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Old 05-25-2015, 08:24 AM   #21
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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We swapped the stock 26 gallon fuel tank on our 2012 Ram 2500HD short bed crew cab Cummins for a Titan bolt in replacement with 56 gallon capacity. That left all available space available in the short bed for other stuff. Note that many of these auxiliary fuel tanks on the market by many vendors are rated for diesel fuel only.

We added a Cummins water separator coming out of the new tank. The fuel line then proceeded to the factory fuel/water separator on the side of the engine. We then inserted a Cummins two micron fuel filter after the stock filter. We added a FS-2500 auxiliary filter for the engine oil as well as one for the transmission fluid. We replaced both differential covers for ones with a quart more oil capacity and cooling fins. We installed temperature probes in both differential covers, the transmission pan and the exhaust manifold.

The Insight Edge monitor on the driver's door post displays EGT, inches of boost, fuel rail pressure, transmission oil temperature and rear differential fluid temperature.

On a long mountain incline, I watch the EGT to make sure it does not pass 1200 degrees, the transmission oil temperature stays under 200 degrees and the cooling water temperature stays several needle widths away from red line.

The change in the turbo charger compressor wheel and different air filter helped drop EGT about 200 degrees from stock.

I use the gear selector and will downshift to 5th early into long climbs which helps keep temperatures where I want them to be. The rig is able to maintain 60+ mph if desired, but temperatures rule the choice of speed on long inclines.

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TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Tuson TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:02 AM   #22
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Wow Switz,

I'm impressed, and on reflection what you did makes sense from a preventative perspective! Well done - I'll learn from your example.

Now, why don't the manufacturers engineers think like you!
I know, controlling production cost at the long term expense of the consumer.

Seems a foundation a for new model - "Done Right" - offered by each of the Big 3!

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Old 05-25-2015, 09:07 AM   #23
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Just another plug for your Tundra. Check the reliability ratings.

It has all the power you will ever need for a mid-size Airstream, the stuff you travel with is personal rather than necessity. Heavy duty truck needs for mid-size Airstreams are for the owners not the Airstream, and comes with a substantial price tag as you go along.

You already own the Tundra. It's capability may surprise you. If not go shopping, you'll have a better idea what you need.

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Old 05-25-2015, 10:06 AM   #24
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I would look at the Ford F150 3.5 liter EB crew cab with the 3.31 electronic rear axle. Although I have a 25' I have more tongue weight than you and, I do not come close to that truck's towing capacity. Your GVWR is 7600 and I know that is well below this config's SAE load capability of 10,700. I am waiting around for one instead of ordering right now. They called and I looked at a 2015 XLT a few weeks ago- white with black interior. It had a payload of 19xx lbs!. Nice truck but I think I am looking for a Lariat this time too. The 3.5 is a beast, gives you diesel-like low end torque without the 3.75 rear and that combination is the best MPG for a really tow capable package without having to pay extra for a diesel truck or diesel fuel. Remember that any diesel advantage on mpg; 2 mpg is lost just over fuel cost difference alone. Let alone speciality oil requirements, etc. Toyotas are nice but to get the towing capability you must get the 5.7 liter with their max package. The MPG is, or at least was, the lowest of any '15 pickup I believe at 13/17 or 9/12 (E85)- awful. Consumer Reports is driven by recalls and data on issues by members and reports. Sometimes they are accurate, other times you have to research their research. Dodge was having a cooling problem with the diesels which is a serious problem if not corrected. I did not follow it so I do not know. Ford had an issue at one time with the ecoboosts going on limp mode in storms- water was getting into the blower intakes. They corrected but the talk still lingers. Nonetheless, we all have our preferences.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:47 AM   #25
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I have pulled a 28' International for the past ten years with the Ram 2500 Cummins 4X4 using an EQ hitch. We drive every year back and forth from Phoenix to Nova Scotia by way of Montana. Lots if mountain driving plus numerous short trips in the winter in Arizona/Utah. The Ram 2500 could not be better! Safe, roomy (we have Mega with short bed), and towing is effortless. The diesel brakes make downhills a joy.
We just sold our 28' and go tomorrow to take delivery on a new 30' Signature. You can't go wrong with the Ram 2500
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:34 AM   #26
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+1 for keeping the Tundra.

10,000 lb towing capacity, so plenty of reserve and manhandling is not an issue, especially with a ProPride.

Tow package is standard on your model: Tow Haul mode for transmission gear selection, Transmission oil cooler, Engine oil temperature and pressure gauges and Transmission oil temperature gauge, plus appropriate wiring harness at the rear and pigtails for installing a brake controller.

Extendable towing mirrors are available but make sure you get the Toyota OEM rather than aftermarket (Amazon has good prices on them and installation is fairly easy, Youtube has several videos)

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Old 05-25-2015, 12:09 PM   #27
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I cannot add much but my 1/2 ton Ford 4x4 with trailering package pulling a 27' FC did a great job on our trip to Durango. If I had won the lottery i would pick up a 3/4 ton unit for pulling but that 1/2 ton did just great and it rides nice.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Tao View Post
Put our home in Chapel Hill, NC up for sale 3 weeks ago.

Yesterday we put a deposit on a new 2015 Serenity 27FB. It will be used for extended travels of several months, possibly longer, in the USA and hopefully parts of Canada. This is the 3rd Airstream we have owned; 16 Intl., 22 Cloud and a 19 Intl; all dramatically shorter and lighter than what we have just purchased.

As it is the longest and heaviest I of what I have towed, Id like to ask the community for guidance on essential options on the tow vehicle, and frankly desirable items as well.

Key element for me is that the tow vehicle is powerful and can be the dog rather than the tail - I don't like the sensation that the trailer is deciding where I'm headed.

My list of required items is for a 2015 Ford/Chevy Crew Cab with interior of a Lariat or Chevy comparable interior:
Must be a reliable truck
diesel that is equipped with a compression brake for travel in the mountains
Tow package
Tow Mirrors
Blind Spot monitor, backup camera
Ideally a drivers seat extender - I'm 6'4" and need the leg support.
Lockable tail gate

What am I missing that I'll wish I had?

Best Axel ratio? Want the best mileage - I'm not a heavy foot driver.
Largest fuel tank - need for aux fuel tank?
Thinking the standard bed length as it will become a daily driver once we settle down.
Any need to upgrade the alternator from the factory default?
18" or 20" wheels - any advantage to the 20"?

Best CAB level bed cover with side access windows?

I currently have a 2015 Toyota Tundra 1794 with only 5800 miles on it BUT I'm not comfortable that it will be able to "manhandle" the 27FB to the degree I want it to. Thus, going with a 3/4 ton rig.

As to Hitch, I've used both Hensley and ProPride in the past and will more than likely go with another ProPride.

Expect I'll add solar panels and a generator in due time - we like to occasionally dry camp: Albuquerque Balloon Festival and Oshkosh Air Show.

Thus, I'd like your advice from your lessons learned.
Thanks in advance,
You have done a good job specing out your truck requirements. But, you also need to be careful what you ask for. Having owned 3/4 ton diesels, in this order, Chevy, Ford 6.0, Ford 6.7, I will never own another diesel truck for hauling weights required for Airstream trailers, and if I did I would have a Cummins and NEVER a V8 diesel again. In February I did what I thought I would never do, I went back to gasoline. Oh yes, I miss the 800 pounds of torque, but 800 pounds is not close to what is required for your needs. The reason I will no longer own a diesel, again for the weights we are talking about, is the cost of purchasing, operating and fixing them is insane!!!!!! When it takes $1,000 every time your EGR goes, $5,000 minimum on turbo issues, $1,500 for cooling fan clutches, $3,000 plus on exhaust replacement, $1,200 for DEF pumps, $200 oil changes and fuel filter changes, $1,000 for an injector replacement, $600 for fan belt replacement...I could go on. Oh and this is important, if you have a diesel related problem requiring dealer maintenance, depending on your issue, you can expect a backlog on of diesels requiring maintenance in front of you and your dealer having to order your parts. My experience is anywhere from 3-14 day down times. Personally, the issue is getting worse, mostly driven by the EPA requirements. Basically, we have ruined what use to be the most dependable and economical truck power plant. I am all for reasonable power and cleaner air, but the horse power and torque wars between the manufactures, with the EPA requirements, is doing nothing but creating less dependable and outrageously expensive power trains. How do I like my new RAM gasoline truck, I love it. And with a life time $100 deductible bumper to bumper warranty ($2,200) policy, I can now predict my budget too.

I noticed you didn't consider a RAM truck. You should go drive one. Be careful on the F-250, with out the 8' bed...largest tank I could get was 26 gallons with the 6'4" bed.

If you get a diesel, all you need is a 3.55 ratio. You will still not know you are pulling your 27, even in the mountains.

My last two diesels had 20" wheels. Don't do it. Running 65-70 plus psi and very little tire sidewall, it will beat you and your trailer apart. Stick with the less cool looking 17 or 18". And if you want an expensive tire buy a 20" tire, go to and spec out 20" tire replacement for you 3/4 ton. Also, when you need a 20" tire while traveling, no one carries them!!! They will have to order you one. Very inconvenient and been in this situation twice. Also, that spare they give you when you buy your truck, it is not a 20" tire. They don't fit under there.

Good luck and you might want to consider gas, even if you had to replace the engine every 4 years it will be cheaper, a lot :-)

2016 RAM 2500 6.7L Cummins, 4WD, Crew, Rear Air
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:56 PM   #29
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Brooksville , Florida
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I have found the Dodge RAM excellent for towing. My wife and I traveled for 16 years all over USA doing volunteer construction work (including trips to Alaska). I towed three different top end fifth wheels all in the 35-36 foot range and weighing from the lightest 14,000 lbs. to the heaviest 18,000. Owned four 3500 RAM Diesels - 2 dually 2 singles. Found the Cummins excellent. Due to health reasons we do not do volunteer work any longer and downsized to a 2014 Flying Cloud 27FB. I tow the Airstream with a 2014 RAM 1500 4X4 Longhorn Hemi (loaded) with the 8 speed transmission and air suspension. I use the Reese Strait-Line Dual Cam Sway Control hitch and find the truck handles the Airstream excellent. I have 30,000 miles on the truck and love the transmission and air suspension for towing. There is no sway when I pass or someone passes me. I travel expressway as much as possible and tow with the flow of traffic. My mileage - local short trips 18-19, long trips 22-23 and towing 12-13. A top of the line navigational system is a must. Love the one in the Longhorn.
Take a close look at what RAM has to offer.
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:35 PM   #30
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1983 31' Excella
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I have a 2014 Chevy High Country LTZ... Tow 31' Excella... Went thru CO, WY, NM this summer. No problems with the mountains.
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:14 PM   #31
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Princeton , Iowa
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I had a Tundra with the 5.7 engine and I pulled a 30 ft. Excella with it. It did a wonderful job. Climbed some real hills with it and the trailer. I like to look at pictures form the 50's and 60's, everyone was using cars. Airstreams pull easy. I have a Chevy 5.3 now and a 30 ft. classic. Last year we went all over the Northwest, no problems. The Chevy is nicer to drive. On the other hand it is your money.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:34 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Tao View Post
I'm very conservative and as such, would rather had a tow vehicle that is overkill than take any chance on the Tundra.

On your F350 - I'm curious about what Airstream you tow and what is your average MPG?
The answer is... It depends. Flat terrain, freeway, over 14. Average, about 13. Empty, between 17 to 20. Best... 28.3 coming into Death Valley downhill for miles!

It's your money. The Tundra sounds like a great TV to me. But the saying is, "Go first class, or your heirs will!".
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:46 PM   #33
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I tow a 25FB with my Tundra and would not hesitate pulling a 27 since it is only a foot longer and not much heavier.

It sounds like your mind is made up so go big. A 3/4 ton will give you a nice cushion when it comes to payload but unless you go with a diesel, the Tundra 5.7 with a tow package will be hard to beat.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:51 PM   #34
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Whoops, it is 2 feet longer. A 25FB is 25'11" and a 27FB is 28'

The 27FB is 300 pounds heavier.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:23 PM   #35
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Yorba Linda , California
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Planning our first outing this weekend with a newly purchased 2015 Flying Cloud 27Fb twin. We chose to go with a Ford F-250 Crew Cab, 156" Diesel 4X4. I opted for the Ultimate Lariate package with the FX4. Included for towing are powerscope mirrors, rear view camera, trailer brake controller, trailer sway control, tow pkg. Engine is very powerful and fairly quiet as diesels go.

Just pushed over the 1000 mile mark on the Ford so I feel adequate break in to tow the AS. Will report back my observations in a week. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:58 PM   #36
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Try the Tundra first!

I tow my 30' International with a 2014 Tundra with the 5.7L V8 ( as do many others on this forum). It has more than enough power. I have to watch what I am doing otherwise my speed will creep up to 70+mph on flat land without realizing it. My only complaint is the small gas tank (by truck standards).
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:36 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
I honestly don't trust Consumer Reports, they claim to be unbiased, they've been anything but in the last decade, on more than just cars.

A high response rate is the key to validity; survey findings are questioned when a low percentage of the population answers. So how many people respond to a Consumer Reports survey?

“Of over 4 million questionnaires sent this year, the magazine received responses regarding about 480,000 vehicles,” wrote Detroit News. If most people reported on two cars (because most families have two or more cars), that would put the response rate at 6%. Even assuming one car per family - a highly dubious assumption - we have a tawdry 12% response rate.

Consumer Reports Car Rating Methodolgy is Flawed

I was always a GM guy, Ram won me over. Haven't had any issues, and I don't know anyone else with reliability issues on the Ram forums either who own 4th gens.
I agree with BoldAdventuer, consumers is not what it use to be and full of far too many bias...very little real life input.
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:38 PM   #38
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The ford series has a nicer looking grill. The dodge has a lower center of gravity if I recall.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:16 PM   #39
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They are all good trucks.In the last few years a lot of improvements have been made in the automobile industry.Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and coming into production quicker than ever before.

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Old 05-25-2015, 09:33 PM   #40
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2015 30' International
2009 27' FB International
2007 25' Safari
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The aux tank is allowed to gravity refill the main tank once the main is below half. It takes an hour when running to fill the main tank. I have mine running through a fuel filter yo the main.

Having an aux tank allows lots more choice of fuel, price wise. I am quite happy with it. Note, a 60 gal tank holds about 55 gallons, and some of this remains in the tank.

Pure Diesel installed a straight through exhaust, changed the tuning. I have about the same power ax the newer Cummins diesels. Fuel mileage is up about 2 mpg, but the engine runs so smoothly, has wonderful throttle response. They will soon be adding an instrument cluster allowing me to change the tune, read any codes.

Ms Tommie Lauer
Greensboro, NC
2015 Serenity 30 RB / 2008 Dodge Cummins 4 X 4
WBCCI #4165 AIR #31871

Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
AIR #31871 KQ3H
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