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Old 10-04-2015, 09:55 AM   #1
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Question Best tow vehicle for 25'?

We are in the final stages of research for our long awaited entry into the world of RVing and have narrowed our search considerations to a 25' Airstream. Our plan was to select the RV first then find the most appropriate tow vehicle for that selection.

Is a Ford 150 3.5 V6 Ecoboost a good option for towing and would we need the 4WD package? What is the best gear ratio option considering we will be using the truck also as a commuter in our daily lives?

Trying to do it right the first time...
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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Welcome, "Question Best tow vehicle for 25'?" that is another of one of those impossible questions to answer unless someone has used every possible tow vehicle on the market.
I had an F150 Ecoboost. Found it be a capable and comfortable tow vehicle. Not so great an everyday around town vehicle. Too big for me to negotiate closed traffic and tight parking lots. I am much happier with my Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4X4 Hemi. For me it is the perfect all purpose vehicle.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:12 AM   #3
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JKB-

Chief is right, tough question to always answer. Lots of threads on AirForums on selecting tow vehicles, and research is your friend! Kind of two truck camps on AirForums, one says 1/2 ton works, one says 3/4 required. We just went through this at our house (again) and ended up with a '15 F150 that is doing the job for Pete, our FC27FB perfectly well. More details can be found here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...le-141137.html

Welcome to the forum by the way, and we're only an hour South of you and are happy to help any way we can as you get close to pulling the trigger!
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:04 PM   #4
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I agree that there are two truck camps, but I think there are three camps regarding tow vehicles.

1) Half ton is fine
2) Three quarter ton required
3) Who needs a pickup truck?

The answer depends a lot on how much cargo you want to take with you, and what you plan to do with the vehicle when not towing. For a dedicated tow vehicle, a truck can be a great choice. For a multipurpose vehicle, some prefer alternatives. In either case, think about the load capacity of the vehicle.

As to 4wd, no, you do not need it for towing. A 4wd will cost more up front, and more to maintain. It will often have reduced cargo capacity due to the weight of the 4wd components, and it will generally get worse fuel economy. That said, if you are parking or manoeuvering a trailer on slippery ground conditions such as wet grass, it can be very useful. I am leaving out the winter driving considerations given the OP's home location of Florida, but if you plan to travel mountains in winter further north, then there is another good reason for it.

Jeff
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I agree that there are two truck camps, but I think there are three camps regarding tow vehicles.

1) Half ton is fine
2) Three quarter ton required
3) Who needs a pickup truck?
I'm of camp #2. Get a 3/4-ton diesel (or gas) and don't worry about how much you are hauling. You won't regret it.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:55 PM   #6
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Whether you choose 1/2 or 3/4 go with 4WD.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:02 PM   #7
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I have an F150 2wd 3.5 eco and find it to be perfect. By the specs you can go with a 2.7 eco with the max tow and payload package too but the payload capacity is important. One thing that will make a difference for you is if the tow vehicle will be used as a daily driver. Mine is used for more than towing and I need it as my only vehicle. That need directs me to the 1/2 ton class for ride comfort, ease of parking and overall cost. If this fits you then there ya go. My model tows 11,900# and has a payload of 1720#. There are models with better payload but that is more than enough tow for any size Airstream.

As far as 4wd goes, buying a new 2015 I was concerned about it as I only had 2wd before. I went to the F150 forum and other places to ask and found that even when towing, most posters said at best, "your only glad you have 4wd when you need it." Owners of both or who had at one time owned both said that they never used it or gave examples of when it did not matter if it was 2wd or 4wd like in wet grass and often in mud when anything was stuck. One guy posted picks of when a group of guys mudding and off-road were driving around. All of them were stuck. Another of his posts showed a 2wd elect. locker as he called it did better than his 4wd. There were many posters but I came away with the conclusion that it was not worth it in almost every scenario except one- winter and snows. The guy with several trucks said that his 2wd models with the electronic rear locker were almost as good so I went that direction. Since I do not plan to camp or drive much in snow I opted out. I could have gone either way as they did have one like mine in both drive configs. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:07 PM   #8
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I have an F150 2wd 3.5 eco and find it to be perfect. By the specs you can go with a 2.7 eco with the max tow and payload package too but the payload capacity is important. One thing that will make a difference for you is if the tow vehicle will be used as a daily driver. Mine is used for more than towing and I need it as my only vehicle. That need directs me to the 1/2 ton class for ride comfort, ease of parking and overall cost. If this fits you then there ya go. My model tows 11,900# and has a payload of 1720#. There are models with better payload but that is more than enough tow for any size Airstream.
Do you have any hills in Florida?? Seems like that truck would be screaming like a banshee on a grade (not to offend any banshees, of course). Especially if you are anywhere near the 11,900 limit.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:28 PM   #9
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Have towed my 31' Sovereign about 65000 miles now with my trusty old 2004 Nissan Titan. The truck itself just rolled past 193000 miles.

With the tow package, it is rated to tow 9500#. Payload, however, is pretty puny so I only carry about 250 pounds of stuff.

Pretty much assume 10 mpg towing and 15 mpg when I am not.

In ten years, have about $2500 in repairs (exhaust headers, brake rotors, drive shaft center bearing) beyond routine items.

Best vehicle I have ever owned. Sure, at 7500' on a 6 percent grade, I am in third gear at 3500 rpm which is loud and sucks fuel but that type of situation is such a minuscule portion of a given trip, I just can't imagine owning a behemoth diesel at such huge procurement and maintenance cost, to deal with those few minutes...

Having said that, I am thinking hard about a new Titan for Christmas! The current one has really tired paint and is just starting to burn or leak a little oil ...

Personally, I think payload is the key factor. Weigh everything you think you can't live without that has to go in the truck, multiply by 1.25 and that is the payload you should look for.

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Old 10-04-2015, 05:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Seems like that truck would be screaming like a banshee on a grade (not to offend any banshees, of course). Especially if you are anywhere near the 11,900 limit.
Here is what is amazing. The ecobeast 3.5 has a lot of torque at the low end. Previously I had a V8 with just under half of what this thing produces at similar torque. With the old truck this summer in West Virigina on US 60. It was unbelieveable as far as RPMs and hill climbing though I must admit it was quite the grade on those country state roads there. I have not been towing there since the purchase but I can already tell that with this engine, I took off from the storage facility towing my trailer and it was like it wasn't even there. No comparison. It was lulling along on the highway. I only knew I was towing by the occasional porpoise movement. Basically I have about 2.1 times the torque I had before. My 25' is 7000# fully loaded. The nice thing about the 3.5 is that the peak torque is at 2500 RPM something normally obtainable only in a diesel. The 420 ft lb. is great too for its weight both engine-wise and vehicle-wise. That is where it has the edge. I got the max tow package which includes the electronic 3:55 rear JKB.

It's true that the larger trucks offer more- just depends on what one needs.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:48 PM   #11
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JKR, first of all a half ton truck in plenty for towing an AS 25ft. The choice of manufacturer is your choice, if it's ford the 3.5 Eco is the better choice, Ram Hemi & Ecodiesel are both awesome power plants, GMC V8 is another good puller. 4X4 is a must as some campgrounds have gravel roads & sites, a 2X4 will spin the rear tires on inclines spitting stones over the front of your new Airstream. If MPG is a concern checkout the Ecodiesel Ram. Regarding your AS purchase if your purchasing new here in Florida PM me for a dealer that will discount about 19% upfront with no haggle.
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:21 PM   #12
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Look for payload as close to 2000lbs as possible. The 25 will have around 1000lb tongue weight when loaded then when you add occupants and cargo you will still be under manufacturers limits with some extra in case you want to add a camper shell. Check the load sticker on the drivers door to see the actual payload of the vehicle you are looking at. Get 4x4 for those unexpected situations and you may want to take some day trips up a dirt roads. Get a fuel tank that is over 30 gallons for better range.

Review all the threads in this forum for opinions on the different trucks and whether you want gas vs diesel.

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Old 10-04-2015, 06:33 PM   #13
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I just traded my 2010 3/4 ton Suburban for a 2015 Sierra 1500 with the 6.2 liter V8 and max towing. It pulls like a dream and has a much better ride over the 3/4 ton Suburban. Either will pull it fine. I too have a 25FB. Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:08 PM   #14
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Airstreamers pull 25's with VW Touaregs to F350's and everything in between and a few outside. And all swear by their choice.

The question really is "what is the best tow vehicle for me?". The F150 Ecoboost would certainly handle your Airstream nicely, a near perfect match as trucks go. Look at payload capacity and what you need to go traveling and camping and see if it's up to it; if not adjust your payload needs, move some stuff around in the trailer to lighten the front a bit, or get a heavier truck. For a daily driver I'd adjust my payload needs.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:34 AM   #15
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Florida AS Dealer

Joe, thanks for your response to my post. I'm not sure if this is a private message or not but would very much like the name of your dealer in Florida. JKB
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I agree that there are two truck camps, but I think there are three camps regarding tow vehicles.

1) Half ton is fine
2) Three quarter ton required
3) Who needs a pickup truck?

The answer depends a lot on how much cargo you want to take with you, and what you plan to do with the vehicle when not towing. For a dedicated tow vehicle, a truck can be a great choice. For a multipurpose vehicle, some prefer alternatives. In either case, think about the load capacity of the vehicle.

As to 4wd, no, you do not need it for towing. A 4wd will cost more up front, and more to maintain. It will often have reduced cargo capacity due to the weight of the 4wd components, and it will generally get worse fuel economy. That said, if you are parking or manoeuvering a trailer on slippery ground conditions such as wet grass, it can be very useful. I am leaving out the winter driving considerations given the OP's home location of Florida, but if you plan to travel mountains in winter further north, then there is another good reason for it.

Jeff
I have owned 4 wheel drive vehicles my whole life and the additional maintenance for owning one is minor at best. Yes, you can get by without a 4 wheel drive, but the additional cost holds the value throughout it's life. Obviously if you live or drive in the mountains or snow country, 4 wheel drive is a safety issue, not to mention the available low range gearing for tough conditions. An F 150 is plenty of truck for 30' so anything smaller will be fine. The 3.5 Ecoboost is a proven high quality vehicle and is the most popular truck on the road today. There is a reason for this due to it's reliable history and comfort.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:03 AM   #17
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Just a quick thought on 4 wheel drive. I have a '15 Yukon 4 wheel drive. It stays in 2 wheel drive 90% of the time, auto during snow, and only once in full time 4 wheel - BUT that once saved us. I blindly followed GPS down a dead end dirt road. I would still be there if it weren't for the ability to switch into 4 wheel. It also helps on slippery sites.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I agree that there are two truck camps, but I think there are three camps regarding tow vehicles.

1) Half ton is fine
2) Three quarter ton required
3) Who needs a pickup truck?

The answer depends a lot on how much cargo you want to take with you, and what you plan to do with the vehicle when not towing. For a dedicated tow vehicle, a truck can be a great choice. For a multipurpose vehicle, some prefer alternatives. In either case, think about the load capacity of the vehicle.

As to 4wd, no, you do not need it for towing. A 4wd will cost more up front, and more to maintain. It will often have reduced cargo capacity due to the weight of the 4wd components, and it will generally get worse fuel economy. That said, if you are parking or manoeuvering a trailer on slippery ground conditions such as wet grass, it can be very useful. I am leaving out the winter driving considerations given the OP's home location of Florida, but if you plan to travel mountains in winter further north, then there is another good reason for it.

Jeff
I'm in Camp 1- half ton 2-wheel drive.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:36 AM   #19
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Best tow vehicle for 25' AS

Because we use our tow vehicle for everyday use (& because our garage is small) we tow with a 2014 VW Touareg TDI (diesel). Its 3 litre turbo diesel engine is not involved in the emission mess. It has an eight speed automatic transmission and tows like a dream. We recently completed a 3-1/2 month, 10,000 mile road trip with it. It crossed the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada the CA & OR coast range as well as the Cascades in OR. There was never a time when we couldn't have gone faster had we wanted to and we safely traveled a 2-3 mile 10% downgrade into Jackson, WY.

Our receiver was reinforced and the hitch was set up by Can-Am RV Centre in Ontario. If you want a pickup, then this car isn't for you but if you want an able mid-size SUV that is great on city streets as well as towing on the open road, this vehicle may be for you.

Hope this info. is helpful.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:00 PM   #20
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JerryMcMunn, that is helpful info for us because the Touareg would suit our daily needs perfectly and many like it as a mid-size Airstream tow vehicle. With any lighter duty tow vehicle load capacity is an issue for some but we have always been able to manage it easily.
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