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Old 06-27-2020, 02:12 PM   #1
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Indian Rocks Beach , Florida
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Questions from a first timer

Hi Everyone,

Iím about to purchase a 25FB Globetrotter. I was torn between the F150 and F250 to tow the Airstream. Iíd rather not be white knuckled while driving and thatís why I was leaning towards the F250 but then I learned about the Hensley Arrow Hitch. That seems to lead me to believe the F150 would be enough.

I will be living in the Airstream most of the time and moving quite often to new sites/locations. My concern is that Iíll be alone most of the time. Assuming I have all the bells and whistles on the F150, how hard is it to hitch up solo? Is it something I should be worried about? Iím not new to RV living, but I am new to trailering. I had a Class C before.

Also, Iím a sponge for information and can sift through it all, so please if you have any pros or cons for the F150 vs F250, let me know. The only reason Iím really leaning towards the 150 is that I think itíll be easier to park in my carport at home.


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Old 06-27-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
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Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Hi Scott. First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your question, I will share what works for us as opposed to recommending something. We tow a 25FB. This is our second one. We have over 2,100 nights of Airstream camping and 200,000 of Airstream towing.

We tow with a Silverado 2500 Duramax. This is our third one. We also have always used a Hensley hitch system. On a 25 FB with a Hensley, your tongue weight is going to be near 1,000#. This will eat up much of your truck bed payload capacity. This is why we use a 3/4 ton truck.

Best wishes in your quest.

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Old 06-27-2020, 03:18 PM   #3

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Welcome Aboard 👍

I would...Get the 2500, that way when you get a larger AS you will still have a tow vehicle that will handle it. 😂

ďIts better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you donít.Ē

Love for the Adirondacks

"It is more wiser to ponder all things with diligent suspicion, than follow with blind assumption."
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Old 06-27-2020, 03:19 PM   #4
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1974 25' Tradewind
2007 27' Classic FB
Wilkes-Barre , Pennsylvania
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Welcome Scott!

I tow a 27' Classic with a Ram 2500. I aslo have a Hensley hitch and always hitch up solo. It is easy with a backup camera, but I aslo have the Hensley adjustable shoe to use at the base of the hitch tube. It allows me to move the hitch an inch or 2 left or right. This makes alignment easier and I usually get it on the first try.

Hope this helps.

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Old 06-27-2020, 04:54 PM   #5
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Slidell , Louisiana
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Completely agree. If you want to be white knuckle free do the 3/4, and load the truck to max payload, put 75psi in E rated tires on the rear, 60 or so front. Get a high quality WD hitch, if you want more stability, get the Hensley type hitch also but you wont "need" it (it's great insurance, but it can't save you from every situation) with your tow vehicle at 9,000 lb mass, it will own the trailer. You can also do the 1/2 if you go with max tow suspension and also have a good towing experience. Note though that many 3/4 have the payload limited to keep GVRW at 10,000 so they can sell it to short distance haulers who want to avoid DOT journal issues, so the difference between 1/2 and 3/4 is often bigger than the specifications indicate...
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:11 PM   #6
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El Dorado Hills , California
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I tow a 27FB with a 2017 F150 and its not a white knuckle drive. I hitch it myself, equalizer hitch.

The F150 is a regular supercrew 4WD with 3.5 Ecoboost and 10 speed transmission, 5.5 foot bed. Has about 1,700 lbs payload per yellow sticker. In town, unhitched, the truck fits in well with normal city traffic. In three years towed the Airstream about 30,000 miles all over the USA including Alaska. Mostly western US including Rocky Mountain passes in snow. The truck is plenty powerful and safely pulls the trailer, is not a hazard to others on the road.

Get a F250/350 if you want the big diesel, plan to haul a Harley in the bed, or want it to make you feel better and have extra money in your wallet.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:54 PM   #7
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McHenry , Illinois
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kscherzi, congratulations on your new Airstream! As you read through the responses you'll see both sides.

Many of us have experienced towing with a half-ton before moving up to a 3/4 or 1 ton. I don't think I've ever seen a post from one saying "I wish I still had my 1/2 ton". Sure we may miss the lower stance and ride but the additional payload and capability more than makes up for it.

Our 3/4 ton is over 1000 lbs heavier but gets the same or better fuel mileage than our 1/2 ton. Can you tow with a 1/2 ton? Sure. Will a 3/4 ton do it with less effort? You betcha!

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:31 AM   #8
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Stowe , Vermont
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Ditto on the Equalizer hitch and I have a F250 diesel. Going on the flats, or on the Rockies is a breeze. I especially like the engine brake ("Jake Brake") on the diesel when doing sustained downhills. Enjoy.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
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Hillsboro , Texas
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Welcome Scott

I have a F250 and really like it. Several of my fellow air streamers have the F150 and are very happy with it. In the past I had several hitches including the Hensley. My current setup and my favorite is a blue ox and Airsafe hitch. This is the best setup for me, trailer and truck. PM me for details.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:07 AM   #10
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Katy , Texas
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Let your numbers tell you!

You said 2 key things: "Living in the Airstream most of the time" and "moving quite often". This might imply you're going to have lots of your stuff onboard your TV/Trailer.

When towing, Payload is a very important parameter that you should actively manage. Your vehicle owner's manual can give the specifics for your make and model, but in general payload is the sum of everything you put into your truck: Passengers, trailer tongue weight, dogs, bikes, bed covers, fire wood, generators, etc. If you're not paying attention (i.e. head to the CAT scales to get a real measurement), you can easily unknowingly exceed the published limits for your truck.

For you to make the decision on F150 vs. F250/F350, you have to figure out how much payload you need (don't really solely on published tongue weights; my trailer tongue is nearly 300lbs higher than Airstream says it is--partly due to my ProPride hitch). Once you know (or can estimate) how much payload capacity you need, then you can look at the various truck options to see if you can get away with an F150 or if you want to get something a bit beefier.

Of course, there are many people who seemingly have good results with intentionally towing overloaded vehicles. Decide if you want to stay within the manufacturer's parameters and then decide how much safety bandwidth do you want. Then it should be obvious what truck you should get.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:08 AM   #11
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Like many, many others, I find the F150, properly outfitted, to be perfectly adequate for the many long trips we make with our 25ífb. However, if youíre gong to be full timing youíll probably end up hauling around a lot more stuff than those of us with home bases. I can see a truck bed topper full to the brim with stuff as well as every nook and cranny in the Airstream in your future. As much as I hate the loud, obnoxious, and seemingly endless rattling of a diesel 250 of one brand or another warming up in the RV park in the morning, or pulling in late at night, you should probably get one,
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:10 AM   #12
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We pull our Int'l 25 with an F-150HD no problems been through the Canadian Rocky Mountains you can check out our decision making process here:
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:49 AM   #13
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Houston , TX
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Scott - I'm almost as new as you, but I do have 2000 miles under my belt towing our 27' Classic Ltd with a 1/2 ton, so I thought it worthwhile to weigh in.

I agree with most everyone here: if you have the choice, go with the 3/4 ton truck. I haven't had any issues, but I'm towing it with a truck that I already owned. If/when I need a new truck, I'd definitely have a 3/4 ton as my first choice. If you can afford the upgrade (which doesn't have to be so high), you simply won't regret having extra towing capability.

With that said, I'm towing a heavier, longer rig with a 1/2 ton and it's not a problem for us. So I wouldn't fear that route if it makes more sense overall for your situation.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:14 AM   #14
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A lot depends on where you will be towing. I go to the Rockies very often and the 2500 gives me that extra power when going up the steep grades that I face to often. Go with a 2500!
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:11 PM   #15
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Port Richey , Florida
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Tow Vehicle

When looking for a TV for your Rig I would recommend looking at the specs of each vehicle and compare it to the GVWR of your TT a and TV. Unfortunately most RVers do not weigh their rig and/or TV as packed for travel. Iíve found that my 2016 F-150 3.5 eccoboost with max tow package can easily tow my FC 23fb. But when we weigh in our TV itís close to the GVWR with only 2 passengers, dog and gear. Do your homework and pick the right TV not only for the tow rating but the amount of cargo youíll be towing.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:33 PM   #16
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F250 diesel.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:58 PM   #17
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Agree with F250 pay load in truck
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:42 PM   #18
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Thank you all. Great advice. Iím going to go with the 3/4 ton. Going to look for a certified pre-owned...
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:55 AM   #19
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Things change too. I'd rather have too much truck than not enough. 250 minimum.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by VT Wanderer View Post
I especially like the engine brake ("Jake Brake") on the diesel when doing sustained downhills. Enjoy.
The "exhaust brake" found on small trucks is not officially a Jake Brake. The Jake Brake changes the valve timing, and so you hear the "BRAPPPP" on big semis that drives people nuts.
Because by nature a diesel has no engine braking, the 250/350 engineers devised a solenoid in the exhaust that closes a flapper to create back pressure.
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