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Old 08-29-2011, 05:09 PM   #15
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I agree with Timmaah. Your biggest challenge will be the rear axle weight rating because it is only a half ton. By the time you add up the weight of people, pets, fuel and stuff plus the tongue weight you will be very near the rear axle weight rating. Additionally you won't have much power anyway because it is only a 5.3L motor, 3.73 rear axle and a 5 speed transmission. But I would not sweat that. You are in Texas. When you do get the mountains, you will just need to go slower and stay in a lower gear. Like others say, get a good weight distribution hitch and have it properly adjusted and you will do fine. In a few years you may want to upgrade your TV, but get the Airstream you want right now.

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianw
All, looking for some experience in towing 25-27' airstreams with 1/2 ton tow vehicles. I am about to make the plunge and purchase my first travel trailer - Airstream of course. I would like to hear folks experiences on towing before I commit to the 25 or 27. We will size down to the 23 if need be.

My tow vehicle is a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Texas Edition with tow package. It has a 5.3L V-8, 3.73 gear ratio, and is "factory book" rated to tow up to 7,600 lbs.

I have my eye on the 27FB Airstream Int which has a dry weight of 5,764 lbs and a loaded GVWR at 7,600 lbs.

When I do the tow capacity calculations to account for cargo in the truck and hitch loads, I am getting a max allowable trailer load of around 7,300-7,400 lbs. I feel pretty good that we could keep the trailer under this weight fully loaded except under rare occasion.

So here is where I would like your help and/or opinions.... if anyone has been involved in this type of rig please let me know how this combo pulled.

Thanks,
Brian

I have an 09 F150 4x4 SuperCrew with the 157" wheelbase, 3.73 axle and max trailer towing package (11,100 lbs). The truck came with 20" P rated tires, and the door sticker states the maximum weight of occupants and cargo must not exceed 878 lbs. My axle ratings, also on the door sticker, are GAWRf 4050lbs and GAWRr 4000 lbs. The GVWR is somewhat less at 7200 lbs.

I threw out the stock tires and have since installed a set of 10 ply Michelins. I don't know how much of the truck's weight restriction was influenced by the stock tires. After five trips through the scales and several different hitch setups I concluded that there is no way to load distribute enough tongue weight to get the rear axle load under the stated GAWR. I tow a 2011 International 27FB. The tongue weight is 700 lbs I think.

The best I have achieved was with the following conditions. Trailer tanks empty, truck full of gas, two adults, two children, one dog, two bicycles in the back along with a couple of lawn chairs and a barbecue, propane tank and 5 ga fresh water jerry can. The hitch is a Reese dual cam with the heavier bars (1200# I think) and enough stress after hitch up to bend the bars slightly.

Measured Axle load at scale (versus listed GWR)
Front axle: 3902 (4050)
Rear axle: 4277 (4000)

Total truck: 8179 (7200)

Trailer axles: 5842 (7600)

Check out the sticker on your door. I have no problem pulling my 27FB; my issue is payload.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:13 PM   #17
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Thanks to everyone for the quick responses. It sounds like the combo I mentioned above has been done before, and it works. Not ideal for the full time RV'er and not ideal for any type mountain driving. But for now, I think I can make it work with the proper rig under my situation.

We will be using the trailer mostly for quick weekend trips and the occasional week+ trip. We live in Texas, so as you can imagine, we don't have much in the way of elevation change here.

Thanks again Air Forum.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:22 PM   #18
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There are 3 great 1/2 ton tv.

F 150
Tundra
Sequoia
All are rated to or above 10,000 towable
Sequoia can carry more passengers but less stuff, but has the rear independent rear end Wichita is nice and a 4.10 rear end like the tundra.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #19
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I had a 2008 Silverado, 2WD. 5.3 and 3.42 rear end and pulled my 05 28' Safari all through the Smokeys without problems. It had the trailer package and tow mode on the shifter. When the lease came due I purchases a 2011 Silverado 5.3 and 3.42rear end. The 2011 has the 6 speed trans and Stabiltrack as well as the tow package. I have weighed both trailer and truck fully loaded and am easily within the specs. My trailer, btw, weighs about 6500 when loaded for camping for just my wife and me.
The tongue weight is high but with the Equilizer and a good amount of time spent setting it up, the rig sets up and tows very well. The 6 speed trans is clearly better on acceleration but overal mileage and performance seems the same to me.
I know it will be slower going at higher elevations through the Rockies, but I only go through there about every 4 years, so I can live with the half ton. BTW, I get between 11 and 13.5 mpg going 62 - 66 mph. Hope that helps.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:49 AM   #20
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So if someone were planning to travel from Texas to the Rockies and back every year, would you recommend that setup to tow a 27FB? I suspect that it would weigh about the same as yours, probably around 6500 lbs. with the stuff for the two of us in it.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:44 PM   #21
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I tow a 2000 25' Safari with a 2010 Silverado 1500 crew cab. I am really happy with my setup. I have towed several thousand miles this year from mountains to flat lands, near the Canadian border in Michigan to the Florida keys, through the mountains of NC, VA, and TN several times. No problems!

With this setup the one thing I do not like is I have to be really careful with the items I put into my truck bed. It is very easy to exceed the payload capacity and the rear axle capacity of the truck with the combined trailer tongue load, passengers, and other stuff in the truck bed.

You did not say what kind of transmission you have in your present TV. From my past experience with a Silverado 1500, a 4 speed auto will just barely get by if you are in the mountains, even with the tow package. I have really heated up a 4 speed in the mountains. The 6 speed makes all the difference!
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:02 PM   #22
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2010 F150 s/c 4x4 5.4 w/tow pak.Equilizer hitch 3.55 axel pulls my 28ft International CCD just fine loaded with gear.
Could not do it without the eq hitch though.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianw View Post
GVWR of the truck is 6,800 lbs and curb weight is 5,148 lbs. I expect passengers/cargo in the truck to be 500 lbs tops and have to stay under 1,000 lbs hitch load. Should keep me 100-200 lbs under the GVWR of the tow vehicle. Payload on the truck is 1,652.
Don't forget fluids, especially GAS....
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
Could not do it without the eq hitch though.
My hat goes off to the guy who came up with the WDH idea.

Does anyone know who it was??
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:19 PM   #25
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I think you just have to try it yourself and see if it works for you. I think your truck has a trans temp gage so you can keep track of it and the tow mode helps going up and down mountains. Plus you have the 3.73 rear end. Mine was 3.42. Some folks aren't happy going a little slow up some of the higher passes .
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:30 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
My hat goes off to the guy who came up with the WDH idea.

Does anyone know who it was??
M.H. Mathisen started Eaz-Lift Spring Corporation in 1952 in a two car garage in North Hollywood, California.

Mr. Mathisen retired from Universal Studios in 1946 and began trailering around America. The hitch he was using at the time was bothersome and hampered his enjoyment of the experience. An inventor and an experienced blacksmith, he solved his hitch troubles by inventing the Eaz-Lift Weight Distribution Hitch and patents were issued in May, 1952.
In 1953, Mathisen’s son, Ray, joined him in the small garage where their first run of 56 hitches was completed. They sold out immediately. Their next run of 350 units required a move to a larger facility on Chandler Boulevard where Eaz Lift remained until 1956. The demand for Eaz-Lift hitches continued to outpace the inventory, so late in 1955, 5500 square feet of heavy manufacturing space was purchased with enough land available to expand to 55,000 square feet in Sun Valley, California.

With the proliferation of RVing in the US, the need for a well-built, strongly engineered trailer hitch became the driving force for Eaz-Lift. Production increased and the company continued to grow rapidly. The introduction in 1960 of self-contained trailers, dual axles and larger units sparked the invention of the Eaz-Lift Sway Control to reduce fishtailing and trailer sway. After one and a half years of development, the Eaz-Lift Sway Control was introduced and became the company’s second success story.

By 1966, the Sun Valley, California plant had run out of space, so a second facility was opened in Elkhart, Indiana. The London, Ontario operation became part of the Eaz-Lift family in 1969 where the manufacture of the original Eaz-Lift weight distributing hitch continues to this day. Continual process and engineering improvements are a hallmark of the company, and Eaz-Lift hitches and sway controls enjoy a huge following among those who appreciate unfailing quality and ease of use.

Today Eaz-Lift has become one of the largest weight distributing hitch manufacturers in the world. In early 2007, Camco Manufacturing purchased Eaz-Lift’s operations and consolidated manufacturing to the London, Ontario plant. Founded in 1968, Camco ships Eaz-Lift hitches from London, Ontario, Greensboro, North Carolina, Portland, Oregon and Elkhart, Indiana.

If you asked Eaz-Lift founder M.H. Mathisen what the key to his success was, he'd say, ‘My wife, my son, and my products…all of which I have personally grown with, nurtured and loved.' That same dedication to quality and pursuit of engineering excellence continues today with both Eaz-Lift and Camco, just as it has for decades.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:03 PM   #27
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A great read Steve. Thnxs for the learning experience.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:04 PM   #28
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Thanks, but I plagerized it. :-)

Uh, think that is misspelled....I copied and pasted.
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