Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-15-2009, 07:08 AM   #1
airperson
 
2006 25' Classic
Ft Worth , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 207
Need advice from an experienced tow person not truck salesman

Hi,
We have just bought an 25 ft. 06 classic. Its wt. is about 5700 We would like to replace the old 150 (has 5.0 E and Low rear end. with towing pkg.) It does not like hills. We do not know which way to go. We would like to travel in the mountains. We would also like to get somewhat good fuel economy.
I know there are many tow vehicles out there used for towing, however I donít have a clue which way to go.
I do not want to rely on a truck salesperson that does not tow himself to guide my decision. I hope some of you folks that have the experience will share your wisdom.
__________________

__________________
Airperson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 07:16 AM   #2
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,031
Images: 37
There are as many good tow vehicle types out there as there are manufacturers. The question is how do you intend to use the vehicle 90% of the time? Do you haul passengers, pets, or cargo? Do you have a long commute that you'll use the vehicle for, or will it just be parked except when you tow? Do you want a pickup, van, or SUV?

If you're just using the vehicle to tow, then pretty much anything with a 120+ inch wheelbase, short rear overhang, and a tow package with a 10,000 lb tow rating will work. If you need to use it to commute too, or haul seven passengers, then you'll need to be a little more specific in your shopping. The rest of the questions you'll have to fill in the answers to for yourselves.

Roger
__________________

__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 07:27 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Quote:
We would like to replace the old 150 (has 5.0 E and Low rear end. with towing pkg.) It does not like hills.
Been towing trailers since '71, and I've never had a tow vehicle that "liked hills". Don't think they exist.

Quote:
We would also like to get somewhat good fuel economy.
Do you want good fuel economy towing, or just driving? You really can't have both in one vehicle.

There are lots of pickups now days that have better fuel mileage not towing than your older F150, but probably not too much better while towing. Most gasoline V8's switch to four cylinder mode today under light load, and that helps some with normal driving mileage, but not towing.

Then, there's the Diesels, which have lots more torque, but depending on who you listen to, the mileage is questionable. If you listen to the brand loyal chearleaders, they get fantastic mileage. If you read the actual tests done by some of the car magazines, not so good.

The thing is, it takes a set amount of fuel to produce a certain amount of power to pull a given amount of weight up the hill at a reasonable speed. Laws that cannot be broken.
__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 07:43 AM   #4
airperson
 
2006 25' Classic
Ft Worth , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 207
Thanks folks. We want to buy a new truck or one that has low miles. We will just use the tow vehicle for towing; not for other trips. Fuel economy for towing tops the list. And would like to know what extra things are good to have such as back up cameras and which ones are not worth the money.
__________________
Airperson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 08:20 AM   #5
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
..... Then, there's the Diesels, which have lots more torque, but depending on who you listen to, the mileage is questionable. If you listen to the brand loyal chearleaders, they get fantastic mileage. If you read the actual tests done by some of the car magazines, not so good.

The thing is, it takes a set amount of fuel to produce a certain amount of power to pull a given amount of weight up the hill at a reasonable speed. Laws that cannot be broken.
A lot of truth here Steve. My seat of the pants thinking on why my Duramax gets only middling mileage goes this way (any with more direct knowledge? please pipe in!). Feds reset emission and low sulfur fuel standards and manufacturers moved to modify their engines in four generations between 2001 & 2007. Now there's more gear tying down diesels from operating in their cheap efficient belching glory. A big factor IMO is that they added 30 horsepower with most every generation to where we have 330 hp behemoths these days. Suburban commandos demanded it! Nobody ever doubted the ability of a 175 hp Dodge diesel to get the job done. But parents hide your children and cats! Young ones would tremble and cat boxes would .... no wait, that hasn't changed.
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 09:10 AM   #6
Moderator
 
moosetags's Avatar

 
2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,764
Images: 5
Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

As had been said, there are many good tow vehicle out there capable of towing your '06 Airstream 25 footer. We have an '05 25FB that we tow with an '04 Suburban 2500 (3/4 ton). We find this to be a good match overall. We have towed our Airstream with our '04 Chevrolet Tahoe (1/2 ton). It did not do nearly as well as the Suburban.

I would also strongly suggest that you take your Airstream to a local truck scale and weigh it with everything on board that you plan to take on a trip. The figure of 5700# that you state in your post may be quite a bit low. Our '05 25 FB weighs 7400# ready for a trip. The actual weight of your Airstream is super important when considering a new tow vehicle.

Brian
__________________
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 09:50 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
SARGE/AF's Avatar
 
1996 34' Limited
1976 31' Sovereign
1983 31' Excella
Greeneville , Tennessee
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 516
Images: 2
What Tow Vehicle ??????? Me Oh My

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airperson View Post
Hi,
We have just bought an 25 ft. 06 classic. Its wt. is about 5700 We would like to replace the old 150 (has 5.0 E and Low rear end. with towing pkg.) It does not like hills. We do not know which way to go. We would like to travel in the mountains. We would also like to get somewhat good fuel economy.
I know there are many tow vehicles out there used for towing, however I don’t have a clue which way to go.
I do not want to rely on a truck salesperson that does not tow himself to guide my decision. I hope some of you folks that have the experience will share your wisdom.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX
I have 22 years in the transportation industry and haul things all the time personally. What Steve, Bob, & Roger have said is all true and good points to consider, and if you want fuel economy not going to happen when towing, but you can reduce the lower mpg's as much as possible, no matter what you buy figure somewhere between 10-14 MPG's. With a camper at 5700 Lbs and then figure another 2000 Lbs for personal effects it still falls under that of which any new 1/2, 3/4, ton truck can haul.
I can not speak about a dodge but I can talk about GMC/Chev & Ford, the new GMC/Chev 1/2 ton or 1500's are rated at 8000 Lbs on the bumper and 9900 if connected in the bed, wheel base does play an important part which means the longer the better, drawback is they both have a tendency to put an undrated hitch on (bumper mounted reciever instead of frame mounted), I have a 2007 GMC 1500 extended cab, 6 1/2 foot bed, 5.4 engine, Rated with 8000 bumper, 9500 bed, and had it hooked to my 76 31 foot Soveirgn and took it from east Tenn to AS in Ohio 525 miles, traveled up I-75 and it is quite hilly. As far as pulling the truck handled it fine, averaged 11 mpg in the hills and 13-13.8 mpg on the flat. Only drawback is the lightweight of the truck was not good as far as the trailer being able to push the truck, also the springs was under what is needed of coarse this is a 1/2 ton. A Freinds 08 F150 4X4 Crew 6 1/2 ft bed 5.8 engine, this truck also handled my trailer quite well around the east Tn area and over into NC through the mountain, his suspension also did better as it was rated for 10,000 lbs on the hitch (frame mounted) so it had a stiffer spring, he averaged 13.0 in mpg.
I have since bought a 2005 Ford Excursion, 6.0, which is the same as an F250 except the body is like a suburban, I have 5 Grandchildren 3 of which travels with us so the added space in a vehicle is needed. The Excursion is rated at 13,000 on the bumper, we just went from East TN to Myrtle Beach and in the mountain stayed at 11.5 mpg and on the flat 14-15.
With you only having a 26 footer, my suggestion would be to look at a 09/10 Ford F150 Crew Cab, 6 1/2 foot bed, Topper, with tow pkge, it is rated at 12,000 lbs, or a GMC/Chev Crew, 6 1/2 bed, Topper, Heavy tow pkge, frame mounted reciever, both with at least a 5.8 or caparable engine, unless you think or plan on moving up to a longer trailer then I would look at the Ford F250 or GMC/Chev 2500 either with a diesel.

Sarge
__________________
SARGE/AF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
GStephens
 
GStephens's Avatar
 
1982 31' Limited
1953 25' Cruiser
Hamilton , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 563
Images: 15
Like Sarge, I have a lifetime of towing experience (41 years) having ranched all my life. There were very few days I did not tow something. I pull a 31' with an F-250 crew short bed 6.0 diesel. Like you, it is mainly used just for towing. I obtained 15.2 mph on a 9400 mile trip through Canada and the Western USA two summers ago with this combination. This truck/engine combination handles any mountain pass without compromise. I'd recomend either a Ford or Chevrolet diesel 3/4 ton.
GStephens
__________________
GStephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 10:30 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
pilgrim's Avatar
 
2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 346
I have been looking at as many trucks as you've had comments from folks. I have been towing with a Nissan Armada for the past year and a half. I really like the Armada - my wife really likes the Armada BUT is has a fairly short wheelbase and a light tranny cooler. The tow capacity is very good rated at 9,600 lbs. Ive had no problems towing it rhrough six states through the PA "mountains" and down into Virginia. It heats up but always cools off. I can get 12-13 mpg towing and 17-19 driving. But, knowing we will be going out west and towing it through the mountains, I'm not satisfied it is the best TV for us. I've been looking and driving several different trucks - and several have STRONG points and weak points. Now, I have to decide which of the strong points I like and which of the weak points I can live with. I really liked an '07 Chevy Crew Cab w/ a Duramax diesel but I'm not sure about the additional cost for the diesel. It wouldn't fit in my garage - would an extended cab with a short bed fit? I do like that Duramax. I also looked at a Ford 250 diesel - big truck! I found the ride in the Silverado a little more comfy - so did DW. I think either would pull our 25' with ease and not worry about mountains. Some have said the 6.0L Chevy 1500HD would pull with ease - the Heavy Duty seems to be big enough but I'm not sure about in the Rockies. I get mixed comments about them on the FORUMS. As you get comments, you'll see how confusing it will become. Check out Consumers Report on whatever you are looking at - I find the CR to be VERY helpful, honest and accurate. Enjoy the search - enjoy your find.
__________________
pilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 10:36 AM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 139
Images: 4
I too had an F-150 and pulled our 30ft Excella for almost 7 years, through the mountains, across the United States and to Florida several times. Now that we are not working and because we travel about 6 months of the year, I switched to an F-250, 6.4 diesel. The difference in towing is unmistakeable as well as a marked improvement. We don't drive faster but the ride is much more relaxing so longer travel days are easier. The mileage with the diesel is about 12mpg which is the same as for the F-150, 5.4L but we can tow uphill faster than the 35mph we used to with the 1/2 ton.
__________________
rtaylor537 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 10:51 AM   #11
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
tow vehicles

Huge amounts of horsepower, usually make it a gas guzzler.

Rear end ratio's are the real key.

If the ratio is 4.0 to 1 or so, towing would be easier than if the ratio was 2.8 to 1, or so.

The better the ratio, the less brute horsepower requirements.

4 X 4's are unnecessary.

Now if you want to tow the Queen Mary, then different story.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 11:31 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
SARGE/AF's Avatar
 
1996 34' Limited
1976 31' Sovereign
1983 31' Excella
Greeneville , Tennessee
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 516
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
A lot of truth here Steve. My seat of the pants thinking on why my Duramax gets only middling mileage goes this way (any with more direct knowledge? please pipe in!). Feds reset emission and low sulfur fuel standards and manufacturers moved to modify their engines in four generations between 2001 & 2007. Now there's more gear tying down diesels from operating in their cheap efficient belching glory. A big factor IMO is that they added 30 horsepower with most every generation to where we have 330 hp behemoths these days. Suburban commandos demanded it! Nobody ever doubted the ability of a 175 hp Dodge diesel to get the job done. But parents hide your children and cats! Young ones would tremble and cat boxes would .... no wait, that hasn't changed.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXX
Bob you are so close to hitting the nail on the head, where the changes have been made is in the computers on these vehicles. Manufacturers update the computers everytime you bring your vehicle in with programs to try and meet the emissions requirments also to make your vehicle do worse so you will trade it for new. I have been doing alot of study on this subject and talking with mechanics, racers, fleet owners, and they all have pretty much said the same thing, take your vehicle to a qualified person for tuning the computer and get the manufacturers programs removed and new special written programs installed to make your engine operate at it maximum efficiancy. My Excursion was done by the previous owner and only had minor mods done and he said that he got a 1-2 mpg increase and I believe this to be true because this gets 1 mpg better than my 04 Harley Davidson F250 with a 6.0.

Sarge
__________________
SARGE/AF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
GM diesels (maybe Ford too?) will all have 3.73 rear ends. There's no need for a 4.1 when you have all that torque.

Before all the financial troubles GM was developing a 6-cylinder diesel for 1/2 ton trucks. Toyota had a similar program. I'd bet we won't be seeing any of those for a couple years and probably not until the market says it needs them.

Comments on Nissans -- I had a Titan. It towed my 24' Argosy just fine but it had only 1343# of payload capacity. Add close to 950+ pounds real life tongue weight for my Safari (more for a Classic). You can see how the payload will max out with 2 people aboard and not much else. I sold it in Feb 2006 before a new towing season came along. My Titan drivetrain had plenty of oomph. The five-speed was solid but annoying -- facing a small hill at speed, it would shift from 5th to 3rd gear every time -- vroom, vroom, there goes the economy. Mileage was meager -- 11 mpg some of the time if I drove no faster than 60.

Titan is the pickup truck on which the Armada is based. A general statement is that an SUV body adds weight and has lower capacities. Yet Rich Luhr towed his 30' Bunkhouse Safari with an Armada on his long, long Tour of America. I don't know if he had any Nissan sponsorship. He used a Hensley for sure.

I'll just say -- add up the weight of what will be in the tow vehicle when you camp (driver, passengers, pets, bicycles, tools, toys, etc). Add that weight to the real tongue weight with your gear, propane & weight distribution aboard (see your manual for the bathroom scale technique). If that sum is less than any tow vehicle's payload capacity, I'll bet the house you don't need to pay any attention to tow capacity. You'll be under tow capacity every time. Tow capacity is a maximum calculated with a single person aboard as the driver and absolutely no other load in the tow vehicle.

But avoid the 4.6L engines anyway -- you already know that.
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 01:35 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
The thing with Diesels is they get max torque at relatively low RPM, so they will just grunt up the hill at highway speeds. Drivers like that.

Gasoline engines on the other hand, need to turn up more RPM to reach max torque and power...typically around four thousand RPM and above, so you have to gear down and let them scream. That's what they are built to do. Drivers don't like to hear it....think they are going to come apart, but they don't.

Last year we drove over 11,000 miles on a trip with the trailer ('75 23' at that time) towing with a 1/2 ton GMC 5.3 Liter V8 with towing package, and went over the continental divide many times. Never had a pass we couldn't pull easily in second gear, 50 MPH, turning 3K RPM. This year may be different....towing an additional 1500 pounds. By the way, we averaged 12.1 MPG for the entire trip.

The thing I keep going back to on Diesels is the initial cost of about $7K more than a gas rig, and oil and filter changes at a typical rate of twice that of a gas rig, and typically three times the cost.

If we were fulltiming and towing many more miles per year, I would go Diesel, but not where we are now.
__________________

__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for Airstream tow truck. Barry2952 Tow Vehicles 167 03-18-2012 07:06 PM
Any advice on truck caps? (aka camper shells) ARMYOFME Tow Vehicles 73 07-18-2011 12:41 PM
Used car salesman parody... funny Airslide Fun & Games 13 04-23-2009 10:02 AM
Leaks: Advice from the experienced please! 68Glbtrotter Leaks - Weatherstrips, Gaskets, Caulks & Sealants 5 12-04-2006 11:51 AM
wife want new tow truck remcolent Tow Vehicles 10 07-14-2004 01:34 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.