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Old 01-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
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What to use as TV for 2013 25' Flying Cloud

Hello everyone. I have been looking through and reading a bunch of threads about which truck I should be getting to tow our new Airstream. I am quite confused as to what I should be getting. We just purchased a 25' Flying Cloud and the max weight of the trailer could be 7300lbs according to Airstream. I am looking at a Chevy Silverado 2500HD with the heavy duty towing package and 6.0 gas engine. My question is to the axle ratio. Is the 3.73 okay or should I really be looking for the 4.10? It seems like there is a lot of discussion about this and I am completely confused as to which way to go!
I know that the 4.10 gives quite a bit more towing capability but I am not sure if that is needed.
The Silverado is rated at 9900lbs towing with 3.73 and 13,500lbs with 4.10 so it seems that either would be okay. I just don't want to get the 3.73 if it is really going to stress out the truck.
Thank you so much in advance for your help. I am a complete nooby with this and want to make the right choice.
Oh, and we will be full timing it around August so I want to make sure we find a safe TV and one that is up to the job. I know the deisel option would probably be best but that is just out of our budget right now.

-Thomas
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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My 2 cents. Your choice sounds like a great truck. The question is what is the payload rating on the exact one you plan to buy. Check the door. That minus tongue weight is your cargo and people number. I would say you would be fine with a 3.73. The towing rating is not the same as the payload rating as you mention 9900 lbs for trailer weight. Your trailer tops out at 7300 gross. Consider your people and cargo (truck stuff) and tongue weight and that should be the main concern. Everything else is in line. Your payload is probably good too in a 2500.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
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Payload:

Many of us have a total payload requirement of less than 1,000lbs while others need 2,500lbs or more. Figure out how much stuff you will be hauling and get the right TV. Airstreams tow really well. You don't need a TV that was designed to haul a big 5er.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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If that is what you are looking at and like it, go for it. You are going to get lots of opinions here and they are like azz $&*@, everyone has one.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
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I see that the hitch weight for the Airstream is 837lbs and the max payload is 3066lbs. and the towing capacity is 9400lbs(3.73 axle) and 13000lbs(4.10 axle) So 3066 - 837 = 2229 as the payoad remaining. This would be what the max would be to put in the truck, right? I only plan on our family and we weigh a total of 400lbs. We also may put a small generator in the bed that is 150lbs. So that looks like not an issue.
My only question is what do you think the tongue weight might go to at the max weight of trailer at 7300lbs?
Hitch weight is 837 with a dry, unloaded trailer of 5503lbs. Just not sure how much weight could be added to the tongue when the weight increases past the dry weight of the trailer to a realistic weight.
It looks like payload will not be an issue but I want to make sure I am getting enough truck to tow it often with out going overboard. I don't want to strain the truck so I feel like it comes down to the axle. I would like to have truck for a long time
Thanks!!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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The AS you are describing is towable by a 1500 with tow package. Since you have gone to a 2500 your minimums are met but what "you" carry in the truck plus the tongue weight is the issue. Aside from that, you have more than you need IMO.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your input so far.
One more question I had is how close to the maximum tow capacity do you all feel comfortable with. Someone mentioned to me that I should stay below at least 10% of the max.
Do you have any thoughts on this?
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:18 AM   #8
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The Airstream literature stated 833 pounds for the 25FB International tongue weight. The primary storage is under the "front" bed so tongue weight gets incrementally increased every time we throw in anything else into that space. With the Hensley Arrow hitch attached, I see 1,150 pounds and with full water tank I see 1,175 pounds. The needle could be off, so I assume 1,200 pounds for my tongue weight.

When the trailer is attached, the receiver on the TV always sees that 1,200 pound downward force, despite the Hensley. Thus the receiver, hitch and attachment point on the TV must be rated for that weight. A weight distribution hitch uses leverage to shift some of that downward force vector to the front wheels of the TV and some to the trailer suspension, but the steel at the hitch point between trailer and TV is supporting the entire 1,200 pounds.

Remember that factory literature is a marketing tool that promotes the best case scenario weights. One usually can not find the disclaimer that the weights were based upon a stripped bare bones version of the vehicle. As an example, the 2012 Ford F150 King Ranch claims a 1,900 pound payload. Going to a much different Ford document, there is a number of 427 pounds of the "stuff that makes it a King Ranch model with Max Towing package" that must be subtracted from the 1,900 pounds. Suddenly, we are at 1,483 pounds for payload. Subtract the 1,200 pound tongue weight and there remains, in this example, 283 pounds for the driver's weight over 150 pounds and the weight of the usual passenger and the stuff that won't fit in the trailer well like generators, gasoline cans and spare propane tanks etc..

Also from experience, one should consider a test drive of a fully fueled, as close to an identical vehicle to the one under consideration with the usual passenger that will be in the vehicle when towing to the CAT scales and see what the real numbers for front axle, rear axle, and total weight are and then you can determine the true payload capacity of the vehicle in question.

Do not rely on a salesman's pitch, but do the homework yourself to ensure accuracy. An overloaded TV or overloaded axle(s) may not handle the way it was designed. When it comes to parts failures, the factory engineers reviewing the parts cand easily determine of the failure was due to overloads.

YMMV
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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We travel 6 winter months each year, not full-timing but you learn some things from those who do.

It's hard for me to imagine a heavy duty pickup as ideal for this purpose, it's only advantage is heavy payload (do you really need it). The most obvious problem it presents is a poor daily driver. Less obvious is it amplifies the worst traits of a lighter pickup truck, heavy unsprung weight in the axles, high center of gravity, poor handling solid axle suspension, and more weight to move down the road, stop, and maneuver in emergency.

I have seen these in front of 25' Airstreams and they are impressive to those who use them, and me.

2013 Dodge Durango SUV | Towing Power 7400lbs| Towing Capacity | Dodge

They will soon have an eight speed transmission for the Hemi. A similar but slightly smaller version of this is offered by Jeep, same drive train. We have this engine in our truck, it has never wanted for power.

But that's just me offering one more lousy opinion, with almost no information on how you camp, travel, drive, or what equipment you need to take along.

doug k
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:45 PM   #10
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To answer your question (unlike others) with the 6-speed trans the 3.73 rear would be best, if it is a 4-speed the 4.10 rear would be better IMHO.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas_G View Post
Thank you all for your input so far.
One more question I had is how close to the maximum tow capacity do you all feel comfortable with. Someone mentioned to me that I should stay below at least 10% of the max.
Do you have any thoughts on this?
I tow my 25 with a Tundra and with the towing set up it has a 10K tow rating. When it comes to this figure I am well under the 10K and you will be too. I think the 10% rule is a good thing but I feel more comfortable with 15-20%. No scientific background to this, just my "feeling".

Your choice of the HD 3/4 ton should put you at ease in all regards. You will have plenty of capacity in the bed and plenty of room in the "towing" area. You mentioned that your people limit will be around 400 lbs and that you travel light with a generator and a few other things. If this is true then a well set up half ton will serve you well. It will come down to a lot of other factors. How does it ride, what mileage are you getting, what will you do with the truck when not towing, and even, what are your plans for future RVs? For me, it was all about cost differences, mileage and ride. I really don't need a 3/4 ton in my everyday life and I since I wasn't driving it daily I was fine with my choice. If my TV had to be a daily driver I might have looked at the Ecoboost F-150 but it wasn't around when I made my decision. I am also a Toyota fan having had many over the last 15 years, none of them causing a bit of trouble.

Good luck. The single most important thing to consider is what YOU want in the way of a TV. Go with your decision and don't listen to those who would choose to criticize your choice. ANY 3/4 ton will pull your trailer.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #12
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Tom,
as another Newbie, i have to agree with the others.
the TV you have in mind is WELL capable of doing what you are considering.
as we are in the exact same situation, i wonder if you aren't going over what you need if this will be your DD too. i will be pulling the FC2012 and i am looking to get a Ford 4x4 150 eco Screw 3.73 rear with HD tow and Trailer pkgs 6.5' bed 18" LT tires and the Hensley Hitch. we will be FT for a least a year all over the States and most likely Canada and i am confident that these truck specs will make for a safe and uneventful tow. imho anyway. i would love to get your opinion, have you considered any Less of a truck ?
Rob
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #13
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as an aside, this is a great thread (Close Calls) started by MassyFarms that i think should be mandatory reading for all of us Newbies ! :

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...lls-73100.html
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #14
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The Chevy 2500 is a great choice. Especially if you are going full time because you never know what else you may carry. Like me - I carry a kayak which would be hard to do with a short bed 1/2 ton truck.

The 3.73 will be an ok blend between towing and driving. The Ram 3.92 would be better but not that much better. 4.10 would be too much and you would wish for another gear when not towing.

The 6.0 litre gas engine is a good engine. I have not heard any issues with it.

On another note - when are you going to pull the trigger on this? The reason I ask is the new 2013 Ram 2500 is about to come out in 2 or 3 months. Then the new Chevy 1500 about the same time.

You going to get an 8' bed with a cap to carry a lot of stuff? I don't like the way they look but it would help to carry stuff.

Good luck
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