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Old 04-07-2015, 10:54 AM   #15
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I assume that MPG is NOT while towing :-)

I have been traveling since the beginning of December, 2014 (only in California). I have no problems towing with my van and have found it to get really great gas mileage, about 18-22 MPG.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:37 AM   #16
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2014 27' FB International
Healdsburg , California
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I had my van and Airstream weighed as I was concerned when I first started out.

I didn't know that one couldn't just pull up to a CHP weigh station, but as it was late at night, the Officer on duty kindly weighed my van, A/S, and both together.


I had to remove the bedroom furniture (long story), and I was already traveling light, so I weighed in at around 4200lbs total.


The van has a V8 and it is not the extended version. It really does get incredible gas mileage towing...18-22 Mpg. I was really surprised by that, but there you have it. Not towing is only a little better. I think the engine is just the base capacity/size. I am still a total noob with all of the towing ratios/weights/, etc., and I do wonder when I might have transmission issues, but so far so good.
When I started out in December, I was so green and clueless about towing it was both scary and comical. Glad to say no accidents or even minor scratches, knock wood!
After traveling by myself with my almost two year old son these last months, I've gotten pretty good at getting around and into any space and hitching/un-hitching/, ....also by myself. I just really take my time.
The scariest part was not knowing how to back up at first, and also going over the mountains on Hwy 166 from Bakersfield to Santa Maria. Makes the Grapevine look like a cake walk. More scenic though and I'd definitely do it again.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:45 AM   #17
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2009 28' International
Pacific Palisades , California
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Very curious as to which Ford van you're using. As suggested above, if you can get a manual (start by searching on line) for your year, you can find out the towing limits. If your van can handle the loaded weight of your 28', you'll be just fine. And that mileage is just incredible for towing, even at Calif's max 55 mph. Our Sprinter gets around 14.5-14.7mpg towing at that speed with its small diesel.

Our 2009 28' International is 6100 empty. When loaded for the road, with pots n pans, dishes, full propane tanks, a 1/4 tank of fresh water, groceries, drinking water, clothing, tools, etc, it weighs 6980 lbs (that includes 130 lbs of two extra batteries). So I would guess that you're closer to that weight than to 6000 lbs, and I'd use 7000 to figure what you're actually towing, just to be safe (I believe that you are also rated for the AS to weigh a max of 7300lbs).

Which engine and differential are in your Ford? They often comes with a smaller V8 and a very large differential to make them more powerful for towing, but this usually results in poor gas mileage, too!
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:40 PM   #18
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possible tow rating

I checked a 2007 Ford towing manual. An E-150 standard van with a 4.6 L V8 & 3.73 axle ratio has 6000 lb tow rating. Ups to 6500 lb with 4.30 axle. That van has GCWR of 11,500 lb regardless of axle.
This is an example of the data from a towing manual.
Let's Roll !
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:52 PM   #19
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2005 30' Classic
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I tow our 30' Classis with a 1999 Chevy Express 2500 extended van. It has the 5.0 liter gas engine. I did change the 3.73:1 rear end gears to 4.10:1. This made a big difference. I also added an additional engine oil cooler and an additional transmission oil cooler. I have towed 10's of thousands of miles with this van (even before the Airstream). I like the extended Chevrolet because it has a short rear axle to hitch distance. The van now has just over 100 thousand miles on it and it is still going strong.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:55 PM   #20
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So now best to re-weigh your Airstream as loaded for the road. If your Ford has the 4.3 differential with the 4.6 V* (smaller engine), you're good up to 6500 of loaded Airstream and no need to change. But if your Airstream loaded is closer to 7000 lbs, as I suspect it might be, you're pushing the Ford's drive train pretty hard and might consider a change.
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