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Old 02-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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Cool Newbie's!! Difference of opinion on our tow vehicle.

Hello all, we are looking to purchase a new Airstream and can't wait!! I've been researching everything that I possibly can on-line. So glad to have found this forum. Thank you all in advance. The dealership near us told me that our Ford Expedition EL, 5.4V8, 2011 EL King Ranch (with tow package) would be just fine to tow the 30' International Serenity that we want. I have now been told by two other dealers that info. is very wrong and it can't tow it safely. So, now we are looking at the 27' FB International Serenity. Will we be fine towing the 27' with our Expedition? Not sure who to trust at the present moment. It's all getting very confusing. If not, I guess we need to look at an F250 or F350? Also, while we are close to the subject, what is the best sway control hitch out there? I've been looking at the Equal-i-zer?? Many thanks, Airstreamers!!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #2
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Hi Anna and welcome to the forums.
I would recommend going to the Ford website and look at how your Expy is equiped in terms of tow ratings. For example you know its a 5.4 l engine, what is the rear end gear ratio? Sometimes an all wheel drive has a little lower tow rating as well. Having the optional tow package is great. Usually that means it has an external transmission and egine oil cooler. Is the Expy equipped with the integrated brake and sway controller? If not, you'll have to reseach the brake controllers on the market.
I personally have an Equalizer sway control hitch with a prodigy brake controller and tow with an 08 Tahoe 2wd and 3:73 gears. It has a tow rating of 7300lbs
Good luck in your reseach and I'm sure they'll be others that will provide some advice here.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:59 PM   #3
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Firstly, welcome to the forums, and good luck in your search/purchase. I won't comment on the TV (tow vehicle), but I can honestly say (with personal experience) that the two best hitches out there (not taking cost into consideration) is either a Hensley Arrow or a ProPride (the differences here are like the differences between a Ford and Chevy...all personal opinion).
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

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

The Expedition can probably tow the 30 or 27 OK, but you may not be super satisfied with the performance as the Expedition is a half ton vehicle. You will be towing around 8,000# with a 900# tongue weight. This is a tall order for any half ton truck.

I would say that since you have the Expedition already, give it a try. If it's not within your comfort zone, move up.

Brian
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, Anna. Before making any major decisions you might want to consult Andy Thompson at Can-Am RV (canamrv.ca) for an unbiased and professional opinion; he's probably the best source of towing knowledge in North America and has helped many an Airstreamer on here.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
Welcome to the forum, Anna. Before making any major decisions you might want to consult Andy Thompson at Can-Am RV (canamrv.ca) for an unbiased and professional opinion; he's probably the best source of towing knowledge in North America and has helped many an Airstreamer on here.
X2

The usual order of things is to buy the TT first, the TV second (at least, it is preferable).

How you will use the TT is much to the decision. Several trips annually over a few thousand miles is a different set of considerations than many months of travel over several tens of thousands. Plus the number of people, pets and gear.

Yes, your vehicle will tow it . . in the vein that anything can tow anything. But some choices will be better than others.

The PRO-PRIDE is the updated, re-engineered version of the Hensley Arrow (both licensed of the patent holder) and has a greater range of adjustments. Consider that it, along with trailer disc brakes and a state-of-the-art brake controller are all worth your while. No one ever goes back from these components to less capable ones.

Put in word to Mr. Thompson that you would like to consult with him over your choices at your mutual convenience.

.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.
I would say that since you have the Expedition already, give it a try. If it's not within your comfort zone, move up.

Brian
What Brian said....the Airstream will most likely stay around a lot longer than any TV.
Give the Expo a try, you'll have a much better idea of what you may need/want.

My preference would be a 3/4 well equipped anything.

Our anything is an 06 8.1 Burb w/Hensley Arrow hitch and Tru-Control brake controller.

IMHO....3500 anything is overkill, HD suspension could do bad stuff to the AS.

Sweet Streams....

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Old 02-07-2012, 09:02 PM   #8
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The independent rear suspension of the 2011 Expo adds significantly to its stability.

The expert is Andrew Thomson at canamrv.can and he is very willing to help.

doug k
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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Hello All, here is the response today from Andy Thomson. Thank you SO MUCH for referring him to me. This just put our mind at ease so we can forge ahead with the 30' with no worries. See his message to me below:

Hi Anna

If I connected a 27 Serenity to your Expedition and then connected a 30 and let you test drive each of them you would not be able to tell which was which if I did not tell you, they tow almost identical. If the 30 is the one you like (and who can blame you) I would definitely get the 30.

If I was going to purchase a full size truck to tow with I would buy the Expedition as it is the best handling and most comfortable full size truck available. It handles in an emergency situation substantially better than a ¾ ton truck and it rides far smoother. This is because the Expedition has independent front and rear suspension instead of the archaic straight axles found on ¾ ton trucks. As well it will maneuver the Airstream into much tighter campsites than a long pick up. Yes a huge diesel will climb a few mountain grades 10 MPH faster but you will always have more than adequate power with your Expedition. 20 years ago you could not buy a vehicle within 100 HP of your Expedition yet people still traveled everywhere.

Which hitch system and brake control were you planning to use? Do you mind if I ask where you are from, I might be able to suggest a good dealer to work with.

Feel free to send any follow-up questions.

Andy
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
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Hi,

You might want to check the Gross limits on the Expedition and think about what you'll be carrying in the SUV. As noted above, the hitch weight of the trailer factors in. Here are the Ford spec sheets for 2011, including an RV and Trailer Trailer Towing Guide that I found very helpful.

It explains GVWR, GCVWR, how the hitch weight factors in, and such.

FWIW, my Ford dealer was clueless about all this. In my case, they said a truck that had a 9,000 pound towing capacity could tow a 9,000 pound trailer. The answer is not that simple; you also need to consider the GCVWR, GVWR of the trailer and the truck, the Axle Weight ratings of the truck, the curb weight of the truck, and whatever else you intend to carry with you in the truck.

I went through this recently regarding a 2012 F-150. Note that the F-150 with Max Tow is supposed to tow 11,300 pounds. However, factoring in the things I mentioned above, it turns out a 25' Flying Cloud with a 7300 GVWR is probably right at several of the F-150s capacity. Details here

Let me stress, I'm new at this myself You have to decide what you're comfortable with, and we found the Ford links above very useful coming to that decision for our situation.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:20 PM   #11
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Hi Barrettjl, since you are new also, I wanted to share with you the gentleman who advised me from the email above that our Expedition was a good choice to tow a 30' Serenity. I was referred to Andy Thomson by several other Forum members. Here is a little bio on Andy:
By Andy Thomson
As published in RV Lifestyle Magazine


Andy Thomson has been writing his Hitch Hints column in RV Lifestyles Magazine for 24 years, and Can-Am has been aggressively experimenting with tow vehicles and hitch systems for more than 40 years.
Andy and Can-Am have earned a global reputation as The Towing Experts from decades of real world trials and tests. Can-Am designs and fabricates custom hitches that never sacrifice safety, and satisfy the most discerning travel trailer owners.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:31 PM   #12
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Hi,

You might want to check the Gross limits on the Expedition and think about what you'll be carrying in the SUV. As noted above, the hitch weight of the trailer factors in. Here are the Ford spec sheets for 2011, including an RV and Trailer Trailer Towing Guide that I found very helpful.

It explains GVWR, GCVWR, how the hitch weight factors in, and such.

FWIW, my Ford dealer was clueless about all this. In my case, they said a truck that had a 9,000 pound towing capacity could tow a 9,000 pound trailer. The answer is not that simple; you also need to consider the GCVWR, GVWR of the trailer and the truck, the Axle Weight ratings of the truck, the curb weight of the truck, and whatever else you intend to carry with you in the truck.

I went through this recently regarding a 2012 F-150. Note that the F-150 with Max Tow is supposed to tow 11,300 pounds. However, factoring in the things I mentioned above, it turns out a 25' Flying Cloud with a 7300 GVWR is probably right at several of the F-150s capacity. Details here

Let me stress, I'm new at this myself You have to decide what you're comfortable with, and we found the Ford links above very useful coming to that decision for our situation.

X2

Andy is no doubt the expert. Payload capacity is where I run into problems with 1/2 ton trucks. We always seem to travel heavy. ~1800# payload does not leave much room for people and equipment in the TV after you add the tongue weight.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #13
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X2

Andy is no doubt the expert. Payload capacity is where I run into problems with 1/2 ton trucks. We always seem to travel heavy. ~1800# payload does not leave much room for people and equipment in the TV after you add the tongue weight.
This is absolutely correct (which is where some of the newer standards are derived from)...in the past you only had to have a base vehicle, with a single driver with no a/c etc to determine towing capacity! In the real world, we carry a lot more cargo.

In my case, our F150 can tow 9600#, but when you factor in 2 adults, 2 kids, and our large great dane (who's another adult @ 150lbs), our bikes, bins and tongue weight, we can actually only tow ~ 7600#.....which is why we're happy with our 6300# trailer. But, any more than that and we'd be at or right above the GVWR for our setup.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:40 PM   #14
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Anna,

Don't over-stress about it.

try it, you'll know soon enough how it toez.

Make sure your safe and goe for it.

Remember the cart goes BEHIND the horse, go get that Airstream and start over.



Bob
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