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Old 07-15-2007, 04:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob
I-75 in N. Georgia is tame - mountain-wise. There is one area coming out of Chattanooga where there is a bit of an incline, but in whole the route should be very do-able with your F-150. We used to tow a 31 SOB with an Expedition (similar to F-150) and I-75 was never a problem.
I-75 in GA, which is quite flat, is different than GA rt. 17/75 which goes between Helen and Hiawassee. RT. 75 is a mtn. road with grades as steep as western mtn. roads, but the steep sections will be shorter than you get out west.
Its a place where people like to take motorcycles because of the curves, IIRC all the steep climbs have a second lane for slower traffic, but some of the downhill sections are one lane- we downshift our F250 SD even when not towing to help our brakes with engine braking when we are driving through this neck of the woods.

Catherine
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #16
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Wow - all these responses and no one asked Jim Clark what Ford has certified his truck to be capable of as stated on either via the door column sticker or manual & options look-up.. Note one factoid a manual read resulted in for my '99 F-150 is a 500 pound deduct for 17-inch wheels that is not noted on the door column!!

The Airstream weight PDF I have stops at 2003 but lists the 25' Safari as 680 pounds tongue weight, 4920 dry weight and 6300 GVWR...
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:21 PM   #17
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I think if you take it easy, you can do anything as long as you don't do it too often. My worry would be overheating the tranny, especailly when you don't have a trans temp gauge to monitor things. You will be climbing at relatively low rates of speed, which means your trans fluid will not have a good way to cool off. It is unlikely that your trans will lock into gear in a hard climb, so a lot of heat will be generated.

So I would make a point to pull off a couple of times when you recognize that you are working hard (overlooks, perhaps) and idle your engine at high idle for a few minutes before going off again. Enjoy the moment.

Slow speed when the tranny is working hard is death. So help it with extra cooling when you can.

The other guys have addressed the downhill issue very well.

Pat
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:29 PM   #18
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I stand corrected - I thought the road in question was I-75, which seemed like a non-issue to me. The road from Hiawassee to Helen is VERY steep with a lot of sharp curves. I'd take all precautions, check weights and capacity - all that stuff before towing on that road.
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:44 PM   #19
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Does anyone remember when Airstreams were towed behind cars? Even though it was an SOB, Rickey didn’t pull Lucy with a ¾ or 1 ton truck. I have seen an owner’s manual with a Dodge Dart towing on the cover. Come on, you can do it with a bicycle.

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Old 07-15-2007, 07:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield
Does anyone remember when Airstreams were towed behind cars? Even though it was an SOB, Rickey didn’t pull Lucy with a ¾ or 1 ton truck. I have seen an owner’s manual with a Dodge Dart towing on the cover. Come on, you can do it with a bicycle.

Vaughan
Also if you remember they changed the definition of Horse Power since then. The new ponies are not a match for their fathers unless they are screaming at high RPMs.

Heat dissapation was a lot better because of the openness of the engine area.

Western mountains have long grades that alow you to shift down and maintain a steady speed were as eastern hills tend to be winding roads that frequently have you braking and again accelerating under load.
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:14 PM   #21
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I think you'll be ok. Tow in low gear or get a 3/4 ton.
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
Also if you remember they changed the definition of Horse Power since then. The new ponies are not a match for their fathers unless they are screaming at high RPMs.
Hi HowieE,

After seeing your dual fuel conversion, there are few people whose mechanical abilities I respect more. However, the old HP figures were gross, estimated (really fudged) often without fans, alternators, water pumps, etc… They really came from the marketing department. The newer fuel injected engines make a lot of power.

I agree that the difference between gas HP and diesel HP is huge. Diesels seem to be rated in Clydesdales and car engines appear to be rated in those dwarf Argentine horses. Another consideration is diesels are rated in continuous HP while cars are rated in peak HP. A big difference. A car could never survive more than a few seconds of rated HP, while a diesel lives its life at it. RPMs are a valid point.

My point is that Jim has a much smaller and lighter trailer than you and I. I am confident in my F150 for my 24’ Trade Wind. I am looking to upgrade now that I have stepped up to the 34’ Excella.

Once again, very impressive work with the dual fuel on your TV.

Vaughan
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:33 PM   #23
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Hey Jim,

Last summer I towed our 28 ft Classic( 6,300 lbs +) to Gulf shores from here in Cumming , Ga ( 400 to I85 to I65) and almost burned up the tranny on my F150. It has a 5.4 w/a 3:55 rear end and I thought it had the trailer towing pkg. I have done research and found that the true trailer towing pkg on a F150 is called the 7700 pkg with heavy tran cooler/axles and brakes. I ran about 62 mph with the O/D off. Make sure you have the Heavy Transmisson cooler and if you do not add it (approx $125). Hill wise you will be OK on I75,& 515 to Hiwassee. I would not advise you to get on Hwy 129 or 75 fr Hiawassee to Helen towing the TT. I have been over Blood Mtn(129) with a F250PSD and it was not a problem but I will not tow with my F150 over those mtns. Braking is my main concern if the TT brakes fail. Check out the Deer Lodge on 75 fr Hiawassee to Helen it is good food but bring cash. Have a safe trip.
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob
I stand corrected - I thought the road in question was I-75, which seemed like a non-issue to me. The road from Hiawassee to Helen is VERY steep with a lot of sharp curves. I'd take all precautions, check weights and capacity - all that stuff before towing on that road.
Agreed with all the above comments and yours nilesrob - but folks out west would laugh at our charaterization of that road as the "scary beast" that we call it. It is a tough tow, it is steep - but it's only 20 minutes long!!!!! I have been out west where the roads like that one never end.

Jim, although I think you can make it safely with your gear - there are ways around this road as we found out last year. Much safer and flatter just a little longer. If it's a winter drive - conditions can change everything.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:02 PM   #25
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Thanks all. I wil do some research on the route as it seems it may be a bit of work for my truck. I have the SuperCrew with the real towing package which has never been a problem. I may wait to I upgrade to deal with the down grades. Safety is very important to me as I only have one family and plan to keep everone safe.

Thanks Jim
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:17 PM   #26
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Hi Jim,

I recently upgraded to the Performance Friction Carbon Metallic brake pads on all four corners. Haven’t towed with them yet, but good solo.

Vaughan
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:38 AM   #27
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Jim

IMHO you will have no issues with your F150. Make sure you have a trans cooler on it of sufficient size - too often people install a small one or one that is either not positioned properly or of poor quality, and wonder why they have transmission problems. A good one is not a lot of money and well worth the investment. A quality hitch is required regardless of what you are towing with.

The newer vehicles have pretty decent brakes right from the factory and are supplemented with the trailer brakes. The newer trucks also have decent cooling and suspension to handle a lot of differing loads/road conditions. Most trucks are still bought for commercial use and thus they are built accordingly.

I still tow a trailer with a car. Lot's of people do without any issues whatsoever and it's too bad more people don't realize this. Perhaps it's just that most Airstreamers use trucks to pull their trailers, but because we use our car instead of our truck we notice the cars. There are a lot of them out there hauling trailers down the road quite safely and comfortably. We don't go 75 or 85 mph, we tow at a reasonable speed, we slow down going down hills, we don't have to pass everyone going up the hills - we're on holidays and have no need to race to the next place. We enjoy the getting there as much as the being there. I'm sure for others due to time restraints, driving habits, or personal needs, traveling faster is required and a lot of those folks pass us on the road. We make sure we pull over for them and let them get on their way.

We travel close to or at the speed limit for our class of vehicles and that is quite enough. By the way, that also keeps us within the speed range for our trailer tires and keeps our fuel costs manageable since they are gas and not diesel. Another consideration is that we don't just use our TV's for hauling the trailers on road trips. They are used for a lot of other things through out the year including a lot of around town and short local trips and thus having something very large would be significant overkill for probably 90% of the rest of what we do and certainly defeat the mileage gains we'd see on road trips.

Try your F150 and if you are comfortable with how it rides, handles the varying road conditions, and it's comfortable, then why change? If after a trip or two you feel you need or want more out of your tow vehicle, then upgrade it.

Let us know how you make out.

Barry
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:46 AM   #28
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Hi, Jim,

Last summer we visited the part of Georgia you mentioned in our 28' Safari being towed by a 4WD F-150 crew cab rated to tow 8800#. We had absolutely no problems. This year we are in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains with, again, no problems. I think our Hensley hitch and Prodegy controller help a lot, too.

Cheers,
Jim
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