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Old 03-24-2014, 12:27 PM   #1
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2007 25' Safari SS SE
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looking to purchase a F350

Im close to pulling the trigger on a 2010 F350 srw 6.4L V8 Diesel. Right now I'm pulling a 25ft 2007 Safari with my 2010 1500 GMC Sierra. Although it's been fine I feel like I'm pushing it a bit with a tow rating at 7200lbs. My trailer dry is around 5400 I believe. Once I load the family of 4 and bikes and other things etc I know I may be risking it a bit. Any reviews welcome if someone pulls a similar rig. My thought is bigger the better as far as safety concern.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:35 PM   #2
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What's the payload of the Sierra? That would be the number I'd be concerned about, not the tow rating.

An oversized tow vehicle comes with its very own set of challenges.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:37 PM   #3
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what should i be concerned about in an oversized tow vehicle
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:41 PM   #4
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my payload is 1710
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:00 PM   #5
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Because it is designed to carry a very heavy load in the bed, a one ton pickup has a pretty stiff suspension and that tends to transmit every jolt and bump through the hitch into the frame of your Airstream. These mini (and occasionally not so mini) shocks can and have caused damage such as skin separation, popped rivets and the like a swell as minor annoyances such as finding your clothes on the floor of the closet and everything in the cabinets askew...

I believe that the "Air Safe" hitch solves this problem but I have no direct knowledge of it.

Certainly will solve your capacity problem but, as noted above, bigger has its own set of concerns.

Enjoy the journey,

Mike
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:13 PM   #6
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Before we scare this person to death, I'd suggest that if they go with a big truck, that the WD setup will be important. Too big of bars is what transfers load into the trailer resulting in the problems you mention. That could happen just as well with a 1500 series truck.

FWIW, Fords tend to have more compliant suspensions than the other makes. Often owners will install air bags to adjust for the squat you get when applying a load. This too can add to the rear stiffness making the application of WD setup more tricky.

I found my Suburban 1500 to be grossly underpowered and not very suitable as a tow vehicle. It had the 5.3 liter, I assume your Sierra is the same. That engine is only around 300 ft lbs of torque, which, coupled with the nearly 6000 lb weight of the vehicle, doesn't lead to exhilarating performance.

The F350 is certainly a robust truck. The biggest issue I'd have with it is driving around town, parking, etc. and the fuel economy as a daily driver. I'd recommend you don't get the dually if you can, it would make it more manageable. But as a tow vehicle, you'll be very happy with it. Effortless towing is what it will be. You can still get the same experience, and for less money, with the F250. Take a look at least, as there is no Airstream you couldn't pull with it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
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I pull my 28ft International CCD with a 2012 F350 6.7 Supercrew 4x4 I made the switch from a 2010 F150 5.4 Supercrew 4x4 and could not be happier.I did add the Airsafe hitch.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:06 PM   #8
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We just traded in a 2008 6.4L F350 long bed crew cab dually on an F250 crew cab short bed to pull our Flying Cloud 25.

We originally bought the F350 to tow a 34ft fifth wheel, and only used it once to tow our AS, so I can't comment on whether we would have had long term issues with beating up the trailer. It was very stable going down the road, I think partly due to the weight (it was probably around 9000 lbs loaded...heavier than the trailer), and partly due to the length.

The main challenge was its length...it was a bear to park and not very usable as a city driver. The long wheelbase also makes backing the trailer in close quarters more challenging...it takes a lot of clearance to turn and straighten out a long bed. So if you are looking at an F350 for the payload capacity you might stick to a short bed.

Our F350 was also not a 4x4, which is problematic in a big diesel...all the weight is on the front wheels and it is really easy to get it stuck on a soft or wet surface.

An F350 would certainly help in the payload capacity. An F250 4x4 only has 2400lbs or so of payload capacity...that sounds like a lot until you add a hitch, 850lbs or so of tongue weight, 4 passengers, a full tank of diesel, and gear.

But since we had downsized our trailer I wanted to downsize the truck as well to get something a bit more maneuverable. I originally was looking at the 2008-2010 6.4L trucks similar to our F350, but it is tough to find low mileage trucks that old with a clean carfax. That led me to look at the newer 6.7L trucks. With the current incentives, there wasn't a huge difference between a low mileage 2012 and a new truck so I wound up talking myself into a new one (it may be the last truck I'll ever buy).

If you haven't driven one of the newer 6.7L trucks, you might test drive one. The 6.7L engine has a lot less turbo lag and really gets up and goes compared to my old truck. The newer trucks with Sync also have lots of nifty electronic gadgets if you are into that sort of thing (I especially like being able to play music from my phone via Bluetooth...no more need to pay for satellite radio).
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:14 PM   #9
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A couple more comments...

We had a 2005 F250 4X4 with the 6.0L diesel, which was trouble free through 50,000 miles. I have heard there were reliability issues with that motor, though.

Our 2008 6.4L F350 had 44,000 miles when I traded it in...after the first year I used it mostly for towing. Never had a bit of trouble with it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:22 PM   #10
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To the OP, do your homework and know what you are getting into on a powerstroke 6.4 or 6.0.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:38 PM   #11
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At the very least, be sure to check the carfax reports. I looked at some very nice looking low mileage trucks that had scary maintenance histories...carfax won't necessarily tell you a truck is reliable but it can certainly show you some you should stay away from.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:04 PM   #12
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If I were you, I'd pass on the 6.4, and I am a devoted Ford man. The 6.4 had some issues since it was the last engine that International and Ford collaborated. A couple of biggies are the "regen" cycle that takes place whenever the "sensor" decides the "sootbag" is full and needs to be cleaned. Sometimes the "regen" process doesn't work and the "sootbag" sensor will shut off the engine. Another bad deal is in order to work on the engine, the dealer must lift the entire cab off the body in order to fix whatever. Couple all that with the added cost of the 2 fuel filters and other Tech Service Bullitins (TSB's) and I'd forget it. Go for a newer model with the urea tank, at least you don't have to worry about the regen cycle, or just get a 6.2 Ford gas rig and not worry about all that diesel fuel issue.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:20 AM   #13
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Just a suggestion since I am going through the same type of change. I have a 2014 Sierra 5.3L and an FC 25 RB. It tows the trailer fine. However unless you put the rig on a set of scales it's hard to answer accurately. I can tell you that with our truck the listed payload isn't accurate. Full load of fuel, me, wife and dog, hitched up I have 30# of weight left for the axles. That's to close to max and with nothing in the truck bed.

So go get your rig weighed fully loaded for camping and you may find going to the larger tow is a pretty good decision. I'm getting a Sierra 2500 diesel.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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Another viewpoint.

Bigger offers no safety advantage, only payload capability at the expense of difficult emergency handling. The smart money will manage the payload. And being near maximum is not near the edge of a cliff, it is within the design of the truck.

Some folks have a need for heavy duty hauling and diesel power, and also use the truck to tow their Airstream. That makes sense. Living in flat Florida and are towing a mid-sized version of the best towing trailer on the planet, a troublesome diesel F350 diesel doesn't.

Reconsider your truck, hitch, and trailer loading to optimize their use. XL (Extra Load) rated tires on the truck will stabilize it substantially, a modern Hensley/ProPride hitch will stabilize the trailer completely, and a bike rack on the back of the trailer will save space and lighten the load on the truck.

Work with what you have. A 25' Airstream, modern hitch, and a 1/2 ton truck properly set up for towing is a well-matched combination.

By the way, it is not the heavy duty hitch weight distribution bars that damage trailers, it is the heavy duty suspension and heavy rear axle of the truck. We use 1400# bars on our coil spring suspension Ram 1500 and the ride is smooth for us and the trailer.
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