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Old 09-19-2022, 09:58 PM   #1
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
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F150 gas to F250/350 gas with 27 foot AS-Mountain Towing-real world experiences only!

Here's our situation. We currently have a 27 foot Flying Cloud.
We have a 2021 F150 eco-boost V6.
It has door sticker payload of 1736 pounds.

We enjoy the truck very much and have towed locally with it with no issues.

Current trip in Colorado has us wondering.

Has anyone had experience SPECIFICALLY with owing an F150 and towing in the mountains, and changing to a GAS 250/30 and towing in the mountains? With an airstream 27 foot or thereabouts.

Looking for real world user experiences only.

Not interested in opinions on other vehicles or diesel.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:07 AM   #2
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I can say that we towed our 27 FC with our F150 EB in "mountains" (east coast mountains, not Rocky Mountains!) and I felt that it pulled uphill just fine and didn't seem too stressed going downhill. These uphills and downhills have been smaller than what you would get in CO, and at a lower overall elevation, but I never felt pressed for power. We changed to an F250 diesel so I cannot answer the second part, but I will say that 1) we only upsized for the payload and 2) the gas engine specs for the F250 seemed fine and I only got the diesel because I love torque. The F250 is definitely a bigger truck (taller, longer, heavier) and that has advantages and disadvantages. I feel our package is more stable now that we are not pushing the payload limits, regardless of the engine. This might not be helpful because the second half is "diesel" but I wasn't sure if you were seeking information specifically about power/braking or also stability.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:19 AM   #3
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I think your 150 marginally meets the requirements of your Airstream, but our experience towing was much improved when we upgraded to a 3/4 ton (right before one of our trips to Colorado). You will find the larger truck easier to set up and load plus better performance up and down hill when you hit the mountains.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:28 AM   #4
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2021 27' International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
Here's our situation. We currently have a 27 foot Flying Cloud.
We have a 2021 F150 eco-boost V6.
It has door sticker payload of 1736 pounds.
I happen to be in the market for a truck. Is yours an XLT?
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Old 09-24-2022, 08:06 AM   #5
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Brad
Yes ours is the 2021 XLT ecoboost V6.

All-we spoke to another air streamer in the campground in Colorado. They had a 28 AS and a Ford Super Duty Diesel. I asked them about their real world experience.

They previously had a Tundra and liked it for it's ride, etc. (we did too!).

They had a scary experience with it in the mountains in Cananda when it overheated going downhill. That is when they changed to diesel. This was their second diesel truck and they liked it for mountain driving especially because they said you never needed to mess around with the trailer brake because the engine brake took care of the entire rig going downhill.

We chewed on this a bit as we were descending into Denver and decided that if we are going to make a change in truck it would only be worth it to change to diesel. We are within payload on our current truck, but that we don't have additional capacity if we wanted to bring more people or gear.

But more importantly it seems like what people are saying that the diesel is more of a set it and drive experience. That the overall driving experience would be marginally safer if you had both hands on the wheel 95% of the time.

With our current truck, between downshifting manually and operating the trailer brake, we only have 1 hand on the wheel during mountain descents. And we were on a 5-6% grade and we know there are places we want to travel to that have steeper grades.

Now if we never traveled to the mountains our F150 is wonderful driving across Kansas.

I think this is a case of not liking the answer to the question, but believing what people tell you.
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Old 09-24-2022, 08:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
Here's our situation. We currently have a 27 foot Flying Cloud.
We have a 2021 F150 eco-boost V6.
It has door sticker payload of 1736 pounds.

We enjoy the truck very much and have towed locally with it with no issues.

Current trip in Colorado has us wondering.

Has anyone had experience SPECIFICALLY with owing an F150 and towing in the mountains, and changing to a GAS 250/30 and towing in the mountains? With an airstream 27 foot or thereabouts.

Looking for real world user experiences only.

Not interested in opinions on other vehicles or diesel.

Thank you in advance.
27’ serenity with 2013 F350 6.2 gas was great in all terrain. Didn’t tow much with F150 sorry.
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Old 09-24-2022, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post

Not interested in opinions on other vehicles or diesel.

Thank you in advance.
Wait, it appears you didn't walk away from the guy at the campground that talked about his diesel. And now your thinking diesel. Welcome to the dark side

Seriously though, having gone over I80's Donner summit multiple times with different truck and trailers I can say hands down the smooth torque going up and especially the exhaust break on the downside is really nice. If it weren't for all the big rigs and traffic, it's almost relaxing. Certainly, the most controlled experience.

Most people on here say a diesel is a $10k upgrade, plus more expensive service and repair. I bought mine in '14 so I don't know. Is that up coast worth it for an exhaust break and some torque? Not on paper I suppose, but in the truck going downhill the math might be different.

Good luck either way.
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Old 09-24-2022, 10:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ginophiles View Post
Wait, it appears you didn't walk away from the guy at the campground that talked about his diesel. And now your thinking diesel. Welcome to the dark side

Seriously though, having gone over I80's Donner summit multiple times with different truck and trailers I can say hands down the smooth torque going up and especially the exhaust break on the downside is really nice. If it weren't for all the big rigs and traffic, it's almost relaxing. Certainly, the most controlled experience.

Most people on here say a diesel is a $10k upgrade, plus more expensive service and repair. I bought mine in '14 so I don't know. Is that up coast worth it for an exhaust break and some torque? Not on paper I suppose, but in the truck going downhill the math might be different.

Good luck either way.
Hopefully he goes with the diesel. I couldn’t believe the difference.
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Old 09-24-2022, 11:38 AM   #9
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We live in Colorado and are almost always in the mountains with our 2017 25FB. We had a 2018 F150 3.5L ecoboost and it had plenty of power for going up but pretty weak engine brake going down and we ended up with our first brake job at only $25K miles or so. We now have a 2022 F250 Diesel and it too has plenty of power going up but the big difference is going down where the engine brake with tow/haul mode does a great job of controlling the decent speed. If mountains is truly your concern and you don't want diesel since neither gas engine is turbo charged you might want to go with 7.3L as I have heard the 6.2L struggles at 11K feet. If you don't want diesel for fuel cost then you might get some real world mileage numbers for comparison as I think the 7.3L engine uses considerable more fuel than the turbo diesel. For comparison we just complete a 4K mile trip through the northwest and our average fuel economy for the trip was 12.4 mpg.
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Old 09-24-2022, 07:33 PM   #10
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Our F150 3.5L ecoboost has performed fine in CO mountains. But ours is a 25’ 1987 model. Don’t know your specs for gross weight and tongue weight. Mountain driving experience and technique make a big difference. If those concern you, the F250 would probably be a prudent choice.
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Old 09-24-2022, 09:15 PM   #11
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I agree with you that we would probably need to step into the larger gas engine if we did upsize the truck and not choose the diesel. When you do that math on total cost of ownership then the diesel doesn't look so expensive, since there would be a difference in mileage, likely longevity, and resale.

Thanks for your real world MPG numbers with your diesel.

We are 58 and feel like if we did change to the diesel we could possibly make it last long enough for it to maybe be our last truck. We know for sure if we keep the 150 that it will be worn out from towing at max payload before we retire.

Have an email into our dealer to discuss our options.

Thanks for all of the replies.
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:41 AM   #12
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2020 27' Globetrotter
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F-150 3.5 EB towing a 2020 27' GT

I have input relevant to your question because I have the same situation. My 2019 F-150 Max-tow is my daily driver with a minimum drive distance of 50 miles per day. My truck, which super fun to drive in sport mode, averages around 18 to 22 mpg........ if I behave. She only gets 10 mpg while towing, which is about where the (gas) F-250/350s are for towing I believe.

I have no interest in arguing that a 3.5 Eco-Boost is equally suited to towing or payload, but I do tow my Globetrotter (or my trailer with sizable a Kubota tractor) up grades in the Berkshire hills that (on rare occasions) reach 11% grade. My foot is depressed a bit and I can hear the twin turbos doing their work, but she does the task fine. Likewise I have never had a close call nor problems descending the same grades, however I do use the manual transmission and brakes out of habit for no other reason than saving the brakes. I'm at 55,000 miles and have not yet done the brakes.

I had a Tundra Pro and towed the the same AS with it, she did fine but what if? That was too close to max for us, therefor the F-150 Platinum with a tow rating of 12,700# as apposed to the Tundra with 9,600#.

All of this summarized, my need for a daily driver that could double as a tow vehicle played heavily in our choice. Being 57 years old and planning on big travel if and when I reach retirement, we will probably upgrade to a bigger truck better suited to the task. Hopefully a trustworthy diesel.

Best of luck,
Scott the Bruce
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Old 09-25-2022, 07:07 AM   #13
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Missing from this discussion is awareness of rear end ratios.

Diesels and every HD truck is inherently geared more aggressively. Sure they have even more aggressive options. But they are all setup to work with gearing that has wheel torque advantages to acceleration AND engine braking.

By comparison, majority of 1/2 ton trucks have passenger car gearing. With optional gearing with tow packages and such.

Gears can make huge perceived differences to performance in the mountains.
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:23 AM   #14
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We live in Idaho and travel all over the West including mountains in our 27 FBT. Pulling it with an F150 ecoboost was scary at times but since trading to an F250 diesel, towing is a "one hand" affair.


We also changed from a Blue Ox hitch to an Equalizer at the same time so that may be part of the improved towing performance.
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Old 09-28-2022, 10:43 AM   #15
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I wrote at some length about our experiences with a F150 EB and a F250 7.3L gas about a month ago on this Forum. I don’t know how you find that. Our trailer is a FC 30.
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Old 09-28-2022, 10:45 AM   #16
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F150 Eco to now 7.3L F250 Gas

We live in Wyoming and are all over our mountains towing our 27FB from 5,000 ft elev. at home to 10,000ft all summer long. Two years ago we switched from F150 Ecoboost to a 2020 F250 7.3L gas. The best thing we did in regards to towing. Both traveling up and down steep grades is much safer and worry free. The F250 gives us peace of mind in safety, not worrying about payload so much and less wear and tear on the truck and trailer. We get better gas mileage towing with the F250 than the F150 Eco - about 11 mpg, traveling 70-75 mph on highways.
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Old 09-28-2022, 10:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David in Lex View Post
I wrote at some length about our experiences with a F150 EB and a F250 7.3L gas about a month ago on this Forum. I don’t know how you find that. Our trailer is a FC 30.
Here it is David. Click on your name, public profile, then statistics and you can find everything you posted. Looks like a good write up which should be of value for OP.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...on-237586.html
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Old 09-28-2022, 11:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
Here's our situation. We currently have a 27 foot Flying Cloud.
We have a 2021 F150 eco-boost V6.
It has door sticker payload of 1736 pounds.

We enjoy the truck very much and have towed locally with it with no issues.

Current trip in Colorado has us wondering.

Has anyone had experience SPECIFICALLY with owing an F150 and towing in the mountains, and changing to a GAS 250/30 and towing in the mountains? With an airstream 27 foot or thereabouts.

Looking for real world user experiences only.

Not interested in opinions on other vehicles or diesel.

Thank you in advance.
Have been towing our 2018 27' FC with a 2018 F150 eco boost in the western mountains. Truck has the HD tow package, added Bilstein shocks, load range E tires. Loads in truck bed are probably 700 pounds. Have towed 14,500 miles so far, usually averaging 13 mpg. Lots of 5%+ grades. The tow setting for the transmission (limits gearing to no higher than 8 speed) is amazing. Not towing we average 21 mpg, city/highway. With the ProPride hitch, sway is not a problem even in some harrowing 40mph side winds in Nevada.
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Old 09-28-2022, 11:26 AM   #19
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We switched from our F150 towing 25's to our F250 6.7L 6 years ago to tow our 28' FCT. Why diesel? We looked at the gas version and they were fairly new at the time in the F250/350. Our service manager had purchased a new one to tow his 30' SOB and told me he wished he had gotten the diesel due to engine brake and poor mileage in his gas F350. I have posted here many times, now with 141K miles on the 6.7L and 56K miles on our 28' AS: driving the diesel is more expensive for fuel and tune ups; but for towing our AS, it is a great TV. I am glad I purchased for the engine brake, power/torque when towing, and I get 15+ MPH towing if I keep her under 65mph....(thats the hard part). But, typically I get 12-13 mph towing at highway speeds. The engine brake and automatic distance controls when in cruise control while towing is amazing! I am sure the gas is nice also...surely the fuel and tune ups would be cheaper...it may be a "push" in terms of overall cost of MPG in terms of gas being not as efficient, but gas is cheaper...not sure if anyone has done that calculation? I just know I get offers all the time to sell my diesel at unbelievable resale because it is a diesel. To date, I have not had one major repair needed to the diesel since new in 2017.

I would love to get a 25' again and an F150 to tow...but wife loves the 28' so not in the cards.
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:02 PM   #20
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Piggy Bank, I have a F-150 and made the leap to the 22' F-250 Godzilla Gasser towing my 27ft AS. Powers up hill just fine. But just like the campers in Colorado said, going down a bit more sketchy without exhaust brake. If I had to do it over, diesel for sure.
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