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Old 10-21-2015, 11:20 AM   #15
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2015 27' FB International
Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 571
What has been written thus far cannot be more true. The topic is always hotly debated. My only additional thought would be, listen to car/ truck salespeople with a bit of skepticism. Challenge and verify their advice. Crunch the weight numbers yourself as someone else here has already suggested.
Best of luck and enjoy.

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Old 10-21-2015, 11:32 AM   #16
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2014 27' FB International
Clearwater , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 70
You are on the best path thinking a 3/4 ton truck is better. Now the choice of brand and comfort level. Chevy Dodge and Ford all make good products. Big block gas engines are a little cheaper. Diesels have (lots) more torque. Out west on a hot asphalt highway at speed the gas engine will surprise you when it revs up and downshifts to stay in the power and to go up a hill, the diesel will just torque its way up happily. I think the Duramax is quieter. Happy camping!��

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Old 10-21-2015, 11:42 AM   #17
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1978 31' Excella 500
Barrie , Ontario
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Posts: 186
Originally Posted by dodger1 View Post
My husband and I just purchased a 27' 2015 International Serenity. We are very excited to begin traveling! We are planning to trade in or sell our Ford F 150 for another heavier duty truck. Please give suggestions on what we may want to consider and what is most important as we shop for another new or used truck. Thank you!

Tracey, Welcome, I have a 31' International AS that I pulled for many thousand miles with my 1999 GMC 2 wheel drive pickup and never had a bit of trouble, last summer I went to Whitehorse YK my truck never ran hot in the 7000 mile trip. I replaced my 99 with a 2014 and have towed a few miles with no problem, I plan on leaving for Louisiana Nov 2 . You don't need a big expensive "Boy toy" to pull that A.S, Happy trails !
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #18
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2013 23' FB International
2013 25' Flying Cloud
In the Rockies, 6700' , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Since you live in Denver and may want to head into, or through, the rocks, here are just a few issues that are exaggerated in this environment.

1) As you probably know from driving Mt. Vernon Canyon or Floyd Hill, you may want some additional power. You can pull those hills with just about any vehicle and many of the folks on the forum will attest to having "no problems" in the Rockies with the combination they own. I don't drive the combinations I do in order to scream up the passes. But sometimes the alternative is dangerous and exasperating, especially doing it often. It's nice to take your time and use the right lane, at or below, the speed limits up and down the mountains. But unfortunately, you may find yourself stuck behind vehicles traveling at very slow speeds (e.g. 20 or 30 mph) and having the power to accelerate to pass is nice because the left lane(s) may be moving at much greater speeds. If you are content to travel the right lanes at super slow speeds, consider adding more hazard lights to the rear of your trailer.

2) If you add a weigh distribution hitch to your combination, consider the importance of being able to maintain the proper angles in your drive line. On a half ton truck, the compensation required of the hitch system might be much greater than that of a more heavy duty truck. These drive line angles are often overlooked and can cause extreme stresses on the universal joints of your power train. This is only exaggerated by pulling hills and mountains.

3) The downhills are a huge issue. I highly recommend that you choose your tow vehicle so that you NEVER touch your brakes on the descents, except to brake for obstacles or to stop. In other words, don't use your brakes to control your downhill speeds. I can tow my trailer with my 1/2 ton Toyota or my one ton Ford. However the difference in downhill-speed-control dramatically changes between the two. So the issue comes down to how do you want to handle the descents. Either is possible but just depends on your preference.

4) I've noticed on this forum that winter driving with an Airstream is usually advised against. While I understand the sentiment, I have driven tens of thousands of miles in winter, mountain conditions towing my Airstream and other trailers. In these scenarios, I want a long wheel based, heavy tow vehicle with engine braking that won't cut the drive axles loose. Although very rare to use them, I carry tire chains and part of the vehicle consideration is the installation of the winter driving equipment. It's no fun to "hang the irons" on an SUV. If you intend to avoid winter driving, then obviously this isn't a concern to you.

5) While it is unlikely that you would end up with a normally aspirated engine in your new vehicle, it is important to make sure that you can produce sea-level air pressure for the engine intake. (aka turbocharging.) You might also consider the engine cooling capacity. Towing really changes that scenario at hot and high-density altitudes. (Don't confuse "high-density" with the fact that the air is actually thinner.)

6) Because the mountains can be wild and wonderful, you may want to expect to carry higher payloads. It is rare to not run the heater at night, even in the summers up here. So that means extra, or at least full, propane. Carrying extra water and clothing is usually a good idea as well. All of that translates to more payload if you want to be prepared.

Of course you will want to carefully examine the capacities of the vehicle you choose with regards to GVW and tow ratings. Leave yourself plenty of margin on the specs.

Good luck and I must say, Colorado is an awesome place to own an Airstream!
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:00 PM   #19
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Fair Oaks , California
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Even though car salesmen are not high on my list of favorite people, I'll give you the same pitch one gave me when I came to test drive the gas Ford F-250's: "As long as you're here, you should at least try the diesel 250." I could hardly argue with him about that, even though in retrospect it was like getting me to try a little snort of cocaine. Enough said.

--Proud F-250 diesel owner
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:05 PM   #20
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2013 30' International
Lisbon , New York
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 18
My preference

We pull our 2013 International CCD with a 2012 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn, 4WD, Crew Cab. Last year we covered 25K miles over 9 months, this year we plan to do the same. This is the second Dodge 2500 diesel we have owned, we previously owned a 27 ft trailer of similar weight that we towed with a 1/2 ton for a couple of years until we bought the 2500. I like a 3/4 ton for several reasons, the first being the feeling of safety, particularly going down steep roads. Because we are on the road almost full time we carry a lot of "stuff" including tools, etc. I never worry about the load in the box. Lastly, I like diesel engines, not only for going uphill but for control going downhill. I like inline 6 cylinder engines and so I like Cummins.
You will note a lot of "I likes" in this response and I am sure that other makes would do the job. This truck has worked well for us and I would buy it again.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:11 PM   #21
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1976 31' Sovereign
Bowling Green , Ohio
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Big Box is the answer....

Although many do not like to take a definite stand on the tow vehicle issue, I am happy to based upon years of experience and over 100,000 miles towing the same 1976 31' Sovereign:

It's a full sized van (Extended or not)

As a former Ford Dealer, I have towed with everything from a basic F150 with the small 4.6L V-8 ( not recommended) to the 5.4L V8 ( sufficient, but not confidence inspiring) to the 7.3, 6.0, and new Powerstroke Diesels in the F250 and F350 platform. E150 with a 351 V8 back in 1992 did a fine job, even through the Rockies. Even the Ecoboost does a killer job.

Ultimately, I have landed on the E350 Super Duty van with the 6.8L V10. Why, you ask, not the diesels?

Vans have a rear axle ( on the regulars) that is placed nicely towards the rear, minimizing the mechanical lever that the trailer can use against you. Their big, boxy shape cuts the wind prior to hitting the trailer making the two package less susceptible to headwinds and lends itself to fantastic control. The sheer abundance of weather tight, lockable storage space is wonderful for extra gear, kayaks, bikes, grills, spare tires, tools, and anything else you can think of. If you have a Club Wagon or GM Safari van with seats, you can take the family and friends that you meet on side trips in one vehicle. Souvenier transport is a piece of cake.

The 6.8 in particular is the most kind, quiet, hardworking engine I have had. Granted, it is not the torque monster of a oil-burner but it is no slouch, and has dragged our 7500 lb trailer over Vail and Wolf Creek pass in Colorado, as well as some scary 8% grades in California's northern Sierras without complaining. Plus, it is less expensive to buy and to keep, and is OK with not being worked hard all the time whereas I have known diesels to get a bit grumpy if they arent worked hard regularly.

Sadly, a new 6.8L in the E350 is not made anymore, and the new Transits do not have the tow rating yet for my comfort level.

But a van is the best. GM, Ford, is does not matter.

So there you have it! Hit the road!

Tom Pendleton
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:12 PM   #22
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1962 22' Safari
Fillmore , California
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1
Tow vehicle for 28' A/S

Tow vehicle is very important! Many things to consider. Comfort as well as capability. I currently have a 2000 Ram 3500 diesel w/6 speed (man) trans. It will tow safely. It is a large pickup w/dual wheels. It would be too big for some situations. I previously owned a '95 Ram 2500 diesel w/5 speed (man) trans. It was a very good choice for most applications. What ever you choose, consider safety in towing first. I have a '62 A/S Safari 22'. A smaller pickup would probably work, but I love my truck. It is important that you are satisfied with your tow vehicle, including times when you are not towing. I think you came to the right place (forum) for advise. good luck, congratulations on your new trailer.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:30 PM   #23
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Bemus Point , New York
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Tow vehicle

We've been towing our 2007 25' Safari FB over 11,000 miles with a 2011 Ford F-250 diesel with a Hensley hitch. The performance is outstanding, it's extremely quiet, and we average about 12-13 mpg towing. The extra torque from the diesel is most welcome when we're in the hills and mountains. I'm sure the 1/2 ton would do the job, but the 3/4 ton makes the trailer seem like it isn't eve there. If you're a flatlander and plan on short trips, stay with the 1/2 ton. If not, you can't beat the extra strength, power, braking, and low RPMs (1,500 rpm at 65 mph) of the 3/4 ton diesel. Enjoy !
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #24
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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Go Big
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:47 PM   #25
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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Hills/mountains may persuade you to get a 3/4 ton diesel.
I pull in mostly flat terrain with a 1/2 ton.

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Old 10-21-2015, 01:16 PM   #26
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1985 31' Limited
Florence , Arizona
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Wink 3/4 ton?

Okay I agree that going down a pretty level road a 3/4 ton will work. However, we have a 3/4 ton and we pulled our 31 foot Airstream to Laughlin Nevada and I really thought I could see the engine glowing it was so hot, so I would tend to disagree on the size of vehicle and horsepower. Since then we have a 2012 Dodge Ram Diesel and we recently towed it to Laughlin recently and to Wisconsin and the towing was effortless. Mileage is a factor as well. A Diesel pays for itself over time! We are on our second diesel and we really like the Ram. It is simply the best truck we have ever had! So that's my 2 cents worth. I would recommend thinking about size and power!
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:22 PM   #27
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Keep it lean and mean.

Rides like a Cadillac, steers like a Corvette, stable as a rock, laughs at crosswinds, parks anywhere we want, at half the cost and a fourth of the maintenance expense of the big diesel. This one's a Ram Hemi, ProPride hitch, 25' Flying Cloud RB with 16" Michelins, taken us coast-to-coast twice and we are on our fifth border-to-border trip right now.

Wonderfully matched rig for Airstreaming anywhere we want to go. There are many good rigs, this one's ours.
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2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 10-21-2015, 02:10 PM   #28
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2016 30' International
Woodstock ON , North Fort Myers FL
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 62
Pulling our AS with 2014 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3ltr small block v8 GM built with everything needed to tow trailers. On recent 7000 mile tour of eastern Canada including Quebec's Gaspe with it's stunning 17% up and down hauls averaged just over 12mpg on regular gas. Carrying usual camping gear under LEER/Thule tall capper.

Remarkable performance from this truck, wonderful to drive and never lacking in power!

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