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Old 02-25-2009, 12:45 PM   #29
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CB, a 27' raises another question—can you tow a 27' with a 1/2 ton truck? Some people will say no way, others will say maybe, but be careful, and others, sure. There are several threads that touch on that particular question and you might check them out under tow vehicles. We chose the 25' because we wanted the Tundra and thought 25' was the limit for that truck and because we didn't want to go longer because over 25' some campgrounds get difficult.

Woody's probably right about more gas usage with a permanently locked hub, but just how much is impossible to quantify for me since Toyota hasn't offered the manual option for many years and there's no way to compare. So it could be very small or a lot.

Gene
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:33 PM   #30
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The 2009 F-150 ratings for 4x2 Super Crew are:

- 3.15 => 8,500 lbs
- 3.55 => 9,800 lbs
- 3.73 => 11,300 lbs

A 27FB Classic, with more axle capacity than the others, fully loaded to axle rating, is 9,000 lbs. I think I'm going to buy a Safari, which tops out around 7,600 lbs.

Most of the trucks on the lot are 3.55 which should be plenty for the 27' Safari (9800 rating vs. 7600 A/S GVWR). But I'm not sure what the future holds and based on the feedback here figure the head room of the 3.73 would be worth the various down sides, including harder to locate one, so 11300 rating vs. 7600 A/S GVWR. Surely that's adequate. If I get the Classic, it's still 11300 vs 9000 A/S GVWR. Adequate enough (is that redundant?) I should think.

I have no other reason to drive a truck and really want to avoid more truck than I need.

BTW: I don't drive fast, if that matters. I'm one who believes the speed limit should be returned to 55, and never drive over 60 unless safety demands it. I don't know if these ratings are about speed or hills or irregular terrain or what.

-CB-
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:42 PM   #31
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Without limited slip or 4WD, your right rear tire slings mud and gravel on your Airstream.

With limited slip but no 4WD both rear tires sling mud and gravel on your Airstream.

With limited slip and 4WD neither rear tire slings mud or gravel on your Airstream.

Someone asked if you need limited-slip if you have 4WD. The answer is yes. With 4WD and open axles it only takes one tire per axle being on poor surface for the vehicle to go nowhere. For example, on a crowned road where water drains to the right side and freezes, both front and rear right side tires can be spinning on ice, unless one axle has limited slip. Same can happen if one rut is muddy, in which case the rear tire on that side can sling mud and gravel on your Airstream while the front is slinging mud and gravel on your truck.

We've had our Airstream off-road in both dry and wet pasture, and on a gravel surface. I've always been grateful for both limited-slip and 4WD. Even in the dry season, morning dew creating wet grass has been enough to stop us from progressing without 4WD.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:24 PM   #32
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I'll probably get blasted for this but, if you are in a low traction situation and not traveling on the road (in a campground or grassy field), simply loosening the tension on your spring bars will load your rear axle and more than likely give you the traction you need. Then just put the bars back to the proper tension when you get back to the road

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Old 02-25-2009, 06:45 PM   #33
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IMHO
4wd posi = piece of mind.

I wouldn't tow without it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:59 PM   #34
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I look at it this way ,if I am going to get stuck,I want to go down with all 4 tires spinning,at least make the tow company earn thier money.Dave
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbgenrich View Post

I feel like I should get the 6' 6" bed (another harder to find feature) because it's not inconceivable that I would switch to a fifth wheel some day, and I would like to keep that option open. I think plenty has been written about fifth wheels and 5' 6" boxes, but probably not on this forum. But I plan to invest heavily in the truck and don't want to be limited in that way (but I also don't want to go diesel, super duty, etc.).

I think I'm good, as they say (not a comment about my own qualities as the words seem to imply).

-CB-
CB,

If you should decide to switch to a 5er, you will definitely want to switch to a bigger truck. An F-250 at minimum would be in order in this instance, an F-350 dually would probably be best. One of the advantages of a fifth wheel is that you can turn the trailer 95 to 100 degrees from straight, making it much easier to get the trailer into tight spots. In order to be able to get the minimum turning radius, you will need the 8 foot bed.

The longer beds also make for a smoother ride, especially with the stiffer springs. A longer wheelbase is also a safer tow vehicle.

Driving a big truck like mine is actually enjoyable, and I've found many advantages to being the biggest truck on the road. 1. If I want to switch lanes, others will readily get out of my way. 2. I have a commanding view of the road ahead. 3. The seats in my truck are WAY better than any other car out there.

The bad thing is that I get a lot of leering glances when I use up three spaces in the Wal-mart parking lot.

Woody
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:12 AM   #36
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CB, a 27' raises another question—can you tow a 27' with a 1/2 ton truck? Some people will say no way, others will say maybe, but be careful, and others, sure. There are several threads that touch on that particular question and you might check them out under tow vehicles. We chose the 25' because we wanted the Tundra and thought 25' was the limit for that truck and because we didn't want to go longer because over 25' some campgrounds get difficult.

Woody's probably right about more gas usage with a permanently locked hub, but just how much is impossible to quantify for me since Toyota hasn't offered the manual option for many years and there's no way to compare. So it could be very small or a lot.

Gene

I've talked to Dodge guys that have added the retro kit to their trucks, and they are only getting about 2 mpg better. However, it adds up quickly when fuel is $4 per gallon.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:47 AM   #37
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My opinion, limited slip is a must, older 4x4 vehicles sometimes did not have limited slip and in some situations, the rear wheel in a ditch will spin while the other wheel on dry pavement will do nothing, in addition it is a misnomer to call such vehicle a 4x4, since you could find that one wheel on front and one wheel on rear will spin....do your homework before you purchase....
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:10 PM   #38
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Reading all this made me look up whether our Tundra has limited slip. The answer is yes, it's standard, at least on 4WD. Traction control is also standard. I never think about it and regardless of whether I've had limited slip or not, it's been decades since I've been stuck. Cars and trucks are far better than they were years ago and in winter I hardly ever see anyone unable to get up a hill or stuck in snow. They do drive off the roads, but that's a different question, not necessarily about the vehicle.

I can't say that about my wife who got stuck with a front drive car almost 20 years ago. When I came to rescue her with a 4WD SUV—it was only about a block from our house—I pulled the car out, gave her the SUV, parked the car downhill, she never came to get me, I walked home, found she'd gotten the SUV stuck, and then dropped the keys in the snow. I walked to the SUV, got in, drove right out. It was snowing 3"/hour at that point. I never did find the keys when the snow melted in the Spring. Some days nothing goes right.

I'll repeat something I posted earlier. Good tires are a big part of this. I've driven 2WD pickups in deep snow and as long as I had good M/S tires I got through—it was kind of desperate at times, but I made it. However, with a trailer, good tires are a must, but you may need more than that.

Gene
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:36 PM   #39
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Toyota's name for the Traction Control that is taking the place of true limited slip in their trucks for 2009 is "Automatic Limited Slip Differential (Auto LSD)"

The problem with using traction control for limited slip is that it's extra wear on the brakes, and it's often associated with a reduction in throttle since these newer vehicles have fly-by-wire pedals.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:56 PM   #40
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So that's what Auto LSD means. I thought it had to do with orange sunshine.

With all disc brakes, I think wear on the brakes is a minor issue. I haven't been able to wear out pads for these kind of brakes in decades, and if I did, the pads are cheap and easy to change. A reduction in power is also a minor issue with 401# of torque.

Gene
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:29 PM   #41
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2009 Ford F-150, 3.73 axle ratio - Must have?

2009 Ford F-150, 3.73 axle ratio - Must have?

That is what I have to decide now.

Quote:
waltero: do your homework before you purchase....
It is extremely difficult to find a 2009 F-150 in the super-deluxe trim that has the 3.73 axle ratio. Makes me wonder if I'm too focused on that.

The initial Aistream to tow is 5,600 + 2,000 = 7,600 lbs

In the super-cab form factor:

1) 3.15 Non-limited slip axle ratio -> not an option per this thread
2) 3.55 Non-limited slip axle ratio -> not an option per this thread
3) 3.55 Limited slip axle ratio -> 9,700 max conv. trailer
4) 3.73 Limited slip axle ratio -> 11,300 max conv. trailer

I now get that a fifth wheel is out of the question.

In order to get 3.73 I will have to order a custom built truck. I am willing to do that, but is this really necessary?

-CB-
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:49 PM   #42
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I suppose it all depends if you know how to drive or not. I live in Canada, in the country, and this winter my regular ride is a rear drive Lincoln Town Car with summer tires and no limited slip. It does have traction control which is a damn nuisance and which I keep turned off.

If the weather gets real bad I have a 4 wheel drive Suburban but have only used it a few times when it was really snowing hard.

I don't like 4 wheel drive because of the expense, complexity, and because it makes performance and mileage worse and repairs are costly. I only bought the one I have because it was dirt cheap, $1000 bucks for a 1996 Suburban.

My conclusion is that unless you do a lot of driving way back in the boondocks you don't need 4 wheel drive.
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