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Old 01-19-2013, 10:58 PM   #41
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Headwest, great truck choice, the little engine that acts like a diesel, but on gasoline prices, and well-matched to your Airstream.

The Propride/Hensley hitches are in a league of there own, no sway concerns.

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Old 01-20-2013, 12:25 AM   #42
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The Eco boost engine seems to be providing many with a good reliability off the line. Only time will tell how that little, as you say, engine survives the test of time with two turbos pulling on it. Diesels have proven to be superior for hauling and towing. Just not everyone wants to put up the cash up front. No disrespect, just saying. Now go camping and enjoy.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:35 AM   #43
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If you carefully read another Ford document, you will see that the 1,900 pound payload for the F150 did NOT include any factory options installed over the bare base model. I was looking at the King Ranch model with most accessories with the Max towing package (the max payload package is only available on a low level trim model with long bed) and the suggested allowance was nearly 500 pounds out of the 1,900 which left 1,400 pounds of payload. My actual tongue weight of 1,175 pounds (Airstream factory literature specified 833 pounds) would, in theory with the Hensley Arrow hitch, put 400 pounds on the trailer axle. My wife with all her "essentials (a purse that weighs 20 pounds)" and me with jackets etc would crowd 400 pounds. The net available payload at this point in real world numbers is under 200 pounds. Loading in a couple of generators (another reason for a pickup was to not have gasoline fumes either in the car or in the trailer from generator sets and spare gas cans) and some necessary equipment such as a bottle/jack stand at 20 pounds and a decent air compressor and the F150 was at GVW. If the Hensley threw weight onto the front axle but did not send the 400 pounds to the trailer, then I would be overloaded before finishing loading the complete camping supplies.

I was overloaded in my 2007 diesel Mercedes ML 320 CDI, so spending over $50k to have the same overload condition did not make sense to me. The Mercedes can pull the Airstream without issues, but the problem of overloaded means that there can be more wear and tear on the running gear which already has over 100,000 miles on it. The new ML models have the same payload capacity, the same axle load rating, but now can tow up to a 7,200 pound trailer (my ML is rated to tow a 5,000 pound trailer).

The 3/4 ton diesel I am looking at had the same list price as the Ford mentioned above, but the end of model year real selling price of the Diesel is about $7K less with a proven engine, brake system, payload capacity and drive train sized for the job. The Ford dealers I talked to were not discounting the EcoBoost powered trucks as they were in short supply.

I am putting together a plan to convert the diesel truck to complete air bag suspension which will provide a level ride at any load, softer ride unloaded, can be raised or lowered to ensure both the truck and trailer are level, and will be easier on the trailer.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:45 AM   #44
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My actual tongue weight of 1,175 pounds (Airstream factory literature specified 833 pounds) would, in theory with the Hensley Arrow hitch, put 400 pounds on the trailer axle.
This is why I think a good way to estimate the amount of payload taken up by the tongue weight is to just use the weight from the Airstream literature.

1,175-400=775lbs vs. Airstream 833lbs so the Airstream number gives a little extra margin till you check with a CAT scale.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:02 AM   #45
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Is diesel fuel running about $.75 gallon higher than gasoline?

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:24 AM   #46
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Is diesel fuel running about $.75 gallon higher than gasoline?

doug k
.65 +- .05 here in WNY.

POI....payload is determined by axle & tire ratings, and CAT weights, thats about it.
Factory spec's are guesstimates at best, every TV is different.

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:39 AM   #47
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On SoCal it's about .50 more then regular and .20 more then premium. It does fluctuate and at times is less then premium. The only time I stressed about the cost was a few years ago when it hit a high of around 5.25 a gallon, but then everyone was stressing. Now it around $4 and I'm ok with that. I don't have my own refinery and it is a daily driver. $100 a week commitment. Don't sweat the small stuff, it's not worth it. Learn to except the things you can not change and enjoy life.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:57 PM   #48
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Two weeks ago in Florida we spotted a 34' Excella triple axle Airstream. The TV was a new Ford Flex. Based on the license plates, they were about 1500 miles from home!
Where were they from..?
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #49
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If money is not going to be a deciding factor the 3/4 ton diesel would be my choice. But I want to carry a generator with 5 gallons of fuel, a huge cooler, lawn chairs, maybe my kayak, and other stuff. The larger bed with increased carrying capacity makes it easy for me to tell the DW that 'yes' she can bring whatever she wants.

All the 2011 or newer trucks are really nice. Ram, Chevy, Ford 3/4 ton or even 1 ton single rear wheel trucks will do anything you throw at it. The 1/2 ton trucks are also really nice but are much more limited in what you can carry.

For me - I would struggle between the 3/4 and 1 ton SRW trucks. If the 1 ton drives like the 3/4 ton I would get the 1ton.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:19 PM   #50
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Not many Airstreamers live in a world where money doesn't matter.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:21 PM   #51
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When you cross the CAT scales with the trailer and TV, you can get three weights: front TV axle, rear TV axle and the trailer axles. I take the trailer axles weight and add it to my static tongue weight. Thus 5,880 pounds in trailer axles and 1,175 in tongue weight equals the current static weight of the trailer or about 7,155 pounds. The trailer GVW is 7,300 pounds.

I previously weighed the TV without the trailer and with full fuel load and myself aboard. The change in TV axle weights tells me how much of the tongue weight is now resting on the TV and the rest is back on the trailer axles. I also know how much weight was transferred to the front axle by the Hensley Arrow hitch.

Without some real finess, I lack the easy way to determine individual wheel weights or even axle weights on the trailer. The assumption is that if the trailer is level, then the weight is about even on the tandem axles. I know both the axle and tire ratings for the trailer, so I can tell if I have exceeded their capacity.

The factory tongue weight is the starting point, it will not get lower. The two propane gas bottles are now full, there is some water in the tanks, there is a solar panel on the roof, there is 140 pounds of Hensley hitch on the trailer tow bar, there is both a street side and rear awning, there are power cables, water hose, etc under the front bed storage area.....

The scale tickets allow me to be sure everything is properly loaded in both the trailer and TV. It might take several passes to fine tune the weight distribution when using more modest sized TVs.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:32 PM   #52
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Not many Airstreamers live in a world where money doesn't matter.

doug k
Money usually matters to us all. It even matters to most that have more than you or I could imagine. They likely wouldn't have accrued all that money if it didn't matter to them. I've known some people that I considered very rich and also considered to be real tightwads.

That's my philosophy dissertation for today.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #53
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Not many Airstreamers live in a world where money doesn't matter.

doug k
I work to hard to worry about .30 or .50 a gallon for fuel. Decide what you want in life and go get it. There will always be people behind you trying to save a nickel.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #54
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Just back from Ford store yesterday. More homework says that a 150 Laramie with AL THREE tow packages can tow >11000 which should be a tongue of 1100 or 124 # for propane and hitch. That's pretty tight but I believe that it is in the safe zone. What I like about the third package, the Heavy Duty Payload package (as noted and reccommended above to the other newbie ) is that it beefs up the important stuff I.e. axles, springs, wheels, tires, etc. Seems to almost make a 250 out of a 150 which is fine with me. BTW I also read that you could only outfit certain models but when I punched it in to the Ford pricing model it spits out a tow capacity of 11000 on the Laramie. Gotta check that with Ford. Lastly , if money didn't matter I'd have a 1964 Corvette Stingray custom designed to pull this thing! Thanks again!
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:10 PM   #55
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check the capacity of the ford receiver. i think it is limited to 10,500 with weight distribution.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #56
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Just back from Ford store yesterday. More homework says that a 150 Laramie with AL THREE tow packages can tow >11000 which should be a tongue of 1100 or 124 # for propane and hitch. That's pretty tight but I believe that it is in the safe zone. What I like about the third package, the Heavy Duty Payload package (as noted and reccommended above to the other newbie ) is that it beefs up the important stuff I.e. axles, springs, wheels, tires, etc. Seems to almost make a 250 out of a 150 which is fine with me. BTW I also read that you could only outfit certain models but when I punched it in to the Ford pricing model it spits out a tow capacity of 11000 on the Laramie. Gotta check that with Ford. Lastly , if money didn't matter I'd have a 1964 Corvette Stingray custom designed to pull this thing! Thanks again!
Everyone's quick to point out how much better a 1/2 ton rides compared to a 3/4 or 1 ton, but if you're going with all those extra tow package upgrades, make sure that's what you are test driving. Stiffer springs in the front and an extra leaf in the rear spring pack makes a huge difference. Just say'in, test drive what you are actually buying. The newer Big Trucks sure ride a lot nicer than they did 3 years ago.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:54 AM   #57
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The other thing to think about is the issue of tires and tire pressure. 1/2 ton tires are usually limited to "C" range tires, while 3/4 & 1 ton's are all at "E" rated tires. E rated tires are better for towing but when you air them to the max, the "ride" isn't like a C rated tire aired to 35 lbs. Safety factors on E rated vs C rated when towing are alot higher on the E rated tires. Just some more fodder to digest.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:39 AM   #58
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The other thing to think about is the issue of tires and tire pressure. 1/2 ton tires are usually limited to "C" range tires, while 3/4 & 1 ton's are all at "E" rated tires. E rated tires are better for towing but when you air them to the max, the "ride" isn't like a C rated tire aired to 35 lbs. Safety factors on E rated vs C rated when towing are alot higher on the E rated tires. Just some more fodder to digest.

Off the top of my head, I think the weight rating on the standard 18" tire on the F-150 is ~2365#. A 265/17 E standard on many of the 3/4 and 1 ton single wheels is ~3195#. Even higher in some of the optional E rated sizes.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:20 AM   #59
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A previous poster is confusing tow vehicle maximum tow weight as an indicator of tow vehicle tongue weight capacity of the hitch. The label on the vehicle's hitch will show numbers for tongue weight and maximum trailer weight and also the same numbers if using a weight distribution hitch.

My 25FB had a 833 pound tongue weight per factory specification and the real scaled weight is 1,175 pounds as it currently sits with full water tank. The trailer GVW is 7,300 pounds.

A 30' Classic has a factory tongue weight of 733 pounds and a GVW of 10,000 pounds.

Thus we have a higher GVW trailer weight with a lower tongue weight.

Using the 2012 F-150 Ford literature for a King Ranch SuperCrew cab, short bed 4x4, with Max Towing package (Max Payload package is NOT available for this model), the manufacturer says the vehicle will tow a maximum trailer weight of 11,700 pounds, BUT that is part of the GCWR rating of 17,100 pounds which means that with the heaviest trailer attached, the truck itself can only weight 5,400 pounds.

Turning to the next page, one sees that with the EcoBoost motor, 4x4 and Max towing package, the Maximum GVW for the truck is 7,650 pounds with initial payload of 1,900 pounds. Going to another Ford document, we find out that the 1,900 pounds is for NO installed upgrades from a raw base truck. The fudge factor for factory installed equipment and options is 427 pounds and a base curb weight of 5,687 pounds. That means the payload is REDUCED from 1,900 pounds to 1,473 pounds. Immediately we can see that with no other stuff in the truck, the curb weight weighs more than the net figure mentioned above at 5,400 pounds. In fact, taking the 7,650 pound truck GVW away from the 17,100 GCWR leaves the actual maximum trailer weight that can be towed at 9,450 pounds.

Thus the maximum size Airstream Classic that one should consider weight wise would be the 27FB. All models of the International trim line and Flying Cloud trim line weight are at 8,800 GVW or less. Interesting is the fact that the 28' models have the highest tongue weights of 976 pounds for Flying Cloud and 950 pounds for the International model.

Note that the F150 under discussion could have an optional 36 gallon instead of a 26 gallon fuel tank. The extra ten gallons of gasoline reduces payload capacity by about 62 pounds.

The front axle is rated 3,900 pounds and the curb weight for it is 3,206 pounds, so the payload for the front axle is 694 pounds. The rear axle is rated for 4,090 pounds with the curb weight of 2,481 pounds for a payload of 1,609 pounds. The net payload numbers total 2,303 pounds. The gotcha is that the axle ratings added together equals 7,950 pounds but the truck GVW is 7,650 pounds so there is a factory safety factor of 300 pounds or perhaps a handling issue.

Going back to our new net payload number of 1,473 pounds with the standard 26 gallon tank, we have to deduct the tongue weight of the trailer which is 1,175 for my 25FB. That leaves 198 pounds for the wife, the driver's weight above 150 pounds and other stuff. It would be 62 pound less with the larger fuel tank, or 136 pounds payload available. Even though one is using a weight distribution hitch, the downward force due to gravity on the back end of the truck stays at 1,175 pounds. The WD hitch may shift apparent weight forwards and rearward because of leverage, but the steel attachment point between truck and trailer always sees the total static tongue weight.

That is why the static tongue weight is referenced when looking at which hitch to acquire or if preinstalled at the factory, does it have enough capacity and/or does it need reinforcement? Also, if one has to use a drop hitch, the longer the drop, the more rotational forces that are applied to the hitch welds to the attachment points. Some brands of factory hitches have had failures at the weld joints at the end of the cross member supporting the receiver tube.

Just because the motor will pull the weight along on a flat surface, is not the primary concern. The specifications of the axles, wheels and tires, hitch etc limit the total load of both the TT and TV. Overloading means more stress on bearings, gear trains, braking capacity etc and reduces the factory safety margins that could have a tremendously negative impact on emergency handling or cause premature failure of expensive parts.

When selecting a more modest sized towing vehicle, a through exercise of working the numbers will allow the user to determine if this particular tow vehicle as fully speced would always be operated at it's gross capacity or even overloaded?

Take an identical model an a demo ride across the scales with a full gasoline tank and driver and usual passenger with their got to have stuff (like a 20 pound purse). Look at the actual front and rear axle weights and actual gross weight. Now you have a realistic set of numbers for a basis to do all the other necessary calculations to see if the your specific trailer and vehicle fall within the factory guidelines.

Then the decision to run at gross weight or over is based upon reality and not wishful thinking. The vehicle manufacturer's engineers can tell if a vehicle's part failure could be due to overloading and thus not eligible for warranty replacement.

YMMV
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 AM   #60
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Switz you are dead on.Unfortunately a lot of members do not do the homework before they buy a tow vehicle and then go into denial when you bring up the manufactures maximum tow specifications.It is what it is folks.
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