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Old 07-25-2015, 09:49 PM   #1
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Size of truck needed for 31' Airstream?

Hi guys,

First, I am a new member here. In about a year and a half, my wife and I will be pretty much selling everything and buying an Airstream. We're pretty much jumping into the whole full time RVing lifestyle head first.

We are looking at a 31' Excella (or something very similar). We will be bringing a motorcycle with us, probably in the bed of the truck. It'll weigh around 500 to 600 pounds.

I'm looking for some advice for the size of diesel truck that I will need.

Assuming that I'm not storing anything outrageous that would weigh down the rig, with the added weight of the motorcycle, I was thinking that an F-250-type of truck is what I need.

I have also heard to give yourself around a 10% buffer in the size of truck to allow for any anomalies along the way.

So, my question is simple (I think): Is a 250-size truck sufficient to pull a 31' Airstream with a motorcycle in the bed of the truck, or is a 350 a better vehicle with a little extra buffer for my application?

Thanks.

Steve.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:58 PM   #2
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What you need to find out is what year is the Excella, what is the trailer weight, and what is the tongue weight. There is a website that once you know the year and model will list these specs. I could even look it up with the year. As with other Aristreams earlier models are lighter later models are heavier. Exellas are heavier than other Airstreams as they use real wood.

You don't necessarily need a diesel. A v8 gasser would do it. A 150 may work but is cutting it closer.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:55 PM   #3
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I'm fond of my 1999 Ford 3/4 ton F250 Super Duty diesel xtra cab short bed 4x4 with a shell. It doesn't know the 75 Overlander 27' is behind it, even with cross winds and no equalizer or anti sway hitch.

My suggestion - a similar tow vehicle (TV).
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
What you need to find out is what year is the Excella, what is the trailer weight, and what is the tongue weight. There is a website that once you know the year and model will list these specs. I could even look it up with the year. As with other Aristreams earlier models are lighter later models are heavier. Exellas are heavier than other Airstreams as they use real wood.

You don't necessarily need a diesel. A v8 gasser would do it. A 150 may work but is cutting it closer.
Thanks. Let's say an '98, which I believe has a GVWR of 8500 if I'm not mistaking.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:16 PM   #5
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I'm fond of my 1999 Ford 3/4 ton F250 Super Duty diesel xtra cab short bed 4x4 with a shell. It doesn't know the 75 Overlander 27' is behind it, even with cross winds and no equalizer or anti sway hitch.

My suggestion - a similar tow vehicle (TV).
Thanks, appreciate the feedback. I just don't want to go too light with the truck and risk having towing problems out on the road. I'm hoping that a 250 will be all that I need.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:29 PM   #6
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If I were doing that, I would look at an F250 first. Check the GVWR of the truck, see if you'd be pushing the limits when you have the bike in the bed of the truck, considering all of the other "stuff" you'd bring along for the trip. If you would be getting close, look at an F350.

Gas or diesel is your choice. I like the diesel's performance best.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:19 AM   #7
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Gas or diesel is your choice. I like the diesel's performance best.
Yep, I'm definitely looking for a diesel.

Doing a little more research, the GVWR of a 1998 31' Excella is 8300, plus another 1245 pounds for the tongue weight, add in the the motorcycle and other carbo in the bed and I'm flirting with the 11,000 pound mark that the vehicle would be towing.

This is increasingly making me believe that I will need to step up to a 350/3500 diesel.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:45 AM   #8
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I pull a 94 Excella with a 99 GMC 2500 6.0L gasser. I am easily over 10,000lbs with all my gear going down the road. My truck does it, but you know the TT is back there for sure.

If I were to do it over... I would definitely have a diesel... and in your case, especially with the motorcycle in the bed... I would definitely go with the 350/3500...
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:00 PM   #9
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Tongue weight of my 2014 Classic is now down to 1,200 pounds. I have a Dodge 2500HD with Cummins diesel. We are around 10,000 pounds truck weight when towing.

For us, a motorcycle in the back of the truck would require a Dodge 3500HD and probably one with dual rear wheels for stability.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:20 PM   #10
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sdnet01 -
Only a little ahead of you in progress; however, we have done a LOT of research on the forums and elsewhere; have ordered a Classic; a bit heavier than your AS, but not carrying a motorcycle in the bed. Any of the Big Three (counting Chevy and GMC as one) 3/4 or 1 ton will do for your needs. All have plenty of power. We chose the F250 diesel because for us, it just blew the others away in raw pulling power and met some specific other needs. Ours will have the short (6'6") bed.

Because you plan to put a motorcycle in the bed, I would recommend you get a 1 ton and get the long (8') bed. They do ride rougher, but all are engineered well enough now that if you get a late model or new, the ride will be fine. We drove a '15 F350 long bed; very nice truck, was a rougher ride than the F250, but again, not bad. One of our criteria was that it must fit in our garage; with 256" to work with the long bed was not an option. Did not feel it was overly difficult to handle around town, but I drove trucks on the ranch and in college; we also have a diesel pusher MH in our history, so I might not be a good measure.

Good luck in your search; we are so happy ours is over!
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:06 PM   #11
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Dear Steve,
I have pulled a 1993 Excella AS with a 1998 Dodge 2500 Diesel truck for the past 17 years going to all of the International conventions since then and have not had any difficulty in pulling that trailer through all types of terrain including mountains. Any 2500 rated diesel would do well for you, be it Chevy, Ram or Ford. Good luck and good travels.
John
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:48 PM   #12
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Motorcycle in bed and diesel you will need a 350/3500. Those engines are heavy. At least with a ford f250 you are looking at 1900# payload modestly equipped on a 250. Not enough for you.
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:58 PM   #13
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Truck size

I don't recommend getting a truck too light for the job ...I have a Cummins Diesel and it pulls the 30 foot classic up the mountains without any dificulty and being a 3/4 ton the brakes are heavier than in a half ton ..I would perfer a 1 ton (more braking ) Be sure to get one that has a comfortable front seat.
Don

05 30 ft classic and an 09 Dodge
PS I have an exhaust brake that really helps and a transmission that helps going down the mountains
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:53 PM   #14
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