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Old 08-12-2009, 03:20 PM   #15
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have a 2005 25FB (Lucy) that tips the scales for travel at 7400#. This is very close to what a 27FB would go at.

We have pulled Lucy 50,000 miles and have spent 425 nights in her over the last 3 years. We use a Hensley Arrow Hitch System.

We pull Lucy primarily with a 3/4 ton Suburban with a 6.0 liter gas V-8. We find that this tow vehicle really does the job in all circumstances. We are also a little shy of going diesel for some of the same reasons that you have stated.

Early on we also pulled Lucy with a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe (1/2 ton) with a 5.3 liter gasoline V-8. It pulled OK, but it did not exactly inspire confidence. I just didn't feel that it was enough truck for trailer.

I know that there are many members here who tow 7500# Airstreams with 1/2 ton trucks and are satisfied with their performance.

Half ton trucks for Lucy are just not within my comfort zone.

Brian
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bob34787 View Post
since the 27' is actually longer than the 28' you should look at both, as a matter of fact the 25' FB is actually 1" short of 26' and other than the bed layout had as much room as our 28', now as to your question, we tow with an f250 crewcab diesel, seats 6 with comfort, can load the box with any toys and tows or 28' like its not even there. You will have to get used to the mpg, its 11 mpg, does not matter if your empty, towing, in town or city, the mileage is 11 mpg.
I get about 12-13 mpg towing a 27 Classic and 18-19 not towing with a Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison. I'm surprised you get 11 empty, do you mean an empty but still towed trailer?
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:26 PM   #17
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I mean I get 11 mpg no matter what. Driving 20 mph or 100 mph, towing or not, fully loaded to the limit or empty with just me in it. Ford has cleaned up the diesel no smoke, no smell, no MPG. I could remove the diesel particulate filter and get 18 MPG but than there goes the warranty.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:22 PM   #18
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Tracy , California
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We pulled initially with a 3/4 ton Suburban with the 454 motor and it was fine. We upgraded to the 2008 F250 with the diesel and it was night and day for towing ease and mileage. We get about 12-13 towing between 65-70 over mountains and such. On level surfaces we get about 16-17. Diesel in CA is now cheaper than regular so that takes the cost out of the equation (at least this month). We bought the truck to last us at least 10 years and I believe it will do that without any problems. I also put an automated retractable cover on the bed so that gives me a huge "trunk" to carry the generator and all sorts of stuff in security and weather protection.
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:25 PM   #19
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Wow, so many endorsements for the 3/4 ton diesel. I'm going to have to take another look at it. I understand that the torque of the diesel is hard to match. Here in California, I imagine there would be many trips to the Sierra at high altitude where the extra pulling power would come in handy. I've heard mixed things about the Ford diesel engines (many posts on this site about the mechanical isssues in the 6.0L, don't know abou the 6.4L but Ford is replacing the current engine with a new 6.7L next year). It's good to know that many of you have had positive experiences with the F-250 diesels.

Thanks all for your intelligent suggestions and comments.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:51 AM   #20
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Oak Harbor , Florida
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We plan on buying our first AS, first trailer for that matter, within the year. We are going back back and forth over the PU vs SUV as a tow vehicle. Any thoughts of the larger Jeep Grand Cherokee towing an AS 27' international FB? Most opinions seem to favor F250's. (deisel or not deisel?)Hopefully some of you will give us your opinion, as I see it's a topic that's hashed over a lot. The opinions I've read are great, however I haven't seen the Jeep mentioned.
Itchy feet to get going on this....we're excited to join the Rv family!
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:12 AM   #21
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This is an aging thread and things are changing. To some the previous standard 3/4 pickup Airstream puller has evolved to the independent suspension, small diesel European-style SUV as state-of-the-art. A 2013 Grand Cherokee may fit into that group with rumored small diesel option and 8-speed transmission, although the hemi option certainly has power to spare.

Think about your overall needs for the tow vehicle (truck, van, SUV . . . ) and continue research. Don't settle for a standard answer to your own situation.

doug k
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #22
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I actually tow my 27' Flying Cloud with a F150 Triton 5.4 litre XLT with a heavy-duty transmission cooler. My first trip involved "Nine-Mile Hill" with a 8% grade. The truck was straining, but I went slow and we made it. When pulling a trailer, it's not so much "what you drive" but "how you drive."

Prior to purchasing the trailer, owned a F250 4 X 4 diesel for ten years. Yes, it had the power, but I called it a "lemon with a good engine." The FM on the radio would work, but not the AM band. Fittings and emblems were always falling off, inside and out. Something went wrong with the 4 X 4 part - a $3,500 repair job. Had trouble with the diesel glow plugs in the winter - great, when you're living in Canada. I sure was fit when I owned that truck because it left me out in the cold (wouldn't start) many times and had to walk home. Diesel fuel was also hard to get - at least when I first owned the truck. I sure wouldn't want to be looking for a diesel pump when pulling a trailer with the gague is on "E."

Anyway, happy truckin' and trailerin'!
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #23
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I'm pulling a 1999 27 foot safari with a Mercedes GL 350 turbo diesel. I get around 15 MPG when towing and 25 MPG when not.

While the Mercedes is rated for 7500 pounds towing capacity, it only is rated for 600 pounds hitch weight - so most folks are getting their hitch receiver reinforced. Not sure what the Germans were thinking. Other than the puny hitch weight, it is a fabulous tow vehicle - built in computer controlled anti-sway and self leveling air suspension.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #24
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ddruker,

Most trailers, or caravans as they are known in Europe, are really lightweight compared to those sold in North America. I don't know Mercedes proportion of sales in North America but as a European company it'll be designing primarily for the European market, hence the low tongue weights. As you pointed out, people re-inforce and have themselves a fine TV.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post

Think about your overall needs for the tow vehicle (truck, van, SUV . . . ) and continue research. Don't settle for a standard answer to your own situation.

doug k
Fine advice from Doug. We use a slightly modified Toyota Sienna minivan to pull our 2011 28' International. That's not everyone's ideal tow vehicle but it works very well for us in our situation; your choice will have to reflect what you want from your TV both towing and not towing.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:16 PM   #26
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2008 27' International CCD FB
Petaluma , California
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Hi there!

We have a 27fb Ocean Breeze. It's our 1st airstream and feel we made a good choice. We have 4 kids and sometimes have a friend or two traveling with us so we chose a 2002 Ford Excursion for our TV. We use a Reese Dual Cam hitch.
Pros:
Unlimited power and reliability with the older PS 7.3
More space than most football teams need
Comfortable, durable and serviceable interior
Barely notice trailer when towing, even in heavy wind conditions
I signed up with the CFN fueling network so we fill the 44 gallon tank at truck fuel stops to ensure we get clean diesel and we stay away from busy tight spaced gas stations.
Mileage towing is 11-13 and 19-21 when not (measured manually, not the lie-o-meter)

Cons:
5000 mile service for a diesel is $99 minimum. Special coolants and lubricants are required.
The Excursion has leaf springs in the front which limits turning ability. You need to see a way out of a parking lot before you enter!
After a few trips I needed to beef up the brake pads and front rotors to get the braking performance that made me comfortable.
I needed to add a DPTuner to help with downgrade engine braking although I hear the newer trucks have a "tow button" that takes care of all the details that I need to manage manually now (OD, shifting etc)
Weak link for the Excursion is the Tranny and I'll probably need to have it rebuilt in the next few years.

I plan to keep the Ex running as long as I can and I know there are plenty of parts available (basically a Ford F250) but If I was forced to change and my kids were out on their own I'd look for a smaller stable euro diesel and add a Hensley Arrow or Pro Pride hitch for stability. Brakes and stability would be key for me but as others have said, the market is changing and more types of vehicles are entering the market that might qualify as a TV for us.

Brad
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:00 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddruker View Post
I'm pulling a 1999 27 foot safari with a Mercedes GL 350 turbo diesel. I get around 15 MPG when towing and 25 MPG when not.

While the Mercedes is rated for 7500 pounds towing capacity, it only is rated for 600 pounds hitch weight - so most folks are getting their hitch receiver reinforced. Not sure what the Germans were thinking. Other than the puny hitch weight, it is a fabulous tow vehicle - built in computer controlled anti-sway and self leveling air suspension.
They are thinking you should tow anything but a lawnmower behind an SUV.. There is no way a jeep or your Mercedes is a qualified tow vehicle for that 27. Wait until they start making campers go through weigh stations. If you go with actual real weights of a trailer loaded for a trip and weighed on a single scale, then pick a truck your going to find a 3/4 ton is going to be the correct size and allow you a * slight* safety factor. Its amazing what people consider safe and put their family in.. Bottom line is you can tow with anything. The problem arises when emergencies happen like a fast stop or to avoid something or someone or get in an accident and see how DOT and insurance handles your mini van excuse.
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:40 AM   #28
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Towed our 27' Classic with a F150 5.4. It was fine. Maybe a bit weak in steep hills but all in all a great TV and a wonderful daily driver. Now we have a F250 6.7 diesel. This thing is an amassing TV, 70MPH cruise on, any grade it stays in 6th gear. However as a daily driver I prefer the 150.
I think a the F150 with the Ecoboost is a great compromise. I have talked to several people who tow with them and love them.
Bottom line, I don't think there is a perfect TV Every one has different needs and expectations.
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