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Old 07-04-2018, 08:30 PM   #21
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2019 30' International
Pennsylvania , Pennsylvania
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I had a '15 F150 4x4 with the 3.5 ecoboost. It was a good vehicle to tow with, plenty of engine, smooth ride when not towing, 20+ mpg unhitched, around 11.5 mpg towing. We had a 25 foot flying cloud.

I traded that truck on a '17 F250 4x4 with the 6.2 V8. It rides hard when empty, but towed the 25 foot airstream with much more authority and comfort than the F150.

We are soon to pick up a '19 International 30 and I'm confident the F250 will tow it with ease. Plus, I have 3,111 pounds payload

I get 11 mpg towing with the F250, and around 13.5 mixed driving. I'm not afraid to load her up, with whatsoever my heart desires, and head out. If I want to put a cap on, and/or a bedslide, and bikes, and grill, and firewood, and fuel, and tools, and other gear, ad infinitum, guess worries!

Not going back to the half ton, and not hitching up to a car.

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Old 07-04-2018, 10:31 PM   #22
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1991 25' Excella
2011 19' Flying Cloud
Santa Ynez , California
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Originally Posted by abraham View Post
strange advice from a guy who uses a truck for a tow vehicle ! ! !

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Will Rogers

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Old 07-04-2018, 11:24 PM   #23
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2018 28' International
Fayetteville , Georgia
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Originally Posted by Mik View Post
My 2014 F150 ecoboost gets about 18 mpg highway, or 9 mpg highway when towing our 27FB Flying Cloud - the truck and trailer each weigh about 6,000 lbs.

Wonder why I don't get better mileage when towing, especially after reading Deeno's 13.8. Any advice?


2015 and newer F150 have aluminum bodies, and achieve better fuel mileage because of weight reduction and other improvements. Rear-end gears will also impact efficacy, as will terrain, driving style and other factors.
I am seeing 16 mpg with my new F250 Diesel, pulling a Serenity 28.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:12 AM   #24
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2008 27' Classic FB
Coppell , Texas
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I currently pull a 27'Classic. I had a '14 F150 with HD TOW and HD Payload package. The F150 barely meets the payload needs, and the engine braking and brakes are just adequate. I have since moved up to a '17 F250 diesel and am much more satisfied with the towing and especially the braking on downhills. Fuel consumption also went up about 2 MPG.

For daily driving you can safely reduce the pressure in the big tires for a much better ride. The 60 PSI factory setting is for a loaded truck. I run 50 psi with an empty truck.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:03 AM   #25
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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How stiff or soft the truck is pretty much is in the springs. The magic 13,500 tow rated F-150 has the same springs on it as a F-250. The ride between the two is same / same. Move up to the F-250 / 350 divide and you get the same thing. That truck is not the same ride as the one at the F-150/250 divide. You have moved up through several different suspension ( = spring) changes by then.

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Old 07-05-2018, 12:44 PM   #26
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Sherwood Park , Alberta
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When debating between 1/2 ton and 3/4, or even 1 ton single wheel trucks for towing, remember, you can get too small, but you can never get too big. Costs aside, I would alway opt for the larger truck and preferabley with the diesel engine. The larger truck for the larger tires, payload and brakes and the diesel for the power, but as importantly, the exhaust brake. This can literally be a life saver when decending long grades that have the potential to overheat brakes. I have decended long, 7-8 degree grades towing a 15k trailer and maintained 55 mph without ever touching the brakes.

Yes the larger trucks do not ride as smoothly as the 1/2 tons, but that is a small price to pay for the comfort, convenience and safety of a larger truck. As previously mentioned, lowering the tire pressure when not towing does make a big difference.

Test drive them all, you will be surprised at the difference in ride between the larger Fords, GMs, and Dodge. Having test driven them all, the GM 3500 has what I believe the smoothest ride and the 3500 Dodge the harshest in the '18 model year. I found no appreciable difference in ride between the 3500 and 2500 series of the same brand of truck. That is the 2500 Dodge/GMC/Ford rode pretty much the same as their 3500 series counterparts.
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:13 PM   #27
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1976 31' Excella 500
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F250. Nothing less. Diesel too. The gas motors are anemic on power with a load behind them and guzzle gas pulling a load or not.
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:27 PM   #28
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Alamo Heights , Texas
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Originally Posted by brick1 View Post
The 1/2 tons will work, but you will be much happier towing with a 3/4 ton diesel. Payload is your biggest issue. Look at the sticker on the door jamb.
I do not know of any current production “car” that is capable of towing 9000 lbs.
Get the diesel 3/4 ton.
If payload is your issue, actually, you should buy a 3/4 ton GASSER or a one-ton (either engine.) That big chunk of lead in the engine bay of the diesels eats up lots of payload on a 250/2500.
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:48 PM   #29
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Vicksburg & Cambridge , Mississippi / New York
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A half-ton (F-150, 1500) will do the job, but will work harder; and you also have limited weight capacity after adding the 1,000+ lb. tongue weight of the 27FB Classic (pay no attention to the Airstream "book weight". I weigh our 2014 27FB Classic with a Sherline tongue scale every trip, and come in at 950 - 1050 lbs. each time). We used a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins diesel as our 1st TV, and upgraded to a 2015 Ram 3500 in 2015. Packed with what we want to travel and camp with, our GCVW comes in at around 17,000 - 17,500 on the CAT scale, with 10k on the truck and 7k on the trailer. That is too heavy for a half-ton to safely handle. The new diesels have engine brakes and cruise control that make towing and braking much safer and almost effortless. Our current Ram/Cummins averages 14.5 mpg at our usual interstate cruise speed of 67mph running the entire length of the Appalachians from Mississippi to northern New York State twice a year. Check out the prices on 1-tons as well - we went from looking at 3/4 ton to 1 ton when we found the price difference on the Ram only $400! Gave us 2,000lb more payload. I have pics on how we set ours up in my gallery, if you are interested...
"Hot meals, cold beer, dry bed & flush toilet - everything I look for in a wilderness experience..."
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:07 PM   #30
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Originally Posted by Rgentum View Post
I met a couple at the recent Vintage Airstream Rally in Bend, OR, who were pulling their Airstream 34 (yes, 34) with a newer Ford F150 3.5 Eco, and, despite my amazement, they said their F150 pulled their 34 just fine, no problems. While I'm of the "bigger is better" persuasion (and pull my 27 FB with a Ram/Cummins 3500), I guess it can be done with something less.
Andy pulls his 34’ with a Jaguar sedan. Cross-continent.

Last I knew Rich was using a Mercedes SUV.

Must be some unavailable magic that allows acknowledged experts to use better tow vehicles.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:34 PM   #31
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2007 22' International CCD
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2012 27 foot AirStream Classic - 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton Truck Question

Proper setup is the key to doing anything right.
You can do brute force, or finesse, or a reasonable combo of both.

Need to understand the dynamics of the situation. Some no doubt sneer at my V6 Tacoma pulling a 22 footer, but the setup is safe and stable. Just not a barn-burner going up steep grades...I can live with that.
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:58 PM   #32
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2018 28' International
Fayetteville , Georgia
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Once you tow with s 3/4 ton diesel, you will not go back to a 1/2 ton gasser. It is so much more relaxed when towing, and you never feel like the trailer is taking control. Yes, the 1/2 ton will do the job. But the 3/4 ton diesel is simply in a different glass.
Your call...
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:35 PM   #33
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Waco , Texas
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Wow, the 2012 27' Airstream classic does indeed show a GVWR=9000 lbs. This is quite a heavy trailer for 27', and would benefit with any 3/4 ton tow vehicle and proper weight distribution hitch. Your previous experience in towing will help you decide which 3/4 ton vehicle to choose.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:03 PM   #34
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Dadeville , Alabama
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I’ve owned both 2015 Silverado High Country 6.2 and now a 2016 2500 Denali HD duramax. There is no difference in drivability but a TON on difference in towing.
1/2 ton transmission temps ran in the high 180’s 190’s
3/4 ton transmission temps barely make 100
Stoping power, exhaust brake, payload, are all huge pluses for the 2500.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:34 AM   #35
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2008 27' Classic FB
Wichita , Kansas
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Originally Posted by westie 978 View Post
Hey Everyone,

My husband and I just purchased a 2012 27 Foot AirStream Classic w/ has a GVWR of 9,000 lbs. We have been looking at 2017-2019 trucks to purchase as a towing vehicle. The preference has been a half ton as an everyday driver as well but even with the brand new models with all the bells and whistles for towing we question if they are enough truck if we are traveling cross country.

We have been actively camping for two years with 25 foot with a GVWR of 4500 so a 9000 lb Airstream is a big difference. We just want make sure we are choosing appropriately for our safety and all others on the road.

Trucks we have looked at in the 1/2 ton market include

Chevy 1500 EcoTrec 3 6.2 V8 w/ towing package - max towing 12500
Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 V8 hemi w etorque - max towing 12750
Ford F 150 that they say can have max towing 13,250

We also have read up on the Nissan Titan XD

Any help would be appreciated
We pull a 2008 27 foot Classic Limited with the same GW. We started out using the 2011 Sierra 1500 with the 6.2L gas engine that had worked great with our smaller Bambi. It worked fine until the trip through the San Bernidino mountains. It did not have the muscle to deal with the inclines. We had switched to a Silverado 2500HD with the DuraMax diesel and Allison transmission. NO problems. The truck pulls like the Airstream isn't even there - and performs marvelously in the mountains. We talked to others who had the DuraMax and every one of them highly recommended the pairing.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:36 AM   #36
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1969 27' Overlander
Scottsdale , Arizona
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EASY 3/4 ton all day. Designed to handle the load in various conditions when you need it. Why over load your brakes, transmission and axles with a 1/2 ton ? 3/4 is build stronger. SAFETY is #1 Wind can cause sway and constant stress on 1/2 ton you'll go through tires in no time as well as stress out shocks an joints of a 1/2 ton. Get the 3/4 ton. I have a Chevy 2500HD with a factory tow package. It has the bigger radiator bigger alternator transmission cooler and beefier brake rotors as well as suspension. I hardly know its back there when towing. Especially when you have full fuel tanks on the truck and loaded it up as well as added all the additional weight to the trailer including water in the H2O Tanks. Don't go cheap. Cheap will cost you many repairs to a 1/2 ton which is NOT designed to do the job. Remember SAFETY #1 So why push the minimum and risk brake failure/ transmission/ water pump/cooling system etc. Do it RIGHT!
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:42 AM   #37
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Manhattan Beach , California
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I have a 2016 Nissan Titan XD with the Cummins diesel engine and am very happy with it.
We pull a 25ft 2016 Airstream and have plenty of extra power and braking capability. This truck fits between the 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks (I think the max tongue weight is 1250 lbs and towing capacity is about 12,000 lbs). Mileage while towing has been around 15 mpg, close to 20 when not towing. Beautiful truck, has been very reliable in 2 years of ownership and 20,000 miles of towing.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:18 AM   #38
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2017 28' International
Cypress , Texas
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Stressed or Relaxed

In my opinion, the answer depends on whether you want to drive stressed out or fairly relaxed. I had 2016 GMC 1/2-ton when we bought our Int'l. Serenity 28....driving was "ok" on flat ground, but truck was having to work at it (and so was I). Saw right away that if I ever wanted to do some serious travel over whatever came our way (eg...mountains), I needed something with more oooomf. Traded (I know, dumb to trade new truck) the almost new 1/2 ton for a GMC 3/4-ton with Durmax diesel engine. I've never looked back...sheer pleasure to drive, whether towing or not.

Some people will bash 3/4-tons because they ride a little rougher when not loaded or pulling. To me, it's only a slight inconvenience which does not bother me in the least.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

P.S. Test drove the Ford 3/4-ton and loved it, but it wouldn't fit into my garage (about 7" longer, if I remember right).
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:59 AM   #39
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2008 28' Safari
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
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I vote 3/4T

Hello, have a 28' Airstream and pulled with an F150. Quickly moved to a GMC 2500HD. It is built to tow...has all the needed equipment and I get 14+MPG.

Safe travels,

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Old 07-11-2018, 12:17 PM   #40
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2000 30' Excella
Greeneville , Tennessee
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1/2 vs 3/4

It's not what you can pull, it's what you can stop. Go 3/4 ton diesel with an exhaust brake. You can't go wrong.

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