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Old 08-03-2022, 01:20 AM   #1
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Ford F150 + Airstream 27FB Desk

Hello,

Sorry for the inconvenience but we are rooky and new comer in RV towing and we have a question. I think it's a sensitive issue.

We would like to buy a Airstream 27FB Desk but a lot of people say to me "You need a F250 minimum to tow your futur Airstream. The dealer said F350 !!!

When I read your posts it seems it's possible...

The Ford F150 2.7L EcoBoost V6 : 10100 lbs
or
The Ford F150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 : 14000 lbs
And
The Airstream 27FB Desk : 7600 lbs

If we respect the GVWR why wouldn't it work ?

Maybe this GVWR it's for a flat ground towing.

Thanks for your insights.

Philippe and Cerise 🍒
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Old 08-03-2022, 04:30 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

I think that the relevant difference you'll find between the F150, F250, and F350 as related to towing a trailer is not the weight of the trailer you can pull. Most F150 pickups can PULL more than necessary to tow the trailer you're considering. What they lack is the ability to carry much weight while they do the pulling.

The biggest relevant difference is the cargo carrying capacity of the various pickup sizes. Airstream trailers have fairly heavy tongue weights, and so they put quite a bit of load on the back of a pickup. This weight counts as cargo and must be included in the calculations of how much cargo you can carry in the truck.

As an example if you have a pickup with only 1500 lbs of cargo carrying capacity and your trailer's tongue weighs 1000 lbs, you'll have only 500 lbs remaining for everything else the truck has to carry such as the driver and passengers and everything you'll want to carry in the bed of the pickup.

There are also other considerations, such as having adequate engine and transmission cooling so things don't overheat while towing, adequate brakes, as well as all other components. But regarding the weight limitations themselves you have to look beyond how much they are rated to pull and get a clear idea of how much cargo they can carry.
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:49 AM   #3
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Like Richard5933 explained very well above, the issue MAY BE the amount of weight (payload) you can place on the 4 tires of your F150. Tongue weight on my 25' AS is about 1000lbs. There are variants of the F150 available with upwards of 2000lbs (maybe more) payload capabilities but they are limited to XL and XLT trim models that are typically special order these days with HD and tow package options and de-contented vs. the higher trim level variants.
There are postings on this forum of owners with these higher payload rated F150's showing their door stickers load rating. Do a little research here to find those discussions. Unfortunately, you won't know your actual payload rating for a particular truck until it is physically in front of you. Many people have ordered trucks only to be disappointed when it arrives and they view first hand the door sticker.
Myself.. I never know what toys I'll take camping, so I just got a 350. Payload, never a consideration for me.
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:36 AM   #4
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I ordered a F150 3.5EB 4x4 with the 4 door cab and the max payload package. Came in at almost 2500# of payload. I did have to order it and the max payload package limits you to xl/xlt trim. I used the Costco buying service and by the time it was delivered that price was 20% off msrp (because of ford price increase).
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:00 AM   #5
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My 27FB regularly has 1200 lbs tongue weight. I hauled it on ONE trip with a Chevy 1500. It did the job, but the truck was maxed out with very little cargo in the bed. I traded for a Super Duty, no regrets.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Welcome to the forum!

I think that the relevant difference you'll find between the F150, F250, and F350 as related to towing a trailer is not the weight of the trailer you can pull. Most F150 pickups can PULL more than necessary to tow the trailer you're considering. What they lack is the ability to carry much weight while they do the pulling.

The biggest relevant difference is the cargo carrying capacity of the various pickup sizes. Airstream trailers have fairly heavy tongue weights, and so they put quite a bit of load on the back of a pickup. This weight counts as cargo and must be included in the calculations of how much cargo you can carry in the truck.

As an example if you have a pickup with only 1500 lbs of cargo carrying capacity and your trailer's tongue weighs 1000 lbs, you'll have only 500 lbs remaining for everything else the truck as to carry such as the driver and passengers and everything you'll want to carry in the bed of the pickup.

There are also other considerations, such as having adequate engine and transmission cooling so things don't overheat while towing, adequate brakes, as well as all other components. But regarding the weight limitations themselves you have to look beyond how much they are rated to pull and get a clear idea of how much cargo they can carry.
I think this is the post to rely on as you make your decision...Richard states it very well.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:12 AM   #7
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As other have said, when towing an Airstream with a 1/2 ton vehicle, payload is usually the limiting factor. Most 1/2 ton vehicles have a payload of 1500# to 1800# unless special heavy duty payload options (such as Slimpockets above) and/or minimum accessories and options are ordered. Fully optioned, higher trim levels may have a payload as low as 1200# to 1300#.

Payload is the GVWR minus the curb/empty weight of the vehicle. Payload is used by aftermarket accessories, all occupants, pets, and cargo in the vehicle. The tongue weight of the trailer is considered "payload". For most fully loaded Airstreams 25' or larger, the tongue weight is usually in the 1000# range or more with a heavy weight distribution hitch, leaving only 500# to 800# for everything else.

The best answer it to check all the stickers on your door jam (white for GVWR and yellow for Payload) and go to a scale when fully loaded as you would be when traveling to get your actual weights because it will be close with a 25' or larger trailer.

eTrailer provides an excellent write up on the limits of trailer towing and how to determine if you've met all the various limits and what goes into each.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-muc...an-I-tow.aspx?
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:20 AM   #8
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I've owned several F150 and F250's . You'll be disappointed in the F150 especially in pulling grades. Listen to Richard and Svtride on this one and get one with the towing package.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:44 AM   #9
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We have an F150 with the 3.5L Ecoboost engine and a 10 speed transmission. We also have the Flying Cloud 27FB. Just returned to Missouri from the Gunnison and Carbondale Colorado areas and this truck is more than adequate. We went over Monarch Pass and several other steep passes and grades with no problems going up or down. Plenty of torque and engine breaking. In our many years with the Airstream we have traveled extensively and love this setup.
However, I would definitely agree with the payload being low, but it works for us.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:50 AM   #10
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If you are going to buy a new F150 with a 2500 payload rating you are probably fine.

However my F150 has a 2000LB payload and I would not pull a 27 foot airstream with it. The trailer is too heavy overall. I pull a 19CB. ( and i just upgraded all 4 struts to rancho )

The trucks with less than 2500 or 2000 payload rating, I would NOT pull a 27 footer. The suspension is too soft.


What is your CURRENT tow vehicle?
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:47 AM   #11
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Lots of folks are happily and safely towing the larger Airstreams with an F150, especially the 3.5 Ecoboost version. It's a plenty capable truck.

As noted earlier the real issue is how much the stuff (people and junk) weighs that you plan to carry in the truck while towing. Generally speaking 500 to 700 lbs (people and stuff) is within reason for a F150. 1000 lbs plus, you're into the heavy duty truck range.

Another consideration is your planned non towing usage. Will this be your daily driver? Heavy duty trucks generally burn more fuel than a V6 F150, are longer and less maneuverable than the smaller F150, particularly when in an urban situation. On the other hand if you have the luxury of keeping a heavy duty truck in your yard and only use it for camping, then it's an easier decision.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:11 AM   #12
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I towed my 27 footer for 6 years with an Ford F150 3.5L EcoBoost V6. Had lots of stuff in the trailer too. Could go uphill at 70 miles per hour or more. Never had a problem.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:13 AM   #13
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Another consideration is what are your trailering plans? Will you tow 50 miles to a nearby State Park twice a year? Or will you be taking cross country trips? Nothing beats a heavy duty truck for the long haul road trips.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:20 AM   #14
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Repeating what others have said---We have towed our 26' Flying Cloud thousands of miles with the F150 3.5 Ecoboost. No problems and loads of stuff in the truck. We have never felt any indication of a problem.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:21 AM   #15
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Thank everyone for your answers.

Our plan is a full time living and I want to discover Canada and USA during 3 years and more...

We are not retired and we both still work remotely. We thought we would settle in campground and move every 3 or 4 weeks.

In the end it will be a lot of miles...
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:38 AM   #16
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I have towed my Airstream for over 40 years and had many different tow vehicles. In my experience there is no substitute for how well the rig handles in the mountains and even just on the flat open road when using a tow vehicle that is set up to well exceed the weights of your trailer. Yes, you can do it with a lesser truck, but in my experience, long term you would not be happy, especially with the amount of travel you are planning. You should get more life out of the truck as well since you will not be pressing it to work at or near maximum capacity.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:44 AM   #17
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F150 will work but you won't like it!

You have a very good question. We have a 25' FCT and tow with a 2020 F150 3.5. Yes, the engine and truck will tow our 25'-er. But, in order to reduce porpoising and the effect of the tail wagging the dog we had to install RoadMaster RAS additional suspension kit. We also had to go up a link above our recommended setting on our Blue Ox Tow Bars.

Don't forget that the F150 has an all aluminum body to keep its weight down. And additionally with your 27'-er you will likely have an 800-1000lb tongue weight. So with a half ton truck tow vehicle, two passengers and a load of gear in the bed, you'll be overloading your Tow Vehicle.

An additional note: Our F150 gets about 18-20 miles per gallon unloaded and not towing. Towing we get 10-12 depending on wind conditions.

So there is a good reason to go F250 or F350 Super Duty. Our plan is to switch out to a larger truck when Ford finally gets back into production.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:44 AM   #18
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If you're going to full time, then there is no question that a 3/4 ton or even 1 ton truck/van will be beneficial. Caution....not all trucks are created equal. Example....order up a F250, Power Stroke, 4x4, quad cab and high trim level and your payload may be around 2000 LBS! Skip the diesel and get the 7.3 gasser and the payload just grew by 600/700 LBS and you saved $10K and high maintenance costs. Get the XLT instead of the option laden Lariat/King Ranch/Platinum and you gain another couple hundred pounds. You get the picture.

Sit down with a KNOWLEDGABLE commercial truck salesperson and explore your options. Ford/GM/Chevy/Dodge all offer capable trucks. Knowing what to order is another thing.

Ford does offer an F150 with the Max Tow and Heavy Duty Payload Pkg. It is model specific but you will have close to a 3000 LB payload capacity. Might do it for you. Again, Talk to a qualified rep.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilouCerise View Post
Thank everyone for your answers.

Our plan is a full time living and I want to discover Canada and USA during 3 years and more...

We are not retired and we both still work remotely. We thought we would settle in campground and move every 3 or 4 weeks.

In the end it will be a lot of miles...
My usual advice is to consider that there are good alternatives to a pickup truck. In your case, with full timing, you are likely to be taking along more cargo than a typical vacation camper would. A properly equipped F150 would be very appropriate for your proposed trailer, but make sure to look at spec’ing the largest payload option. If you choose to go to a larger and heavier truck, you can gain cargo capacity but the vehicle is usually less capable and comfortable as a daily driver when you aren’t towing. Everything is a trade off.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:52 AM   #20
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As many have stated the F150 can do it. The Limiting issue for most is how much you can load in the truck. When you get trim levels above XLT your capacity really start to decrease. I would also agree that the springs of the F150 are soft. I have 2021 F150 XLT 2112 GVWR and pull a 26' 1977 Argosy with a 650lb tongue weight and it is about as much as I would want to pull. I wouldn't want a 1000lb tongue weight with my truck because of the suspension.
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