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Old 09-15-2015, 11:11 AM   #1
ShinyPete's Avatar
2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 400
Our Pete gets a new Mule

Well, our Pete got a new mule over the Labor Day weekend. I've been pining for a stronger truck, and was close to ordering a 2016 F150 spec'd how I wanted. I located a 2015 very close to my order specs 70 miles away, and they were ready to sell it, so we pulled the trigger. Big rebates helped too! Our 2013 F150 crew 2wd 5.0 pulled Pete fine, but the new truck (nicknamed Chip - we name everything around here) should do better. "Chip" is a dual reference: after Mrs. Potts' Chip for a Disney nod, and for the big chip it got in the fender before it was delivered (dealer fixed it).

Anyhow, Chip is Silver with a black interior and is a 157" wheel base Crew, 6'6" bed, 4x4 XLT Sport EcoBoost 3.55 MaxTow. phew..... Specs are, GVWR 7050 lbs, Payload 1907 lbs, tires hold 2756 lbs @51 psi, and book says he will tow 11,200 lbs. I haven't been to the scales yet, but will try on Monday. Pete usually weighs about 6200 lbs, has a GVWR of 7300, and I've always figured about 950 lbs of tongue weight. So with us, the grans, 200 lb of stuff in the bed and the ProPride head, we've got about 250 lbs of overhead on truck Payload, lots of tire capacity, and might be close on the rear axle capacity.

I am very pleased with the 2015 improvements over the 2009-2014 F150. The payload is much better (if you're careful with options) the cab feels even bigger, the frame is definitely stiffer, it is quieter, and the seats in the Sport blow our 2013 XLT seats away. The XLT Sport gives you the Lariat 10-way heated seats, but in cloth with no cooling function. The EcoBoost is even stronger this year, so I can't wait to tow . The other day I played with the hitch-up, and achieved a nearly level front measurement (same hitched as unhitched), about a 2" drop on the rear measurement, and a nicely level truck/Airstream combo with about 6.5" on the ProPride jacks and the truck and coach pretty well loaded to travel.

It's just a truck, a tool for our enjoyment of camping and other stuff. I don't mean to brag, cause it cost money, will break, get dirty, get old one day, etc. I primarily posted this to report to the AirForums crowd the capabilities of the new F150. I was really close to spending $10-12k more for an F250 diesel but wanted to keep the 1/2 ton ride. With an almost 2k lb payload, this one let me do it.

Stay tuned for more details after our initial tow.............
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:53 PM   #2
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2008 25' Classic
Full Time , Texas
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Didn't get the tow mirrors?


2008 Classic 25fb "Silver Mistress"
2015 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins. Crew Cab, 4x4, Silver
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:09 AM   #3
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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Congrats on the new truck! It's always nice when one can upgrade their rolling stock.
Steve, Christy, Anna and Phoebe (Border Collie)
1994 Classic 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
Hensley with adjustable stinger
WBCCI # 3072
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:26 AM   #4
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Anywhere , USA Living.Somewhere.Yonder
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If not the perfect truck, that's damn near it. Congrats.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1978 31' Excella 500
Huntington Beach , California
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Posts: 26
? on Trailer

What Airstream size and weight are you pulling?
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:03 AM   #6
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1955 22' Safari
1967 26' Overlander
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
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Posts: 1,275
My guess would be 2014 27' Flying Cloud
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:45 PM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
1969 31' Sovereign
Kerrville , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
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ShinyPete, wait until you get to use the tow/haul and the select o shift button on the stick. Total control and slik in operation. Enjoy!

Happy trails.
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:56 AM   #8
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Yorba Linda , California
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 69
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NICE! I'm a big ford fan myself. I'm a nickname fan too. My truck is Rex. And the trailer is Rosie. They are ready for a "Hookup" next week. Heading for Yosemite. Enjoy that new truck.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:22 PM   #9
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 400
Thanks all, we are loving this new F150, definitely a lot of upgrades over 2009-2014 model.

Didn't have the factory tow mirrors but I actually prefer the regulars for all non-towing duties. Went with a set of "aero" clamp-on's for Chip and they performed admirably for our first quick tow to Fort Wilderness.

Haven't been far, but pretty impressed with EcoBoost MaxTow so far...... Pete likes it too. 😆

Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:53 AM   #10
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
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ShinyPete, any updates? Saw your post on another thread and said "that's an awesome truck." Then I saw that I already said that to you in September!

I have a 2012 XLT 5.0 and have been considering a new truck. An XLT with sport package is HIGH on the list.
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:40 PM   #11
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 400

Thanks for asking. I guess I needed to update this anyhow. We tow Pete, our Flying Cloud 27 fb twin as previously mentioned, and I also have a 21' bay boat (maybe 3800 lbs) and a 7x16 enclosed cargo trailer (2100 lbs empty, maybe 4600 loaded with an antique tractor) and I can truly say that the new truck tows them all very well.

I was talking about this the other day with a local friend of mine and he asked "why does it tow better than the '13 you had?" Well.........I think it's a combination of things. Drivetrain, wheelbase, frame strength, tires, and maybe a couple more. This is gonna get wordy, but here goes.

The 3.5L Egoboost (yes, I know I'm being silly calling it that) is truly awesome. I liked the '13 5.0 (a 2wd crew 145" WB, same 3.55 gears), but it always felt strained towing Pete. I could never leave it in 6th gear, even with Tow/Haul on, it just downshifted all the time. The EB allows me to tow in 6th a lot of the time, and it hardly ever downshifts on our Florida grades . I know that's funny, but we really do have some decent 6%ish short pulls around the middle of the state, especially on the turnpike that will test a rig. The EB drivetrain makes big torque at such lower RPMs than the 5.0L did, that it just pulls. Pretty loaded rig as I said in first post, and I usually drop to 5th gear manually ahead of those grades, but seriously, it just pulls. It never goes into 4th and I get a big smile on my face! Oh, and accelerating up to speed from a stop is more like running empty than the 5.0 ever was.

The frame on the '15 F150 is much stiffer. The bed hardly moves going across creek beds or into parking lots (yes, I use my truck in the woods), and that means it is a more rigid chassis. When I load the ProPride jacks to balance the rig, I'm convinced the hitch and chassis on the '13 flexed a bit. The '15 doesn't, and the hitch is stronger too as a bonus with the MaxTow package (seems like it is bolted to the bumper?), so it really doesn't flex. My truck history includes a 2003 GMC 2500HD DMax with the infamous twisting tube hitch that I replaced, so I know about torque twist when loading W/D onto a truck.

Tires and wheelbase length also come into play for more rigid towing, and I feel that both the tires and the longer 157" wheelbase on our particular '15 make it more rigid while towing Pete. We are blessed to have scored a deal on a used ProPride hitch, and while it seriously improved the towing with the '13, it literally feels like Pete is welded to the frame of the '15. You especially feel the rigid combo when a box truck passes on the Interstate and there is no "hang on to the wheel the bow wave cometh" any longer. As to the tires, on the '15 they are "XL-rated" Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude 275/65R/18 that carry 2756 lbs @51 max PSI. I run them @ 46 PSI and they ride well loaded or not, and are much stiffer than the really soft Michelin's on the '13 2wd. Those tires only held 44 PSI max and it seems like carried under 2000 lbs max. I would have soon replaced those with at least D rated LTs had we kept the '13.

Living with the '15 has proven itself well. It only has like 2400 miles so far, but I drive it nearly every day (I'm blessed with a 5 minute commute to work). It is so much more comfortable to me than the '13, that I'd rather drive it than my wife's MKX. Yes, it's an XLT, so no leather, but the seats on the Sport are the same 10 way buckets (heated, but not cooled) and center console from the Lariat/KR models. I can't prove it, and haven't researched it, but i think the crew cab is even bigger on the '15 too, the rear doors certainly look bigger next to my son's '14.

So there you have it, our new '15 F150 is meeting our needs very well. Ford really knocked it out of the park with the new model (F250 is next H/D fans ). But really, all the new trucks are SO much better than those they have replaced in recent years from ALL manufacturers. I happen to be Ford guy, probably always will be, but these new trucks are really great no matter what badge you buy. How else would they keep getting us to spend money?

Hope this is helpful to someone. As I said earlier, it's just a truck, a tool, and I don't mean to be bragging. But it's proving to be a very useful tool so far for what we use it for...........
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:57 AM   #12
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Thanks for the update Pete. It amazing how far a half ton pickup trucks has come. 10 years ago a 3/4 ton would have been the only option and you would have gotten a harsh ride and lower fuel economy included at no extra charge. Look foreword to future updates when you get on the road with the AS
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:12 PM   #13
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
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Thanks for the update. Definitely an excellent truck.

For now I am keeping my 2012 5.0 XLT. It's also been good and I "use" it as a truck to haul firewood, yard waste, etc. I wouldn't be keen on doing that with a new truck.

We have plans to sell our house and full time in the near future. At that point I'll be more seriously looking. Maybe there will be an F-250 with a 5.0 EcoBoost by then! :-)
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:38 PM   #14
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2016 23' International
2002 22' International CCD
Springfield , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 48
Thanks for the update Pete. Been following since your first post about the new mule. We just bought our first AS in October 2002 22' International CCD and towed it from east coast to Springfield MO when we took delivery. And made one additional trip and realized my Tacoma 4L V6 just did 'OK'. So we are about ready to pull trigger on new TV and white I've been a Toyota guy forever and a day, it looks like a '15 F150 might make its way down the driveway, although my wife says she does not think its possible. :-) We drove one on test drive this week, and wow. One thing that we really appreciated was the cargo space with back seats flipped up. Nice large FLAT floor area. We take our two mid sized dogs so it will be perfect for them. I'm going to miss my Tacoma. What I really want is the V6 Ecoboost in the tacoma body size. Only problem we will have with the F150 is getting it in the garage. Gotta fold one mirror and then 2" to spare each side... Oh the sacrifices we make.

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