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Old 09-22-2017, 08:43 PM   #1
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For F150 owners towing 30' Airstreams

I tow a 30' International with a 2015 Ford F250 CC PSD which is a great TV. I also have a late model car. I would like to just have one vehicle to save fixed expenses. Driving the F250 is a PIA in town. And so, my 30' International has tongue wt. of 1,194# and my 30' scales at 7,682# last time at the CAT scale. I'd like to move to a 2018 F150 2WD Ecoboost CC with the 5.5' bed. The F150 rides better and has a 10" shorter wheelbase that really makes it nice for a daily driver. The Ford website leads me to believe I can get 1900-2000# of load capacity and with the Max Tow Package, I think would work for me. I live in California with the Sierras and Cascades, but I routinely head to the coast and Sierra foothills, but head over the mountains also. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:49 PM   #2
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My 2017 heavily optioned Lariat 4x4 Supercab has a payload of 1638#. If you choose a smaller crew cab with 2WD, and stay away from some of the heavier options like the panoramic sunroof (is that even available in the CC?), you can almost certainly achieve your 1900-2000# payload goal. Given where you live, however, do you really want to be without 4WD? Maybe you could get by with 2WD and an electronic locking diff....
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:22 PM   #3
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towing with an F150

If you're intention is to tow with the 3.5l twin turbo eco boost and the max tow package, you have the blessing of the folks at Ford that built it. They rate the 2017 as being able to tow 11900 pounds.

Remember, there are always caveats to that rating.

Don't exceed the GCWR, don't exceed the GVWR, don't exceed the axle or tire ratings. Remember, that with a properly set up WD hitch, the hitch weight is split among all the axles, therefore the truck will only be actually carrying 1/2 of the hitch weight. But the trailer axles will now be carrying the other half.

I agree that the lighter smaller truck makes a better compromise vehicle. It will be much easier to drive solo, where more of your driving probably is.It will most likely get LESS MPG towing and MORE MPG solo.

Here is what I worked out using Ford's 2017 Towing Guide for the F150 Supercrew with the 3.5 Eco Boost and 3.55 axle and max tow:

GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating, the weight of EVERYTHING going down the road. Both the loaded Truck and Trailer)

(per FORD) 17000 pounds

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, the MOST that the LOADED TRUCK can be)

(per FORD) 7850 pounds


EMPTY WEIGHT OF TRUCK

(per FORD) 5000 pounds


CARGO CAPACITY OF TRUCK

(per FORD) 2850 pounds

AIRSTREAM WEIGHT

(per your post) 7700 pounds

AIRSTREAM TONGUE WEIGHT

(per your post) 1200 pounds

SO, here are the OFFICIAL NUMBERS. (let the flaming begin!!)


Truck Weight (5000 + 4 people at 180 lb each = 720 + Fuel(150)+ 200lb cargo+ 1/2 the tongue weight of the trailer(600) = 6770 pounds

HEY, NOT LOOKING TOO BAD, THE GVWR OF THE TRUCK IS 7850! Throw some more stuff in there!

Now, lets add the rest to figure out the GCWR:

Loaded Truck (6770) + Loaded trailer(7700 + 600 pounds hitch weight)= 15070 pounds

HEY, ITS STILL LOOKING OK HERE! PER FORD the the allowable GCWR is 17000 pounds!

But WAIT, there's more! I do not know how you came up with your trailer weight. Is the actual weight of the complete trailer 7700 pounds, or 7700+tongue weight of 1200 = 8900? That's my assumption, but you know where that can take you!

But, as is, This TV TT combo works within Fords recommendations with almost 2000 pounds of GCWR to spare, BUT only 1000 pounds of GVWR to spare. If you meant that the total weight of the Airstream is 7700 (which is what I believe it is, as that model trailer has a 8800 GVWR), you just gained another 1200 pounds of overhead.

Go towing, Grasshopper! Happy Airstreaming!!!

Bob
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:00 PM   #4
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You have one TT, or two?

If one, then something is off with those weights for a TT. 15% is possible for a TW, but not likely. The two weights aren't really an expected match.

Recommend you take TT to a CAT Scale and do the three pass method. Full fresh water and propane. Max fuel and camping load in truck. Get the most accurate numbers with the current truck.

You'll also need to take truck across empty, solo, with just driver and normal gear that's permanently aboard. (And adjust tire pressure to spec; this may be your ride problem).

Need to separate out both TV camping load and trailer numbers.

Either way it's no big deal. 1200-lbs is pretty much 450-lbs per TV axle after WD applied (assuming you've a real Load in the bed). That ends the concerns about so called payload and towing capacity.

Get a car if you want one. A van. An SUV. Each would be better in the job unless you are using a significant amount of that pickup payload while solo.

You can start fresh.

Can AM RV is the website to view. Owner posts here. And consults to SAE and Airstream on towing. See Hitch Hints articles from RV Life magazine as well as videos.

Has systematized what those of us who started fifty years ago learned on our own. The trailers we towed with cars weigh the same as yours. All of North America and into Mexico. (Inferior to today's car choices).

You've a great TT. Now consider a great TV. Truck is dead last on the list.

P.S. 45-mph up the steep ones is how I do it. I drop a gear from Direct to Fourth with the Cummins, and proceed. I've no interest in burning more fuel to do the same thing. When I change to a car, 35-mph (if that's what it does; the car I have my eye on can likely beat my truck to the top) isn't of any concern, either.

What matters is solo spec.

If you're worried about "stopping the trailer", don't. Improve those brakes and have the trailer stop itself. Set up correctly you can stop faster towing than solo.

.
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:00 PM   #5
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There is no correct answer.

The F150 should be capable of handling your trailer. I towed a 30' with a 2012 F150 5.0 V8 for a while. I thought it was fine.

I've since started full timing and moved to a 2017 F250 6.2 V8. The F250 just does everything towing related a little better. And I have it loaded with much more weight than I would ever attempt with the F150.

Keep in mind you will probably be going from a 7,500 lb vehicle to a 4,600 lb vehicle. Which would you rather have to control your 7,700 lb trailer?
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:00 PM   #6
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For F150 owners towing 30' Airstreams

J-

I try to avoid these tow vehicle threads because they usually end up in a fight.

In this case however, I might can add something. We tow a Flying Cloud 27fb twin with a '15 4wd f150 crew 6.5' bed xlt sport maxtow. The maxtow f150 requires the "longbed", which is the same wheelbase as the f250 shortbed. Ours has 1907 lbs of payload, and the 10 way heated seats from the lariat, sans leather and cooled seats.

Granted our coach weighs less than yours, about 6800 lbs loaded, with a tw around 1000lb, and our '15 f150 is a 6 speed trans. The new ones have jacked up the ecoboost power even more, and have more gears.

Thanks to the great details offered above my post, I can't add much more detail. Our rig tows like it's on rails with a ProPride hitch, and the f150 handles it beautifully. I'd rather have our f150 than a 3/4 ton for the ride and handling, but that's just me. The f150 is my driver, and I find it quite easy to park and maneuver-of course we live in the country, but venture to Orlando and Tampa occasionally.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:09 PM   #7
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I'll stay out of the truck vs car discussions. My more recent f150's are a '12, '15 & '17 with the 3.5, 5.0 & 3.5 respectively. The '17 is a screw Platinum with the 10 speed and without max tow. I have limited experience with an AS, but the new ecoboost with the new transmission is an excellent TV. The best by far, of the 3. My Airstream is a '18 27FB and I could not be more pleased with how the combo tows.

I use a Equalizer hitch.

Fwiw.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:57 PM   #8
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I'm new to this, we are looking at a 30' Classic, thinking I probably need the F250, would love to get by with the F 150, any input would be helpful.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:12 AM   #9
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The half ton will pull it, but we all know Airstream trailers have limited storage space. Therefore you will want to haul some stuff in the bed of the truck.
On our last trip to Maine I was right at my RAWR. The trip went fine, towed and handled very well with the Equal-I-Zer hitch. But we left some things home that we wanted to take along due to the weight issue.
Now I'm looking at the F-250 6.2 gasser so we can take all the stuff next time.
My advice is get more truck than you need, not 'just enough' truck.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyPete View Post
J-

I try to avoid these tow vehicle threads because they usually end up in a fight.

In this case however, I might can add something. We tow a Flying Cloud 27fb twin with a '15 4wd f150 crew 6.5' bed xlt sport maxtow. The maxtow f150 requires the "longbed", which is the same wheelbase as the f250 shortbed. Ours has 1907 lbs of payload, and the 10 way heated seats from the lariat, sans leather and cooled seats.

Granted our coach weighs less than yours, about 6800 lbs loaded, with a tw around 1000lb, and our '15 f150 is a 6 speed trans. The new ones have jacked up the ecoboost power even more, and have more gears.

Thanks to the great details offered above my post, I can't add much more detail. Our rig tows like it's on rails with a ProPride hitch, and the f150 handles it beautifully. I'd rather have our f150 than a 3/4 ton for the ride and handling, but that's just me. The f150 is my driver, and I find it quite easy to park and maneuver-of course we live in the country, but venture to Orlando and Tampa occasionally.

Hope this helps.

Ha! Like Shiny, I always stay out of these TV conversations as some folks are adamant about their way being the only way. I'm a fan of the Ecoboost trucks but don't own one/can't afford one...but have followed them for a while including posts by actual owners. I've noticed consistently that people that don't own them say they're not adequate for towing but folks that are actually towing with them seem overall very happy.
Good luck with your decision...which will hopefully be what is best for you.

G
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:46 AM   #11
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Check the fuel tank capacity of the 5.5 foot bed as compared to the 6.5 foot bed. If the 5.5 foot bed tank capacity is still 24 gallons as my 2015 F150 I would recommend the larger tank on the longer bed. I just finished a 13,000 mile plus trip to Canada & Alaska. I had to drag out my spear gas cans and fuel up on the side of the road three times. The 6.5' foot bed was nice when I was hauling lumber or Using a bed tent but 5.5' works fine for for my Airstream extra storage items.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacd View Post
I tow a 30' International with a 2015 Ford F250 CC PSD which is a great TV. I also have a late model car. I would like to just have one vehicle to save fixed expenses. Driving the F250 is a PIA in town. And so, my 30' International has tongue wt. of 1,194# and my 30' scales at 7,682# last time at the CAT scale. I'd like to move to a 2018 F150 2WD Ecoboost CC with the 5.5' bed. The F150 rides better and has a 10" shorter wheelbase that really makes it nice for a daily driver. The Ford website leads me to believe I can get 1900-2000# of load capacity and with the Max Tow Package, I think would work for me. I live in California with the Sierras and Cascades, but I routinely head to the coast and Sierra foothills, but head over the mountains also. Any thoughts?
You will like the solo ride better no doubt but your trailing experience not so much. I pulled a 30' International with a F-150 short bed eco, etc. for three years. It never felt right to me but since the truck was new and I liked it a lot I didn't want to give it up. Eventually it came to where either downsize the Trailer or up-size the truck or quit towing all together. Since the wife didn't want to give up the 30', matter of fact she wanted to move up to a Classic we went to an F-250. I can tell you the difference is huge. You will find most people going to a heavier truck and not the other way.
Once I got used to its geometry I don't have much of a problem getting around with it. Yes there are situations where a smaller and nimble solo drive would be more suitable but I rather comprimise there than on the road towing.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:46 AM   #13
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I have a 2017 F350 CCSB 6.7 Diesel and had to bring it in to ford for some warranty work and I got a 2017 F150 CCSB to drive for a couple of days. Call me crazy but I couldn’t wait to get my F350 back
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyPete View Post
J-

I try to avoid these tow vehicle threads because they usually end up in a fight.

In this case however, I might can add something. We tow a Flying Cloud 27fb twin with a '15 4wd f150 crew 6.5' bed xlt sport maxtow. The maxtow f150 requires the "longbed", which is the same wheelbase as the f250 shortbed. Ours has 1907 lbs of payload, and the 10 way heated seats from the lariat, sans leather and cooled seats.

Granted our coach weighs less than yours, about 6800 lbs loaded, with a tw around 1000lb, and our '15 f150 is a 6 speed trans. The new ones have jacked up the ecoboost power even more, and have more gears.

Thanks to the great details offered above my post, I can't add much more detail. Our rig tows like it's on rails with a ProPride hitch, and the f150 handles it beautifully. I'd rather have our f150 than a 3/4 ton for the ride and handling, but that's just me. The f150 is my driver, and I find it quite easy to park and maneuver-of course we live in the country, but venture to Orlando and Tampa occasionally.

Hope this helps.
Details are important but can be confusing.

There are 2 packages for the F150 that are often conflated in these discussions, HD Payload (option code 627 in the current series) which DOES require the longest wheelbase available for the cab configuration and ALSO requires low trim levels for the XLT and Lariat trucks, and Max Tow (option code 53C in the current series) which does NOT require a long-wheelbase truck.

Max Tow doesn't change payload much. HD Payload INCLUDES Max Tow if you have the 3.5 Ecoboost, it only includes the standard tow package (53A) if you buy it in combination with the 5.0. HD Payload isn't available on the 2.7EB, but that configuration offers a unique payload package (622) that again is only available on low-trim levels of the XLT and Lariat. If you want payload AND posh Ford wants you to pony up for a SuperDuty.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by us3rnam3 View Post
Check the fuel tank capacity of the 5.5 foot bed as compared to the 6.5 foot bed. If the 5.5 foot bed tank capacity is still 24 gallons as my 2015 F150 I would recommend the larger tank on the longer bed. I just finished a 13,000 mile plus trip to Canada & Alaska. I had to drag out my spear gas cans and fuel up on the side of the road three times. The 6.5' foot bed was nice when I was hauling lumber or Using a bed tent but 5.5' works fine for for my Airstream extra storage items.
The 36-gallon tank is an option on the SWB F150 SuperCrew. If you buy Max Tow the 36-gallon tank is included in the package. I have the 36-gallon tank on my '17 SuperCrew w/ Max Tow and the short box.
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:26 PM   #16
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airstreambob's note:
But, as is, This TV TT combo works within Fords recommendations with almost 2000 pounds of GCWR to spare, BUT only 1000 pounds of GVWR to spare. If you meant that the total weight of the Airstream is 7700 (which is what I believe it is, as that model trailer has a 8800 GVWR), you just gained another 1200 pounds of overhead.

Go towing, Grasshopper! Happy Airstreaming!!!

Bob

I tow a 30' FC with a 2015 F-150 3.5 Eco-Boost, max tow, 3.55 Final drive, and Bob's figures and conclusions are very close to mine.

And as a daily driver on it's own, I am very happy with it; other than those 'mealy' shock absorbers.
On a bumpy road or over a R.R. track, the Ford 'tippy-toes' along, instead of having a controlled ride.
Otherwise? No complaints.

"Go towing, Grasshopper"!
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:51 PM   #17
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Wow... what a long list of calculations... I have through the years towed with several kinds of vheicles... from station wagons to PU's... and while the calc's might show that you can tow it... you can pull a elephant with a mouse too if it has the right gearing... but... I have found that...

I would not tow a 30 ftr with anything less than a 3/4 t PU... due to the brakes/stopping ability. They also have a heavier frame... but, today ford puts out tinker toy engines... (they are coming out with larger ones... now that the EPA et al have been put in place... thanks Pres Trump) and while you can tow with them little engines ... my thinking is for how long... as the one we tried out.. liked to get up in RPM... way up in RPM... and with the turbo.. while it did make the grade... you could smell it cooking... etc... ford is having problems with intake valves coakeing up... etc on these engines too... New heads is their fixit... till the warrentee runs out...

If you go back through the old airstream stuff you will find that orginally they said that to pull the 30's you needed a vehicle with at least a 350 cu engine... and in the 60's them were big horses under the hood.... Why do you think they recommended that?

I know technology has come a long ways today... high hp small cu engine... but its the torque that makes it all work....

I pulled with the 5L old 302 engine.. and while it did the job back then... when you came to a hill.. the trans wanted to down shift... and you almost had the ped to the metal most of the time... except for flatland and going down hill...

I got suckered into the dealership selling me a 1T ford Van.. with the 5.4L engine... they said it would work just fine... with my 30 ftr... well it didn't... first problem I had was with the trans... seemed even though it had a trans cooler in the tow package... it was the metal that the gears are made of that failed... 2nd gear went south from a stoplight right in the middle of the intersection... with a bang...
Later I was told by the trans shop.. (no we didn't take it back to ford because of all the hassle over the extended war'ty... what it covered and didnt') and the chief mechanic their said that the trans behind the 5.4 is weak... He suggested going to a different trans that is the same as the V10 had 6 speed hvy duity... if I was going to pull the RV... I considered that.. but in the limited towing we did with the 5.4... it too was weak when it came to any uphill grades... so we sold the van... and went back to the 3/4 T pu with the 460 engine... which pulls just fine...

Now as to gas mileage... with the 5.4 and other small engines.. what you think your going to get and do is big difference... I was expecting the 5.4 to make about 11 or 12 according to what the dealer said.. in reality.. I got 7-9 mpg... and we towed at 55 most of the time... this is also true of any of the other smaller engines... they just have so much power... and you can blow the gas out of the pipe by higher RPM to gear through to the torque required... to get up the hill...

Now... with the 460 you would think that it would be worse in gas mileage.. but, even though its a fuel injected 4x4... it makes 10-13 pulling the trailer... almost consistant... and we can move along at 60-65.. no problems... so traffic doesn't stacked up behind us going up that hill...
It makes better gas mileage than the 5.4 did... go figure...

Yes you put your foot in it.. and it drinks gas... but, at least its moving up the grade... and not at walking speed... most of the time I can move along with the cruse control on.. and it takes care of getting down the road... going from overdrive to next down on steep grades... otherwise it just hum's along at 2200 rpm doing 60 mph...

I thought it would be a hog going up the hills but found it actually did better on gas than the smaller engines did... over the distance...

Its a shame that they don't make the 460 anymore... its a great engine that goes miles and miles... without any problems... which to me is worth the vehicle... as you dont even know the trailer is behind ya when your towing with it... but, your right in town they are clumbersome... for a city vehicle...

One other thing that I will relate to ya..
is the fact that one time .. we stopped in for gas... and left the vehicle un-attended ... gas'ed up.. and left... got into some hills and had to use the brakes... but... something was wrong... looking down at the ...brake controller said that we didnt have a connection... so we slowed down and pulled off.. the truck brakes did all the work... come to find out somehow the trailer plug was disconected and hanging with the chains..... how I don't know how as the plug has a locking part on it.... except that... it could be someone pulled it while we were inside paying for the gas... and we didn't check until we got into the hills...when we needed it...

The reason I say this.. is because their have been several accidents... I know of... that the trailer brakes failed... and the owners were towing with a smaller PU .. like the 150... it couldn't stop the rig.. the TV brakes failed trying...

The gov'nt won't let you tow anything with less than a 3/4t vehicle... if that tells you something too... they must have paid them engineeers good bux to figure out what is and isn't safe... Looking at the US trans highway safety stats... the 1/2T-5/8 (150 series and others) have a larger number of deaths on the road than the 3/4-1T... mostly from loss of control... while towing.... go figure...

So their is more to the issue than just making gas mileage... from my position... The extra cost per mile is not first on the list... safety is... just in case things...

Have fun... be safe...
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:12 PM   #18
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Here is an earlier post from me on this topic. My experience is somewhat dated but still relevant I think. I still think the Ford was a great truck, there just wasn't enough of it.

We have a 2014 FC25FB twin with solar. The tongue weight with empty holding tanks, some water, some propane, and clothing for Louisiana in March on the Airstream scale in Jackson Center was 1252 lbs.

This was way heavier than I expected when I bought my first tow vehicle, a 2013 F150 3.5 Ecoboost, 4x4, 144” wheel base, max tow (3.73 axle ratio), and max payload.

Typical cargo: aluminum bed cap--no windows, 1000 lb. capacity aluminum bed slide, tools, camp stove, gas grill, chairs, two bikes, sometimes two Yamaha 2000 generators, and of course the hitch and people.

The Ford had plenty of power and got about the mileage others have mentioned; less than 14 towing. I didn’t drive it much otherwise but it was very comfortable.

But after the surprise tongue weight I got serious about weights and capacities. With an Andersen hitch it was over loaded from receiver (1150 lb capacity) to tires, to axle. With a Blue Ox with 1500 lb. bars I could get it to 150 lb. over on the axle but of course the receiver was still overloaded and the truck and trailer ride was very rough which concerned me.

I know there are many people who tow over loaded and don’t care but I do. I gave up on the Ford and bought a 2016 GMC 2500 Duramax. I installed the Andersen and went back to the scales—all good.

The GMC is as comfortable as the Ford, probably more comfortable towing, will get better mileage after it is entirely broken in, and it just amazing in the mountains—descending speed control must be experienced to be believed. We just returned from 11,500 miles to Alaska and back. The truck was great and based on the mileage improvement along the way I expect 16 mpg towing in calm winds. But I don’t expect to ever recover the $8K cost of the diesel in fuel savings. I’m glad I switched and sorry I didn’t start with it.

The foot print of the GMC is almost exactly the same as the Ford but the turning circle is somewhat greater. I don’t think either of them would be great daily drivers; they are large vehicles, but I don’t have to do that. The F150 is not as tall as the 2500 and would probably be easier to live with on a daily basis but you would never regret a “3/4 ton” class vehicle when towing.

Be aware of payload/cargo capacity, turning circle, and fuel tank size. Be conservative in your cargo weight estimate and don’t forget the weight of the hitch.

Good luck!

There are other posts from me on this topic with more numbers.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:19 PM   #19
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I *SO* enjoy reading screeds about "tinker-toy" engines by people nostalgic for the past and certain that nothing new could be any good.

Let me first state that if I were getting a heavy 30-footer I'd probably get an HD truck, because I'd probably be at least half-timing in a rig that size and would want to take lots of stuff with me, etc. That's not the use-case for LOTS of people, though.

My points aren't specific to towing a 30' trailer, just to a previous poster's ill-informed rant about "tinker-toy" engines and pooh-poohing the Ecoboost as a "high hp small cu" engine and then saying torque is what moves things, yet clearly doesn't know that the 3.5 Ecoboost produces LOTS of torque, at pleasantly low RPM. I can't speak to any issues with the one he supposedly tested or how he might have operated it poorly, but I can say that mine pulls my fairly heavy 26U across Raton Pass mostly in 7th gear (direct, on my truck... like 3rd in the old tech one might be comparing it to) without overheating, "smelling like it's cooking" or otherwise causing problems. If putting it into tow/haul and paying attention to what the truck is doing is too much work, perhaps having too much truck is necessary?

OH and my Ecoboost tools along around 2300 rpm at 68 mph in 8th most of the time when towing the 26U, and gets around 11 mpg doing that. And it's in 8th because I lock out 9th and 10th, not because it doesn't make enough torque at low RPM to cruise in those gears, there's just no advantage and it causes more shifting when the road ceases to be flat.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GM Airstream View Post
but, today ford puts out tinker toy engines... (they are coming out with larger ones... now that the EPA et al have been put in place... thanks Pres Trump)
It was rumored Ford may do a 7 liter gas engine. In reality Ford is never going to make a large displacement gas engine ever again. Given the market success they've had with the Ecoboost line they are far more likely to do a 4.0EB w/ 445HP and 540 Ft-Lbs as an up-charge to the 6.2.

The days of the 460 went the way of the buzzing-dozen, leaded gas, and sub $3 /gal fuel. Good riddance. The 460 couldn't keep an exhaust manifold tied to it for more than 30k at best. You changed manifolds more often than spark plugs with one of those things.

I'll take my 2.7EB any day of the week.
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