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Old 02-18-2012, 09:59 PM   #99
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diesel hands down

new Ford is pretty much way to go. If money is issue the Tundra will work and maybe getting some stiffer shocks would help out. Tundra is sexy, TRD package is not that much upgrade. Bilsteins, stiffer springs,arb type rear axle on old tacomas not sure on tundra. I would be tempted to put Rancho 9000's on that adjust manual. Stiffer setting along with stiff side wall tires like bfg KO's will do wonders

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Old 02-18-2012, 11:37 PM   #100
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Wow! 100 threads on TVs! How many hundreds of years of experience pulling trailers of all kinds, with all sorts of TVs? And still no "right answer."

Seems to me it comes down to asking more questions about your needs - miles per year towing vs running bareback; storage; comfort; how are your backs and knees? You are embarking on many different experiences - there is no "one size fits all" but you are going to be hooking up, backing into and out of tight spots - wheelbase and overall geometry can play an important role in maneuverability.

It seems to me that one can seldom have too much horsepower nor brakes, until it adversely affects the unladen ride. Airstreams were designed originally to be pulled behind the family car, and mountain passes were to be taken slowly and the view enjoyed. Sure you can drag your AS up and over real fast, but you'll shake things loose, develop cracks, beat up the TV and its passengers. This is supposed to be enjoyable. Don't overthink the situation. Buy the best you can afford, which implies used, but not used up. Pack like you're loading an airplane.
Take your own trip. If you are cozy staying hooked up, whether in a campground or boondocking, your emphasis will be on the towing capability. But if you're going to leave the trailer and yo-yo around for a few days before moving on, then you might prefer a TV you can readily park on a city street, and not feel you're manuvering a locomotive through a small town.

FWIW - I have towed a wide variety of combinations, but have never full-timed. We regularly drive about 5 hours (200 to 250 miles) between two or three night stays. We can yo-yo out and see the sights in all directions and then move along. My wife is no truck driver, but handles our rig as well or better on the highway than I do, though I'm generally tasked with hills, trailer park maneuvering, and hooking up. We have pulled all sorts of rigs with a 2003 Suburban 1500 with a full trailer brake and WD hitch package. The platform is so steady I was surprised when I studied the serial # and found it wasn't a 3/4 ton. Interior access is easy with all those doors, so we can store a lot of gear which is essential, but not needed often.

The one absolute statement I will leave you with is that most GVW specs leave you in a situation without a whole lot of reserve capacity. That is what will enable you to maintain control when you blow a tire going too fast down a curvy hill. That reserve is what will save your lives when everything goes to stink. A 25 footer is probably shorter than most single full timers live in, so buy a TV that can handle an upgrade if you and your wife really enjoy your new life-style. I wish you well. jsutro

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Old 02-19-2012, 05:17 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by timmaah View Post
I think they would be out of our price range... and from what I have found with the used car sites, one is not easily able to filter out the 2500's.
I couldnt find your price range here, it will help on a recomendation.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:00 AM   #102
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I have to second Perry on the excursion. I also have the 2000 V10 Excursion Ltd 4x4. I have had to replace the fuel pump at 170,000 miles and that is about it. It tows great and I have found it it to be very reliable. It is also my daily driver. I tow a 34' with it and no issues.
When towing the AS it is nice having the storage capacity in the rear; I have about 6ft of cargo space behind the second row seat. I have found the excursion to be very easy to both drive and park.
I really like the interior space in the Ex. I am 6'7“ and things like the Jetta are impossibly small and impractical for me.
I have had the F250 7.3 diesel truck and was happy with that also. I had a "roll-n-lock" cover for the bed of the truck. If you go with the tundra or another truck option, that may give you some secure storage options.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:04 AM   #103
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In the old days, the trailers were lighter and a lot of the traveling was done on back roads were the speeds were much slower. Also the cars from the 60's and 70's were monsters compared to the ones now days. Many cars had big block engines that were as powerful as my V10 Excursion. They probably were lacking in brakes. Now days with poeple driving 80+MPH on the interstates brakes and handling become a lot more important. The cars handle 10 times better than the old boats from long ago. Our idea of performance has changed. Trailers can be made lighter but luxury has taken presidence over lightness. Lightness costs money just like it does on an airplane. Remember the kinetic energy of a moving object is a function of the mass times the square of the velocity. Double the velocity and increase the damage potential of that mass by a factor of 4. I think trailers are going to have to slim down like they have in Europe in order for them to sell.


Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Do we really need these heavy duty trucks to pull an Airstream, if that is the only reason for having it. Another 'streamer just towed her small Airstream across country in winter weather with a VW Jetta.

Timmaah is needs this thing to double as a daily driver, his only transportation. If he can't figure how to lighten his load for full-timing, then that's where the advice should be directed. Not to bigger truck$.

doug k
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:15 AM   #104
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Yes the extending mirrors are part of the tow package. The 4x4 probably has a lower geared axel even though it does not have the tow package. A Ford dealer or carfax can tell you the options it came with. You may have to add a transmission cooler. The 4x2 models without the tow package had a 3.73 axel. The ones with the tow package had a 4.30 axel. The 4:30 axel is better for towing because it keeps the engine in the power band. The 3.73 is going to want to down shift more and will have trouble in the mountains. You are putting more load on the transmission with the 3.73 although it will get better gas miliage. The powerstroke versions with the 7.3L engine came with the 3.73 axel because the engine can put out more torque. The bad is that the transmissions start to fail under the stress. If you don't plan on doing a lot of mountains the 3.73 with the V10 is fine. You do need a bigger trans cooler. Heat kills more of those transmissions than anything. I have a scan guage that tells you the transmission temp and the lockup status of the torque converter. You want it to be locked or you can have overheating problems.


Originally Posted by timmaah View Post
I was just browsing that other forum. The 2005 doesn't appear to have extending mirrors. Does that mean it does not have the tow package? (The features section mentions having it)
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:47 AM   #105
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Thanks for all the advice. This thread has grown quite fast.

While I think the Tundra would work for us and we could be happy with it, the Excursion seems to be pulling ahead on our pro/con list. Extra capacity, ease to my mind on capacity, cheaper, leather and no extra $$ on truck cap. For the money they ask, I don't like the looks and layout of any of the F250's that are available locally. (looking under $30k)

I let my Mom know we would tile her kitchen floor in 2 weeks. We will check out the Excursion then. (Hopefully it is still there) and compare with a Tundra they have for sale as well.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:51 AM   #106
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We have thought of what our next tow vehicle would be—an SUV or a pick up. Each have advantages and disadvantages.

SUV's have less payload than pickups built on the same frame and with the same running gear. All that extra body makes a difference. We carry extra gas and there's fuel in the generator. In an SUV that gas has to be carried inside the back of the SUV. I don't feel comfortable with that. Some stuff is inherently dirty—hitch parts, gas cans, sewer parts, etc., and that goes better in the back of a pickup. Double and crew cabs provide a lot more cargo space than pickups used to and that brings cargo space close to that of a comparable SUV. We have a tonneau cover on our pickup—someplace to lock all that dirty stuff, still a place for building materials when we need to transport them, and it weighs about 100 lbs. I think that is less than a topper and probably costs less too. To us a pickup is more a multi-purpose vehicle than an SUV.

I think you have to decide which type of vehicle suits your needs better. Comparing specific vehicles comes after deciding on the type. Tin', you seem to be leaning towards an SUV, so if you decide on one, then you can consider the Sequoia. The Land Cruiser could be an option, but costs an arm and a leg.

I keep talking about reliability. Many vehicles will go many tens of thousands of miles with no or few problems. If you want a well used vehicle, you should be looking at reliability after 100,000 miles. That can get very expensive on some high mileage vehicles.

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #107
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I know ya said ya wanted to have something easy to park ,but who does that these days. NO BODY. We all go to the mall or WalMart and there is lots of room. Hardly NO BODY Parrell parks anymore.
I personally think the day would come that you will be sorry you ever saw that TUNDRA. TO Light built all the way around for my money.
I would go with the F 250 Crew cab 8ft bed, the engine is another choice of course, Add a cap with no windows or a least dark colored windows . YOU will get the ride and load capabilities and the longivity you expect. I originally did not intend to pull an AIRSTREAM, so I bought a truck I could pull bobcats or small escauators with ease. Mine is now 11 years old with only the batteries and a waterpump change and an alternator rebuild. EXECPT of course regular routine maintance every 10k miles. I forgot to mention its a 7.3 liter Desiel. This is our daily driver( we dont go much anymore) to the store and back. We are well pleased with its ride and performance over the yrs. It still looks like new. WE love it and dont even own a car.
GOOD LUCK with Whatever you decide,but I think you will be well served by an F250.
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AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:47 AM   #108
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Since parking has been brought up, any full sized vehicle is harder to park. Whether in a mall or on the street, spaces are often not large enough for big vehicles to be easily parked. They were designed for cars mostly, and some places weak zoning allows malls to squeeze in more spaces than works for anything but small sedans. Sometimes the spaces are narrow and you have to squeeze between vehicles that are parked crooked or are bigger than your vehicle. Sometimes the lanes between the spaces are narrow and it is hard to turn into the spaces (small turning radius is a plus for this).

Visibility with large vehicles can be a problem while parking or backing. Some have large C pillars (the pillar between the back seat window and the back window) and you can't see that tree growing next to the space. A topper obstructs view when backing, even one with lots of glass. That's one reason we got the tonneau.

Sonar helps tell you where you are sometimes, especially with parallel parking. It started to show up in the middle of the last decade as an option and helps you know when you are about to crush the car behind you.

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Old 02-19-2012, 01:32 PM   #109
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I would have prefered an F250/F350 truck with a crew cab and an 8ft bed but they are hard to find used. The Excursion was the most for the least as far as towing ability per dollar. I got lucky and found one that a Honda dealer had gotten in as a trade in and they were just about to wholesale it. They screwed up and put it in Autotrader by mistake.

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Old 02-19-2012, 02:21 PM   #110
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The great thing about the big diesel pickups is you can pull two or three of your Airstreams with one. If you don't need it for that, I don't know why you would want to be burdened with one.

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Old 02-19-2012, 03:03 PM   #111
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Getting in very late so I will try not to restate all the big issues. You have heard many sides of this debate. I do appreciate the civil tone here.

I have a Tundra with the trailer tow package and the TRD suspension. It is a great truck for me and it is a great match with my 25FB. Whatever you end up with make sure you get the tow mirror option.

If I were full timing I probably would move up to a 3/4 ton gas pickup. The Tundra works well for us because we travel light and while I am close, we are not overloaded. If full timing I would get a nice shell for the truck and pack much more than I do right now. Carrying gas and a generator would rule out an SUV for the same reasons Gene mentioned. There are plenty of good trucks out there today. We get 11 towing with the Tundra and 16-17 without the trailer on the road. It has plenty of power and is comfortable. A great truck for sure but it is only a half ton.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:11 PM   #112
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My uncle just bought a new F150 V-8 Triton with the towing package, all heavy duty with the trailer brake activator, the gearing package for loads, axle-lock and larger tires. If I was going to tow an AS, that would be my choice. What a great rig!

"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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