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Old 11-22-2007, 07:06 AM   #1
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Question Am I stupid ? Ford F150

We're new to RV and airstream. First post.

Recently purchased a slightly used [1000 miles] 2005 30' Classic that Shipps in Tennessee had available from a trade in. I liked the price.

The Classic will be towed out to Eastern Oregon where I have a farm property. The house is junk but the farm has a very nice machine shed where I can store the AS. Primary use of the AS will be temporary housing over the next few years while we build on the property. Due to international work schedule, I will only be in Oregon six weeks or so per year.

Actual travel in the AS will be minimal although I would like the option of hitting the road. I love the high desert country of Oregon / Nevada.

A close out deal came up on new 2007 Ford 150 with 5.4L V-8, 4 x 4, regular cab, long bed, 3.73 axle and tow package. So I purchased the F150 locally and it is sitting at the dealer. No miles.

Dry weight on the AS is 7100 pounds and rated tow capability on the Ford 150 configuration above is 9500 pounds. So I'm OK but marginal as long as I'm careful and keep the water tank mostly empty while driving, dont load the kitchen with too many cast iron skillets, ect.

* Does the board support the concept that the Ford 150 is OK for occasional towing ? Just me and maybe the wife.

* Are there any relatively inexpensive performance enhancements that I could install on the Ford 150 that would be worthwhile, i.e. aftermarket air intake, aftermarket exhaust or beefed up suspension ?

* Should I just admit that I have the wrong tow vehicle and take a trade in loss for a bigger Ford 250 ?

Thanks
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:23 AM   #2
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You will get a lot of opinions

You will get a lot of opinions on this so remember opinions are like noses everybody has one. I tow a 25’ Safari with a 2001 SuperCrew with the 5.4 engine. The 2001 has less HP and less towing capacity than your new truck and I do fine. I do not tow in mountains and the engine dose work hard. I was not going to buy a new truck at the time I purchased the trailer and passed on a 27’ trailer to stay lighter. I do wish I had an F-250 and will more than likely buy one in the future, but the improvements in trucks in the last few years may change my mind. I have asked about towing in mountains and most think I would be ok just take my time. You may think about going with a upgraded hitch such as a Hensley ( See the Ultimate HA HA guide thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ide-26279.html) or other high end hitch to split the difference on safety. For occasional towing you should be ok.

BTW, do a little searching and you will find that a beefed up suspension may harm you trailer, Yes on the intake and exhaust I have done that not really for towing I just like the sound.
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:25 AM   #3
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Wingfooted,
Welcome to the forums!

I think for occasional towing and if you take it easy you should be okay with the F150. Make sure you have a good quality weight distributing hitch with sway control and it is set up properly. Reese Dual, Equalizer, and Blue Ox are some that I can personally recommend. Also a good quality electronic brake controller if it didn't come installed on the truck. FWIW I tow my Vintage unit with a similar setup but have the 2 wheel drive with the 4.6l V-8, but stay out of the mountains, because of the small engine. I also have a monster crew cab dually PSD that I can use to tow with, but it really needs an Air Ride hitch to cushion the Airstream from the heavy handed truck suspension.

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Old 11-22-2007, 07:42 AM   #4
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I towed the 27' Classic home to Michigan from Oregon with the 2000 Expedition 5.4 4x4 3.55 20" wheels rated to tow 6900# as geared. It really struggled and slowed on the steepest grades. We also towed a 2005 25' Classic for 2 years with the Expy everywhere from Maine to Florida but not through the Rockies, traveling with partial water and no spare to pare hitch weight. Acceleration was slow. Your 2007 is rated higher. We have a 3/4 ton Suburban now with larger engine and better gearing and it is more responsive and stable and driving is less tiring.
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:49 AM   #5
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Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to the Forums. We are glad to have you with us.

I believe that your F-150 would be marginally OK for minimal towing on a 30 footer. I would invest in a load leveling, sway control hitch system. You can research these on these Forums. Buy the best one that you can afford. You might also consider some type of load leveler shocks, as your tongue weight will be at max for your 150. Also keep an eye on your OEM receiver as it may not be up to the task. Look for stress distortion and weld cracks.

Good luck with your new baby.

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Old 11-22-2007, 09:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingfooted
We're new to RV and airstream. First post.

Recently purchased a slightly used [1000 miles] 2005 30' Classic that Shipps in Tennessee had available from a trade in. I liked the price.

...

* Does the board support the concept that the Ford 150 is OK for occasional towing ? Just me and maybe the wife.

* Are there any relatively inexpensive performance enhancements that I could install on the Ford 150 that would be worthwhile, i.e. aftermarket air intake, aftermarket exhaust or beefed up suspension ?

* Should I just admit that I have the wrong tow vehicle and take a trade in loss for a bigger Ford 250 ?

Thanks
Howdy, and welcome to the Forums!

I have been at Shipps, and never saw an Airstream...you must be quick!

What you tow with is a personal choice that suggests either your willingness to accept risk, or ignorance of the risks involved. All towing is risky due to so many unknown factors thrown at you (drunk drivers, cell phone users, red-light runners, high wind gusts, black ice, mechanical failure, etc). The best setup and the best defensive driving in the world cannot protect you from everything.

If your job was to sit at a picnic table in summer and kill the bees that pester your picnic, you could do it with your bare hands. Or add some equipment and get a fly swatter, or upgrade and get an electronic zapper. You could be in your swim trunks while doing this, or you might choose to wear jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, or maybe even upgrade to leather pants and shirt with gloves. (Your choices might indicate whether you've been stung before.)

So, when towing, I think you have to make choices on how much risk and how much protection you want. And also it is important to be aware of those risks.

I feel that it's not just a simple matter of whether it will physically work, but also how well it can stop, swerve, recover from windgusts, bumps, potholes, flat tires, bad decisions...etc. Most of the time, nothing goes wrong, so I feel that many people tow blissfully ignorant of the wreck they didn't have (yet). But I know that some people tow white-knuckled with constant vigilance knowing that their marginal setups cannot tolerate any mistakes (or become white-knuckled after a "near-miss").

In the past (in what seems like another lifetime), I heard it said that "nobody ever got fired for recommending an IBM". It was more expensive, but could handle anything and had great support. People who recommended cheap always seemed to have short-lived fame. So, I suspect that here a whole lot of people will recommend the biggest and best because it is safer, and can improve your chances of an uneventful trip. But nothing is fool-proof...(even sitting in your yard, a tree limb could fall on you).

(I guess I shouldn't answer posts when I am short on sleep... I get pensive.)

Please post pictures of your AS (Airstream) and TV (tow vehicle) when you can. Everybody loves pics! And please keep us informed as to your conclusions and actions. Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:26 AM   #7
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Another thread that has some great meat in it: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...rol-17986.html
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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Mystery Of Disappearing Bees Solved!

Tow with what you've got.

A friend towed his first AS Bambi with a MGB. several years.

I like my Dodge W/Cummins diesel. But a 1/2 ton would work...just won't get you there as quickly. but the pleasure is in the journey anyhow so slow down and enjoy it. You're not towing that much anyhow.

And lighten up on the bees.
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Old 11-22-2007, 11:02 AM   #9
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IMHO...you'll be pretty maxed out towing a 30' Classic with a F-150. I pulled a 25' Safari with the F-150, 5.4l tow package, etc. It was fine here in the south as it is pretty flat and I do not do interstates...back roads only for the scenery. Once in AR, up a good size hill (small mtn) it was down to 30 mph, wide open!. Upgraded to a 30' Classic. The F-150 was fine with a good brake controller, no interstates and caution. Soon bought a f-350. BIG difference. I suggest at least a F-250. Diesels are good, albeit expensive, but you recoup it all when you trade. Be safe.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:16 PM   #10
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For the Classic 30 The 250 is your better bet.
Here is why.

Your F-150 is "rated" for 9500 lbs. using the 80% rule your can "safely" tow 7600 lbs. Your trailer empty will be 500 lbs under this number. Adding a full tank of water is 486 lbs. You are at your limit. The water is recomend since it lowers the Center of Gravity (CG) making the trailer more stable. You will alos want the water for your cross country trip.
This is likely assuming an empty truck. Your weight will probably put the truck over weight for the "9500 lbs" of towing.
THis truck will likely get the trailer back to Oregon but you are not going to have a good time. You will be behind all the Semis going up hill and you will need to take it real slow going down hill. Your trialer is likely to weigh more than your truck. Possibly as much a a ton.

I had a Gas F-250 5.4L. It was ok in the flat land of the east but the engine was working. Going up a pass on I-90 and Cabbage hill on I-84 I was behind all the semis and taking my time going down hill.

If you are goign to to occasionaly I would get a Gas F-250. Have someone drive the truck regularly since you will not be there. Also have them check the tires on the trailer. They will need to be topped off about once a month.

A really good Weight Distributing hitch set up PROPERLY will reduce the suprises. I have a Reese Dual Cam for my 31 Classis , same empty weight as yours.

Your will be much happier towing with the F-250.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:29 PM   #11
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Yes and No

Sure...use the F150 for moving your AS around the farm.

F250..or any 3/4 ton or larger if the deal is right.
A 3/4 ton Sub would be even better.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:29 PM   #12
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Doing some numbers can ease all our minds. However, numbers engender some controversy too. Read http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...s-36389-2.html

for some long discussions on the facts.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingfooted
We're new to RV and airstream. First post.

Recently purchased a slightly used [1000 miles] 2005 30' Classic that Shipps in Tennessee had available from a trade in. I liked the price.

The Classic will be towed out to Eastern Oregon where I have a farm property. The house is junk but the farm has a very nice machine shed where I can store the AS. Primary use of the AS will be temporary housing over the next few years while we build on the property. Due to international work schedule, I will only be in Oregon six weeks or so per year.

Actual travel in the AS will be minimal although I would like the option of hitting the road. I love the high desert country of Oregon / Nevada.

A close out deal came up on new 2007 Ford 150 with 5.4L V-8, 4 x 4, regular cab, long bed, 3.73 axle and tow package. So I purchased the F150 locally and it is sitting at the dealer. No miles.

Dry weight on the AS is 7100 pounds and rated tow capability on the Ford 150 configuration above is 9500 pounds. So I'm OK but marginal as long as I'm careful and keep the water tank mostly empty while driving, dont load the kitchen with too many cast iron skillets, ect.

* Does the board support the concept that the Ford 150 is OK for occasional towing ? Just me and maybe the wife.

* Are there any relatively inexpensive performance enhancements that I could install on the Ford 150 that would be worthwhile, i.e. aftermarket air intake, aftermarket exhaust or beefed up suspension ?

* Should I just admit that I have the wrong tow vehicle and take a trade in loss for a bigger Ford 250 ?

Thanks
Your 150 is fine.

Contrary to the opinion of all to many owners, you should always tow with the water tank "full."

It will make very little difference in mileage, but a makes a large difference by lowering the center of gravity. That creates better handling of the rig.

Secondly, in the middle of no where, for sake of discussion, your tow vehicle blows a radiator hose.

With no water aboard, you are stuck.

With full water, fill up the radiator, use duct tape to cover the break in the hose, and put the radiator cap on "loose."
so that the radiator cannot build up any pressure.

You may have to stop every 15 to 20 miles or so, to add more water, if necessary. But again, you will have plenty of water on board.

That will get you to the next big town, with a minimal amount of difficulty.

Without the trailer water, you will be stuck until someone tows you in, or makes two trips to get the correct hose.

Then of course, if it was night time, you will be stuck until the next day, or maybe even 2 days, if it's a lonely road and on a holiday.

Be safe. Stay prepared, and like the boy scouts, be prepared.

Traveling with full water, adds enjoyment to Airstreaming, and peace of mind too.

Andy
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:14 PM   #14
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Gee wiz, nobody answered your question!

For HP enhancement you switch your air intake to a K&N or other brand of "air induction" system. YOu can install a "Jet chip" if available for your truck and finally, a "cat-back" exhaust system (exhaust pipes). All this will keep you legal for smog and give you up to 20 HP and 10-12 torque lbs in helping you pull that AS.

That's my 2 cents worth!

Safari-Rick
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