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Old 10-15-2007, 06:30 PM   #1
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Anyone towing 34 ft with an Excursion

I just bought a 2004 Ford Excursion to tow my 34 fter.

I am using the same Reese dual cam sway control system I have used to tow this trailer with for 12 years behind a Suburban. The only significant difference is the tires on the Excursion. They are 305/50/20 ziex stz04 tires. I was quite surprised at the amount of sway and the fact that even small cars would affect the sway.

The rig handled well on truly flat roads, IE concrete or new asphalt, but was effected by passing vehicles on any road that had the least amount of grooving from heavy equipment.

My question is, has anyone towed with an Excursion with the original 265 75 16 tires and not had a similar experience. In which case the tires will go.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:43 PM   #2
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I have noticed on other forums that most towing 30' plus trailers with the Ex are using a Hensley or modifying the Ex with after market radius rods to tighten up the suspension to prevent wallowing. Tires too may be an issues. Others here may know best.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:28 PM   #3
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towing with an Ex

Airstream Forums - View Single Post - Tow Vehicle/Hitch Help

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Old 10-15-2007, 10:16 PM   #4
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We towed several 34's for years with an Ex (diesel), and I still think the Ex might be my favorite all time vehicle. We did use a Hensley, and I couldn't tell you the first thing about what tires we had. But with what I can only presume were standard tires, and using the Hensley, we towed flawlessly - for many thousands of miles.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:19 PM   #5
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34' Airrstream pulled by 1/2 ton truck. That's a really tight fit. It's not within my comfort zone.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
34' Airrstream pulled by 1/2 ton truck. That's a really tight fit. It's not within my comfort zone.
Moosetags,

I thought the Excursion was a 3/4 ton truck basis, since it originally came with the V10 gas or V8 diesel, and the Expedition was a 1/2 ton truck basis. Am I confused.

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Old 10-15-2007, 10:33 PM   #7
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I tow my 28' with a 05 Diesel Excursion 4x4. I have factory rims/tires, but changed the stock tires @ 20K to Bridgestone Dueler AT Revos. (E rated)

Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo

Best Truck tires I've ever had. Now at 53K with no issues. I keep mine at ~65 PSI. No sway from tires - has some sway with Equal-i-Zer hitch in some condtions, but now with Hensley rock solid.

In addtion, I've added/upgraded the suspension as follows:

Ride-Rite Air bags (Previously had Timbrens) (Vans - Suspension Enhancement Kits from Timbren Industries, but needed them with the Equl-i-zer hitch. The Hensley does much better in moving the weight forward.

Hellwig Rear Sway Bar Hellwig Products

Rancho RS 9000S Shocks (dialed in @ 3), and Rancho Steering Stabilizer.

Some owners have go as far as Radius Rods, but I've found I'm just fine so far... I may do that if my leaf springs begin to get weak and soft...

Another good place for Excursion mods: FordExcursions.com | Ford Excursion Owner and Enthusiast Club | SuperMotors.net

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Old 10-15-2007, 10:47 PM   #8
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I know a guy that pulls a 34', with a 2001, V-10 4x4 standard hitch no problems at all. I would check a couple of things:

1. Tire size, The Excursion came with 265/75/16. I can tell you first hand, put a larger tire on that truck and you will get more roll, done it, did it, got it. I went up just one size and 285's and got more roll, never again

2. Is the hitch setup correctly for the Excursion? My guess, the Excursion is a little higher than the Surburban and changes may need to be made in the hitch.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
34' Airrstream pulled by 1/2 ton truck. That's a really tight fit. It's not within my comfort zone.
The Excursion is built on the same chassis as the F-250. The Excursion has a modified wheelbase.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:45 AM   #10
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I've been towing my 34' with an '05 Excursion PSD for a year and a half now. I have the equilizer hitch w/d set up. My first towing experience was a very soft, mushy tow, and the AS pushed the Ex around the curves. Oh, the Ex came with the heavy duty towing option. I learned that that did not include a rear anti-sway bar, so in went a helwig anti-sway bar. I also added rear air lift suspension in lieu of adding an addition leaf spring. Now the Excursion controls the AS, and it's a great tow. I do notice I get more draft sway when a semi passes me than when I towed with the F250, but the F250 was a long wheel base. I have BFG all terrain tires, but I don't think they have impaired the towability of the Excursion.

The Excursion comes with a soft suspension so that the ride could compare to the Surburban. If you stiffen it up a bit, as I and others have, I think you'll notice a dramatic change in your ride.

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Old 10-16-2007, 12:13 PM   #11
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hi howieE....

bambi bandit has given you great suggestions, so follow up on each item.

i've posted several times on the issue of using lower profile tire/wheels...

here's a thread...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...-tv-28331.html

and post 12 and beyond here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ize-25739.html

almost ANY of the e rated tires (properly inflated) in 265-275/70-75x16 or 17 will improve the towing experience.

the bfgoodrich rugged ta that came stock were great; much better than i expected.

about 5,000 miles ago the 'revos' bandit linked were mounted as replacements.

this IS another fine tire but may not go as many miles as the bfgs...

pirelli and toyo (my favorite choice) and miche' also have top tier e rated in your size...

i'd change tires and rims without hesitation, to either 16s or 17s

IF you are set on using the 20s inflate them to max sidewall pressure which does help them a bit...

but almost every issue noted in the other 2 threads still applies.

i've seen dozens of sets of the stock 250 wheels/tires available on ebay too.

the 16s are 1% smaller and this will result in a small improvement in power too!

so use the 'tire calculator' to stay close to oem specs...

and don't forget the spare!

cheers
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Old 10-20-2007, 03:21 PM   #12
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OK Fellows an update.

The trailer and hitch were set up to the Excursion before the trip, trailer dead level. I had only set the WD by measurements not scales.
A review of the system after my post showed the drivers side saddle wa about 1/2 way off the cam because the u bolts had slipped back on the tongue. This might amplify the start of any sway rather than retard it. I corrected that.

I took the rig the the cat scales and found I only had 40 lbs., not a lot to retard any sway, added to the front axle, this has been increased.

The truck does have a rear sway bar. While the Excursion has MUCH SOFTER ride than my Suburban, 1/2 tow Excursion verses 1 ton on the Suburban I am not questioning roll or read axle steering just sway induced by passing vehicles.

I will most likely put a set of Michelins on before towing next weekend.

Current weights

truck front axle 4160
truck rear axle 3900

truck front axle with trailer before readjusting 4200
truck rear axle with trailer before readjusting 4440

I was quite supprised that a 34 footer only added 580lbs to the truck
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Old 10-20-2007, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
...I was quite supprised that a 34 footer only added 580lbs to the truck
good report howieE

i don't think you've posted the tongue mass unhitched and level....

IF your 34 has a tongue weight close to the figure a/s listed in those years....

750-850...

580 would be about right (with 2/3s going forward to the tv and 1/3 reward to the trailer)

does that make sense?

otoh IF your tongue mass is actually just 500+ lbs, that isn't so good.

cheers
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Old 10-20-2007, 04:39 PM   #14
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The scale I went to had a rule that you could not disconnect the trailer on the scale so I could not get a good dry tongue weight. A very busy scale in centeral NJ.

I will stop on the road and get a weight asap.
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