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Old 04-16-2019, 04:02 PM   #1
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new airstream and new truck!

hey guys!

so we are currently in the process of looking at a 25-27ft airstream and we are needed a truck to be able to tow(currently have a VW CC). we will be purchasing both at the same time, so im trying to keep it ina budget hopefully. what truck recommendations do you have that will fit what we are looking for? side note we will be one the road for 2-3 months and traveling across the us in this time. i was looking at the f-150s but new to this whole process and just extremely excited! would this be adequate? any help would be appreciative!
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:36 PM   #2
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Many choices, many opinions on the Forum. I tow a FC27 with a F-150 3.5 Ecoboost...effortlessly. Other trucks will do just as well, but the Ford Ecoboost does particularly well, and is easy to drive/park when not towing. Just one opinion.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:54 PM   #3
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There are numerous threads on this topic, some quite recent. Use the search bar to look for them and read, read, read. In my opinion that is the best way to educate one's self to tow vehicles and towing.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Squirestrhn View Post
hey guys!

so we are currently in the process of looking at a 25-27ft airstream and we are needed a truck to be able to tow(currently have a VW CC). we will be purchasing both at the same time, so im trying to keep it ina budget hopefully. what truck recommendations do you have that will fit what we are looking for? side note we will be one the road for 2-3 months and traveling across the us in this time. i was looking at the f-150s but new to this whole process and just extremely excited! would this be adequate? any help would be appreciative!
Welcome to the forum!

I would advise going to an Airstream dealer and checking out the models that would suit your needs. Spend some time in each one with family and pets if applicable. Get the specs and weights, then figure out the tow vehicle capacities needed. As suggested earlier there are tons of threads/posts to read.

Take your time and enjoy the process.

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Squirestrhn View Post
what truck recommendations do you have that will fit what we are looking for? side note we will be one the road for 2-3 months and traveling across the us in this time. i was looking at the f-150s but new to this whole process and just extremely excited! would this be adequate? any help would be appreciative!

I just went through this last winter and started two threads: one called “Help Spec a new F-150” and one with a similar title for the 250. I’ve been told by several folks that they are both useful. For the most part they are devoid of the religious fervor on this (apparently) very sensitive topic.

My suggestion would be to do a rough inventory and calc on your payload—*everything* in/on the truck other than driver and a full tank of gas. That plus trailer tongue weight will (help) determine which vehicle (truck or otherwise) will serve you best. Some vans and SUVs may work too.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:26 PM   #6
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With my 26U (rear twin) I didn't like the way the F150 w/tow package (1740 payload) handled and upgraded to an F250 gasser (3156 payload). Much better towing. I might have been ok w/the F150 if I had gotten the heavy duty payload package (2000+ payload).
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:56 PM   #7
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LOL! The only group with more opinions is probably beekeepers lol. Which i am one!

IMO you can't have too much money or too much candy or too much TV. That's the short version.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:53 AM   #8
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I tow a 30' with a Nissan Titan XD Cummins diesel. Used to pull with a Fiat (RAM). I couldn't be happier.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:54 AM   #9
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your question, choosing a tow vehicle is an important factor is how much you will enjoy your Airstream. We are somewhat experienced with almost 2,000 nights of Airstream camping and 180,000 miles of towing experience.

As opposed to telling you what to get, I will share with you our extensive tow vehicle experience. We have had four tow vehicles over the past thirteen years. During much of this time we have maintained two tow vehicles as we stayed gone in the Airstream over half the time.

We have had two 25FB's. each weighed about 7,400# ready to camp. We started off with a 2005 Suburban 3/4 ton tow vehicle. This worked well for us in most towing situations. We liked it well enough that we added a second 2004 3/4 ton Suburban. Both of these Suburbans had the 6.0 liter gasoline engine. My only reservations with these tow vehicle was that they were weak on serious upgrades, usually putting us in the slow truck lane on the interstate highways. I was also not thrilled with the occasional "runaway train syndrome" that could occur on the severe downgrades. I knew that there was better out there, but I resisted going Diesel.

Then in 2011, I replaced the 2004 Suburban with a 2011 Silverado Duramax. We were pleased with the towing performance of the Diesel. The amount of torque was almost unbelievable. We were now easily passing cars on 8% upgrades. We also really liked the performance of the Diesel exhaust brake. We continued for the next several years using the Diesel for the big cross country trips. The Suburban was kept for the winter trips throughout Florida.

Last year, we replaced the 2011 Silverado with a 2018 Silverado Duramax. Whatever you decide, we hope that it works out for you.

Brian
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:51 PM   #10
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I tow our 26U with an Expedition, ecoboost like the F150, but plenty of room inside for gear and my dog. It has the tow package and does great. Plenty of power and in trailer mode will use engine to help brake.
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:10 PM   #11
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The 25 and 27 have tongue weights in the 1000 lb range regardless of what the brochures tell you. The 25 has a heavier tongue weight than the 27. I point this out because you need to pay attention to the cargo capacity of the vehicle you choose. Depending on options, this is different for every vehicle, so pay attention to the cargo capacity sticker on the specific vehicle you are looking at.

When you add up the weight of the trailer tongue, the weight distributing hitch, driver, passengers and gear you stow in the cab or the box (in the case of a truck), you need to make sure that you are not exceeding the cargo capacity of your vehicle. Most, if not all 1/2 ton trucks will be maxed out, or close to. That may not be an issue for you.

If you are traveling in an area that has hills, or mountains, you will appreciate the power of a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel going up and the larger brakes and engine brake when going down, as well as a cushion in load carrying capacity.

Properly rigged, even a mid size SUV like a Acura MDX will do the job. The tradeoff with smaller vehicles and trucks is the lack of cargo carrying capacity. The upside is a very comfortable vehicle when not towing.

I towed our 27 with our Cayenne for many thousands of comfortable miles, but it is always on the edge of it cargo capacity with just the GW and I and not much more in the cab. We also tow the 27 with an '18 Denali HD Duramax. With it I can bring along the BBQ, lawn chairs, generator, etc., and I have no worries about staying within capacities. All these things stay home when towing with the Cayenne. I can just set the cruise at 65 and that is where it will stay, up and down the steepest grades. All I do is steer and enjoy the scenery.

Good luck with whatever you decide, you are about to embark on a great adventure!
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:36 PM   #12
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As has been mentioned there are many threads on this topic and I've contributed to several. Some of my posts have a bit more detail than the following one, but I think it explains what happened to me with my first TV and AS purchase. I used Airstream's published weight specs to spec an F-150. That did not work out for me.

I completely agree with moosetags Duramax experience. It, and it's Alison transmission, will maintain any reasonable speed up hill and down with no "white knuckles". I've driven my 2016 GMC Duamax and 2014 FC25FB to Alaska and back, throughout Newfoundland, and the through the western US with lots of miles in the Rockies and Sierra Nevada. I love it.

Some people have interpreted my description of my Blue Ox hitch experience as criticism. It is not. I chose Blue Ox because I thought it was at least as good a spring bar WD hitch as any, and I continue to think so.

Good luck!

Earlier post:

Do not order the F-150 until you have a pretty good idea of what your tongue weight will be.

I order a 2013 F-150 3.5 Ecoboost 4x4, 3.73, max tow and max payload (GVWR 7,700#, GCWR 15,400#), 144.5 wheel base, for my 2014 FC25FB twin with solar. The trailer came off the line at 5,756# with a tongue weight of 925#. Published tongue weight was 837# with LP, empty water and holding tanks, and no options.

I had the trailer weighed at Jackson Center on my way home from a caravan; LP not full, some water, holding tanks empty, but with clothing, etc. The total weight was 6501# (745# of cargo and accessories) but with a tongue weight of 1,252#!

After several trips to the scales it was clear that I had a problem: hitched combined steer and drive 8,020#, trailer 5,600#, combined 13,620#. The F-150 was overloaded by about 300# total but the drive axle was over by 850#.

I switched from an Anderson hitch to a Blue Ox with 1500# bars. The best the Blue Ox could do was to get the steer axle to it's unhitched weight of 3,500# and the drive to 4,150#; 100# over its WR of 4,050#, and transfer of a few hundred to the trailer but this made the trailer ride unacceptable rough, as evidenced by the stuff that was thrown around when none had been. This was unacceptable to me so I traded the Ford for a 2016 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax.

I'm going to reinstall the Anderson and head to the scales but I think this combination should work out.

As to cargo: aluminum cap without glass, aluminum 1000# capacity bed slide, gas grill, gas camp stove, 2 chairs, tools, assorted stuff, and sometimes two bikes and two Yamaha 2000 generators. This may be more stuff than you would pack but be very thoughtful and conservative.

This was a pretty expensive trial and I thought I knew what I was doing when I ordered. I never anticipated a 1,200# tongue weight. I have a friend who owns a 2014 FC25RB twin without solar. His loaded tongue weight is 800#.

Otherwise the F-150 was a great truck; very comfortable and quite, and the 3.5 had all the power I ever needed. Everything Ford says about this engine seems true, but the mileage will probably disappoint. The truck was never in the Rockies so I have no idea how altitude and mountain climbing would affect it.

We're heading to Alaska this summer and this definitely weighed on my decision.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:03 PM   #13
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I want to encourage you to consider something I don't have, and sometimes wish I did.
A van.
You can get a 3/4 ton van with a hefty engine and have lots of extra cargo space, especially if you want to bring a bike or a scooter or a lot of stuff.
I do have a Tundra (2015) and it's been great.
It's true you can't have too much truck...until you try parking at the grocery, making a U-turn, or getting in and out without a stepladder.
Stylish!
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:09 PM   #14
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I tow a 28’ with an 2017 F150XLT, 3.5 Ecoboost. I have about 1800lbs of payload. Which is adequate for my wife and me.

HOWEVER, this is only part of the “towing” package. You also need to consider a good hitch that controls/eliminates sway and redistributes the weight. I went to a Propride Hitch (expensive) which made the towing experience exceedingly more stable after using a different hitch which I just didn’t like. Others have other opinions.

The point is you need to consider your hitch just as much as your truck and airstream. That will have a large impact on your towing comfort.
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