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Old 10-18-2008, 08:54 AM   #15
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Brian,

If your dealer has a really good deal on the one ton I would go for it. We currently tow our 30' Classic SO with a 1 ton silverado 3500 single rear wheel diesel and have no problems with the ride or damage to the Airstream. We have about 18000 total miles on the Airstream many of those in mountainous terrain. Best of all the one ton trucks have enormous disk brakes providing superior stopping distances with little heat buildup. Of course if you go for the duramax diesel allison transmission combination the tow mode of the transmission will provide you with good slowing capability by gearing down automatically at the appropriate times. I agree with Bob that you should see if you can take the truck for a weekend evaluation, hook up the airstream and see if this is what you want.
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:58 AM   #16
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Thanks for that input.

When I ordered my HaHa, they asked me to measure the height to in inside top of my receiver - I did, and they recommended a 2" drop which is what they sent me.

I did tell them at the time I was likely going to move up soon to a 3/4T and they felt that the same drop would still be good.

I guess either they are wrong, or a 1T is much higher than a 3/4T from what you say.

Suppose it won't be a big deal anyway with their exchange program. No doubt one of these days they will offer an adustable drop stiger as I believe their new competitor does.

From your experience - and comments - Do I assume that you are saying that a 1T truck will have a much stiffer suspension that a 3/4T even before the helpers come into play?

Do you think I would be way out of line trying to pull my '05 Classic 30 ft through the hills/mtns of Arizona & new Mexico with my present 1/2 ton Sierra extended cab 4x4 with 5.3 Vortec & 4.11 diff?

I might give it a try this season if I cannot get something sorted out for a new Tv in the next month or two.



Thanks ........... Brian.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:01 AM   #17
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Nice to be retired and have time to play with these toys!


Cheers ....... Brian
I hear ya but still trying to find time. Having a grandson takes up much of it. We ride too but just MTB's. We like the trails up in Waterdown.

The boys use the 80& rule a lot when towing box type trailers. Not sure if it is followed much with the Airstreams. Whole different ball game with the aerodynamics, balance, IS, and of course the bonus of the a Hensley if you have one.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:04 AM   #18
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Brian,

If your dealer has a really good deal on the one ton I would go for it. We currently tow our 30' Classic SO with a 1 ton silverado 3500 single rear wheel diesel and have no problems with the ride or damage to the Airstream. We have about 18000 total miles on the Airstream many of those in mountainous terrain. Best of all the one ton trucks have enormous disk brakes providing superior stopping distances with little heat buildup. Of course if you go for the duramax diesel allison transmission combination the tow mode of the transmission will provide you with good slowing capability by gearing down automatically at the appropriate times. I agree with Bob that you should see if you can take the truck for a weekend evaluation, hook up the airstream and see if this is what you want.
Thanks for the feedback - sounds encouraging! It is good to hear comment from someone that has actually done it!

I often fear that people who recommend against something are well meaning but have not actually done it - I know I do that myself often enough!

If I get serious about buying the one ton, it might be a good idea for me to ask if I can try it with my trailer - i would have to use my conventional hitch as I haven't installed the hensley yet - and that would be too many variables anyway!

Only thing is though that such a test drive still wouldn't demonstrate to me if there is much difference in ride quality of a 3/4 vs 1T.

Interesting to hear that your experinece witha fair distance travelled has been no trailer damage due to harsh ride.

Thanks ....... Brian
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:07 AM   #19
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1 ton will have better re-sale and all have cab lights that increase visibility .
You have no re-sale value these days... Why do the dealers have so many... They can't give them away.... I live in farm country and the dealers are sitting on a lot of the big trucks these days...

Ok, If they were giving them away I would take one but you understand what I'm saying...

Dually, I wouldn't buy unless I was using it to haul other large stuff.. construction equipment/farm...


Put on the Hensley and give it a try... I think the truck you have will work... With the price difference in fuel you don't get any more to the gallon using diesel..
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:14 AM   #20
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Brian, I suspect that most coments you will hear about a ton truck are from non owners of a new one ton.With Ford ( which is what I am familiar with) The new trucks are much more tractable than the trucks of yor. I have a 1994 1/2 F350 4x4 that is very harsh. It is a 7.3 diesel. I tow my '67 with it, I run my tire PSI as low as possible ,don't tow over 60(the truck will go like hell) and don't use a load leveler hitch. I have tubs of power and NO sway or handling problems. I use this truck cause I already own it- so I have addapted.
That being said the 2008 F350, single or duell rear wheel is a MUCH improved beast! I worked for Ford at thier Volvo proving ground in Wittman Az a few years ago. The springs on the new Fords are much softer than the older model. We did many spring swaps while the engineers played with differant spring rates. The leaf length on the new models is about 8 inches longer,and the leaf is tapered giving it a progresive load rate as it is compressed. It is not just helper springs that make a ton truck a ton truck. The entire spring pack is differant.
Also a load leveler hitch will impart a significant amout of stiffness to your Airstream. Be very carefull with overly stiff load bars. John
Thanks for the input.

I did have the feeling that earlier trucks and modern day versions might be quite different in ride quality and I guess you are confirming that.

The other thing is that (Although I didn't have a clue about this until i started getting serious about owning an AS) newer models are much much heavier than earlier models length for length. My 05 has a light weight of 7300# whereas I guess the same length thirty years ago would be about half that weight!

I am getting a little concerned about the comments I am hearing about stiff wt distrib bars. The Hensley hitch I just bought came with 1000# bars - I'm not sure if they make anything less.

I suppose I can influence things by the degree to which I crank up the bars. From what you, and others have said, with a one ton truck, the wd bats may not even be needed. I wonder if anyone runs a hensley hitch on a 1 ton truck without the bars?

Thanks ........... Brian.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:19 AM   #21
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I can find no info that says the 1 ton brakes are larger on the 1 ton than the 2500HD (3/4 ton)...of course talking strictly GM...

I would think that a slide **might** be justifiable for a 1 ton, but don't be fooled that just because you haven't seen popped rivets doesn't mean there are things lurking behind what is visible on the outside:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ion-35237.html

It's been said time and time again that Airstreams like softer rides. These Airstreams we buy today are nowhere near what they were in the 50s and 60s and if the linked thread above has any truth to it, it's a significant eye opener, at least it was for me. 1 ton is way overkill for almost any Airstream and you don't have to own one to know this...simply run the numbers and you'll see. Take a few test drives of the various models and brands before you commit, but at the very least read the linked thread before you go out and simply buy a 1 ton because it's there.

I think that a good diesel 3/4 ton is more than enough for even the very largest Airstream (Pan American and or a 34' slide). Heck, even for most 5th wheels.....again, talking strictly GM.

It is a truck buyers market. Don't simply accept what you see at the local dealer. They are practically paying you to take the fuel hogs off their hands....few want/need these types of vehicles. The grocery getter mom and dads that bought them are dropping them for more fuel eff vehicles. It is such a buyers market it's unreal. Find one on line using the manufac website and most dealers will get it for you via an inter dealer exchange.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:22 AM   #22
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Brian,

Many of the folks in our WBCCI unit tow with both the 3/4 ton pickup and the 3/4 ton suburban with very good results. I do have one friend who recently purchased a 30' trailer and is towing with the 1/2 ton sierra and hensley hitch and finds the transmission is always downshifting on the smallest hills and just this weekend had problems with brakes overheating going down a hill.


As far as hitch height it important to get your truck and trailer on perfectly level terrain and be sure everything is level with the trailer attached. My Airstream manual says the ball height should be 19.75 inches high the non slide outs are supposed to be 18.75 inches. The best technique is to get everything hitched up and measure from the ground up to the base of the trailer at the front and then the ground up to the base of the trailer in the rear and these two distances should be the same. Then do the same with your truck. Once this is done find someone with an accurate truck scale and weigh your unit. You should have equal weight on each of the four trailer wheels and I believe about 800# tongue weight for your trailer. If all of this is done you will not even know the trailer is behind you when towing with the one ton truck and the ride will be firm but not so much to damage the trailer.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:36 AM   #23
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Your vehicle is a 2002 Brian and the new 150's are much improved. Even Ford is optimistic about the 150's towing abilities as seen on their commercials...

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Old 10-18-2008, 09:43 AM   #24
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I can find no info that says the 1 ton brakes are larger on the 1 ton than the 2500HD (3/4 ton)...of course talking strictly GM...

I would think that a slide **might** be justifiable for a 1 ton, but don't be fooled that just because you haven't seen popped rivets doesn't mean there are things lurking behind what is visible on the outside:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ion-35237.html

It's been said time and time again that Airstreams like softer rides. These Airstreams we buy today are nowhere near what they were in the 50s and 60s and if the linked thread above has any truth to it, it's a significant eye opener, at least it was for me. 1 ton is way overkill for almost any Airstream and you don't have to own one to know this...simply run the numbers and you'll see. Take a few test drives of the various models and brands before you commit, but at the very least read the linked thread before you go out and simply buy a 1 ton because it's there.

I think that a good diesel 3/4 ton is more than enough for even the very largest Airstream (Pan American and or a 34' slide). Heck, even for most 5th wheels.....again, talking strictly GM.

It is a truck buyers market. Don't simply accept what you see at the local dealer. They are practically paying you to take the fuel hogs off their hands....few want/need these types of vehicles. The grocery getter mom and dads that bought them are dropping them for more fuel eff vehicles. It is such a buyers market it's unreal. Find one on line using the manufac website and most dealers will get it for you via an inter dealer exchange.
Interesting link about separation. I had seen some of that before buying our '05, and it did make me somewhat nervous, but no other trailer seemed to fill the bill!

I might have considered an older vintage AS if I had a place to work on it, but I do not, so it wasn't really an option! Besides, I wanted to buy a trailer to use, not to take up all my time repairing structural issues, changing major appliances etc!

So for now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the one I bought is in decent shape! It is certainly very clean inside and out and seems to have seen little use. It dies have a welded trailer hitch receiver on the rear which concerns me a bit - it is wired thru with a flat four pin elec. connector, so i'm guessing that thye previous owner may have towed a boat - small one I hope!

I had thought I might use the hitch for a bicycle carrier instead of putting the mountain bikes on the front of the truck as I do now. Based on comments I have found on this forum I am thinking though that I might not use the hitch - may in fact remove it to get back the ground clearance at the rear.

As for the truck issue, I'm still in a quandry. I certainly would take the one ton out for a test ride to see how rough it rides unloaded. This vehicle will also be our daily driver, although we do do very little mileage other than our long trailer trips.

I'd sure like to find a good recent 3/4T Sierra set up for trailering locally but no luck so far, maybe I need to look further afield.

Looks like I may yet try out our existing 1/2ton on an Arizona trip this winter

It is interesting to note however that those who are actually using one ton trucks don't seem to express any great concerns.

I was hoping to get a real concensus response to my query but it isn't working out that way - I guess I should have expected that! All great info though and thanks to all!


Brian
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:56 AM   #25
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Brian,

Many of the folks in our WBCCI unit tow with both the 3/4 ton pickup and the 3/4 ton suburban with very good results. I do have one friend who recently purchased a 30' trailer and is towing with the 1/2 ton sierra and hensley hitch and finds the transmission is always downshifting on the smallest hills and just this weekend had problems with brakes overheating going down a hill.


As far as hitch height it important to get your truck and trailer on perfectly level terrain and be sure everything is level with the trailer attached. My Airstream manual says the ball height should be 19.75 inches high the non slide outs are supposed to be 18.75 inches. The best technique is to get everything hitched up and measure from the ground up to the base of the trailer at the front and then the ground up to the base of the trailer in the rear and these two distances should be the same. Then do the same with your truck. Once this is done find someone with an accurate truck scale and weigh your unit. You should have equal weight on each of the four trailer wheels and I believe about 800# tongue weight for your trailer. If all of this is done you will not even know the trailer is behind you when towing with the one ton truck and the ride will be firm but not so much to damage the trailer.
Thanks for the input. Is that a 3/4 or one ton that you are using (great pic by the way!)

The problems that your friend is encountering with his 1/2T are the sort of reasons that I figured even before we took the plunge and bought the AS that we would most likely be moving to a bigger TV, and I had figured we would get a 3/4T. I'm only now looking at 1T because of an "opportunity" that presents itself.

I sold our last trailer because it was getting to the point that things were causing us grief with it on almost every winter trip and detracting from the enjoyment. Hopefully, with the much newer AS we will have put that behind us - although I'm not naive enough to think we won't have some problems with the Airstream.

Having said that, and while our 2002 Sierra 1/2T is still in great shape and has served us very well for the last five years, towing right across the US each winter, I don't want to now start having all kinds of truck problems.

This is why I felt that even though my present truck "might just" handle the AS, I wanted to do what I could to ensure that my focus would be on relaxing and RV'ing rather than constantly dealing with truck problems en route due to marginal ability.

I don't mind little problems while travelling - I look upon them as interesting challenges - just don't want too many major headaches!


Cheers ......... Brian.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:03 AM   #26
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If you are still serious, the dealer should be able to give you the spring rates of the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks so you have real numbers to compare. 2/3 - 3/4 of the weight of the trailer as is pulled down the road is on the trailer suspension. Therefore, the stiffness and ability to aborb the shock of roughness is carried by the suspension of the trailer. A little heavier suspension on the truck has a minor effect. Rough roads will kill anything, if you are travelling at too high speed. When you get into the rough stuff, slow down and let the suspension have enough time to absorb the shocks. I presume most of the one ton's they are offering are not duallies. The duallies really do have superior sway control due to their wide stance but are a pain in small parking lots. The smaller wall height tires on the dually also reduce the tendancy to sway. You most likely do not need a Hensley if buy the one ton. You certainly should not crank up the bars to their 1000 lb. specification and if you can get lighter ones, I would. Gas mileage on the one ton will be slightly poorer due to the increased frame weight. If the only thing you are going to use the truck for is towing and work, I would recommend the one ton, but it a poor choice for running to the store for cookies. The one ton gives you the opportunity to consider a 5th wheel in your future without buying a new truck.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #27
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Point of interest..

Our current TV was also a GM exec vehicle. 06 3/4 Burb 8.1 14.k, still under factory warranty til 3-2010. It's been a super TV. It has the GM Autoride,(without auto leveling) the best riding TV I've driven.
I can appreciate your conundrum, buy now or wait.

IMHO
I would get your Hensley operational, take a few trips, and decide if the investment would be worthwhile. After All, it will take a long time to break even on the money spent. And who knows what the future will bring, maybe there is a better offering down the road.
It took us four years to to jump into replacing our 95 454 Burb.

Good Luck
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:25 AM   #28
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If you are still serious, the dealer should be able to give you the spring rates of the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks so you have real numbers to compare. 2/3 - 3/4 of the weight of the trailer as is pulled down the road is on the trailer suspension. Therefore, the stiffness and ability to aborb the shock of roughness is carried by the suspension of the trailer. A little heavier suspension on the truck has a minor effect. Rough roads will kill anything, if you are travelling at too high speed. When you get into the rough stuff, slow down and let the suspension have enough time to absorb the shocks. I presume most of the one ton's they are offering are not duallies. The duallies really do have superior sway control due to their wide stance but are a pain in small parking lots. The smaller wall height tires on the dually also reduce the tendancy to sway. You most likely do not need a Hensley if buy the one ton. You certainly should not crank up the bars to their 1000 lb. specification and if you can get lighter ones, I would. Gas mileage on the one ton will be slightly poorer due to the increased frame weight. If the only thing you are going to use the truck for is towing and work, I would recommend the one ton, but it a poor choice for running to the store for cookies. The one ton gives you the opportunity to consider a 5th wheel in your future without buying a new truck.
My experience over the years in getting useful info from car dealers hasn't been great! Not surprisingly, they usually seem to tell you what they think you'd like to hear in order to make the sale!

Oft times I have had dealers give me info that was total rubbish and not even supported by their own brochures - I tend to not dispute what they are saying but just to carry on to another dealer! One local Dodge dealer just assured me that his Ram 2500
with Cummins diesel had a trailer tow rating close to 20,000#!

I suppose I might get comparative spring rate info if I wrote to GM - might give that a try if they haven't now laid off all their customer service staff!

You are right, these one ton trucks are all single wheel, I would not consider a dually, since that would be even more overkill and leave me with a pretty unmanageable vehicle for daily use.

I do realize that a one ton truck is not the best to run to store for cookies, but since there is just the two of us at home, and since we make great use of a motorcycle in summer for pleasure trips and errands, I felt it wouldn't make economic sense to buy yet another vehicle to complement the truck. Better I felt to just pay the extra fuel, tolerate the parking inconvenience and try more to combine trips rather than pay all the expenses associated with one more licensed vehicle - depreciation/insurance/upkeep etc.

Never worked the numbers but with the very small mileage we would put on an extra vehicle I'm pretty sure it would work out that way.

I did also think that a one ton would give us the option of a bigger trailer, but I doubt we would go that route. the 30 footer should suit us ideally, we are rarely away more than 6 weeks at a time. I sure did like the idea of the new AS toy hauler that we saw at Jackson Centre a few weeks back though! Maybe if I get the one ton truck I can talk the Mrs into that!

Actually we did look at a lot of SOB toyhaulers before getting the AS, and they all seemed to compromise living space just too much. In reality, the AS version would probably have the same drawback.


Cheers ........ Brian
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