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Old 01-13-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
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2006 23' Safari SE
San Diego , California
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Towing with an F150

We are new to learning about Airstreams. We have a 1994 F150 V6 4.9 Liter manual transmissions in very good running condition. We are we are looking at 23FT & 25FT airstreams, mainly Safari and Internationals, but we are concerned about towing.

We would love your expert advice!



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Old 01-13-2013, 09:47 AM   #2
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Try this forum:
View forum - 1980-1996 F-Series - Ford F150 Forum

I have a 2002 F-150 with the factory tow package that is rated to haul a 25' AS. Lot's of good info over there.

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Old 01-13-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
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2006 23' Safari SE
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Towing with F150

Thanks Denis for link, can't wait to read it.


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Old 01-13-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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Fairbanks , Alaska
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Have you looked up Ford information on your truck? I did a quick google on your truck and while this is a 1995 if you have this tranmission it doesn't sound like your truck will tow very much.
1995 F150 towing capability - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Point is to investigate the various ratings on your vehicle first including combined weight rating and rear axle rating. Then on a vehicle this old, consider how well the maintainance has been done. This is more than just oil changes, have trans fluid and axle fluid changes been done. If you have owned this for a long time you obviously know how well it was taken care of, if purchased used did you get any maintainance records. Also consider what condition the cooling system is in. Towing puts increased load on all the vehicle systems.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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We have towed our 25' for three years with the 5.3L F150. It's adequate, but works really hard in the mountains. I'm hoping to update/upgrade to a later model Tundra. I really doubt you'd be happy with that truck for either a 23' or 25'
Dan & Liz H

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Old 01-13-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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The strength of the 5-speed manual was the limiting factor for low tow rating on those trucks. I don't remember the exact #'s, but the 4-speed manual and auto trucks were rated much higher. I had a friend that used to buy new f-150's in the '90's every other year for his nursery business. He would alway buy a non-overdrive 4-speed and then eventually autos for that reason.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
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here is another great resource :

Ford F150 Forum - Community of Ford Truck Fans - Powered by vBulletin
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #8
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Ford has really improved the F-150 over the years. But in 2009 they accelerated the arms race. In 2009 Ford improved their frame. Poplular Mechanics said it was as if Ford gave every bolt and nut 1/2 a turn tighter. Fords fully boxed frame was was a game changer. No rattles, no squeaks and a really nice interior. But yhe 5.4 litre engine was a dog and they new it.

In 2011 Ford introduced new engines that were head a shoulders over the previous engines. I bought a new 5.0 litre and I smiled everytime I drove it. The Eco-Boost was not out yet. The 5.0 litre Ford got better mpg than the Honda Ridgeline it replaced. I test drove the F-150 Eco-Boost and thought WOW. That is really a powerful engine. I would recommend the F-150 Eco-Boost engine to anyone looking for a 1/2 ton truck.

Ram, Chevy, and Toyota are trying to catch up. In this next year or two they will catch up as the frames and engines and now 8 speed transmission from Ram will level the playing field. Just in time for Ford to introduce a Eco-Boost 5.0 litre engine I hope.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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Ram owners might feel that they did catch up ... just an opinion, YMMV.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:07 AM   #10
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Hi Susanne

We have a lot of customers that have towed many thousands of miles with your truck. Most have the automatic transmissions but I prefer the manual. You do need to learn to back up well so you are not slipping the clutch too much getting into campsites.

That 4.9 is an industrial engine it used to go in school buses and run big genertors wide open all day it is almost like a diesel when you tow with it, not a lot of Horsepower but huge low end torque.

It is important that you set the hitch up correctly and get an inertia based brake control. A couple of things can affect the performance, do you know your axle ratio? If you don't post the axle code from the sticker on the drivers door frame. Is it 2 or 4wd? What size tires does it have on it?

Andrew T

Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

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