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Old 07-14-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
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1948 22' Liner
1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
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Towing a 34ft airstream

Hello to everyone here on the forum.

im sure this question has been asked many times before and i apologize for not finding the answer.

we sold our '66 tradewind last winter and now we are trying to find a 34ft camper. either excella or sovereign with the rear queen bed.

my question: will it be a problem to tow a 3 axle airstream with my truck ? i drive a 2004 F250 with the 6.0 diesel. 4 door and shortbed.71k mls, 2wd.
i'm concerned of not having enough truck / wheelbase to pull this trailer.(sway of trailer on interstate?)
what is your experience? and are their any upgrades necessary to my truck ?
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:01 PM   #2
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submariner,
Welcome to the forums.
What is the tow capacity of your F250?
It should be more than enough and the wheelbase is fine.
Our 34' is about 7000# dry and it sounds like you are looking for something in the same weight range. We have found the 34 tows and tracks exceptionally well and I enjoy towing it--very stable.
Proper weight distribution set up is a must though. Many threads on the forum addressing what you will need there.
Good luck and let us know what you end up with.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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We tow with an Excursion V-10 4x4 and use "E" rated tires at 75 lbs. front and 80 lbs. rear. Out west I have had no problems but E rated tires are a must. Your wheel base should be close to mine. Also with 6 tires on the road it tracks very well at 60 mph and I get 11 mpg. Good luck to you.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:50 PM   #4
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It shouldn't be any problem. I tow ours with a 2009 F150 5.4L gas.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by submariner View Post
Hello to everyone here on the forum.

im sure this question has been asked many times before and i apologize for not finding the answer.

we sold our '66 tradewind last winter and now we are trying to find a 34ft camper. either excella or sovereign with the rear queen bed.

my question: will it be a problem to tow a 3 axle airstream with my truck ? i drive a 2004 F250 with the 6.0 diesel. 4 door and shortbed.71k mls, 2wd.
i'm concerned of not having enough truck / wheelbase to pull this trailer.(sway of trailer on interstate?)
what is your experience? and are their any upgrades necessary to my truck ?
Good to see another Squid on the Forums. You'll have no problem towing with your truck at all. I owned a 2003 Excursion with the 6.0L PSD and never ceased to be amazed at the pulling power of that truck. Your wheelbase is also excellent. You'll still need a good weight distribution/anti-sway hitch. If you have the money go for a Hensley, if you don't have the big bucks go for the Equal-i-zer or Reese Dual Cam.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:44 PM   #6
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1991 34' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by submariner View Post
...my question: will it be a problem to tow a 3 axle airstream with my truck ? i drive a 2004 F250 with the 6.0 diesel. 4 door and shortbed.71k mls, 2wd.
i'm concerned of not having enough truck / wheelbase to pull this trailer.(sway of trailer on interstate?)
what is your experience? and are their any upgrades necessary to my truck ?
Hello from central Mississippi and welcome to the forums!
We tow our 34' with a 2006 std bed 4 door Dodge diesel, 2wd...no problem. You will need some pretty good weight distribution equipment and the best $9 + you can spend is a trip to the scales.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...-in-17984.html
If you can spring for a Hensley hitch or a ProPride, it makes for a very sweet towing combo.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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Diesel F-250's do a fine job of pulling 34' Excella's.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:01 PM   #8
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You have plenty of truck. As mentioned before, spend a little time setting up your hitch of choice and some windshield time in the slow lane getting familiar with your new rig. And, enjoy the extra indoor space.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:35 PM   #9
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Your truck is more than adequate. You will also enjoy the layout of the 34 as well as the ease in towing. I think most of the caveats on 34s are from people who have never owned one. I think an anti sway hitch like a Hensely is a must.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:57 PM   #10
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I have no experience with towing a 34 but I have towed other size trailers and find that a dually is hard to beat for towing anything. There is very little sway and not much bothers the truck with 4 tires on the rear axle. You never feel like your trailer is pushing you around.
I have towed with non dual wheel vehicles and there is a world of difference between the two.
Just try one and see for yourself.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:50 PM   #11
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As others have said, you will be fine.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #12
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1948 22' Liner
1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
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thanks guys for all those quick replies. looks like i should be ok.
now the only problem i have is still trying to find a 34ft airstream in the right price. i can tell you guys, i sure miss my last airstream
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:56 AM   #13
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I just saw a 1990 posted at Top of Georgia. The price looked good as well. PM me if you want more info.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:14 PM   #14
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I don't think you will have any problems towing with the TV you spec'ed. The triples sway very little (for me, never the first indication in 41000 miles) always rock steady even in very windy conditions. I use an old reese hitch with friction sway controls and have never felt unstable or in need of a $2500 hitch for the rig.
Whats important to me is to adjust the tongue weight and weight distribution per the instructions.
Check your trucks factory hitch for suitability for a 1000 lb tongue weight and 10000 load and upgrade that if needed.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:51 PM   #15
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I have a 2000 v10 F250 Crew Cab 4x4 - all factory equipped. My only problem is finding a drop shank that will allow the ball height and trailer coupler height to match as needed. Still trying to find the right combo. Good luck - the 34' is a nice rig!
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:38 PM   #16
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What to expect

After the holidays I plan to list my current 25'er for sale here on the classifieds and get something bigger.

I have been working with a dealer this week on an order for a 30 Classic Limited (twins). However, they have a 34' on the lot with twins, and are getting pretty aggressive with pricing here at year-end.

While I believe I now have plenty of TV (F250 crewcab with 6.4 PSD), I am concerned about the overall towing experience with the additional approx. 4 ft and the third axle. I have read about the rear drag issue, etc. But what else should I expect in the towing experience in going from a 25' to a 34'? And/or, what would be the difference in what I plan to purchase in a 30 CL versus the 34'?

Would appreciate any insight.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:04 PM   #17
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hi chris

we've had several long thread discussions of the virtues n vices of owning a 34, and compared to 30/31 or smaller.

providing one has an adequate mule here are a few points.

-backing into sites requires pulling FORWARD more, before initiating the reverse/turn...

-the rear end swing will be more obvious with a longer stream.

-the tires will 'roll' or scuff a bit on tighter turns.

-there is the issue of maintaining 6 brakes, hubs, tires n rims.

-often ANOTHER set of leveling blocks is needed (i carry 3 sets)

-rear overhang/drag can happen but simply adjusting approach angle or going slower, often solves this.

-there are 'sacrificial rub rails' at the rear, so USE THEM! (i've dragged 4-5 times in 100k miles towing)

-one must be AWARE of filling stations and tight spots, i use the trucker lanes 90% of the time.

-one can always UNhitch if needed (to get fuel or explore a campground in advance)

-everyone worries about the INSIDE corner and scraping, but the tail swings W I D E, so outside clearance matters too.

-i doubt that there is much (any) appreciable difference between dragging a 30 or a 34.

u will notice the UPsize going from a 25 but adapt quickly.

they are all the same size in the rear view mirrors...
__________

while there is a bit more closet space, galley space and OPEN floor space in the front of a 34,

it's not that much bigger inside and the bathroom layout in the 30 MIGHT be more appealing.

34s and 31 have the entire bath/lav street side.

30s (same size as 31s) have a S P L....I T shower/lav/toilet.

so the bathrooms seems more OPEN in a 30, but the hall way is BLOCKED while in use.

the 34s have a longer narrower hall but showering/toilet use doesn't cut the stream in half.

i really like having 3 axles and the extra/open lounge area...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ius-21649.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...lla-40052.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f181...rks-41443.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...6-a-54968.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ella-1911.html

i am not a fan of having 2 skylights, which means that much more heating or cooling issues.

u may really WANT a 2nd ac in a 34, especially liv'n in the south.

i get by fine with 1 15,000 btu ac but try to avoid hot/humid locations in the summer.

(vernon--hihoagrv-see post #6 ) went from a 29/30 to a 34 last year and can give first hand views on living with both sizes.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:26 AM   #18
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it's not that much bigger inside and the bathroom layout in the 30 MIGHT be more appealing.

u may really WANT a 2nd ac in a 34, especially liv'n in the south.

i get by fine with 1 15,000 btu ac but try to avoid hot/humid locations in the summer.

cheers
2air'
2air,
As always, thanks for the reply.

I appreciate the towing experience insight as well as your thoughts relative to floorplan.

I think my mule would handle the 34. However, I am, for whatever reason, extremely nervous about that additional 4 feet and weight (i.e., would I still have adequate tow capacity margin - I don't want to be on the bubble again).

The bathroom layout in the 30 is indeed much more appealing us when compared to the 34 or 31 models. We are not too crazy about the prospect of bathing our small children in such a confined area as those models offer. The split bath set-up makes bathing a 6 and 3 year-old easier.

I can appreciate your feedback on the a/c's. Both the 34 they have on the lot and the 30 I am leaning toward ordering have the 2nd bedroom 13.5k air conditioner.

I don't know. Decisions, decisions...

-Chris
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:01 AM   #19
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...I think my mule would handle the 34. However, I am, for whatever reason, extremely nervous about that additional 4 feet and weight (i.e., would I still have adequate tow capacity margin - I don't want to be on the bubble again)...
having used an 05 f-250 with the 34 for about 80,000 miles of towing,

and having driven the 6.4 L version u own, the crewcab/short bed 08-250 is very capable.

with the pp as your hitch'n tool that is another bonus.

the weight difference between a modern 30 and 34 is small,

and 3 axles improves support and stability.

it is possible to exceed (or get close) to the payload depending on how much gear is carried in the truck.

i did add 1 leaf spring (per side) to the 250 after 10s of thousands of miles towing...

but your truck is very capable and has the towing capacity for either large stream.

good luck deciding, i am a big fan of ordering EXACTLY what is wanted, when one knows what they want.

but it is nice they decided to make a few 34s this year.
_______

IF the plan is to have the kiddos use the twin bed/rear,

it would be useful for mom/dad to close off the hall doors in the 34,

and imagine using the front 2/3s of the stream after bedding down vs the a bit less space in the 30.

for example, pull out the sofa to the bed position and look at floor space.

then imagine breakfast in the galley/dinette of each unit.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #20
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I agee with 2air. The 34' triple axle tows like a dream with the right TV and Hensley Hitch. I would not have anything else. I did take out the bathroom wall, see my images, so my bath now reaches from side to side. It's mostly me and my wife, but when we have guests we just close the accordian slide for privacy.
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