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Old 09-14-2020, 01:03 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle for FC 30fb bunk

Hi all,

I'm new to the group and will be new to the AS family. We are about to purchase a 2021 FC 30fb bunk that will arrive April of 21 (crazy but that's the timing). I have taken the advice of many and we picked our trailer first and now I'm trying to decide on the right TV for the rig. We have a family of 4 at home, two teenage girls and a dog (two more that have flown the nest but mom always wants to make sure they can join the fun if they want). My first choice is a 3/4 ton diesel crew cab but I know the girls for the next few years will want to invite a friend so the PU will be a tight fit. My question is can we consider a full size SUV like Ford Expedition for now and then move to our long term TV once the kids are all gone? My biggest concern is safety and comfort while towing. We live in the NE so no major passes to contend with...thoughts.

Thanks and we look forward to hitting the road next year in our new rig!
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:31 PM   #2
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If you select the 3.37 rear end, the 2020 Expedition with heavy duty tow package is rated to pull a 9000 - 9300 lb. trailer, depending on configuration. GVWR for 30 Bunkhouse is 8800 lb. Theoretically, you could pull such a trailer with said vehicle.

Like many things, the devil is in the details. The 2020 Expedition is rated for 900-930 lb. tongue weight. The measured hitch weight for my 2019 30 Bunk is ~1200 lb.

I'm not sure what the payload and axle capacities are for the Expedition, but I suspect it's around 1750lbs (minus any options on your trim level). Keep in mind that trailer tongue weight + 3 or 4 or 5 people + camping gear adds up in a hurry and will quickly push you over payload and/or front/rear axle weight limits.

If you're keeping score, Team Yes gets one point (able to tow 8800lb. trailer) and Team No gets 2 points (tongue weight, payload/axle limits). It's your choice, but the numbers don't seem to point in a favorable direction....

I have the same trailer and I would absolutely love to be able to spec a full-size SUV as a tow vehicle. What good is having a camper that can sleep 8 if I can only ever fit 4 or 5 in my truck? GM and Ford, are you listening??!!??
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:51 PM   #3
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Honestly, I believe if less is more. In your case however, with that trailer and the amount of people and their stuff, I would default to a 3/4 ton gas or 1 ton diesel. The 3/4 ton diesels don't have enough payload. Look at the difference in payload between a gas and diesel 3/4 ton on the tire pressure sticker in the door jam.
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Old 09-14-2020, 02:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe15601 View Post
The 3/4 ton diesels don't have enough payload.
This is simply untrue. All 2020 Chevy/GMC 2500HD models have payload capacity greater than 3000 lb., whether diesel or gasoline.
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Old 09-14-2020, 02:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
This is simply untrue. All 2020 Chevy/GMC 2500HD models have payload capacity greater than 3000 lb., whether diesel or gasoline.
The definitive payload capacity number is on the door jamb of the actual vehicle....not in the brochure or online specs.

For example my "loaded with options" 2016 RAM 2500 diesel 6'4" box 4x4 Crew Cab Laramie with auto leveling towing mode has a payload capacity printed on the door jamb of 2088 pounds.

Payload capacity will be dictated by the 3/4 ton truck's configuration. For example a diesel engine is heavier than a gas. A truck with 4WD and crew cab will have less capacity.

From 2088 pounds I deduct the 250 pound bed cap, a tank of fuel, two humans, two dogs, Equalizer hitch and cargo. On a trip to Alaska we added two kayaks on the roof, generator and fuel and a full size RAM spare wheel and tire and one Airstream wheel and tire. It handled well with the 25FB but we did notice greater wear on the rear OEM tires.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:41 PM   #6
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I stand by my statement. As part of the redesign for 2020 HD trucks, GM has vastly increased payload capacity. And they give diesel trucks a higher gross vehicle weight; consequently there is very little payload penalty for choosing diesel vs. gasoline on these models.Fully tricked out 2500HD Denali models still have more than 3000lb payload, according to the door sticker.

What you choose to do with that payload is up to you.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:02 PM   #7
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Sorry if I offended anyone. It does look like GM upd the diesel 3/4 ton game for 2020. I don't know what real world figures are, but there is a huge jump on the spec page from 2019 to 2020. Previous years and other manufacturers that I have ever looked at are usually in the 2000 - 2500 range. I travel pretty light with a 27FB, 2 humans and a small dog and use 1700 - 1750 payload. Add 3 more people, their stuff, truck and camping accessories and it can go up much higher quickly.
I am comfortable towing our 27 with a F150 max tow package, but I would be hesitant to pull a 30 Bunk with 5 people in the truck.
Just pay close attention to the payload capacity sticker in the door jam if you worry about that kind of thing.
The rear seats of the true crew cab trucks is not a bad place to be anymore. They have gotten quite large.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadagain View Post
Hi all,



I'm new to the group and will be new to the AS family. We are about to purchase a 2021 FC 30fb bunk that will arrive April of 21 (crazy but that's the timing). I have taken the advice of many and we picked our trailer first and now I'm trying to decide on the right TV for the rig. We have a family of 4 at home, two teenage girls and a dog (two more that have flown the nest but mom always wants to make sure they can join the fun if they want). My first choice is a 3/4 ton diesel crew cab but I know the girls for the next few years will want to invite a friend so the PU will be a tight fit. My question is can we consider a full size SUV like Ford Expedition for now and then move to our long term TV once the kids are all gone? My biggest concern is safety and comfort while towing. We live in the NE so no major passes to contend with...thoughts.



Thanks and we look forward to hitting the road next year in our new rig!


For information about payload for Expeditions, take a look at this forum post:
https://www.expeditionforum.com/thre....44864/page-10

The highest noted in the thread appears to be 1905lbs for a 2020 Expedition Max XLT, HD Tow package, FX4, 7 seats, no pano sunroof, 18” wheels. If u look thru the thread there is a ptr to a spreadsheet with different configs.

I have a 2019 Expy Max XLT, HD Tow, no Fx4, 8 seats (bench 2nd row), 20” wheels, no pano sunroof and it has a payload of 1767lbs. Has been working well so far towing a 2017 FC 23D so far. Especially alright if I travel with empty fresh water tank given the tongue weight is about 650 lbs or so and the Expy should be able to handle a tongue weight of 900lbs. The expedition is comfortable for my family (and dog).
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:16 AM   #9
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Understanding GVWR & Payload

It's all about the payload - not towing limits. The tongue weight plus added teenagers may put you overweight. See the spreadsheet at the following link: https://www.keepyourdaydream.com/payload/.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:48 AM   #10
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NISSAN NV 3500 SL with V8 anyone?
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe15601 View Post
Honestly, I believe if less is more. In your case however, with that trailer and the amount of people and their stuff, I would default to a 3/4 ton gas or 1 ton diesel. The 3/4 ton diesels don't have enough payload. Look at the difference in payload between a gas and diesel 3/4 ton on the tire pressure sticker in the door jam.
Our 3/4 ram 6.7 cumalong does a fine job with our 13 31’ Classic...
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:52 AM   #12
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Check out the RAM 2500 MegaCab. Plenty of room and that great Cummins diesel. Note:Have you considered a gas truck. I have a 30' International and tow with a RAM 2500 MegaCab with the 6.4 Hemi, 4.10 rear end and air suspension. Plenty of power and great ride.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:17 PM   #13
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Concurr

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NISSAN NV 3500 SL with V8 anyone?
Sounds like a great TV with plenty of passenger space. And for trips without alot of passengers take out the extra seats.

Cheers
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:21 PM   #14
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Sorry if I offended anyone. It does look like GM upd the diesel 3/4 ton game for 2020. I don't know what real world figures are, but there is a huge jump on the spec page from 2019 to 2020. Previous years and other manufacturers that I have ever looked at are usually in the 2000 - 2500 range. I travel pretty light with a 27FB, 2 humans and a small dog and use 1700 - 1750 payload. Add 3 more people, their stuff, truck and camping accessories and it can go up much higher quickly.
I am comfortable towing our 27 with a F150 max tow package, but I would be hesitant to pull a 30 Bunk with 5 people in the truck.
Just pay close attention to the payload capacity sticker in the door jam if you worry about that kind of thing.
The rear seats of the true crew cab trucks is not a bad place to be anymore. They have gotten quite large.
For the most part what GM did for the 3/4 lineup is stop marketing many of the models to short distance haulers who want a GVWR label of 10,000 to avoid DOT journal requirements. Thus they started using accurate weight limits. Other manufacturers generally still cap theirs at 10,000.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:16 PM   #15
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Ram 1500 with 30 FT Flying Cloud Bunk

I have been daily driving and towing with Ram 1500 since December 2016. Over 25,000 miles. NC to Mt. Rushmore - Around Great Lakes. Florida Charleston. etc. etc. We have traveled with a 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie and now with a 2020 Ram 1500 limited. Here is the set up.

3.92 Rear end
Ram Boxes
Air suspension
change rear stabilizer bar to a Hellwig
Change tires to Your choice of E Load range tires with 60 PSI of air
Pro Pride Hitch.

I don't want a 2500/3500 as a daily driver. I promise if you do what I have done you will have a great towing experience and a great daily driver. We run 65-70 effortlessly. Send me a message if you need more information etc.

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Old 09-15-2020, 09:11 PM   #16
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OP: an HD van was mentioned. I believe Ford sells a 1 ton van (E350?). GM and FCA might have that as well. You might have to do some customization to get the amenities you want but it’s worth looking in to.

I know some people pull 30’ Airstreams with 1/2 ton trucks but unless they travel REALLY light, my guess is they’re overweight re: axle ratings and GVWR.
It just depends on how comfortable you feel with that.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:21 AM   #17
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One more thing to keep in mind when towing the 30 Bunk. The front queen / rear bath / 2nd bedroom layout forces tradeoffs with storage. The 2 outside lockers on the rear are quite anemic--I can barely get the 50A cord in/out of the rear bin.

The front locker, wardrobe lockers, and under-bed storage are all placed in the extreme front of the trailer. Where are you likely to be stuffing all your kit? Where are you likely to stash your heavy items (e.g. tool kit, cast iron cookware, heavy clothes)? Most likely, right up front.

Just be aware that, when fully loaded, tongue weight on this 30-foot beast will be a lot higher than you may anticipate.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:36 PM   #18
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For the most part what GM did for the 3/4 lineup is stop marketing many of the models to short distance haulers who want a GVWR label of 10,000 to avoid DOT journal requirements. Thus they started using accurate weight limits. Other manufacturers generally still cap theirs at 10,000.
This is the part that confuses me. I've read in multiple places that 250/2500 trucks get there GVWR capped at 10,000# for various reasons. Looking at FCA's weight charts for my '14 2500, it has the same axel, GAWR front and rear as a '14 3500, but with the 10,000# GVWR, it only has a payload of 2235#. Says same on the door sticker. I know now, that in the past, I certainly exceeded that, but the truck was always level or nearly level. Not bragging, was just ignorant.

So is this years GM truck that much bigger and badder than last years, or are they just being more realistic with the weight ratings? And if that's the case, do the taxes and registration go up? Or you have to start keeping log books?

Please enlighten me.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:21 PM   #19
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Exactly in '14 GM was including that model in the target for the short haul people and capped GVRW at 10,000. For whatever marketing reason, the 2020 models have realistic GVRW. You'll notice the technical and safety related limits which include front and rear axle, combined weight limit, and towing limits are similar from 18-20. Changes to these limits represent a real change to the vehicle's capability.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:08 PM   #20
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Trying to actually see trailer layouts during COVID is impossible and making it hard to decide , so any insights on 28-30ft layout options are welcomed.
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