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Old 09-23-2015, 05:54 PM   #1
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Adequacy of Rig

The largest Airstream that I would buy is the 27' Flying Cloud. It's GVW is 7,600 lbs., allowing for 1,732 lbs. of load because the unit base weight with the LP tanks full is 5,503 lbs. That allows for more weight than I can imagine carrying in the trailer, but I use the 7,600 lbs. for calculation.

The F150 w/ 2.7L Ecoboost minimum base curb weight is 4,371 lbs. while its allowed GCW is 13,100 lbs. The combination of the vehicle and trailer is 11,971 lbs., which allows a margin of 1,129 lbs. That margin would cover me, perhaps a generator, a one person kayak and whatever.

The hitch load would be 791 lbs.

Of course, I have to stay within limits for the sake of the warranty and safety. Therefore, I am concerned about whether the margin is adequate.

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Old 09-23-2015, 06:38 PM   #2
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One man's margin is another's risky behavior. We have all types here.

Trailer loaded and with towing equipment installed, the hitch weight will probably be 900-1100 lbs. Front bed models tend to load heavy in front because that's where much of the storage space is located.

Get a high-quality weight distribution hitch with sway control or really high-quality with sway elimination. Properly set up, it should move about 20% of that hitch weight to the trailer axles, the other 80% between the truck's axles.

Only you and your travel destinations, loads, speed can determine adequacy no matter what the numbers. Trucks are not the most stable vehicles in the world, Airstream trailers are as good as it gets, proper hitch selection and setup is an equal factor. Opinions are all over the place and arguments fly freely.

Buy the Airstream first, then a tow vehicle to match, then a great weight distribution hitch. Then get the combo set up right.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:28 PM   #3
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2016 28' Flying Cloud
Glen Rose , Texas
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This is great info. I am a little apprehensive about my 2014 GMC 1500 5.3 V8 with all the towing options and the Equi-li-zer anti sway hitch. The tongue weight is 971 and the UVW is 6100 on the Flying Cloud 28. Could you please provide any more info or refer me to someone who has experienced or is currently experiencing this combination. Thank you very much.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:49 PM   #4
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On a naturally aspirated engine you loose about 3% of your power for every 1,000 feet above sea level. If you plan on driving much in the mountains, expect to be going slow over those passes if you do not factor that in your tow vehicle selection.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:03 AM   #5

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......."The hitch load would be 791 lbs."

The CAT scales are your friend when getting 'actual' weights.

If wiggle room in the margins of capacity is important to you I would add at least 300lbs to your tongue weight estimate.

In most cases, real world payload limits will be reached well before the towing weight ceiling.

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Old 09-24-2015, 06:42 PM   #6
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Don't stop now! Keep this info flowing...what a great feed. Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oxen View Post
Of course, I have to stay within limits for the sake of the warranty and safety. Therefore, I am concerned about whether the margin is adequate.
There are prudent margins built into the truck specs. You are well under the specs so no worries with combo you are looking at.

Get a 3.73 or 4:10 rear axle and upgrade to the highest load range tires you can fit on, when the OEM tires wear out.

You may want work out your total payload on your truck once you have the trailer all set up on the WD hitch. Many people here weigh in on scales for that but I never have for either of my trucks. Common sense goes a long way.

I have pulled our Airstream with a relatively under-spec'd 1/2 ton truck and a relatively over-spec'd 3/4 ton truck. The only "margin" advantage between the two rigs that makes any real world difference to me are axle ratio, tire load capacity, horsepower and torque. More is better.

Take the plunge.
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2000 F150 4.2L
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