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Old 11-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
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We are buying a 27FB Classic and appreciate suggestions on a good, dependable, efficient tow vehicle.
Dennis
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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Welcome. We use a Chevy 3/4 ton diesel Duramax which is more than we need for our 27FB Flying Cloud. We get about 15mpg.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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My gosh, if you search all of the threads on this you will see that you will get little help. Actually, you will get a lot of help with a lot of opinions and conflicting information. I am one of many who pull a trailer that weight with a 1/2 ton, but you will hear a lot about using a bigger truck. Let your wallet be your guide.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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You are going to get lots of advice since we all have vehicles we like. You have some things to consider. 1. Is the weight of your trailer. 2. You need to consider what kind of load you will carry in the trailer. Are you going to carry fresh water, and potentially waste water in the grey and black tanks? I know that my typical camping load not considering any liquids in the tank is about 500 lbs. That includes food, clothing, chairs, and other miscellaneous items stored in the trailer. Water will add another 8 lbs for each gallon carried.

Another consideration is terrain you will travel in. Flat lands or in the hills. Consider that you can encounter some pretty steep terrains in non mountain states. I live in Missouri and you can go from St Louis to Kansas City with relative flat or rolling terrain. Leave St. Louis and head southwest to Branson and you will encounter some highways that have some pretty challenging grades as you encounter the Ozarks.

Personally I like vans. They are great multi purpose vehicles with lots of covered storage in the rear. Most of them are very stable vehicles (not the extended versions which have a lot of overhang behind the rear wheels). When you buy the passenger model vans you get a lot of vehicle for the dollars spent. I know my van was about $15,000 less than a comparable GM Suburban or GMC Yukon.

While most of my towing had been with half ton vans, I moved up to a 3/4 van with my last purchase. Part of the reason was the fact that I had plans to go to a bigger trailer which had a gross weight capacity that was 25% more than the 28' Safari I was pulling at the time. Since the new trailer was a slide out I knew that I'd have significantly more hitch weight to carry, thus I wanted a heftier frame larger wheels and brakes. Going with the 3/4 ton van allowed me to select a larger engine (6 liter gas) and rear axle (4.10). This gave me a 9,900 lb towing capacity. The other factor was that I could get a transmission with the engine and axle that would allow towing in overdrive. What is interesting is that I get the same towing gas mileage with the new van that I did with the half ton. I attribute that to the fact that my half ton van only allowed towing in 3rd gear. No OD.

Understand that you will not be able to totally trust your salesperson to be knowledgable about towing. I verified all my specs with the manufacturer prior to purchasing. My sales person asked me questions about why I made the choices that I did. I dare say that when we put the order together, she learned a lot about ordering a vehicle whose main job would be for towing.

As it has ended up I have had my van for 10 years now and it has met my towing needs perfectly. Quite honestly at my age it probably will be the last tow vehicle I will every buy. With 37,000 miles on it, it has many years left.

A couple of things about vans. Note that custom vans are not preferred since their custom components weigh more than factory components. That translates to lower towing capacity. Secondly one ton vans do not always make better towing vehicles since their heavy frame also means less towing capacity than their 3/4 ton brothers. As mentioned earlier Dodge and Ford made extended vans that have a long overhang behind the rear wheels. These vans are inherently due to that length, have stability issues. I worked at a college where we restricted the passenger load due to this problem. GMC and Chevy have extended vans but they push the wheel base out which compensates for that length.

I could have gotten similar performance going with a Chevy Suburban or GMC Yukon, but cost was a big factor. I also could have gone pickup but I wanted a covered storage. With the van I could either order sliding doors on each side or hinged doors. I ordered hinged on each side. Lots of access to the interior. Also the van has front and rear heating and air conditioner controls. Nothing cools down faster or heats faster than having dual systems. Note that 3/4 ton vans come with three rear bench seats. I deleted the far back seat for a credit. The other two bench seats are removable if you want more storage room. My plan is to remove the second bench seat to allow me room to carry a 400 cc scooter. Even with that bench removed I still have seating for 5.

Good luck in your choice. I'm sure you will get lots of information.

Jack
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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We go anywhere we want to with a 1/2 ton truck and a 30' trailer.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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The Classic is about 1,500 pounds heavier than the Flying Cloud so we're thinking a 1-1/4 ton with Diesel. What say you all?
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisL View Post
We are buying a 27FB Classic and appreciate suggestions on a good, dependable, efficient tow vehicle.
Dennis
Our 25 Classic weighs in at 7640 with a 1200lb tongue weight loaded for camping. I would think the 27 would be in the same neighborhood.

You will need something that will handle those weights. Along with a quality weight distribution hitch with sway control and brake controller.

We use a 2006 8.1 Suburban with a Hensley Arrow hitch and TruControl Gold brake controller.

I've found over the years that a tow vehicle with a longer wheelbase is a big help when towing.
Canadian Rockies?



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Old 11-03-2013, 05:38 PM   #8
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Decide on a size of truck, including engine, transmission, etc. Then check Consumer Reports' recent repair records. Then go shopping.

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Old 11-03-2013, 05:49 PM   #9
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2009 27' FB Classic
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Thanks, what is the gross weight of your trailers?
We're out West and will be towing through some mountainous terrain.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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Thanks, what is the gross weight of your trailers?
We're out West and will be towing through some mountainous terrain.
Classics....

I can see 9000lb loaded pretty easy.

Bob
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:42 PM   #11
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Well gosh! If you have a choice, why not buy something super safe?
A 1 ton diesel with dual wheels in the back will provide you the most stable and safe tow. And with the diesel you will not lose power in the hilly\mountainous regions like you will with a gasser. And some of us are getting 15-17 mpg pulling 8,000 lbs.
With all the threads you can read about "white knuckle" towing experiences you will rarely if ever find one thread where that is the case with a dually. In fact most of those threads come from folks who are towing with these 1/2 ton gassers.
And if we could get a 3/4 ton van with a diesel engine, that would be cats meow!! But, alas, the manufacturers stopped making them after the disasters with the old IH diesels that were dinosaur engines for any vehicle, much less a van!
Last, you can buy a truly super 1 ton diesel, used, with your specs, for under 15K. I recommend a 24V Cummins rig with an auto and 3.54 gears because you can pull 30,000 lbs with that rig and still get better mpg than pretty much anything else on the road. BTW, they are super easy to drive.
Best of luck.
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