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Old 02-18-2018, 05:54 PM   #1
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My 2017 Expedition Ltd. will tow...

Hi, I just took my first step to becoming an Airstreamer. I've been looking for a TV that I could feel somewhat comfortable using as an all-around town vehicle and yet still be able to tow an AS. My wife found a 2017 4WD Ford Expedition with low mileage Ecoboost 3.5 liter engine, and HD tow package. The Specs are 9300 lbs. of tow capacity and 1286 lbs. max pound of payload.

Based on this I think I should be clear to tow any of the 23' AS FC and some of the 25 ft AS. Our typical travels would be my wife and I for a combined 350 lbs., and another 150 lbs. or so in the Expedition.

My questions are:

1. Why the heck is the hitch weight so different on the 23' AS. The 23FB is one we are looking at and it has a 200 lbs,. lower hitch weight than the other 23' FC.
2. Does the payload number I have on the Expedition include fuel or do I have to subtract fuel weight from payload capacity? If I don't fill the gas tank can I add the weight of the fuel I leave behind to the max payload number.
3. If going to 25' are the hitch weights really over 800 lbs? It seems like a lot for a 2' difference in length.
4. Can I carry stuff in the AS rather than the Expedition to reduce the payload number. i think I may have to if we go with a 25' AS.
5. Who else travels with this combination and what are your experiences?

Anyway, thanks in advance for your help and guidance. I hope to see you soon out among 'em.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:43 PM   #2
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1. If the kitchen/living area is toward the front that will add hitch weight. The bedroom weighs significantly less. But in some respects that’s not all bad. You want more weight to the front than the back anyway since sway is caused by too much weight in the back.
2. The full tank of gas does not add to the payload according to my F150 specs. So the Ford Expedition may be the same. Should be able to “google” that.
3. Again the hitch weights depend more on the where the kitchen is. A front bedroom in any AS will be lighter on the hitch weight than a rear bedroom.
4. I tow with a 3.5 Ecoboost with an F150 max tow package. You want the max tow haul mode and a brake controller on the expedition. That’s a must to adjust your transmission and also for engine breaking while going down a hill. The brake controller is to sync your TV brakes and AS brakes so you stop efficiently and safely. You can retrofit a brake controller. Don’t think you can do that with Max Tow haul mode. Mine tows 28’ just fine. So you will be fine to tow a 23’. Also to compensate for less payload, load things in the AS. Just remember one thing, water weighs 8lbs per gallon. So never drive with a full tank of water (just enough to get by on a rest stop), and dump black and gray water tanks before driving.
5. Get a good weight distribution hitch with sway control. All kinds of opinions on that. So if you do a search you will get various perspectives. I use a ProPride no sway hitch. But they are expensive. You might be able to get by with a different style with a 23’. That’s a very personal choice.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:21 PM   #3
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The 2017 Expy makes a great tow vehicle, when properly equipped and using a weight distributing hitch for towing a TT. The factory HD tow package nets you a 9300 lb tow rating if a 4X2.
I will be towing a 28 Serenity with my Expy. I expect it will weigh about 7000 lbs loaded (I will weigh it at a truck scale). I currently tow a 6000 lb boat, deadweight (No WD hitch with surge brakes) without difficulty. If I find the Expy is strained, I will swap it for an F250 diesel.
And the Expy has an electronic brake controller already built in. Plug in and go...
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:33 PM   #4
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Oh, I forgot: Be sure to use Premium 92 or higher octane for towing.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:46 PM   #5
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You could comfortably tow any AS ever built with that vehicle. And a darned sight better than any pickup.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the all the input. Now the search begins for the perfect Airstream.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Amafan View Post
Thanks for the all the input. Now the search begins for the perfect Airstream.
If you’re going to upgrade to a 250 if it doesn’t work out, why not just get that to begin with? If you swap out the expedition you’ll take a beating on price. And you won’t need to stash stuff in the trailer to “fix” payload.

You can avoid premium gas with the diesel or gas engine options for the Superduty. I’d rather buy diesel fuel than search for 92 octane.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:36 AM   #8
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If you’re going to upgrade to a 250 if it doesn’t work out, why not just get that to begin with? If you swap out the expedition you’ll take a beating on price. And you won’t need to stash stuff in the trailer to “fix” payload.

You can avoid premium gas with the diesel or gas engine options for the Superduty. I’d rather buy diesel fuel than search for 92 octane.
In my neck of the woods, premium gas and diesel are about the same price. No problem finding 92 octane.
My Expy, Explorer Sport and C6 vette all run on premium.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:53 AM   #9
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In my neck of the woods, premium gas and diesel are about the same price. No problem finding 92 octane.
My Expy, Explorer Sport and C6 vette all run on premium.
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You bought a $50,000 tow vehicle and are planning to purchase a $70,000 airstream to simply stay in "your neck of the woods"

Think outside the box, plan for the worst and hope for the best, look at the big picture, etc.... I've gotta agree with countryboy on this one.

1200 lbs of payload is gonna hurt, you are already accounting for 500 lbs of that, so starting calculations leave you with 700 for hitch weight. Your best bet is to put what you "think" you'll carry in the vehicle, say honey let's go for a ride, stop and fill the tank and head to the scale, no trailer necessary, get your weight deduct it from the GVWR on the door sticker and this will either give you your allowable tongue weight or help you to become one of the GAWR only believers. Good luck
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:59 AM   #10
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We tow our 2017 23D with a 2017 Expedition and could not be happier. I have carefully calculated cargo, hitch weight, etc and have not exceeded any of the vehicle or AS specs. Use a Blue Ox Sway Pro and everything works to our high satisfaction. The Expedition has almost the torque and HP of many smaller diesels. I have been towing rv's of various sizes form 34ft to 17f t over 100,000 miles for 20+ years. If you like pick-ups a F150 properly speced should be more than adequate. Personally the spouse and I like an enclosed space that vehicles such as the Expedition provides. In regard to payload we evaluate the weight of everything we take with and carry and have always done so. Taking everything you have at home is counter productive IMHO. Hope this helps your decision
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:27 AM   #11
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You bought a $50,000 tow vehicle and are planning to purchase a $70,000 airstream to simply stay in "your neck of the woods"

Think outside the box, plan for the worst and hope for the best, look at the big picture, etc.... I've gotta agree with countryboy on this one.

1200 lbs of payload is gonna hurt, you are already accounting for 500 lbs of that, so starting calculations leave you with 700 for hitch weight. Your best bet is to put what you "think" you'll carry in the vehicle, say honey let's go for a ride, stop and fill the tank and head to the scale, no trailer necessary, get your weight deduct it from the GVWR on the door sticker and this will either give you your allowable tongue weight or help you to become one of the GAWR only believers. Good luck
A worse vehicle due to weight guesstimates is other than the prudent course.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:52 PM   #12
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Visit the 23FB and 23D threads for more info on these coaches. The weights you are questioning are dry specs are not representative of travel ready tongue weights. The 23FB can be held to 600#s with appropriate loadout management.

We don't have a 25, but everything I read indicates it will have a tongue weight above 800#s. The solution to having a larger trailer with less weight is an older model. Through the years ASs have gotten wider and heavier.

We don't have any problem finding premium fuel. It's available in the North, the East, the West and the South. It's even available in Kansas. And if you have to run on regular, your vehicle's computer knows how to do stuff like that.

Yes, you can load gear in the coach, however heavy items should be stored over the axles and the tongue weight should be managed to between 10% and 15% of gross.

The payload numbers should assume a full tank of fuel and a driver. However, to your point, it would be a poor practice to run at less than a full fuel load to gain payload. Better to travel lighter. Tongue weight management can include lighter batteries, less propane, lighter propane tanks, relocation of batteries closer to the coach axles and storage of only light weight gear in the coach front.

Keep researching. You are not the first to deal with these questions. Pat
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:44 PM   #13
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-- snip --. Your best bet is -- snip -- get your weight deduct it from the GVWR on the door sticker -- snip --
Too early - first, visit the new Airstream Adventures RV dealer in San Martin to the South of you. Sit in all the trailers they have and figure out what you like, what you don't like, how you would sleep, cook, bathroom (yes sit on it with the door closed), store stuff and entertain friends (inside/outside). Then you are closer to understanding what you want.

Note - there used to be a salesperson belief that folks purchased a new car within 48 hours of starting to look. It's kind of true. Do not be one of those folks.

Now go home and review your budget - tow vehicle and trailer. You will purchase additional gear for the trailer. Assume 10% of the purchase price and more if you add solar. Budget for storage. Inside is better than outside. Find a place with storage space available. A lot of them are full. The dealer may have outside storage if you have no other options and need to punt. Be ready to wax twice a year or budget for sealer (dealer add on) and wax anyway. Understand how you will maintain the coach and budget for it. CA Tags went up a bit this year to pay for road repair. Plan long term and make a decision you will be happy with for a long time. Consider used. It will save big dollars. However, the models have different features, especially the 23s over the last 3 years. Understand the value to you that a warranty provides - extended warranty too. RVers need to eventually be hands on DIYers, so it may be cost effective to start sooner than later.

Now sit on your thoughts and visit the dealer again. You may need to visit Fairfield and Tosconos too. For sure check them out before you make a deal. After thinking a bit, are you more comfortable in a bigger or small coach. About time to ask the forum about pros and cons of your choice. Everyone likes theirs, but some ideas are ones you did not consider. In the end you are trying to please yourself, not the forum, but a lot of experience is available here.

Now, sit down and figure out what gear and supplies you need to be happy. Adjust and reconsider your options with those weights and space requirements. It's called the design spiral. One decision leads to another and sometimes circles around again and again until all is firm and you sign up.

There are several WBCCI units in and around the Bay area. Greater Bay Area, NorCal, Golden West, and Tahoe. Check websites for contacts that might help you. You likely don't want to wait, but in June there is the International Rally in Oregon. Lots of folks will be there, because the internationals are normally held in the East.

Good Luck with your investigation. Pat

Fairfield and San Martin are the same group, but different facilities and inventory.
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Old 03-21-2018, 08:40 AM   #14
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In my case, I already had the Expy before ordering the Airstream. We were looking at Class C’s and Class A’s, but simply fell in love with the Airstream. So our plans changed mid-stream, and our new 28 Serenity arrives next month. We had a traditional TT for 10 years, while our kids were growing up. It weighed 6000lbs empty, and we towed it all over the southeast. I towed it with two Navigators and one expedition without incident.

I currently tow a 6000 lb boat with my Expy. No WD (surge brakes). Tongue weight is 485 lbs, a bit lighter than the 1000lbs+ of the Airstream.

Payload will be the challenge with the
28 Serenity. I will be taking the new rig to a CAT scale once I have everything loaded in it. We will see what it totals.
So that’s why my Expy might turn into an F250 diesel.
Retirement is in my near future, and I would like to go out west and up into western Canada (eh!), so a diesel would make sense.
It’s only $$$.
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