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Old 02-28-2021, 01:12 PM   #1
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Question Newbie Question: Best Tow Vehicle for International 27FB

Hello, everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum. Bear with me, as I am a total newbie. Thank you for your patience.

I'm seriously considering purchasing a new 2021 AS International 27FB. GVWR is 7600 lbs, hitch weight (with batteries and LP) is 791 lbs.

Right now, it is just me and my golf clubs. Throw in a bike, and perhaps an occasional traveling companion, so no more than two persons. I would prefer a pickup truck over an SUV. My budget is us$30-40k.

What would be your recommendations for the safest tow vehicle for this scenario?

THANK YOU!!
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogeyPro View Post
Hello, everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum. Bear with me, as I am a total newbie. Thank you for your patience.

I'm seriously considering purchasing a new 2021 AS International 27FB. GVWR is 7600 lbs, hitch weight (with batteries and LP) is 791 lbs.

Right now, it is just me and my golf clubs. Throw in a bike, and perhaps an occasional traveling companion, so no more than two persons. I would prefer a pickup truck over an SUV. My budget is us$30-40k.

What would be your recommendations for the safest tow vehicle for this scenario?

THANK YOU!!
A truck in the 3/4 Ton range.
Examples
Ford F-250
Chevy 2500 Series
Don't tow with too small of a tow vehicle, that the trailer becomes capable of driving
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:39 PM   #3
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If I were buying a new tow vehicle for that trailer, it would be a GMC 2500 or 3500 with a Duramax Diesel engine.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:48 PM   #4
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Hitch Weight

You will find the actual hitch weight closer to 1100 or 1200 pounds when fully loaded. Please take that into consideration when looking at the spec's of the tow vehicle. I recommend a Ford F250 3/4 Ton, I am doubtful you will find a new one in your budget range.

Happy Shopping.........
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:57 PM   #5
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Adding to the consensus. Any 3/4 or 1 tom truck that fits budget. I would look for the cleanest used truck around independent of brand. Any of the big 3 are fine for this
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogeyPro View Post
Hello, everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum. Bear with me, as I am a total newbie. Thank you for your patience.

I'm seriously considering purchasing a new 2021 AS International 27FB. GVWR is 7600 lbs, hitch weight (with batteries and LP) is 791 lbs.

Right now, it is just me and my golf clubs. Throw in a bike, and perhaps an occasional traveling companion, so no more than two persons. I would prefer a pickup truck over an SUV. My budget is us$30-40k.

What would be your recommendations for the safest tow vehicle for this scenario?

THANK YOU!!
If use a pickup truck you will need to have it laden (use sand bags if necessary).

Collyn
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:40 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!

I really appreciate all of this good advice.

Regarding the diesel engine, what are the advantages over a regular gas engine?

Regarding my budget (us$30-40k) I may be able to go higher, depends on my trade in or sell my 2016 Honda Civic (only 22k miles on it)...

Thanks, AS experts...

BogeyPro in Seattle, Wa.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:52 PM   #8
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As folks have stated either a Ram (my preference), Ford or Chevy in the 3/4 ton rating (2500 or F250) is best for that size.

I have a Ram 2500 with the 6.4L gas engine towing a 27ft Globetrotter. I tow heavy with up to 4 bikes and other equipment.

The truck does whatever I ask of it and then some.

In terms of Gas vs Diesel it is kinda like asking Ram vs Chevy vs Ford or whether you should get an Equalizer or ProPride Hitch. You are going to get lots of OPINIONS and some with facts.

Budget wise from what you indicated you can get a much nicer equipped gas engine truck then diesel in that range.

That said a few year old well appointed diesel with less than 50,000 miles on it would also fit in that range.

If you are going to tow heavy and put between 25K and 50K in travel a year the diesel may be a better choice, however if you are only going to be towing the AS to the occasional campsite or rally (less then 25K a year) and use the truck as a daily driver the gas engine would be my choice.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:01 PM   #9
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Diesel vs Gas:

Diesel fuel has higher energy density so you will get better mileage but diesel fuel tends to cost more so almost a wash.

Diesel engines have tremendous torque for a given displacement and develop it a a relatively low rpm so they are pretty optimized for heavy work like towing a trailer. They are almost always equipped with an exhaust brake which helps with downhills. If there were no other considerations, it would be an easy decision to go diesel.

However, a diesel version of a given truck is often $8-10K more expensive. Routine maintenance is more expensive on a diesel (oil changes, fuel filter changes). If you break a diesel, especially the high-pressure fuel system, it is very expensive to repair.

Taken care of, the diesel will just be getting well broken in when the rest of the truck is about to fall apart so you are paying for longevity that may not be useful especially if you are the type that trades in every 4-5 years. To be fair you will probably recoup the extra cost of the diesel upon resale.

Power plant, fuel, color, 4wd/2wd, brand — in the end the key attribute is payload and tow rating but payload is more critical...
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:09 PM   #10
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We're towing a 28 foot Flying Cloud with a 2017 5.7 liter Tundra (half ton) truck without issue (knock on wood). The former owner was towing it with a 1/2 ton F150 (didn't even have an equalizer hitch, go figure). Don't win any speed races climbing steep grades but it's the journey not the destination, right? Wish we could have found a diesel powered Toyota or Nissan, but nothing available. Tongue weight a bit north of 900 pounds.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:07 AM   #11
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3/4 ton diesel pickup will be the best overall. Other options will have some type of deficiency if you tow a lot...especially through mountains, etc.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogeyPro View Post
I really appreciate all of this good advice.

Regarding the diesel engine, what are the advantages over a regular gas engine?

Regarding my budget (us$30-40k) I may be able to go higher, depends on my trade in or sell my 2016 Honda Civic (only 22k miles on it)...

Thanks, AS experts...

BogeyPro in Seattle, Wa.
Diesel engines are high altitude engines. If you aren’t towing in the mountains too much, look for a gas engine 3/4 ton truck. Much cheaper, less costly to maintain and a softer ride than a one ton.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:25 AM   #13
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Can highly recommend -2019- 2020 Ram 1500 limited Hemi
Air shocks- provide an amazing ride while towing.
Tow capacity - 12,050
Tongue weight -1045
Retractable runningboards easy entering and exiting
All the bells and whistle’s of any Luxury SUV.
Our 2018 25 FT FBT International serenity tows well. Airstream’s are certainly a glam experience. Why not have your tow vehicle be just as great.
Wife is now is a truck gal. Looks beautiful.
Obviously you can go bigger with bigger Engine 2500, 3500 also diesel.
We are completely satisfied and I’ve taken it now on six trips since purchasing the Ram limited .
Congratulations on your Airsteam .
Let the adventure begin. See you down the road neighbor. safe travels.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:38 AM   #14
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No question that 3/4 ton is better for towing, hard to say where the limit is on 1/2 ton; there is no distinct line.

If you do look at half tons, there are some big differences among Ford F-150’s.

Delivered payload capacity on loaded luxury trucks dips as low as 1250 lbs....
A carefully spec’d high end truck is around 1600 lbs. more interesting is the heavy duty payload package, only available on 2021 XL and XLT long wheelbase trucks. Delivered sticker payloads are 1,000 lbs higher. Few bells and whistles on the truck but much more capable.

F150gen14.com is a forum with a lot of research data.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:55 AM   #15
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Welcome to the Airstream Community and Forums!

BogeyPro, congratulations and welcome! You are asking the right questions.

What ever tow vehicle you choose, make sure to check the payload door sticker (don’t rely on mfg. online specs). We started with a 1/2 ton for our 27’ Globetrotter but found we were right at the truck’s rear axle max of 4100 lbs. on the CAT scale. Yes, it towed with plenty of power but at times felt the trailer was pushing the truck around. Try to find one in the 1600 lbs or better range.

We now have a 2019 RAM 2500 with the 6.4 Hemi and it tows just fine, even in the Rocky Mountains. Payload is 2940 lbs, about 900 more than a comparable diesel.

If your budget is $30-40K, you might find your buck goes farther with a properly equipped gas than a diesel. Sure the advantages stated so far for the diesel are true but a gas 2500 will have more payload and cost less. The used vehicle market is at all-time highs in value right now which makes it harder to find that perfect vehicle at an affordable price.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:28 AM   #16
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Mostly all great advise above...agree the 3/4T diesel, AS tongue weight 1100lbs+ on your 27', so extra size of 3/4T matched nice for control and payload: While driving in the mountains or freeway, set cruise control, auto engine brake, safety distance radar, sit back and relax at highway speeds. Plus you have lots of space/ payload capacity for golfclubs, bbq, firepit, etc..

Downside of 3/4T diesel- parking/driving around town; cost of oil changes, adding DEF, diesel fuel cost is high in some areas of the country (CA right now $4.30/gal!) and big one of course, is they are expensive vs gas.

If it was just me, I would consider the 25' instead; it is most popular, tows great with a 1/2T PU, plenty room for 2 and if you get the twin model, you get more storage outside. Easier parking, driving, maintenance costs, etc.. But make sure you get at least 1700lbs+ payload capability on your TV for your other stuff...Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:32 AM   #17
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I am not sure there is a "best", but plenty of "good to go" options. I have the same trailer and tow it with ease 8k miles per years using a 2019 gas f250 with a payload of 3100lbs. This gives me plenty of room for gear, firewood, boats, bikes, grills etc, without a thought of going over the "safe zone"
Before that, I towed with a 2009 F150. This did the job, but I needed to be cautious.
Today's 150's can tow and carry more. That, plus your lighter single guy load should work.
The advantage of a 150 is it is a more comfortable daily driver when it is not hooked up. Plus it get better gas mileage.
good luck!
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Cole View Post
A truck in the 3/4 Ton range.
Examples
Ford F-250
Chevy 2500 Series
Don't tow with too small of a tow vehicle, that the trailer becomes capable of driving
Exactly, get the biggest one you can afford. Started with a F-150 now have a 2500 Ram. Get the big one first and save a bunch of $$ trading up. We have a 27'.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:58 AM   #19
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We love our 2500 Chevy Silverado diesel, and right now in our corner of California diesel is running the same cost as regular gas, less that premium...it varies, but it is only pennies per gallon. Our "upkeep" costs aren't bad and our mileage is great -15 mph towing (2019 GT 27') and almost 20 when we are just touring, a bit less in city traffic. Best is that our truck has all sorts of safety features, is really comfortable and can handle anything we do with it. Load is never an issue -whether we travel light or heavy and there is always enough room.

I want to add the most amazing thing was a trade-in value on our last diesel truck (similar 2500 Chevy Silverado diesel, but 7 years old). It had been in an accident (hit a buck at 65 mph), was fully repaired but we had an issue with it not playing nicely with our Airstream. We checked new trucks and were given a huge trade-in value, after 7 years we calculated that basically first truck cost us $1500.00 a year to own. So, we were able to swap for a new one without any pain.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:04 AM   #20
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Adding a contrarian viewpoint. I tow a 27FB some 40k throughout the western US and to Alaska and back with a 2017 F150 ecoboost. Many others tow with a modern half ton truck, but tend to get shouted down on this forum. Many of this forum will say I have a death wish, but I don't agree. A key factor is proper loading of the airstream trailer. Like avoiding attaching a Quad ATV to the back of the trailer (I've actually seen that). I won't dispute that a heavier tow vehicle does a better job of masking problems. A good quality hitch can do wonders to addressing many of the stated issues regarding sway and crosswinds.

As noted, payload capacity is a meaningful reason to get a 3/4 ton truck. My F150 payload is about 1,700 lbs. Trailer tongue is 950 lbs. Loaded for camping I carry chairs, some firewood, a generator, some tools, and dogfood in the bed. Wife and I up front. Truck weighs in at 300 lbs under rear axle capacity. Some like to carry a lot of heavy stuff, maybe a Harley? For them a F 250/350 makes solid sense.

F150 Pros: Truck fits in the garage, has plenty of power to go up steep grades, is a solid daily driver, independent front suspension. Tows the trailer just fine.

I thought about a F250. Cons I came up with: Won't fit in the garage (taller and longer), more expensive, truck bed at chin level, longest stopping distance of any vehicle. Not a great daily driver. Other cons noted by others: potential for death wobble, high cost of diesel engine repairs and oil changes, harsher ride especially unloaded, larger turning radius, combination of longer wheelbase and turning radius can make it difficult to back into tight campsites.

There are advantages and disadvantages to either choice, its not that black and white. Good luck with your truck shopping and have a great time camping!
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