 27FB's loaded tongue weight would be 770 lb. Now, I don't travel heavy, but mine was nearly twice that. In addition to adjusting the hitch's weight distribution bars, I tried moving items around in the rig to get the tongue weight down, but I was never able to get it down far enough that it didn't exceed the F-150's rear axle ratings.

After about a year, I traded in the F150 for an F250 SuperCab with V8 engine. It has beefier axle ratings, and porpoising is a thing of the past. It also has good engine braking, so downgrades can be done mainly in lower gear with little brake usage. It's a good tow vehicle for the 27FB.

The lessons I learned:

1. Obsolete terms such as "1/2 ton" and "3/4 ton" don't mean anything these days. Look carefully at the specs.

2. Airstream's tongue weight ratings can be VERY misleading.

3. You don't need a diesel to get good towing capacity and low-end torque. The EcoBoost 3.5 has it in spades, and Ford's big V8 also does just fine.

4. However... you may have plenty of straight-line towing power, but if your truck's rear axle is overloaded, you have a dangerous rig. That was my problem with the F150.

5. As Daquenzer said, these trucks can be great for towing, but as daily drivers they are big, awkward, and fuel-hungry.

Personally, I do way more daily driving than towing, and I don't like any pickup as a daily driver. So I'm planning to sell my F250. I'll hire a truck and/or driver when I need to move the Airstream. And I've bought a Subaru Outback, which is a pleasure to drive around town. But that's just me.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:58 PM   #34
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I tow a Serenity 28 with an F250 Diesel. Effortless towing. Previously towed it with a 2016 Expedition EcoBoost 9200 lb tow rating. Not enough payload (1319 lbs). The cost of the 3/4 diesel is worth it for easy towing.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:46 PM   #35
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We tow our 27 foot classic with a Ford F-150 5 liter V-8. Tow package and 3.73 rear end. Hensley hitch. We live in the PNW with lots of mountains. No problems towing. A little over 12 miles per gallon.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:03 PM   #36
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Like the others we started with a 1/2 ton, GMC AT4 Sierra pulled just fine but immediately up against payload for the truck. Traded it on a F350 diesel Platinum single axle. Barely know it’s there including on some short steep grades in the Smokies. Long term if you’re traveling distances and/or in the mountains you’ll appreciate the bigger truck
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:35 PM   #37
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One problem with Mileage while towing or not towing is:

- Where you live. Flat Kansas or Mountains in Colorado
- Towing speed. Some like to drive slow. Some like to... cruise the speed limit.
- Total amount of STUFF within the tow vehicle and trailer.
- Off the road on BLM, NFS road mileage in the Rocky Mountains OR
- West Texas with a tail wind

When we floated the Colorado River... at the end we could take the School Bus with the huge raft in tow... or pay more and fly back. We flew back. There was one guy that must have weighed close to 300 pounds. Well, they weighed and balanced the small aircraft up to a safety margin. A good trailer loading lesson, learned.

WE travel heavy as we are Off the Grid camping and spending a week to ten days, or more somewhere in the Boondocks. Towing in these roads are under 10 mpg traveling at 10 to 30 mph. 4x4 or 4x2

Towing on Highways at or somewhat above speed limit (Utah is 75, Arizona is 70) is a factor. We are in the 11.7mpg to 20.7 mpg towing highway speeds with the F350, loaded trailer and truck. I see lots of 17mpg in my book log that is filled in at every service station fillup. With or without trailer is also noted. Gallons, price, mileage and mpg. About the same with the trailer not attached.

Stop and go... under 12 mpg in Las Vegas.

Going down the Bighorn Mountains in the Tundra the mileage per gallon topped out in the 50mpg... until we entered Buffalo, Wyoming and then I-25.

This mpg means nothing. I use to manage mpg by the vacuum gauge. It was a game to max the mpg by trying to break records when I was driving... whatever.

When towing an expensive Airstream, heavy loads... I not only want the BEST option, but the Tires better be the top of the line.

I spent 18 weeks at Fort Walters learning to fly helicopters, TH55A's. Depending if you were going in circles, doing auto rotations, landing, hovering or just hauling from one landing pad to another... hours differed. (I was lucky. I had allergies and could not get away from sneezing and was tossed out. But... I tried.)

Today. Give me what I feel is the BEST. Tow Vehicle. Trailer. Tires. Hitch. If I am so concerned with mpg... I should not be pulling, now a 27 foot Airstream. I do it because I can and am a lot tighter in my spending that most people. We live frugal. But... want the best for US and the resale value will cover it at the end.

We all have preferences. You know mine, very well by now. There is more to consider than mpg or having a nice driving around tow vehicle... but when you attach a trailer, any brand... this is like flying that Helicopter. If you do not know what you are doing, that high octane fuel is not going to take you anywhere if everything is not compatible.

This is my story... and I am sticking to it. If I like to, or not.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:08 PM   #38
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So as you can see lots of various opinions. By the way if you do get an F150 my suggestion is to buy a roadmaster suspension kit. In a previous post someone mentioned porpoising. That is a problem with the F150. The Roadmaster kit eliminates it and it’s about a $600 (which includes installation) add on. Makes the pickup way more stable.

Remember that Airstreams have been towed for decades; mostly by cars. Previous TV’s had no way near the capabilities of modern TVs. Today’s F250’s are HUGE compared to the 3/4’s 20 years ago.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:37 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by stef0597 View Post
My husband is way too excited about getting a truck to tow our new Airstream. We are considering a 27fb Flying Cloud. He says we need more tow capacity than 8500. Is that true?
We pull a 27FB with a 2016 5.7 Double Cab Tundra and it does a fine job. It feels very solid and “planted” up hill or down. It’s rated at 10,000 lb towing. We live in Indiana and have gone to Arizona a couple of times in the past year. I like driving nice and easy and usually run around 65mph, letting the truck run faster occasionally when it wants to, tail wind, ect. It’s just Brenda and me and a couple of bicycles. I recently added a camper shell, so that adds some weight also to the payload side of things. If you think you will load the truck bed with a lot of stuff, you would be wise to consider the payload advantage of a 3/4 ton truck. As many others have said, everyone has different loads, speeds, driving styles, ect.. Whatever you decide, make sure your truck has the proper tow package, extended mirrors, best tires, and you take your time to get to know your setup and how it behaves. My Tundra is my daily driver and returns 17.5mpg empty and 9-12mpg with trailer in tow. Happy towing!
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:45 PM   #40
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Told you you'd get a lot of hits on this question!!
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