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Old 06-07-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
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What vehicle for towing an Airstream 25'

My wife and I are excited about Airrstream RVing and we need some help in deciding what tow vehicle to use for a 25' trailer.
Should we get a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton truck? SUV?
Diesel or gas?
Are backup camera's helpful for newbee's?
Any imput would be very helpful.
Excited about joining the Airstream family!

John/Anna Caldwell
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:43 PM   #2
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Welcome...now do a search. This is probably the most discussed issue and there are a ton of threads on tow vehicles.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Welcome...now do a search. This is probably the most discussed issue and there are a ton of threads on tow vehicles.
Larry
Yup, discussed by "experts" on all sides.

The big truck folks will tell you that you need a minimum of a 3/4 ton truck with a huge diesel engine.

The little car folks will tell you to get a Volkswagon.

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. However, whatever you pick, it must have the proper gear ratios, enough weight carying capacity, and adequate cooling.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:43 PM   #4
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In my opinion you can never have to much truck although some on here will totally disagree with that. My last TT was 36ft & weighted over 11K LBS, I had & needed a 3/4 ton truck & I always prefer diesel power over gas. My new AS ( to be delivered next month) like yours is 25ft. My current truck is a RAM 1500 ecodiesel & it will be very adequate to handle a 25 footer. Having said that, if you plan on carrying lots & lots of junk in your pickup bed consider the heavier tow vehicle. BTW, back up camera is a must have!
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:56 PM   #5
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Many U.S. Americans will recommend and indeed will insist that you will putting your family and everyone else on the highway in harms way if you do not have biggest baddest pick up truck made and a $2500 WD system. Our Canadian friends will on the other hand recommend a heavily modified Prious for your towing needs. Personally I am a happy camper towing with my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:10 PM   #6
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We tow our 25-footer with an F150 with the max tow package and heavy-duty payload package. So far, so good!


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Old 06-07-2015, 03:30 PM   #7
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I am expert. Because I say so. The proof is that I am posting on this forum. You need a F-350 dually. It has to be a Ford, because Ford is the best. You also need to buy a Propride hitch. Then you need to upgrade your brakes to disc. Afterwards you'll need Centramics on both your trailer and your tow vehicle. Also you will want to upgrade your tires on the Airstream to 16 inch LT tires. The Goodyear Marathons are known to explode instantly in the presence of happiness and pavement. All four tires will explode at the same time and cause a massive fireball of death along with killing a kitten the moment the blow out happens.

This is the most best grammar perfect summary of all the advice you will receive here on Airforums. If you disagree, you're a not as smart as those who preach this gospel or you are from Canada. And Canadians can't be trusted.



















I like my Ram 1500 because I like to live dangerously.



*The above may have been the maximum amount of sarcastic wit this thread can handle. ***Also I may or may not be a smart @$$.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
I am expert. Because I say so. The proof is that I am posting on this forum. You need a F-350 dually. It has to be a Ford, because Ford is the best. You also need to buy a Propride hitch. Then you need to upgrade your brakes to disc. Afterwards you'll need Centramics on both your trailer and your tow vehicle. Also you will want to upgrade your tires on the Airstream to 16 inch LT tires. The Goodyear Marathons are known to explode instantly in the presence of happiness and pavement. All four tires will explode at the same time and cause a massive fireball of death along with killing a kitten the moment the blow out happens.

This is the most best grammar perfect summary of all the advice you will receive here on Airforums. If you disagree, you're a not as smart as those who preach this gospel or you are from Canada. And Canadians can't be trusted.



















I like my Ram 1500 because I like to live dangerously.



*The above may have been the maximum amount of sarcastic wit this thread can handle. ***Also I may or may not be a smart @$$.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:56 PM   #9
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Yup, discussed by "experts" on all sides.

The big truck folks will tell you that you need a minimum of a 3/4 ton truck with a huge diesel engine.

The little car folks will tell you to get a Volkswagon.

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. However, whatever you pick, it must have the proper gear ratios, enough weight carying capacity, and adequate cooling.
This "expert" doesn't say you "need" a 3/4-ton diesel. But you won't regret it if you get one.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:06 PM   #10
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Well, Bold - that settles it! 😂😂😂
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:11 PM   #11
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Larger is better!

My own experience is that 7 yrs ago purchased new 23' International in AZ. At that time I had a Dodge Ram, 4,7L engine. Purchased what I could pull. Wish I could have purchased a 25' trailer. Coming back from Tuscon to Douglas I barely made it to the top of Mule Mtn. I mean crawling!! As soon as I returned to Bama I traded for a Dodge Ram, Crew Cab, 5.7 Hemi engine. Gas mileage only between 8.5 to 9.6 mpg towing, but no troubles pulling mtns. Decided to move up again. Purchased a Nissan NV3500 12 Passenger van. Couldn't be happier! Towing I get anywhere11.5 to 13.5 mpg. Normal city is 15/16mpg. Hwy 18/21 mpg depending on terrain. In AZ not towing I've gotten 22mpg. No problems pulling mountains.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:14 PM   #12
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Aquadogs - welcome. For your first post, you picked a duesi!! (Spelling intentional...)


The search feature in this forum seems limited to me (could certainly be user error) but I highly recommend Googling stuff like "best tow vehicle site:airforums" and that will return countless threads where this issue has been beaten to death - BoldAdventure's tongue in cheek reply sums it all up incredibly well...

My $0.02 for your questions...

Know what you want to do and why - them whatever decision you make has the highest odds of being the right one for you. :-)

Good luck!!
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:56 PM   #13
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A lot depends on your intended use. Full timers tend to need more carrying capacity than weekend warriors, families have different needs to couples.

Ask yourself what kind of vehicle you like driving. If you enjoy driving a truck, get a truck. Enjoy driving an SUV? Get one, there's many that can pull your trailer just fine. Want a van? Again, the modern Honda and Toyota vans will perform just fine, with the right setup.
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:20 PM   #14
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I'm on my third TV in the 14 years we've owned our 25 foot AS. The first was a Durango. The transmission was toast in less than 2 years. Traded it for a Yukon which was much better, but not nearly as good as our current F150. If you go this route, get the integrated tow package with the brake controller.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:04 PM   #15
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well.....we all know what we would like, what do we really need, but what can we afford.....for me and my a/s 25 footer, a 1/2 ton would do the job, pulling 6,000-7000 pds it would be working at its limit (esp. in the mountains, the 1/2 ton springs would be marginal after some miles, the rear axles with single sealed bearings would cause me concern, but it would still work......if you can afford a 3/4 ton truck with a diesel engine with surely will have it nailed...
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:06 PM   #16
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We got a 25' Safari last November and spent several months looking for a tow vehicle. If you are not familiar with the Trailer Life Towing guides you should take a look. Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
There is a lot of good information on how to make your selection and an explanation of factors to consider. They have a guide for every year and have a listing of all of the vehicles you may be considering. They will show you the towing capacity of many vehicles and how the different engines, tow packages and rear end ratios affect towing capacity.

You will need to know the weight of your trailer when it is empty and the maximum it might weigh. Our 25' AS could weigh up to 7,500 pounds when fully loaded and the weight that the tongue puts on the back of the truck is about 750 lbs. Because we would like to travel to the mountains and travel long distances we decided we needed a vehicle that would only use 70% of capacity. We wanted to have a little reserve. We were shopping for a truck with 10,000 lbs of towing or better. We opted for the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman. It comes with the Quad cab, 5.7L engine, towing package, integrated brakes and the 3.92 axle ratio. It has a towing limit of 10,210. So far so good. It is a very comfortable - smooth riding truck. No effort to tow the 25'. Haven't been to the mountains yet but don't anticipate any problems.

We had a 2007 Dodge Durango with the same engine (5.7L Hemi) and it seemed fine towing the 25' AS out here on the prairie. I got a little nervous when I began digging into the tow rating on the Durango. The Durango had the towing package from the factory. The Trailer Life guide indicated that the vehicle with the 5.7 engine was good to tow 8,750 lbs. if it had the 3.92 axle ratio. I just assumed that the tow package would include the 3.92 axle ratio. Come to find out, it did not. It had the 3.55 which translates to a towing limit of 7,250. That seemed like we were cutting things too close and decided to move to the Ram.

Moral of the story - there are many factors that go into the determination of the tow limit on any particular vehicle. They may look the same but you need to do your homework. Every make of vehicle seems to have different packages and names. The Trailer Life guide is a good way to cut through it all and gives you some information to size them up. There are many factors that will go into your decision. Quality of the ride was big for me. Didn't like the feel of the heavier trucks. I was familiar with the 5.7L Hemi and liked it. Liked the 8 speed transmission etc.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:45 PM   #17
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There are a ton of choices out there and nearly all will work just fine. I chose a 3/4 ton F250 4x4 6.2L gasser because I also use it to haul and tow other things. I carry way too much stuff when we go camping and the extra load capacity is nice. One day I'll figure out how to load the ATV in the bed too. Plus the larger capacity brakes and transmission give me a comfortable cushion for the extremes on the road. We drag a 25 ft. Classic that weighs about 7200 lbs. loaded. Happy trails.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:07 PM   #18
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Some love their VW Touareg diesel and some their Ford F-350 diesel, and absolutely everything in between, and a few things below and above. Wouldn't tow with anything else.

Good, comfortable towing is a combination of three things. 1/3 trailer, 1/3 hitch and setup, and 1/3 toe vehicle. If the trailer is an Airstream with a well-balanced load and the hitch is he best setup you can get, the range of good tow vehicles to pick from gets much, much larger.

The rest if the question can only be answered by your own needs, wants, and bankroll.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:36 PM   #19
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:39 PM   #20
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There are a ton of choices out there and nearly all will work just fine. I chose a 3/4 ton F250 4x4 6.2L gasser because I also use it to haul and tow other things. I carry way too much stuff when we go camping and the extra load capacity is nice. One day I'll figure out how to load the ATV in the bed too. Plus the larger capacity brakes and transmission give me a comfortable cushion for the extremes on the road. We drag a 25 ft. Classic that weighs about 7200 lbs. loaded. Happy trails.
Vinnie figured out how to load his "ATV." From Casini, 2011.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2B...ew?usp=sharing
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