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Old 06-09-2006, 11:29 AM   #15
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One other question about towing the 1968 Safari. Once I get it restored, I might occasionally let my daughter and son in law and grandkids borrow it. They have a 1992 Ford Explorer, 6 cylinder. Do you think it would tow it ok? They were worried about that, and I can't let them use my truck because of insurance issues.


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Old 06-09-2006, 12:32 PM   #16
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>>a 2006 Ford F-150 Lariat with the 5.4 Triton and 3.73 gears.
>> I have a 25' FB Safari SE. The trailer is around 5400 dry

I wouldn't say it's the ideal tow rig but it's better than marginal. Flat highway, no cross winds, low/moderate speeds no problem at all. The truck is adaquately powered/geared. I'm guessing GVWR for your trailer is upwards of 7,000 pounds which is well under the rated capacity of 9,900#. Where you're not going to be as happy is long iwindy downhills, passing semi's, etc. There is such a huge difference between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton truck when it comes to towing. The ride of 3/4 trucks has improved signifcantly. We had a late 80's F-250 and without a load that thing rattled your teeth out. Still, if towing was a minor part of the trucks duties I'd probably go for the F-150. The new rigs really are improved over what was out there 10-20 years ago.

>> towing the 1968 Safari. Once I get it restored, .. daughter and son in law .. have a 1992 Ford Explorer, 6 cylinder. Do you think it would tow it ok? <<

Deb, that's not a great choice for a tow rig of a trailer the length of yours. For starters it's got a small, sub 4L engine that only makes 180ft.lbs or torque. If it's a manual transmission you'll tear out the drive train. You didn't mention if its a 2dr or 4 door Explorer but even the 4dr has only 111" wheel base which is recommended for trailer more in the 21 foot range. If they are going to do it then everything needs to be really right; weight distributing hitch, correct ball height, sway controls, heavy duty shocks on the SUV and perfectly working trailer brakes. Even then keep the speed down to 55-60 under ideal conditions and adjust accordingly.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:46 PM   #17
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Deb, I have a 1997 F150 with a V6 and 5 speed manual transmission. We towed the trailer home 200 miles with this truck when we bought it. I DO NOT recommend the V6/manual tranny combination for hauling the longer trialers. We didn't really get over 55 MPH with this truck all the way home. Let's just say iIt was a real adventure. Since we brought the Overlander home, we have purchased a 1998 F150 Lariat, V8, auto tranny, tow package (really nice truck). But haven't towed with it yet because we are still restoring the camper.

Your camper's dry weight is about 1000 pounds less that mine and 5 feet shorter. You should be OK with the F150 provided you have a V8 engine and auto tranny. But it also depends on other things like the age of the truck and what it has been used for in the past (i.e. has it always been well maintained, what type of tires, and so on.)

I would NOT attempt to tow the trailer with the 1992 Explorer. That "early SUV", if you will, was designed around the Ford Ranger. That means that they were much smaller in those days than they are now. I used to own a '91 Ranger and it would not have been nearly up to the task.

My 2 cents.

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Old 06-09-2006, 01:11 PM   #18
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Here we go. This statement you give no basis for. The towing capability for that class is approximately 8000lbs. Some may not like the wheel base of that vehicle, but I have yet to see anyone offer up evidence as to why a F-150 is not adequate to tow a dry weight 5500#, 25 trailer. What is the fact that is not being said that shows why this vehicle is inadequate?

Let's review:
Weight = adequate, as the 5.4L will tow max of 7700#
Wheelbase= (guess, don't know exact config, gotten from Ford.com) = >126 inches = adequate according to here, that even by the conservative table, can tow safely 21ft, or the back axle no farther back than 23ft.

So what's the issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by klevan
The vehicle you describe will be marginal at best for the Airstream you describe. If you are going to buy a new tow vehicle, buy one that is more than adequate, not less. There is a ton of good advice elsewhere in these forums. By no thoughtful assessment is a 5.4 Ford F-150 Lariat with 3.73 an adequate tow vehicle for a 25' Airstream.

Signed// One who has owned them all
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AYRSTRM2
Here we go. This statement you give no basis for. The towing capability for that class is approximately 8000lbs. Some may not like the wheel base of that vehicle, but I have yet to see anyone offer up evidence as to why a F-150 is not adequate to tow a dry weight 5500#, 25 trailer. What is the fact that is not being said that shows why this vehicle is inadequate?

Let's review:
Weight = adequate, as the 5.4L will tow max of 7700#
Wheelbase= (guess, don't know exact config, gotten from Ford.com) = >126 inches = adequate according to here, that even by the conservative table, can tow safely 21ft, or the back axle no farther back than 23ft.

So what's the issue?
Here's Issue #1: The "Dry Weight" on an Airstream unlike the dry weight on SOBs does not include "Optional Equipment Variable Weights" which in some Airstreams includes the air conditioner, the steps, the BAL Jacks, the converter, the beds, the LP tanks, the spare tire, and the empty holding tanks. Add these and you get a "dry weight" that can be compared to the dry weights of other travel trailers. Then add the weight of fresh water, gray water, black water, and propane, and you begin to approach the weight of a travel configured Airstream. Now add the weight of passengers and gear to the 5.4 L Ford and you have a " marginal" situation.

Issue #2: Marginal means different things to different people. To me it means being forced to travel 55 to 60 mph and slow down to 40 or 45 on the mountain passes. This may be just fine for others.

Issue #3: When someone is buying a brand new tow vehicle, I always recommend that they buy one with power to spare. It is different if someone already owns a vehicle and they just want to get a few more years out of it until they upgrade. Finally, if I understood the post correctly, the new 25' Airstreams that this person is looking at are heavier than those of the 60s, for which an F-150 would be more adequate.

Issue #4: The Past President of our unit owned the pick-up in question and he was disappointed in its ability to tow his 25' Airstream.

Over the years, I have owned several "barely adequate" tow vehicles, usually because someone was telling what they thought I wanted to hear, not what I needed to hear. In one case they thought the tow vehicle would really "look nice" pulling an Airstream. Believe me nothing looks nice when you are creeping over Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado in the breakdown lane.
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:12 PM   #20
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Ken, thanks for the reply. I understand your reasons now. I don't agree with it all, but I understand them. In fact I have no issue with any of them, except for my usual "why do you want to go over 60 mph towing a camper" rant. I am haunted by the words of one forum member stating that the only time he has ever blown tires was when going over 65 MPH. And with that, I end my post.
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:48 PM   #21
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I appreciate everybody's input thus far. It is amazing to me how there are so many different answers when it comes to tow vehicles. The truck I'm looking at says it has a towing capacity of 9000 lbs; and 9900 with a weight distribution hitch.

My trailer weighs in @ around 5400. I can see if I was pulling a 30 footer I would need more power. I also realize it is better to err on the "bigger is better" side but "overkill" comes into play also.

I need a dual purpose vehicle for daily driving and towing. Needless to say I am a little confused at this point.

Thanks for all your help.

Ron
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:56 PM   #22
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Ron,

As I suggested in another post about tow vehicles, it may be time consuming, but one way to ascertain what might be suitable would be to compile a list of tow vehicles mentioned in the signature block of Forum posters focusing on those who have Airstreams similar to yours. Then, you might want to contact the Forum members directly to get their impressions and to benefit from their real-world experiences.

Good hunting.
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:18 PM   #23
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Recent Experience

I have a 2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 4x4 that I use for towing our 2006 Safari 25' FB LS SE. We've had the trailer for about 8 months now and towing it hasn't been a problem in the San Antonio region (we have more hills than some might realize.) We recently towed the trailer to and from Tucson, AZ on I-10. I was wondering how well it would do and the short answer is that it did fine. There were several grades I had to down shift to climb but all in all I was quite pleased. It pulled and handled well even in a serious cross wind west of Van Horn. The transmission tempurature never rose above 160 and usually hovered in the 130 to 140 range. I would be confident towing our trailer just about anywhere we might want to go with our present truck.
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:11 PM   #24
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Different Drivers Have Different Expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by AYRSTRM2
Ken, thanks for the reply. I understand your reasons now. I don't agree with it all, but I understand them. In fact I have no issue with any of them, except for my usual "why do you want to go over 60 mph towing a camper" rant. I am haunted by the words of one forum member stating that the only time he has ever blown tires was when going over 65 MPH. And with that, I end my post.
Thanks for the thoughtful response, John. I feel safest when I can keep up with the flow of traffic (to a point). Out here, 62 to 65 mph seems safest when you try to take all factors into consideration. Mainly I want to be able to maintain speed on the grades so I won't create a dangerous situation with angry drivers piled up behind me making high risk attempts to pass. I'm not as bad as Tim of Tool Time, but after years of seeking balance between towing power and non-towing economy, I now opt for more power every time.

I notice you tow a 22' 60s Vintage, which tows like a dream compared to the '76 Safari 23', that I once owned, and the 2006 25' in question.
Peace.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:20 PM   #25
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Ahh yes, so many opinions and the first liar doesn't stand a chance! Darol
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:36 PM   #26
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Thumbs up Advice: The Smallest Coin in Circulation

Darol,
You nailed it in your first post.
Perhaps it was just too simple, concise, and accurate to be palatable.
Or perhaps the recipient doesn't know how much $$ we have already wasted on his behalf to understand the quintessential tow vehicle dilemna.

In The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce defines "advice" as the smallest coin in circulation.
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Old 06-10-2006, 12:19 AM   #27
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Who's the liar? and why are the lasts posts meant to be insulting ?

everyone here is giving advice ,useful or not.

Scott
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AYRSTRM2
Here we go. This statement you give no basis for. The towing capability for that class is approximately 8000lbs. Some may not like the wheel base of that vehicle, but I have yet to see anyone offer up evidence as to why a F-150 is not adequate to tow a dry weight 5500#, 25 trailer. What is the fact that is not being said that shows why this vehicle is inadequate?

Let's review:
Weight = adequate, as the 5.4L will tow max of 7700#
Wheelbase= (guess, don't know exact config, gotten from Ford.com) = >126 inches = adequate according to here, that even by the conservative table, can tow safely 21ft, or the back axle no farther back than 23ft.

So what's the issue?
Great link for anyone considering the eternal questions of towing!

I'll stick with my Diesel F250. I have to look in the mirror to make sure its still back there when I'm towing. I can also make my own fuel. T
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