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Old 01-25-2005, 09:18 AM   #1
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Post What do I need to tow a 28 International ccd?

Seriously considering the purchase of a 28' Intl CCD. Have a 1/2 ton Ford to tow my popup now. Do I need more? Any suggestions for a vehicle? Any tips for a newbie Airstreamer? Would appreciate the help. Thanks.

Art Mathis

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Old 01-25-2005, 09:27 AM   #2
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I know some might disagree, but I think you are starting to get well into the 3/4 ton range depending on what model 1/2 you are talking about. If I recall, the 28' CCD is getting close to 8000lbs when you take into account passengers and cargo with the coach (the coach alone has a 2004 model year GVWR or 7300lbs which might be the high end of the water mark for most (not all) 1/2 tons. Keep in mind that tow rating= coach weight+passengers, cargo, etc.

To give you some examples, Chevy Suburban 1/2 w 4.10 gears has a max tow rating of 8400lbs, it has a 5.3L. I would think this would be too close in your situation. The same Suburban in 3/4 ton gets the 6.0L and a more stout trans and gets a tow rating of 9600lbs. Not sure what Ford, Dodge or the imports.

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Old 01-25-2005, 09:42 AM   #3
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Art, I have to concur with Eric... While there are 1/2 tonners out there that will do the job, you'll really appreciate the fudge factor that a 3/4 ton will give you.

There's a second part to towing that doesn't get talked about much, but it has to do with stopping and maneuvering, and your tow vehicle's ability to not be pushed around by the trailer weight. The simple version is that the more your tow vehicle weighs, the better it can resist being pushed around by the trailer.

Good luck in your pursuit of the ideal TV!

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Old 01-25-2005, 09:51 AM   #4
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The AS web site shows the 28 CCD having empty weight of 5,460, and NCC of 1,840, so the GVWR must be 7,300. What engine, transmission, and gear ratio does your Ford have? What is it's tow rating? If within published specs you should try it before you decide that you need a new tow vehicle.

I tow a 2003 Safari 25 SS having a GVWR of 6,300 with a 2002 Ford Explorer V8 with tow package rated at 7,000. It's not ideal, but it works pretty well.
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:22 AM   #5
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Thats at the weight where it starts taxing the 1/2 ton gear pretty hard. It could be done but I would expect a early retirement out of the transmission.
Gear ratio is the single biggest thing of concern. Ford is notorious for running 3.40 gears in their half ton line up. That sort of weight with a over drive transmission and tires around 31 inches tall 4.10 would be what would be needed so you don't puke the transmission all over the hwy in the mountains. Then we get into if the Diff will handle it.

3/4 ton is going to have a stronger axle with bigger ring and pinion, revised shift points and more robust transmission. The engine is almost secondary with the right gear ratio and transmission shift points but "There is no replacement for displacement" when pulling a big load. Smaller motor is going to spend a lot of time running in a lower gear to keep the load moving where a large motor is going to have the torque at lower RPMS to keep the transmission from hunting.

Now here is the other edge of the sword. Airstreams traditionnaly have been designed to be pulled with the softer suspension a 1/2 ton has. Read up on some of the towing threads about " Over hitched" and it will have some imortant information about what size bars to use with a 3/4 ton vehcile.

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Old 01-25-2005, 12:00 PM   #6
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What do I need to tow a 28 International ccd?

Greetings Art!

I concur with the 3/4-ton tow vehicle recommendation. I would also add to that either a big-block gas V8 or diesel to insure adequate power reserve. While I didn't initially want to believe the recommendation of taking the coach's GVWR plus 20% to arrive at the minimum tow vehicle needed - - I am now a firm believer after two different tow vehicles where the trailer tow rating and actual vehicle weight towed were very nearly equal. Prior to the 3/4-ton Suburban, I towed my '64 Overlander (6,100 pounds maximum loaded weight) with a 1/2-ton Chevrolet Z-71 pickup with heavy duty trailer tow package (6,500 pound trailer tow rating) - - it was marginal in braking performance and grossly underpowered on all but the gentlest of rolling hills (5.7 Liter w/3.73 differentials) - - I didn't keep it long enough to wear out the transmission - - traded it on the Suburban with less than 45,000 miles on the odometer. Given an approximate GVWR of 7,300 pounds, I would suggest focusing upon tow vehicles that have at least a 9,000 pound trailer tow rating. After nearly 140,000 miles, my Suburban continues to outperform all of my expectations, in fact, when towing it gets better fuel economy than the small-block Chevrolet did despite having a 7.4 Liter engine with 4.10 differentials (with factory trailer tow package, it is rated to tow trailers up to 10,000 pounds). Few have expressed regrets about purchasing a tow vehicle with surplus power, but many have had the unpleasant experience of towing with a vehicle that struggles far too much to carry the load (I have repeated the too small power-train mistake twice) - - my advice would be to go with a 3/4-ton based tow vehicle with the most powerful drivetrain that you feel comfortable acquiring. I readily admit to having a strong preference for a powerful vehicle as my favorite travel destinations include quite a bit of mountainous driving/towing and a motor that struggles to pull the load taxes my patience - - the Chevrolet pickup couldn't handle the Eisenhower Tunnel grade on I-70 (it was in first gear with the Overlander and was creeping at the summit as we were passed by heavily loaded log trucks) - - the Suburban with the same trailer on that same stretch of highway easily maintained 55 MPH (my preferred towing maximum speed).

Good luck with your investigation!

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Old 01-25-2005, 05:52 PM   #7
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Hi Art

We tow a 28 ft. Classic with a 2500 HD Suburban with an 8.1 litre engine and 3.73 gears (10,400 lb capacity). We have had absolutely no problems with that combination. Most all of our travel has been in the west and we have traveled over the rockies in Canada and the U. S. numerous times. Our fuel economy is between 10 and 12 MPG. The worst mileage was (of course) in the mountains, that was about 9.5 MPG. Given the high price of fuel, you might find one at a reasonable price. The bad news is the fuel economy isn't much better when not towing.

Good luck,
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:14 PM   #8
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3/4 Ton it is

Looking at Airstream's website it shows the 28' CCD's Base Weight + Carrying Capacity = 7300 pounds. Depending on where the trailer's load is distributed the rule of thumb is 10-15% of gross weight = tongue weight. With weight distribution gear & propane forward, figure more at the 15% end of the range. So tongue weight = 1000 pounds. Now if two passengers weigh 300 pounds... If you have a bedliner or topper on your pickup add 2-300 more pounds... And if you put anything in the pickup box... All of this adds to the tow vehicle's GVWR as listed in the manual, on the websites, etc. I'm afraid a half tonner can't do that. Pay no attention to tow capacity!

(Aww!!! But it sez it can tow 9000#!! Yes, it can -- if you're the only person on board and there is only 1/4 tank of gas and you left Fido at home...)

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Old 01-25-2005, 08:14 PM   #9
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Welcome Art! It is nice to get back to discussing my favorite topic. I am the usual dissenter in the "get the biggest truck available" advice that is common around here. Twink has worded his advice very carefully and I would fully agree with his post. I would counterpoint with other post's blanket assertions, though.

Yes, pay no attention to tow ratings. Just a marketing gimmick as RoadKingMoe has pointed out many times before. The rating to pay attention to is the GCVWR or total weight of entire rig (truck+trailer+cargo+fluids). It is hard to find but usually on door jam. Add your truck's GVWR to the 28' CCD's 7300# and you will probably be over your 1/2 ton's GCVWR. "Safety margins" can be debated endlessly, but you would probably do well to upgrade the TV.

Does this mean that only a 3/4 ton can tow a 28' CCD? The answer is NO because of the blurring of the distinctions of 1/2 and 3/4 tons these days. Mainly I am talking about GM's 1500HD. The 1500HD is almost the same truck as the 2500HD. The main difference being the size of engine available. I would say the Vortec 6.0 would be an outstanding choice for a 28". I mean we have been discussing our vast consumption of oil in that other thread so do we really have to have the biggest engine we feel comfortable in operating? Add to that the fact that the lower profile of a 1500HD provides for better fuel economy, you should seriously consider a 1500HD. A 1500HD with 4:10 gears, Quadrasteer and Vortec 6.0 would be an awesome TV for a 28' CCD.

Also consider that Quadrasteer is available on the 1500HD only. The price of Q-steer has dropped to $2000. A bargain! Unhitch the trailer and you have a vehicle to tour cities in that is more nimble than many cars. One testdrive and you will be sold. But it is hard to find one to testdrive.

Anyway, things to consider in your quest for a new TV. Peace.

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