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Old 08-13-2015, 02:44 PM   #15
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Pulled my first AS (25FB) with a 2011 Suburban. Bought my second AS (27FB) and felt underpowered with the Suburban. Bought a 2014 Yukon Denali with the 6.2 engine. Hit in the rear on the Interstate in Amarillo last August. Flipped AS and totaled both. Insurance replace both. Got another Yukon, exact same as the other. Pulled the new AS about 1000 miles. Never felt comfortable. Had the hitched worked on numerous times, hated the auto leveling of the Yukon. Just never had liked the unsafe feeling we had while towing. Always wanted the SUV for our photography business. Decided last August to buy a truck. Got a 2015 Sierra 1500 SLT. Have pulled it almost 10,000 miles since April. Love it! It's by far the best decision we have made yet in regards to comfort and above all, safety. In my opinion, after towing with both long and short wheelbase vehicles, the Long wheelbase wins out. The only way I would even think about an SUV again is either a Denali XL or maybe Ford's long wheel base version.


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Old 08-13-2015, 02:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post

Your weight distribution hitch will move some of that back to the trailer, so you should be working with 800 lbs added to the Expedition when attaching the Airstream. Yes, it is a good plan to carry gear in the trailer instead of the Expedition, when possible. Don't overload either one, and balance those weights front to rear and forward and aft. Weight carried in the rear of the Expedition behind the rear axles becomes extra load for the weight distribution bars to lift, so load that area light as possible.

Thanks for that Doug.


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Old 08-13-2015, 02:47 PM   #17
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Our 100# Golden Lab takes up most of the back area in our Denali HD pickup crew cab. If we had to also take two children along with him, I don't see that working well at all, in a pickup truck of any size.

Dana, I really think you will have to go the SUV route, simply because of two kids and a large dog, and sacrifice what other cargo you will be able to take along. Four people and a large dog in a pickup truck of any size is not what I consider reasonably comfortable travel for the family group. You need first row for you and the wife, second row for the two kids, and behind second row for the large dog. Can't do that with any pickup truck. Confining a German Shepard to the space of a single human seat is a bad idea. Adding in that the bulk of your vehicle needs are daily driver needs around town to school, day care, etc. and I think your decision will be for the SUV.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:49 PM   #18
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Pat's got it right. Short wheelbase and a heavy, longish trailer just feels twitchy and wandery. Just made that word up!
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post

The 2017 Navigator (less than a year away, IIRC) will feature an aluminum body saving 700/lbs, and the joint-venture Ford/GM 10-speed automatic.

Thanks man. If ever there was a cherry on top, that's it. I will research this further for sure. I'm not in a huge hurry anyway. And would wait for the above if it's actually coming to fruition. 10 speed? Been 35 years since I had one. Wow.


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Old 08-13-2015, 02:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
Are you going to load your gasoline and generator and all your camping items in the Navigator with your family?

Thanks for chiming in.

That's a good point about the generator and one I've considered. I will have to see what solutions I can come up with regarding transporting a generator. Tentative plan would be to carry in Airstream, or mounted on trailer tongue as I've seen. But I admittingly have more questions than answers at this point.

With regards to camping gear, I'm not worried about weight. My wife and I have perhaps a unique take on that due to our remote rafting trips in Alaska. We have been flying one of our whitewater rafts, custom breakdown row frame, oars, guns, food, cooking gear, etc to Alaska each year since 2003. Weight and bulk are huge issues on these 7-14 day 80-120 mile river trips. We have a room full of the highest quality, lightest, titanium, and such camping gear.


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Old 08-13-2015, 03:18 PM   #21
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Good point about where to carry the generator and gasoline for it... don't forget you might want to carry a little camp firewood, a shovel, some tools, perhaps a bicycle or three, camp chairs/camp recliners, other children-related items, possibly an inflatable raft or kayak. Airstreams are pretty tight inside, with relatively little cargo space... I can't see much, if any of that stuff going inside the Airstream.

Thanks for the suggestions and cautions.

I agree with you, and that is at the heart of my reservation in reconsidering an SUV. A few variables that work to our advantage. We are mainly buying an Airstream for weekend trips into the Smoky Mountains. As of May, 2015, outside sources of firewood are prohibited. So I would be out buying that unhitched upon getting there, assuming it wasn't available at the campground.

Also, we have five kayaks, some are lightweight at 45 lbs each. But we also have a 16.5' Ally pack canoe from Norway that breaks down into a large backpack. Basically a 36" x 18" dry bag, with straps on it, which we could easily stow in wardrobe. It assembles in 20 minutes and carries 800 lbs. Skin is made of durable tarpulon, a lighter version of hypaulon, which Zodiac rafts are made from. We have used our Ally pack canoe on 200+ miles of remote Arctic Alaskan rivers. Anyway, said all that to say this, it only weighs 46 lbs and has two piece breakdown Aquabond canoe paddles made of Kevlar and graphite.


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Old 08-13-2015, 03:18 PM   #22
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A gas generator inside anything will add an interesting aroma to the interior of the vehicle especially in the hot summer sun.

Dan a bicycle has been shown to 'tow' an Airstream. A Smart car could probably tow an Airstream But you miss the point and it ain't about pulling power. It's about what load can you carry in the tow vehicle once you have the trailer hooked up.

There are good data points here and on the other posts where I thought you had decided on the truck. Tongue weight figure 1000#. Wife, Kids, Dog and you, misc stuff and I would say a conservative number (300# of adults, 150# of kids, 50# dog and at least the two kids will continue to grow) you are at 1500# of load that you will need. And the stuff for the kids and adults that you may want to take in the tow vehicle may exasperate the issue.

Thinking out loud I'd rather have a tow vehicle that could carry the load I want and crawl up the hill to the Eisenhower tunnel slowly rather than one that does the 1/3 mile in 10 seconds but can't carry yourself and a toothbrush without being overloaded.
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:27 PM   #23
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^^^^ Thanks Gary. Part of me agrees with you. Which is why I'm here begging for help again. I know there is no free lunch, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around buying a truck when a vehicle like the Navigator would be vastly superior for our usage in so many ways. I'm also factoring in that there are a ton of folks here with experience towing Airstreams with big trucks, but relatively few using capable SUV's like the one I reference. It's a fickle pickle trying to read between the lines. That's where the truth usually hides.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
In the initial post, there was a comment about payload that did not sound quite right to me. Vehicle manufacturers specify weight limits for front axle, rear axle, both axles together (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR), tow vehicle plus trailer combined (Gross Combined Weight Rating, or GCWR), and receiver/tongue weight limit. You want to pay attention to all those values.

I tow with a different brand SUV. The payload sticker on the door says 1544 pounds for payload. I removed the third row of seats, which gives me another 110 pounds of payload. (by the way, that is more payload than many "half-ton" pickup trucks)

When we travel, we are only two adults (under 300 pounds total), no kids, no dogs, no generator, no firewood. But we load up the SUV with tools, lawn chairs, a screen tent, a propane grill, a camp stove, and some other items. We have weighed the rig several times. Here are the most recent numbers, from a long winter/spring trip where we also carried some extra items like winter coats.

These numbers are with weight distribution applied, towing a 25FB Flying Cloud.

Front axle: actual 3260, rating 3550, margin 290
Rear axle: actual 3920, rating 4200, margin 280
SUV total: actual 7180, rating 7300, margin 120
trailer axles: actual 5960
Combined: actual 13140, rating 14000, margin 860

So you can see I am almost maxed out on the tow vehicle GVWR. The SUV is seeing 800 pounds of the trailer's tongue weight (200 of that is on the front axle).

I think you can be OK on payload with the kids and the dog, but you will have to limit what else you pack. I think your proposed Navigator would be safe (after Andy upgrades the receiver), probably safer than an average pickup, and probably would have better road manners than the SUV I have. (btw, my SUV has some Andy T. unicorn dust on it)

I really appreciate you taking the time to post that. Thank you for the numbers!


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Old 08-13-2015, 04:24 PM   #24
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My wife and I just bought a 2015 Ford Platium Expedition EL with 3.5 EcoBoost with heavy duty trailer tow package to tow our new 2016 Airstream that is being built and should arrive this month. We opted not to get the rear air suspension. We wanted the EL for the extra fuel (33gals vs 28gals) and towing stability from extra wheelbase. In real world the EL is only 15" longer and after driving it now for a couple of months and almost 4000 miles we don't even notice the extra length. We owned a 2012 King Ranch 5.4 V8 non EL version and this one is much much improved in every way. We have had 6 adults in it for nights out with friends and the extra space is noticable inside especially in third row. A big plus over GM SUV's is Ford's rear suspension allows for fold flat third row seats so cargo area is larger and easier to access. So far our average MPG is 18.5 with a mix of highway and city. Not bad for a big boy SUV! Can't wait to hook my Airstream to it and hit the road!
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:25 PM   #25
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I had a 2001 Navigator. We loved it. We only sold it because the 5.4 with the 4 speed had to work hard in the mountains out west towing our Intl 28. By the way, we had the air suspension and loved it.

Consider all the advice above, but I think you'd be very happy with the Lincoln.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:36 PM   #26
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The 2015, new gen, Tahoes and Suburbans (and their cousins) all have fold flat second and third row seats
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:01 PM   #27
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Use a propane powered generator right off your two tanks. The only real need for a generator is air conditioning in these days of solar power.

Twitchy short wheelbase of a Expedition/Navigator. Twenty years ago Hensley invented and marketed a hitch to virtually eliminate that. It's still for sale with growing popularity by two different companies. We can say it works extremely well on our 120" wheelbase Ram 1500 and 25' Airstream, steady as a rock.

But there's more to it than that. Properly set up weight distribution, stiffer sidewall tires at correct pressures, no slop in the hitch connections, short rear tow vehicle overhang to minimize trailer leverage on the truck, and well-balanced loading of truck and Airstream with the heavy stuff in the center, light stuff at the ends are some of the things that help stabilize yaw forces (twitch) from the trailer. The Hensley hitch design eliminates the possibility of sway from occurring.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:08 PM   #28
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Dan,

If you're starting from scratch why not contact Andy at CanAm and ask him before you buy. You might come away with a different perspective.

Good luck.
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