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Old 08-24-2022, 02:22 PM   #1
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Real Tongue Weights 23FB, 25RB & F-150

New to the forum and considering purchasing our first Airstream. I am seeking input on real world tongue weights for the 23FBT and 25RBT trailers so I can run some accurate GVW and payload numbers. Several years ago I sold my Duramax and big travel trailer and went to a small 18’ trailer and a 2016 F-150 Supercrew 4x4. Now ready for more room, comfort. I love my truck, but I was shocked when I began running capacity calculations assuming even nominal increases over AS published unloaded tongue weights. There’s simply not much room in a 7000 lb GVWR truck to work with on these campers. I have a CAT scale weight of 5580 lbs on my truck with a full 36 gallon gas tank and me only. Adding our usual cargo in the truck, and assuming a 700 lb loaded tongue weight for a 23FB for instance, I have a thin margin of payload left, but I am over the GVW allowed for the truck even with the 23FB, never mind the 25RB!

I am interested in 23FBT and 25RBT owners’ measured tongue weights to improve my estimates, hoping I was too aggressive. I am not interested in ignoring the capacity ratings of my truck, as it seems many on this forum do!
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Old 08-24-2022, 02:32 PM   #2
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I tow my 23FB with a GMC half ton truck and it’s a very good match. I’m pleased with it.

I’ve measured my tongue weight several times with a Sherline scale, and I’ve been to the CAT scales with the trailer loaded at various levels.

My tongue weight measured with the Sherline scale on a virtually empty trailer is about 525 lbs., which is approximately 10% of my trailer’s manufactured weight of 5,214 lbs. per the sticker affixed to the trailer. This measurement obviously does not account for the weight of the hitch. My Blue Ox Sway Pro weighs 63.4 lbs.

When loaded “heavy” for a long trip, my tongue weight is about 100 lbs. more, depending on the load. We took a long trip last fall that included the generator, a full Yeti cooler, extra camp chairs, etc. and the weight was about 620 lbs.

My truck has a payload capacity of 1,497 lbs. I have to be careful when we pack heavy, but it’s very manageable.
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Old 08-24-2022, 02:33 PM   #3
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Real world tongue weights

We have a 2019 FC 25 RBT. Fully loaded for travel it weighs 6400 LBS per CAT Scale. It has a true tongue weight of 940 LBS. We have almost 20k miles on this rig and I have weighed it several times with a 3 pass weigh-in at the local CAT Scale. It is just the 2 of us. No Pets. We travel with empty black/grey tanks and maybe 10 gallons of water in the freshwater tank. I think we travel pretty light.

Our first AS was a 2017 Int. Serenity 23D. That AS is known for a high tongue weight, and it did not disappoint. Tongue weight was right at 860 LBS. Same load conditions. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-24-2022, 02:49 PM   #4
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My 2019 23FBQ with a full fresh tank, full propane, and 60 lbs of dumbbells in the front of the trailer was 625 lbs measured with a Sherline scale. I added the weights to purposely make the tongue weight heavier.

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Old 08-24-2022, 02:57 PM   #5
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I have a 2022 23'FBQ Flying Cloud with an advertised tongue weight of 500lbs. but with full C3 bottles, 2 batteries up front, empty black and grey tanks, and 37gal of fresh water the tongue weight measures 630lbs.
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Old 08-24-2022, 03:12 PM   #6
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Thank you for the quick feedback! Interesting that the loaded 23FB weights are so consistent! If I assume 630 lbs (instead of 700), that would put me 21 lbs under the GVWR of the truck. Payload still good with 368 lb of margin, but dang that GVWR! Thinnest of margins.
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Old 08-24-2022, 03:25 PM   #7
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Like Uraljohn, we also have a 2019 FC 25 RBT and, like Uraljohn, also measured at 940 lbs. Our SUV is about 5800 lbs. empty and has a 7400 GVW. On my three weigh spreadsheet, I am showing GVW of 7120 lbs without weight distribution and 7080 with weight distribution. I can send you the spreadsheet if you would like to see it.

That is measured with two people, 65 lbs of dogs, about 8 gallons water, and about 100 lbs of other cargo.

I find it really weird that my Ford built 2018 SUV has a higher GVW than your F-150. But then I have also noticed that my real axle rating of 4380 lbs is higher than some F-150's. Confusing why that is so.

Anyway, we have about 18K miles on the combo and are very pleased with it.
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Old 08-24-2022, 04:00 PM   #8
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Real world numbers

Not a direct comparison of models, but may provided some insight to what Airstream posted tongue weights vs real world tongue weights look like. I have a 2007 25' Classic rear bed twin. Airstream literature states a base weight of 6074lbs, max weight of 8000lbs, and tongue weight of 870lbs. With trailer loaded for a week long trip, 54 gallons of fresh water, 60lbs of propane, two AGM batteries in front exterior battery compartments, and a Hensley hitch, the tongue weight per the cat scales comes in at 1540lbs with no weight distribution engaged. Hensley claims the hitch weighs 190lbs so 1350lbs of stand alone trailer tongue weight vs the 870lbs the literature states, about 55% higher. With the Hensley, I can move 160lb-360lb off the rear axle depending on the setting, so leaving 1180lbs to 1380lbs of tongue weight sitting on the rear axle after weight distribution is engaged. A fair amount of difference with the real world to what Airstream's literature states. One disclaimer, I do not know what Airstream includes in their printed tongue weights in regards to freshwater and propane.
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Old 08-24-2022, 04:02 PM   #9
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I am confused. How can you possibly be under the payload rating for the truck and over the GVRW? I think if you are over GVRW you are over payload also. Payload is a funny number because nobody really knows what is counted and what is not. And nobody knows the empty weight of the truck. GVWR is what I would go buy. Because GVW is a real number that you can measure directly.
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Old 08-24-2022, 04:09 PM   #10
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Trailer CAT weight fully loaded is 6,960 pounds.
The measured tongue weight is 1,150 pounds for my highly modified 25' RBT.
Using a BlueOx Sway pro with 1,500 pound bars set on the 9th link the CAT measured tongue weight on the truck is 860 pounds.
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Old 08-24-2022, 04:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I am confused. How can you possibly be under the payload rating for the truck and over the GVRW? I think if you are over GVRW you are over payload also. Payload is a funny number because nobody really knows what is counted and what is not. And nobody knows the empty weight of the truck. GVWR is what I would go buy. Because GVW is a real number that you can measure directly.
Payload = Door sticker payload rating - weight of passengers - weight of cargo.

GVW is my weighed truck with me and a full tank of fuel, then add weight of passengers, cargo, WD hitch, and tongue weight of trailer. GVW is over the 7000# GVWR despite me having some “room” left on the payload rating. It’s why you have to look at both values.
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Old 08-24-2022, 04:43 PM   #12
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The calculations are as follows

Payload = GVWR (max weight the vehicle can carry) - Curb Weight (the weight of the empty vehicle, this includes full fuel and fluids)

Available Payload = Payload - All Occupants (including the driver) - Aftermarket accessories (steps, tonneau covers, etc...)

The available payload must be greater than the tongue weight of the trailer plus anything placed in the back of the vehicle (coolers, firepits, chairs, etc...)

Note, the published GVWR will probably be less than the sum of the max weight ratings for each axle.
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Old 08-24-2022, 04:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCPAS View Post
Like Uraljohn, we also have a 2019 FC 25 RBT and, like Uraljohn, also measured at 940 lbs. Our SUV is about 5800 lbs. empty and has a 7400 GVW. On my three weigh spreadsheet, I am showing GVW of 7120 lbs without weight distribution and 7080 with weight distribution. I can send you the spreadsheet if you would like to see it.

That is measured with two people, 65 lbs of dogs, about 8 gallons water, and about 100 lbs of other cargo.

I find it really weird that my Ford built 2018 SUV has a higher GVW than your F-150. But then I have also noticed that my real axle rating of 4380 lbs is higher than some F-150's. Confusing why that is so.

Anyway, we have about 18K miles on the combo and are very pleased with it.

Very Interesting. We tow with a 2013 Ford E150 XLT Premium van. It has an 8600 LB GVWR. Yes, you read that correctly. An E150! Payload/cargo capacity is 2538 LBS per the door sticker. Front axle is 3700 LBS and rear axle is 5120 LBS. I looked high and low for 6 months before locating this van. It has every option offered by Ford with the exception of the V-10 engine. Tows the 2019 FC 25 RBT like a champ. I have met a few folks at RV parks that are a little skeptical until they see the door stickers for themselves. High-capacity half ton vehicles are out there. You have to know what to look for. We have owned the van for 6 years and it now has 118k miles on it.
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Old 08-24-2022, 05:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
Very Interesting. We tow with a 2013 Ford E150 XLT Premium van. It has an 8600 LB GVWR. Yes, you read that correctly. An E150! Payload/cargo capacity is 2538 LBS per the door sticker. Front axle is 3700 LBS and rear axle is 5120 LBS. I looked high and low for 6 months before locating this van. It has every option offered by Ford with the exception of the V-10 engine. Tows the 2019 FC 25 RBT like a champ. I have met a few folks at RV parks that are a little skeptical until they see the door stickers for themselves. High-capacity half ton vehicles are out there. You have to know what to look for. We have owned the van for 6 years and it now has 118k miles on it.
Have you measured your 25 RBT actual. tongue weight with a Sherline or any other manner?
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Old 08-24-2022, 05:22 PM   #15
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Have you measured your 25 RBT actual. tongue weight with a Sherline or any other manner?
Okay, so mine might be more like 930.
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Old 08-24-2022, 05:22 PM   #16
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Very Interesting. We tow with a 2013 Ford E150 XLT Premium van. It has an 8600 LB GVWR. Yes, you read that correctly. An E150! Payload/cargo capacity is 2538 LBS per the door sticker. Front axle is 3700 LBS and rear axle is 5120 LBS. I looked high and low for 6 months before locating this van. It has every option offered by Ford with the exception of the V-10 engine. Tows the 2019 FC 25 RBT like a champ. I have met a few folks at RV parks that are a little skeptical until they see the door stickers for themselves. High-capacity half ton vehicles are out there. You have to know what to look for. We have owned the van for 6 years and it now has 118k miles on it.
That is a beast of tow vehicle!
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:42 PM   #17
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I see now. I made a mental mistake. I meant how could you be over the axle weight and under the payload. I also did not know that you could be the under the payload and over on GVWR. I forgot that the GVWR rating is lower than the sum of the axles if I ever knew that

Maybe if you are under all the axle weights you are okay. Or maybe you need a new truck. I will bow out. I pull a old 25' that weighs 6300 loaded and transfers 800 lbs to the truck with the WD engaged with a 2500 so I have not done the detailed estimates for payload and tongue weights.
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:49 PM   #18
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We tow a 2000 25' Safari RBT with a 2019 F150--tongue weight 1020 lbs.--Hensley hitch---RAS---E rated tires. Fully loaded tow vehicle and Airstream ready to travel and camp weighed on CAT scales.
steering axle--3280. max wt. 3450
drive axle---3660. max wt. 4050
trailer axle---5440
gross weight---12380
GVWR---7000
GCWR----18000
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:54 PM   #19
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as document states the tongue weight for 2023 is
25fb 875 lb
25rb 850 lb
23fb 500 lb
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Old 08-24-2022, 07:05 PM   #20
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Just a note that Ford allow for their famous 150 lb driver in the payload. So you can effectively add 150 lb to the payload and then deduct actual weight of passengers and equipment. See photo from 2021 specification

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