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Old 10-05-2015, 09:34 AM   #15
JKB
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Florida AS Dealer

Joe, thanks for your response to my post. I'm not sure if this is a private message or not but would very much like the name of your dealer in Florida. JKB
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I agree that there are two truck camps, but I think there are three camps regarding tow vehicles.

1) Half ton is fine
2) Three quarter ton required
3) Who needs a pickup truck?

The answer depends a lot on how much cargo you want to take with you, and what you plan to do with the vehicle when not towing. For a dedicated tow vehicle, a truck can be a great choice. For a multipurpose vehicle, some prefer alternatives. In either case, think about the load capacity of the vehicle.

As to 4wd, no, you do not need it for towing. A 4wd will cost more up front, and more to maintain. It will often have reduced cargo capacity due to the weight of the 4wd components, and it will generally get worse fuel economy. That said, if you are parking or manoeuvering a trailer on slippery ground conditions such as wet grass, it can be very useful. I am leaving out the winter driving considerations given the OP's home location of Florida, but if you plan to travel mountains in winter further north, then there is another good reason for it.

Jeff
I have owned 4 wheel drive vehicles my whole life and the additional maintenance for owning one is minor at best. Yes, you can get by without a 4 wheel drive, but the additional cost holds the value throughout it's life. Obviously if you live or drive in the mountains or snow country, 4 wheel drive is a safety issue, not to mention the available low range gearing for tough conditions. An F 150 is plenty of truck for 30' so anything smaller will be fine. The 3.5 Ecoboost is a proven high quality vehicle and is the most popular truck on the road today. There is a reason for this due to it's reliable history and comfort.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:03 PM   #17
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Just a quick thought on 4 wheel drive. I have a '15 Yukon 4 wheel drive. It stays in 2 wheel drive 90% of the time, auto during snow, and only once in full time 4 wheel - BUT that once saved us. I blindly followed GPS down a dead end dirt road. I would still be there if it weren't for the ability to switch into 4 wheel. It also helps on slippery sites.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I agree that there are two truck camps, but I think there are three camps regarding tow vehicles.

1) Half ton is fine
2) Three quarter ton required
3) Who needs a pickup truck?

The answer depends a lot on how much cargo you want to take with you, and what you plan to do with the vehicle when not towing. For a dedicated tow vehicle, a truck can be a great choice. For a multipurpose vehicle, some prefer alternatives. In either case, think about the load capacity of the vehicle.

As to 4wd, no, you do not need it for towing. A 4wd will cost more up front, and more to maintain. It will often have reduced cargo capacity due to the weight of the 4wd components, and it will generally get worse fuel economy. That said, if you are parking or manoeuvering a trailer on slippery ground conditions such as wet grass, it can be very useful. I am leaving out the winter driving considerations given the OP's home location of Florida, but if you plan to travel mountains in winter further north, then there is another good reason for it.

Jeff
I'm in Camp 1- half ton 2-wheel drive.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:36 PM   #19
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Best tow vehicle for 25' AS

Because we use our tow vehicle for everyday use (& because our garage is small) we tow with a 2014 VW Touareg TDI (diesel). Its 3 litre turbo diesel engine is not involved in the emission mess. It has an eight speed automatic transmission and tows like a dream. We recently completed a 3-1/2 month, 10,000 mile road trip with it. It crossed the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada the CA & OR coast range as well as the Cascades in OR. There was never a time when we couldn't have gone faster had we wanted to and we safely traveled a 2-3 mile 10% downgrade into Jackson, WY.

Our receiver was reinforced and the hitch was set up by Can-Am RV Centre in Ontario. If you want a pickup, then this car isn't for you but if you want an able mid-size SUV that is great on city streets as well as towing on the open road, this vehicle may be for you.

Hope this info. is helpful.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:00 PM   #20
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JerryMcMunn, that is helpful info for us because the Touareg would suit our daily needs perfectly and many like it as a mid-size Airstream tow vehicle. With any lighter duty tow vehicle load capacity is an issue for some but we have always been able to manage it easily.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:15 PM   #21
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Agree

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Originally Posted by PaulnGina View Post
I'm of camp #2. Get a 3/4-ton diesel (or gas) and don't worry about how much you are hauling. You won't regret it.
I agree with PnG. Another good reason for a 3/4 is you never know if you might choose to move up to 28 ft. or 30ft. Diesel will give you more life span on the engine. If you do move up in size, no need to have to resize the truck as well.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:25 PM   #22
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There is an other option . A van , in this case a Nissan NV 2500 Passenger van.

You can remove the seats or reconfigure them to suit your needs. The top of the line model even has a front camera for seeing where the front is, a great feature.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:46 PM   #23
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I own a 2013 4x4 F150 Ecoboost with 144.5" wheel base and 3.73 axles, and a 2014 FC25FB Twin with solar. I ordered the F150 with max tow and max payload packages its rated payload is 2,000 lbs. and 9,700 lbs. max tow weight. I thought I would have a well matched rig.

Unfortunately my Flying Cloud came off the line in Jackson Center with a 925 lb. tongue weight. With clothing, etc., propane, some water, and empty holding tanks the tongue weight is 1,252 lbs. on the Airstream scale in Jackson Center. The result is that although I am well within the Ford's GCWR the rear axle is overloaded by about 400 lbs. with a Blue Ox and 1,500 lb. bars. If I use all of the links available in the Blue Ox setup I can get to 150 lbs. over weight but then the trailer ride is too harsh for its own good. I'm going to sell the truck and order a 2500 diesel.

My advise is that you try to get Airstream to tell you what your trailer will weigh with better specificity than the marketing materials provide. Then estimate (or weigh) the stuff you will haul in the truck, add the hitch weight and passenger weight, and compare that with whatever tow vehicle you are considering. I did all that, except I underestimated the tongue weight by about 400 lbs.

The Ecoboost has plenty of power and the truck is very quiet to ride in. I've used the four wheel drive exactly twice in 18,000 miles and I has very glad to have it both times. If you get a 4x4 go all the way get a locking rear axle. I have one and I'm glad for it too. It's a nice truck, just a little short of what I need.

Some may say that 400 lbs. is nothing to worry about, but I'm not one of them.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbee View Post
I agree with PnG. Another good reason for a 3/4 is you never know if you might choose to move up to 28 ft. or 30ft. Diesel will give you more life span on the engine. If you do move up in size, no need to have to resize the truck as well.
This is very true. So many people end up trading up to a larger size camper, especially if they are fairly new to camping and have not had time to decide what model fits them best. It may be good to play it safe and buy something you feel would tow any of the different sized airstreams. Then, as others have said, you never have to worry about having enough truck for whatever you finally end up with.
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:26 PM   #25
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Tv

I use a 2500 dodge with a diesel with a cap on the bed. The wife calls it the garage, the AS will use about a thousand lbs of your TV's payload add in all the stuff you and the family will be adding to the bed the people in the truck and it adds up much quicker than most think. I have been to the scales twice and the camper is within 250 lbs of max and the truck about 400 lbs below max. Every time the wife wants to add something new her line is "it's not very heavy"But after showing her the scale print out she is starting to get it. Not sure of the payload on the F150 but I would check it out close to make sure you will have the capcity for all the stuff your family will want to take along. The tongue wt. listed from AS is always light it is around 1000 lbs in the real world. Good camping Rand
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:33 PM   #26
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I was in camp two in the 70's and 80's 3/4 ton gas 4wd.
In 2003 I switched to camp one 2WD to tow my 25 AI. I frequently went over payload especially when boondocking. It had adequeate power to pull most hills out West. It struggled on most larger hills.
I switched back to camp two diesel 2WD in 2008 to tow my 25 AI. I never regreted the decision except once when stuck in mud and jacknifed. My next truck will be 4WD again. You don't need it often in the Southwest. But when you need it, you really need it.
In the fall of 2013 I upgraded to a 30 AI. I was already equipped to handle whatever challenges the extra length and weight could throw my way.
What brand you say? The big three are all great. Nissan will have a 5 liter Cummins V8 this year in the Titan.
A family member is considering a Ford 2.7 Ecoboost and a 20 AI.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:07 PM   #27
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OK I just have to say when someone asks what to tow with, It really depends on the Trailer.

Example : 25' AS what year ? Say a '69 Tradewind ours weighs 4700# with 600# of it on the tongue loaded for travel. So a 1/2 ton would most likely get the job done easily.

Now a 2016 25' is a different beast that has a tongue weight over 800# and weighs 7300# Gross. This makes a 1/2 ton on the edge so a 3/4 ton would give you some wiggle room.

BTW don't exceed the vehicle manufactures spec's and get the trailer weighed when loaded for travel.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:12 PM   #28
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I went through the same thing a year ago. I bought my AS 25' Classic and was told by the sales guy that my '02 Chevy Z1 Tahoe (5.3 liter) would tow her no problem. Well the Tahoe did just fine on the flats but on most grades she dogged down to where I was going about 15 mph with a slew of angry vehicles behind me who wasted no time giving me the "you're number one" salute. After much research, including the F-150 Eco Boost, I settled on the Ford F-250 Turbo Diesel and haven't had a single issue since. When towing I average about 15 miles per gallon on the flats and 12 or so in the mountains. ...and not a single salute! Also, diesel prices on average is 20 to 50 cents a gallon cheaper than regular grade gas here in Calif.(at least where I live)
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