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Old 04-13-2006, 07:44 PM   #1
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F-250 SD FX4 ShrtBd & 25 Saf SE

This forum has been great on my research..Too Good ..my initial research was rather to pursue the 19' or the 23 since I already have a LandCruiser 97..BUT am planning ahead and am lookin at the 2006 F250 SD FX4 SuperCAb not crew with a Shortbed and am Now looking at th 25 foot Safari SE., probably the 2006..My question is with the shorter wheelbase at 142" have much or any impact or affect?...Otherwise the Dude is just to Long..Any comment from the Airstream experts?...Also..my wife kinda wanted me to look at the Dodge 2500 HD but I am partial to the F-250...Any opinion on that issue?..Thanks in advance...
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. I think the 250 will be adequate. You will want to have a good hitch and sway bars, the 250 comes with the brake controller installed.
Happy camping to you.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:04 PM   #3
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Ernesto-

I just had to reply when I saw that your tv is a Land Cruiser. Right on! No longer towing, but still in my driveway, is an '87 FJ60. (By the way, have you seen the new FJ Cruiser? Another post, I suppose.) My AS is a 19' Bambi. The FJ60 is great for local boondocking, but a little tough on longer trips because its lifted and set up for off-road. I switched to a Suburban for towing and wanted to get the longer wheel base for comfort, but too, just in case of an upgrade to a 25'. Not even looking at them at this point, though. Regarding your tv options: All good choices. Wheel base on the F-250 should be fine--even if you go with a short bed. Of course, the longer the wheel base the more comfortable the ride.

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Old 04-14-2006, 12:00 AM   #4
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WB is a consideration..... BRAKES!!!!!!!!!!! is the other

Saw your post(s) re: TLC.

Wheelbase is a good indicator of the ride expected...

BRAKES is where your meal ticket is punched....

If it ain't got the brakes to stop it...... Well, then there is a whole 'nother kettle of fish....

Think this over with that also in mind!

Peace brother!

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Old 04-14-2006, 02:38 AM   #5
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Are you getting the 5.4L gasoline or diesel?
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:01 AM   #6
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4x4?

If it's a 4X4 you will also lose some valuable turn radius.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:48 AM   #7
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Ernesto: I have a 2006 Ford F250 4X4 Turbo Diesel and we pull a 28 Safari SE LS. No problem. No issues re: backing, power, turning, brake system built in to the truck, just a great package.

As you are in San Diego, we will be camping in San Elijo State Campground, Site 155, if you want to stop by. Will be there from Sun thru Friday Easter Week.

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Old 04-14-2006, 06:59 AM   #8
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I have been running a Ford f250 Super Cab/ short bed pulling a 25' Safari for three years now, great combo. It handles the trailer just fine. Oh yeah, V-10, 4WD
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:50 AM   #9
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The 2005 and later SuperDuty 4WD have a different front suspension than previous models like our 2002, and allow tighter turning. In spite of that, and in spite of the 158" wheelbase and LONG length, it's our only vehicle and daily driver. I'm not going to pretend a 140" wheelbase extended cab/short bed wouldn't be more convenient in parking lots though, where we often stick out 2' further than most other vehicles and where backing in is easier than pulling in forward.

The Super Cab/short bed (156") and Extended Cab/long bed (158") are about the same length overall and IMHO long enough for a 34', especially with the Hensley hitch we have. IMO, the 140" Extended Cab/short bed is long enough for a 25', again, especially with the Hensley or Pullrite hitch. Keep in mind the 25 is really 26'.

What you give up with an Extended Cab versus Crew Cab is a more comfortable rear seat. The Extended Cab's is really only useful for adults on short trips. I've had my 6'0" son in the back and he was comfortable for across town runs. There's really just the two of us now, and the back seat floorboard is filled with "stuff." We use the back seat for luggage when on trips without the Airstream.

What you give up with a short bed versus a long bed is obviously the ability to carry 8' materials (or Harley-Davidsons) with the center of weight over the truck rear axle instead of behind it with some of the load on the tailgate. You also lose fuel capacity and range, another 9 gallons with the long bed.

To repeat it, I think you'll be fine with the 140" extended cab/short bed and the 25'. IN MY OPINION, the 25' is the ideal Airstream length, when it comes to RVing, especially where state parks and older campgrounds are involved. My floorplan choice is the traditional 25' with credenza, huge pull-out pantry, side-bath, and laterally mounted queen bed. This is available in both Standard Safari and Classic. If it were my choice, I'd choose a few year old 25' Classic before I'd buy a new 25' Safari.

Let me also put in a plug for diesel power in the truck. Yes, you pay more up front, but you get most of that back, on sale or trade, so the total cost of owning it isn't as high as as the retail price would indicate. And no smart shopper pays retail price for the truck or the options.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:25 PM   #10
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hi ernesto and others

i too vote for the diesel f250....just call it the power stroke for short...and since you'll want 4x4 for some of your mountain destinations...4x4psd...

i've got the longer wheelbase....crewcab/long bed....so it's 172in, i think...
and the truck is 22+feet. also gets a bigger diesel tank...

as moe reports the 05s up have a new version of the old bronco front suspension...so the turning radius has improved, as is the ride and some wear issues improved.

the model you are considering will work well with a 25 airstream of any model....

i test drove all the wheelbases back2back.....main thing i noticed was the ride was a little more choppy on the shorter trucks....and much smoother on the longest...on hiway chop....

you will give up some back seat room...but the front seats in the super cab have better lumbar and shoulder support and adjusting headrests...the crew cab front seats are a weak spot...imo.

the new 2500 dodge is nice too....
but the tow command package, with factory brake controller and mirrors on the ford are the deal makers...

have fun looking

cheers
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:35 PM   #11
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I agree with Openhigher and RoadKingMoe, and to further the concept, my TV is an 05 F250 PSD FX4 Crew Cab Long Bed which pulls our new 06 25 Safari FB/SE/LS. The reasonably prices Equalizer hitch works great, and although I use a Prodigy brake controller (also works great), I would recomend you get the factory Tow Command Controller.

The extra room in the Crew Cab, the larger fuel tank in the long bed, the extra foot and a half in the long bed, and the smoother ride are all good reasons to go the Crew Cab/ Long bed route. You will be glad you did. Unless you need the FX4(4X4), the 4X2 will give you even a smoother ride and one or two mpgs.

As for the AS, we love the Safari 25FB/SE. Overall very good combo.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:00 PM   #12
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We never planned on it, but I was surprised at how often we wound up dragging the 34 off the pavement. Even with its weight spread over six tires, it would tend to settle in overnight. With the truck in dew-laden grass, it was too easy to spin the rear tires, even with limited slip, and had I pushed the issue, those tires would've been thowing mud on the front of the trailer. I've been glad for 4WD more than once, and that included pulling out in gravel one day.

Besides that, the truck is our daily driver, and that includes ice and snow. Been grateful for 4WD there, especially climbing hills.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:40 PM   #13
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We are still waiting for the 30' Safari BH SE but I bought an '05 F-250 PS Supercrew shortbed with the tow/haul package and 3.73 limited slip differential in April '05 before we found it would be so long before AS released the 30' SE. I get 17 mpg's in town and 20 mpg's mixed on my 52 mile daily commute. I really enjoy it and would recommed one to anyone who wants to tow an RV. The mirrors are really great. They extend manually, but adjust electrically and have pano mirrors at the bottom so you can easily see into the blind spots better than any truck, or car for that matter, I have ever driven.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:58 PM   #14
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We like the Ford towing mirrors too, but we have the little convex part at the bottom aimed at the rear tires, so we can see what they are or aren't clearing, including kids or pets, as well as curbs and driveway edges.

For the blind spots, and they ARE there with the mini-mirrors pointed at the tires, we added a pair of C-BETR mirrors. These are AWESOME.

The only problem is that when the truck mirrors are retracted close in to the truck, the C-BETER mirrors keep them from folding all the way in. What I did was remove the rubber strips that came with the C-BETRs to keep them from sliding on the truck mirror arms, and now I can extend the truck mirrors, slide the C-BETRs out and fold the truck mirrors all the way in.

We've had them since our 2002 F250 was new, and if anything happened to them, we'd immediately buy another pair.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:40 PM   #15
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Amen Brother

Maurice..I REALLY appreciate your feedback...It is making my choice of decision..WAY easier since I am talking to guys that have already done what I am planning to do..but always good to get that upfront instead of after the fact...I think we can get away with the extended cab..because we are shorter in stature...Our son is in college and my girl is going to be a senior in HS so 90% of the time will be my wife and I...100% ..just me...I am also looking at this to be my ranch truck..(NM about 12 hours away that is why I want a diesel engine for the long hauls back and forth)...I test drove the fx4 crewcab and damn...IT was so long I couldnt park that Thing...that is why I wanted to shorten up the length to make it easier to get around...This wouldnt be our primary vehicle but want to make it where the wife will at least drive Sometimes...On the new 25' Safari SE..that unfortunately is nonnegotiable...I pick the truck..she picks the coach...Life could be worse..

Again...thanks and now I can sleep through the night that my choices are "top shelf"...I just want to avoid any problems later....Hasta La vista...Ernesto

Ohh.. BTW..I never play retail..."My Momma didnt raise no fool"
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:02 PM   #16
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You should let your wife test drive the crew cab before you make up your mind unless you just absolutely have your heart set on the extended cab. Before my F-250 I had an F-150 extended cab and my wife never liked to drive it. She drives an Expedition.

Last Fall we took the boys on a Cub Scout tent camp out and one of the boys started running a fever early in the day so my wife took him home and came back the next day to pick up my other son and me. She drove my F-250 crew cab swb for the first time that week end on both leges of the trip home and back without me and said it drove more like her Expedition than my F-150. She said she really didn't mind driving it...maybe it was the leather seats.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:52 PM   #17
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My lil' gal is 4'10" and HER truck when we met was a Ford Ranger. She now whips that 21' extended cab/long bed F250 around like it's nothing. She sure gets a lot of looks when she climbs down out of that big 4x4 with the clearance lights on top.

Actually the F250 fits her better than any other vehicle she's ever driven, and that includes the Ranger. It's one of the reasons we have a FORD truck--the power adjustable pedals. For the first time in her life she can reach the pedals without her chest being dangerously right up on the steering wheel air bag. In fact, she drives it with the seat in the same position I use. We don't have to slide it fore and aft. She runs the pedals all the way up and I run them all the way down. I will admit she sits on a cushion to help her see out over the hood a little better, but I just toss it in the back seat when I drive.

The extended cab is every bit as big in the front seat as the crew cab, so your stature doesn't matter. If it's only the two of you with an occasional 3 or 4 adult guests, the standard 60/40 bench seat and extended cab will be fine.

Again, I'll admit the 158" truck isn't as easy to park as a 140" truck, nearly two feet shorter. There are just some parking spots you have to bypass, especially where you'd be sticking out further than the surrounding cars. But you do get used to it. Ask my wife. Personally, I can't imagine a ranch truck not having an 8' bed, but your choice of the 140" model will be just fine pulling a 25 Airstream. I've read of one fella who's towed a 34 all over the country and to Alaska with one, but IIRC, he also had a Hensley hitch.
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:22 AM   #18
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Go Ford!

I am towing at 2006 31 Classic with a 2004 F-250 4X4 Regular cab, long bed, 5.4L gas. Short bed = Grocery hauler. Might as well go with a mini-van. Going uphill is slower than prevailing traffic but it works. A V10 would be better. A diesel would be have been over kill, not to mention the expense. I looked at the Dodges. I was getting queezy sitting in them. Not sure if it was the colors or the smell.
You should have no problems with a Safari of that size.
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
A V10 would be better. A diesel would be have been over kill, not to mention the expense.
None of these vehicles get great mileage in city driving, but I can't imagine the MPG you'd get towing with V10 (or the 8L Chev for that matter). I have changed some behaviors running diesel as my daily vehicle, but then I bought it for the road and will be retiring soon. Much of the diesel expense will be recovered on re-sale of the tow vehicle. To help pay for it, just put the pennies (... Okay, dollar bills) you save on diesel mileage in the piggy bank. This isn't necessarily a gas vs. diesel argument -- the V8 would pull your proposed Airstream just fine.

The first day we had our Safari last September was a very stormy day. We stopped at a redlight, pointed uphill with sheets of rain flowing down the pavement at us. I switched into 4WD and was very glad to have the solid feel of good traction underneath!
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I am towing...with a ...5.4L gas...A V10 would be better. A diesel would be have been over kill
I think this shows a common misunderstanding when it comes to truck motors. Clearly, the hot-rod towing motor is the V10, not the diesel, which has advantages in other respects. Here are the horsepower and torque numbers for some Ford truck motors. I've converted the horsepower to ft-lbs for comparison:

5.4L V-8 300HP/315FT-LBS @ 5,000 RPM - 365 FT-LB @ 3,750 RPM

6.8L V10 362HP/400FT-LBS @ 4,750 RPM - 457 FT-LB @ 3,250 RPM

6.0L PSD 325HP/517FT-LBS @ 3,300 RPM - 570 FT-LB @ 2,000 RPM

7.3L PSD 250HP/505FT-LBS @ 2,600 RPM - 525 FT-LB @ 1,600 RPM

While torque actually does the work, horsepower shows what can be done with the engine torque by multiplication of gearing by the time it hits the ground.

Here are some rpm at speed observations I've made with our truck. I use the terms Overdrive, Drive, and Drive minus 1 to encompass both 4 speed and 5 speed automatic transmissions.

RPM at 65 MPH in OD (0.71:1) w/3.73:1 gearing and P265/75R16 or equivalent diameter tires: 1,850 RPM

RPM at 65 MPH in D (1.0:1) w/3.73:1 gearing and P265/75R16 or equivalent diameter tires: 2,600 RPM

RPM at 65 MPH in D -1 (1.53:1) w/3.73:1 gearing and P265/75R16 or equivalent diameter tires: 4,000 RPM

Looking at the 5.4L specifications, we can estimate that it puts out about 340 ft-lbs around 4,000 rpm. I'm assuming its Drive minus 1 gearing is about the same as that in the transmission of the larger motors, 1.53:1 so to estimate the torque being fed at the transmission output, we can multiply 340 pounds by 1.53:1 to find 520 ft-lbs, about the same as what the diesel outputs in 1:1 Drive.

5.4L @ 4,000 rpm: approx 340 ft-lbs x 1.53:1 (D -1) = 520 FT-LB

In theory, the 5.4L in D -1 should have the same pulling torque at 65 mph as the 7.3L PSD does in Drive, even with the same axle ratio and tire diameter. The difference is the 5.4L is screaming along at 4,000+ rpm, in a gear where the torque converter is unlocked and generating transmission heat, while the diesel is chugging along at 2,600 rpm, in a gear where the torque converter is locked. I use the + on 4,000 rpm because with the torque converter unlocked and slipping, rpm for the given speed will actually be higher than the gearing indicates.

In fact, if the 5.4L's axle ratio was lower, allowing it to get to the rpm where it develops 300 HP vs the 7.3L PSD's 250, the axle shaft torque of the 5.4L should be even greater than the 7.3L's at 1:1, due to the additional torque multiplication. This is basic physics, and when it comes to doing work over time, horsepower rules.

If we look at the 6.8L with the same 3.73:1 gearing and tires as the diesels, here's its transmission output torque in D -1:

6.8L @ 4,000 rpm: approx 425 ft-lbs x 1.53:1 (D -1) = 650 FT-LB

Clearly that's a LOT more than the either of the diesel's maximums in 1:1 Drive.

What's missing in this simple analysis is that a significant portion of the gas engines' greater outputs can be lost in a slipping torque converter, and dissapated as heat from the transmission cooler. That wouldn't be the case with a manual transmission. OTOH, a manual transmission let's a driver hang onto a higher gear when a lower one is called for to get the engine in its powerband and generate the torque required.


The major advantage here is that the less powerful 7.3L and 6.0L diesel motors get their horsepower with greater torque at lower rpm, the rpm it needs to be at to run in Drive or OverDrive, where the torque converter is locked and not converting power to heat instead of pulling power.

The other major advantage is fuel economy, and that's partially because at less than full throttle, gas engines have to be strangled by a throttle plate in a carburetor or fuel injection system. This is because the fuel only burns properly within a narrow range of air/fuel mixtures. And it means that the cylinder fill on each intake stroke is at less than ambient pressure, so on the compression stroke, what's being compressed is a partial vacuum. That gets even worse at high altitudes, where ambient pressure is less.

Because it burns well over a wide range of air/fuel ratios, diesels operate at efficient full-throttle all the time, even at light-throttle cruise without a towing load. Even without turbocharging the diesel is compressing near-ambient pressure at light throttle, and with a higher compression ratio, it's compressing it even more than the gas engine. This gets even better with a turbocharger, especially at higher altitudes where the air is thinner. As the air gets thinner, its drag on the turbo goes down, meaning the turbo runs faster and achieves nearly the same manifold pressure (this same advantage also applies to turbocharged gas engines).

I won't repeat what Canoe stream said about the cost issue.

So to say that a diesel is "overkill," espeically for towing a 31' Airstream, simply doesn't reflect the facts.

[edit]Removed some incorrect comments about the 5.4L vs 6.0L diesel I caught as soon as I posted
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