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Old 06-02-2020, 08:15 PM   #1
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So confused....Make this simple

Last year we purchased a Ford F150 Platinum 3.5 EcoBoost as we thought we would be buying a 22 AS. As it turns out we bought bigger than expected as we are now the proud owners of a 27FB Globetrotter.

We drove it about 700 miles home this weekend and we used a Blue Ox Pro hitch. As I have little experience driving trailers, I don't know what normal is.

A few things that I noticed:

Pros:
Plenty of power

Smooth ride unless the road was concrete with ridges

Cons:
I could feel eighteen wheelers come up behind me from the opposite lane. The trailer/truck felt as if it were pulled into the other lane slightly.

The truck/trailer porpoised on cruddy concrete highway at 65MPH.I pulled over.

A few questions:

*Are the cons normal?

*Payload question - My sticker states that my payload is 1500. If my tongue weight is 800lbs, my cover is 100lbs and 2 passengers weighing 350lbs. Does that mean I can only bring 250lbs of other stuff?

*Do I have the right truck?

Thanks
CJS
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:31 PM   #2
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Congrats on a fantastic trailer. You chose very well. I too had a similar experience to you.

I had a 2016 f150 with tow package. Payload was 1480 lbs. I bought a GT25. My trailer and load were well above safety ratings—by 800-900 pounds. I also felt semi-trucks, crosswinds, and driving was always stressful. It worked, yes, but it wasn’t safe and I didn’t enjoy driving fully loaded.

Last month I got a GMC 3500 Duramax. Actually wanted the 2500 but the lot was almost empty from manufacturer shutdown. The difference is night and day obviously. It made me realize the f150 was simply inadequate for my use and family of 5 with bikes and camping gear loaded. I always worried about what items to bring or not bring on a trip due to weight. That got old. Now I bring everything!

F150 - trailer attached (dry tanks) but not loaded with people or gear
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3500 loaded with people, gear, tanks full
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:38 PM   #3
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Op- you’re going to get a lot of responses on here regarding tow vehicles. Feel free to direct message me if you want an exact comparison or experience to yours. Happy to help.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:06 PM   #4
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There are a lot of variables in all of this.
Stuff alone isn't the whole picture.
Where the stuff IS is part of it.
Both in your vehicle and in your rig.
How fast you travel is part of it. As are traffic and actual road conditions. Cross winds, rain, and even tire pressure.

You will just need to figure some things out.

With only 2 people and a nice big trailer you can figure this out.

1-usually payload ratings include fuel and 1 "typical" (read skinny test pilot sized) driver. Dig into your owner's manual and vehicle website for more details and see what yours says. You have a good vehicle.

2-using a weight distribution hitch shifts where the weight is felt a bit. Weight distribution is designed to make the rig (vehicle + trailer) have similar weights on each area so unit is more stable. You have a good hitch. You can go to a CAT scale and weigh and learn more about this with your rig.

3-sway control is one aspect of your hitch as well. This is what the bars or stringers do to keep the trailer in line with the vehicle vs fishtailing. They don't prevent the forces that other vehicles create. They keep the forces from shoving the trailer around and causing loss of control. You can try lowering your speed some, learning to anticipate (as the song says eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel), and even increasing your distance so you feel more room to react.

4-Porpoising is hor-rib-le. We experienced it really bad on NE hi way 2 so bad that we had to slow down to about 40 MPH and put on our hazards. It has 0 to do with anything you can control. My understanding is that it is when the expansion gaps in the concrete are spaced a certain way, and the frame of each piece of concrete is slightly higher and stronger and the middle of the piece of concrete sinks an imperceptible amount. It is harmonic vibration and is very uncomfortable.

5-Don't drive 65 MPH-drop down to 62 or so. It will make a world of difference. You know that everyone will pass you, but you surrender to the need to fight for your slot in traffic. This removes a lot of the hard work of highway driving. You also now have a much greater margin of safety because you CAN accelerate if necessary.

6-experiment with where you have things in your trailer and in your vehicle. Put heavy things in the truck bed as close to the cab as you can vs close to the tailgate. Put heavy things in the trailer over the axels, or at the hitch end, not the back end. Try putting most gear in the trailer and having as little as possible in the truck. If necessary go back and weigh again at the CAT scales and see if this makes a difference.

If you had 5 people you might not have enough truck (payload). But with 2 people you can get this figured out.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:24 PM   #5
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In order to add to this discussion and my ultimate solution...
I've towed a 16ft Bambi with a Olds 98. A 27ft Excella with a Tahoe & Excursion. A 30ft Classic with the Excursion then 2 - 34 ft slideouts with the Excursion. Other than a short miserable experience with a Hensley hitch (most folks either love em or hate em) I have always used the Reese 26002 Dual Cam Sway Control system. Easy to hook & unhook. Simple to install. I won't change.
But in all cases, when semi-tractor trailer rigs blew by me they pushed/moved me annoyingly. That was until 3 years ago when I went to a F-350 8ft bed SRW diesel that stopped 99% of the movement. The length and weight of this beast totally negates the effects of those road hogs.
Hitches by themselves can make a anti-sway difference I'll agree. But nothing beats the length/mass equation of longer + heavier = no sway!
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:08 AM   #6
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Your title says make this simple...OK. Get a bigger truck. I went through the same process moving from a 1/2 ton to a 3/4 ton. A world of difference.
Larry
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:04 AM   #7
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I have owned both the F-150 with a 27FB twin and A 30 Classic with a diesel F-250. Both Fords are Platinum. The F-150 did not have the tow package as yours suggests.

I'm not familiar with the Blue Ox pro hitch, but I had a simpler Equalizer hitch on the 27fb. You might want to experiment with more tension on the equalizer bars, but remember, that will make the inside of your trailer get tossed if you get them too tight. Is your trailer level with the ground? Is your truck level with the bars hooked up? You can measure the gap from the top of the wheel to the fender to get this reading. You need to get everything perfectly level for your towing experience to be right.

As for the semi-truck passing you and you feel like the trailer is being pulled in toward the truck, it is caused by the wind coming off the front of the truck pushing the rear of the trailer away from the front of the semi. That causes the front of the trailer to steer into the semi.

The only hitch that will stop this is a ProPride or a Hensley hitch. They have a head that will swivel to keep the trailer parallel to the semi and stops the "steering" into the semi. That is what I added to my 27FB Airstream. It will eliminate all sway.

You should not be concerned about the weight issue. The weight distribution hitch will move approximately 200 lbs to your front wheels and 250 lbs to the rear when set up properly. Most trucks (including Ford) include a driver in their calculations. So you only have to worry about your partner! So subtract the weight of the driver (150 lbs), the weight sent back to the trailer (250 lbs) and the better weight distribution over the front wheels (let's use 100 lbs), and you will see that these numbers are far better and with some margin.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:10 AM   #8
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Welcome Aboard 👍

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Your title says make this simple...OK. Get a bigger truck. I went through the same process moving from a 1/2 ton to a 3/4 ton. A world of difference.
Larry
^
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How much weight you can tow is not the end all be all. 🥴
Big HP & torque isn't much use if you don't have the ability to carry the stuff you want.
Pay close attention to TV GAWR,(gross axle weight ratings) and make sure the TV has LT tires with at least a D load rating. If you are not over these ratings you are on the right track.

What hitch to use?...No comment, we use a Hensley Arrow.
Whatever you use set it up properly, the AS MUST be level when towing, and an adequate amount of weight transferred back to the steering axle with the lightest rated weight distribution bars that will do the transfer.👍

Bob
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:28 AM   #9
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Your half ton is fine. The 3/4 ton will be easier and more steady. A one ton, easier and steadier. A Peterbuilt would be even better. It’s how much you want to spend, the hassles of owning a bigger truck, cost of maintenance etc.. Lots of AS being pulled by half tons. You’ll feel the trucks maybe a bit more, and you’ll have to go slower down steep grades.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:50 AM   #10
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cjsigmund,

Hello and welcome to Air Forums. When we started towing there was certainly plenty of information I didn't understand and found most of the answers on this forum. Sometimes it takes a bit of searching, comparing, contrasting to understand where the information fits into your personal situation.

You're correct about the payload. However, you should also consider the actual tongue weight of the trailer not simply the published weight. In most situations that means the actual tongue weight is higher than you expected and therefore you have even less capacity than you thought.

Be sure to check the installation of your hitch. Dealers are notorious for their lack of understanding and their improper installations of most hitches. You need to read the information from the manufacturer, watch YouTube videos on the subject and then adjust your hitch if necessary. An improperly installed hitch can increase (make them worse) the "con's" you mentioned or at a minimum not help the situation.

We changed our tow vehicle from a 3/4 ton Suburban to a 1/2 ton Sierra with the max trailering package. The truck has the 6.2L engine and has plenty of power - way more than our Suburban. On the new truck we dialed in the hitch, checked our weights, upgraded the truck suspension, etc. and the 1/2 ton truck clearly has more porpoising than the 3/4 ton Suburban.

The pulling sensation you have when a truck passes you is, to some degree, just a matter of fact. Yes, it can be minimized with a larger, heavier tow vehicle and some hitches resist the sensation more than others. But the aerodynamic forces involved are dramatic. That 18 wheeler is pushing so much air out of it's way that almost any vehicle will feel the impact of the low pressure "system" it creates as it passes you.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:18 AM   #11
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I have a ‘19 F-150 echoboost, crewcab shortbed 4x4. Mated to. ‘15 27ft front bed Queen FC with a blue ox. It tows fine, with no issues of being sucked into passing big rigs. It’s important to dial enough tension into the spring bars, as that makes a big difference. Last fall, before the virus, we took a two month trip from the PNW back to Kentucky, for a Airstream carravan. The combo was fine the whole way. That said, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d trade the truck for a F-250, but, what I have works.

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Old 06-03-2020, 07:29 AM   #12
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It is normal to feel the pull from trucks. But...there are different degrees of it. For my rig it matters how much weight I have transferred back to the front axle. Too much transfer to the front and I feel the trucks more.

It is normal to bounce and porpoise on rough concrete roads. Again, a matter of degree. I never drive 65 under those conditions. And I avoid that road out of Nashville to Birmingham.

I think the next thing you need to do is some weighing at the CAT scales and learn how that rig should be hitched. Once you know you have it dialed in the best it can be then decide if you like it.

Yes, you have the weight limits figured correctly. But again, a matter of degree. You need the CAT scales numbers for the front and rear axle loads.

I pull with a 2500 but I know lots of people who use the 1500 and like it. And some that have traded "down" and like the softer truck.

I can not tell you if you have the "right" truck. I know a couple of very experienced Airstreamers who pull 28 footers with that truck and love it. One of them traded down from a Ford 250 diesel and likes the new truck better. But they were experienced drivers and knew how to set it up and how it should feel.

A 250 or 2500 would do a great job of pulling that trailer and carrying more stuff but many would say "overkill".

You have the truck I would be most likely to buy to pull my 25' if have to replace my 13 year old TV this year.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeinated View Post
I have a ‘19 F-150 echoboost, crewcab shortbed 4x4. Mated to. ‘15 27ft front bed Queen FC with a blue ox. It tows fine, with no issues of being sucked into passing big rigs. It’s important to dial enough tension into the spring bars, as that makes a big difference. Last fall, before the virus, we took a two month trip from the PNW back to Kentucky, for a Airstream carravan. The combo was fine the whole way. That said, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d trade the truck for a F-250, but, what I have works.

Mike
This is a great example and mimics our experience as well when we used our 2018 F150 SCrew SB Lariat with equalizer to tow our 27 Globetrotter. Since my F150 only had the 2.7l power was no issue at all but I was over my rear axle rating and just at my GCWR with no water in the tank. The main reason we moved up to a larger truck was that I wanted to bring my motorcycle along for longer outings.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:13 AM   #14
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I have a 2016 f150 ecoboost with 1700 lbs payload and a 27 FC FB and equalizer hitch and it tows fine. You do need to watch your payload and if you were purchasing a F150 to tow with I would have more carefull selected one with more payload. But given your current truck I think you could impove your towing experience by adding better shocks like Bilsteins and true truck tires with LT rating, but I would still stay within your truck's ratings. Also make sure your hitch is shifting the correct amount of weight to your trucks fron axle and the the trailer axles. Would a bigger truck tow better, probably, but you could get by with what you have if you are careful. I also removed the rear seats from my cab to gain additional payload.--Frank
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:06 AM   #15
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Hi

If indeed you want the "simple answer" (as mentioned in the original post) it is indeed "get a bigger truck". The driving issues you mention will not vanish, they will go from tiring to "reasonable". The bigger gotcha is that you *will* have lots of stuff to take with you on some trips. You will need payload to deal with that ....

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Old 06-03-2020, 09:26 AM   #16
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Park the F150 and the Airstream on the street, overnight in a Big City.

Which is missing in the morning?

The Airstream.

You are towing a Grocery Cart behind an electric moped. The more you fill the Cart, the more underpowered the electric moped becomes.

When you purchase a heavy tow vehicle it costs more than a lighter tow vehicle.
When you purchase a longer Airstream it costs more that a shorter Airstream.

The compromise. You have an electric moped, the selection of options to add into the shopping cart will limit what can be towed.

Either get a larger tow vehicle, or a smaller Airstream. There is no magical wand to cure this. It is not having the pie and eating it... you have too much pie to begin with.

The current F150 will tow this trailer. It is common that this combination is used. It does not make the combination correctly compatible. The F250/F350 will do the job.

Many want a tow vehicle as an every day vehicle to drive to work and not being able to park, as the tow vehicle is to tall, for the underground parking spot.

We all make compromises with the tow vehicle and trailer combo. You will figure it out at the worst possible place and time.

Now is 4x4 too much more to have? Depends. Where do you plan to tow your Airstream? How many passengers? Generator(s). The list is long... the weight gains momentum.

Find someone with a 3/4 ton tow vehicle. Compare. If you find the F150 superior, you made the right decision. If not... we already know the answer. We have all been in this same situation.

DO NOT GO TO A GROCERY SALE WITH A MOPED. Bring the F150.

To safely tow your trailer. You already know, but we beat you to it a long time ago.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:34 AM   #17
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Compromises are for Compromisers...not here.😂
Safety deserves better.

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Old 06-03-2020, 09:42 AM   #18
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It's simple, you need a bigger truck.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:47 AM   #19
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Careful on hitch rating (tension bars)

I don't want to start anything crazy, but I pull a 25FB with a 2018 GMC Yukon and I have zero issues BUT I had to learn a lesson on hitches.

The AS dealer recommended the BlueOx 1,000lb hitch. I used it for almost a year then noticed a problem when I took the rig to the CAT scales. My tongue weight is right at 890lbs loaded (I bought a tongue scale on amazon).
Even with the 1,000lb tension bars bent a ton, not much weight was being transferred to my front axles. I realized that it isn't enough to simply attempt to transfer some of your trailer tongue weight to the front axles, but you need a system (tension bars) strong enough to also transfer some of the rear truck weight to the front axles in order to even the axle weights.

I upgraded to 1,500 lb tension bars on the BlueOx for about $200 (etrailer.com), and it made a WORLD of difference. My axle weights evened out on the CAT scales, and the 18-wheeler sway problem was mitigated tremendously (the problem is that your front end is (still) light as shown in your photo compared to the sag at the back of your truck. I can still slightly feel the pull of the big rigs, but nowhere near what I was dealing with before (I barely notice it while driving). I feel like the CAT scales are very important for anyone pulling an AS with a 1500/150-Class vehicle. It can easily be done, but you have to dial in your hitch for your specific vehicle to make sure your axle weights are closer to even.

My 1500-lb bars still bend so much that I wonder if I should upgrade to 2,000-lb bars? If I decide to do this, it will once again be back to the scales to get dialed in on my axles. I think the information you get from the CAT scales is worth its weight in gold.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:59 AM   #20
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Also, DO NOT go by the payload published by the manufacturer of the TV. LOOK on the sticker on the vehicle. You may be surprised. I know I was.
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