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aemers22 01-31-2017 10:20 AM

First Timer Nervous and Super-Excited
Hi everyone! I'm new to forum and binge-reading all the kind and valuable information it holds. Last month I jumped in and purchased 2005 25 FB Safari. By the way, I'm 60 year-old fit woman with an adventurous spirit. I've been researching alternative lifestyles for past year and half and after finally committing to AS, I bought the first one I looked at because the size, and floor plan appeal to me, and also because the very motivated sellers were relatively close to me (Jacksonville FL). So I'm shopping for Tow Vehicle and will appreciate all suggestions for what is appropriate in my situation. I'm thinking about a Ford 250 or comparable late model. I have intention to RV full-time, there's so much of this country I want to see and my daughters live far, this gives me flexibility to have extended visits and then move on. Thanks in advance for reading this long-winded intro and your suggestions

richw46 01-31-2017 10:29 AM

Hi Aemers, greetings from central Kentucky and welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your acquisition and good luck with the TV, you'll get plenty of advice on that plus tires and many other things. There's all kinds of advice here, use it but do your own research too.

If you you've not towed a big trailer before you should check to see if you can attend some towing classes. Most of all, enjoy the ride, take your time, not too fast.

Post some pics of your AS, we love pics :D

SteveSueMac 01-31-2017 11:32 AM

Hello and welcome! How fun and exciting! An F250 is plenty and you may be very happy with it. Happy camping!!

PaulnGina 01-31-2017 04:05 PM

Welcome, and congratulations on your new-to-you Airstream.
If you are considering an F250, I know that will be a great tow vehicle that you can enjoy.

Al and Missy 01-31-2017 04:26 PM

HI and welcome to the cult, and the forum. A Safari 25 was our first Airstream three years ago. We towed it first with a 2006 F-150 but found it a little lacking due to its 4 speed transmission and lack of a tow/haul mode. We replaced it with a Ram 2500 diesel and love it. Several on here are reporting good results with the F-150 EcoBoost trucks and with Toyota Tundras. With the "half ton" trucks you have to be careful not to overload the truck from a payload perspective. Most will have adequate towing capacity, at least on paper.

If you are unfamiliar with RVing and Airstreams, The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming is a good resource and is available in paperback and e-book format.

Welcome Aboard!


Meeks 01-31-2017 07:42 PM

How exciting. You're going to have all sorts of wonderful adventures!

There are plenty of threads regarding your proposed tow vehicle (a great choice) and other tow vehicles so I won't repeat all of that information here. If you've been bingeing on the Airstreams prepare to binge on the trucks now!


StrmyWeather 01-31-2017 09:01 PM

Congratulations and Welcome Aemers22! I hope you enjoy your new trailer as much as we have ours. There's a lot that goes into the decision for a TV so shop long and hard and familiarize yourself with tow package and terminology. There's a lot of information fueled by both knowledge and testosterone that you can wade through. I'm pretty happy with my choice both as a day driver and as a tow vehicle. We bought it specifically for both. All the best in your new adventures!

m.hony 02-01-2017 12:39 PM

The F250 will do a great job, but...
Any modern 1/2 ton truck will do it, too.

TxDave 02-01-2017 12:56 PM

My wife is 60 and I am 62. We have been full-timers in our 1971 Sovereign 31' for about 5 months. We are loving the simpler lifestyle. Good luck, and have fun.

turk123 02-01-2017 01:11 PM

Welcome to the forum. I would recommend a rear camera on the AS. The new ones have them and ours has one. It will give you a very safe feeling as you motor down the highway. No blind spot!

roadwarriors 02-01-2017 01:22 PM

Newbie to AS also
Aemers: Welcome to the AS family. We too just purchased an AS - a 2017 Classic and are awaiting delivery. Can't wait to get on the road. We will tow it with a Chevy Silverado 2500 diesel. We are neighbors to you as we live in Stuart. Best of luck. :)

gunnyrose 02-01-2017 02:03 PM

Welcome, Aemers!
We got our first AS last March, a 25' International FB. We love it. As the female of the couple, I recommend learning all you can about hitches and weight distributing hitches. This is very important in calculating weights, and is most helpful if towing with a half ton vehicle. Just remember, have fun and take your time.

Seagars 02-01-2017 02:34 PM

F 250 is a fine choice

twrenn9097 02-01-2017 02:45 PM

Get a 2500 gmc dura max diesel ...get a pilot flying j credit card and u can fill up where the 18 wheelers go...much easier no stress and plenty of room to turn

GammaDog 02-01-2017 03:03 PM

Congratulations, and welcome to the Airstream community! There are a few of us AirForums folks here on the Treasure Coast. Feel free to private message if you have any questions that need local assistance. (Same to you, roadwarrior.) Adventure is soon to be yours!

USAtraveler 02-01-2017 03:08 PM

I agree with M.hony. A lot of AS'ers will tell you to go ahead and buy an F-250 because you need a TV that large. However, an F-250 is "overkill" for your trailer. You don't need a TV that big; any properly set up 1/2 ton vehicle will work just fine. For several years I pulled a large tandem axle utility trailer with a 6 cyl Tundra, including into the Sierra Mtns. The engine worked hard, but I could maintain 50 mph uphill. What more do you need? I'm not saying this to suggest you do the same. It's only to point out the fallacy of the oft repeated slogan here that bigger is better. In your case, since it sounds like your TV will be your only vehicle, you may want to consider one of the full size SUVs also.

Tbeck11931 02-01-2017 03:42 PM

I have a 2012 F-250 King Ranch 6.7 Liter Diesel. Heated and air conditioned seats are great to have. Stay with the 2012 or newer if possible, stay away from the 6.0 Liter engine in older trucks. The truck has a nice ride and plenty of power for higher altitude towing. Next is a anti sway / weight distribution system for safe towing.


Mageliza 02-01-2017 05:26 PM

Congratulations on your purchase. I live in Jacksonville and am a single traveler. Looking forward to attending a rally and gleaning more Airstream knowledge. Still haven't mastered backing. You will find the Airstream community very helpful. Safe travels.

NWRVR 02-01-2017 06:51 PM

Congratulations and welcome aboard! From your post it sounds like you are going to be full timing or close to it. If so, your thinking F250 is a good choice mainly for the payload that you will need more than someone going out for a weekend or week at a time. With a 1/2 ton you will use up nearly half your payload with just the tongue weight and WD hitch. If you run across a good late model F350 don't discount it as it rides the same as the F250 but has much more payload. The only difference is 4" spring riser blocks as opposed to 2" and an extra leaf spring that doesn't come into play until the payload demands it. Go to the Tow Vehicles threads and search the threads with F250 for more information and opinions than you could wish for. Safe travels.

Betty Farmer 02-01-2017 06:57 PM

I am an 82 year old female. We owned a 25 foot Airstream which I successfully pulled from Texas to Maine with a 1/2 ton Chevrolet Z71 with 4 wheel drive and a tow package. I never had one bit of lack of power and never used the 4 wheel drive. My husband is an old hand at driving heavy equipment and he did guide me to the tow package a time or two. I did not pull the 25 ft into the Northwest mountains. And, I believe to do so one would need a 3/4 ton and my choice is the GMC. My best wishes to years of pleasure in traveling to you. We love it.

Excella1991 02-01-2017 07:57 PM

We tow a 2014 27' FC with a 2016 Ford F-150 eco boost V6. Over 8500 miles since last May up and down across the continent. No issues at all and great fuel economy. Avg 15.5 mpg

Milo1952 02-01-2017 08:23 PM

I have the 2016 f-250 and absolutely love it. I have the deisel super cab
The 25 AS is the smallest you would want to have for extended stays.

The ram1500 eco diesels would be plenty for towing your 25 and give you great gas mileage to boot. for me it was a matter of payload. Not enough capacity to bring "toys"
along. Plus if I want to take family or friends along I dont have to worry about payload issues. If the low payload isnt a problem for your needs, I would probably go with the Ram eco.

otis88 02-22-2017 01:18 AM

A Ford F250 (gas or diesel) will handle the load. Our travels take us to the mountains frequently and I value overkill when it comes to the tow vehicle. A diesel version in 3/4T of any of the major mfg (ford, chevy, ram) have ample HP and Torque to handle all of the inclines and much better engine braking when going down grades. Diesels will also milage better than a gas tow vehicle. I have not pulled with a Ram (cummins), but I own a 2500 Chevy crew cab duramax and a F350 Ford crew cab w/6.7 power stroke diesel. Both are extremely capable tow vehicles. My wife says the F350 is more comfortable than the Chevy. Currently we are pulling a "Toy Hauler" that looks like a box and loaded it weighs over 7500#. The Ford averages 12-13 when pulling and the Chevy 14-16 pulling the same load. I would stay away from Ford w/diesel engines prior to 2012 or specifically either the 6.4 or 6.0L diesels. (plenty of issues noted online) If purchasing a diesel tow vehicle older than 2012..... I personally would stay with a Dodge/Ram (cummins diesel) or Chevy (duramax diesel). safe travels

rjack 03-02-2017 08:11 AM

We tow a 25' with a Toyota Tundra. It does the job very well and is more comfortable to use as a family vehicle when detached.

dkottum 03-02-2017 09:30 AM

The two of us spend 6-7 months each year traveling with our Airstream, finding we carry much less stuff around the country than family weekender campers. We travel extensively, and settle into various destinations for some time.

More important than carrying heavy loads around is a safe, comfortable vehicle to tow our Airstream, and an easy, economical daily driver when we settle in. Our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a near perfect vehicle for our overall use. The 3.0 turbodiesel engine coupled to the 8 speed transmission is extraordinary for all of our uses.

However any pickup can be bulky driving and parking in city/suburban and remote camping settings, with and without the Airstream attached. For this reason, and for the substantial and economical engine/transmissions available and very stable, safe full independent suspension, I would look into a medium size SUV such as a VW Touareg, BMW X-5, Mercedes, or Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi.

The only advantage of pickup trucks is more cargo space and the huge discounts in purchase price you won't get purchasing a new SUV. The only advantage of large pickup trucks is (maybe) the ability to carry lots of heavy stuff around the country, with the understanding your pulling and stopping about 2,000 lbs more truck to begin with.

PKI 03-02-2017 10:23 AM

Boy, did the team jump on you. First, welcome. Now, go to the big box store and get the giant economy size pain reliever of your choice. You are going to need a bit of chemical relief from the muscle strain of smiling. Cause there is a lot of that heading your way. Second, an active lifestyle will keep the young in your life and you will need a bit of help when the old reminds you it's still marching along.

Now about the 3/4 ton. It's a simple, no brainer solution, so not a bad place to start. Lots of folks like them. Look too at the Toyota Tundra. Several folks in our Rally group find them a good choice. We were surprised, but they were surprised at our choice. The Ford Eco-Boost is a new technology that has made quite a towing name for itself. The Ram Eco-Diesel has done same. I'm not sure that the foreign SUVs are a good choice for you. They make excellent tow vehicles, but it takes a bit of technical expertise to set them up. If you had one, it might be worth the effort, but since you do not maybe the other choices would be easier.

In truth, there are lots of good choices. Just know why you want what you want and don't take anything folks tell you to be fact. Generally, it is opinion. Verify the facts for yourself.

The RV trail takes a hands on do it yourself approach. Kind of liberating as you succeed with resolving each issue and achieving the adventure goals.

As part of your investigation, get the Mountain Directories. They give you a planning tool to establish the conditions you will face on routes all across the country. Most grades on interstates are 5-7% and easy for a good rig, but two lanes can get tall and twisty.

Also, start slow. A few shake down trips help tune your knowledge and work out your approach to handle day to day tasks, storage, and comfort solutions.

Travel conservatively. That helps when things go sideways. You don't have to limit your travel to 200 miles, but trying to meet a schedule under adverse conditions can be hazardous.

Good luck. Hope to see you down the road. Pat

Fly at Night 03-07-2017 01:45 AM

Remember the dish soap!

(I have had a few knocks on my door while Airstreaming. "Could we borrow some dish soap?) Seems to be something everyone forgets on their shakedown.

You will never forget your first trip. Memories are made of this.

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