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Old 06-26-2014, 02:32 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Advice... any help is much appreciated!

Hi all!

We are very new to all of this but we planning to full time in our 2009 International 25FB (GVWR 7300), at least for the next year. Hopefully we love it and will go longer

We have our AS but we're still without a TV (see, I'm even learning the lingo).

I've narrowed it down to a Ford F-150, 3.5L Ecoboost with Max Tow. We need a crew cab and want the short bed. We also need the truck to be 5500 lbs or under so we don't have to register as a commercial vehicle (we're in NY).

We really don't want to buy a brand new truck, so we're looking in the 2011-2013 range but I'm having a hard time finding all of the features we want in a used truck. So my question is, do we really need the Max Tow? Or maybe we don't need the Ecoboost and should get the 5.0 L with the V8? Or maybe there's another way to go altogether? We do definitely need a pick up, as we have some gear we need to bring along.

I should note that we're not all that knowledgable about trucks. I have read a lot of the other threads but it seems like some people say definitely Max Tow and others say otherwise.

I did find a new truck that matches all of our needs... but I'm hoping to not have to spend $42,000 on a truck, at least until we have more experience and are sure what we need and that we're going long term, etc.

Thanks so much. Any help is really appreciated!
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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Watch for actual weight carrying on a 1/2 ton. I found that I was maxed on a 1/2 ton GMC Sierra with me, wife, dog, full tank of gas and an FC25. Left 80# for the truck bed without exceeding the GVW for the truck. Towed fine with the 5.3L even in the mountains of Colorado but no load left.

If you find something you like on the test drive take it to a CAT scale to validate the actual weights.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:33 PM   #3
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I'm starting to think that maybe we should rent a truck with a hitch, load it up with our gear and load up the AS and then weigh it all so we have some idea what we're working with. I have no idea if renting a to vehicle is even possible but I'm going to research it (if anyone knows, please let me know).

Otherwise I feel like I have to get a huge truck so I know I don't have to worry. In this case, maybe the F-250 would be better?
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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I tow our 25ft International with a GMC HD 1500 ( 7200 lb. GVWR) and 6L V8. Mileage has been 20+ empty and 13+ towing and best of all there is payload left over when we travel.Very happy with it after 113000 km. Over half of it towing.
I would highly recommend that whatever you decide to get that it have the max tow package so you get all the proper cooling , braking and gear ratios.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:52 PM   #5
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F-150

You should be able to easily tow a modern 25 foot Airstream with an F-150 without trouble provided you don't overload the vehicle. Check the payload capacity of the particular truck you are considering (this figure should be on a sticker in the driver door jamb or in the owner's manual) and then do the math: Add the tongue weight of your trailer (likely between 800 and 850 lbs for your model) the weight of the passengers, gear and accessories (like a cap or tonneau cover) and make sure you do not exceed the payload figure of the tow vehicle. Assuming you don't exceed that figure, then you should be fine.

People who actually have the EcoBoost engine speak very highly of it. You can check for the many threads on that subject using the search function. There are always alot of F-150's with the EB engine coming off 24/36 months leases so that you should be able to find a good used one at your local Ford dealership.

Another excellent towing resource is Andy Thompson at CanAm RV in London Ontario (not really that far from you in "RV travel terms!") He is regarded by many as the RV towing guru. Here is the link to their web site:

Can-Am RV Centre | #1 Airstream Dealer in Customer Satisfaction Worldwide | Your Full-Service RV Dealer

There are people who successfully and pleasantly tow their Airstream with minivans, passenger cars and mid-weight SUV's (think Explorer, Jeep, X-5, Touareg, etc...) It's all in the "set-up" by which we mean a proper receiver on the tow vehicle, a properly set-up weight distributing hitch and sometimes tow vehicle tires and suspension modifications.

Not everyone tows with a 3/4 or 1 ton pick up! I happen to, but that for another reason entirely....

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Old 06-26-2014, 05:56 PM   #6
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Max Tow has nothing to do with your vehicle's payload. On Ford, Max Tow is trans cooler and gearing. HD Payload however bumps the payload to 2200lbs. And is only available with the 6ft bed. We're in the same boat. We are trying to avoid the larger truck, but are currently searching for an 09-13 truck with the options we want in crew cab.

We looked at the Ford's pretty heavily. As the above person mentioned, you need to pay attention to each vehicles payload capacity. Different features and options effect payload capacity.

A few of the Ecoboosts we looked at had 1240lbs payload and and lower gear ratios. Finding ones with higher payload and stepper gear ratios ended up having less features and more work truck like.

It's frustrating, and means your search will take more time and more care in looking over a vehicles specs. We've come across a number of trucks that had the options we wanted, in our price range, but then the payload would be too low or the gearing wrong. It's frustrating. It's probably easier to buy a new truck than hunting down the right used one.

Right now we may have already made an expensive mistake with a Dodge, but I'll find out soon... Fingers crossed.

Good luck on your hunt.

BTW, you can figure out your payload on a Ford by taking the vehicles weight and subtracting it from the GVWR.

So a GVWR of 6500 minus a 5500 GVW = 1000lbs Payload.

Ford adds 150lbs driver into the GVW.

Your hitch weight, or tongue weight gets transferred to payload. This is why folks talk about being over loaded. You can actually over load long before you reach what the engine can't actually pull.

A lot of folks will argue however with you, if the engine can still pull it, it can't possibly be over loaded.

Research and do diligence.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:07 PM   #7
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Sorry, I should have been more specific. On my 2008 GMC,Max Tow was what gave me the 6l v8( variable displacement) 4whl disc brakes 9.5 in rear end, seperate coolers for trans, and rad, and choice of 3.73, or 4.10 and 7200 lb GVW.
I don't know what Ford's max tow gets you.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:10 PM   #8
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F-150 payload capacity

Figuring the payload capacity of any pick up can be tricky because there are so many variables! Here, for example, is the payload table for Ford's 2014 F-150 line up:

2014 Ford F-150 | View Payload Specifications | Ford.com

As you can see, the F-150's payload ranges from about 1,500 lbs to over 3,000 depending on the options and configuration. This range does not include the Raptor model which is not a good choice for a tow vehicle. Generally, the larger cabs have lower payloads. If you don't plan to carry a complete set of woodworking tools in the bed of your truck, any model with a payload capacity of 1,700 lbs or more should suffice. Such a payload should leave you with 800 to 900 pounds after the hitch weight for gear, accessories, passengers and a margin for safety.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:17 PM   #9
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:07 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone

This is starting the make sense to me... so payload is people, dogs, gear, truck accessories and tongue weight added together.

So now here's a very stupid question does GVWR mean the same thing as towing capacity? On the new truck we looked at, they said a towing capacity of 11000, would that mean GVWR of 11,000? And then with a 5500 lb truck, the payload would be 5500?

I'm also still a little fuzzy on tongue weight. Is that just something that's set for the trailer or does it depend on what stuff we put in the trailer? I'm assuming it depends on stuff but just want to make sure. Is there a formula for figuring out tongue weight?

thanks again (and again and again)!
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:28 PM   #11
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Payload is all the stuff add to a vehicle (passengers, cargo, camping gear, tongue weight, etc) (tow vehicle and trailer each has its own payload capacity)

GVRW is the maximum gross weight a vehicle, which includes the weight of the vehicle and its payload. (tow vehicle and trailer each has its on GVRW rating)

GCRW is the maximum allowed combine weight of the tow vehicle with a trailer, including payload in both vehicles.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:36 PM   #12
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GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is the weight rating for the truck only. Basically it is the weight allowed on the truck's axles. It is often less than the sum of the front and rear GAWR (gross axle weight rating). GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is the allowable weight as measured at the ground on all axles of the truck and trailer. It will almost always be less than the sum of GVWR and towing capacity. On my truck, the towing capacity assumes that the only load in the truck is the driver (150#) and a full tank of gas. Anything else in the truck (passenger, gear, etc.) subtracts from towing capacity.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Mike key, what did you buy? Jim
Nothing yet, but I put down money to get a vehicle shipped here from Salt Lake City with option to buy. I am getting conflicting info online recently that has me worried the trucks payload is going to be lower than what I was told. But I'll know when it arrives and I can verify the door for myself. Transfer fee was non refundable. This is my first time expanding my search outside of my state. And I might of gotten a little to excited. Do Diligence.

But thanks to this forum and it's members I am looking carefully. Before hand, I didn't even know about payload capacity and would of easily bought something because it said rated to pull 10,000lbs online.

But it's a lot easier if you're just buying based on color and leather seats, lol.

My wife is fond of the Ford interior, I'm impressed by the ecoboost, but I personally am fond of the Dodge Ram, I love the interior and the look of the truck. I've been a life long GM guy, but sadly, the Silverado & Sierra just feel so blah. And 2014's are out of the question. We're trying to get on the road by the end of the year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is the weight rating for the truck only. Basically it is the weight allowed on the truck's axles. It is often less than the sum of the front and rear GAWR (gross axle weight rating). GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is the allowable weight as measured at the ground on all axles of the truck and trailer. It will almost always be less than the sum of GVWR and towing capacity. On my truck, the towing capacity assumes that the only load in the truck is the driver (150#) and a full tank of gas. Anything else in the truck (passenger, gear, etc.) subtracts from towing capacity.
Yup. This right here.

I only plan on really carrying myself, my wife, our infant child, a generator, two 5 gallon tanks of gas and my craftsman tool box in the bed. So..... the search continues.

Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:04 PM   #14
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While looking at new F150 Eco boost trucks on dealer lots that most of them had 3.15 rear ends. While that gear ratio gives great mpg it's not at all good for towing heavier trailers. You should find out just what rear end gear is in any used truck that you are looking at.
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