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Old 08-13-2015, 11:23 AM   #1
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Question Why shouldn't I buy a 2015 Lincoln Navigator L?

First of all, I will trust the good judgement of you more experienced guys and gals not to make this an advertisement for the Ram, Bow tie, or blue oval you have tattooed on your butt cheek. We all know how quickly threads derail, been guilty of it myself.

I know that an overwhelming majority of you prefer a 3/4-1 ton truck and I can appreciate why in many instances. But I also know that many of you are buying big trucks, diesel engines that can pull a house off its foundation, and such because you want one, rather than especially need it. Which also is fine of course, heck, part of me wants one too. I get it. But we all have different needs and that's something I hope we can focus on here.

I saw The Fast Lane Truck Youtube video where the 2015 Lincoln Navigator went up the Ike Gauntlet, Isenhower tunnel stretch, in Colorado. They had to ease up to avoid speeding going uphill with 7,000 lbs in tow. I don't consider TFLT a definitive resource, but have enjoyed their many truck towing videos for their comparative value. The Navigator smoked the course. No other way to put it.

Truth is, if I bought a tow vehicle today, it would be a truck. A big one, likely with a diesel engine. I have researched all the major truck manufacturers in recent months and they each offer very impressive vehicles. But my wife and I are struggling with certain aspects of said purchase and have come full circle and now revisit the idea of buying an SUV. Which would be our fourth.

Even if just to put the SUV idea to bed, I want to ensure due diligence before buying a truck that frankly aside from towing an Airstream, we don't need. 90% of our driving would be better served by an SUV. Kids to daycare, later school, short commutes to town, and similar. However, I've read enough here to be cautious about buying an SUV for towing. So I lean on you once again.

We have two small kids and a german shepherd. The vehicle will be a daily driver. We will likely be buying a 27' FB twin with 790 lb advertised TW and ~6300-6500 lbs loaded (5800 lb dry) as we are just making frequent weekend trips into nearby Smoky Mountans of NC and Tenn.

I had given up on SUV's until the 2015 Expedition/Navigator was recommended to me by a highly respected member here recently. As I reluctantly dug into it, comparing it to the Suburban/Tahoe I originally wanted, there were some clear distinctions.

Namely, the 2015 Navigator has a 380HP/460 ft/lb 3.5 L Ecoboost, 4.10 rear diff, transmission cooler, larger radiator, trailer brake controller, independent suspension, trailer sway control, and auto rear leveling feature. It's rated to tow 8,400 lbs as I recall. It also has a manual tow mode, or similar nomenclature, that allows manually down shifting with push of button to control decent speeds and limit applying of brakes.

It's my understanding (which is always in question) that with a proper WD setup, hitch reinforcement, etc, payload will not be an overly limiting factor. It was recently explained to me how manufacturers payload ratings do not account for any trailer weigh being applied to front axles. With that factored in, assuming we carry most all gear in camper, likely behind TT axles, it seems we are in good shape regarding payload.

If we buy a 2015/2016 Navigator L 4x4, we will make the trip to London,Ontario and have Andy Thomson at Can-Am RV set up the WD hitch of his choice, reinforce the hitch, and anything else he deems necessary. I've heard he sprinkles unicorn antler dust on the hitch afterwards.

Anyone that thinks this will be a safe tow vehicle, I would love to hear from you. If anyone is currently towing with an SUV of any kind, I would appreciate hearing your experiences, good or bad. I'm especially looking for any criticisms or safety concerns associated with towing an Airstream with this particular vehicle.

Thanks for your patience and candor.


Dan
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #2
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Per Airstream literature, the 27FB models all have the 7,600 GVW rating and less net payload than the 25FB.

You have two kids and a large dog.

There are just the two of us and when we loaded the 25FB (GVW 7,300 pounds) and dropped it on the CAT scales camping loaded, we saw 6,975 pounds just for the 25FB. The empty weight of the 27FB is over 370 pounds more than the 25FB, so you may find that the 27FB crosses the scales camping ready weighing in excess of 7,000 pounds.

Just a tidbit to put into your calculations. The factory tongue weights are typically understated. Our 833 pound literature tongue weight was 1,150 pounds when at the dealership to pick up the trailer with the added street and rear awnings and a 155 watt solar panel on the roof.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:59 AM   #3
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It's not the power that is critical, but rather the rear axle capacity, as Switz alludes too.

Also, apples to apples, if it's Lincoln your are considering, the comparable are Cadillac or GMC. Then you have available the 6.2 liter, Gen 3 motor and heavier trans.

Ford does compare to Chevy.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:05 PM   #4
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The Navigator out performed the Yukon Denali with 6.2 L in TFLT video, which was comparing the two vehicles. I was surprised myself.

Aside from that video, there are many features on the Navigator/Expedition that are absent on all other SUV's, including the Yukon Denali XL.

I originally wanted a 2015 Suburban, and also looked strongly at the Denali XL.


Part one, below, is Navigator. Part two is Denali XL with 6.2...

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Old 08-13-2015, 12:15 PM   #5
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Dan, I didn't watch the whole thing...hard to do at work! What rear ends? GM maxtow moves to a 3.42 rear end. Did they have a non-maxtow with a 3.23? What does the Lincoln have?

Also, are you talking about the shorty versions in your consideration set? In addition to the rear axle load issue, I wouldn't buy a short wheelbase anything for your described loading and towing setup.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:27 PM   #6
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Dan, sound reasoning to me but we have camped and traveled light for 50 years, and still prefer it. We have a 1/2 ton truck but looking at SUV's. No hurry, doing fine.

The Expedition is high on our list as well, don't need the Lincoln "luxuries" which most probably lower the Lincoln's carrying and towing capacities compared to a more basic Expedition. I especially like the shorter wheelbase for manuerverabiliy with and without the Airstream, and the independent front and rear suspension for greater stability in all types of driving. The relatively short wheelbase compared to some trucks becomes a mute point with the Hensley/ProPride hitch design which eliminates any trailer sway tendencies before they start.

Great reports by those towing with the 3.5 Ecoboost, the Expedition's weakness is load carrying capacity for some. It's manageable but you have to make the effort. Airstream limits it's trailer tongue weight to 1,000 lbs (it's in the Owners Manual) so if you exceed that you have to move something around or leave it behind. 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.

There have been reports (rumors perhaps) Ford is planning an aluminum bodied Expedition to follow it's aluminum bodied trucks. That could add 700 lbs carrying capacity if you don't eat it up with options. You said you weren't in a rush to do this, so time is on your side.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:38 PM   #7
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Why shouldn't I buy a 2015 Lincoln Navigator L?

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.

A powerful EcoBoost engine plus fully independent suspension make this a very attractive -- albeit expensive -- tow vehicle. But not much more if any than a fully loaded diesel pickup.

As the competition is nameplates like Audi and Mercedes the bar is raised high. Lincoln has the resources to play at that level given what I've read (and defer to the more knowledgeable).

Even with a 1k TW, after WD applied it's a matter of distributing approx 345-lbs (and probably less) onto each TV axle, give or take.

If what on another thread is accurate, the as-delivered vehicle will have info regarding payload consistent with that particular vehicles specification.

The 2017s are a ways off, but I think I'd want new over old. There are arguments about avoiding first year, but there can be the long term advantage of being in the most up to date generation as per service over the long haul.

I hardly think an AS needs the TQ of today's diesel pickups. Overkill doesn't make sense, nor does it for the low annual miles of the OP and especially not for most days.

While a luxury version isn't quite to the point for comparisons sake, if the similarly powered and suspended Ford version looks good, then the potential few hundred pounds difference in "rating" is nothing to be concerned over.

I would look to the tires, though. The luxury version could have the better wheel/tire combo, and it may not.

As today's vehicles are more software than hardware, changing these might introduce other changes. So I'd be more open to the Ford version as well.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:50 PM   #8
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Are you going to load your gasoline and generator and all your camping items in the Navigator with your family?Better look inside one again.Payload capacity is listed at 1600-1670 lbs for this vehicle.Keep in mind as mentioned advertised tongue weight by Airstream is always on the low side.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:30 PM   #9
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A couple of other advantages of independent rear suspension, and the Navigator and Expedition have it. None of the pickups do. Ford eliminated the solid rear axles on all their SUV's, some other manufacturers still use it.

The body/frame is essentially mounted to the suspension at a wider stance than the solid axle arrangement, where the mounting is above the leaf or coil springs. More resistance to body roll in turns or a rear tire blowout, a more controllable, safer vehicle.

The heavy differential is attached to the frame, rather than the suspension. Much less weight bouncing about under the vehicle on rough roads for the suspension to control; easier on you and your Airstream.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:01 PM   #10
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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.

If you go with an SUV, you will be much more restricted in terms of where/how to carry such items AND you will have to pay a lot of careful attention to where and how you load everything. Between yourself, your wife, then the two kids in the next row, and the large dog in the back... I think the SUV may be getting up to max right there, especially figuring on at least 800# - 900# of tongue weight.

Trying to make all that work with an SUV all adds up to more time-consuming work and weight-balancing concerns vs. going with the 3/4 ton pickup and 6.5' bed, where these concerns are minimized. The low cargo capacity of the SUVs is a significant element to have to work around... you will be running very close to or at max capacity. I believe you mentioned earlier that you are a large fellow, so be sure to factor in the weight of all the family and dog.

Every option you may consider will involve some compromise. You just need to decide what you are ok with compromising and what you are not ok with compromising.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Dan, I didn't watch the whole thing...hard to do at work! What rear ends? GM maxtow moves to a 3.42 rear end. Did they have a non-maxtow with a 3.23? What does the Lincoln have?

Also, are you talking about the shorty versions in your consideration set? In addition to the rear axle load issue, I wouldn't buy a short wheelbase anything for your described loading and towing setup.

Rich,

Not sure about the Denali XL, but the 2015 Navigator has 4.10 rear diff. We are only considering the Navigator L (long version) in 4x4.

Dan
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:23 PM   #12
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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)
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:27 PM   #13
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yeah, that's what I thought, 4.10 will gitr up an go with a 6 speed. If you're talking a 6.2 with a 3.23 and 8 speed, I think you'll find better mileage towing and solo. Plus, for most of your towing (not on the floor at 6%) you'll always be in your torque band. At least that's what I found towing a 6.2, 8 speed (Sierra albeit) all summer this year. It even had a 3.08 and still felt awesome. Mileage has been 11.5 - 12.5 towing and 21.5 - 26.2 (yes! 26.2, but only a couple times; consistently 22.5). Big trip was to Key West and back....mostly flatish.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:39 PM   #14
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I would buy a Lincoln navigator , but I ain't you I like my dodge.
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