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Old 09-07-2017, 10:24 AM   #15
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Any time you start off towing something big it's going to feel a bit weird. That's a very normal reaction. It might indicate a problem, but sorting things out is not easy.

The truck / trailer combo you have *should* work fine. I'd look carefully at the "must have" list in terms of weight. Our experience is that things have been getting lighter as we better understand what is (not) needed on a normal trip.

Bob
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:28 AM   #16
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I hook my Blu Ox on the eight link (from the end) which exposes 2.5 links between the bars and the latches. Air up your tires for certain. My experience is half tons are a good combo up to the the FB25 Flying clouds assuming your truck has enough load capacity and pulling capacity. I have swapped out my 2015 Ram for a new 2016 to get the 3.92 rear end which improves tow capacity. In Texas you can usually sell late model pick ups and get into a new one with very little or no financial pain. Dealers sell the used ones for almost as much as you can negotiate for a new truck.

Some owners swear by the 3.5 eco boost so I would recalibrate and give it a second chance. Of course any 2500 would one way to solve a lot of towing problems with our getting one of the more expensive hitches
Do your own math based on your trucks numbers and see how you can work this out.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:34 AM   #17
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Question Where is the problem?

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Originally Posted by wponder View Post
We have a 2015 F150 Lariat 3.5 Ecoboost, 4x4 we only owe 14K on it. It just turned 20K miles. We have a 2016 International Serenity 25FB that we just got and have towed it over 2000 miles so far from Los Angeles, AZ, UT, ID and WA. We have a 1500 Blue Ox on it. The F150 has the HD Tow Package so top of the payload range, Max Combined and Max Trailer weight.

When we picked it up we had a decent amount of stuff for setting things up and weighed in at 12120 combined. After loading it up to prob 95% of where we typically will be we weighed in at 12420 combined.

I feel 90% confident towing it. It's feels a little loose when its really windy and when passing / being passed by semi's. Stopping is decent. Been avg. 10 - 13 mpg but it can suck the gas on the bigger climbs.
My 2017 F-150 has max payload (2,683 lbs.) and max towing (11,700 lbs.). It tended to bounce with the cadence of road section cracks when I pulled my nephew's 34 ft SOB as a test.

What was the 10% problem you experienced? Wouldn't replacing the shocks with ones which add coil springs help?

Oxen
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:41 AM   #18
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If you try a 250. Try the 350 as well. You might be surprised at how well it rides. I just upgraded from a 150 to a 350. I was presently surprised by the nice ride for a 1ton. Not as plush as the 150 but still nice. And no worries about towing now.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:48 AM   #19
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The bottom line is adjust the hitch correctly, and you'll be OK.....however if you simply want to spend money to keep up with the crowd, and say you have a "bigger", "better", or "best", it's your picture, paint it whatever color you want....
No matter what you decide, somebody will tell you that "you shoulda done this", or the next guy will tell you "you shoulda done that".....

Now if you really want to start a discussion, I like bourbon.....specifically Buffalo Trace...

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Old 09-07-2017, 10:57 AM   #20
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I will try and get another link out of it today. That would be 7 from the top. 6 from the top has quite a bit of bow in the bars. 7 could be tough, 6 is pretty tough I might not even be able to torque 6 and I am pretty strong. In general, I have to work it to get there usually playing with the pivot of the truck and trailer combined with getting one side set. Then the other, then going back to the original and trying to get one more link out of it, then back to the other to match.

I think the challenge with dropping down a hole is I would have to flip the hitch and put it on the top two holes. I had it that way when I picked it up and it was way to low and would drag even the slightest dip in the ground.

Here is the sticker for the max axel weight off the door. What concerned me at the last weigh in was how far over the drive axel was. Not sure if its possible I did not line up right on the scale.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:03 AM   #21
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Enterprise Truck Rental rents Ford and Ram 3/4 trucks at reasonable rates and allows you to tow. May be worth $100 to help you decide.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by wponder View Post
I will try and get another link out of it today. That would be 7 from the top. 6 from the top has quite a bit of bow in the bars. 7 could be tough, 6 is pretty tough I might not even be able to torque 6 and I am pretty strong. In general, I have to work it to get there usually playing with the pivot of the truck and trailer combined with getting one side set. Then the other, then going back to the original and trying to get one more link out of it, then back to the other to match.

I think the challenge with dropping down a hole is I would have to flip the hitch and put it on the top two holes. I had it that way when I picked it up and it was way to low and would drag even the slightest dip in the ground.

Here is the sticker for the max axel weight off the door. What concerned me at the last weigh in was how far over the drive axel was. Not sure if its possible I did not line up right on the scale.
Are you raising the front of the Airstream with the tongue jack before connecting the bars? I use a 1500# set of bars on a 15000# car hauler and can get the 11th link from the loose end in the slot. To get 11 links, I back the rear tires of the truck (with trailer attached) onto 4" high blocks, then raise the tongue jack on the utility trailer as far as possible before connecting the bars with a 30" 3/4" drive breaker bar. Both the car hauler and my Airstream handle great with the 11th link in the slot and 1-1/2 links under tension exposed under the latches. I do the same lift procedure to remove the bars! Be careful with that spring load when connecting and disconnecting the bars.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:27 AM   #23
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I just looked at your axle weights. You definitely need to crank more links into your Blue Ox to get below your drive axle rating. The crinkled scale ticket looks correct. The other one looks like you had the Airstream's front axle on your drive axle scale. You need to keep both Airstream axles on the third section of the scale. With my 25', I have to stop a little short to make sure the Airstream axles stay on the third section. At the scale, I jump out of the truck, push the talk button, and jump back into the truck to speak with the scale operator.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:32 AM   #24
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Always a spirited discussion. I had two friends that both had over 10 years experience with the Hensley. Love the hitch- steep learning curve.
So, first truck/trailer combo was a 2015, F-150, Lariat, Super Crew, short box, 5.0 L V-8 gasser and a 2016, 22 ft. Sport FB. It did sway occasionally but the F-150 anti-sway would recover immediately. Less than 6 months later we saw the Pendleton and just fell in love with it. Took delivery in April 2016 and added the HAHA. Again- it takes some practice hooking up but it's fantastic on the road.
I tried to keep the Goodyear Marathons at 65 mph max. But with the 16" Michelin LT's I feel comfortable cruising at 70, or more if that's the posted speed limit. Now, having pulled the Pendleton 15 K miles I give the overall setup a B+. At some point I've got to get to the scales. Have the CAT app and it only takes a few minutes.
Phase III: kept the 150 and just bought a 2017, F-250, 6.7 Turbo Diesel. ARE topper instead of the tonneau cover, pull out bed and Line X spray on bed liner again.
Just turned 1200 miles and am ready to tow!!! I ordered a Hensley hitch bar with a 6" drop but am keeping the 4" for the F-150.
The diesel 3/4 and 1 ton trucks always seem to be touted as the better TV. I'll let ya'all know once I've pulled a fully loaded (7500 lbs) 28 footer through the mountains.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:05 PM   #25
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Hi,

Keep the F150. I have almost an identical set up: F150 V6 3.5 Ecoboost 4x4 Supercrew with tow package, an AS International Serenity 25' FB and Blue Ox hitch with anti sway bars. The truck works great. I also get 10-13 mpg when towing, but I get 22-23 mpg when not towing so it's reasonably economical.

I do feel it when passed by semi or the wind blast when I pass one. I think that's going to be normal no matter what tow vehicle you use. Like uncle_bob said, it's going to feel a bit weird when you first start towing.

But do make sure your anti sway bars are really tight. I hitch up my trailer and then use the jack to jack up the trailer which lifts the rear end of the truck pretty high. That's when I install and cinch down the anti sway bars. Then I lower the jack and I can see a slight bow in the sway bars. That's the process I use. Hope it helps.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:45 PM   #26
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Hi wponder

I’m “pondering” the same issue, but in my case, I’ve made the decision to move up. I currently have a 2016 Platinum f-150 that I bought before I bought the Airstream. The AS is a 2017 FB international that is 28’ long.

My current impression of the towing is mixed. Grant you, my trailer is larger than your so keep that in mind.

My experience so far is the pulling power of the EcoBoost 6 cylinder is amazing! The F-150 has all the power needed to get it down the highway fast. The issue is with the high RPM’s it generates to get it going. To me, it really overworks the engine, but I’m sure it is within limits. I keep thinking just how fast the twin turbos are really moving!

The issues I was most concerned with is when “tow” is selected and when using the engine braking. On a downhill run, the f-150 has literally little engine braking. Just doesn’t have the compression. As you tap the brake or use the brake to slow yourself, the gear gets lower and lower and the RPMs get to 5000 real quick. It makes the tow mode a bit difficult to use.

My truck is the Platinum edition. The first thing I had to replace was the passenger tires that it came with. That helped a lot with the sway from side to side of the truck. With all the “goodies” you get with this truck, it brought the payload down to 1600 lbs. I understand that is “not bad” for this truck, but certainly not over the 2000 lb mark of the lower models.

The truck and trailer suffer from a small bit of tractor trailer pull when a truck passes. I know this is actually the truck's air pushing on the trailer and the wheels turning toward the truck but it happens and it is noticeable, but not that annoying after you get used to it.

Fully loaded (trailer & truck) and my front end is up maybe ¾” from the back of the truck. I have an Equalizer hitch and though I thought I had it corrected (truck was empty) it still could use a tweak. Just mentioning this in case someone chimes in to have me check the hitch.

Other circumstances: I put about 30,000 miles on a truck each year. When I begin to travel, it could be more. I’ve been selling my trucks every 4 years upgrading to new. The new f-250 diesel is expensive. My thought process here is to extend my loan from 4 to 5 years and to keep the diesel for 6+ years (depending on reliability) and in doing so justifying the additional cost to own a diesel and providing my trailer with the safest vehicle I could practically buy. The 250’s (gas or diesel) is hands down more solid, stable, powerful and will hold more payload. Think about that on the next 9-hour jaunt across the country. My trips in the F-150 with the 28 footer, were uneventful and just fine, but I was exhausted with the attention that was needed over a long span of even 6 hours. You just have to pay attention and be a bit more careful with passing, on ramps, braking, and passing trucks. I don’t want to be labeled a truck snob, but my thinking here is, get the right vehicle for the job. The 250 will do a better job. Some may say “Why stop there”? Get a 350 or a 450. Get duelers. That just becomes overkill and I’m not sure will improve the experience.

If I could not afford to make the change, I would not move up. The F-150 Eco still is a very good truck and will out perform many of the tow vehicles being used by Airstreamers.

As an after thought, the F-250 short bed is actually 6 ¾’ long adding more storage than my Platinum’s 5 ½’ bed.

I got a good trade on the 150 and ordered the 250 platinum a few days ago. There will be a significant rebate from Ford in Oct. (Now it’s: $1500 +$1000 bed accessories and $750 using ford financing for 3 months, plus my dealer is at about $4300 off the retail). Not bad and it will get better. The new 2018 can be ordered in about a week. They are the same truck. I ordered mine 4 days ago and they will be building it as 2017. Funny.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:15 PM   #27
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Yea, if I worked on getting a private cash certificate. I know I could get a great deal on a 17 250. I had a 350 King Ranch and my better 1/2 talked me into trading for the 150 and then 2 years later wanted the Airstream and going almost full time in it. So, everything you have written is what i'm wrestling with. :/
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:25 PM   #28
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@airmiles!!!! Huge help and major thanks!!! Ok, lifting the tongue jack is the ticket. I easily got it on the eighth link. I think I could have gotten more if I used a bigger block under it or put the wheels on some lynx blocks. 8 links leaves 3 1/2.

Ran up to the scale... lucky its only 2 miles away Attached is the new weight. Now, I was one person and a dog short and maybe 200lb of gear short. That would put me close to the last weight and I was also about 1/2 a 1/4 tank of gas shy.

Now... I assume when you release them you do NOT extend it all the way? Seems it lifts the truck and puts as much tension on them.
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