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Old 11-24-2020, 05:17 PM   #1
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2017 28' Flying Cloud
somers point , New Jersey
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FC 28rb twin

We are new to forum and have a 2021 flying cloud 28 rb on order. What is everyone using for tow vehicle. We are seeing some f-150's and some more experienced towers stating nothing less than a f250 or ram2500 type.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:38 PM   #2
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The common sense consensus view is a 1/2 ton does great up to 25'. 26 to 30 and 3/4 tons excel, 31 and over the one tons do best. This is based on a combination of towing capability and ability to handle typical additional gear. There is some overlap in each direction. This is not to say some 1/2 tons can't haul a 30', some can, but those are really 3/4 ton trucks in 1/2 ton clothing. (All this applies to modern weights, adjustments are required for older lighter trailers)

There are some great SUVs that do well with 25-28' trailers so that's an option also.

Happy to explain the basis for this view if you are interested.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:52 PM   #3
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Thank You. Would love to hear the basis if you could
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:15 PM   #4
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Sure, for the most part, truck tow ratings cover the full range of trailer types so the max ratings will reflect the easiest and most stable trailer types. On the far upper end 17,000+ lb, those will be goose-neck haulers. In the range of Airstreams (5,000 -12,000 lb) the rating limits will apply to flat bed utility trailers. Airstream and most other travel trailers are more demanding on the vehicle. Thus the vehicle will also have a tongue weight limit and honoring that limit will necessarily take 20-30% off the max towing limit. Thus a typical 1/2 ton will have a travel trailer practical limit of about 7,500-8,000 lb, while a 3/4 will have a practical limit of 11,000-13,000 lb. then when you consider what most people bring along as a function of trailer length (other people, dogs, gear, etc), the 3/4 generally have to be trimmed down just a bit further. Now the motivation for the limits are either stability against sway and jackknife or if the vehicle happens to also dual role as an off road there will also be spring rate limits.

Edit: Sometimes engine, drive train and brakes are a factor

All of this conspires against hauling big trailers with small vehicles and from the many many comments you see on this site, generally you find people starting to express some misgivings when you go over the consensus guidance. You also see a lot of people push back saying their experience is great and that reflects the reality we live in. If you want to be totally satisfied by your towing experience and you don't have other daily driver concerns, stick to the guidance. If you have other considerations, you may want to bend them a bit.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Sure, for the most part, truck tow ratings cover the full range of trailer types so the max ratings will reflect the easiest and most stable trailer types. On the far upper end 17,000+ lb, those will be goose-neck haulers. In the range of Airstreams (5,000 -12,000 lb) the rating limits will apply to flat bed utility trailers. Airstream and most other travel trailers are more demanding on the vehicle. Thus the vehicle will also have a tongue weight limit and honoring that limit will necessarily take 20-30% off the max towing limit. Thus a typical 1/2 ton will have a travel trailer practical limit of about 7,500-8,000 lb, while a 3/4 will have a practical limit of 11,000-13,000 lb. then when you consider what most people bring along as a function of trailer length (other people, dogs, gear, etc), the 3/4 generally have to be trimmed down just a bit further. Now the motivation for the limits are either stability against sway and jackknife or if the vehicle happens to also dual role as an off road there will also be spring rate limits.

Edit: Sometimes engine, drive train and brakes are a factor

All of this conspires against hauling big trailers with small vehicles and from the many many comments you see on this site, generally you find people starting to express some misgivings when you go over the consensus guidance. You also see a lot of people push back saying their experience is great and that reflects the reality we live in. If you want to be totally satisfied by your towing experience and you don't have other daily driver concerns, stick to the guidance. If you have other considerations, you may want to bend them a bit.


Thank you
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:23 PM   #6
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2017 23' Flying Cloud
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Congrats on the new AS! We have a FC 28 RBT (2020) and love it.
We’re towing it with an F350 Diesel. Why did we select that TV? We carry a lot of stuff and decided we needed something with a high payload rating. Why the diesel? We just wanted a diesel because of how well they tow. A gasser would do fine, however.
Your needs may be different than ours but you should know that the tongue weight of our trailer is around 900 lbs. that gets figured into the payload the truck must carry. Then you add people and stuff. It really adds up.
Good luck with your TV search.
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:50 PM   #7
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Hi! I’m new around here and happy to join the community. I bought a 28 ft safari and I have a 2017 F150 with 3.5 ecoboost. Like others have pointed out, it’s the cargo weight and tongue weight that kills you in a 1/2 ton. I have been through the scales a few times and I am at the brink of gvwr with this setup, 7000 lbs truck weight with 6100 lb trailer axle weight. I’m using a distribution hitch as well. It’s like counting calories when packing for a trip and deciding what goes in the truck vs trailer and trying to keep weight down or over the axles. On the road it does fine, ecoboost motor is a shocking amount of power for a 3.5 liter, but I would appreciated a little stiffer suspension and larger brakes. I needed tires and bought e-rated tires to be on safe side. Next truck will the a f250 and I wont have to worry with it anymore.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:35 PM   #8
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thearn, congratulations and welcome to the Airstream Community and Forums!

Speaking from experience, we started with a 1/2 ton towing our 27’ Globetrotter but found we were right on the limits of the maximum rear axle rating of 4100 lbs. We were also over the truck’s payload. The truck had plenty of power but it did get pushed around by the trailer on the highway.

All those problems went away by upgrading to a 3/4 ton truck as suggested by several forum members. We no longer suffer from payload anxiety or getting pushed around on the highway.

Like Dmccloy said above, by moving up you won’t have to worry anymore. If you can, go with a 3/4 ton (gas is fine - they’ll tow anything Airstream sells today).
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:39 PM   #9
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My f150 does a fantastic job pulling my 25FB. My weight isn’t much less than yours, we were going back and forth on a 25 or 27. I’ve pulled the 25FB a total of roughly 5,000 miles since July. I was able to accelerate up steep mountain grades already cruising over 75. More than adequate! I have my eye on the the new f150 hybrid. It comes with a 7.5kw battery. Enough to run 30amp power to your Airstream!
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:27 AM   #10
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Towing a 28' AS

Have you considered towing with a properly equipped van? I will give you an example.

We tow a 2019 FC 25 RBT with a 2013 Ford E150 EXT Premium van. Specs on this van are as follows, 8600 LB GVW (Yes, that is correct per yellow door sticker, these E150 vans with the high GVW are rare), 2530 LBS cargo/payload capacity, 3700 LB front axle, 5120 LB rear axle, rated to tow 7000 LBS and the GCVWR is 14,000 LBS. Per CAT Scale rig weighs right at 13,000 LBS all loaded up ready to travel. We are way under axle capacity front and back. Tows very well using Equalizer WD hitch. Would not tow anything bigger than a 25' AS with this combo

With a 28' AS you could easily tow it with the 3/4 or 1 ton rated Chevy/GMC passenger vans. These vans are old tech and have been around forever but are solid workhorses. The very best van to tow with today is a Nissan NV3500 SL. The spec are impressive. 9400 LB GVW and rated to tow 8700 LBS. They drive extremely well, smooth, quiet and very large carlike. Best of all you can buy a fully loaded one for around $42k!! My friend just went this route to tow his Lance trailer. It is a really nice driving combo and has gobs of power. He removed the back 2 rows of seats and now has huge cargo area and everything is inside, dry and secure.

I know the vast majority out there tow with pickup trucks. However thinking outside of the box is sometimes the way to go. Good luck with your TV search. Go test drive one of these NV3500 SL vans. You will be impressed.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:51 AM   #11
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Another advantage to Diesel - fill up at track stops lanes

Another advantage to diesel is being able to fill up at truck stops where the trucks gas up. Plenty of room and those lanes are diesel only. No worrying about trying to squeeze into a gas station and worry about someone blocking you.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
Have you considered towing with a properly equipped van? I will give you an example.



We tow a 2019 FC 25 RBT with a 2013 Ford E150 EXT Premium van. Specs on this van are as follows, 8600 LB GVW (Yes, that is correct per yellow door sticker, these E150 vans with the high GVW are rare), 2530 LBS cargo/payload capacity, 3700 LB front axle, 5120 LB rear axle, rated to tow 7000 LBS and the GCVWR is 14,000 LBS. Per CAT Scale rig weighs right at 13,000 LBS all loaded up ready to travel. We are way under axle capacity front and back. Tows very well using Equalizer WD hitch. Would not tow anything bigger than a 25' AS with this combo



With a 28' AS you could easily tow it with the 3/4 or 1 ton rated Chevy/GMC passenger vans. These vans are old tech and have been around forever but are solid workhorses. The very best van to tow with today is a Nissan NV3500 SL. The spec are impressive. 9400 LB GVW and rated to tow 8700 LBS. They drive extremely well, smooth, quiet and very large carlike. Best of all you can buy a fully loaded one for around $42k!! My friend just went this route to tow his Lance trailer. It is a really nice driving combo and has gobs of power. He removed the back 2 rows of seats and now has huge cargo area and everything is inside, dry and secure.



I know the vast majority out there tow with pickup trucks. However thinking outside of the box is sometimes the way to go. Good luck with your TV search. Go test drive one of these NV3500 SL vans. You will be impressed.


Thank you. Something to think about and consider
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:34 AM   #13
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We began our AS life with a 25ft FC RB. I was the owner of a 2015 Tundra with tow package. We live near the Smokey Mountains and on a trip through that area I could feel the Tundra being pushed a bit on the downhill turns and switchbacks.

We had our first long trip planned to CO and I began to consider another TV. We made a trade with another AS Forum member, for his RAM 2500 Diesel.

I’ve never been more pleased with my instincts than when we were on steep downhill grades with the RAM’s engine brake making use of the brakes very minimal. When the drop off to your right is 700 ft., that stability is extremely reassuring.

Sure the Tundra pulled the trailer effortlessly uphill and on Kansas Interstates, but that’s not where the issues reside.

Since we traded the 25ft FC for a 28ft International, which often happens I understand, we already had the TV that unit required (at least in my mind).
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:55 AM   #14
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Check out the new f150 hybrid... it has an optional 7.2kw battery... it will run you Airstream when power isn’t available.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:00 AM   #15
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There are so many variables/options in terms of "An F-150". The towing specs and capabilities vary drastically based on year and most important model. You can have an HD package F150 that may as well be a 250 or a base standard cab 150 that may as well be a Dodge Neon when it comes to towing specs. The Max Tow package is a must in my opinion (esp when talking 28' AS's).

Just make sure you do your homework and read the fine print when selecting your truck because F-150 has many interpretations these days! Best of luck and you can find me towing a 28' FC RB with my 150 3.5L ecoBoost Supercrew Max Tow just fine and safe. Could it be "safer" and "finer" well of course it could be........
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidwar View Post
There are so many variables/options in terms of "An F-150". The towing specs and capabilities vary drastically based on year and most important model. You can have an HD package F150 that may as well be a 250 or a base standard cab 150 that may as well be a Dodge Neon when it comes to towing specs. The Max Tow package is a must in my opinion (esp when talking 28' AS's).

Just make sure you do your homework and read the fine print when selecting your truck because F-150 has many interpretations these days! Best of luck and you can find me towing a 28' FC RB with my 150 3.5L ecoBoost Supercrew Max Tow just fine and safe. Could it be "safer" and "finer" well of course it could be........


Thanks
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