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Old 09-09-2016, 02:00 PM   #1
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Daily Driver and / or Tow Vehicle options

The Ford F350 and the Toyota Tundra posts are mounting and the posts are very helpful comparing a great 1/2 Ton truck and a great 3/4 to 1 Ton truck. (My experience is with many Toyota trucks since 1981 and one Ford that I presently own.)

I have towed with a 4.7L (2006) and a 5.7L Tundra (2102). My 4.7L Tundra towed a 23 foot Safari, without difficulty. My 5.7L Tundra pulled the 23 foot Safari and the current 25 foot International without difficulty. BOTH were also excellent Daily Drivers. The 2006 Tundra, resellers tell me, is worth a premium as it was the last of the smaller sized Tundra.

Pulling the trailer was not the issue. It has always been looking at the leaf springs that seem way too minimum... maybe for the ride to be smoother like a SUV with a pickup bed.

Both were easily 'over loaded'. I would look at the leaf springs and they would be flat. I was careful not to carry heavy useless items as cargo. Even to the point that filling a five gallon water container... could have been a problem if hauled from the beginning of a trip with the trailer.

As a daily driver the F250/350 is a bit more truck to park. The 2007 and later Tundras are not much different, but the Ford feels... huge. Although the Tundra and the current 5.7L engine gets decent city and out of town mpg, size can be an issue in a large city environment and older garages.

So what do you do? A Dodge, GMC, Ford, Toyota pickup as a Daily Driver and Tow Vehicle?

A SUV with a V8 for a family towing... a shorter Airstream?

Our compromise was keeping our 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser as the current Daily Driver and the F350 for the Number Two Daily Driver and Tow Vehicle.

What do you have as a Daily Driver and Tow Vehicle?

For Airstream Single Axles? What have you found within your comfort level?
For Airstream Double Axle 23 foot models?
For Airstream Double Axle longer than 23 foot models?

On some threads there is always discussion of comparisons between one experienced with towing and new owners that are as confused as I was when purchasing that first Airstream, or any other brand.

My opinion would be that if Tundra had ONE extra leaf spring it could be considered a 'heavy half ton' and handle more cargo. The engine, drive train, suspension and brakes are already heavy duty. Why not?
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:40 PM   #2
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I know I am an anomaly but when I replaced my F-150 this year I really looked at everything out there from the not yet released Honda Ridgeline (in the end I'm glad I passed on that one) to trucks by GMC, Ram, Ford Toyots and Nissan.
We purchased the 2500 Ram mostly because I simply wanted the Cummins, I pined for the RamBox option and it has a very respectable turning radius.
Yes, it is too much truck for what we tow but I don't care! It is actually my preferred drive on a day to day basis.
I love the engine and most everything about this vehicle.
I don't think paying attention to payload is a bad thing. We carry a ton of "stuff" in the bed of the truck and while my F-150 handled fine empty, it was clearly unhappy loaded with all of that stuff and the trailer. I never realized just how unhappy it was until we switched to the 2500.
Yes, we used a weight distributing hitch and yes I set it up as per instructions and yes we verified weights on scales (we where just over...)

I am sure that our rig is not the "slalom racer" some prefer but it feels great in traffic, up hill, down hill, on bad pavement, changing lanes etc.

We are happy!
Bruce
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:46 PM   #3
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I have a GMT900 platform SUV (Escalade) to pull my 30' Airstream. I can tow 8300 pounds and have a payload of 1600. That's enough for me. If I had more cargo, or if I wanted to haul a motorcycle, or three kids, two dogs and the inlaws, then I'd consider something bigger. But as it stands for two people and one dog, the GMT900 platform is perfect to haul 30 feet of Airstream. And as a daily driver - its perfection. 202" long, it is easily parked in any parking lot, and I am not scratching my neighbor's car.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:48 PM   #4
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As to your question that I somehow ignored in my first answer (sorry)...
I am personally of the opinion that vehicles are not so much a pile of parts chosen randomly. Toyota wanted that leaf spring in that truck for a reason. Tires, brakes, shock absorbers, antilock algorithms, frames all work together to create the package that is your Toyota. I have faith that engineers know what they are doing and seldom feel comfortable "re-engineering" a part of a system.
Most of the examples I ran into in my automotive repair career (I'm retired now) ended up being compromises that led to other issues.

Note, that I did say "most"!

You can always add stiffer springs and see what happens! I'm sure you will report back if you do...
Bruce
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:51 PM   #5
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GMC 2500 Denali Duramax Tow and daily driver. GMC 1500 had no load available for the truck bed when hooked up to our Classic. Parking has never been an issue. MPG has actually been better, both towing and non, than the 2500 with the 5.3L.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:11 PM   #6
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To your first point, Ray...towing the single-axle 20ft FC with a 2012 Tahoe (with extra air bags installed). I would not want to pull anything larger/longer with it (see yesterday's note re the Idaho turnover). jon
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:17 PM   #7
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I'm not sure I understand the link you're trying to make between a Tahoe and a long AS and the Idaho turnover. Apples and oranges.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:26 PM   #8
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Smile My 2013 Ford Expedition and a 2015 28 W Flying Cloud

We tow the 28 ft Flying Cloud with our 2013 Ford Expedition which has the heavy duty towing package. It has a gross combined weight ratio GCWR of 15,000 pounds (truck plus trailer). The Expedition weighs 6000 pounds and has a maximum tow vehicle weight of 9000 pounds, the FC 28 GVWR is 7500 pounds maximum, fully loaded. That leaves 1500 pounds of payload for the Expedition. Expedition's front axle GAWR is 3550 pounds, and the rear GAWR is 4250 pounds. (axle load capability of 8800 pounds).

The 28 ft Flying Cloud empty weight is 6029 pounds. Gross vehicle weight ratio GVWR is 7600 pounds and tongue weight is 975 pounds. Maximum trailer cargo weight is 1570 pounds (water, clothes, food, propane, etc). The weight distributing hitch (included with the sale) distributes the tongue weight (976 pounds) evenly throughout the front and rear axles of the expedition. That becomes part of the Expedition pay load, leaving 524 pounds for people fuel and extra cargo for the Expedition.

We had no problem on our vacation hauling the Airstream over mountains between Baltimore and Wyoming and back home. The gasoline burning 5.4 liter V8 doesn't have the torque of a diesel, so we slowed down to 55 MPH going up 4% grades and 45 MPH on 6% grades. Average gasoline mileage over the 9000 mile journey was 10.5 MPG.

As an everyday vehicle, the Expedition is great.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:38 PM   #9
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My 2014 Tundra 5.7 Crewmax is both my daily driver and TV. I weigh and tune the rig before camping season. It's just the two of us and we just make it under max payload. If we still had kids or heavy gear in the bed I'd have to get used to parking a bigger truck 265 days a year. I couldn't see having a big, expensive vehicle that was a tow-only member of the fleet. My comfort with the tundra while towing is reinforced since I drive it every day all year round. With 55,000 total miles in 3 years, 22,000 of which had the EB 25 behind I still think it's right for us.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:47 PM   #10
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Hi from AZ. . . I have a 4 door Eco blahblah F150, with Max Tow pkg, which does a great job towing my 28FT AS AND I enjoy as my daily driver. . . The interior is large & comfortable. Also, it fits in my garage (with 5.5 ft bed). . . F Y I , Craig
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:19 PM   #11
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I was referencing my comment yesterday re not wanting a longer/heavier AS with my Tahoe's wheelbase based on my own fishtailing experience. For anything longer/heavier I would want a truck. That's all. I was not adding to all the speculation re the lady's accident. Capiche? Capiche! Safe travels!
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:22 PM   #12
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I tow a Flying Cloud 30 with a 2016 F250 long box & cap, 4x2, with the 6.2 V8. It does what I ask it to, although I would like a bit more torque from time to time, but not enough to get a diesel. My biggest criticism of the truck is its turning radius, but I have owned F250s for 15 years and am sort of used to it. I wouldn't consider it for a daily driver. For that, I use a Prius. That allows me to occasionally drive a 10-15 mpg truck without feeling guilty. Those big trucks seem grow when entering a own-town parking garage!
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:08 PM   #13
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I know it's largely personal preference. I love my 2015 F150. It rides very nice, and tows very well. Would handle a 25' easily. Plus good mileage for a truck.
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Turlingt View Post
It has a gross combined weight ratio GCWR of 15,000 pounds (truck plus trailer). The Expedition weighs 6000 pounds and has a maximum tow vehicle weight of 9000 pounds, the FC 28 GVWR is 7500 pounds maximum, fully loaded. That leaves 1500 pounds of payload for the Expedition. Expedition's front axle GAWR is 3550 pounds, and the rear GAWR is 4250 pounds. (axle load capability of 8800 pounds).

The 28 ft Flying Cloud empty weight is 6029 pounds. Gross vehicle weight ratio GVWR is 7600 pounds and tongue weight is 975 pounds. Maximum trailer cargo weight is 1570 pounds (water, clothes, food, propane, etc).

As an everyday vehicle, the Expedition is great.
Sounds like a good fit for your needs. Have you had it on the scales yet? I'm on week four of my first trip and have been to half a dozen scales getting date on each of the axels. The troopers have been great about letting me collect data and the closed scales are even better as most have active readouts so it's a DIY.

My dealer set up my hitch without scales and the spring bar settings were far from optimal. After my tweaking, I was able to move 220 lbs to the front axel, drop 380 lbs from my rear axel and add 230 lbs to my TT. I know the numbers don't sync up as the rear axel drop should have been 450 lbs but the data was different days, different scales, different gasoline levels, etc.

IMO, anyone with a new rig should collect enough data to be confident that their WD hitch is properly set up and that they are not exceeding any of their ratings. I know that I'll be stoping at additional scales. Dave
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:26 PM   #15
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dasams.... Post #14. More information like this and we are all becoming more educated and less ignorant.

Someday a list of vehicle capabilities and trailer 'fit' will be available on THIS FORUM, some day. When that happens, we will all understand exactly what to expect when we combine a Tow Vehicle, Hitch and Trailer.

The reason why it does not happen is that we do not have a Airforum Consumer Report with chart and details for the MINIMUM or MAXIMUM capability of our choices. I would not expect Consumer Reports magazine to even attempt this... even though they have the information at their request and could print that ONE ISSUE that every trailer owner in the World would purchase...

We can only dream, can't we?
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:05 PM   #16
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I put Air Lift adjustable air springs on the rear of my 1995 K2500 years ago. They might provide just enough extra support for the Tundra although they do not provide significant weight transfer like a weight transfer hitch would. If asked to add too much support the air springs cause the front axle to become light enough to be unstable IMHO.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:24 PM   #17
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Maybe Nissan has a good answer in their "heavy half" pick up with the Cummins diesel V8. I've not even seen one yet. But I bet it is smaller than my Super Duty and would handle a 25 or 27 foot Airstream quite nicely with extra cargo room to boot. I don't think being diesel is any impediment to a daily driver.

It might be easier to handle and park in city traffic.

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Old 09-10-2016, 08:39 PM   #18
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We are small vehicle people -- always have been. We have had sports cars, sports sedans and small SUV's our entire 40 years of marriage. We like the nimble handling and ease of parking offered by small. That's why we chose the Honda Pilot/Bambi Sport 16' combo. It is a nice blend of handling and fuel mileage, whether the trailer is hooked up or not. Sure, we would like a FC 25' some day but the thought of a large SUV or worse yet, a pick up truck, offers zero driving appeal.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:23 PM   #19
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"My opinion would be that if Tundra had ONE extra leaf spring it could be considered a 'heavy half ton' and handle more cargo. The engine, drive train, suspension and brakes are already heavy duty. Why not?"

How about adding a helper spring.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Someday a list of vehicle capabilities and trailer 'fit' will be available on THIS FORUM, some day. When that happens, we will all understand exactly what to expect when we combine a Tow Vehicle, Hitch and Trailer.

The reason why it does not happen is that we do not have a Airforum Consumer Report with chart and details for the MINIMUM or MAXIMUM capability of our choices. I would not expect Consumer Reports magazine to even attempt this... even though they have the information at their request and could print that ONE ISSUE that every trailer owner in the World would purchase...

We can only dream, can't we?
Can't happen because everyone's risk tolerance differs. Just above there is someone towing a 16' Bambi with with a Ram 2500 diesel while plenty of others advocate towing 30'ers with minivans.
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