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Old 03-05-2016, 03:00 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle limits?

Hello, I am new to the forum and looking to purchase an Airstream. My question is I drive a 2015 Ford F150 2.6L ecoboost. I was wondering if I am limited in the size of an Airstream? I have read that majority of tow vehicles are a F250. Thanks for any info on my step 1 in purchasing an Airstream
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:08 PM   #2
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Hi fritzdog. Welcome to the forum. I think that we are all limited based on our tow vehicle. I tow a 24 ft international with my F150 5.0L but have also towed same trailer with my Toyota Sequoia. Check the specs for your truck. Many tow their airstream with far less then you have. Good luck. Rick
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:19 PM   #3
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A lot of people tow with F-150 with the larger EcoBoost. See what the towing capacity is of your TV. I would think structurally your TV would be about the same as mine but your gear ratio might be different. Mine is the 3.31. The literature with your truck should give you most of that information and there are a jillion web sites that give truck capabilities.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:19 PM   #4
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Another note. All TVs have a limitation.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:37 PM   #5
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I think the answer you're looking for is - it is based on weight. How much weight your vehicle can tow will help you decide which trailer you can get. Though really you should decide which trailer fits your camping plans best, and upgrade your tow vehicle if necessary. Pick the right Airstream, and you may have many tow vehicles for it over the years, since you upgrade tow vehicles, but the right Airstream could be with you for life.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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To expand on the note about weights, it is about at least two weights.

The most important (in my opinion) will be your rated payload. There will be a published payload, and both front and rear axle ratings, as well a gross vehicle weight rating (total), or GVWR. Those are important figures to know for your specific vehicle. You can't just look at generic F150 figures, as your vehicle may have more or fewer options as built, and they impact the ratings.

The second weight rating is the tow rating recommendation from the manufacturer, specific to your vehicle. It can change based on engine, final drive ratio, and so on. You will find a lot of debate around how real the tow rating is, but it is a good idea to start with knowing what the manufacturer says.

These two ratings will start to provide some indication of what your truck was designed and built to tow. It is a 2.7 l Ecoboost, not the larger 3.5 litre Ecoboost, so it will be slightly lower than some F150 models.

Good luck

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Old 03-05-2016, 09:26 PM   #7
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We live in Colorado, and the rule of thumb here (to climb 11,000 ft over the continental divide) is to have a 2000 lb cushion. I believe your truck tows tows an insane 12,000 pounds, and is the preferred Ford towing engine. You should be fine with almost any Airstream.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfrez View Post
We live in Colorado, and the rule of thumb here (to climb 11,000 ft over the continental divide) is to have a 2000 lb cushion. I believe your truck tows tows an insane 12,000 pounds, and is the preferred Ford towing engine. You should be fine with almost any Airstream.

The 2.6 eco boost is too small displacement


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Old 03-05-2016, 09:32 PM   #9
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A reasonable answer can not be given without some details on your truck.
1. Does it have a towing package?
2. If so, is it the heavy duty package (not referring to the F250 trucks, there is often more than one towing package).
3. What does the door label say your cargo capacity is? Compare that to the sum of everything you plan to put in the truck plus your loaded tongue weight.
4. What is the stated towing capacity of your truck? Compare that to the GVWR of your trailer. You probably want to have some margin, maybe 20% or more.

I think more people towing larger trailers have the 3.5L, but they will chime in, I'm sure.

Al
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:48 PM   #10
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Not sure on my tow package. All I know is that I have a hitch and can plug in a trailer. I do not have the tow slide mechanism that is on the dash. As you can tell, I am new to all of this. Thanks for your reply
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:52 PM   #11
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There are sites that would provide your vehicle's specs given the VIN number. Or your dealer could get you this info.
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:50 AM   #12
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What jci said PLUS your tire ratings and all the ratings jci stated as well as tire ratings for your individual vehicle are right on your driver's door sticker and on the road side sticker of the trailer. It's really all the information you need. Many on these forums and others will say you can tow any AS you want with your TV. I do not ascribe to that line of thinking. Yes you can tow any AS with your rig, but can you do so safely, in my opinion, no. As a personal again for those who want to argue, PERSONAL opinion I tow up to 25' with a 1/2 ton and above 25' I go to a 3/4 ton. I've done it and never looked back.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:17 AM   #13
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Welcome, Fritzdog. As others have said, each truck is different, so you need to know the numbers for YOUR truck. Getting the ratings for axles, gross and combined weight, etc. is fairly easy. The next step, though, is to load the truck as if you are ready to go camping. That means family, pets, whatever else will ride in the truck, full fuel, etc. and then get it weighed. Go to a CAT scale and get the ACTUAL weights of front and rear axle.

Once you have real-life numbers you can better figure out what sort of trailer you can safely tow. Any time you reach a limit you have reached ALL of the limits. In other words, if you find that your rear axle is near the limit when ready to go camping you can't tow much. That probably isn't the case, but you get the idea.

Remember that the tongue weight of a travel trailer is usually 10-15% of the trailer's actual weight. If you discover that your truck can safely take 500 pounds on the rear axle you know that you can tow a trailer that, fully loaded, weighs no more than 5000 pounds. Remember that the sales person will usually quote a dry, or empty, weight. Look on the left side, near the front, or on the door for a yellow sticker that gives the gross weight. That's the number you should look at.

Many people tow with trucks that are overloaded, and have done so for years. In my opinion, you are just asking for trouble doing that. You are overstressing your truck, which will lead to eventual failures, and more importantly, you won't be able to stop as quickly. In a panic stop you may even find that the heavy trailer wants to get ahead of you.

Take your time and get it right. Your family is worth the extra cost of upgrading your truck, should you find that you need to do so.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:55 AM   #14
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Thanks for all your comments. I will take each into account
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