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Old 12-07-2008, 10:51 AM   #1
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Ford F-250 as a Towing Vehicle

My wife and I are considering purchasing an Airstream in the 30 to 31 foot range, and purchasing a Ford F-250 as the towing vehicle. I would appreciate hearing from owners of the F-250 about their experience with the F-250 used in this fashion. Experience with the various options available would be very helpful (engine size, how to specify the necessary hitch receiver size, etc.).

Thank you,
F. A. Meloy
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:14 AM   #2
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The good and the bad

We love our 2006 F250. Love the power of the diesel (but not the cost of diesel fuel). Love the integrated braking system and the 'jake brake' (if that's what its called). We put a tonneau cover on it (A.R.E) which gives us a lot of secure storage for long trips. We spend a lot of time in Colorado with it, so the 4WD gets used.

Having said all that nice stuff, I would summarize that we love the drive train. However, this $40K-plus vehicle is a symbol of what is wrong with american car manufacturers. Its fit-n-finish leaves much to be desired for that price range. Cheap molded plastic components inside that don't fit together well, and don't wear well. They've not taken advantage of a decade of smart creature-comfort improvements that we had in our Nissan minivan way back in the mid-nineties! And we still think this truck is MUCH nicer inside than Dodge or Chevy (just our opinion - don't flame on!)

Edit: oh yeah. And all the exterior chrome was permanently stained by chemicals they put on the dirt roads in Colorado. So don't believe those commercials they show with shiney clean trucks driving through rugged terrain. If you drive it through that kind of stuff, you'd better wash it within 24 hours!


On a sidebar, I have the same opinion about my 1999 Navigator. Its replacement is going to be a Toyota Tundra. If Toyota offered a heavy duty diesel as big as the F250, I'd get it for towing.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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F250 Tow Vehicle

I have towed three Airstreams ( 25 32 and 30 ) with my F250 ( 7.3 DSL 2002 ) . This is more truck than you need, I would think Fords new F150 would have all the power you need. If you are looking for options, ad a full set of gauges, Exaust Temp and Trans Temp. Fords new six speed Tranny is a big improvement. You will not be sorry.

Steve
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:41 AM   #4
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F A Meloy
Welcome to the Forums. Your F250 will do what needs to be done. If your are going 28 to31 ft it should be fine. With a good Reese Dual cam WD hitch U will be fine. Asking this questions is like Kickin an ant hill you will get lots of differing opinions. As U can see from the lower left corner we have a 1ton Crewcab longbed . We had the truck before the Overlander.
This configuration give us a good ride and as near as I can tell it give the trailer a good ride too because of the long wheel base. We have a Lear Cap with no windows, so anything in the bed is away from prying eyes.
This is also our daily driver, of which we dont do much of anymore since we are both retired. We have not found the things that TinDiesel refers too, ours is an 01/7.3 diesel . We dont even own a Car just two Ford trucks.


Tin maybe yours was built on Monday after a long drunk weekend or in a hurry on Friday LOL
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:30 PM   #5
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i tow my 30 foot 87 Avion with a 99 F250 using a weight distribution hitch. powerstroke diesel, 4x4. my trailer is considerably heavier than most similar airstreams from what i understand, and it works like a champ.

last spring, i dragged it across the US and Canada, with a 4 pound motorcycle in the truck bed to boot.
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:35 PM   #6
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We live in Fla. as well. At first we got by with a 5.4L Expedition. But, then we started going to the mountains. ( can't camp in Fla in the summer ) F 250 made a world of difference.

Tom
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:01 PM   #7
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i tow my 30 foot 87 Avion with a 99 F250 using a weight distribution hitch. powerstroke diesel, 4x4. my trailer is considerably heavier than most similar airstreams from what i understand, and it works like a champ.

last spring, i dragged it across the US and Canada, with a 4 pound motorcycle in the truck bed to boot.
thats supposed to be a 400 pound motorcycle, of course
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:17 PM   #8
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pardon me my shift key is broken.............santy maybe will fix that

40k for a truck. something is wrong here. buy a good used one. my 04 f250 lariat went new for the mid 20's. 34k later it is still running strong and in good shape interior and exterior.

you won't go wrong with th v-10. we get in the 16 or 17 range without the trailer and 10 to 14 with the 29' excella. the truck comes with the towing package and so pretty much all you need is the hitch and sway bars. i totally recommend getting a camper shell to keep groceries and stuff protected. great for the generator running at campgrounds when you don't want to lug it out.

the v-10 has great pulling power. usually i kick out the overdrive and kick in the cruise. in the mountains i use my foot for cruise control to keep it from kicking down a gear to maintain 65.
anyway...........god bless..........dennis
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:03 PM   #9
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I agree, go with the V10. I've had two V10s, currently I have on 07 CrewCab 4x4 diesel. Looking back I prefer the V10. It's quieter, cheaper to purchase, tows every bit as well as the diesel and only gets 1-2mpg at most less fuel economy towing.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:18 PM   #10
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diesel at altitude

Curious about the V10 vs the Diesel.
Aren't diesels supposed to be more efficient at altitude?
I thought I've seen discussions where gas engines that aren't tuned for altitude will lose 7% efficiency for every 1000 feet of altitude.

Maybe this is the wrong thread for this. Sorry.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:37 PM   #11
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With the computers in the vehicles I do not think altitude is an issue. Since the engine computer will sense barometric pressure and make adjustments to fuel mixture.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:38 PM   #12
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Not all F250's are the same. Make sure the GCWR will handle the load you are considering. Axle ratio makes a big difference. Also a 4X2 will tow more than a 4X4.

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Old 12-08-2008, 03:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
Not all F250's are the same. Make sure the GCWR will handle the load you are considering. Axle ratio makes a big difference. Also a 4X2 will tow more than a 4X4.

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hmm?
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:49 PM   #14
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With the computers in the vehicles I do not think altitude is an issue. Since the engine computer will sense barometric pressure and make adjustments to fuel mixture.
Yes, plus the advantage thin air provides as driving into a less dense wall of air takes less effort and HP.
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