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Old 03-06-2014, 09:11 PM   #1
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Airstream for use in South America

Hello everybody, Im looking into getting a trailer (+28 ft.) but I have some rookie questions :

1. Is a 2010 Ford F150 5.4 V8 good enough to move a 28-30 ft Airstream trailer ?.
2. Is it possible to convert to 220v a used 110v trailer if I buy it in the USA ?.
3. If getting a new one, would it be possible to order it with 220v ?.

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Old 03-06-2014, 09:31 PM   #2
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Yes
Yes
I don't know

And, welcome
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:25 AM   #3
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You would probably need an F150 with a tow package (low geared axle). Even then it won't like the hills. The newer trailers are much heavier than the old ones. If you are pulling a new trailer you are going to be at the limit of what the truck can pull. Then add all the stuff you want to put in the bed of the truck and you are over your weight limit.

We just had this discussion with a guy from New Zealand. He was going to use a step down transformer to power his trailer using a 220V source. I expect Airstream can modify the electrical system in a new trailer for 220V operation. They make European spec trailers and send them overseas.

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Old 03-07-2014, 08:41 AM   #4
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3. yes - I read on this forum that a member has a 50 amp 220v from the factory. It is available in a 2014 unit when ordering it unit with 2 air conditioners.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:14 AM   #5
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I think he means that in South America they use 220V like we use 120V. Here when we use 220V is it really 120V + 120V and you can split off 120V to run everything. In some countries they just have 220V period. There is no way to get 120V unless you use a step down transformer. The logic behind this might be purely to save wire. You also don't have to have separate circuits for 120V and 220V.

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Old 03-07-2014, 11:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
3. yes - I read on this forum that a member has a 50 amp 220v from the factory. It is available in a 2014 unit when ordering it unit with 2 air conditioners.
Perhaps it might be a better idea to go for a new one and get it 220v straight from the factory.

But heres the dilemma : we are planning to shot a road movie on it. So in one hand we need to use the electrical outlets with 220v power for some lighting but on the other hand the script ask for a 90s trailer and the new ones looks quite modern on the interior. Outside they are perfect !.

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Old 03-07-2014, 11:27 AM   #7
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I think he means that in South America they use 220V like we use 120V. Here when we use 220V is it really 120V + 120V and you can split off 120V to run everything. In some countries they just have 220V period. There is no way to get 120V unless you use a step down transformer. The logic behind this might be purely to save wire. You also don't have to have separate circuits for 120V and 220V.

Perry
Yes we use 220v and we cannot split it into 2x 120v. As Perry said its just 220v period. The wiring is pretty much the same as in the USA. I have modified the plugs from electronic items purchased in the USA (with 110-230v range of course) with no problem. Plug and play !. Three cables : neutral and ground. Most of the time ground being green, hot > red and neutral > white.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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You are just going to shoot a movie in it and not camp? If that is the case, just replace the 12V power supply converter with one that will run off 220V and that gets all the 12V systems working. The fridge would need a different heating element if you plan to use that. The AC unit will have to be replaced with one that works on 220V. Some of the newer ones may be switchable. Anything else you will have to replace or use converters on. You might be able to run the AC system with a boat anchor step down transformer.

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Old 03-07-2014, 04:46 PM   #9
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What is the tow rating for your Ford 150.

The older 150s and 1500s were rated to tow about 5000 lbs. Now some are rated up to 6500 lbs. The conservative rule of thumb is to only use 80% of your towing capacity. Another thing to know is that you need to add the cargo, and passenger weight to the weight of the trailer. All of which are still unknown.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Is a 2010 Ford F150 5.4 V8 good enough to move a 28-30 ft Airstream trailer ?.
I have a 2009 Ford F150 with a 4.6LHO engine. It is rated for 8100 lbs towing and 1548 lbs. payload as a super crew model.

Look inside the door for the payload rating. That is what you will subtract tongue weight from. What is left is your people and cargo weight.

A 28' FC or INT weighs around 7600 lbs loaded- bring it on. A 30' Classic is 10,000 lbs - too much.

A 5.4L is slightly more powerful than my engine (30HP/70 ft. lbs.) but would certainly have a bit more capacity with a towing package.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:24 PM   #11
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Hi Perry : For the movie we have a 150kva, 3 phase generator with plenty 220v outlets. So 220v power when parked is not a problem. Powering the production lights while driving is.

I will look into the F150 specs to see if it has the tow package. Its a 2010 F150 Lariat 5.4 V8.

YESSS !!!!. I do want to keep the trailer for me and my family after the movie its done and camp on it like crazy !!.

Since everyone here have been so kind Id like to share the idea of the script. Its based on a personal story of mine back when I was 20 years old, a young misfit who inherits his grandfather treasured travel trailer (it was really a motorhome but the Airstream is much more cinematic !), on the condition that I make the journey he wasnt able to do because of his health.
That trip really change my life and I returned, after +/- 10.000 kms., as a completely different person.

Thanks to all !!!!
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:34 PM   #12
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If you will use it only for the movie, why buy one?

Unless it will be destroyed, of course. But even then, just rent one locally. Or buy one, I supose. Just a bit older that the script calls for and then you can blow it to smithereens, or whatever the Ozzie equivalent to that is.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:08 PM   #13
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If you will use it only for the movie, why buy one ?.

It wont be destroyed at all. One of the conditions, 20 years ago, was to return it without a single scratch. Which I did. If I were in the US Id rent it but there are no Airstreams in Chile. Actually there little to none RV culture in here. Renting from the US is a no deal, as the shipping + insurance should be near 16k back and forth. And I would love to keep it after the film gets done.

As for my F150, it comes with Trailer Tow Package which includes : Class IV trailer hitch receiver; 7-pin wiring harness; upgraded radiator and auxiliary transmission oil cooler.

Theres also a Max. Trailer Tow Package with all of the above plus upgraded rear bumper, trailer brake controller, upgraded rear springs, heavy duty front eye bushing and trailer tow mirrors.

Both Packages appear listed as required for towing over 5.000 lbs.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:28 PM   #14
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BTW, the Max Tow capacity of my F150 as it is now (2010 Lariat 5.4 V8, Trailer Tow Package, axle ratio 3.55) is 9.500 lbs.. Adding the Max. Trailer Tow Packages it goes to 11.100 lbs.

An Airstream 28 rates at 7.600 lbs. aprox. Almost 2.000 lbs. below the max towing capacity. Sounds good to me.
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