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Old 05-06-2021, 01:12 PM   #1
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towing 1970 31' with Ford Exp. XL?

Greetings. I have read numerous threads indicating the Expedition Max can do alright towing a newer model 25-27 foot airstream. My question is, what about the old airstreams? Am I incorrect to believe the 2010's models and newer are about two thousand pounds heavier than the vintage airstreams or is that negated by the hitch weight, GVWR or payload?

I am closer to pulling the trigger on a 1970 31' Sovereign International, hoping to tow it with an Expedition Max with HD tow package. Not certain of year on the ford, have yet to acquire. I'll be looking for a 2019 but could end up with a 2018.

The trailer I am about to buy is empty and ready for a build out but has had a shell off renovation including re-welded frame, new torsion axels with the control arm angle set a little down to allow a couple extra inches of clearance, new belly pan, new wheels and tires, new rock guard, new tanks, new subfloor and interior floor etc. I'm reading the 1970 sovereign international has a 4960lb dry weight and 490 hitch weight. Hoping we will stick close to that after build out but I expect we could be over as much as 1000lbs due to using tile in the bathroom and planning four bunks and a queen, etc.

I'd love to hear your experiences or thoughts.
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:58 PM   #2
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Since you're buying a shell and building an interior, you have the chance to make good choices and keep that low weight. A '71 is lighter and has less frontal area than a new Airstream. As long as you don't build in a bunch of heavy cabinetry and furniture to really spike the tongue weight, you should do fine with a properly-equipped Ecoboost Expedition. I don't think there are Ford tow mirrors for the Expy, but there are some aftermarket ones people speak well of.

As to tile in the bathroom: I see people doing that, and I think it's an iffy choice unless you're building it to be stationary. Also, even though it has had some frame work, those old rear-bath trailer had issues with the weight of the oritinal plastic bathroom over time. Tile is heavy.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:04 PM   #3
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Thanks DBK_SATX. That reassurance helps. I'll look into the tow mirrors, are they fixed i.e. permanent on the vehicle or can you swap them out for the regular mirrors when you are towing?

I wondered about the tile, will look into lighter alternatives while I have the luxury of time before decision making. I found a great thread here with optimal wood thicknesses to keep things as light as possible.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:13 AM   #4
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Most of the aftermarket tow mirrors for vehicles which don't have a factory option are add-ons you install just while towing. Some attach to the factory mirrors, some slide over the whole factory mirror assembly (CIPA, eg. I had those for my previous F150, they worked well) and some attach to the door (McKesh, eg)
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:51 PM   #5
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For reference, we have a refurbished 2004 30 Classic. The refurbishment significantly lowered the Tongue weight (removed forward couch and went to Li batteries. To the extent we have to work to keep tongue weight 10%. As a result we tow with a Hensley.

We tow an older (lighter trailer and tongue weight than newer ones) Classic 30 with a CC Dodge Ram 1500 Long Bed.

Truck Specs:
GVWR 7100
Steer Axle Rating 3900
Drive Axle Rating 4100

Loaded and hooked up ready to camp:
Steer Axle 3440
Drive Axle: 3480
Trailer Axles 7240

If need be I can adjust the HA to move another 100 pounds forward.
Steer Axle 3520
Drive Axle 3380
Trailer 7240

Axles are well within margins. Truck is about 200 pounds under GVWR.

We also have disc brakes to aid in stopping.
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