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Old 12-20-2014, 01:28 PM   #1
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Questions and an introduction

Some of you may recognize me as a formerly active member here. Nearly two years ago we bought a Foretravel MH, as that seemed to be the best fit for us. We're beginning to rethink things a bit, and are once again thinking about an Airstream TT.

We're full-timers with no home base, so everything we have will be with us. We're still trying to get rid of stuff, though, so maybe we'll be able to fit in an Airstream and truck.

On the other side of that, though, is that we're now working with Laborers For Christ, our church's group that helps congregations with their building projects, so that means I have some tools to haul around.

Now the questions: We will want a WB coach at least 30' long. Based on the prices I've seen in the Classifieds we'll be looking at coaches from the late 90's. What sort of tongue weight and gross weight will I be looking at? What sort of weight carrying capacity do those coaches have? I realize that we'll be giving up considerable tank capacity if we move from the Foretravel to an Airstream, but we can live with that. I'm thinking that an F250-class diesel pickup would be a decent tow vehicle. Is that reasonable?
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:10 PM   #2
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Welcome back to the Forums. As to your question, I think that a 3/4 ton diesel truck would make an adequate tow vehicle.

Brian
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:26 PM   #3
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Agree - depending on how many "we" are, and how heavy the tools are. Six kids and a drill press and table saw... go with a one ton.

Welcome back even if you're still "just shopping".
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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An F-250 Long Bed, Crew Cab, Diesel makes an excellent tow vehicle for any Airstream!
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
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I tow with a one ton Duramax long bed because I carry a heavy payload. I have a 3,000# pop-up truck camper that is always in the bed of the truck.

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Old 12-20-2014, 03:44 PM   #6
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"We" are two adults and one cat. No table saw or drill press (sigh) but circular saw, two drills, assorted bits, blades, etc. Add in sewing machine and serger, material, thread, needles, etc. and suddenly our basement is full. The big challenge in going to an Airstream is that we're in a 40' MH now, so the largest Airstream is only 3/4 this length. We have cabinets all along the sides and rear, and all are full.

What I should probably look for is a utility body to go on whatever pickup I might get. May not be as pretty as the F250 in the picture above but probably more practical.
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:26 PM   #7
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I'm not biased or anything.... but....
We have the exact setup you are talking about.
I would set my sights on approx. 10,000 gross trailer weight, and 800-900lbs tongue weight. A 3/4-ton diesel pickup is a great fit.

I have always like the Foretravel RV's. Beautiful homes on wheels.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
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I am a mechanic and will be Fting in about 6 mths. I custom built my truck BUT you can find used Freightliner M2s that were set up to pull a 5th wheel and remove the back and put on a service body like mine. My tools weigh about as much as a smart car. With what I have we can haul and store everything + more than we need. Se some good prices on used trucks and my body was built by Reading. This will be your last truck because of how well built it is. I have friends that service trucks and they say all I will do as long as I own this truck is change the oil and fuel filter once a year. I also get 11 mpg. All air ride. You could get a nice 4 door for everyone with a service body and a top (mine is the tallest they make and I can stand up in it) We are using it as a camper right now until the AS gets here. Just an idea
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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Welcome back.

Were this me I'd be focused on the triple axle 34' as the TW is a lower total and percent. Tows better, too.

I'd start by looking at 4500/5500 Dodge which ready had service body or that could be added. I'd keep to MY that has DEF for emissions. The engine tuning is better and there are ride improvements. The trans is bulletproof and the fuel burn is better than reasonable.

An M2 Freightliner is even nicer. Especially a pre-emissions 2007 or earlier.

If you have been used to the Moho generator then the medium duty Dodge is a good platform for a constant duty genset. (Such as the ONAN 7.5k). Plus, there are kits for engine-drive air compressors of capacity to run air tools. Point would be to fully consider obligations to see versatility of a service truck. The potential storage arrangement is a huge advantage. I get tired of trying to unload my 8' bed truck bed to get to more rarely used but necessary tools.

The DRW axle weight will mean a close coupling between TV and TT for good road behavior. No WD hitch needed (but TUSON electronic antisway recommended).

Additional solar or batteries or propane or diesel can also be added to a well spec'd service body if this is seen as desirable. The sky is sort of the limit. One can set up the rig for deeply impressive boondocking capacity.

It isn't hard to run up against weight problems when tools/work are concerned. In this case I'd err on the side of too much truck at the outset. A 34' AS tows better and maximizes interior space, again, that could be modified for work more easily as with a 4500/5500 Dodge over a 1T.

The Dodge Long Hauler concept is said to be a year or so away from production. You are not the only one needing more than a 1T. This would give me even higher confidence of the high confidence in reselling a service bodied truck if a different TV is eventually desirable.

Same for the tridem 34'. With twin AC and 50A with regular upgrades (or add washer/dryer plus dishwasher for example) it is more squarely centered for full time travel with some extended parking for those wanting the most space. All the goodies added over time and with the two lounging areas of a rear bedroom floor plan one makes it quite attractive to buyers.

Alternatively I would not recommend a Panamerica toy hauler version. Too easy to overload rear and still have overall weight restrictions with an ordinary pickup.
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Old 12-21-2014, 04:29 PM   #10
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Your idea is very reasonable. A 250 like the one pictured will also give you a place to store your tools. Nothing to it but to do it-
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:45 PM   #11
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David, I pull a 31 ft 98 classic excella 31ft. with an F250 diesel. I get excellent mpg plus the confidence of weight in front of the 9,000 to 10,000 gross trailer weight for stopping ability. The truck plays with the load up and down mtns. I have the 6.5 ft bed with a Yamaha 3500 inverter inside and carry extra tools, fuel, grill and table.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:48 PM   #12
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Our '86 Ltd 34' carries all that you mention: my sewing machine, serger, material, etc, and our '08 F250 diesel carries a load of tools my husband considers to be essential. I'm sure you could fit in or substitute the tools you find are essential. The 34'er is a very comfortable size, we have never filled all the storage available, although the longest we have lived in it was 10 mos.

Of course we could be prejudiced, but we think it is perfect!

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Old 12-22-2014, 04:18 AM   #13
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I tend to agree with BeetleBob.. There are some real bargains out in the used commercial lots.. A diesel 3+ ton with a van body would give you a million mile life and more if you take care of it.. $50,000 for a pu,, 3/4 or a ton is still a pu.. It all boils down to the size of bearings,, gears,, and tires and brakes.. I have seen 100s of used van trucks on the market with less than 300k miles for less than $20,000.. Sodbust
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:37 AM   #14
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Ha, we did the exact thing, however, our Newmar Canyon Star 38' lasted only six months in our stable. Our signature says it all - 30' FC, loaded with recliners, Dual A/C, 1000 W inverter, 50AMP service and a new F350 6.7 Diesel (only reason F350 is because my wife would not let me get an F450) I like big things. We do not regret our switch back to AS for one minute and the MH was great as a MH, but we realized we missed the AS.

Good luck in your decision.

ps our F250 Diesel was plenty of truck. Problem with Ford Super Duty is they only come with a 26 gallon tank, so we are adding a larger tank which would decrease our payload on the F250, but with the F350 and 11,500 GVW we are ok.
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