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Old 02-21-2020, 10:30 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by Mr. Merk View Post
100%. Obviously once the trailer weight exceeds 7700lbs the SUVs are no longer in the running and a truck is your only option.

Can we all play nice in the sandbox and agree to disagree:

That you can tow an Airstream 30ft and under with a SUV with WDH set properly and you may have to go slower thru mountain passes, or a headwind

That you can tow an Airstream 34ft and under with a 1500 pick up with WDH set properly and you may have to go slower thru mountain passes, or a headwind

A pick up will not work hard while towing, but the ride and handling will be ........not as comfy as a European SUV.

And if your towing needs are greater than that you need a pick-up truck, then based on your larger towing needs you pick the 250 -350 -350DRW -450 there everyone happy....🤪😁😄
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:36 PM   #202
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My Cayenne Turbo S has been almost as reliable reliable as my Toyota Avalon. Both needed a new water pump a couple of years ago and the Cayenne got a new starter last year. Other than that it's just been regular interval maintenance.

I believe in using the right tool for the job. My '67 Overlander weighs under 5000lbs so I have no concerns about towing with my Cayenne because I am well under its limits. My wife and I don't travel with a lot of cargo and have not felt the need for a pickup bed yet. But, if I had your 28' Flying Cloud I would pull it with a heavy duty pickup because it's the right tool for job. I would choose a 350 or a 3500 because they don't cost that much more than a 2500, but I would talk myself out of dually. 4x4 for sure. And diesel so I could use the big truck stop fueling bays. I would miss the Cayenne when unhitched but you can't have it all.
Agree 100%. Everyone has different requirements. Travel safe.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:57 PM   #203
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I was just about to purchase a Mercedes GLE 450 or a BMW X5 x40i to tow my 5000 lb Tradewind, but after reading these posts I'm sure I won't be happy with less than a F350.
Das ist schade.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:17 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Ultraclassic View Post
Can we all play nice in the sandbox and agree to disagree:

That you can tow an Airstream 30ft and under with a SUV with WDH set properly and you may have to go slower thru mountain passes, or a headwind

That you can tow an Airstream 34ft and under with a 1500 pick up with WDH set properly and you may have to go slower thru mountain passes, or a headwind

A pick up will not work hard while towing, but the ride and handling will be ........not as comfy as a European SUV.

And if your towing needs are greater than that you need a pick-up truck, then based on your larger towing needs you pick the 250 -350 -350DRW -450 there everyone happy....������
Absolutely! I'd only disagree on the 1500 truck. Strictly talking about my vehicles in my own garage. The reason we got the Cayenne is because it had a higher towing capacity than my 1500 with towing pkg. Not to mention way more power and braking ability. For $14k the Cayenne Turbo was a no-brainer!

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my truck! It does pull our trailers sometimes, but I won't use it to traverse the Rockies. I plan to add a 6.0 based stoker and helper bags at some point, and I don't ever plan to get rid of it unless fate demands it. If I did I'd get a 4x4 HD truck.

We can debate for years (and pages!) on German SUVs vs 3/4+ trucks, but from my experience (and the experience of the OP) a 1500 won't hold a candle to these things.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:46 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I was just about to purchase a Mercedes GLE 450 or a BMW X5 x40i to tow my 5000 lb Tradewind, but after reading these posts I'm sure I won't be happy with less than a F350.
Das ist schade.
I think an F450 is more what is needed. Or even towing with a Mac truck. Heaven only knows when you want to take 3 Harley's and an ATV along plus 2 cords of firewood.
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:39 PM   #206
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I wrote this already. I have never towed with any truck. Before buying my trailer in 2016, I test drove F150 and F250. Handling and braking was not acceptable for me even without the trailer. When you hitch up, handling / braking do not improve. If anything changes, handling can only get worse. Everyone has his own definition of good handling, good braking, etc. All my life I drove German cars. Trucks are not my world. I gave them a try and not planning to do this again.

Happy camping!
That is substantially different than your bold assertion that "trucks are not designed for towing". Neither an X5 or an F250 is fully optimized for towing. Both are designed to tow. Both can do it well. For a heavier trailer or increased load, the F250 or F350 becomes the only choice. Luckily they are designed for that.
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:56 PM   #207
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Some won't understand this at all. I think this is just a cultural thing, cult of the truck (US only). Likely when cyber truck hits the market, some will claim that trucks are designed for speed.


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Originally Posted by DewTheDew View Post
That is substantially different than your bold assertion that "trucks are not designed for towing". Neither an X5 or an F250 is fully optimized for towing. Both are designed to tow. Both can do it well. For a heavier trailer or increased load, the F250 or F350 becomes the only choice. Luckily they are designed for that.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:33 AM   #208
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Talking about SUV tow vehicles without looking at non-europeans options is a mistake. There are other countries making very luxury designed SUV tow vehicles that would work well with all but the 30' models of Airstreams.

Most recent 25' Airstreams have a GVW of 7,300 pounds and most of the 26'/27' moels have a GVW of 7,600 pounds. The non-Classic 30' trailers have a GVW of 8,800 pounds. Both the 30' and 33' Classics have a GVW of 10,000 pounds. These GVW numbers are from the current Airstream on-line literature.

The tow rating of the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser is 8,100 pounds. The Land Cruiser has a literature pay load capacity of 1,600 pounds and a GVW of 7,385 pounds. It has the Toyota 5.7 liter v8 gasoline engine (which may become thirsty when towing),which is the engine they a also use in their Tundra Pickup rated in some models to actually tow more than 10,000 pounds.

I believe there are lots of Toyota dealerships all over the USA. So the Land Cruiser is a reasonable alternative with service available when needed. However, the starting price of just over $86,000 will separate the men from the boys.

The Land Cruiser would be my choice for towing our 2015 23D International Serenity (scales 6,062 pounds camping ready) when my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI turbo diesel gives up the ghost. It has only 197,000 miles on it now. The only diesel smell comes when fueling it at the diesel fuel station.

I have the 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins to tow our 2014 31' Classic that scales 9,200 pounds of it's 10,000 pound GVW when camping ready.

There are more alternatives for towing vehicles if one just opens their eyes and reads some sales literature.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:31 AM   #209
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I can't help but jumping in here to share our experience with SUV vs. Diesel pick-up towing experience.

We have been Airstreaming for fourteen years. We have camped in our Airstreams for over 2,000 nights and have towed them almost 200,000 miles. We started with 3/4 ton Suburbans with 6.0 liter gasoline engines. They were ample tow vehicles and we enjoyed these feature laden SUV's.

In 2011 we moved to a Silverado 3500 Duramax as there were no longer any 3/4 ton SUV's available. We were amazed at the towing difference. The Duramax was totally unencumbered by the 7,400# Airstream. Climbing a steep grade was like being on flat ground. Also, we never again experienced the "runaway train" syndrome that was common on significant downgrades when towing with the gasoline Suburbans.

We missed some of the amenities of the high end SUV. SuEllyn didn't care for the manual passenger seat in the Silverado pick-up. Accordingly, we traded for a 2018 Silverado 2500 Duramax and got the higher trim level (LTZ). We now had the power passenger seat and a bunch of other goodies. We were back up to the creature comfort level of a 2005 Suburban.

The newer Duramax engines are not offensive in either sound or smell, but they are still pick-up trucks. After these last nine years, we have gotten used to the look, and have come to appreciate their robust appearance.

Over the past couple of years we have had a unique opportunity to try tryout a very high end SUV. Our youngest son, Michael bought a 2018 Toyota Landcruiser. I drove it and really liked all of the cameras and gizmos that it has.

Mike allowed me to hook Lucy up to the Landcruiser and give it a test run. The Landcruiser pulled Lucy just fine, but was reminiscent of the Suburbans. It just didn't have the pulling guts of a Duramax.

The number 3 son, Patrick got a 2019 Toyota Landcruiser. I also tired Pat's with pulling Lucy with similar results. These Landcruisers are rally great vehicles, but just don't meet our towing expectations.

I really did like all of the technogizmos of the Landcruisers. So much so, that we are now considering going to a 2020 Silverado Duramax to get the new camera systems including the see-through trailer feature.

Brian
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:21 AM   #210
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Some won't understand this at all. I think this is just a cultural thing, cult of the truck (US only). Likely when cyber truck hits the market, some will claim that trucks are designed for speed.
Trust me, I understand what you are trying to say. But your statement that trucks are not designed for towing is just flat out incorrect. I have driven many, many vehicles on the road and at the race track. I have taken advanced driving lessons. I have towed with an (edit; I originally wrote X5 and we did have an X5 but I towed with the Merc ML550 we had just before that), a 150 and a 250 on varied terrain, weather and traffic conditions. The 150 and 250 did just fine.

Let's do a thought experiment; you believe the X5 is superior because it handles and brakes better. By that logic you should be towing with a Miata. Because I drive a Miata and it handles and brakes way better than the X5. Ergo, the X5 is not designed for towing, either, as the handling and braking are inferior to the Miata.

But again, I believe the word you keep avoiding using is "optimized", not "designed". Yes, trucks are designed to go pretty fast (even the 250 tops out at nearly 100 mph). They are not optimized to go fast.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:00 PM   #211
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Payload is the killer. If it werenít for payload Iíd be in an SUV or even better, a wagon in a hot minute.

But you take a family a four + some bikes and modest gear + tongue weight of a 27Ē trailer and unless I missed a vehicle in pretty extensive research, a truck is the only option if you want to do it by the numbers (i.e. legally).

Yes, I know you can and people do get away with less or through strategies like shifting stuff into the trailer. Good for you / them ó glad itís working out.

I honestly donít really care too much about the tow ratingsómany cars can tow Airstreams well (and legally). An SUV or wagon with a stickered 2000-2500 lbs payload capacity. Man, that would be sweet.

Until then, itís an F-250 for me. Took us to Alaska and back and asked for more last summer. I grew to really like it, actually, and for that trip, anyway, am glad we didnít go with something less capable.
On the mark !!!
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:03 AM   #212
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When we decided to acquire the 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins 4x4, I had to purchase a different Hensley Arrow stinger for the truck as the shorter and pre-bent one for Mercedes would not work. As I have mentioned, our 23D is at the same elevation now as the 2013 25FB International Serenity because of the upgrade to 15" tires and wheels. Thus the truck can easily tow either the 31' Classic or the 23D. The only change to the 23D that is necessary is to make the safety chains longer.

However, the tow vehicle discussions are still on-going at our home. We are fixated on the Toyota SUV choices because of reliability, dealer network and having a dealer in relatively close proximity to our home and the Airstream only RV park we stay in during the summer in Lakeside, Arizona.

We have a single axle Aluma utility trailer we use to tow our Polaris Ranger 570. It is rated 2,999 pounds so a brake system was NOT required for the trailer. So the discussion shifted to down sizing when the 2007 Mercedes is retired.

We were looking at the lower fuel ratings of the gasoline only offerings of the RAV4 (has a 1,500 pound tow rating) and the Highlander (5,000 pound tow rating) and opened the research to the Hybrid choices. The Hybrid RAV4 has a tow rating of 1,750 pounds which could be inadequate for the Aluma trailer (550 pounds as equipped) and Polaris (1,250 pounds as equipped) in terms of braking and being slightly over the vehicle tow rating.. The Hybrid Highlander has a 3,500 pound tow rating.

So, we decided that if a choice was necessary in the near future, The Hybrid Highlander could work as a replacement for the 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI as we see our utilization requirements changing. There would a significant increase in fuel economy when using the Hybrid Highlander and it uses regular gasoline (versus the Lexus trimline that uses premium gasoline).
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:04 PM   #213
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...............brake disks are sized for 10,000 GVWR and 25,000 GCWR.......
Don't have skin in the game as to what is better and what isn't as far as tow vehicles are concerned. I have posted previously here of what I tow and with what vehicle. But I do have an issue with incorrect info being posted on the RV forums.

Vehicles brakes ARE designed to stop the GVWR.
Vehicles brakes ARE NOT designed to stop the GCVWR. (This is misinformation that is continually posted on different RV forums).

There is a reason that laws require a trailer over certain weight (relatively low #) to have their own brakes.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:48 PM   #214
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Good point GGB and I should have been more clear. I am aware that properly operating trailer brakes do about 80-85% of the job with trailer inertia so my tow vehicle brakes are set up to handle at most 5500 lbs more than base weight not the full 17,000, though additionally they must be capable of handling a single controlled stop on a steep grade with failed trailer brakes.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:11 PM   #215
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Good point GGB and I should have been more clear. I am aware that properly operating trailer brakes do about 80-85% of the job with trailer inertia so my tow vehicle brakes are set up to handle at most 5500 lbs more than base weight not the full 17,000, though additionally they must be capable of handling a single controlled stop on a steep grade with failed trailer brakes.
I think we would all like our tow vehicle brakes to handle a single controlled stop on a steep grade, whatever the tow vehicle is, pickup or SUV or other.

However, "must" isn't actually correct. Many posters quote the SAE J2807 tow tests when discussing towing limits and pickups in particular. That standard actually says that the tow vehicle brakes MUST stop the combination from 20 mph within 80 feet, on flat ground, with trailer brakes not functioning. There is a second requirement that the tow vehicle park brake hold the combination on a 12% grade, in both directions up and down. That's it.

Not sure about the 80-85% target, but setting your trailer brake gain there will result in compression of the combination, and the trailer wanting to pass the tow vehicle, when what you actually want is tension for better towing stability. At least that is what I learned long ago.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:51 PM   #216
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I’m pretty sure my trailer brakes do most of the stopping. I’ve made short trips pulling with my F350 where I didn’t even break the light rust film on the truck discs.
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:13 PM   #217
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I have had the trailer brakes come unhooked a few times and have had multiple failures of individual brakes (wires). Both my wiring and dealer wiring. My truck will stop the combined load quite well.

Going to rewire the darn brakes again this spring before we head out.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:03 AM   #218
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I think we would all like our tow vehicle brakes to handle a single controlled stop on a steep grade, whatever the tow vehicle is, pickup or SUV or other.

However, "must" isn't actually correct. Many posters quote the SAE J2807 tow tests when discussing towing limits and pickups in particular. That standard actually says that the tow vehicle brakes MUST stop the combination from 20 mph within 80 feet, on flat ground, with trailer brakes not functioning. There is a second requirement that the tow vehicle park brake hold the combination on a 12% grade, in both directions up and down. That's it.
Yes, this is the standardized test procedure for failed trailer brakes. If your rig is capable of this act, it will easily handle the the one I described.

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Not sure about the 80-85% target, but setting your trailer brake gain there will result in compression of the combination, and the trailer wanting to pass the tow vehicle, when what you actually want is tension for better towing stability. At least that is what I learned long ago.
Trailers are not generally equipped with anti-lock sensors and controllers and also, significant weight is statically and dynamically transferred through the tongue to the tow vehicle so the trailer tire coefficient of friction is low relative to the tow vehicle, therefore in emergency stops, 85% is a practical upper limit. In full on emergency stops that number can tend to drop significantly for the reasons I mentioned.

For controlled modest braking in normal driving conditions, you are correct, the trailer brakes, properly biased, should be set to hold just over 100% of the trailer inertia. You are spot on about the desire to keep the hitch in tension for normal driving conditions, thanks for preventing me from being misleading.
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:42 PM   #219
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Yes, this is the standardized test procedure for failed trailer brakes. If your rig is capable of this act, it will easily handle the the one I described.
Sorry, but I don't follow your logic. The standardized test is on flat ground, at 20 mph.

The situation you described earlier was a controlled stop on a steep grade, in the event of a trailer brake failure.

If seems you are implying that steep grades don't impact stopping, and that typical towing speeds are capped at 20 mph, for the standardized test to in fact be relevant.
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Old 02-27-2020, 03:10 PM   #220
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didn't mean to imply that, just that if you have sufficient braking power to stop from 20mph within 80 feet you have sufficient capability to perform a controlled stop on a steep grade should your trailer brakes fail. I realize they are not the same situation but the basic physical brake performance requirements are the same for both situations. Hope that makes more sense.
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