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Old 02-25-2007, 01:39 PM   #1
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New member with many questions

Hi to all--I am a new member with many questions to answer. My wife and I plan to buy a 28' Safari SE and a new tow vehicle. We are looking at the new Ford Expedition with the tow package advertized as having over 9000 lb. towing capacity. Any recommendations for or against? Next, I would apprciate recommendations for a dealer to contact, and thoughts on how to become educated on a fair price. I have been planning to buy an Airstream for many years, ever since I saw a Wally Byum caravan in Utah in 1956 when I was at summer camp and was 14. It was a great sight which has stayed with me these many years. Bob
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:48 PM   #2
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Welcome and search!

Welcome to the Forums, and your plan sounds like a good one (at least as far as trailer goes...)

Selection of tow vehicle is one of most posted and answered questions here.. As new member, you might as well get going using "search" tab in blue bar above.. Just type in "tow vehicle" and "expedition" or any other combination that sounds interesting, and enjoy reading the many messages on the topic... Lots of us have feelings, opinions, facts and passion.. Makes it more fun that way...

Until others "weigh" in, (and they should..), here are my suggestions...

1. Trailer shouldn't be a lot heavier than tow vehicle, since it could be a wrestling match around corners or downhill..
2. The longer the trailer, the longer the tow vehicle wheelbase should be to control sway and maintain stability in winds
3. Remember that "Towing Capacity" of tow vehicle includes trailer at its heaviest, PLUS passengers, fuel, luggage or stuff in back of truck, and mandatory weight distributing hitch assembly...
4. For those reasons, safest recommendation is to keep trailer GVWR at ~80% of rated tow capacity or less, for both safety and reliability reasons (avoid over-stressing transmission/engine/cooling system etc)
5. All that said, for a 28' trailer, most of us (including me..) would urge you to consider Ford F-250 CLub Cab truck instead for that trailer... The Expedition is OK up to 25', but begins to be overmatched with loaded down 28' trailer, especially if you plan to tow in up and downhill areas... Diesel is an option, but not required. As the old saying goes, your mileage may vary...

p.s. You should expect most RV sales persons (including some Airstream dealers..) will cheerfully tell you the Expedition will make a fine tow vehicle for any trailer you plan to buy.. They won't be doing the towing...
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:14 PM   #3
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Tow Vehicle

Hi, Did you look at Chevy Duramax with 6 speed Alison transmission? The great part of the transmission is that down hill you tap your brake and it will shift down and hold you back. It works almost like a standart trans. The Chevy rated 3/4 ton will be plenty for you but you can go to 1 ton if you plan to go to heavyer trailer. I have 3/4 ton Chevy with 5 speed standart trans. Been to Alaska 3 times so far and planning to go again this year. It is agreat vehicle.
Regards From Russell in sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 02-25-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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I just bought a 2007 Expedition and have on order a 2007 25' Safari FB. Both the Ford dealer and the Airstream folks told me that the Airstream will come out at about 6500 lbs loaded and the Expedition should handle that just fine but anything heavier would be a strain, especially going up 6% + grades. Since we live in the Northwest, we have to go over mountains to get anywhere. I think you are pushing it with that 28' trailer.

John
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:10 PM   #5
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Trailer Life puts out a little booklet each year that tells you how to figure your towing capacity. It is what I started with when I looked at buying a new truck. I also, talked to a lot of my friends that had been towing for years. They are a great source. Like everyone else, everytime I went on to a trailer lot whatever I was driving was good enough to tow anything. (ha,ha) Really research the TV before you buy. I bought a 2005 GMC 2500HD crew cab and I love it.
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:22 PM   #6
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Tow vehicle

I have a Lincoln Navigator with the tow package which is essentially the same as the Expedition. We love the car but were told by many that it would be fine for towing our 87 34'. We towed it a couple of times and while it is managable on flat surfaces, it was grossly inadequate in the mountains. We already had the Navigator when we bought the Airstream, so we kept it for our second vehicle. We went with a diesel truck which is great. We bought the Dogde 3500, although the 2500 I'm sure would be fine, because of the proven Cummins engine and the straight line 6 cyclinder which has proven reliable over a number of years.
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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I'm going to differ with the consensus slightly. I currently tow our 28' SE with a 1/2 ton Chevy Avalanche and haven't had any problems. Now, to be honest, (i) we usually do only weekend trips so our trailer is very lightly loaded, (ii) we are in Fla and never go over, oh, about 50 above sea level, and (iii) I've made a couple or three modifications to the Avalanche to give it a little more umph.

But, my truck is only rated at 7300 towing cap. I would think the Expedition XL (they offer an "extra long" version now I think, almost as long as a Suburban but shorter than the Excursion was) rated at 9000 would get the job done. The extra wheelbase of the XL would help and a tow cap of 9000 is about 1700 above the GVWR of a 28'er.

If you need a vehicle that can pull your trailer and be an everyday passenger vehicle, I think that the Excursion XL (with the largest available engine) would be a good compromise.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:29 AM   #8
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Tow vehicle capacity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob41
Hi to all--I am a new member with many questions to answer. My wife and I plan to buy a 28' Safari SE and a new tow vehicle. We are looking at the new Ford Expedition with the tow package advertized as having over 9000 lb. towing capacity. Any recommendations for or against? Next, I would apprciate recommendations for a dealer to contact, and thoughts on how to become educated on a fair price. I have been planning to buy an Airstream for many years, ever since I saw a Wally Byum caravan in Utah in 1956 when I was at summer camp and was 14. It was a great sight which has stayed with me these many years. Bob
Hi Bob, Condoluminum has given you best advice and you should pay much attention to it. When you cheat, perhaps you may get away with it for a long time but the day may come when you will regret it. Since you have not as of yet purchased a TV, be smart. Duramax with Allison is a good choice in 2500HD. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:49 AM   #9
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I'm a Ford man like you seem to be. I wouldn't want anything less than an F-250. I pull a 31' with my F-250 and recently invested in a Hensley Arrow hitch because even with the F-250, there were times in heavy winds or when trucks were overtaking us that an F-250 with a normal weight distribution system just wasn't enough to safely handle the trailer movement that was occurring. As we were planning a trip to Alaska this summer, I wanted to try and address that issue.

In our WBCCI unit, I am not aware of a single trailer of whatever the length being pulled by anything less than a 3/4 ton truck.

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Old 02-26-2007, 06:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob41
My wife and I plan to buy a 28' Safari SE and a new tow vehicle. We are looking at the new Ford Expedition with the tow package advertized as having over 9000 lb. towing capacity. Any recommendations for or against?
Hello Bob -- and welcome to the Forums. The Expedition EL has big enough numbers. Do not plan on pulling anything like a new 25' SE with a non-EL! You'll probably wish for a larger engine at higher altitudes but there's a lot of traveling before you would get there. Does the Expy come with a tranny cooler -- good idea if it doesn't! I've got a Duramax/Allison and like it -- but this isn't an easy selection for around town and everyday use.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:47 PM   #11
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I agree with CanoeStream on the vehicle and the tranny cooler - that was the first thing I did to my truck and it was actually cheaper than I expected to have it installed. I understand all the calls for a big diesel pickup, but that's just not a practical vehicle for everyone so the EL sounds like a good compromise to me.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:13 PM   #12
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Expedition EL could work...

Just wanted to weigh back in and note that you asked about "Expedition", not the EL version, which is Ford's new attempt to compete with Suburban and Yukon XL... I talked at some length to Ford rep at car show at end of 2006, with new EL on turntable and limited specs.. Ford had tried with "Excursion" based on long F250 frame, but caught flack from environmentalists, as it was larger and less fuel efficient than Suburbans. You might find one of those cheap on used market from 2004 or 2005.. He indicated the market seemed to be chasing Suburbans and "disappearing seats" rather than tow capacity, implying Ford thought buyers used their Suburbans to haul soccer teams, not RV's... He did say they were hoping to get clean diesel in it and 50 state approved, but had no idea when. That with larger engine (bigger then 5.4L Triton V8) would probably work...

If you only plan to tow short distances in flat country, it might work, but the longer wheelbase and extra power will be really valuable when you decide it's time to head for Lake Louise and Banff in Canada...

And as for dealers and shopping for trailer itself, there are several relatively near in Arkansas and Texas and Mississippi. Search for threads on new airstream discounts and negotiating and look for ideas.. Some are good at service, others aren't. Some are aggressive at pricing new units , others aren't. Depending on model, and inventory, and weather and time of the month, you should expect 17-18% off MSRP or List Price for trailer, as minimum, and deals could go to 25% off for leftover models and show demo's and units dealer is struggling to sell.... Good service and local are worth paying a premium for...
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