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Old 01-29-2009, 09:22 PM   #15
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Bozeman , Montana
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For a lengthy discussion of tow capacity, and a helpful spreadsheet, see

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Old 01-30-2009, 04:57 AM   #16

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Short & Sweet...

Get out there and try it...

Make sure your safe...ENJOY.

The 250 is capable, just a question of are you comfortable with it?

Good Luck.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:11 AM   #17
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1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
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I think it easy to look at an F-250 and think... well, it's a 3/4 ton truck, it's plenty. In your case, it may well be but when you start looking at "vintage" tow vehicles, I think it's always a good idea to read "the book." Check the weight ratings. Weigh the vehicle and the trailer loaded. More knowing means better towing.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:22 AM   #18
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1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
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Like someone said "Git out there and try it" The F250 should be all that U need. I'm not sure what 5.8 Liter = but I have a 302/F150 Supercab longbed with 3:55 I would not hesitate to pull my trailer with,although it would probably leave something to be desired in the mountains but on the roads here in Ohio or Ind it would not be bad. However I would prefer a F250 or my F350. I use a older style dual cam Reese WD hitch with 500 lb bars to get the ride soft enough for the trailer. Spending hugh amounts of money on a hitch is not necessary with the Airstream.
Git out there and have fun.
Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:34 AM   #19
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
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5.8 Liter = 353.93771574944725 cubic inches.


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Old 01-30-2009, 08:38 AM   #20
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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351 CID Windsor designed engine.

302 CID = 5.0l

1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
1966 Lincoln 4 door Convertible 462 4V 1971 Ford LTD Convertible 429 4V Phoenix ~ Yeah it's hot however it's a dry heat!
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:53 AM   #21
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
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You should be fine provided the truck is in tip top shape. That means brakes, tires, cooling system, transmission, universal joints, pretty much all moving parts should be inspected and renewed if necessary.

If the rad is "iffy", partly clogged or fins corroded, you might consider a new heavy duty rad. Also a 7 blade fan on the engine plus an electric fan in front of the rad for severe temps.

Service the trans, change the fluid, add a cooler, and use heavy duty fluid such as, B&M or a good name brans synthetic.

Change differential lube to synthetic.

Change engine oil to synthetic or at least use a diesel rated name brand oil. Diesel rated oils have extreme pressure additives that have been removed from regular oils in recent years to cut pollution.

If the tires are due for replacement get some lower profile tires. If your OEM recommendation is 75 series get 60 series. This will lower your gearing and the stiffer tires will reduce side sway.

Get a good hitch, the EZ lift anti sway or Reese anti sway models get good reviews, the Hensley Arrow is tops but a lot of $$$$$ bucks.

All this is based on the idea that you plan to do a LOT of towing. If you just want to bring the thing home or pitter potter up to the lake once a year your truck will probably do fine just as it is.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:58 AM   #22
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
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To answer your original question - there is no set formula as such. The manufacturers give their recommendations, and by that standard your truck is well capable of pulling your trailer.

The only questions I would have, would be due to the age of the vehicle. But if everything is in good shape it should serve you as well as a new truck.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:20 AM   #23
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2001 25' Safari
London , Ontario
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Originally Posted by LloydN View Post
I'm considering buying a '99 25' Safari.For now, I'm planning to pull it with a '88 Ford F250(5.8L,3.55 Rear axle Ratio). I bought it new, have taken care of it and have had no trouble. It has 135,000 miles but looks great-no rust. Is there a formula or a set of formulae that will tell me what trailer weight the truck is capable of towing? Thanks, Lloyd
I look at it this way....if I can pull my 2001 Safari SS (same trailer specs) with my "grocery-getter" shorty 5.3L Yukon, you certainly can too with your 5.8L cast iron beast, 3.53 gearing notwithstanding. The nice thing about the old push-rod dinosaurs of that era is they had lots of low-end grunt (torque) which is what you need. That said, you may find the 3.53 gearing a little anemic on steep grades -- but don't forget you're pulling the most aerodynamic travel trailer on the market.

As others have said -- go ahead and try it!

Gary & Debbie
2001 Safari 25 SS
2011 Chevy Traverse 3.6L AWD Hensley DirecLink McKesh
Set-up by Can-Am RV
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:07 PM   #24
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Upperco , Maryland
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Let me add something, too. We can talk about GWR or GCWR or other benchmarks, but a big part of towing is personal comfort. Some guys want to toot down the road at 75 mph and not slow down for anything less than a 15 percent grade. Other folks keep the wagon train down around 60 mph and go easy on the hills. Some folks jump through the cabin roof when a stiff crosswind gives them a shove. Others are not phased by anything less than an F3 tornado. It's not just about power, it's about stability and "feel." Almost any rig can get a Airstream rolling... but not every rig can bring it to safe stop in the same distance. Tow vehicle weight and handling characteristics have a lot to do with the sensation of you towing the trailer or the trailer pushing you.

At the end of the day, few things are more informative than time behind the wheel. My personal suggestion is to ensure your tow vehicle is in tip top condition and to go easy whenever you can. All the truck in the world is no substitute for common sense.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:59 PM   #25
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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Your pickup should be just fine for the flats and small hills. Being a smog motor will hamper you quite a bit if you decide to travel in the mountains. Pickups built in that era were designed with 55-60 mph as a cruising speed - I would keep it in that area.
If you really like your pickup, want to keep it and make it a puller - You should either go with lower gears (cheaper) or have a some fun under the hood with a better cam, 3 angle valve job, increase the compression, intake, 4 bbl carb or fuel injection. Old school motors can be fun!

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