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Old 01-03-2006, 11:01 PM   #1
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1987 25' Sovereign
Dickerson , Maryland
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Question Gearing up for a cross country trip

My New Year's resolution is to take that trip across the USA in my Airstream. Currently I'm in the planning stage and I decided to join your forum for some much needed advice. I need to plan out this trip on where to go and what to see. In addition, I want to make sure everything is in tip top shape. You should also know that I loved to back pack before my knee gave out so I'm always looking for out of the way sites that have some privacy with great views. RV parks with trailers lined up in rows are not my style. I plan to begin my journey from my home in Maryland in July and travel for 2-3 months. I have to ask for a subbatical from my job so that might limit my time line. If necessary, I might park my rig in a storage lot and come back at a later date to complete my journey.

You should also know that I'm a lady in my fifties. My husband may join me for a short time but he doesn't have enough vacation time to make this entire trip with me. Consequently my girl friends will be joining me for various segments. This should be an adventure.

First question: Is my tow vehicle, a 2000 Ford F150 (5.4L V8 engine), big enough to tow my 1987 25' Soverign up the Rockies?

Dream it,
Plan it,
Do it.

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Old 01-04-2006, 12:00 AM   #2
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Wow, good for you! What a great adventure you're planning to have! You'll find lots of advice, and fine people all over the country to help you in your journey, and help you find the cool places to camp. Welcome to the forum!


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Old 01-04-2006, 08:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Golden Girl
[FONT=Arial]First question: Is my tow vehicle, a 2000 Ford F150 (5.4L V8 engine), big enough to tow my 1987 25' Soverign up the Rockies?

Dream it,
Plan it,
Do it.
Great Plan! Wish I could get away, do your trip in reverse order.

You need to find out about the axle ratio on your truck first, and if it has a heavy duty trailering package. Then, load your trailer and get it to a scale and have it weighed, so you're comparing actual facts.
You will be towing about of 6000lbs +/-, which is tough at altitude on hills that you will encounter when crossing the Rockies. I would go South (NM) to get around the steepest and tallest stuff.
My Suburban should have similar power as your Ford. It towed my 25ft Tradewind over the Rockies just fine, but not with spectacular reserves. I would not have wanted the trailer to be any heavier, the day to be any hotter than it was, or the Suburban to have even 1ftlb less torque.....
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:57 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums. I am envious of your trip and wish you well. Please keep us all informed as you travel across this wonderful country.
I am certain someone will answer with all the facts and figures concerning your F150 and the Rockies, complete with altimeter ratings and seismic soundings. All I can give you is my experience pulling a 1975, 25' Tradewind with a 4.6 2000 F-150. I got to see all the sights along the way and never felt in danger of sliding back down the mountain. You will not break any speed records but those guys passing you with their 5th wheel SOB's will be taking the spaces in the crowded trailer park at night while you pull in to the secluded rustic parks.
I strongly encourage staying in the state parks along the way. We have rarely been disappointed in any state park we have stayed at. You can do your planning now with the state web sites and if you take along a lap top there are several good travel programs which list state parks with directions. If you get to Wisconsin let me know and I'll recommend some parks to you.
Chaplain Kent
1994 30' Excella 1000, Chummy III- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:10 PM   #5
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Oh, you'd better watch out! Folks see what kind of trip you're planning, and they're liable to start lining up as a caravan behind you! (Just make sure you get with your local WBCCI folk to plan the caravan!)

WBCCI 21043
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:19 PM   #6
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If you join the WBCCI (the Airstream club) you will have a couple advantages as you travel the country. You can stop in at any local rally in the area you happen to be in. There are Airstream only parks around the country. And there is 'courtesy parking' available on members property. Of course we have been organizing the same sorts of things through the forum as well. Airstreamers are a friendly bunch. Be sure you find some to say Hi to along your journey!

If you make it to WA state be sure to visit Mt St Helens! You won't see anything else like in the lower 48.

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Old 01-04-2006, 02:44 PM   #7
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You can get an idea of what you can safely tow directly from Ford. Ford publishes a truck towing guide that is available from its dealers, and probably available online, although I didn't check.

Weigh your fully loaded truck and trailer, (including passengers) and see if you're under Ford's gross weight limits for your truck. My guess is that you're going to be pushing the limits.

The thing that I'd be most concerned about is your brakes being able to slow down and stop your trailer on the longer and steeper mountain passes. Some of them are several or more miles long. (When hitched up, you may also be over the recommended weight limits for the individual axles on your truck.)

My wife and I tow our 30' Airstream across the country each summer with an 2000 F250 Powerstroke. Although we try to minimize our
total weight, I know we are slightly above the gross weight rating for our truck, and I really should get an F350 (or leave my wife at home )

Personally, if I were you, I think I'd want to get a heavier duty truck, such as the Ford F250, for your trip. Better to be safe than sorry.

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Old 01-04-2006, 04:57 PM   #8
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Wow, have fun planning your trip.

UWE said, "crossing the Rockies. I would go South (NM) to get around the steepest and tallest stuff"

If you do plan to visit NM, our tourist attractions are;
Carlsbad Caverns
Sandia Crest Tram - Albuquerque
Balloon Festival - Albuquerque (always 1st full week in Oct.)
Santa Fe
Chaco Canyon
KE5CKG on 2 meters
AIR #10274
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Old 01-04-2006, 05:16 PM   #9
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Thumbs up You go golden girl!

Have a wonderful time! There are some wonderful checklists offered by members, especially on this thread. Even the most super organized person can forget things, and the advice on that thread/in this forum in general has been super valuable for us and we've been camping for a long time. Best of luck!
Steph in MI Air# 6996-
I Hockeytown USA!!
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:52 PM   #10
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I found a weird app on my Apple called PekFinder. Some dude with too much time and brains mapped out all the world's mountain peak altitudes. It's not fancy, but it can give you an idea of which way to travel. As a newbie ourselves, we were told to follow the 222 rule; stop and walk around every two hours, don't drive more than 200 mi/day, and start looking for a campsite at 2:00pm. Sounds right to me! Maybe you have experience hauling and are used to all that beautiful shine behind you, if not, might re-think how far you can truly travel. Me, I don't care for the Southwest at all! My son went to school in Abq, NM, we spent time in Arizona, used to go to Palm Springs, been to Vegas. Nope. It's hot in summer, high desert, little green except where watered, Or mountainous, like Taos. That was nice in summer. Santa Fe disappoints as it is not the Santa Fe it was in the '60's! Lots of great art, got to meet one of favorites, who's postcards I've bought. Nothing as I imagined. Arizona has 11 of the 12 poisonous snakes living in America living there! The road closed right behind us because of a summer windstorm that nearly blew our Scion off the rode! Why not head to the Great Lakes area? If you don't have unlimited time, you'll need to plan well, not feel rushed, have time to stay an extra day if you fall in love with a place! You'll retire someday, then you must come see Oregon in summer! Drive 101up from California, around San Francisco. Lots of stop offs, Hurst Mansion, Winchester(?) Mansion, the woman who went nuts with guilt about the people killed by her husband's guns and built false doors and winding rooms so their ghosts couldn't find her.....anyway, my thoughts! Keep the shiny side up!
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Old 06-14-2015, 04:55 AM   #11
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She's probably home by now- it's a nine year old thread.
2014 25' Flying Cloud Rear Twin
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:48 AM   #12
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Oh.....funewgy. I'll watch those dates. Thanks for pointing that out! And she's probably retired! Donna, formally AKA Old Lady Who, now....ever so much better...Brooklyn Boy and Froggy..

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