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Old 12-26-2014, 08:45 AM   #15
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My 27FB factory tongue rating is 770 lbs. Loaded for camping I weighed it and it came to 900 lbs. Add in the dead weight of a weight distributing hitch and it's higher.

I looked at the Dodge 1500 diesel as a future upgrade and rejected it due to the factors described by SteveH above.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:51 AM   #16
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We are retired and use a 1/2 ton truck and it works very well traveling all over the country. The difference for us is payload, which we are able to manage easily. It is just the two of us when towing the trailer, and we need very little in the bed of the truck.

As Steve commented, it is easy, pleasant and economical to drive as an every day vehicle. This is important because we are on the road with this truck/trailer about 7 months every year.

I looked at a 2015 Ecodiesel 4x4 Big Horn crew cab short box the other day, 1184# payload (rear wheel drive would be about 1384#). The way we load and travel we can manage that and would love to drive it. The rub today is the price differential of diesel fuel and gas.
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Old 12-26-2014, 09:04 AM   #17
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Greetings fom the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to the answer to your question, in my opinion it is possibly, but not definitely. The one thing that you will find here on the Forums is the opinion of our membership. You opinions that you will find here are all honest opinions with commercial motives. The opinions that you will get from truck and RV salespeople are not always the best as some of these salesmen (saleswomen) have no idea what they are talking about. Some have never owned a truck or spent a night in an RV. Some were selling refrigerators and stoves three weeks ago.

The opinions that I will provide are based upon my Airstreaming experience.

The new Ram Half Ton Eco-Diesel should be an adequate tow vehicle for most purposes. What may make it marginal is its payload capacity.

Realistically, a late model 30' Airstream Travel Tailer is most likely going to weigh in the 8,500# category ready to camp. With full 40# LP tanks and a Hensley, the tongue weight will be nearing 1,000#.

This would be a tall, but not impossible, order for any half ton truck. To stay within the tow vehicle's specs, there would not be much payload capacity left for passengers, fuel, and gear.

This being said, the half ton Ram's viability would depend on how you plan to use your camping rig. If you are the kind of Airstreamer that makes a couple of two hundred mile trips to the lake per year, the half ton is probably more than adequate. If you are considering extensive high mileage trips, you may find the half ton marginal for the job.

Do your research thoroughly, and make your decision accordingly. Good luck in your pursuit, and let us know what you decide.

Brian
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Old 12-26-2014, 09:25 AM   #18
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The issue is not only safety, although to me that is the most important factor, but legality.

Check the door sticker on any 1/2 Ton for the weights and then check the side sticker on a similar AS you are looking to buy. What you will find is the hitch weight of the AS takes up well over half the payload and axle capacity of the 1/2 Ton. One time in over two million miles driving varied vehicles and RVs I saw a couple pulled over and the local LEO was checking the two stickers - he did give them a ticket a warning actually for overloaded truck. It's not what you are carrying, it's what the weight of the trailer is GVW when compared to the total capacity of the truck or tow vehicle. Not sure how insurance would handle this overloading in the event of an accident.

When we travel we travel extensively, usually pretty hard and fast covering over 1,000 miles every couple of days at times so we opted for the one ton this time and have not regretted it one bit, plus it is my daily driver. It's a little expensive to drive every day, but then I think how nice it is on the road with the AS behind.

As moosetags suggested RESEARCH, and research every source you can find not only the forums.

Best of luck and welcome
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Old 12-26-2014, 09:38 AM   #19
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Truck and Trailer

Ok, at about 6,500 lbs ready to camp it seems as if my old trailer is lighter than the new trailers, so there is a bit of an exception here, but at about 15,000 miles of towing at this point, I have never needed or even wanted a truck bigger than my 1/2 ton. My truck is somewhat heavily sprung as 1/2 tons go, but IMHO this makes little to any difference when WD is used (as compared to softer sprung units because a good WD hitch WILL effectively remove weight from the truck. )

I am not telling anyone what they should or should not do, I am just stating what works very very well for me.



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Old 12-26-2014, 09:54 AM   #20
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Everyone seems to see Airstreaming from a different perspective, and there's nothing wrong with that. It is the long trips that our Ram 1/2 thrives on. I set the appropriate gear (rpm) for the grades and wind, and it just motors along as sweet as can be. The ride is quiet and smooth, the ProPride hitch holds everything in line no matter the traffic, road or wind conditions.

It is only the very steep grades where the gas engine needs the high rpm to reach its torque potential, and that's no often enough to dislike it. It still does the job, just a little more engine noise. And that is why I was looking at the Ecodisel.

It would be a solution for those moments, but like any diesel pulling the relatively light and streamlined Airstream, does this benefit justify the purchase and operating cost.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:48 AM   #21
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Ditto to Paiceman. Can it tow yes and will probably do an outstanding job as a diesel, should it tow probably no. I had the same issue. 2014 GMC Sierra. Towed through the mountains of Colorado, Utah and Nevada just fine. 45-50 up the steepest grades. But put it on the CAT scales to tune up the ProPride and the facts are simply the facts. With wife, dog, full fuel there was 80-100# of payload left for the bed of the truck. Other than stuff from the factory the only 'add' was a roll up tonneau cover at about 100#. Start putting stuff like Honda 2000, chairs, grill and other stuff in the bed of the truck and it would have put us over the limits.

For me it is a safety thing. Yes there is probably a safety margin built into any of the factory numbers. But did I really want to find out? No thanks. Fortunately I got a good price on trading back in and getting a new GMC Sierra 2500. Debated gas vs diesel and decided to go the diesel route. Hadn't had one before and they don't sound like trucks of old. Happy I did the diesel. Towing I get 20-25%+ better mileage and around town about 5-10% less. So while more expensive to purchase, operating costs are running about the same. Time will tell as oil changes are free with a new GMC the first 24,000 miles.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:51 AM   #22
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It used to be so easy to find a suitable tow vehicle. You simply used the family car.
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Old 12-26-2014, 11:00 AM   #23
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Interesting the OP, VernH, has not made any other posts on this thread. All the opinions and facts probably have him confused. I know if I were just starting out, it would confuse me.

The thing is, we do not know what trim level he has ordered on the truck, what options, what gear ratio, what bed length, 4WD or not, etc., and all things that do have and impact on towing capacity. Really, you need to look at the sticker on the door of the truck, and compute every thing you are going to carry, and tow, and compare to the GCVW (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight).

So VernH, if you've still with us, hope we have not complicated it too much.
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Old 12-26-2014, 11:39 AM   #24
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Here's a thought, based on our experience buying a Ram 1500 gasser to tow our International Signature 27FB.

If I had it to do over again (and someday, I will), I would have taken a test drive in something as close as possible to my desired model and weighed it at a CAT scale. I say this because I've learned the only way to know what load my truck-to-be can actually carry (e.g. GVWR minus the basic truck weight with a couple of people and a full tank of gas) is to weigh it.

Based on our experience with an "n" of 1, Airstream literature wildly underestimates tongue weight, and truck dealers badly overestimate the carrying capacity of the vehicle they are helping you choose. (They focus on towing capacity and on selling the truck, not on accurately computing GVWR minus truck weight.)

Those two errors left us a bit in the lurch. We scrambled to move weight out of the truck and from the front to the back of the trailer in an effort to balance things out, keeping a more reasonable percentage of trailer weight on the tongue instead of what we had initially. If we had weighed our intended vehicle before buying, none of this would have been necessary because we would have bought a different truck.

Our rig tows and stops beautifully and has lots of power, but our margin of error for load capacity on the truck lies somewhere between its GVWR and its combined GAWR. Sadly, the GVWR on our Ram is 1,000 pounds short of the combined GAWR, which caused some pretty significant consternation at home after we weighed everything out. I neither know nor care why this is the case, but I didn't realize this until it was far too late.

So, the time to get this right is before I buy, and the only way I see to do that is to actually weigh things on a scale. Math and formulas are awesome, as are fact-free opinions, but garbage in produces garbage out.

So, next time we shop for a truck, we'll weigh the vehicle we want and *then* do the math to see how much weight our intended can actually carry in addition to the weight it would be pulling. We'll also boost our estimate of tongue weight to something more like 15-20% of the maximum trailer weight, just to be safe. Based on our real-world experience, the 10% number quoted by Airstream was pure fantasy.

As always, your mileage may vary. Our experience admittedly does not represent a statistically significant sample. Best wishes for safe and happy towing, and we'll see you down the road.
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Old 12-26-2014, 12:36 PM   #25
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Do not hesitate go with a 3/4 ton, I like my dodge with 6.7 cummins, 8500 miles / year towing a 31' classic, now has 85000 miles and no problems...
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:34 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
Do not hesitate go with a 3/4 ton, I like my dodge with 6.7 cummins, 8500 miles / year towing a 31' classic, now has 85000 miles and no problems...
Agree! We have a 2012 2500 Ram with a towing capacity of 17K! Plenty of "extra" capacity. With our Pro Pride hitch, the Ram hardly knows the AS is in tow. Short bed= short turning radius.

Two thoughts:
1) It is estimated that about 65% of RV'ers have less than adequate truck towing capacity...all comers, fivers included.
2) You might be able to tow the AS, but can you STOP it?

Happy New Year...
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:26 PM   #27
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Stopping an Airstream is for the most part limited by tire to road contact across the entire combination vehicle combined with having good reliable trailer brakes.

There isn't going to be a really be a big stopping distance difference between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton either will be more than capable of locking the tires down against the antilock brakes.


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Old 12-26-2014, 03:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
Stopping an Airstream is for the most part limited by tire to road contact across the entire combination vehicle combined with having good reliable trailer brakes.

There isn't going to be a really be a big stopping distance difference between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton either will be more than capable of locking the tires down against the antilock brakes.


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Think I would have to disagree with this statement as for instance, a Ram 2500 of a given cab/bed size is about 2,000lbs heavier than a 1500 of the same size cab/bed, and has larger brakes, so the amount of traction to the road would be greater.

As an example, and I know you know this, and unloaded truck will not have as much traction as a loaded truck.
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