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Old 03-06-2020, 11:38 AM   #221
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We also started with GL450 and 25' AS... now towing with a 2016 F250 and so much better!
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:40 AM   #222
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We went from an ML 350 diesel to a Ram 2500. The ML did a good job towing our 28 but the 2500 has definitive advantages:

No need to place bulky items (bicycles, tables, chairs) in the trailer for transport.

Sitting up higher gives a better view of traffic. If you can get a 1 second jump start on a braking event you can shorten your stopping distance by 100 feet.

No need to fiddle with a weight distribution hitch or worry about loading.

More comfort and better overall feeling of security.

A less snooty image at the same level of luxury.

The main disadvantages for us:

Not as good a daily driver.

Does not fit in our garage.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:32 AM   #223
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I am the OP, and I wanted to close the loop on this thread. I had promised to share my learnings as I did more towing with our new RAM2500, but COVID hit, and all of our reservations were canceled. Anyways, we managed to get out last week and ventured to explore Grand Teton NP. It is a 1000 miles trip each way, and we are on our way back, completed 2000 miles so far, another 500 to go tomorrow.

The RAM2500 Hemi towed the AS really well, no sway, no porpoising, no lack of power hitting those 6-8% grades. The difference in towing between the RAM and GL450 is night and day. Until this trip, I had mostly been towing in California, so I didn't need to go over 55 mph. After driving through NV, ID, UT, and WY, where there is no separate speed limit for trailers, I can tell that there is no way I would be comfortable towing at those speeds with my GL450. Even with RAM2500, I didn't go beyond 75mph. We experienced no sway while passing semis.

On the negative side, RAM2500 Hemi did have to run at very high RPM to maintain the 65mph+ speeds on those high grades. It was noisy at those RPMs. The gas mileage while towing was 10mpg, so had to stop many times for refueling. Also, this is a huge truck that will take a lot of getting used to if you plan to use it as a daily driver; we only use it for towing.

All in all, we are very happy with RAM2500 Hemi. Great interiors, superb towing, and we love the looks of the 5th gen RAMs.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:55 AM   #224
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Thank's for the update...happy Streamers ROCK.

We have owned a few MB's and never considered using them to tow the AS. They are FUN to drive, fun to toe...not so much.

Bob
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POI...there is a hitch on DW's MB...it does LOOK good.😂
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:49 AM   #225
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We tow our 2017 25FB with a 2016 RAM 2500 diesel. Love the truck and love the 13 to 15 mpg towing and 17,000 pound towing capacity. One small downside is the DEF requirement and the engine noise.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:53 AM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post
We tow our 2017 25FB with a 2016 RAM 2500 diesel. Love the truck and love the 13 to 15 mpg towing and 17,000 pound towing capacity. One small downside is the DEF requirement and the engine noise.
Last year we upgraded to a 2020 from a 2015 ĺ ton diesel. It's amazing how much quieter all the new trucks are in comparison to the ĺ ton diesels just a few years before. This is across all three major US brands. We were surprised at the noise difference of all of them.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:49 AM   #227
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New steer issue

Got the towing dialed in and smooth, solid on my second trip out to Eastern Sierras but a problem followed me home. When I turned onto a road in the Sierras the car would pull left or right based on the turn. This would last for a bit and then go away. Back home including going up and down Santa Monica mountains curved road I had loss of traction alert several times (both up and down the road) and there was steering control partial loss, left and right. Also loss of acceleration when this happened. No likey

It felt like front wheels to me. Cat scale on the way home was steer axle 2740, drive 3960, trailer axle 6220 and total 12,920. My EazLift set at 7 links and trip before was same and no issues. Max on 450 GAWR is 3307 front and 3968 rear, GVWR is 7164

So wondering if move to 6 or 6 1/2 links but taking car in to dealer to check front end first. Anyone experience this?
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:32 AM   #228
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Guessing it is an issue with one of the wheel speed sensors. Either lost or shifted calibration or is sending intermittent or unstable signals (more likely) that are initiated or exacerbated by cornering so the traction programming kicks in and applies brakes disproportionately.

Not on a tow vehicle but I had this happen and had to replace one of the brake rotor speed sensors once.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:43 PM   #229
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Any BCM or PCM problems should throw a code.
A code reader is sometimes a handy addition to the tool kit depending if it's a DIY repair.

Bob
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Old 08-09-2020, 05:20 PM   #230
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Thanks for responses

Emailed Andy and he suggested this:

It sounds like your sway controls are a little to tight, try backing them off ľ turn. It should straighten out on its own when you make a turn.

When you first setup a new hitch the torsion bars have very little contact area where they turn in the ball mount so they wear in pretty quickly, faster if you are driving winding roads. It looks like your front tires are a little light so this has happened. The rate of change will slow right down once the radiusís match. I would try tightening 2/3rds of a link so add two bolts.

Some cars have very sensitive stability control programs but usually Mercedes are ok. On some switching to sport mode opens up the parameters a bit and stops it from being over active. When we did the video with the C350 we had to use sport or it was quite annoying.
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Old 08-09-2020, 06:26 PM   #231
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Makes a lot more sense than my guess. Surprising how much resistance the friction bar can generate. My hitch does not have an independent sway adjustment so I didn't consider it. I also defer to Andy on on the weight distribution as what he says make sense. At 60% rear you're in the ballpark, but in models I've run for similar European SUV's the ideal distribution was 54-58% if memory serves.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:07 PM   #232
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We also went from a GLS450 to a more suitable tow vehicle for us, an F350. If I could add one thing to the discussion it would be that we recently did a poll on Airstream Addicts FB group which has 50K members and the hundreds of people who responded indicated a strong preference for 3/4 ton+ tow vehicles for 25-28' Airstreams. Note this was not a survey on what people think they should tow with, which is subjective, but rather what they ACTUALLY tow with which is objective.

Q: What vehicle do respondents in this group actually tow their late model (heavier) 25-28 foot Airstreams with?

A:
3/4 + ton pickup 225 or 52%
1/2 ton pickup 149 or 34%
Large SUV (such as Suburban, Expedition, Escalade, QX80) 41 or 9%
Mid size SUV (such as GLS, Q7, Touareg, Cayenne, Grand Cherokee) 10 or 2%

So anything is possible and if you are happy towing a 25+ with your SUV, good for you. But others still deciding please know it can be very misleading to listen to the vocal minority who advocate towing heavy trailers with a lot of sail area like these with SUVs.

Beyond the indisputable fact that the GL/GLS 450s are not rated to tow a 25+' Airstream because they have inadequate doorjam sticker payloads (1350?) and only 600# hitch ratings (vs. a 1000# tongue weight with a WDH), it comes down to personal experience and preference. Worst mistake I made was listening to people on here and getting my hopes up that we could tow our new 25 with our GLS450...sure could, but it was stressful requiring constant steering input when being passed, didn't feel safe, struggled at altitude. And, no, it wasn't just because "it wasn't set up properly." It's not rocket science to set up a WDH hitch. Couldn't change the physics of the heavier trailer on winding, windy descents and felt like we were destroying our nice new SUV. Not to mention the unknown legal risk of being over the ratings, and the risk of voiding our warranty on our $1500 per wheel air suspension. For thee and not for me.

Then to quickly realize after a few trips that an SUV wasn't even the right type of vehicle for camping considering the lack of storage on the AS. Not nearly as good as a pickup for carrying heavy ebikes and dirty, wet or smelly camping gear such as the grill, generator, gas, extra water, outdoor rug, leveling blocks, etc. Guess you could put that in your trailer but not in our new one.

Then the best decision we made was to quickly recognize all that and take the opportunity to upgrade an older vehicle that we needed to upgrade anyway to our F350 which tows the 25 like a dream. And we get the benefit of having a pickup truck in the family which is very handy. Never had a pickup before and love it when I thought I would hate it.

To each their own, that was my experience and sounds like the experience of some others on this thread. But for those vocal advocates of towing 25+ with SUVs, please don't mislead people, especially Newbies, into thinking that towing 7000# trailers with 1000# tongue weights with an SUV, especially those German ones with a hitch rated at only 600 or 770# is “within the numbers” or that common. No matter where you count your SUV in the survey, it's less than 12% in total. And for these German SUVs, probably less than 2% since we spelled out what those meant. Granted people do it, I'm not saying it's impossible, it's just not as common as the number of posters supporting it would have you believe. I'm told that any AS Rally will prove that just as well as my survey. And in the meantime visit any campground and see for yourself.

And blanket statements such this SUV is a better tow vehicle than a 3/4 ton truck are either 1) not true, 2) not believed by the majority of people towing 25+ or 3) not known by them. AS owners have choices and aren't unaware or stupid...a lot of them actually prefer the daily drivability and layout of an SUV to a truck. So I guess majority of people choose those heavy trucks for reasons. We could do other polls on how many have upgraded their TVs to 3/4+ trucks vs. downgraded to SUVs and I’ll take bets on what they would show.

I just don’t understand the point or benefit of promoting something so heavily that turns out in real life to be the exception rather than the rule.

And for the record, none of this applies to trailers below 25 feet or above 28 feet...I have no experience with those and we didn't survey on those. I used 25-28 in the survey because that's where it gets interesting due to tongue weight vs. vehicle payloads.
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:31 PM   #233
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Indeed polar911, towing a 25+ Airstream can be quite challenging for vehicles like the GLS450, the short wheelbase and low vehicle weight conspires against them with respect to stability at highway speeds. Some people make it work with very careful planning and setup and then more careful driving, but not many as your survey indicates. Is it a wise approach? As someone who understands the physics, I don't think so.
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:02 PM   #234
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450 choice

My 450 works for me but I do not advocate for even my 25. When the warranty is up I will very much consider moving to 250/350 for many reasons such as having a bed to throw things in and not worry about weight, diesel brakes, mountain passes, spare propane tanks, can be tv only and fits in garage. All good. $75,000 not so good and used hard to find, esp diesel, crew cab, 4x4, my choice

Two of us only, payload fine, drive 60 max and lots of space to car in front. Reinforced hitch and Andy set up it drives smooth and I am relaxed but alert as I would be with a truck anyway Just back from Sierras and climbed and downhill was fine for me. When unhooked and in the mountains or wherever we stop the 450 is a nice ride

TV is a compromise and everyone should spend the time to know what they are and choose best for them. Especially on FB I see people ask what AS to get that will be towed by the vehicle they have or just bought. Friend I met here did with a new 450 towing the same AS I have and was set to leave for weeks. Told him about the max 600 tongue, whoops. He bought a 250 diesel 4x4.

Someone on FB asking about tv for 25+ I always say get a 3/4 as almost always a safe decision
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:54 AM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polar911 View Post
Q: What vehicle do respondents in this group actually tow their late model (heavier) 25-28 foot Airstreams with?

A:
3/4 + ton pickup 225 or 52%
1/2 ton pickup 149 or 34%
Large SUV (such as Suburban, Expedition, Escalade, QX80) 41 or 9%
Mid size SUV (such as GLS, Q7, Touareg, Cayenne, Grand Cherokee) 10 or 2%
Honestly this doesn't surprise me. When my ĺ ton was in the shop and the dealership loaned me a vehicle, they gave me a Ĺ ton. It was within the proper tow ratings, but it certainly didn't see a gas station it didn't like. Towing with a ĺ diesel makes the whole trip much more enjoyable.

It's certainly a preference thing because nearly all Ĺ tons and ĺ tons on the market can tow Airstreams in this category (with limited exceptions to some of the smaller six-cylinder Ĺ tons). But with all the extra cushion you get from tow ratings, to braking power, I just don't know (other than price of the TV), somebody wouldn't use a ĺ ton in this category.
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Old 08-13-2020, 06:28 AM   #236
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I've now towed our Airstream with my half ton GMC, my wife's Cayenne Turbo and my 3/4 ton Silverado Duramax.

The Airstream pushes the half ton around. I towed it to our usual mountain top campground. We got there, but I didn't enjoy the going up or down.

Did the same trip in the Cayenne Turbo last fall and it handled the mountain and the curvy roads with ease. I babied it going out there and it got 10mpg (premium fuel) to the base of the mountain.

This past weekend we went to another campground (the highest elevation in Arkansas.) This time we towed with the Duramax. I babied it going out there and got 13mpg. Said the hell with it coming home and got 12mpg.

This was my observation: You didn't really notice the trailer behind the Duramax. I jokingly say its just as bad towing as it is not towing. You notice the trailer behind the Cayenne, but I would've been comfortably passing the Duramax, and then I'd wave at the Duramax as it cruised by while I was fueling up at the premium pump. Tortoise and the hare.

I think we'll tow with the Cayenne Turbo again, depending on where we go. I plan to boondock and do some off-road driving while in Colorado. The truck will be great. Far less money will be spent on fuel.

If we were going back to our usual spots in the Ozarks with full hookups, we won't need as much gear. We'll probably take the Cayenne so we can enjoy the fun roads in the area.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:01 AM   #237
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Coming from a Tundra to a Ram 2500 Diesel, I canít envision any instance where Iíd feel safe towing my 25 ft FC with a car/suv.

Being able to do something on the margins, isnít the same as doing it safely with the proper equipment.
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:28 PM   #238
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The only reason I'd ever consider changing TVs is for the ground clearance. Other than that it tows great. No issues towing steep grades or anything else. I've been coast to coast multiple times. I've been on some pretty bad roads as in this trip where boulders tore up the underside. But that would be the only reason for changing the TV. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-14-2020, 06:16 PM   #239
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Fair enough Gator, but lest anyone be misled it's the hitch, setup and your choice of speed and not so much the vehicle that is getting you down the road.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:04 PM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Fair enough Gator, but lest anyone be misled it's the hitch, setup and your choice of speed and not so much the vehicle that is getting you down the road.
My choice in speed is usually the same as traffic. I'm usually between 65 and 80 unless I'm forced to slow for traffic. Even the 7% plus grades don't slow me down.

But yes the setup is spot on. Thanks CanAm.
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